Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack

Complete coverage of Reason 7.0 Core devices & 8 Rack Extensions, with 101 in-depth Tutorials focusing on Basics, Utility constructions, Sound Design, Advanced usage and Rack Extension integration. This book is built from the ground up to explore all aspects of the Reason Rack.

With forewords from Kurt Kurasaki (Peff) and Ed Bauman (EditED4TV).

Robert Anselmi's Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason RackRobert Anselmi’s Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack

Complete coverage of all Reason 7.0 core devices & 8 Rack Extensions, with 101 in-depth tutorials focusing on basics, utility constructions, sound design, advanced usage and Rack Extensions. This book is built from the ground up to explore all aspects of the Reason Rack.

With forewords from Kurt Kurasaki (Peff) and Ed Bauman (EditED4TV).

The first half covers all core rack devices & 8 Rack Extensions front and back. All sliders, rotaries, buttons, and audio & CV connections are explored visually. The second half of the book provides 101 different ways you can integrate those devices together to create practical applications.

This manual provides all you need to know to start out using reason and take your skills from Basic to advanced, and beyond. Save time learning the Rack in the most intuitive way possible, and keep your copy handy as a desk reference while you work.

Features & Benefits:
  • Save time and learn Reason visually, in the most intuitive way possible.
  • All 43 Core Devices & 8 Rack Extensions comprehensively & concisely explained.
  • 101 detailed step-by-step tutorials cover basic to advanced Reason lessons.
  • Device section cross-referenced with Tutorial section for easy navigation
  • Learn the secrets of Reason sound design, FX & audio routing, and utility construction.
  • Merges the theory with the practical, offering many creative ideas along the way.
  • Useful as a handy desk reference when looking for answers.
  • Premium options provide an additional 250-patch ReFill and coil binding.
  • Full Color options with higher quality paper.
  • All options provide both an electronic PDF & printed book.
  • Picks up where the Operation Manual leaves off.
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*Note: To receive the PDF Copy and Companion ReFill, you must forward the receipt that was sent to you from www.lulu.com after your order is placed. Forward the receipt to webmaster@reason101.net. Once I receive your receipt, I will send you the PDF and ReFill download links (depending on the order option you chose). The PDF and ReFill download links will be sent to you in two separate emails, and will be sent to the same email you used to forward the receipt. This is a manual process, so please allow up to 24 hours for download file delivery.
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Sample Files:

pdf-iconTable of Contents

pdf-iconBook Introduction

pdf-icon“Hardware Interface” (Device Section)

pdf-icon“Random Audiomatic Kong FX Selector” (Advanced Tutorial)

FAQ

How do I order? / What’s the order process?

When you click the “buy now” button, you are directed to www.lulu.com to order the hard copy book. You will then receive two emails from Lulu: a “Thank You” email and a “Receipt” email. To receive the electronic PDF copy and Companion ReFill, forward a copy of your Lulu receipt to webmaster@reason101.net. Once I receive your receipt, I will send you the electronic PDF, and ReFill file (depending on the order option you chose). The PDF and ReFill are sent to you in two separate emails, and are sent to the same email you used to forward me the receipt. This is a manual process, so please allow up to 24 hours for download file delivery.

This process must be performed because Lulu does not provide customer information to publishers. Without this information, there is no way for me to track your order, and no way for me to know where to forward the electronic files. The receipt is only used to confirm you have placed an order, and to fulfill the electronic portion of your order. This information will not be shared with any other third parties.

Are the tutorials provided on your Reason101 website found in the book?

While many of the tutorials found on my website are found in the book, most of them have been updated and expanded. I took a year off to organize and update them. In addition, there are numerous tutorials in the book that are not found on the website. Finally, the first half of the book where all the devices are outlined are exclusive to the book, and not found on the website.

What are the product specifications?

  • Book: 360-pages. Publisher: Reason101. Author: Robert Anselmi. Language: English. Product Dimensions: U.S. Letter 8.50 x 11” or 21.59 x 27.94 cm. Shipping Distribution: www.lulu.com.
  • PDF (black & white or color): Encrypted PDF Optimized for fast web view (smallest file size). PDF stamped with customer Name / Email / Transaction ID.
  • Print Cover Stock (all options): 100# / 270gsm laminated stock
  • Print Interior (black & white): 60# / 90gsm white text stock. Perfect or Coil binding, depending on order
  • Print Interior (color): 80# / 115gsm matte white text stock. Perfect or Coil binding, depending on order

Navigate the Reason Rack with Ease

The “Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack” is a book loaded with information. Part technical manual, part creative resource, and part practical “how-to” guide, this takes you on a tour through the past 10 years of my Reason experience, and provides it to you in one comprehensive 360-page volume. Use it as a reference to save you time, and shorten your Reason learning curve. Time to show you what’s inside the book.

The Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack is a book loaded with information. Part technical manual, part creative resource, and part practical “how-to” guide, this takes you on a tour through the past 10 years of my Reason experience, and provides it to you in one comprehensive 360-page volume. Use it as a reference to save you time, and shorten your Reason learning curve.

I’ve shown you the video and a few still shots from the hard copy. See my previous post for that. So what are you going to get when you purchase?

The book is divided into two main sections:

  1. The Core Reason Devices & 8 Rack Extensions outlined fully front to back (see the image below for all the devices covered).
  2. 101 in-depth Tutorials that cover Basics, Utility Construction, Sound Design, FX Design, Advanced Setups, and Rack Extension Integration. (see the PDF Table of Contents for a listing of all the Tutorials).

Both of these sections are cross-referenced, so that it’s easy to navigate between the two sections. For example, when you are reading about the SubTractor device, all the tutorials related to the SubTractor are outlined (by number) in the SubTractor heading section. When you are in a specific Tutorial, all the devices used in that Tutorial are outlined in the Tutorial’s heading section.

Note: There’s also a Companion ReFill that will be provided with “premium” options, containing 250 patches. These patches serve to complement the Tutorials. There’s also several additional routing and sound ideas in there for you to explore.

I wanted to give you a few samples from the book. So I’m providing them here as free PDF files:

pdf-iconTable of Contents

pdf-iconBook Introduction

pdf-icon“Hardware Interface” (Device Section)

pdf-icon“Random Audiomatic Kong FX Selector” (Advanced Tutorial)

That should give you a pretty good idea of what you get with the book and the book’s layout. Now for a visual listing of all the devices covered in the first half of the book:

The Book covers all 43 Core Reason Devices, as well as 8 additional Rack Extensions; all of which are shown here.
The Book covers all 43 Core Reason Devices, as well as 8 additional Rack Extensions; all of which are shown here.

I think you’ll agree that this is unlike any other Reason book on the market. This is the only Reason book you’ll find that offers a Coil-Bound, full Color purchase option. And the only book that provides a full copy PDF with all purchase options.

You can pick up your copy of the Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack  exclusively at http://www.reason101.net/shop

An Inside Look at the Rack

A picture is worth a thousand words. 864 pictures and 312,000 words on 360 pages becomes an invaluable story. Especially when what it conveys is everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Reason Rack in a logical, easy-to-follow way. Take a sneak peek inside the “Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack” – There’s a lot to cover, with 51 devices presented in full detail, along with many creative and practical ideas, tips, tricks, sounds, and utilities. Stay tuned for more updates to come.

A picture is worth a thousand words. 864 pictures and 312,000 words on 360 pages becomes an invaluable story. Especially when that story conveys the inner workings of the software tool used to get the music in your head out to the world. And especially when that story is packaged in a logical, easy-to-follow book. That’s what you’ll find in the Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack

Want to know a bit more? Here’s a video that should answer most of your questions about what it is and why you should invest in it:

Here’s a little preview of some of the test copies I got back from the printer. 51 devices are covered top to bottom, and there are full visual outlines of how every parameter on each one of them functions. And all this is cross-referenced with the 101 Tutorials on everything from basic to advanced sound design, effects design, and utility construction.

A few pages from the Kong device section (Color test copy)
A few pages from the Kong device section (Color test copy)

The idea was to create a dual purpose book whereby the Device section can be used as a quick reference as well as completely cover all front and back panel parameters. The Tutorial section can open up new ideas on how all the devices can be integrated together to create different sounds, effects, and utilities. A complete course in a book.

A few pages from the Thor device section (Color test copy)
A few pages from the Thor device section (Color test copy)

As I progressed with the devices, I found that you could explain most all of them in a very concise way over 3-4 pages each. Of course, some devices took considerable more space, such as Thor and Kong, which are each about 9 pages. But each page had to be laid out according to the device’s design, not a “one-size-fits-all” book layout. Each page was hand-crafted, and required completely different layouts, balanced against the consistency of the headings, fonts., page size, and other elements to give the book its flow.

I’ve been a technical writer for 12 years, and that often involves working on your own layouts and graphic design. I was very mindful of this when crafting the book to give you the best learning experience I could. Part technical manual, part creative index of ideas, and part practical “how-to,” I hope this book encourages you to push your limits with the Reason software.

A few pages from the section on Thor
A few pages from the “Thor” section (Black & White test copy)

One of the most important aspects of working on this project was ensuring that all the visuals presented the devices in full view as you would see them on-screen. I wanted to make everything easy to follow and simple to navigate. I didn’t want to intrude too much on the imagery. Therefore, all the call-out lines are simple and don’t cover any important device areas.

A few pages from the Alligator section
A few pages from the “Alligator” section (Black & White test copy)

As you can see, all the tutorials have full visuals as well, so you can follow along and recreate exactly what I’m explaining. And with 101 Tutorials, there’s plenty in there to work on. Many of these tutorials also have alternative ways to accomplish something, or additional ideas and tips. This isn’t a rehash of what you’ll find on my website. There are many new tutorials, as well as expansions and re-workings of many of the most popular articles found on my site.

A few pages from one of the many tutorials
A few pages from the “Tutorials” section (Black & White test copy)

Well, that’s a quick look at the actual copy. Let me know what you think.

You can pick up your copy of the Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack  exclusively at http://www.reason101.net/shop

More details to come. . .

Coming Soon. . .

10 Years in the making. What I will present to you on December 1st, 2013 is the book I always envisioned for the program, and I want to invite you to stand over my shoulder and see why I find this software such a compelling and creative tool for anyone with a love of music and audio. I wrote the “Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack” so that I could convey all the amazing things this program can do in a logical, easy-to-follow way. I wanted to shorten your learning curve, and at the same time share my 10-year Reason journey with you. I hope you enjoy learning about Reason as much as I do.

Robert Anselmi's Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason RackRobert Anselmi’s Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack

When I first started working with Reason, I was amazed at the breadth and depth of the program. It had such a wide array of devices and options, it made my head spin. And the visual design of the software was truly stunning. I was excited and wanted to learn more. I had longed for a book that would walk me through all these Rack devices, and more importantly, would explain how to connect all these devices together to create what I wanted. It had to be highly visual as well, doing justice to the fine artistic efforts put into the Reason software design. I searched everywhere for a concise and comprehensive book that would teach me all the possibilities. Yet, nothing like that existed at the time. And it was at that point I decided to eventually write that book. I’m more than happy to provide it to you now, a decade later.

What I will present to you on December 1st, 2013 is the book I always envisioned for the program, and I want to invite you to stand over my shoulder and see why I find this software such a compelling and creative tool for anyone with a love of music and audio. I guarantee two things will happen when you invest in it: 1. It will save you time when seeking out answers to how the software operates; making you more efficient, and 2. It will teach you something new; no matter what level of expertise. These are bold claims. And I promise to deliver.

Reason is a gigantic Lego set, and you’re free to construct anything you can think up. Using the devices, audio, CV, and all the related sliders, rotaries, and buttons as your building blocks, you’re free to construct an endless amount of sounds, effects, and utilities.

But without an understanding of how these blocks fit together, it’s difficult to build anything. And that’s where this book comes in. The first half will provide you with the theory. Every core device and 8 Rack Extensions are comprehensively outlined in a clear, concise, and visual way. You’ll learn how each device operates, front to back, A-Z. It can be read straight through, or used as a desk reference when you are seeking out how a particular control or connection works.

The second half of the book will provide you with the practical side of Reason, and can be thought of as a complete course, from basic to advanced, over the span of 101 in-depth lessons. You can read them straight through, or focus on specific tutorials that interest you. To help you navigate through these two sections, I’ve cross-referenced them. This way, you can see the tutorials that relate to a specific device in each device section, and which devices are used in a specific tutorial in each tutorial section.

I wrote the Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack so that I could convey all the amazing things this program can do in a logical, easy-to-follow way. I wanted to shorten your learning curve, and at the same time share my 10-year Reason journey with you. I hope you enjoy learning about Reason as much as I do.

You can pick up your copy of the Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack exclusively at http://www.reason101.net/shop

More details to follow in the coming days. . .

58 – Taking Komplete Kongtrol

This tutorial should prove a little enlightening for those that only think of Kong as a basic drum module. Here we’re going to twist it into the ultimate controller for everything under the sun. For starters, I’ll show how Kong can control 8 filters at once, and then I’ll move on to use Kong to control the FM Pair Oscillator in Thor. Using some of these methods, you’ll be able to control pretty much anything in Reason or Record with Kong; moving traditional device control from a basic keyboard to a Pad controller.

This tutorial should prove a little enlightening for those that only think of Kong as a basic drum module. Here we’re going to twist it into the ultimate controller for everything under the sun. For starters, I’ll show how Kong can control 8 filters at once, and then I’ll move on to use Kong to control the FM Pair Oscillator in Thor. Using some of these methods, you’ll be able to control pretty much anything in Reason or Record with Kong; moving traditional device control from a basic keyboard to a Pad controller.

Sound exciting? I thought so.

You can download the project files here: Taking-Komplete-Kongtrol. This file contains 2 .rns and 2 .cmb files that are outlined below. Both require Reason 5 or Record 1.5 due to the fact that it uses the new Kong device and new CV inputs on the back of the Combinator. There is also a “Volume Control” example .rns file for you to get your feet wet.

Note also that I’ll be unplugged until next Thursday April 15th, so don’t take it personally if I don’t respond to questions until that time. Some times you just have to unplug from things for a bit. But feel free to leave me a little love. I promise to get to all your comments or questions when I jump back online. Have a great week! 🙂

A Little Background

When I was working on my mammoth “Key Flux FX Processor” patch I got a post on the Propellerhead User Forum from someone who jokingly said “what’s next? A Kong controlling Thor? A Thong?” After I stopped laughing and rolling around on the floor, I thought about it for a minute and said “well why not?” And that was the start to this tutorial here. I decided I wanted to try to control Thor with Kong. Whether or not this is practical is for you all to decide. For my part, I can see this being a new fun way to play around with the devices inside Reason.

Understanding the Kong Control Concepts

There are two main concepts that I’d like to outline here. The first is the idea of using the Pads in Kong as an up / down selector switch to transpose MIDI values up or down. The other is the idea of visualizing these changes in Reason, since visualization in Reason (and Kong especially) is somewhat limited.

The first concept was opened up to me by Ed Bauman of EditEd4TV fame. In the midst of his working on recovers for his 80’s band, I asked him to help me figure out how to transpose from one octave to the next using the Kong pads. This helped me set up the Kong Piano Roll Keyboard (again, that was explored in another article). So credit where credit is due. Without his help on that project, I couldn’t have figured out some of these tangential concepts to control other parameters with the Kong pads.

The concept works like this: Using one pad in Kong for the upward movement and one pad for the downward movement, you use the Thor Step Sequencer “Note Transpose” function to manipulate a device parameter that goes from 0 – 127 MIDI value. Each time the up or down pad is pressed, it transposes the value by an increment of “1.” For example, you can go from 64 to 65 to 66 to 67 and so on, using the “Up” pad. Since Reason allows you to interchange CV values (using Note CV for Gate or Gate CV for Note), this isn’t difficult to accomplish.

Here’s the basic setup to control the Volume of a Channel in the Mixer (just as an example):

  1. Open up Reason with a Main Mixer. Then create a Combinator with a 14:2 Mixer.  Underneath that, create a sound generating device (for simplicity’s sake, create a Subtractor and load up your favorite Sub patch). But note that this can be any device you like. Underneath that, create a Matrix and add a pattern in, so that it is playing the Subtractor.
  2. Now holding the Shift key, create a Kong device. Still holding Shift, create a Thor device and call it “Vol Up.” Completely initialize the Thor device by pulling down all the parameters, removing the Oscillator and Filter, and turning everything to 0 (zero). Also while we’re at it, pull down the level of the Channel on the Mixer where the Subtractor is connected to 0 (zero).
  3. Open up the Thor programmer, and in the Step Sequencer set the Run Mode to “Step,” Step Count to “1,” and set the first step’s note to “D3.” In the Modulation Bus Routing System (MBRS), set up the following 2 lines in the first 2 slots:

    Seq. Note : 100 > S. Transp (Step Sequencer Note : 100 > Step Sequencer Transpose)

    Seq. Note : 100 > CV Out1

  4. Duplicate the “Vol Up” Thor device and rename it “Vol Down.” Then go into this Thor’s Step Sequencer and change the note value of step 1 to “A#2.”

    The MBRS settings for the "Vol Up" Thor device.
    The MBRS / Step Sequencer settings for the "Vol Up" Thor device.
  5. Next, holding the Shift key down, create a Spider CV Merger/Splitter at the bottom of the Combinator rack and name it “Vol Merge.” Now it’s time to route everything up.
  6. Flip the rack around to the back, and on the Combinator’s 14:2 Mixer, turn the Subtractor channel’s level trim knob up to 127. Then connect the Merged output from the “Vol Merge” Spider to the Level CV input on the Mixer channel.
  7. Connect the Kong’s pad 1 “Gate Out” CV to the “Gate In (Trig)” CV input on the “Vol Down” Thor. Also connect Kong’s pad 5 “Gate Out” CV to the “Gate In (Trig)” CV input on the “Vol Up” Thor.
  8. Connect the CV 1 Modulation Output from the “Vol Up” Thor to the “Vol Merge” Spider’s Merge Input 1. Also connect the CV 1 Modulation Output from the “Vol Down” Thor to the “Vol Merge” Spider’s Merge Input 2. Set both trim knobs to a value of “84.” That’s the magic CV number that makes things happen correctly.

    The CV routing for the Up / Down Volume Control using the Kong Pads
    The CV routing for the Up / Down Volume Control using the Kong Pads
  9. Flip the rack to the front again, and label Pad 1 in Kong “Vol Down” and Pad 5 “Vol Up.” Now play your device by pressing “Play” on the Transport and you’ll hear the volume at level 64. Press Pad 5 about 10-15 times and you’ll start hearing the volume rising. Press Pad 1 and the volume drops. You’ve now set up Kong to act as your up / down fader for the volume of your Subtractor device.

Visualizing the Kong Volume Control

Since there’s no visualization in Kong, it’s hard for us to track where the volume is located for the Subtractor. Here’s one way to do it using the DDL-1 device. Note that this trick is curtosy of Sterioevo, and I can’t thank him enough for showing it to me. See the comments to my previous “Kong FX Chain Builder” tutorial for more information on the ins and outs of this visualizing method.

  1. Building on our previous volume level control, hold Shift down and create a DDL-1 device underneath your Kong device. Label it “Volume Viz” or something like that. Also change the Unit to “MS” for Milliseconds.
  2. Open up the Combinator programmer, select the “Volume Viz” device, and in the Modulation Routing area, set up the following line:

    CV In 1 > Delay Time (MS) : 1 / 127

  3. This sets up the CV 1 input on the combinator to change the display of the DDL-1 to show values between 1 and 127.
  4. Now we just need to send the same CV merged signal to also send a value to the CV 1 input on the Combinator, so flip the rack around to the back, and move the CV merged output to one of the A split outputs. Then connect the Merged output to the Split A input on the same “Vol Merge” Spider.
  5. Finally, send another A split output to the Combinator’s new CV 1 input and turn its trim knob all the way to 127.
The DDL-1 used as a visualizer for the Volume setting
The DDL-1 used as a visualizer for the Volume setting

You’re all set. Now when you flip to the front of the rack and start pressing the volume pads, you’ll see the value update in the DDL-1 device. I know, it’s pretty sweet. You now have visualization of your volume setting.

A Look at the “Thong 8-Type Filter FX Processor” Combinator

So to answer the question about controlling Thor with the Kong device, I set up 2 patches. The first one is the “Thong 8-Type Filter FX Processor” which can be used as an insert effect on any sound you like. This patch allows you to switch between 8 different filter types and control them all via the Kong pad interface. Here’s a rundown of the pad assignments. Note: You do not want to use any of the Combinator parameters, since all the CV for the Rotaries, as well as the Mod Wheel was used to create the pad assignments and visualization. So simply create a track for the Kong device in the Combinator, and use that track as your control.

Note: I made all the up / down switches bipolar so that everything starts out with a value of 64. This is because each pad press only moves up one midi value, and if you started out at 0 (zero), you’d have a long way to go to get higher up on the register. Starting out at the middle makes working with the up / down pads a lot easier IMHO.

  • Pads 5 & 1: Controls the Frequency of all filter at once. Pad 5 moves the filter frequency up and Pad 1 moves the filter frequency down. These two pads together act as the frequency rotary control. Visualization for the Frequency setting can be seen on the “Freq Viz” DDL-1 device located just below the Kong device.
  • Pads 6 & 2: Controls the Resonance of all filters at once. Pad 6 moves the resonance up, and Pad 2 moves the resonance down. These two pads together act as the resonance rotary control. Visualization for the Resonance setting can be seen on the “Res Viz” DDL-1 device located just below the Kong device.
  • Pads 7 & 3: Controls the Drive of all filters at once. Pad 7 moves the drive up, and Pad 3 moves the drive down. These two pads together act as the drive slider control. Visualization for the Drive setting can be seen on the “Drive Viz” DDL-1 device located just below the Kong device.
  • Pads 8 & 4: Controls the LPHP parameter of the “Notch” and “Peak” filters, as well as the Gender parameter of the “Formant” filter. Pad 8 moves the LPHP and Gender parameters up, while Pad 4 moves the LPHP and Gender parameters down. These two pads together act as the LPHP and Gender rotary controls. Note that the filter must be set to “Notch,” “Peak,” or “Formant” for you to hear the effects of these two pads. Visualization for the LPHP/Gdr setting can be seen on the “LPHP/Gdr Viz” DDL-1 device located just below the Kong device.
  • Pads 13 & 9: Controls the Envelope Amount of all filters at once. Pad 13 moves the envelope amount up, while Pad 9 moves the envelope amount down. Together, these two pads act as the envelope amount rotary. Note: To turn off the envelope entirely, reduce the envelope amount to 0 (zero) using the “Env Down” Pad (Pad 9). If you wish to insert your own pattern sequence to control the envelopes, change the pattern sequence in the Thor Filter device’s Step Sequencer. Each Thor Filter device Step sequencer controls the corresponding filter envelope, except for the “Peak” Thor Filter, which controls both the “Peak” Thor and “AM” Malstrom filters. Visualization for the Envelope Amount setting can be seen on the “Env Amt Viz” DDL-1 device located just below the Kong device.
  • Pad 14: Controls whether the Filter Envelope is turned on or off for all filters. Visualization for this pad can be seen on the fourth band of the “Filter Type Viz” BV512 Vocoder device.
  • Pad 12: Controls whether the “Comb” filter is set to plus (+) or minus (-). Visualization for this pad can be seen on the third band of the “Filter Type Viz” BV512 Vocoder device. Note that this is a very specific setting, and the filter type must be set to “Comb” in order for you to hear anything.
  • Pad 15: Controls which filter is heard. Visualization for the Filter Type setting can be seen on the first band of the “Filter Type Viz” BV512 Vocoder device.  Selections can be one of the following 8 different filter types:
  1. LP (Thor Low Pass Ladder Filter)
  2. HP (Thor State Variable Filter – High Pass mode)
  3. Comb (Thor Comb Filter)
  4. Formant (Thor Formant Filter)
  5. BP (Thor State Variable Filter – Band Pass mode)
  6. Notch (Thor State Variable Filter – Notch mode)
  7. Peak (Thor State Variable Filter – Peak mode)
  8. AM (Malstrom AM Filters – both Filter A and B are set exactly the same way when controlling this filter).
  • Pad 16: Filter / Bypass. This provides you with a quick way to switch between the Filtered sound and the non-filtered sound. Think of this as a Wet / Dry switch.

A Look at the “Oscillator Kongtrol – FM Pair” Combinator

The second patch is a Kong controlling an Oscillator inside Thor. To start things off easy, I decided to control the FM Pair Oscillator. Again, I made all the up / down switches bipolar so that everything starts out with a value of 64. This is because each pad press only moves up one midi value, and if you started out at 0 (zero), you’d have a long way to go to get higher up on the register. Starting out at the middle makes working with the up / down pads a lot easier IMHO.

The FM Pair Oscillator control has at least one interesting twist. Since controlling the Carrier / Modulator pair is unlike controlling a MIDI value of 0 – 127, we need to figure out the proper settings to control a MIDI value of 1 – 32. This is done by going into the Up / Down Thor devices and changing the note values of the first step to the following:

“Up” Thor device: G#3

“Down” Thor device: E2

Once this is updated, you can control parameters that have 32 options. This does not only mean the FM Pair Carrier and Modulator, but also the Matrix pattern devices, or Thor’s Wavetable Oscillator “Table” selection. Anything with 32 MIDI values can now be controlled and stepped through one at a time in Kong.

Here’s a rundown of the pad assignments. Note: You do not want to use any of the Combinator parameters, since all the CV for the Rotaries, as well as the Mod Wheel was used to create the pad assignments and visualization. So simply create a track for the Kong device in the Combinator, and use that track as your control.

  • Pads 5 & 1: Controls the Pitch of the Oscillator. Pad 5 moves the pitch up and Pad 1 moves the pitch down. Visualization for the Pitch setting can be seen on the “Pitch Viz” DDL-1 device located just below the Kong device.
  • Pads 6 & 2: Controls the FM Parameter of the Oscillator. Pad 6 moves the fm up and Pad 2 moves the fm down. Visualization for the fm setting can be seen on the “FM Viz” DDL-1 device located just below the Kong device.
  • Pads 7 & 3: Controls the Carrier setting of the Oscillator. Pad 6 moves the carrier setting up and Pad 2 moves the carrier setting down. Visualization for the carrier setting can be seen on the “Carrier Viz” DDL-1 device located just below the Kong device.
  • Pads 8 & 4: Controls the Modulation setting of the Oscillator. Pad 6 moves the Modulation setting up and Pad 2 moves the modulation setting down. Visualization for the mod setting can be seen on the “Mod Viz” DDL-1 device located just below the Kong device.
  • Pads 13 & 9: Controls the Amp Envelope’s “Attack.” Pad 13 moves the Attack setting up (slower attack) and Pad 9 moves the attack down (faster attack). Visualization for the envelope’s attack can be seen on the first and second band of the “Amp Vizualize” BV512 Vocoder device, located just below the 4 DDL-1 devices. The first band shows the upward setting, and the second band shows the downward setting (much easier to see when you are actually using the Kong controller – so download the patch and try it out).
  • Pads 14 & 10: Controls the Amp Envelope’s “Decay.” Pad 14 moves the Decay setting up (longer decay) and Pad 10 moves the decay down (shorter decay). Visualization for the envelope’s decay can be seen on the third and fourth bands of the “Amp Vizualize” BV512 Vocoder device, located just below the 4 DDL-1 devices. The third band shows the upward setting, and the fourth band shows the downward setting.
  • Pads 15 & 11: Controls the Amp Envelope’s “Release.” Pad 15 moves the Release setting up (longer release) and Pad 11 moves the release down (shorter release). Visualization for the envelope’s release can be seen on the fifth and sixth bands of the “Amp Vizualize” BV512 Vocoder device, located just below the 4 DDL-1 devices. The fifth band shows the upward setting, and the sixth band shows the downward setting.
  • Pads 16 & 12: Controls the Panning of the sound. Pad 16 moves the panning left, while Pad 12 moves the panning right. Visualization for the panning can be seen on the seventh and eighth bands of the “Amp Vizualize” BV512 Vocoder device, located just below the 4 DDL-1 devices. The seventh band shows the leftward setting, and the eighth band shows the rightward setting.

Where can you go from Here?

Sometimes it’s the smallest concepts that can lead to the biggest revelations; opening doors to new ideas and solutions. This is definitely one of those cases. Using these simple ideas, you can now control virtually every possible parameter in Reason via the Kong Pads. These are just two types of control devices I built here. But there’s nothing stopping you from building a Reverb Kong controller (ReKong 7001?), or a DDL-1 controlled by Kong (DDKong-2?). And there’s nothing stopping you from building a controller that allows you to combine Oscillators or Filters or any number of things together that can be triggered by Kong pads. Just use your imagination and come up with some cool ways to take your pad controlling to new heights. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Where you go from here is all up to your patience and ambition.

Any thoughts?