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Hello all, I am a newbie en rakarrack, and I would like to know from where can I learn how to tune rakarrack in order to sound "similar" to a distortion I like, for example lake Dave Mustaine, Kirk Hammet, or something like that, can anybody point me in the right direction.
I will give you some tips, although I don't think there is anywhere these things are explained specifically for rakarrack.
Something to keep in mind is much of Rakarrack was ported form ZynAddSubFX synthesizer. The Distortion and Overdrive effects are not really like a "distortion" or "overdrive" like a stompbox pedal. They are waveshapers.
Knowing that, you can come to see them as building blocks that you use with other FX (specifically EQ) to get sounds.
Here is the basic structure of a distortion pedal, as designed in a stompbox for guitar:
Low Cut -> Amplify -> Distort (waveshaper)-> Recover lows, tame highs -> Tone Control
For an OD sound like, say, a Tubescreamer, you boost the highs at about 700Hz, distort, then pull down the highs with a 700Hz low pass filter, then apply a tone control.
For tube amps, generally there are 3 stages of amplification (and distortion), boosting the highs in each stage at around 200Hz-500Hz. Then the highs are tamed and low end recovered at the end of it.
Using Rakarrack the basic building blocks of a distortion pedal are this:
EQ->Overdrive (and/or Distortion, Valve, Derelict) ->Parametric EQ -> Then maybe you want to use Convolotron to emulate an amplifier speaker cabinet.
Read the Help (F1). Each of the FX has some description and use for each effect module in Rakarrack.
Finally, here is a sequence of FX that I think produces some decent results, in terms of flexibility for different tones:
Valve->Overdrive (hard compress, Valve2, or DynoFet are good) -> Stompbox (With Rat model) -> Convolotron -> Maybe some reverb or echo.
Valve effect does not even need to be configured to distort much, it is a bit of a pre-conditioning effect. Something important that Valve adds is the dynamic response of a tube amp, That dynamic effect will carry through down the line to make the rest of the waveshaping dynamic. Also the DynoFET, Compress and Valve models in the waveshaper selection on Distortion and Overdrive have dynamic response built in, so they are good choices for amp-like sounds.
Notice Distortion and Overdrive models do have filters built in. It is best to configure those filters with the Pre Filter switch activated. Cut off the highs at 2000 to 5000 to minimize aliasing (this is the "grainy" digital sound). This does sacrifice some of the "bite", but it's always a tradeoff. If you have CPU resources to spare, then upsample the waveshaper to 6x or more. It really requires a lot of CPU power, but it improves the sound.
I think that is enough to get you started. You can post back to this thread if you have more questions, or if you also discover something that works.
Generally, the pre-filtering makes the biggest difference in a distortion sound. The more lows you cut, the more "tight" and crunchy it will sound. If you let more lows through the waveshaper, then it will sound more "loose" or "fuzzy".
Thanks a lot for your time transmogrifox, I'll try that and I will post if I found something that works !!