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!

85 – It’s a Game Changre!

At long last, the much awaited Crapre is here from PEFF! Outstandingly crappy sound quality can only make your tracks betterer than ever. And so I thought I would provide some much needed information and documentation about this heavy duty device. After taking all last month to document Spacre (lengthy article posting to follow), I thought I would give this device a much-needed test-drive and overview. It was a daunting task.

We’re a fun bunch, us Reason developers & users. And PEFF just keeps putting the fun back in Reason. At long last, the much awaited Crapre is here! Outstandingly crappy sound quality can only make your tracks betterer than ever. And so I thought I would provide some much needed information and documentation about this heavy duty device. After taking all last month to document Spacre (lengthy article posting to follow), I thought I would give this device a much-needed test-drive and overview. It was a daunting task.

Crapre
The Craptastic new RE from PEFF. Get it while it’s out. Offers expire on May 1, 2014.

How could I pass up the opportunity to fully document this beautiful device? Download it here: Crapre Guide. And if you want to get your hands on the insanity, it’s available in the Propellerhead shop here: Crapre Rack Extension.

Stack ’em in your rack to make supercrapasonic textures and intriguing effects for all your sounds. It’s the missing preset on the Audiomatic Retro Transformer that you always wanted, and never knew you needed.

It’s a game changre for sure. You should get it for the Combinator skin alone! I might even post some of my crappy patches for it at some point in the future. For now, get it for the love of all the kittens & unicorns out there.

. . . and now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Ammo PDF Guide

Next up in the series of PDF guides for the Reason Rack Extensions is a combination of both the Ammo 400R and Ammo 1200BR, analogue matrixed modulation oscillators (say that five times fast). These two devices delve into sonic and CV possibilities that can be quite simple at first, but incredibly complex when you start understanding their workflow. So here is another 10-page PDF guide to cover this powerhouse Mono synth and modulation mayhem machine. And still for the same price as a cup of coffee.

Ammo Rack Extension PDF GuideNext up in the series of PDF guides for the Reason Rack Extensions is a combination of both the Ammo 400R and Ammo 1200BR, analogue matrixed modulation oscillators (say that five times fast). These two devices delve into sonic and CV possibilities that can be quite simple at first, but incredibly complex when you start understanding their workflow. So here is another 10-page PDF guide to cover this powerhouse Mono synth and modulation mayhem machine. And still for the same price as a cup of coffee.

Jiggery-Pokery is the man behind the mayhem, and he delivers a really novel take on synth design and modulation routing. There are 4 Oscillators, 16 possible CV outputs, an Internal Routing Matrix (similar to the Modulation Bus Routing System found in Thor). Dive in and you’ll open yourself up to a whole world of interesting possibilities.

Ammo thumbnail view

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 10-page Ammo guide, specifically:

  • Complete coverage of the Ammo 400R and 1200BR devices, with all controls explained.
  • Complete coverage of how the 3 Modules are integrated together (Ammo, Battery, and Re-ARM).
  • Complete coverage of all the Audio & CV routing options found on the back of the devices.
  • Visual display and explanation for the 136 Oscillator Waveforms
  • Explanation of how to create FM, AM, and Pulse Width Modulations
  • Plenty of Tips & Tricks
  • 4 short examples on how to create some interesting patches (Super Synth, Dual Oscillator Bass, Battery Power Synth, and an FM & AM Super Synth)

And all of this for $2.49 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!

84 – Alias8 Multi-Function Fader

I’m obsessed with figuring out solutions to problems. One problem I recently encountered when I was putting together some files for the Alias8 PDF Guide, was trying to get the Alias8 Rack Extension Fader to double for a second control. I wanted to be able to use it to adjust two different parameters (let’s say Amplitude and Pitch of a SubTractor). The idea and thought process behind it is pretty easy. You adjust the Amplitude by moving the Fader, then click a button, and the Fader switches to adjust the Pitch. Click the same button again, and it goes back to controlling the Amplitude.

I’m obsessed with figuring out solutions to problems. One problem I recently encountered when I was putting together some files for the Alias8 PDF Guide, was trying to get the Alias8 Rack Extension Fader to double for a second control. I wanted to be able to use it to adjust two different parameters (let’s say Amplitude and Pitch of a SubTractor). The idea and thought process behind it is pretty easy. You adjust the Amplitude by moving the Fader, then click a button, and the Fader switches to adjust the Pitch. Click the same button again, and it goes back to controlling the Amplitude.

You can download the example files here: Alias8-Multi-Function-Fader. There are two Reason documents (.reason) and two Combinators (.cmb), which are explained below. The files will work in Reason 6.5 and above. To use them, you will also need the Alias8 CV Controller Rack Extension, which is available in the Propellerhead Rack Extension shop. To use, open up the file and go into the Combinator. Press the “Run Pattern Devices” on the Combinator, or press “Play” on the Matrix. The Matrix is used to gate the Subtractor, and is only used as an example so you can hear something when you tweak the Fader. A more comprehensive explanation is provided below.

To start, what I found is that you can’t completely get this type of functionality to work. Not completely. BUT, here are two ideas that get you pretty close.

1 Control with 2 Functions (V.2).reason / F1 2-Function Control (V.2).cmb Files:

I’m starting backwards here, because this was actually the second idea I had (hence, this is Version 2 in the filenames above). This idea uses two toggle buttons, one for Amp and the other for Pitch. Then, with the proper CV routing and an additional Thor to process the CV, you can map both parameters to the Fader. Click the first Toggle, and the Fader will control the amplitude. Click the Second Toggle, and it switches to control the Pitch. When the Amp toggle is off, you adjust the amplitude. Then click the Toggle button on, and the Amp level is held at the current Fader position. Then click the Pitch Toggle off, and the same Fader now controls the Pitch. Click the Pitch toggle on, and the Pitch is held at the current Fader position. The drawback is that you have to have both Toggle Buttons on to start with, and you can’t turn off both of them, since this would screw up the functionality. One of the buttons always has to be “On.” To get it “set” right again, you need to turn on both Toggles, then, turn one of them off and use the Fader. Sounds confusing, I know. But it’s the most efficient way I’ve found to set it up, as it only uses two Toggle Buttons (aside from the Fader).

The Back of the rack for the "Version 2" example that uses 2 Toggles to switch Fader Parameters and simultaneously "Hold" the CV values via the BV512 devices.
The Back of the rack for the “Version 2” example that uses 2 Toggles to switch Fader Parameters and simultaneously “Hold” the CV values via the BV512 devices.
The CV routings from the BV512 into the SubTractor (destination parameters). The Matrix is there simply to "Gate" the SubTractor, so you can hear something and test out the Fader.
The CV routings from the BV512 into the SubTractor (destination parameters). The Matrix is there simply to “Gate” the SubTractor, so you can hear something and test out the Fader.
The settings for the Modulation Bus Routing Section in Thor.
The settings for the Modulation Bus Routing Section in Thor.

1 Control with 2 Functions (V.1).reason / F1 2-Function Control (V.1).cmb Files:

This next idea uses three additional buttons (aside from the Fader). The two Toggle Buttons act as the Amp / Pitch selection (as above), but a Momentary Button is used to switch between the two Fader states. The benefit of doing it this way is that you can’t screw up the functionality of the Fader in any way. The two Toggle Buttons act to “Hold” or “Freeze” the Level’s position for the selected parameter. The selection of which parameter the Fader controls is determined by the Momentary button. While I think this is a better method in some respects, it suffers from one disadvantage: You can’t tell which parameter is selected via the Momentary Button. There’s no real visual indication to tell you which of the two parameters are selected. This isn’t a big concern when you have only two parameters switched via the Momentary Button, but if you have several parameters you’re cycling through on that Button, things will get confusing quickly (though you could add a visual indicator with the DDL-1 or BV512 Vocoder, but it’s still not perfect – if interested in how this works, see the Kong FX Chain Builder tutorial where I discuss it at the bottom of the page).

The Back of the Rack for the "Version 1" example that uses 1 Momentary Button to switch Fader parameters, and 2 Toggle buttons that "Hold" the CV values of the Fader via the BV512 devices.
The Back of the Rack for the “Version 1” example that uses 1 Momentary Button to switch Fader parameters, and 2 Toggle buttons that “Hold” the CV values of the Fader via the BV512 devices. Note that the CV coming from the BV512 devices are routed into the SubTractor in the same way as the “Version 2” example (Refer to that image further up in this post).
The settings for the Modulation Bus Routing Section in Thor.
The settings for the Modulation Bus Routing Section in Thor.

How Does It Work?

The engine of this CV trick is the Thor device. What’s happening is that you are sending the CV value from the Fader into Thor, converting that CV value to Audio, then sending it through the BV512, where it gets converted back to a CV value that is sent out by Band 1 to control the SubTractor parameter (Amp or Pitch). The reason you need to convert it to Audio is because the BV512 Modulation input can be “held” — this allows you to “hold” the Fader value via the Toggle buttons on the Alias8. Note that this is also useful for a lot of other things because it allows you to “Freeze” any CV value in place (for instance, you could freeze the value of an LFO at any time by mapping the “Hold” button to a Combinator button, but that’s going a bit off tangent). There are 2 different BV512 devices because you need to be able to “Hold” each parameter you want to control with the Fader.

Another thing to keep in mind is the CV amount value of 39 in the Modulation Bus Routing Section on the front of Thor. This seems to be the correct value to correctly scale the “CV > Audio” conversion going out from Thor to the BV512 Vocoder. Note that the Rotary is used to Scale this “CV > Audio” conversion, and then the Fader value is going into Thor and modulating the Rotary, which in turn modifies the CV value being sent into the BV512 device. It seemed like the easiest way to set it all up, and the other benefit is that it doesn’t use any routings or mappings in the Combinator device itself.

A Few Additional Notes:

  • The value sent to the Fader seems to be Scalar, not Linear. Anyone who knows how the CV value can be sent to the Fader in a Linear way, please let me know.
  • I also would have loved to have one Toggle or one Momentary button switch between the two Fader parameters (keeping everything in one column in the Alias8), but I honestly don’t think this can be done. However, if you figure out a way, please let me know.
  • Even though this concept creates a multi-function Fader, there’s nothing saying you can’t set it up on a Rotary control instead, to produce a multi-function Rotary.
  • Why is this an important concept? Because it extends the functionality of a single Control on the Alias8, and the Alias8 device itself. For example, with a little thinking, you could create 8 different controls on 4 of the Alias 8 Faders, and still have 4 Free faders left over for more tweaking. Or have all the Toggle Buttons switch 8 different destination parameter controls on a single Fader, and free up the other 7 Faders for more tweaking.

Update

Eric Kloeckner was kind enough to expand on this idea and improve upon the above design. He managed to put the whole setup on a single Toggle button to switch the operation of the Fader between the two modulations. It solves the need for having two separate toggle buttons to drive the two different parameters.

I then took his design and tweaked it a little to make it as straightforward as possible. The concept uses 2 Thors to control the Toggle switch. This, in turn switches the Fader between the two modulation controls. The only downside is that you have to first “initialize” it by pressing the Toggle button at least once. But this is a huge improvement. And my thanks goes to Eric for finding a solution to one of the problems that was bugging me. Download the Files here: Alias8-Multi-Function-Fader-v2. There are two files in this zip:

  1. Example File Combinator: Press play, and then toggle between adjusting the Pitch and the Level using Fader 1 on the Alias8.
  2. Template File: Use the Output A / Output B spiders to send CV values to target multiple parameters as you wish. “A” parameters are adjusted when the toggle button is “off” and “B” parameters are adjusted when the toggle button is “on.” Use this setup to create a template where all 8 faders can have multiple-functions if you like.

Note: There’s still a slight discrepancy between the CV input & output. In other words, it’s still not 100% Fader value CV : Destination value CV. You’ll still get slightly off results (where moving the fader on a single CV value will bump up the Output CV value by a value of “1,”). However, this is very slight, and shouldn’t be a problem in most cases.


That’s it for now. Don’t forget that the Alias8 PDF Guide I put together contains many other creative ideas for this Rack Extension, so check it out as well. Happy Reasoning!

Alias8 PDF Guide

Reason101 Alias8 CV Controller PDF GuideNext up in the Reason101 series of PDF Guides for Rack Extension devices, I chose to cover the Alias8 CV Controller from Peff, a virtual controller “bridge” between your hardware surface and the Reason Rack. Control other instruments in the Reason Rack via CV inputs & outputs that you set up in any way you like. You can use it to create a Template or multiple Templates to allow one main place where all your devices are controlled (acting as a Hub). Though the controller can be mapped to any MIDI Control surface, it excels if you have the Alias8 from Livid Instruments, on which it is modeled, providing very tight integration between that controller and Reason. One of the most flexible controllers inside the Reason Rack.

Alias8 thumbnail view

Here, I put together an 8-page PDF, with an introduction and overview of the Alias8, and some creative ideas for how to use it in practical routing scenarios. 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 Alias8 guide, specifically:

  • Complete coverage of the device, both front and back, with all controls and routing options explained.
  • Explanation of how to map the Alias8 to your MIDI Controller hardware
  • Plenty of Tips & Tricks
  • 5 Tutorials:
    • Switching Alias8 knobs from Unipolar to Bipolar
    • Alias8 Combinator Control
    • Alias8 Master Crossfader
    • Enabling Matrix Patterns & Pattern Switching
    • Alias8 Step Sequencer

And the cost for all of this? $1.99 – the cost of a cup of coffee (or tea, for my friends across the pond).

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 questions, ideas, suggestions, please feel free to comment below. All my best & happy Reasoning!

PX7 PDF Guide

Instead of waiting a year before I release something new in a book format, I thought I would release a new RE device guide about once a month in PDF format, and for the same price as a cup of coffee. This way, you don’t have to wait, and I can bring you something new every so often. In addition, if you don’t have the device, you don’t have to purchase. Although, even if you don’t have it, since you can try it out for a month, you might want to take a look at the guide first before you purchase the Rack Extension. So I think this is a win / win for everyone.

PX7 PDF GuideInstead of waiting a year before I release something new in a book format, I thought I would release a new RE device guide about once a month in PDF format, and for the same price as a cup of coffee. This way, you don’t have to wait, and I can bring you something new every so often. In addition, if you don’t have the device, you don’t have to purchase. Although, even if you don’t have it, since you can try it out for a month, you might want to take a look at the guide first before you purchase the Rack Extension. So I think this is a win / win for everyone.

To start, I put together a 10-page PDF all about the PX7 FM Synthesizer from Propellerhead. It’s a monster of a synth that was based on the Yamaha DX7 way back in the day (1983 to be exact). It’s a 6-operator FM synth that not only can recreate the sounds of the DX7, but also provides a few new controls that weren’t found on the DX7. So if you already own this synth, or if you’re thinking about owning it, pick up the PDF file below for cheap, and find out a few new things you may not have known about it before.

PX7 thumbnail view

If you want to know specifically what’s in the guide, it’s pretty straightforward. And if you are familiar with the book I wrote on the core devices in Reason, then you’ll be familiar with the layout already. In point form, here’s what you get in those 10 pages:

  • A brief explanation of the history of FM SynthesisPX7 PDF Guide
  • Complete coverage of the device, both front and back, with all controls and routing options explained.
  • In depth coverage of the Algorithms, Operators, and Operator Envelopes.
  • How the Frequencies work to produce the waveforms you’re used to hearing in Subtractive synthesis (Sine / Saw / Square, etc.)
  • Plenty of Tips & Tricks
  • 4 short examples on how to create a few interesting sounds (Simple Organ, Bass, Speedway Sound Effect, Detuning)

And all of this is for a nominal fee of $2.49 – the cost of a cup of coffee (yes, that’s my coffee mug over there).

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!

“Red” ReFill

This ReFill contains many different experimentations and uses for Etch Red, and showcases the many possibilities of using this device, both in your instruments and as effects. There are many examples of Dubstep Basses, Pad rhythms, Wide Chorusing effects, Vibrato & Tremolo effects, and Filter Frequency effects. There are also a few Rex loops included to show you some examples of how you can integrate the Dr. OctoRex with Etch Red. My hope is that I’ve provided you not only with a highly playable and fun Refill to use as is, but also with many different designs that you can open up and look inside to spark your own experimentation and curiosity. In this way, Red can become a springboard for your own ideas.

Reason101 Red ReFillRed is a ReFill based around the Etch Red Rack Extension from FXpansion. In order to use it you will need Reason 6.5+ and Etch Red. If you want to learn more about Etch Red, I’ve created this introductory Etch Red Tutorial that might help you along. You can also purchase Etch Red if you don’t already have it.

This ReFill contains many different experimentations and uses for Etch Red, and showcases the many possibilities of using this device, both in your instruments and as effects. There are many examples of Dubstep Basses, Pad rhythms, Wide Chorusing effects, Vibrato & Tremolo effects, and Filter Frequency effects. There are also a few Rex loops included to show you some examples of how you can integrate the Dr. OctoRex with Etch Red. My hope is that I’ve provided you not only with a highly playable and fun Refill to use as is, but also with many different designs that you can open up and look inside to spark your own experimentation and curiosity. In this way, Red can become a springboard for your own ideas.

What’s included in the ReFill?

  • 60 Effect Combinators
  • 40 Instrument Combinators
  • 120 Etch Red device patches
  • 10 Rex Loops

Purchasing

The Red ReFill cost is $15.00 USD. Purchasing is done through Paypal. After payment is made, you will be able to download your product.

Add to Cart

Demo Videos

Here is a video that outlines the instruments you’ll find in the ReFill:

Here is a video that outlines the instruments you’ll find in the ReFill:

Etch Red Patch Pack

In my fervent attempt to learn every single Rack Extension in the known universe, I stumbled upon Etch Red. And then I started creating, and just kept going and going and going. You see, this is part of the fun of the Rack Extensions. I’m starting to learn it’s not always about pitting the default Reason software against a particular Rack Extension. It’s just as important that a Rack Extension motivates you to create more. To that end, Etch Red was a seriously fun creative tool that allowed me to experiment on a large scale. So I thought I would share some of these experimentations with you.

Reason101 Etch Red Patch Pack.In my fervent attempt to learn every single Rack Extension in the known universe, I stumbled upon Etch Red. And then I started creating, and just kept going and going and going. You see, this is part of the fun of the Rack Extensions. I’m starting to learn it’s not always about pitting the default Reason software against a particular Rack Extension. It’s just as important that a Rack Extension motivates you to create more. To that end, Etch Red was a seriously fun creative tool that allowed me to experiment on a large scale. So I thought I would share some of these experimentations with you.

You can download the patches here: Etch Red Patch Pack. There are 20 patches included: 8 Combinators (4 Instruments and 4 Effect devices), along with 12 Etch Red device patches. In order to use them, you will need Reason 6.5+ and the Etch Red Rack Extension.

I hope you enjoy the patches. And if you do, please consider donating here: [paypal-donation]

Now a little bit about the patch pack. There are two sections:

  1. Combinators — There are 4 instrument patches and 4 effect devices, all of which make use of Etch Red.
  2. Etch Red Device Patches — Since Etch Red can save it’s own patches, I’ve included 12 .repatch files as well.

Here is a brief description of each patch you’ll find inside this pack:

FX Combinators

  • Drive LP FX.cmb

This patch Combines the various drive modes of Etch Red and pairs them with a Low Pass Filter. Use Rotary 1 for the Drive amount, and Rotary 2 to switch between the seven drive modes.  Rotary 3 and 4 allow you to shape the LP filter (Frequency and Resonance). You can turn the drive or filter on or off using the first two buttons. And even apply some Drive modulation using button 3. Lastly, you can Pan the Filter using button 4.

  • Dual Auto-Panner FX.cmb

As it says in the name, this Combinator offers up some dual panning. It uses the two Etch Red LFOs in order to Pan the audio signal. In this way, you can create complex panning effects. The Rotaries control the depth (gain) and Rate of both Pans. You can also change between two different wave types (square and sine) for both Pans using Button 1 and 2. And if you like, you can turn off the second pan altogether using Button 3. Lastly, you can sync or un-sync Pan 1.

  • Hi – Lo Filter Splits (BP).cmb

This Combinator splits out the audio signal into the High and Low Frequencies. The fun comes in the fact that you can apply a different Bandpass filter to these two different Frequency splits independently. Use Rotary 1 to determine the crossover frequency, and then use Rotary 2 and 3 to set the Frequency for the High and Low Bandpass filters. There’s also a few other modulations and a HP filter that you can apply to both the High and Low Frequency streams, as well as some FM application if you like (on Rotary 4).

  • Tremolo & Vibrato FX.cmb

Tremolo affects the level of the audio signal (volume wobble), and Vibrato affects the Filter variance (Filter wobble). Using the Combinator Rotaries and buttons, you can control both in a variety of ways. You can adjust their Level, Rate, and what wave shape is used for the wobbling.

Instrument Combinators

  • Dubstep Bass C.cmb

As the name suggests, this is a Dubstep Bass experiment. You can adjust Filter Frequency, Drive, FM, and Wobble Glide using the rotaries, as well as some other adjustments using the buttons. Hint: If you don’t like the wobble pattern, open up the Combinator, and change the Thor step sequencer Velocity and Step Count. The velocity controls the Rate of the LFO in Etch Red, and therefore the type of Wobble you hear.

  • Easy Etch Synth Pad Hybrid.cmb

This is a nice hybrid between a polyphonic synth and pad instrument. Use Rotary 3 to smoothly transition between a Synth (fully left) and a Pad (fully right). Frequency and Resonance are on Rotaries 1 & 2. And you can control the level of the Sub Oscillator on Rotary 3. Button 1 and Button 2 control various Modulations applied to the Filter Frequency and FM, respectively. And try out the Pad Wrapper on button 3, which adds a nice shaper modulation to the sound.

  • Hooveretch.cmb

Where Etch Red meets a Hoover style sound. There’s even a Thor Step Sequencer thrown in for an Arpeggiated rhythm. Probably one of my favorite sounds of the bunch. You can control the Filter Frequencies using the first two Rotaries, and the level of the Sub Oscillator on Rotary 3. You can also use Rotary 4 to detune the main two Oscillators. Add in some Delay, FM, and Shaper, and you have yourself a really nice rich Bass.

  • Memory Pad

Another Pad, I think this one has a nice upbeat sound, yet still floats in the background. It’s more Rhythmic in nature, but you can dampen that if you like by turning down the “Flicker” rotary (Rotary 3) and turning switching to the alternate Wave type (Turn button 1 On).

Etch Red Device Patches

  • Basic Auto-Panner.repatch

The name is pretty self-explanatory. This is a patch that allows you to pan any audio signal.

  • Comb Phreak.repatch

Difficult to explain. Baiscally uses a Comb along with some drive to create a pretty wild little sound. Great for a sci-fi effect.

  • Deep Basso.repatch

Try this one out on your Bass sounds. It tends to raise the level and spreads out the Bass sound a little for you.

  • Dueling Filter Sweeps.repatch

This one is a double-sweep using two slow LFOs. Try to use this on a sound with a long ADSR time, like a Pad. That way you really get a chance to hear the sweep.

  • Ghost Pad.repatch

This is one of my favorites, and is great for smooth Pads and textures. It creates almost a feedback echo on your sound, but it’s a slow sweeping echo. So give it some musical room to breathe. Long held notes for this one.

  • Grunge Guitar.repatch

How could I do an Etch Red Patch Pack without a great distorted effect for Guitar. Nuff said.

  • Kick Variable Enhancer.repatch

Use this on your Kicks. It adds both punch and enough variation in the Filtering / Resonance so that it doesn’t become static. Instead your Kick drum will display a little variation each time it’s played.

  • LFO Grind Drive Distort.repatch

Another wacky and heavily distorted sound. There’s a lot of vibration and drive in this one. Try it with a bass or synth sound. Or even a texture or drone sound.

  • Simple Tremolo.repatch

This is a simplified version of Tremolo, and shows you how you can wobble the level of any audio source.

  • Panned Combs.repatch

A very simple patch that takes the audio coming into Etch Red and sends it through two Comb filters in parallel. Then the signal is panned left and right.

  • Snare Variable Dual Filter.repatch

Like the Kick Variable patch, except this one was built for snares.

  • Whacky Comb.repatch

Something a little more “out there” using a Comb filter. Try it out for some weird glitchiness.


So that’s what you’ll find included in the free Etch Red Patch Pack. Let me know what you think. Now I have to go wrap my head around Peff’s excellent Directre Rack Extension. Deep! Until next time, I hope some of what I do inspires you. All my best.

82 – Etch Red

This article will introduce you to the Etch Red RE from http://www.fxpansion.com. This RE is a powerful dual multi-mode filter that can be set up in series or parallel. It also comes with a comprehensive built-in and external modulation scheme that is unlike any other in the stock Reason program. Aside from filtering, it is capable of several tricks such as gating, stereo widening, compression, distortion, LFO wobbling, Tremolo, and Vibrato effects. To top it all off, it comes with the ability to Frequency Modulate the filters (either internally via the 2 built-in LFOs, or externally using an incoming audio source). A lot of power for a very affordable Reason device. So let’s take a walk-through and learn a little more about it.

This article will introduce you to the Etch Red RE from FXpansion. This Rack Extension is a powerful dual multi-mode filter that can be set up in series or parallel. It also comes with a comprehensive built-in and external modulation scheme that is unlike any other in the stock Reason program. Aside from filtering, it is capable of several tricks such as gating, stereo widening, compression, distortion, LFO wobbling, Tremolo, and Vibrato effects. To top it all off, it comes with the ability to Frequency Modulate the filters (either internally via the 2 built-in LFOs, or externally using an incoming audio source). A lot of power for a very affordable Reason device. So let’s take a walk-through and learn a little more about it.

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of the device, let me first point you to the PDF User Manual that you can download. This comes straight from the FXpansion site, and it’s a good idea that you have a read before jumping in. There’s a few pitfalls that you want to avoid when working with this Rack Extension, and while it’s a very nicely designed device, there’s still some areas that might cause you to scratch your head.

Next, let me point out the main features of this Rack Extension in a simple video:

It’s all about Source > Destination = Modulation.

The heart of Etch Red is all the wonderful red knobs scattered throughout the upper (Filters) and lower (Sources) section of the device. These knobs allow you to modulate their associated parameters with one or more of the 10 Sources (selected in the Middle section of the device). Indeed you can modulate one parameter with all 10 sources if you like. Where I can see a lot of people getting tripped up is when you start trying to figure out how to modulate one destination with these Multiple Sources. So here’s a step-by-step tutorial to help you get your feet wet with this concept:

  1. Create a Subtractor, Thor, NNXT, or any other sound-generating device in Reason, or else create a new Audio Track and place some audio on this track. My recommendation is to go for a nice Pad sound to start yourself off. Load up a Pad patch from the Factory Sound Bank if you are stumped for creativity.
  2. Create an Etch Red device underneath so that it is auto-routed to the sound device (hint: Etch Red is found in the Creative FX menu if you right-click under the sound device). If all goes well, the sound device’s Left and Right audio goes into the Etch Red device, and then back out to the Mix Channel or Audio Track.
  3. Set the LFO1 Rate to be 1/2 bars and LFO2 Rate to be 1/16 bars. Both are Synced by default. Also adjust their Gain settings to both be set to around 66%. This will remove the harshness of the LFO curve. It’s like a depth or volume setting for the modulation source.

    Setting the LFO1 Rate to 1/2 Bars in the Source (bottom) section of the device
    Setting the LFO1 Rate to 1/2 Bars in the Source (bottom) section of the device

    Setting the LFO2 Rate to 1/16 Bars in the Source (bottom) section of the device
    Setting the LFO2 Rate to 1/16 Bars in the Source (bottom) section of the device
  4. Select a Source from the middle “Modulation Source Selection” section of the device. By default, the LFO1 is selected as a source. You can see this because the little LED within the square icon is yellow. You can also select a source using the drop-down list to the right of all 10 sources. For this example, we’ll use both LFO1 and LFO2 as a source to modulate both Filter Frequencies. Keep LFO1 selected for now. Click the tiny square red LED light just to the bottom right of the LFO1 selector. Turning it off switches the polarity of LFO1 from Unipolar to Bipolar. Leave LFO2 set to Unipolar, which is the default.
    The Modulation Source Selection (middle) area of Etch Red. Note that the LFO1 selector is yellow. You can select a source by pressing these square icons, or by clicking from the drop-down list (both are shown here with a black square border).
    The Modulation Source Selection (middle) area of Etch Red. Note that the LFO1 selector is yellow. You can select a source by pressing these square icons, or by clicking from the drop-down list (both are shown here with a black square border).

    Setting the Polarity of LFO1 to Unipolar by turning the LED off. This ensures the LFO travels both negatively and positively to affect the destination parameter.
    Setting the Polarity of LFO1 to Unipolar by turning the LED off. This ensures the LFO travels both negatively and positively to affect the destination parameter.
  5. Next, switch the Filter 1 Mode to a 4-Pole High Pass Filter (4H) and the Frequency to 6 Hz (fully left). For Filter 2, leave it set to the Low Pass Filter (default), and set the Frequency to around 350 Hz or so. Also set its Resonance (Rez Rotary) to roughly 25%. Note: The Black rotaries change the parameters. The Rotaries encased in Red circles are used to modulate these parameters. So Black changes the parameters outright, while red is used to modulate them negatively (left) or positively (right).
    Setting Filter 1 Mode to a 4-Pole High Pass Filter.
    Setting Filter 1 Mode to a 4-Pole High Pass Filter.

    Setting the Filter 1 Frequency to 6 Hz.
    Setting the Filter 1 Frequency to 6 Hz.

    Setting the Filter 2 Frequency to around 350 Hz and the Resolution (Rez) to about 25%.
    Setting the Filter 2 Frequency to around 350 Hz and the Resolution (Rez) to about 25%.
  6. Now we’re set to actually use the sources to modulate the Filters. Using the Red Modulation Rotaries, set the rotaries beneath both filter Frequency parameters to positive 28%. You’ll start to hear the sway of LFO1 affecting the sound as you play the sound device.

    Adjusting the Modulation of the Filter 1 Frequency.
    Adjusting the Modulation of the Filter 1 Frequency.
  7. Select LFO2 by clicking on the square icon in the middle section of the device or using the drop-down at the far right of the 10 Mod Sources. When you switch over to a new Modulation Source, you’ll notice that both filter frequencies’ Modulation Rotaries snap back to their original values (dead center). You’ll also notice that the small LED circle just above these rotaries turn red. This LEDs indicate that there is another source modulating this parameter. Finally, the previous source’s square selector changes from yellow to red (LFO1 in this case). Switch back to LFO1, and these LEDs turn yellow. Switch back to LFO2, the parameters go back to their default and the LEDs turn Red. Yellow = whatever is currently selected in Etch Red. Red = another value is being used to modulate this parameter.

    Note: The one thing that I dislike about working with Etch Red is the fact that when you start creating complex modulations and have several sources modulating a certain Destination, there’s no immediate way to see which sources are modulating the parameter and by how much. You have to click on each source to see how it is affecting all its associated destinations. On the flipside, this does make experimenting with complex modulation assignments quick and you can easily get lost in experimentation. So that’s a plus!

  8. With LFO2 as the selected source, change the Modulation Rotary underneath Filter 2 to a positive 50%. You now have the Frequency for Filter 2 being modulated by both LFO1 and LFO2. That’s pretty much all there is to it.

    The Final Etch Red Filter, Mod Source Selection, and Sources sections.
    The Final Etch Red Filter, Mod Source Selection, and Sources sections. Note how LFO2 and the LED just above the Modulation rotary for the Filter 2 Frequency are yellow, indicating LFO 2 is the currently selected source, and Filter 2 Frequency is being modulated by LFO2. On the other hand the LED above the Modulation Rotary for the Filter 1 Frequency parameter is red, indicating it is being modulated by another source (in this case, LFO1).

Note: Of course, you can also modulate a Source’s Rate or Gain settings (at least for the sources listed in the top row of the Modulation Source Selection area) by adjusting the red Modulation Rotaries underneath these parameters (in the bottom section of the device). This can also open up some very complex modulations. You can even use LFO1 to modulate its own Rate and Gain. How trippy.

Getting a little more Advanced

So now that we have a grasp on how Etch Red works, I thought I would delve a little deeper into things by using the Envelope source. In order to get the envelope working, you need to send a Gate input signal into the back of the device. And what better way to trigger the envelope than with a Rex loop’s Gate output. So here’s a little video that shows a few techniques along those lines:

Everyone Loves a Dubstep Bass, right (or am I being sarcastic)?

Here’s a great video put together by FXpansion themselves that goes over the process of creating a Dubstep Bass using their device. It’s a little more advanced, but it’s a great way to showcase how some of the CV modulations can be used on the back of their device. And the sound is just cool, so I had to include it here:

More Tips and Tricks

Here are a few other handy tricks you can try out using Etch Red.

  • Fun with Distortion: Unsync LFO 1 and select it as a mod source. Set its rate to somewhere around 100-600 Hz. Set the output level to -14 dB. Turn up the Drive Mod Rotary slowly. adjust the LFO 1 Rate, Mph, and Drive Types until you find something you like. Great for basses.
  • Tremolo: Select the LFO 1 as a mod source and click the Polarity LED to make it bipolar. Adjust the Level Mod rotary set to a small amount in either direction for Tremolo.effects.
  • More Shapes: Create a Malstrom and from the back send Mod A into Etch Red’s CV 1 input. You can now use Malstrom’s 31 waves as a source to affect any Etch Red Modulation.
  • Dual Filter Gates: Turn off Drive and Filter 2. Set LFO 1 & 2 with “Square” shapes. Ensure the rates are synced, but different for each (ex.: 1/4 & 1/16). Keep the Gain full. Select LFO 1 as a source, and Set Filter 1 to Low Pass (Japan, SVF, or Fatty). Set the Frequency to 6 Hz (full left). Then turn the Frequency Mod Rotary to 100% (full right). Now select LFO 2 as a Source and use it to modulate the same Filter 1 Frequency in the same way (Mod Rotary to 100% – full right). Adjust the depth of both LFOs by adjusting their Gain values.
  • Auto-Panner: Set LFO 1 to Bipolar. Then use LFO 1 as a source adjusting the Pan Mod Rotary for Filter 1. Adjust the LFO 1 settings to taste.
  • FM Audio Fun: Try sending audio from a Loop or a synth into the Filter 1 and/or 2 FM inputs. Then on the front, turn up the FM Rotaries, and adjust the Filter Freq & Res to taste. Noise and Saw Oscillators are great audio inputs too (though you may need to raise their volume). For further manipulation, assign an LFO to modulate the FM amount.
  • Envelopes: To use the Etch Red Envelope, you need to send a CV signal into the Gate CV input on the back. Try sending a matrix Gate CV into the Gate CV input. Now put together a gate pattern in the matrix. Alternately, you can send a Curve CV from the Matrix. Now you can use the Envelope modulation source to modulate any Etch Red Mod Parameters.
  • Key Tracking your Filters: To use the Etch Red “Key Track” feature, create a Sequencer Track for Etch Red. Then copy MIDI data from another Track (some monophonic data works best). Then reduce the Filter Frequency. When you play back the Sequencer, the Filter will follow the MIDI track, and will in essence be following the musical track from which you stole the MIDI data. Or you can just play along on your keyboard to track the Filters.
  • Internal Pitching: Try sending the LFO 1 CV output to the Pitch CV input on the back of Etch Red. Then turn on Key Track on the front, and set up your Filter. Choose a Fatty LP filter for a nice bassy sound. Set Freq to about 185 Hz, Rez to 70%, and set LFO 1 Rate to 34 Hz, Free-running, and Mph to about 77%. Oh yeah, some nice Bass Wobbling.

Hope you enjoy Etch Red as much as I do. It’s capable of quite a lot. If you have any other ideas, tips and tricks, please share them with the class.

80 – Shelob Audio Splitter

Matt Black (aka: Jiggery Pokery) has done it again. Instead of providing a new ReFill, he has dazzled us with a new Rack Extension: Shelob, a 4-input, 16 stereo /32 mono audio output Splitter. Think of it as 4 Spiders locked together in a nice compact unit, but with a few extras. And all for the low price of $9.00 USD. In this article, I’ll discuss a little about what you can do with this baby.

Matt Black (aka: Jiggery Pokery) has done it again. Instead of providing a new ReFill, he has dazzled us with a new Rack Extension: Shelob, a 4-input, 16 stereo /32 mono audio output Splitter. Think of it as 4 Spiders locked together in a nice compact unit, but with a few extras. And all for the low price of $9.00 USD. In this article, I’ll discuss a little about what you can do with this baby.

You can download a few free patches here:  Shelob Patches. These patches outline a few ways you can use Shelob to crossfade, parallel process, stripe a range of effects splits played via keys on your MIDI keyboard, group splits, create a fade in / fade out combinator, etc. Use them as templates and lessons in how to route things up in Shelob. See the videos below for a little more about how Shelob works.

First, let’s take a look at what Shelob replaces or improves upon:

Spider Audio Merger Splitter - Splitter side
Reason’s stock Spider Audio Merger/Splitter from the back, indicating the split side with 1 audio input and 4 audio split outputs. This is what Shelob replaces.

Next, let’s take a quick look at Shelob from the front and from the back:

Shelob Audio Splitter Rack Extension - Front
The Front of the Shelob Audio Bypass Splitter
Shelob Audio Splitter Rack Extension - Back
The Back of the Shelob Audio Bypass Splitter

The following showcases the differences between the original Spider Audio Merger/Splitter and the Shelob:

  1. Uses 1 device rather than 4 Spiders. Note that the Spider can take 1 input signal and split it 4 ways, as well as take 4 input signals and merge them into 1. On the other hand, Shelob can take four input signals and split each of those signals 4 ways (or any combination of those, for example, you can take 1 input signal and split it up to 20 ways; 16 straight outputs and 4 pass-through outputs). There is no merging capability with Shelob, though I have it on good authority that a merging device is on the way.
  2. Off/On of each of those 4 channels and 16 stereo/32 mono outputs can be automated
  3. Each set of 4 inputs can be used as a pass-through in order to create “Split Groups” that can be turned on/off
  4. Ability to fade the signals in or out. This opens the door to creating crossfades between signals on Shelob, and fade in / fade outs of any audio signal. The Fade is “global” so it affects all signals sent in or out of Shelob. The fade can be anywhere between 1 millisecond to 20 seconds.
  5. Ability to “Stripe” the signal. This means you can take one input signal and send it to all 20 outputs without any additional inputs or routing.
  6. All switches on the device can be automated or programmed in the Combinator to be on / off. In addition, the fade knob can also be automated or programmed to a Combinator control.

Here’s a quick introduction to the device:

Fade Knob

The fade essentially determines how long the sound “fades out” after you turn that specific channel from “On” to “Off.” In the default position, turn any channel off and the sound stops immediately. With more fade, turning any channel off will let the sound fade out slowly. This also works both ways, so you can “fade in” a signal when you turn a specific channel from “Off” to “On.”

Fade is global, so it affects all channels, and it can be automated. But of course you can create multiple Shelobs to control fade on some channels and then fade differently on others.

From Matt:

Fade times work both ways – switch on (fade in), and switch off (fade out).

As Rob says above, Fade time can be automated as required.

With a maximum fade time of 20s, you could even stick a Shelob on your master outs, or just before Ozone if using that for dithering, and flick a switch for fade in at the start and fade out at the end

The Fade knob is 0-100 milliseconds in the white area, and 101-20000 milliseconds (20 seconds) in the green area. This means you can create a fade 0-20 seconds long. To create a simple crossfade between two signals, for example, program a Combinator Button to switch Channel 01-A to go on/off and Channel 01-B to go off/on. The button is now used to crossfade between the two signals. Program the Rotary 1 to adjust the Fade knob and use it to determine the fade time from 0-20 seconds. This makes it one of the easiest ways to crossfade between two audio sources or two effects.

Here’s a video that shows you how to Crossfade and parallel process your audio signals:

Stripe Switch

With the Stripe switched turned on, you can send one audio signal into Channel 1 input, and then split that signal on all outputs (A through P) at once, without any further input signals. This means you don’t need to Chain an output split to the next 3 Channels (for example, from A-1 to Channel 2 input). With Stripe Off, the Channels can be used separately (as if you have 4 independent Channels in Shelob, or more to the point, the Shelob acts more like 4 Spider Audio Splitters in one).

Incidentally, if you want to use Shelob exactly as you use the Reason Spider Audio Splitter, keep Stripe off, and turn on all output splits (A through P). Now, all splits are open or on, and you can send four different audio inputs into all four Channels and split them into their respective splits.

Also, with the Pass-Through, you gain an additional output on each Channel, meaning that you have 4 extra Splits (for a total of 20 outputs). Though this is not the intended use of Pass-Through (discussed more below), you can indeed use it this way.

Again, from Matt:

While you can get 20 ouputs, the recommended setting here is to not connect the Pass jacks, but you can do.

Put your input into Channel 1, and turn on Stripe. Channel 1 will then be sent to Channnels 2, 3 and 4. Now you can turn each Channel off/on either as a Channel group with it’s Pass Switch (hence why it’s recommended not to use the Pass Jacks), and you can turn all Channels 2, 3 and 4 on and off simultaneously via the Stripe switch!

This opens the door to a lot of possibilities. Here’s a quick video to show you how to use the Stripe Feature and showcases a few of the included Combinators:

Inputs 1, 2, 3, and 4

Simply, this is where you input your audio source(s). Pretty straightforward. There are four Channels, and you can source four audio signals.

Pass-Through 1, 2, 3, and 4

Pass-Through allows you to send audio from one Channel to another. Since each Pass-Through has an on/off switch on the front of the device, this means you can “group” your splits and turn on/off all four splits of each channel with one switch. To use it, simply ensure you have an audio source going into a Channel (let’s say Channel 1, for example). Then send the Pass-Through from Channel 1 to the input of Channel 2, 3, or 4. Now, the audio source into Channel 1 is also input into Channel 2, without the need to steal a split from Channel 1 to chain Channel 1 to Channel 2 (via split A, B, C, or D). This is one other advantage Shelob has over Reason’s Spider Splitter.

Here’s a video to show you how Pass-Through operates:

Splits A through P

The Splits take whatever Audio is input into a Channel (or from a previous Channel, if Stripe is turned on), and sends it out to whatever destination you like. You can send a split out to other effect(s), or straight to a Mixer Channel or to a Mix Channel device, or other splitters. The audio can be sent to whatever audio destination you like.


That’s the Shelob utility Rack Extension in a nutshell. Hopefully, this gives you some ideas and helps you understand how to use the device. Check out the attached Combinator patches and have some fun playing with it. For less than the price of an iTunes album, it’s well worth the expense to get a little more functionality out of audio splitting. Happy Reasoning! And thanks so much Matt, for such a great addition to the Rack. Cheers mate!