How to build a ring modulator in Reason

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Bjørn Felle
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Post 15 Sep 2019

There might be other ways of doing this, but I built a ring modulator in Reason using the SocaLabs "Maths" VST. It's really easy:
  1. Download the free Maths VST from here: https://socalabs.com/developer-tools/maths/
  2. Add it to your Reason rack
  3. Connect one ring mod source to the left input and the other to the right input of the VST
  4. Connect the audio output to something in Reason
  5. Set the "L out" and "R out" equations so they are both the following:

    r ? l*r : l
  6. This basically tells the Maths VST to check if there is anything coming in on the right channel. If there is, it multiplies this by what is coming in on the left channel and outputs the result. Otherwise, if nothing is coming in on the right channel, it outputs the left channel on its own. The same is replicated on the right output just so the device is stereo.
There might be an easier way, I had hoped to do it with Complex-1 but the function panel doesn't have a multiplication algorithm. Also the Maths VST is free whereas Complex-1 would have to be purchased. I couldn't find a maths-like device as a RE but the VST works well :)
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Timmy Crowne
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Post 15 Sep 2019

That’s a beautiful solution. I think raw math access or scripting should be native to Reason. So many of our feature suggestions could be satisfied that way thru community innovation. Maybe that’s exactly why it won’t happen. Thanks for letting us know about that VST. I’m going to check it out!

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MannequinRaces
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Post 15 Sep 2019


Bjørn Felle
Posts: 67
Joined: 15 Sep 2019

Post 15 Sep 2019

Timmy Crowne wrote:
15 Sep 2019
That’s a beautiful solution. I think raw math access or scripting should be native to Reason. So many of our feature suggestions could be satisfied that way thru community innovation. Maybe that’s exactly why it won’t happen. Thanks for letting us know about that VST. I’m going to check it out!
Thanks man. Yeah the Maths VST is really intriguing and lets you do some very peculiar things. I’ve done some crazy rigs with it. The possibilities are endless with stuff like this ;)
MannequinRaces wrote:
15 Sep 2019
This one can do ring modulation: <a class="vglnk" href="https://www.propellerheads.com/shop/rac ... th-module/" rel="nofollow"><span>https</span><span>://</span><span>www</span><span>.</span><span>propellerheads</span><span>.</span><span>com</span><span>/</span><span>shop</span><span>/</span><span>rack</span><span>-</span><span>extension</span><span>/</span><span>cmdequation</span><span>-</span><span>math</span><span>-</span><span>module</span><span>/</span></a>
Oh I forgot that RE though I do now remember trialling it. To be honest I found some aspects of it a bit cumbersome, like not being able to type values in and so requiring CV inputs for constants. It’s a nice unit, but I suspect there are limitations on the types of data entry allowed in REs. The Maths VST is a bit more flexible and free, though not Reason native which is a bit of a shame.
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Loque
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Post 20 Jan 2020

Bjørn Felle wrote:
15 Sep 2019
...
How the f*ck i could overlook this thread. Thanks. I will experiment with this.
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orthodox
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Post 20 Jan 2020

Couldn't it be done with Thor mod matrix?
(AudioIn1 scaled by AudioIn2)
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selig
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Post 20 Jan 2020

orthodox wrote:
20 Jan 2020
Couldn't it be done with Thor mod matrix?
(AudioIn1 scaled by AudioIn2)
Complex does ring mod using Scales and Amp section, which is basically a multiplication module.
But Thor doesn't quite do the same thing, possibly because of how it deals with bi-polar signals? Maybe someone smarter than I can explain how Thor's modulation matrix is different - It works fine on unipolar CV values, but not when passing audio signals (sines in this case).

But Complex-1 is the solution I would use for quick and easy ring mod in Reason, assuming of course you HAVE Complex-1. :)
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aeox
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Post 20 Jan 2020

selig wrote:
20 Jan 2020
assuming of course you HAVE Complex-1. :)
Which, everyone should really...

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orthodox
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Post 20 Jan 2020

selig wrote:
20 Jan 2020
orthodox wrote:
20 Jan 2020
Couldn't it be done with Thor mod matrix?
(AudioIn1 scaled by AudioIn2)
Complex does ring mod using Scales and Amp section, which is basically a multiplication module.
But Thor doesn't quite do the same thing, possibly because of how it deals with bi-polar signals? Maybe someone smarter than I can explain how Thor's modulation matrix is different - It works fine on unipolar CV values, but not when passing audio signals (sines in this case).

But Complex-1 is the solution I would use for quick and easy ring mod in Reason, assuming of course you HAVE Complex-1. :)
I have just checked it, and Thor mod matrix works fine with bipolar CV and Audio both in Source and Scale slots. It correctly multiplies signed values. But Ii indeed does not work well for Audio signals, it adds extra harmonics. I guess, that's because the mod matrix Scale parameter is sampled only once per 64-sample batch, not at audio sample rate.

I also checked Pulverizer (Input * VolumeMod -> Output), and it worked just fine! That one really does ring modulation.
Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise. -- L.Carroll

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selig
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Post 20 Jan 2020

orthodox wrote:
20 Jan 2020
I have just checked it, and Thor mod matrix works fine with bipolar CV and Audio both in Source and Scale slots. It correctly multiplies signed values. But Ii indeed does not work well for Audio signals, it adds extra harmonics. I guess, that's because the mod matrix Scale parameter is sampled only once per 64-sample batch, not at audio sample rate.

I also checked Pulverizer (Input * VolumeMod -> Output), and it worked just fine! That one really does ring modulation.
I always assumed Thor did audio rate modulation, but it could be it does CV rate for the Scale function. Testing this by changing sample rate, and it does indeed clear up with higher sample rates or lower pitches. So no Thor for ring mod.

Pulveriser seems to not be correct either because it's leaving the original pitch in the signal. I'm using the audio input for Volume Modulation, which SHOULD work but doesn't and adds a TON of gain - are you doing something different than this with Pulveriser?
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orthodox
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Post 20 Jan 2020

selig wrote:
20 Jan 2020
Pulveriser seems to not be correct either because it's leaving the original pitch in the signal. I'm using the audio input for Volume Modulation, which SHOULD work but doesn't and adds a TON of gain - are you doing something different than this with Pulveriser?
Oops, I was wrong about Pulverizer. I heard some clear tone when modulating two sines and thought, that was it. You're right, there should be no original pitch, only the sum and the difference of frequencies.
Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise. -- L.Carroll

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Boombastix
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Post 22 Jan 2020

Keep in mind that the old analog ring modulators make a different sound than digital math multiplication. Synapse has a unit that is modeled after an analog ring mod.
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selig
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Post 22 Jan 2020

Boombastix wrote:
22 Jan 2020
Keep in mind that the old analog ring modulators make a different sound than digital math multiplication. Synapse has a unit that is modeled after an analog ring mod.
I'm curious how they are different?
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Boombastix
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Post 23 Jan 2020

selig wrote:
22 Jan 2020
Boombastix wrote:
22 Jan 2020
Keep in mind that the old analog ring modulators make a different sound than digital math multiplication. Synapse has a unit that is modeled after an analog ring mod.
I'm curious how they are different?
Non-linearities in diodes. Compare kHs vs Synapse to hear it.
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selig
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Post 23 Jan 2020

Boombastix wrote:
23 Jan 2020
selig wrote:
22 Jan 2020


I'm curious how they are different?
Non-linearities in diodes. Compare kHs vs Synapse to hear it.
So, analog ring modulars produce harmonics that should not be there due to non-linearities, and "pure" digital ring modulators do it correctly/cleanly?
I don't have those two devices to compare, but more importantly I don't have an analog ring mod (unless you count Peak, which uses digital oscillators but I'm not sure about the ring mod). Peak and Complex sounded identical to my ears, fwiw, which is the only comparison I had available…
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Loque
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Post 23 Jan 2020

Boombastix wrote:
23 Jan 2020
selig wrote:
22 Jan 2020


I'm curious how they are different?
Non-linearities in diodes. Compare kHs vs Synapse to hear it.
I speculate that "Non-linearities in diodes" just means saturation in a specific way, maybe more dynamic depending on the input to simulate some analog stuff. The math for the RM is the same in analog and digital
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Boombastix
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Post 23 Jan 2020

Loque wrote:
23 Jan 2020
Boombastix wrote:
23 Jan 2020


Non-linearities in diodes. Compare kHs vs Synapse to hear it.
I speculate that "Non-linearities in diodes" just means saturation in a specific way, maybe more dynamic depending on the input to simulate some analog stuff. The math for the RM is the same in analog and digital
There is also a forward voltage drop and if there are transformers in the circuit you also have the transformer hysteresis in addition to their different harmonic distortion than the diodes. But as always, pick the sound that you like the best.
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