Dec 142009

Download the Combinator: wonderland

Description: This is a cross between a beat or rhythm generator and a synth. I wanted to come up with a template to use as a hybrid that could be used to effect a great range of sounds and possibilities all from within a single combinator.

Features: Wonderland uses a Rex file for the driving rhythm behind a soft sounding synth. The NN-XT provides the synth layer, and the Rex provides the rhythmic layer. You can also adjust the filter frequency and a separate Pumping element in the mix. Here’s how the controls operate:

Pitch Bend: The pitch bend affects only the NN-XT synth layer, and pushes up or down by 4 semitones.

Mod Wheel: The mod wheel affects a few different parameters. Adjusting the wheel upward yields a more dreamy high-pitched sound.

Rotary 1: This controls the “Crudge” feature, which is a Sine wave sound shaper in Thor. Turned all the way left and you get no sound shaping applied. Turned fully right, and you get a grungy distortion to the synth layer. Note that higher filter frequencies will yield more distortion. Having the filter frequency Rotary all the way left will provide very little changes to the grunge effect.

Rotary 2: Controls the level of the Rhythm section (Rex file). All the way left and the Rex audio is essentially turned off. All the way right and the Rex can be heard fully (100).

Rotary 3: Controls the filter frequency of the synth layer. This Rotary is controlling Filter 3 in Thor. Turned all the way left and the Filter Frequency is fully cut off. Turned all the way right and the Filter Frequency is fully open.

Rotary 4: Adjusts the pumping of the Rhythm layer, however, the pumping is affecting the synth layer, so even if the Rex audio from Rotary 2 is all the way off, you can still get a Thumping from the Synth using this Rotary.

Button 1: When off, the Synth Delay (the Thor Global Delay) is not synced. When turned on, the Delay is synced to the beat of the main sequencer.

Button 2: This controls the distortion from the Scream device. Turned off you get no distortion. Turned on you get a Low Frequency Resonator distortion FX applied to the Rex Rhythm layer. This does not affect the Synth layer.

Button 3: This is an octave shift for the Rex Rhythm layer. When off, the Octave is set to the default (4). When on, the Rex loop plays 1 octave higher (5). This does not affect the Synth layer.

Button 4: This provides an “Underwater” feel to the Synth layer. Essentially it controls the Global Chorus in Thor. Left off, the Synth is untreated. Turned on, you get a very warbly chorus applied to the Synth which can only be described as a very quick oscillation as though you were under water.

Usage: You can use this any way you like. But mainly it provides a Synth/Rex Loop Rhythm for your tracks.

Other Notes: To edit the patch and use it as a template, switch out the NN-XT patch for some other synth sound you like (or any other sound patch or sound device, for that matter). You can also vary the rhythm layer by changing the Dr.Rex patch to something different as well. A final note: take a look at the CV setup happening with the Dr.Rex, Scream, and Thor, then look at the routings in Thor’s Modulation Bus. This provides a way you can use the Scream’s Auto CV to convert the Dr.Rex Audio into a CV source that is applied to several parameters within Thor to affect the NN-XT’s sound. Might provide some further inspiration for you.

As always, please let me know what you think or let me know if and how you use this in your own projects. Happy Reasoning!

  3 Responses to “Wonderland”

  1. No problem..I am admiring what you’re accomplishing here. Hang in there!

  2. No problem Kevin! I’m glad you like it. Sorry I haven’t been emailing much. As you can see, my time is taken up testing out new ideas in Reason (hopefully to everyone’s benefit). :-)

  3. I’m going to use this in a song I started today. I never thought about this quite that, thanks.

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