Reason Patch A Day Refill

A review of Robb Neumann’s “Reason Patch A Day” Refill, with approximately 500 Patches for Propellerhead Reason. This is one refill you don’t want to miss. Basses, Pads, Effects, Combinators, Synths. It’s all in there. Take a listen for yourself.

If you frequent the various Propellerhead forums and sites, you’ve probably come across Robb Neumann’s “Reason Patch A Day” website. The concept is simple. Robb provides a new patch each day which is produced by him or contributed by others, and he provides a short write-up explaining each one on his blog at http://www.reasonpatchaday.blogspot.com/

Recently, he decided to release the entire 1.5-year collection in a single Refill that anyone can download for a donation. Being a person who runs my own Reason website, I know what goes into maintaining this growing monstrosity. And I know that a few modest donations go a long way. And for 500 patches in a rock-solid refill, that’s well worth it. And that’s what you get.

Some of the great Combinator patches from the refill
Some of the great Combinator patches from the refill. Notice the dedication to Brian Eno in the bottom Combi backdrop. Love it!

There’s Basses, Synths, Rhythm patches, and tons of Effects. If you’re looking for some great new sounds or looking to be inspired and see how one sound designer works his magic, then this is a great refill which you’ll want to have in your collection. Play the video review I put together below to hear some of the sounds and what you can accomplish.

Now keep in mind this only scratches the surface. I could go on and demonstrate many more of his patches, but I think this modest little intro showcases some of the magic you’ll find here.

I think in general the refill focuses on Basses, Synths, Pads and Effects. However, there are also some really nice percussion kits, and a lot of great Yamaha RX one-off samples that you can easily put inside an NN-XT kit.

The only nit-pick I would have is that some of the Combi patches that I opened up were templates where you had to add in your own Redrum kits. I would have liked to have been able to open up those Combis and start rocking out right away. But that’s such a minor nit-pick, it should in no way stop you from downloading this refill right away. You will not be disappointed.

To download the Refill, go to http://www.reasonpatchaday.blogspot.com/ and click the Donate button on the right side navigation bar. Once you enter a paypal donation, Robb will send you an email with a link to download the refill. Simple as that.

I think the cherry on the cake are the Combinator backdrops. There’s some really nice designs in there. I know that’s just a minor thing, but it adds that special touch that is usually lacking in a lot of refills. So this refill gets an extra gold star for that.

So thanks to Robb and thanks to all of you Reason/Record sound designers out there. You guys all give of yourselves so much and so freely that it makes me proud to be considered part of this small little niche community. Keep up the great work!

DopeTank Free 2010 Refill

DopeTank Free 2010 Refill: A collection of 106 Thors and 15 Combinators made by Heikki Roots (aka Pirnikas or Deep’n’Dark). He was gracious enough to offer this out to the Reason community for free.

Download the Refill: DopeTank-Free-2010

A collection of 106 Thors and 15 Combinators made by Heikki Roots (aka Pirnikas or Deep’n’Dark). He was gracious enough to offer this out to the Reason community for free. Here’s what he has to say about his refill:

When making this refill I wanted to keep the sound phat, clean and musical. Another thing I wanted was making every sound different so there’s something for everyone.Every sound-designer has their own methods and their own taste of how it should sound. I like when there’s lot of edge but not too much. When playing the sound, it should make you wanna play your midi keyboard. Most of the time the modwheel has been assigned to some parameter, sometimes the other buttons & rotaries as well. When playing pads or other patches that you may play as chords, I’ve tried to keep the sound clean.

The Combinator patches:

There’s 15 combinators inside this refill. When layering sounds, you can make extremely rich and big sounds as you can add just as many layers as you want. Another thing are the effects which bring in lot of possibilities to shape the sounds.Sometimes you have an instrument that doesn’t sound that special, but when layering some sounds together, you can make some “killer” sounds. Some of these patches have tweaking possibilities, most don’t. These patches can be used for many genres, like hiphop, electronic but also for pop or film music etc. So get the refill and expand your rack as this refill is free.

The Thor patches:

The Thor patches have been categorized into different folders so it’s easy to find right sound every time. The categories are:

  • Bass
  • Fx
  • Keys
  • Leads
  • Mono synth
  • Modulated
  • Other
  • Pads
  • Poly synth
  • Sequenced
  • Voices

What I found great about these patches is the fact that the sound is indeed very clean and crisp. For the combinator patches, there’s a lot of interesting reverb going on in most cases, and the sound is very spacious. Also, what’s nice is that every mod wheel does affect a parameter, so you can vary the sound as you play. The only thing I would criticize is the fact that most of the other combinator parameters or Thor parameters don’t have any modulations assigned to them. I think this misses out on a great opportunity to enhance the patches even further. But putting that aside, the sounds in here are top notch!

Highlights for me were the Combinator and Thor Pads. I think this refill shows off a lot of reverb talent and that comes across best in those patches. I also thought the sequenced and voice Thor patches were really nice, and it’s too bad there weren’t more of these. Perhaps in some future patches or refills, since Heikki has promised more free patches to come in the Propellerhead User Forum.

Thanks for sharing Heikki!

High Strung Organ

I was playing around with a bunch of different Thor parameters and came up with a sound I really liked. So I worked on it some more and it turned into this little puppy. It’s not really a true organ, but it sounds somewhat similar. A bright twangy atonal organ.

Download the Combinator: high-strung-organ

Description: I was playing around with a bunch of different Thor parameters and came up with a sound I really liked. So I worked on it some more and it turned into this little puppy. It’s not really a true organ, but it sounds somewhat similar. A bright twangy atonal organ.

Features: The Combinator is fairly simple. It uses a Multi-Oscillator and an Analog Oscillator in Thor. Then it routes the Left part of the audio through a delay, and the Right part of the audio through a Phaser. After that, the two Mixers are used to Cross-fade the signals. You can then use Rotary 4 to decide where the signals are placed: Left or Right. Here’s the complete rundown of the Combinator controls:

Pitch Bend: The pitch bend adjusts the Pitch up or down by 7 semitones.

Mod Wheel: The mod wheel affects the Filter Frequency of the first Filter in Thor. Shifting the Mod Wheel up increases the Frequency a bit.

Rotary 1: Delay Dry/Wet – This controls the DDL1 Delay device’s dry/wet amount from fully dry (turned to the left) to fully wet (turned to the right).

Rotary 2: Shape – Controls the Bipulse Shaper drive from Thor. Increasing this rotary adds more shaper distortion to the signal. Lowering this Rotary lessens the distortion and provides a clearer sound.

Rotary 3: Envelope – Controls the envelope of the High-Pass Filter in Filter slot 1 in Thor. Use this to adjust the tone of the sound being filtered. You can get some very interesting results playing with this Rotary.

Rotary 4: Side Switcher – This crossfades the sounds. Since the Delay and Phaser are placed on opposite sides in the stereo field, this knob allows you to adjust which side you want to place them. When this Rotary is centered, both FX devices are placed center in the stereo field. In other words, there won’t be any panning when the Rotary is dead center.

Button 1: 1st Delay – This turns on the Thor Delay for some synched delay doubling. This simple switch will turn it on (when lit) and off (when unlit).

Button 2: Formant – If you want to completely change the way this patch sounds, you might want to try out this button. In essence, it adds a second Formant Filter in Thor’s second filter slot, so that both Oscillators are routed in series through both the High Pass Filter and the Formant Filter, and then out to the Amp. But this button will give your sound a whole new perspective.

Button 3: Alt Wave – This changes the Multi Osc Wave type for the first Thor Oscillator. When left off, the sound is more bright and distorted due to the saw wave. When turned on, the sound becomes much more dulled. You’ll have to play around with this button and see how it sounds along with changing the other parameters. It can add a whole new element to your sound.

Button 4: Chorus – I didn’t really know what to do with this button. But then I thought about creatinve some really wacky Chorusing, since this sound is already on the wacky side. So I adjusted the Chorus to affect the sound in a pretty severe way. Try it out. When lit, the Chorus is turned on, and when unlit, the Chorus is removed from the signal path.

Usage: You can use this any way you like. But mainly it provides a Synth Lead sound.

Other Notes: You can really change this sound around quite a bit just by playing with the Combinator Rotaries and Buttons. So you’ll have to experiment to find something that suits your taste. I’m sure there are also settings that might not necessarily sit well together because it’s sound range is pretty vast and varied. But I’ve found some pretty useful sounds out of this setup. I hope you do as well. Also note that there’s no finishing touches on it, such as compression or reverb, so this will sound pretty raw as is. You may want to add your own final touches through a second Dynamics Processor Combinator.

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!

Apollo Mission

These are two Pad sounds based on an FM tutorial I read on the Propellerhead site. However, this sound is completely different from the sound I heard there. I just love the space of the sounds. One is clean, the other is distorted with a moderate dose of noise.

Play Examples or Download the File
[ti_audio media=”130″ repeat=”1″]

[ti_audio media=”131″ repeat=”1″]

Description: These are two Pad sounds based on an FM tutorial I read on the Propellerhead site. However, this sound is completely different from the sound I heard there. I just love the space of the sounds. One is clean, the other is distorted with a moderate dose of noise.

Two Pad sounds - one clean, the other with noise
Two Pad sounds - one clean, the other with noise

Features: The “Apollo Mission” Pad does not have any programming tied to it. It’s pretty much a one-off sound. The “Apollo Mission 2” Pad, however, has a few things going on. First, use the Mod Wheel to control the State Variable Filter (Filter 1) Frequency and Resonance. Turning up the wheel on it’s own will give it a new dimension, not quite as noise-laden, and the Resonance gives it a sweet warbling sound that I really like. Rotary 1 will increase the resonance on the third filter and at the same time reduces the shaper’s effect on the sound. The second Rotary fades the level of Oscillator 3, and removes a good portion of the noise. Turned fully up and you get a completely clean Pad sound. Using Button 1 will make the Pad Growl more. Essentially it Reduces the Pitch of Oscillator 3. You gotta love these FM sounds. They can do so much more than bells with very little effort.

Usage: Used as a Pad or Texture.

Other Notes: Try using a combination of the Mod Wheel and Rotary 1 together. This gives the whole pad a very soft and far away sound. I’m not partial to the sound made if you raise both Rotaries together to full max. So I would stay away from that. It can get to be a little too high-pitch for my taste. But see if you like it (obviously now that I said not to try it, you’ll go ahead and try it. 😉 If you want extra growl, Turn Button 1 on, and then push the Mod Wheel up. This provides a nice growling edge to the sound.

Shock Treatment

This is one of my signature Lead/Bass sounds. I used it for my song “A View from the Edge” found on my Phi Sequence Mount Royal & Fairmount page.

Play Example or Download the File
[ti_audio media=”104″ repeat=”1″]

Description: This is one of my signature sounds. I used it for my song “A View from the Edge” found on my Phi Sequence Mount Royal & Fairmount page.

Shock Treatment Lead
Shock Treatment Lead

Features: Pitch Bend set to +/- 7 semitones. Mod Wheel controls the Formant Filter (Filter 2) gender (positive 100), as well as the level of Oscillator 1+2. Rotary 1 controls the global Delay Time from 142 ms backward by 50% to 72 ms for a very interesting spacey effect which makes the sound get more closed in, as if you’re using a “small space” reverb. Rotary 2 plays around with the X-Y of the Formant Filter (Filter 2).

Usage: Used as either a Lead or a Bass.

Other Notes: Try playing with the BW slider between Oscillator 1 and 2. I find that can generate some nice new sounds.