That lovely old sound destruction unit in Reason called Scream 4 has a great nifty feature which is called Body. Here’s a quote from the Reason manual:
The Body section is just what it says – it places the sound in a resonant “body”. Depending on the settings, the result can be similar to a speaker cabinet simulator…
A speaker cabinet simulator? That sounds interesting.
No peak resonances
Since the early 90s when I bought the Palmer Speaker Simulator PDI-03 I found out that you don’t need a cabinet and a microphone for recording great sounding guitar tones. It has a sublime open sound because it lacks peak resonances. It’s essentially just a low pass filter.
Although I love the Palmer and other low pass filter techniques for cabinet simulation, peak resonances are often the key factor in creating convincing cabinet sounds. This is why Impulse Responses are great for cabinet simulation since they contain these peak resonances.
Scream 4 Body
The Scream 4 Body section is indeed a great feature for simulating body resonances. There are 4 different sounding Body types and with the Reso parameter you set the amount of resonance. With the Scale parameter you can scale the size of the body, which changes the frequencies that are peaking.
Is Scream 4 capable to deliver convincing cabinet sounds? Yes and no. Although you can easily create your own custom cabinet tones in all shapes, from small boxy sounding stuff to bass heavy closed stacks. It needs one more thing.
Full range yuk
The Scream 4 Body section can deliver convincing speaker resonances but it sounds way too bright. It’s meant to do that, it simply creates body resonances for the full range frequency spectrum. But a guitar speaker is not full range but is more a mid range affair. Guitar speakers are lacking high frequencies, they often roll off around 6 kHz.
We can address this by adding a Sweeper device (included in Reason, except for the Intro version) as LP filter after Scream 4. I am using the steepest LP filter of Sweeper which is the MFB LP 24 dB. When set around 6 kHz it cuts off the high frequencies like most 12″ speakers do.
I also added the RV7000 to my rack, adding a bit of Room ambience.
Here are three examples using my telecaster. I recorded the first part of this one take with my guitar volume turned down a bit and the second part with the volume fully wide open, switching between a light crunch and a heavier crunch.
I used the Kuassa Matchlock amp simulator. One example uses the Scream 4 + Sweeper combination (with the cabinet simulation of the Matchlock turned OFF). One example uses a Celestion G12M Greenback 2×12 (closed) impulse response – Shure SM57 balanced (with the cabinet simulation of the Matchlock turned OFF). And one example uses the Matchlock with the build in cabinet simulation (no additional IR or Scream 4 device was used).
Which one do you prefer? And do you think you can pick the one that is not using an impulse response, which uses Scream 4? Please let me know, leave a comment!
- example 1 is using the Celestion IR
- example 2 is using the build-in speaker cabs of the Matchlock
- example 3 is using Scream 4 + Sweeper