Opening up Revalver, you have an input section, the effects and amps section and finally output. All pretty simple, but as well as a tuner and a fairly basic noise gate (there is a more sophisticated and frankly more musical gate available as an effect in Revalver) there is Peavey’s new ACT (Audio Cloning Technology) package. This will (in theory) transform your guitar signal into a range of different electric and acoustic models. These include Les Paul Standards and Customs, a Tele, two flavours of Strat, 335s, explorers, some Peavey electrics and a range of Takamine acoustics, nylon guitars and 12 strings.
I tried ACT with both a Tele and a Les Paul and found better results using single coils. The models are pretty variable, the 12 strings and nylon models were a little spongy but would work as a background instrument. The Takamine is more forthright but the tone has a strong processed feel, it gives an impersonation of an acoustic but I never found it to be convincing.
The electric models are much more convincing. The 335 has a pleasing wiriness and the Tele has a fair amount of twang and the Strat models are very usable. The Peavey guitars seem to sound especially good – the guitars themselves many not be classics but the ACT tones were quite convincing.
ACT is not a gimmick and the fidelity of the technology is only going to improve but you need to be realistic as to what it can achieve. It cannot compete with dedicated hardware emulators such as Variax (it is even well behind my circa 2001 Roland VG-88) It will not give you that ‘59 Paul tone, but the tones you get will generally work very well further back in the mix.
Now we are in the Amp and Effect section. This gives you the ability to have two signal chains working at once…….and we’ll look at that tomorrow.