35 – Glitch Box Redux (R4 & 5)

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you some new ideas for Glitch Boxes in Reason 4 and Reason 5. Because, hey, we can never have enough glitch boxes or IDM-style sounds. Just like you can never have enough creativity. Consider this a “Glitch Box (Part 2)” for those that missed my first installment.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you some new ideas for Glitch Boxes in Reason 4 and Reason 5. Because, hey, we can never have enough glitch boxes or IDM-style sounds. Just like you can never have enough creativity. Consider this a “Glitch Box (Part 2)” for those that missed my first installment. And if you’re interested, go here for more: Glitch Boxes (Part 1).

Download the project files here: more-glitch-boxes This is a single zip file with one RNS file containing both Combinators. Since those with Reason 4 won’t be able to open the file, I’ve included the Combinators separately. Note that one of the Combinators is for Reason 4 and up, while the other one is for Reason 5. Sorry to those who can’t open the R5 file, but you at least get to use the R4 Glitch Box Combinator right?

Glitching up Keith LeBlanc via the Dr. OctoRex (for Reason 5)

I’ll start with the Reason 5 approach, which uses a Dr. OctoRex to apply some interesting variations to a single loop, then copies that loop multiple times into various different slots. Once that’s done, you change all the slice parameters in all the different loops. Then send the 8 audio outputs of the OctoRex to different FX devices (even the Kong FX) and back into the Mixer channels. Using this setup, you could even apply different mastering FX to the different outputs.

Incidentally, I’m using a rex file that’s located in the Factory Soundbank that was created by drummer Keith LeBlanc. I was supremely excited to see some of his material included in the FSB (among other very talented individuals). If you haven’t heard of him; he, along with Adrian Sherwood, Doug Wimbish, Skip McDonald, and even Mark Stewart, formed a group back in the 80’s called “Tackhead” which were revolutionary at the time. I would highly suggest you visit these links and explore them further on your own. While not the first band to ever use samples, they were one of the first bands to heavily rely on them for their music. And they ushered in the industrial hip hop genre which was an amazingly ecclectic mix of genres. Their music may sound a little dated now, but still gets me going. Definitely worth your time to explore. Luckily I have the original “Tackhead Tape Time” LP (yes, an actual original issue LP). But enough about that. Let’s get busy Glitching up Keith LeBlanc!

Once the basic setup is in place, you can go crazy editing all the slice parameters, but pay special attention to the “Out” or “Output” parameter. This is what will send the various slices to the various FX devices. So that’s going to have the most impact on how the slice is played.

Lastly (and this is discussed in Part 3 below), you can set up a few CV sources via Thor devices, and send them to the different FX device CV sources. In this way, you can take the Glitch Box to a whole new level of crazy. Don’t miss it.

Glitch Box (Redux – for Reason 4)

In this second approach, I wanted to give Reason 4 users another way to create some Glitch in their rack. This is an idea I got from delving into the Glitch Box Combinator that comes with the Factory Soundbank. It was an old patch that has been around since R3, and so it uses a few NN19s hooked up to a 14:2 Mixer, and the mixer levels are triggered by the Redrum CV Gate outs. In this one, I update the idea by using a few Thor devices. You can really have a lot of fun using a few different Wavetable oscillators, and changing around the LFO2 Wave types and rates between all the Thor devices (this is something I neglected to do in the video below, but I would think it would produce some interesting variations).  Anyway, this method can be used in R4 and above and is for all those who haven’t yet purchased Reason 5. But seriously, what are you waiting for?

So does anyone else out there have some good glitch ideas or know ways in which these combinators can be improved? Possibly adding some mastering or Reverb before they hit the mixer is one thought I had. Any other ideas?

6 thoughts on “35 – Glitch Box Redux (R4 & 5)”

  1. Hi Phi,

    I’m working on a variant of your Reason 5 Glitch Box that uses 4 Kongs and 4 Malstroms. Each Kong has an effect in the Bus FX slot and another in the Master FX slot, and the Malstroms are used as LFO sources to modulate the parameters of the Kong FX modules. This works fine.

    I figured it would be good to be able to X-fade between the original OctoRex files and the modulated variants, so I created a 2nd OctoRex (minus the “slice edit mode” alterations). I then assigned Combinator Rotary 1 to mix between the effected and uneffected versions (one set to 0-127, the other to 127-0).

    Unfortunately this doesn’t work the way I had expected. The volume is much quieter at 12.00 o’clock than when the Rotary 1 is all the way left or right.

    I think that this is because Record is using an equal fade law for Rotary 1, instead of one that uses an “equal perceived-volume fade law” (a 3dB increase at 12.00 o’clock, like a pan knob, I think).

    Have you any suggestions for how I can implement this? I think it may involve using mixer pan knobs controlled by Combinator Rotary 1, but if so, I can’t make it work right. I can email you the project if that helps.

    Regards, Alec

    1. Alec,
      I was actually about to send you that EXACT same article. It’s one of the most important ideas I’ve ever read about Reason so thanks for posting it here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent that out to people. Which reminds me to put an article together on my site to provide some of the most requested questions or the most important ideas. I think an article like that would be important.

      As for your idea, I like the sound of it. If you would like to share, please let me know. I’d love to have a look and see what you’ve come up with. 🙂 I think using the Malstrom in combination with the Kong is a very good match. Throw in an OctoRex and you have a pretty interesting party. Throw in a Neptune, and you could probably come up with some really insane sounds.

      Looking forward to hearing your Combinator.

  2. Hi Rob,

    When I’ve completed the patch I’ll send it to you. I’m still playing around with routing and control methods ATM, and I’m also going to look at using the breakout jacks on the Kongs for added weirdness. Your Neptune idea is worth investigating too. I’ll probably end up with several different versions of the patch – some just Reason, and some Reason/Record.

    An FAQ article sounds like a really good idea.

    Regards, Alec

  3. Hi Rob,

    I sent my glitch box patches to you yesterday; did you receive them? I used the email address from when we corresponded earlier about merging LFO CVs. If you haven’t got them, email me and I’ll send them again (tell me what address to use).

    Regards, Alec

    1. Alec,
      I got the patches. Thanks for sending them. The email is correct. I just haven’t had a chance to look at them properly, because of the Thanksgiving holidays. However, I plan on looking through them this week and having some fun playing with them then. 🙂 I promise to get back to you about them soon. And again, that’s awesome of you to come up with them and share them. So thanks for that.

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