OBJECTIVE: Use Reason’s signal processing modules to construct a guitar amp simulator.BACKGROUND: As Reason doesn’t accept external plug-ins, you can’t use conventional guitar amp simulation software within Reason. However, Reason is sufficiently flexible that you can construct a guitar amp/cabinet simulator using only two processing modules.
- Go Create > Dr. REX Loop Player, then click on the Dr. REX folder button to load a loop with a dry guitar sound. A good choice while experimenting is the ElGt_Faith_G_085.rx2 guitar loop from the Telecaster Rhythm 085 BPM folder in the Reason Factory Sound Bank.
- Go Create > Scream 4 Distortion, then go Create > MClass Equalizer.
- Hit Tab, then verify the patching on the back: The Dr. REX outs go to Scream 4, and its outs go to the MClass Equalizer. The MClass Equalizer outs go to your mixer or output.
- Click on the Dr. REX “Preview” button so you can hear the loop play.
- Guitar cabinets don’t have much highs over 5kHz. Enable the MClass EQ high shelf, set Frequency to around 5kHz, and to add a little resonance, set Q around 1. Set Gain to minimum. This rolls off the highs and produces a little “bump” around 2kHz.
- In Scream 4, enable “Body.” Types A, B, and C are different guitar cabinet types; Scale chooses the size, with clockwise settings giving smaller cabs. For now, set Type = C, Reso and Auto = 0, and Scale between 100 and 127.
- In Scream 4, enable “Damage” and choose the type of distortion characteristics you want. The settings shown in the screenshot give a strong overdrive sound, but also try the Distortion, Fuzz, and Tube algorithms—varying P1 and P2 to optimize—for more distorted effects.
- In Step 7, the Damage Control parameter has a huge effect on the sound. Experiment!
- Re-visit Step 6 after choosing your distortion algorithm in Step 7. Changing the Type, Scale, and Reso parameters let you “customize” your cabinet for the type of distortion you chose.
- In the Body section, the Auto parameter adds an envelope follower effect. While it doesn’t contribute to a more realistic guitar amp sound, it can provide some cool effects if you’re not concerned about “authenticity.”