In this tutorial, I’m going to present two ways in which you can automate the FX parameters in Kong that you probably thought could not be automated. I’ll also show you a method to create an automated Drum Roll and tie it to a Combinator button. So let’s automate what at first seems unautomatable (say that five times fast!).
You can download the project files here: Kong Automation Examples. There are 3 Kong examples in .rns format for you to look at. The first one goes over automating Kong FX parameters by cross-fading two Kongs. The second provides an alternate “Step Sequencer” example to automate an FX parameter from one state to another. And the third .rns file is a way in which you can create a note-repeater (not a true note repeater but a drum roll creation) using an RPG-8 Arpeggiator and Thor tied into a Kong Drum module. The Combinator in this file provides 2 buttons: 1 button acts as the drum roll (note repeater) and button 2 acts as a single-shot note player. Enjoy!
The “Cross-Fading 2 Kongs” Method
The first method is my favorite, and it comes from Kloeckno on the Propellerhead User Forum (PUF). He suggested that you could automate any parameter on the FX or Drum Modules by creating a secondary Kong device and cross-fading between the sound source Kong device and that secondary Kong device. So here’s my take on his suggestion. Let’s try it out and see how it stands up (here’s a spoiler: it works amazingly well!).
The “Kong Parameter Step-Sequencer” Method
Next, let’s take a look at an alternative approach, which uses a single Kong device as a step sequencer for a single drum hit. With each pad, you increase the parameter slightly, so that you can step between multiple instances of the same FX parameter. This can be a good idea for things such as a drum roll (so you get the added benefit of seeing how you can create a drum roll as well). Take a look and tell me what you think of this approach?
So there are two methods which you can use to automate those parameters that you thought you couldn’t directly from Kong. With a little ingenuity you can find workarounds for almost any kind of problem that you face in Reason. I’m firmly convinced of that. Though, admittedly, there are some problems that involve a lot of routing and hard work and thinking through the routings on paper to get it right. Reason always amazes me for its ability to be flexible and provide solutions for some of the toughest audio problems. In fact, it’s this flexibility and a strength of the software that you can find so many workarounds and alternate ways of thinking. Perhaps that’s why the props are at the forefront of audio software.
Automating a Drum Roll
The easiest way to re-create a drum roll and automate it is to use an RPG-8 Arpeggiator to “Hold” the note that is being played. In a Combinator, place a Kong, RPG-8 and THor. With a little routing, you can use the Thor step sequencer to play the note via the Combinator Gate in (the Arp), and then let the RPG-8 hold that note, which in turn is triggering the Kong Drum 1 module. To see an example of this, refer to the Project files. The example is included in there. When I have some time, I’ll try to put together a video for this idea as well, if time permits.
What are your thoughts? Any cool workarounds in Kong or the other new devices that you’d like to share?