14 – Layered Synths with a Theme

Layered Synth Patches to celebrate the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. A creative way to present some sound themes in Reason and Record.

This is going to be a little different from my past tutorials. Since this is just as much a forum for creativity as it is a forum for ways in which you can get the most out of Reason and Record, I wanted to take a little time out to offer up an idea I had the other day while watching the Olympics.

Download the project files here: olympic-patches. There is one Reason (.rns) file which contains 5 Combinators. The matrixes that are attached to each of the Combinators are there to preview the sounds. You can mute/unmute the Mixer channel to hear the proper Combinator. They are not meant to be played with each other. Though if you can find a creative way to do this, have at it!

I thought to myself, what about creating a themed set of Combinators, which are based solely on layered synths. The idea came as I was watching the speed skating competition and I started getting some ideas for sounds running through my head. So while I had Record opened, I started working on creating what I felt was the sound of skaters. This further led to the thought: Why not create a series of patches based on the sounds of the Olympics. Now, there’s 15 different events in the Olympics, and that means a lot of Combinators and a lot of programming. So before I go completely nuts with this idea, I decided to first offer up 5 patches for 5 different events.

Here’s a few sound samples using the “Speed Skaters,” “Curling,” and “Alpine Ski” patches:

And here are a few more sound samples showcasing the “Hockey,” and “Biathlon” patches:


Olympic Patches: 5 Layered Synth Combinator Patches
Olympic Patches - A tribute to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games

The main premise was to create Combinator patches that encourage you to explore the rotaries and buttons without any preconceived notion of how they are planned out or mapped to the devices inside. So for that reason, I’m not going to go into detail on how things are routed. Rather, I’d prefer if you gave them all a listen and use your ears to explore the types of sounds these patches can generate. So try them out, and give them a whirl. Let your ears be your guide as you make adjustments. And once you’ve done that, then feel free to take a look and see how they are programmed.

I have to say I felt a little sense of pride putting these together, since I’m originally from Canada, and Canada was putting on this year’s Olympic games. The feather in the cap however, was when Canada won the Gold Medal in the last Olympic event yesterday: Men’s Hockey. I have to say, that made my night.

Do you have any Layered Synth ideas of your own that you would like to share here? Do you like these patches? Anything you would do differently. Please feel free to start up a discussion about them. Do they inspire you to create your own themes? What kind of theme would you create? What do you turn to for inspiration? I’m curious.