Echobode PDF Guide

Meet the Echobode Frequency Shifter Delay, a creative FX device capable of producing Chorus, Amplitude Modulation, Ring Modulation, Frequency Shifting, Phasing, Flanging, and straight up Echo Delay effects for any kind of sound you want to throw at it. It’s a truly unique Rack Extension that adds something entirely different to the Reason Rack, and fills in another missing piece to the stock Reason puzzle. Here, I’ve put together an 8-page PDF guide to cover the device, soup to nuts. And still for the same price as a cup of coffee.

Reason 101 Echobode PDF GuideMeet the Echobode Frequency Shifter Delay, a creative FX device capable of producing Chorus, Amplitude Modulation, Ring Modulation, Frequency Shifting, Phasing, Flanging, and straight up Echo Delay effects for any kind of sound you want to throw at it. It’s a truly unique Rack Extension that adds something entirely different to the Reason Rack, and fills in another missing piece to the stock Reason puzzle. Here, I’ve put together an 8-page PDF guide to cover the device, soup to nuts. And still for the same price as a cup of coffee.

Sonic Charge is the company behind this Rack Extension, and if this device is any indication, I’ll be giving tryouts to all REs that come from this company. If you haven’t tried out the Echobode yet, you should. Just listening to the patches that come with this RE is a treat. You not only get several Effect patches and Effect Combinators, but you get several choice Instruments (and even a Drum Kit) as well. If you already own it, then perhaps this PDF will inspire you to look at Echobode and see a few new ways it can be used.

Reason101 Echobode PDF Guide

If you are familiar with the book I wrote on the core devices in Reason, then you’ll already be familiar with the layout. There’s a bunch of samples on the book page which you can download to get an idea of how these PDFs are put together. Here’s an outline of what you’ll get in the 8-page Echobode PDF guide, specifically:

  • Complete coverage of the front of the Echobode device, with all controls explained.
  • Complete coverage of all the Audio & CV routing options found on the back of the Echobode.
  • Chart outlining the Target modulations available inside the Combinator, with their Min / Max values
  • Plenty of Tips & Tricks
  • 6 Tutorials:
    • Simple Harmonized Metallic Bells
    • Echobode Mono to Stereo Phasing
    • Multi-Band Spatial Effect
    • Echobode Chiptune Effect
    • Using the Sideband Outputs for a Spacey Juno Lead
    • Bass Drum Frequency Variations

And all of this for $1.99 USD.

Purchases can be made here:

Add to Cart

Also don’t forget that the book, which covers all core Reason Devices & 8 Rack Extensions is still available over here: http://www.reason101.net/products/reason101-visual-guide-to-the-reason-rack/

Any comments, ideas, suggestions, please feel free to ask below. All my best & happy Reasoning!

68 – All about the Alligator (Part 1)

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.

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.

You can download the project files here: alligator-techniques. They contain a .reason file with all the techniques described below, as well as the separate combinators. You will of course need Reason 6 in order to load and use any of the files.

Introduction to the Alligator

The Alligator is billed as a “Triple Filtered Gate” and that’s exactly what it is. However, it’s quite a bit more. It contains 64 patterns that can be manipulated, it has a few built in effects (Drive, Phaser, and Delay), it has 9 LFO’s that can be used to affect the filters, and the Panning capabilities allow you to create some movement in the stereo field. That’s not even taking a look at what you can do with the CV connections on the back of the device.

To start, let’s take a look at the various sections of the Alligator. When I’m starting off creating a patch for this device, I usually first load up a sound I want affected. So if it’s a Bass or a Synth or a Drum sound, all of these sounds will require a different approach to the Alligator. In other words, the sound I feed into it coupled with what I want to do to that sound in my head, will decide how I proceed with the device.

Following is an explanation of the parameters you will find on the front panel of the Alligator device.

The Alligator front panel with legend and explanation of the device functions.
The Alligator front panel with legend and explanation of the device functions.

And following is an explanation of the inputs and outputs found on the back panel of the Alligator device.

The back of the Alligator device with an explanation of the CV and Audio inputs and outputs.
The back of the Alligator device with an explanation of the CV and Audio inputs and outputs.

And here’s the quick introduction video to show you the main components of the Alligator:

Technique #1: Creating a Dry / Wet Knob for the Alligator

Since the Alligator does not have a Dry / Wet knob, we have to go about getting a little creative. This means wrapping the device inside a Combinator. Once there, you can use the Dry Level Knob and program its direction to be inverse to the individual Band level knobs. Set that up on a rotary in the Combinator and you have an instant Dry / Wet control for our Mister Alligator.

Technique #2: Keeping your Gates Open

You’ll notice that the Alligator by default uses a pattern to open/close the gates. You can turn them off or turn the pattern on, but what if you want to keep the gates open all the time. The easy solution is to do the following:

  1. Set the Alligator pattern to #60
  2. Flip to the back of the Alligator and send the Gate 1 CV output to Gate 3 CV input (both on the same Alligator device)
  3. Send Gate 2 CV output to Gate 1 CV input (both on the same Alligator device)
  4. Send Gate 3 CV output to Gate 2 CV input (both on the same Alligator device)

If you flip back to the front of the Alligator you will see all the gates are permanently on. This means that you can still use the LFO, Frequency, Resonance, all the Effects (Drive, Phaser, Delay), and Mixer controls to affect the sound, but you bypass the Gate section of the Alligator. It’s always on.

Just note one thing when you do this: You want to keep the Amp Envelope Decay set to full (fully right). If you lower the Amp Envelope Decay knob, the gate will fade out (even though it is completely open). If this happens, you’ll have to first move the decay knob all the way right, and then reset the CV on the back of the Alligator (unplug all 3 CV connections, and plug them back in again).

Alternately, you can send a one step tied curve pattern in a Matrix split 3 ways through a Spider and then sent to all 3 gate inputs, but this means creating additional devices when it can all be accomplished with a single Alligator.

This video will show you how to set up the above 2 Techniques:

Technique #3: Creating your own Patterns to Control the Gates

You’re not limited to the 64 patterns that are built into the Alligator (though you can definitely have a lot of fun with so many different patterns). You can easily use 3 Thors or 3 Matrix Curves/Gate CV to control all 3 gates in a single Alligator. To do this, first turn off the pattern section in the Alligator (the big “ON” button at the top of the Pattern section). Once you do this, you’ll need to create your Thors or Matrixes and flip to the back of the rack. Send the CV from the Step Sequencers into the 3 Gate CV inputs and then start all of the pattern devices up (this is easier to do if everything is Combined in a Combinator. That way when you press the “Run all Pattern Devices” or press “Play” on the Transport, the Step Sequencers start gating the Alligator. Dead simple my friends!

Best of all, this means you can create any kind of gate of any length you can imagine (See my “Matrix” series of tutorials #48-51 or Thor sequencing ideas #60-62 for ways in which you can extend the length of your patterns).

Technique #4: Stealing the Patterns to sequence other Reason Device Parameters

Forgetting about the Alligator’s intended purpose for a second, you can use its built-in patterns to affect any other parameter in any of Reason’s devices (just about). In this way I got pretty excited to see that you can use the Alligator as an “already pre-configured Matrix with double the amount of patterns” — yeah that’s pretty exciting for a nerdy nerd like me. It means I don’t have to tediously program two matrixes filled with patterns (though truth be told, if you’ve read article #3 in my 101 Creative Projects category, you already have a huge array of Matrixes from which you can copy/paste into any of your projects, right?).

In any event, to get the ball rolling, pick a pattern you like. Then flip to the back of the Alligator and disconnect the audio cables. You’re only using the pattern section here to trigger something else in Reason. And since you have 3 gates, this means you can modulate three other parameters from a single Alligator device (or how about using a spider to combine the three gates and sending the merged output to control a single parameter). I think you get the picture. This is a very quick and easy way to control things via CV.

One idea is to use the Gates in the Alligator to play the Kong drum designer. Send the three gates of an alligator into 3 drum pad CV inputs on the back of Kong, and then you can set up some pad groups in Kong so that you get even more variation. Finally, set up a Matrix curve to control the “Shift” knob via one of the CV inputs in a Combinator, and you have instant “Groove” for your drums, without ever using the ReGroove. It’s a nice alternate way to get some drums going quickly in your tracks. For the full feature on how this is done, see the video below.

Tip #1: Tuning your Filters

This concept was provided by Peff when he was doing his tutoring session in Las Vegas. And I really do hope that he doesn’t mind me providing the tip here. But in the attempt at full disclosure he needs full credit on this one.

Tuning filters is not a concept I was all that familiar with, but armed with this knowledge, it actually makes perfect sense, and has applications that reach out much farther than just the Alligator. But that could be a whole tutorial in and of itself. For our purposes, tuning the Alligator filters is a way to produce a more even sound coming out of the device. The idea is that you pick a frequency as your “Base” and then set the other filters up so that they are multiples of this “Base” frequency. So if you set up the LP Filter on the low end to be 200 Hz, then the BP Filter could be set up to 400 Hz and the HP Filter could be set to 800 Hz, which should produce a “cleaner” tone than if the filters were out of sync or out of tune.

Now while this is a handy technique, I should also say that going for a sound where the filters are more out of tune is perfectly valid. This is not a practice that should be set in stone. It’s more a technique that you should understand and get acquainted with and add into your arsenal of knowledge. But don’t be afraid to venture outside this technique.

You’ll also notice that it’s not always possible to get a precise multiple of a specific Filter Frequency. But generally, the closer you are to a multiple, the more “in tune” the filters should be with each other.

Tip #2: Taming the Dreaded Pops & Clicks

One thing that still bothers me to this day is how quirky the envelopes and LFO can be in the Alligator. Under certain settings, you can hear noticeable pops and clicks which are most definitely unwanted. Here are a few ways to deal with this if you find it happening to you.

First, it’s important to note what’s causing the pops and clicks in the first place. More often than not, it’s a result of a short Attack Time in the Amp Envelope coupled with a slow-running LFO with a sharp edge (think the Pulse or stepped Waveforms). The lack of a lag feature (which is available in the Pulveriser) means that you can’t smooth out the LFO. And when it’s running too slow, and the attack time is short, this is usually a recipe for disaster. Here are a few hints to get you out of this jam. Note that all of these methods will change the sound of the gated effect, but there’s really no way around this that I’ve found.

  • Use a smooth LFO, such as the Sine Wave or even the Triangle Wave. Stay away from the Stepped, Ramp, or Pulse waves.
  • Adjust the Amp Envelope’s Attack time to be slower (turn the knob more to the right). Times that are above 25 or 30 work well.
  • Don’t use the LFO at all. Ensure that all the LFO knobs for the bands you are using are all pointing due west! This means the LFO does not affect the bands whatsoever.

So there are a few tips and tricks for you to get acquainted with the Alligator. Give it a whirl on any kind of audio just to get a feel for it, and have some fun gating your audio. Until next time, happy Reasoning!

Auto Glitcher Effect

This is a Combinator which can be used to apply some Glitchy fun to any audio source you throw at it. It uses a Scream Distortion unit, 3 delays, and 2 Phasers which are controlled by some Malstrom Curves.

Download the Combinator: Auto-Glitcher

Description: This is a Combinator which can be used to apply some Glitchy fun to any audio source you throw at it. It uses a Scream Distortion unit, 3 delays, and 2 Phasers which are controlled by some Malstrom Curves.

 

 Here’s the complete rundown of the Combinator controls:

Pitch Bend: Unassigned

Mod Wheel: Affects the Rate of the Modulation curve which is tied to the Scream Damage Type. Raising the Mod Wheel makes Damage Type switching faster. Lowering the Mod Wheel makes Damage Type switching slower.

Rotary 1: Don’t Touch!: This Rotary is tied to the Damage Type of the Scream, but is controlled by the Malstrom Mod A Curve, and so does not need to be moved.

Rotary 2: Don’t Touch!: Like the previous Rotary, this one is tied to the Body Type of the scream, and is controlled by the Mod B Curve of the Malstrom, so it does not need to be moved.

Rotary 3: Damage: This controls the amount of Scream Distortion Damage applied to the sound source. Turned fully right, and you’re applying about 50% of damage to the signal (64). Turned fully left, and you’re applying very little damage (10).

Rotary 4: Wave: This controls the Malstrom Wave type (Modulation A Curve) which affects the Damage Type selection on the Scream. You can scroll through all 32 different wave forms in real time.

Button 1: Synch Off / On: This turns on the Synch on the Malstrom’s Mod A Curve (which controls the Scream Damage Type switching). When pushed in, Synch is on. When the button is off, the Synch is off.

Button 2: Body Off / On: This turns on the Body section of the Scream. When pushed in, the Body section is on, when the button is off, the Body section is turned off.

Button 3: Multi / Single Delay: This turns on the Multi-tap delay. When the Button is left off, the last delay in the sequence is the only one on (providing a simple delay to your sound source. When turned on, you have a full-on Multi-tap delay assault, with two Phasers in the mix as well.

Button 4: Damage Off / On: This turns the Damage on or off. When the button is left off, the Scream is bypassed, and when the button is on, the Scream unit is left on. It’s worthwhile to note that if you turn off the Damage, The Mod Wheel, and all the Rotaries will do nothing to your sound. The nice thing about Button 2, 3, and 4 is that you can minimize or maximize the amount of Glitch that is applied to the sound. For example, if you want to hear only a single or multiple delay, just turn leave button 4 off. If you want only the damage with no multi-tap, just turn off button 3. And finally, if you want the damage without the body section, just turn off Button 2. In this way, you can control what effects you want applied to your sound.

Other Notes: Feel free to change any of the Malstrom Mod Curves to curves that you like. Of course, for the Mod A curve on the Malstrom controlling the damage type of the scream, you don’t need to change this curve manually. You can change this using Rotary 4 (Wave). Or, if you want, you can also map any of the Curves to the “Wave” Rotary and have them move in unison together (or flip the min/max settings to change things up a bit). Alternately, you can program Rotary 1 to affect both the Damage and Body Types on the Scream, which could free up a Rotary for you. However, it would also mean that the Body type and Damage type would be using the same curve to control both those parameters.

Let me know if you find this patch useful and if you have any other suggestions for ways it can be made better? Or if you have some suggestions for other ways to get some glitchy fun out of Reason.