Making overdrive effects in Reaktor

nuromantix Member Posts: 19 Member

I'm looking for info / tips for making good-sounding overdrive and saturation effects in Reaktor. Happy to read non-Reaktor based stuff but I'm not looking for university-level theory! Just some ideas about good transformations to try, maybe using EQ or filters pre and post the effect, oversampling etc to avoid aliasing.

Want to go beyond tanh etc.



  • bolabo
    bolabo Member Posts: 97 Advisor
    edited May 3

    If you are familiar with Core you can take a look at the 'overdrive' effect in the factory library which sounds pretty good, it combines filtering and soft clipping and mixes back in a filtered version of the un-clipped signal (I think this is how the boss overdrive works also).

    Most guitar overdrive pedals just have a few clipping and a filtering stages in different combinations with different topologies so you can just experiment with the filter and saturator macros in the core factory library and see if you can come up with something cool! :)

    There a anti-aliased versions of the saturators in the library (marked with "AA") so you could use those to avoid aliasing, also try these:

    This video might be useful:

  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 669 Guru

    Asymetrical clipping

    multiple stages

    filtering for eq,

    filtering for phase shifting

    filtering to manipulate DC offset over time

    soft and hard clipping...

    All clipping must be anti-aliased, or heavily oversampled, or it will sound nasty (in a bad way)


    ...maybe a hard clip follower by a soft clip, but the hard clip has a higher threshold, so only louder inputs get hard clipped...

    Asymmetrical clipping so that only the positive part of the waveform gets clipped. Two in a row with a high pass and an invert between them... magic can happen ;)

    What happens is, if the waveform is amplified up to say -8..+8, then only +ve is clipped, you have -8..+1, then when that hits the high pass, it tries to remove the DC offset, but that takes time... as it pulls the signal back over to the centre, what is getting clipped by the second clipper changes, and you get dynamic clipping with 'memory'. If you tune this right, with the right combo of hard vs soft, symmetrical vs asymmetrical, cutoff settings to control the speed of the high pass DC removal, and various eq filtering elements, it can start to sound pretty good.

    What you play into it MATTERS!

    You really notice the difference playing a guitar through it... not so much with basic synth sounds... but with good expressive synth sounds, and good playing, or detailed sequencing, you will notice the difference.

    With basic constant amplitude on/off saw wave, all distortions sound about the same, and all pretty ***** ;)

  • ANDREW221231
    ANDREW221231 Member Posts: 291 Advisor

    think nothing i wanted to say here was left unsaid, but one thing i would highlight is:

    asymmetrical clipping

    even harmonics are something desirable, and probably just make sure you over-sample it too if you're going heavy

  • nuromantix
    nuromantix Member Posts: 19 Member

    Thanks, I will make more experiments :)

Back To Top