Skip to Main Content
This brief presents a generic model to emulate distortion circuits using operational amplifiers and diodes. Distortion circuits are widely used for enhancing the sound of guitars and other musical instruments. This brief introduces a new model for an ideal operational amplifier that does not include implicit equations and is thus suitable for implementation using wave digital filters (WDFs). Furthermore, a novel WDF model for a diode is proposed using the Lambert W function. A comparison of output signals of the proposed models to those obtained from a reference simulation using SPICE shows that the distortion characteristics are accurately reproduced over a wide frequency range. Additionally, the proposed model enables real-time emulation of distortion circuits using ten multiplications, 22 additions, and two interpolations from a lookup table per output sample.