Adding Distortion

Reason gives you many ways to amplify and distort your tracks, but there are really only two kinds of distortion: intentional and unintentional.

Distortion occurs when a sound level exceeds the capacity of the line transmitting it. When this happens, its waveform peaks "clip," or level off, because they can't go any higher (Figure 8.44).

Figure 8.44. The left signal is at maximum and the right is clipping above maximum.

Unintentional clipping is never a good thing. Your level indicators will show red when your signal level exceeds the maximum.

Controlled distortion typically involves two volume controls that work together. The first (usually called the "gain") boosts the level internally and the second ("master" volume) controls the output separately.

The D-11 Foldback Distortion

The D-11 is a shaping tool that works on clipping. The Amount knob boosts the signal and the Foldback knob dulls or sharpens the clipping angle, directly affecting how harsh (sharp) or smooth (rounded) the distortion is.

Distorted signals seldom benefit from a dry/wet mix. For this reason distortion is primarily used either as an insert effect or with Pre-fader sends.

To create a D-11 insert effect


With the instrument of your choice selected, choose Create > D-11 Foldback Distortion to insert a D-11 (Figure 8.45).

Figure 8.45. Create a D-11 Foldback Distortion (shown here, front and back) as an insert effect.

Look at the back panel to make sure your instrument output is connected to the D-11 input and that the D-11 output is connected to your Mixer (Figure 8.46).

Figure 8.46. This D-11 is connected as a mono insert effect.


With your track playing, turn the Amount knob on the D-11 to the right to set how much distortion you want.


Turn the Foldback knob to the right to add more harsh harmonics to your distortion, and turn it to the left to mellow the effect.


  • In the middle position the Foldback knob is "neutral," or does not shape the distortion. (Clipping will still occur when the level meter is at maximum.)

Reason 3 For Windows and Mac
Reason 3 For Windows and Mac
ISBN: 321269179
Year: 2003
Pages: 180 © 2008-2017.
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