In this second installment of Reason 101′s Guide to creating better patches, I’m going to focus on Performance, Velocity, and how the MBRS (Modulation Bus Routing Section) in Thor relates to both. The focus is to look at new creative ways you can improve how Thor reacts to your playing style and explain some of the reasons why Thor is such a powerhouse of flexibility in this area. Again, I’m not going to be approaching this as a complete guide to every possible performance technique you can accomplish inside Thor, but rather try to outline its flexibility and show you a few key aspects of performance that you should think about as you develop your own patches.
As a sound designer, your job is to create sounds for others to utilize in their own compositions. There’s immense satisfaction to be gained on both sides as the artist gains access to a myriad of new sounds, and you, as a sound designer, get to benefit from hearing how others are using your sounds (and remuneration for your time and effort creating them is always a plus). So in this article, I’m going to explore some ways you can A) Make your patches more usable by the artist, and B) Think more creatively about the art of patch design.
In this next installment of exploring the Pulveriser, I’ll go a little deeper and see how we can use it for more than just Parallel Compression. We can see how we can use it to warm or destroy a sound, and explore some of the CV / audio routing possibilities to get much more out of the device. And while it’s great on drum sounds and good to beef things up, it can be downright scary when used in a glitch environment. So let’s take a deeper look.
Now there’s a word with some power behind it: PULVERISE! Let’s pulverise our sound. New in Reason 6 is this wonderful Distortion-Compression-Tremolo-Follower-Filter-Parallel Processor — And oh yeah, it’s got a Lag feature too! Suffice it to say this thing is vintage goodness, and it can do an awful lot to your sound, whether you just want to warm things up a bit, or set your sound to completely self-destruct. Let’s push it to the limit and see where it takes us.
One of the best things you can do to learn, improve, contribute, and generally be creative is to enter your music in contests. Usually there are several contests through magazines, online music forums, bandcamp, soundcloud, and the like. I would strongly urge you to look up some of them and enter into the contests you feel are appropriate for your style of music.
There’s a wealth of great information out there on recreating the sounds of old computer chips, like the Commodore 64 or old SID chips and video console chips, and using these sounds to create tunes (Chiptune). I honestly knew very little about the subject until I, along with several other very talented folks, were asked to put together some fresh new sounds for the Reason 6 Factory Sound Bank (FSB). So here I’m going to explore and explain how I created a few of these sounds, and show you that you can definitely recreate some convincing Chiptune sounds using nothing but Reason and a little experimentation.
Let’s continue with the Alligator and find a few other tricks that it can perform. In the first part, I looked at how the Alligator works, and provided a few ideas for how to work with it. In this part, I’m going to get a little more practical and show a few new ideas you can incorporate into your tunes. Hopefully this will provide you with some new creative inspiration.
In this tutorial I’m going to talk about the new Alligator device in Reason 6. I think no other device has mystified so many since the RPG-8, and a lot of people have reluctance to really dive into it, thinking it’s mainly built for electronic musicians. Truth is that it’s a very easy device to work with, and it has applications for all kinds of instruments and all kinds of genres. So don’t be intimidated by all the knobs and levers. It’s a veritable evil laboratory, but getting it under control is easier than you think, and that’s the focus here.
When you get a creative spurt, don’t dismiss it! Make sure you embrace it, accept it, harness it, and get it out of you immediately. Most importantly, learn to understand it’s happening (or when it’s about to happen), and let it ride for as long as you can. I can tell you this because from experience you will have dry spells and they tend to last longer than the creative spells. So it’s important to read the signs and act on them.