Last month I launched a new Facebook group called the Reason101 Music & Sound Design Challenge. The idea was to create a place where people could post their music and sound design constructions in a friendly place, then comment and provide constructive criticism on those postings. Often times, we get lazy or hit a rut. And challenges can be helpful to push us further with our development.
This isn’t so much a tutorial about how to use the latest Reason hot new device or how to stretch CV cables into pandemonium. Instead, I thought about how to get all our creative juices flowing and what better way than to create a fun and simple daily challenge for the month of October. There are no prizes, no winners, and no losers. It’s just a fun little game that hopefully triggers some creativity and motivation to make more music and sounds.
In this article, I’m going to discuss how to create longer Thor Pendulum sequences with multiple Thor Step Sequencers strung together. If you’ve read my last article on the subject, Longer Thor Step Sequences, you’ll be familiar with how to extend the Thor Step Sequencer to go beyond its limit of 16 steps. That type of sequencer is great if you want forward motion sequencers. However, the next logical question is whether or not you can create a pendulum style sequencer with the same limitless number of steps. As it turns out, there’s some very interesting things you can do to create a rocker seqeunce which goes forward, and then backward in reverse direction. Here are some of the solutions I came up with. Read on and then let me know if you come up with alternative methods.
A Tape Stop effect is something that many Reason users have been requesting for quite some time. And Polar excels at this effect. A Tape Stop effect occurs when the tape is stopped while the audio is still being played. From a hardware standpoint, it’s never instantaneous. And the lag produced creates this classic Tape Stop sound. From an audio standpoint, what’s happening is the pitch shifts down, the volume lowers out, and a low pass filter closes. Digitally, Polar can accomplish all three of these at the same time, because it allows you to manipulate the “pitch,” “volume,” and “filter” in addition to the duration of the “lag” itself.
Extending Thor Sequencer Steps may look fairly simple on the outset, but it’s not quite as simple as one would think. This is because of the way the CV works in Thor, and because you can’t really extend the Thor steps beyond 16 in certain Run Modes. In fact, the only Run Mode that really works well with this kind of “extended Thor” is the 1-shot mode. Here, I’m going to show you a method to extend your Thor steps to any length you like, and at the same time provide a way to start, loop, and kill the sequencer at any point while it is running, all from the Combinator button controls. You’ll also be able to adjust the Velocity, Gate Length, and Rate on a global level. Finally, I’ll show you how you can scale the Steps, so that you can reduce the step count of the sequencer. The nice thing about this setup is that no Rack Extensions are required. Everything is done with the Core Reason devices. As long as you have Reason 4.0 or above, you can follow along with this tutorial.
At long last, the much awaited Crapre is here from PEFF! Outstandingly crappy sound quality can only make your tracks betterer than ever. And so I thought I would provide some much needed information and documentation about this heavy duty device. After taking all last month to document Spacre (lengthy article posting to follow), I thought I would give this device a much-needed test-drive and overview. It was a daunting task.
I’m obsessed with figuring out solutions to problems. One problem I recently encountered when I was putting together some files for the Alias8 PDF Guide, was trying to get the Alias8 Rack Extension Fader to double for a second control. I wanted to be able to use it to adjust two different parameters (let’s say Amplitude and Pitch of a SubTractor). The idea and thought process behind it is pretty easy. You adjust the Amplitude by moving the Fader, then click a button, and the Fader switches to adjust the Pitch. Click the same button again, and it goes back to controlling the Amplitude.
With the advent of Reason 7, you get the Audiomatic Retro Transformer Rack Extension for free. This is like Instagram for photos, except it creates musical snapshots that can be applied to the whole mix or individual tracks. So I thought, why not create an FX combinator where you can select different Audiomatic presets using the Kong pads. The added benefit is that you can switch between them in real-time at any point you like using automation. I even added a bypass so that when an audiomatic preset is not selected, the original audio is passed through unaffected. Or, there’s a method to play it parallel with the original loop.
This article will introduce you to the Etch Red RE from http://www.fxpansion.com. This RE is a powerful dual multi-mode filter that can be set up in series or parallel. It also comes with a comprehensive built-in and external modulation scheme that is unlike any other in the stock Reason program. Aside from filtering, it is capable of several tricks such as gating, stereo widening, compression, distortion, LFO wobbling, Tremolo, and Vibrato effects. To top it all off, it comes with the ability to Frequency Modulate the filters (either internally via the 2 built-in LFOs, or externally using an incoming audio source). A lot of power for a very affordable Reason device. So let’s take a walk-through and learn a little more about it.
Reason is one heckuva great program. Reason is the reason I’ve created all these tutorials. Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects to the program is the creation and usage of Templates. These amazing time savers can reduce your time to creating tracks immensely, and if you don’t use them now, hopefully you’ll realize their value after you read this article, and use them as an integral part of your process. So let’s get busy!