Propellerhead Record + Reason: Ring Modulator Guitar

By Line6Piper

Line6Piper (aka Matt Piper) teaches you how to use Record and Reason to add a Ring Modulator effect to your guitar. Matt is the in-house Propellerhead Product Specialist at Line 6, and the author of the acclaimed instructional guide, Reason 4 Ignite.

Sometimes I enjoy making some rather strange sounds with my guitar, and when I play live gigs it is not uncommon to see a Moog Ring Modulator and expression pedal (to control the frequency) among the pedals on the floor in front of me. It's not the type of effect you can use all night long, but used sparingly it can really open up people's ears and make them wonder how you did that! It also blends quite nicely with electronic music.

The Ring Modulator built into the Mälstrom synthesizer (part of Propellerhead Reason) sounds great, and is easy to use. And thanks to Propellerhead Record, now I can process my guitar through the Mälstrom in real time.

I always assumed that the name "ring modulator" referred to the ringing chime-like or metallic overtones that could be produced with the effect. However, "ring" refers to the physical shape of the electronic components soldered together in an old-school ring modulator circuit (four diodes connected end to end in a ring or circle). If you were going to propose marriage to someone who built analog synths and effects devices, perhaps you could propose with such a ring! (Lead-free solder is recommended.)

In a Ring Modulator, two signals are "frequency mixed" to produce the final sound. One signal is the carrier signal, a constant tone produced "behind the scenes" in the Ring Modulator. The other signal comes from the input (your guitar). The final output consists of the sum of the frequencies present in those two signals, mixed with the difference of the frequencies present in those two signals. Changing the frequency of the carrier signal (as demonstrated in the video) changes the overall sound you get from the Ring Modulator.

I've created ready-to-load Ring Modulator Combinator patch based on this tutorial. To download it, please click the link below.

Download Ring Modulator Effects Patch