|The acoustic guitar device for both guitarists and non guitarists is here!|
Hello again. Today I am going to be taking a look at the new Rack Extension that Propellerhead have released, the 'A-List Acoustic Guitarist' device.
This brand new unit follows hot on the heals of the Syncronous Rack Extension that was released less than a month ago. It has been launched to address the pressing demand from Reason users for some realistic guitar emulation devices within the Reason Rack.
This demand is not just from non guitarists either. There are a lot of people out there who play the guitar but have little to no recording equipment with which to record their work. Even a basic set up for recording acoustic instruments requires a fairly hefty outlay on equipment and the required skill to use it all. The A-List Acoustic Guitarist is perfect for that as all the recording work has been done for you. All you need to do is load the device into your Propellerhead Reason Rack and get creating.
As with all Rack Extensions, you need at least Propellerhead Reason 6.5 to be able to use them. If you have Propellerhead Reason 6 you can get a free upgrade to 6.5, allowing you to open the vault of Rack Extensions that are out there. Since Rack Extensions came along, Reason as a product as evolved beyond all recognition from what it was even just a few years ago. Rather than just a synth and effects plug in for something like Cubase, Reason is now a fully fledged DAW in it's own right, suitable for recording any kind of music you can think of.
Looking at the A-List in more detail, the first thing that struck me was just how big the file size is for a Rack Extension. It clocks in at 1.2GB!!! For a Rack Extension that is absolutely massive. The reason behind this size though is that the A-List contains a vast sample library of almost every type of guitar chord, strumming pattern, accent and attack you can possibly think of.
|The front of the A-List showing all the ways you can tweak your sound.|
The A-List is MIDI keyboard mapped, with chord voicings assigned a single key on your MIDI keyboard. Add together different notes to build interesting chord voicings that you may not have experienced before (or be able to play for that matter).
Once you have chosen some chords by drawing in the notes you want into a MIDI lane, you can then play around with the various parameters on the front of the device. The 'Character' dial mimics different mic placements and the 'Style' section the different strumming patterns present in a wide variety of music.
You can also influence parameters such as how hard the strings are being struck using the 'Attack' dial, the volume, feel and swing of the guitar part. Add to that you can switch between the sound generated if your part was being recorded through an ambient mic or via a pick up in the guitar. To beef the sound up there is even double track automation available by pressing the 'Doubling' button.
During playback of the device the 'Chord' window tells you the exact chord voicing being played. This is especially useful if your music theory is not great and you want to start adding in MIDI parts from other instruments, such as bass or keyboards.
You can add further detailing and customisation to your sound by selecting one of the presets included with the device. If you flip the A-List round, as well as the usual CV controls that you would expect to see, there is also a MIDI map for what sounds and styles the different key mappings generate. You also have the option here of toggling between the 'Default' chord set and the 'Full' chord set. The full set has some extra voicings giving you the option of the simplicity and ease of use of the default settings or the full width of the larger chord set.
|The rear of the device with CV control, chord set choices and keyboard mappings.|
So in summary, if you want to bring some acoustic guitars into your tracks without needing a guitar and recording set up, this is the device for you to do it with. As ever with all Propellerhead Reason Rack Extensions you get to try them for free for 30 days before committing to buy. Have a look at the video introduction below and the Soundcloud page for the device here or at the Propellerhead website.