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Old 2003-02-15, 02:55
pr0g7r0n1c's Avatar
pr0g7r0n1c pr0g7r0n1c is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 143
how to get convincing guitar sounds using NN-XT multisamples

I posted a portion of this in responce to someone wondering if it was possible to create heavy metal music with Reason 2.

It sorta went unnoticed so I thought I'd re-post it here for your information.

It's absolutely possible to create a variety of convincing guitar sounds in Reason 2, using the NN-XT, and NOT relying on full phrase sampling of the instrument.

the following explains how I created the guitar sounds for my latest tracks, "Gothica" and "Lastday", which can be heard on the page from the link below.

I recently created 2 Prog Rock pieces that have the makings of Heavy Metal in terms of convincing guitar (lead & chords)/drum sounds and basic rhythms.

You can hear them, "Gothica" and "Lastday" from the link below.

the main lead and rhythm guitars are from a custom multisampled/multilayered guitar instruments refill I created and are NOT phrase sampled.

the looped 'wah' guitars in "Gothica" are, however, deconstructed rex loops. though they are fairly obvious loops (on purpose) and contrast to the actual multisampled guitars (which sorta make the multisampled guitars sound more realistic somehow..).

those songs, along with everything else on that page, are 100% Reason 2.
the main secret is many looped, multisamples of a variety of guitar techniques.

for the main lead guitar patch:

I sample, every 3 half steps, all the way up the guitar neck, for each technique.


2 or 3 velocity switching mute layers (soft, med, hard)

2 or 3 velocity switching pick layers (soft, med, hard)

1 layer of multisampled harmonics (these can be used for guitar "chirps" and for a feedback effect)

set up all these layers to switch from:

soft mute samples at the softest velocities..

through the picked samples at med velocities..

to the chirp sample layer (hardest pick layer + harmonic layer) at the hardest velocities.

set up a second, looped harmonic sample layer to fade in slowly in a velocity level from the softest and have it cut of at the hardest hits when the "chirps" trigger.

(it doesn't make sense to have a chirp feedback.. though you can make it do that if you want anyway..)

this will put automatic feedback on every note. you can set the delay at which the feedback fades in to suit your style. you can even map the feedback layer to fade in with a wheel controller.

I prefer to use one wheel for vibrato and the other for pitch bend or "whammy bar".

that's the lead guitar.

the chunky, chorded, death guitar patch is alot easier:

multisample muted, open chords (about an octaves worth) and non-muted open chords (ditto).

spread the muted ones on first couple of octaves on board and the non-muted on the upper two octaves.

hit lower board for chunky mutes and switch off to higher nonmutes on upper board for metal chord rhythmic patterns.

you can also just set these to velocity switch instead.. but I found it easier to separate the 2 sound sets on the board instead.

if you don't have access to a guitar to do your own samples, then you'll need to scour the web or try to find sample cd's that include all these guitar technique features, to construct similar, convincing guitars of your own.

in addition, I add a stack of effects behind these multisamples. usually an eq, chorus, a very slight bit of distortion (helps melt the samples into a more convincing sound), compression, delays and reverb.

with some practice you can have a realistic set of guitar patches of your own. pitch bend and vibrato techniques are key to creating a convincing sound. think.. Jan Hammer.

if my site goes dead you can also hear the tracks at:

HEAR THE EXAMPLE TRACKS "Gothica" and "Lastday" HERE

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