The seventh track on Dream Theater’s 1994 album Awake. Written by then-drummer Mike Portnoy, “The Mirror”


Is not as hard as it seems

When you close the door…

The band’s second highest selling album captured our attention – “Awake”. The notorious Dual Rectifier Amplifier amazingly interacts with Petrucci’s rhythm and solo sound in the remarkable song “The Mirror ”.

In the mid-80s, the path of metal music reached a point where it inevitably evolved into a combination of styles that gave birth to the so-called Progressive metal. Over a decade was needed for this newly formed Prog Metal to spread itself over the globe and to grab fans’ minds and ears and to impose among bands and guitarists to start composing these complex rhythms, amplified guitar-driven sound and intense syncopation. The real success was achieved when bands like Queensrÿche, Tool, Symphony X, and Fates Warning, ect offered their unusual harmonies and personal innovations in this style.

The rich imagination is a part of the composing of the may be the top idiosyncratic band which most strongly embodies the style Prog Metal – Dream Theater. This band is referred to as one of the three bands in the world responsible for the popularization of this style.

It is the sound of this band that will be today’s topic of discussion. 

Dream Theater formed in 1985 in Berklee College of Music in Boston. Throughout the course of various changes of members, one remains distinctive both for the overall sound of the band and “ The Face” of the Progressive Metal genre – their guitarist – John Petrucci. He has an extremely successful and rewarding musical journey. His talent as part of his progressive metal band brought him multiple Billboard 200 Top 10 chart debuts, as well as Grammy Awards for best Metal Performance. With the band “Dream Theater” together they performed in front of millions of fans and multiple tours. John himself was named Best Prog Metal Guitarist many times.

Throughout their creative career they have released 15 studio albums, which gives the huge opportunity, in addition to their creative capabilities, to hear their progressive sound as well. All these achievements kind of confirmed their significant role in spreading Prog Metal all over the world. The band’s second highest selling album captured our attention – “Awake”

The notorious Dual Rectifier amazingly interacts with Peteucci’s rhythm and solo sound  in the remarkable song “The Mirror ”. Back in 1994 he played with his Ibanez JPM 6 Strings and his extreme gain and sustain came from his Dual Rectifier. It’s very difficult not to notice the crushing walls of gain which is an invariable part of the character of Mesas. The three channels in the amplifier provide more than just high gain, it gives you a chance to expand in a vast field of different sounds. The sparkling cleans inspire the guitar players for more progressive melodies. Scooped mid tones in a combination with heavy bass sculpted and refined the Progressive Metal. 

When it comes down to Metal, there is no best tone or sound in general other than Dual Rectifier.

We decided to recreate the song “ The Mirror” with the closest product we have to suit the Progressive genre in any way. The Amplifikation Rectifor which we recently released, is a perfect response for the necessary dynamic range to replicate digitally the favorite guitars of the song.

The Amplifikation  Rectifor Amplifier is an amp that is quite versatile but the metal players could utilize the amps best qualities and especially the high gain channel. The amp itself could produce even a blues tone from really clean tones to the more raw crunch, but that being said the high gain channel boosted or more properly sayd: tightened up, is a metal and tight monster.

We will start the chain in our Amplifikation A360 guitar players suite with our Silencer Noise gate pedal, followed by our Efektor Overdrive

We need the overdrive to focus the tone, to shape the low end and to emphasize the articulation of the low strings.

Then the amp follows the chain :

The Rectifor C Type is the tightest and the quickest is the response of your playing. You want to have the quickest attack and the instant reaction between your picking hand and the amp preamp and power amp stages.

After that is the cabinet.

It’s the half open back cabinet to give us a more airy and open tone, to release the tension of the lows a little bit more. The Mic is a condenser one, we wanted to capture the full spectrum of the cabinet.

And to shape the tone further to fit in the mix better we used our Efektor EQ

The Frequencies decisions are based on listening to the recording carefully and making the tone as close as possible and to be recording ready.

At the end is our Efektro Reverb – the Hall Type. to add a little ambience to the overall signal. The early progressive rhythm guitar tones are not totally dry and always have to support low reverb in the mix and even a delay.

Here is the full chain 

Here you can hear the tone. The guitar is an Ibanez RG320 with stock pickups.
Audio Sample:

Here you can download the preset and copy it to your presets folder:


The preset file for A360 looks like this: Dream The Mirror RT and Solo.ka360p  copy the file after extracting it from the zip file at:

Presets folder:


C:\Users\[User Name]\Documents\Kuassa\Presets\Amplifikation360


/Users/[User Name]/Music/Kuassa/Presets/Amplifikation360

In the modern world of music, it is more confusing than easy for the artists to choose the right gear for their needs, but somehow everyone finds the way to the right one that guides them to new creative heights. The right Amp certainly makes your song sound better.

The Rectifor would be your best bet when in need of heavy and crushing rhythm tones and of course well rounded deep solos.

Stay tuned for more tones with history, explanation and preset for download!