List of saturation devices in Reason prone to aliasing (or not)

image by Moxfyre / under Creative Commons BY-SA (Wikimedia)

Image by Moxfyre / under Creative Commons BY-SA (Wikimedia)

This week I wrote 2 blogposts on aliasing in amp simulation. I focussed on Reason for part 1 and focussed on Ableton Live for part 2Aliasing is ruining perfect sound, making digital sound uhm… digital!

For today, for part 3 of what seems to have become an aliasing series, I want to focus on all the Reason rack devices which can saturate an audio signal. Testing both the native Reason devices as well as the rack extensions I have bought. To see (hear!) if they are prone to produce these annoying aliasing sounds. This time I didn’t make samples.

What I found out is that all standard Reason devices are producing aliasing sounds. Yes ALL of them!

Here’s the list of all the default Reason devices I have tested:

Pulveriser (Dirt module): aliasing!

The Echo (Color module): aliasing!

Aligator (Drive module): aliasing!

Audiomatic (VHS & Cracked modes): aliasing!

Scream 4 (all modes): aliasing!

D-11 Foldback Distortion: aliasing!

Synchronus (DIST module): aliasing!

Thor (Shaper: all modes): aliasing!

Malström (Shaper: all modes): aliasing!

And here’s the list of the additional rack extensions:

Cakewalk RE-2A: no aliasing

Primal Audio ACID Diode Ladder Filter: no aliasing

Primal Audio Ladder Multimode Filter: no aliasing

Primal Audio PMS-20: aliasing in both modes, see back of the device

Softube Saturation Knob: no aliasing

Battle-Axe Sound Destroyer: aliasing on all saturation modes (Cleave, Trash, Decap)


The Primal Audio PM-20 and the Battle-Axe Sound Destroyer REs are bummers! I hope the companies add a oversampling switch to these devices as quick as possible. Like I would advice the Props to update their devices one day soon with a switch on the back of the devices. 2 times oversampling is probably enough to prevent them from aliasing. So it should be a super easy fix right?

It is 2016, stuff shouldn’t sound low res digital anymore. Simple as that.

image by Moxfyre / under Creative Commons BY-SA (Wikimedia)

P.S. these tests are done using a sample rate of 44.1 kHz. Sometimes I use 48 kHz for video projects.

Also published on Medium.

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2 Responses to List of saturation devices in Reason prone to aliasing (or not)

  1. adam October 14, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

    would be very interested to see results of testing at 48k and even more interested to know results at 96k would stepping up to these higher sampling rates avoid possible aliasing in track devices ? 96k is like using 2x oversampling at 48k

    • Marco Raaphorst October 14, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

      I am planning to write another article on this subject. Indeed 96 kHz would be a solution to prevent aliasing. But even so, oversampling is still very much needed imo.

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