Polar+Essentials Patch Pack

It’s another “Freebie Friday” here at Reason101 and this time I thought I would bring you more new instruments and effects for those with Polar and Reason Essentials. Last week’s Pulsar+Essentials Patch Pack seemed to be a hit, and generated some new ideas and thoughts from all you good folks. So let’s see if we can repeat that this week as well. And what better way to start the weekend than with a few new sound ideas. So download and enjoy.

Polar + Essentials Patch Pack.It’s another “Freebie Friday” here at Reason101 and this time I thought I would bring you more new instruments and effects for those with Polar and Reason Essentials. Last week’s Pulsar+Essentials Patch Pack seemed to be a hit, and generated some new ideas and thoughts from all you good folks. So let’s see if we can repeat that this week as well. And what better way to start the weekend than with a few new sound ideas. So download and enjoy.

The Polar+Essentials-Patch-Pack contains 11 Instruments and 9 Effects. Since Polar can save and load patches, some of the effects patches can be loaded directly into Polar. Some of the more complex effect patches and all instrument patches are Combinators. You will need to download the Polar Rack Extension in order to use any of these patches. While they were built for Reason Essentials 1.5  users in mind, there’s nothing stopping those who have the full version of Reason 6.5 from taking advantage of them. Try them out and if you like them, please consider donating: [paypal-donation]

There are two sections:

  1. Instruments — Use Polar in some way to enhance or add to the core Reason Essentials instrument’s sound (for example, the Subtractor, ID8, and other Essentials instruments).
  2. Effects — Use Polar on its own or with other effect devices in order to process your instrument in some way.

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


  • Aggrodesiac.cmb

This patch uses a Matrix to create an arpeggiated synth. The cool idea in this one has to do with using a Matrix Curve to play the Pitch shifting on Polar. To access this sound, you must first press the “Run Pattern Devices” button on the front of the Combinator. Then use Button 1 to turn on the Matrix sequencing, and Rotary 1 to adjust the Matrix pattern’s Rate. The main rate of the sequence can be controlled via Rotary 4. Rotary 2 detunes the Pitch shifters on Polar, creating a wider sound. And Rotary 3 controls the Phase offset in the Subtractor instrument.

Button 1 changes the LFO2 on the Subtractor from adjusting the Phase (Button off) to adjusting the Amp (Button on). Button 3 adds a heavy dose of Portamento, and Button 4 allows you to switch between playing the patch as a Mono lead (Button off) or adding Polyphony (Button on).

  •  Arpe Dulce [RUN + Play MIDI].cmb

This patch is another Arpeggiated sequence in which you can Run the Arpeggio by pressing the “Run Pattern Devices” button on the Combinator front panel. Once you do this, you can play the MIDI keyboard to hear the sequence. Note that you don’t HAVE TO run the pattern devices, but it might be a little dull and lifeless without it. You could also mess around with the Matrix sequencer to create your own arpeggiator if you like.

The cool thing about this patch (and the take-away I think), is the way in which the Matrix is used to “Gate” the Polar device. Notice on the front of Polar, the “Env to Amp” button is lit up. Essentially, the Matrix Gate/Note CV is used to trigger the Polar’s envelope section. Then this envelope section is sent to the Polar Amp section. The envelope parameters you set in Polar affect the Amplitude, as you would adjust the Amp Envelope in any of Reason’s synth devices. This is what causes the gated sound. I’ve also mapped Rotary 2 (Staccato) to the Envelope’s Release parameter. This has the effect of creating a very short Staccato sound as you turn the Rotary left. The sound gets longer as you turn the Rotary right.

  • Dreamy Island Progression [RUN].cmb
  • I-vi-ii-V (Blue Moon) Progression [RUN].cmb
  • Polar Synth Chord Progression [RUN].cmb
  • Wurly Triplet Progression [RUN].cmb
  • Wurly Trip MK II [RUN].cmb

These patches use 3 Matrixes and 2 Polar devices to control Harmonies by shifting the three notes found in chord triads. Each Matrix controls a single Pitch Shifter. There is a root, third, and fifth pitch shifter and when summed together, they provide the chords. Then a fourth Matrix is used to control the Note/Gate of the instrument. This provides the Rhythm mostly. All these instruments are in the Key of “C,” though some patterns venture outside this a little, creating some interesting sequences. To play the patch, you have to press the “Run Pattern Devices” button on the front Combinator panel. As long as button 1 is lit up on the Combi, the Note/Gate Matrix is turned on, and the pattern will run automatically to generate the sounds. Button 2 controls whether or not the Harmonies for the three pitch shifters are enabled or not. All three must run in tandem, so if you do decide to change the Resolution of any of the Chord Matrixes, ensure you change all three to the same value (otherwise the chords will shift out of sync – though maybe this is what you want).

Rotary 1 controls the Pattern used to play the patch. There are 4 patterns from which to select, and one of the patches has 6 patterns. Rotary 2 and 3 Control parameters on the device itself. Since most of these patches use the ID8 as the main instrument, I”ve mapped Rotary 2 and 3 to Parameters 1 and 2 on the ID8. Rotary 4 controls the Volume of the instrument. Button 3 controls the Analysis Type and Algorithm of the Polar Pitch Shifter. For the most part, if you leave Button 3 off, you have a fast pitch shift. If you turn Button 3 on, you have a slower pitch shift. Button 4 is used to spread the Chords across the Stereo Field. In one patch, Button 4 is used as an auto-panner.

The Pitch Shift Wheel is mapped to the Polar pitch shifter, and the Mod Wheel is mapped to the ID8’s hard-coded Mod assignment, which usually leads to a Vibrato effect.

I should note that you CAN play the patch via MIDI keyboard controller. Simply turn off Button 1. If you then keep Button 2 turned on, you’ll still hear the Chord Shifting as you play, provided the notes are sustained. If you turn off Button 2, you can still play the patch via MIDI, but this may be a bit boring. Still, you can do it.

Note also that since these patches use Matrixes, there may be a lag before the Matrixes kick in, which, depending on your song Tempo and the Pattern length, could be very short or a little longer. Best thing to do if you switch the pattern on Rotary 1 or turn Button 1 or 2 on is to give it a chance to kick in. However, turning buttons 1 and/or Button 2 off is instantaneous.

Dreamy Island Progression uses a Subtractor as the main instrument and it’s a fairly slow tempo sequence. It’s got a Carribean-type flavor with a nice meandering synth sound.

I-vi-ii-V (Blue Moon) Progression uses an ID8 set to the “Crystal Pad” Synth. It also provides a very mellow and slow progression. The idea here was to present one of the most common major chord progressions and show how it is put together. So this should sound very familiar.

Polar Synth Chord Progression uses an ID8 set to the “Synth” Bass. It’s a little more harder edge, with a faster sequence. It also doesn’t really come out sounding like a Bass; more like a synth lead. You can have a lot of fun simply toying with the “Tone” Rotary (Rotary 2).

Wurly Triplet Progression is probably my favorite of the bunch. Who doesn’t like a good Wurlitzer sound right? The Note sequencer is set to Triplet, and funny story: I had the chord Matrixes set to 1/2 Resolution, and forgot to set them to 1/8T during the creation stage. Of course if you change them, you’ll get a totally different sound. But it didn’t sound right, so I left them at 1/2 Resolution. It gives a much better Rhythm I think.

Wurly Trip MK II is slightly different than the Wurly Triplet Progression patch. It includes Drums, and only uses one pattern for the sequence. Instead, Rotary 1 allows you to transpose both the Piano and the Drums upward by 1 octave (in semitone increments). This way, the patch shows how you can program the Matrix to play the harmony sequence in any scale. It’s a slightly different take on the previous patch. Also, both the Piano and Drums have a lot of processing going on. In this respect, the Combinator is more of a “Song Starter” than single instrument patch.

  • Effigy Pad.cmb

This is my take on a Subtractor Pad, and uses 2 Subtractors and 2 Polar devices. The Polar devices are used to expand or widen the sound. The Rotaries are used to adjust the fattening of the sound via the Polar parameters (except Rotary 4, which is used to adjust the Polar Filters). The first three Buttons are used to change the Timbre of the sound, so that you can get more flexibility out of the patch. The final Button (Button 4) is used to pan the signals left and right on the Mixer, which again widens the sound in the Stereo field. The Mod Wheel also changes the Timbre of the sound, making it more ominous when the wheel is pushed upward. Pitch Bend naturally adjusts the instrument pitch upward or downward.

  • Fortitude Lead.cmb

This patch uses a Subtractor as its base sound, and Polar is used to both Widen the sound and provide Harmony (if you want, on Button 4). Using Button 4 shifts the pitch so that a major chord is played (Root – Third – Fifth / 0 – 4 – 7 interval). If the Button is off, a single note is played (Monophonic). There’s other fun things you can do with the sound, but as far as Polar is concerned, this is about as basic as you can get. The Polar setup in this patch really amplifies and lifts the sound up from boring to vibrant. Bypass Polar to hear the difference.

  • House of Mirrors.cmb
  • Serial Polar Strings.cmb

These are two other Instrument patches, and are probably the most “out there” of the bunch.

House of Mirrors is a very bouncy synth sound. It uses the “Gating” trick I described earlier, except this time, the Subtractor’s LFO is used as both the Gate and as part of the CV used to “Lock” the Delay Buffer in Polar. The CV in both this and the “Serial Polar Strings” patches are a little experimental and convoluted, but the experimentation was fun, and I think the results came out alright.

Serial Polar Strings uses an ID8 “Guitar” patch set to “Dulcimer.” I thought of trying to process the sound through two Polars that are connected in series. I found that doing this is very tricky, as the sound going from one to the other becomes pretty finicky. It’s hard to describe exactly, but it took a lot of work to try to get something interesting out of it. I’ll let you decide if it was worth the work or not.


  • Alien Galaxy.repatch
  • Creeper.repatch
  • Harmony Modulator (For Leads).repatch
  • Simple Octave Gate.repatch
  • Spiral Staircase.repatch
  • Tin Man.repatch

These are some basic Polar stand-alone effect patches.

Alien Galaxy creates an almost other-worldly sound that works well with most synth patches.

Creeper is exactly what it says. It shifts and modulates the sound to produce a highly spooky sound. Great for all kinds of sounds, but I like it with a Lead or a Pad sound. Just be careful if you’re using it with multiple notes (Polyphony), as it can tend to get a little loud. If you do, you may want to turn the Volume down on the dry signal and the two shifters.

Harmony Modulator (For Leads) is a rough harmonizer patch that works well on monophonic leads. Just a simple way you can add movement at the same time as harmony. Fun little rough patch.

Simple Octave Gate is a double-Octave spreader (up 1 Octave and down 1 Octave), with a rough LFO gate applied to the Low Pass Filter. Cool for most any kinds of sounds that you want Gated. The LFO which produces the gate is Tempo Synced, so if you want it faster or slower, simply adjust the LFO Rate.

Spiral Staircase is a slow-moving patch that takes advantage of the reverse sawtooth LFO wave to shift both pitch shifters by 50% – producing a downward moving pitch. At the same time, the auto-pan feature is applied to the original (Dry) sound, and the Feedback / Delay / Detune parameters produce a wider sound. Interesting in a wonky kind of way.

Tin Man, as the name suggests, provides a metallic chorus sound. Try it out on your guitar tracks. All guitars love a good Comb filter right?

  • Mayhem Glitchem.cmb

This patch is highly experimental. Basically, it sends the audio through a Polar device, then splits the audio into two streams: one is the original audio, and the second is a Hi band pass through two Screams and a second Polar. It’s fun to tweak around with the parameters on this one. There’s two Distortion algorithms on Button 2, and you can adjust Parameter 2 with Rotary 2. Rotary 1 and Button 1 adjust the Rate of the first Polar’s LFO, which can provide some really freaky sounds.

Rotary 3 and 4 control the original Audio Level and the Screams’ Distortion Level. Pretty straightforward. Use these two Rotaries to parallel process and mix the sound together. Button 3 changes the first Polar’s Algorithm from fast to slow. Button 4 is an added bonus. It allows you to lock the Buffer (Delay) from both Polar devices. Depending on the patch you’re sending through this effect Combinator, you can get some interesting glitchy effects when the Buffer is locked.

The Mod Wheel actually detunes both shifters on the first Polar, and the Pitch Bend Wheel is tied to the original Polar’s Pitch Bend Wheel.

  • Pseudo-Doppler (For Sustained Sounds).cmb

This patch is a simple Polar device that’s doctored up inside a Combinator. It creates a really cool Doppler-style effect (as dopplers inside Polar can go, that is). The Loop Length can be adjusted via Rotary 1. The shorter the loop (towards the left), the shorter the Doppler sound is. The longer the loop, the longer the amount of original sound gets through (and the more strange the sound becomes). You can also play with the Pitch Width on Rotary 2 and the Amp Width on Rotary 4. The LFO Rate on Rotary 3 controls the speed of the Doppler effect (slower speeds to the left; faster speeds to the right).

Button 1 switches the filter from a Low Pass to a High Pass, and Button 2 is used to widen the Filter. In this control, as in all the other “Widener” controls, the LFO intensity increases for said parameter. For example, with Button 2 turned off, the LFO affects the Filter to a smaller degree than if Button 2 is turned on. Likewise for the Pitch Widener. Turn it to the left and the LFO affects the Pitch Shifters to a smaller degree than if you turn this Rotary to the right.

Finally, Button 3 adds a huge amount of Resonance, and Button 4 allows you to include the dry signal, if you like. The Mod Wheel is also mapped to the Polar device. Try this out on sustained sounds, like Pads, sustained Organs, or even Guitars.

  • Tape Stop Lite (Btn 1 or Mod Wheel).cmb

This patch came out of my desire to rework a patch that I put together for inclusion with Polar. If you look in the patches that ship with Polar, there’s a Tape Stop patch under the “Tweaky” folder. This patch uses a Thor to gate the Polar device, which helps drive the Tape Stop effect. The reason why I wanted to rework it is so that I could recreate the same type of effect using only Reason Essentials devices. In this instance, a Scream is used to convert the incoming audio to a CV signal, which then triggers the gate on Polar. This has almost the same effect as the original Tape Stop patch, but without the need to use Thor. This means that even Reason Essentials users can take advantage of a fully functional Tape Stop Combinator effect.

Button 1 or the Mod Wheel is used to trigger the Tape Stop action. This the heart of the effect. All the other Rotaries, Buttons, etc. are used to adjust how the Tape Stop sounds or how fast / slow the tape stop effect works.

One note about this Combinator. If you enable the Tape Stop effect (button 1 or Mod Wheel), and then disable it too quickly, you’ll hear the original sound kick back in. So it’s probably not the most ideal solution for rapid stuttering. And in most cases, I would assume you’ll want to use this effect at the end of a passage instead, where the effect is enabled and the song ends, for example. In this case, you won’t need to disable the effect after the fact, so it won’t be a problem. And who knows, maybe there’s some creative call for having the sound jump back in. Either way, this “issue” only occurs with this “Lite” Combinator. The one that ships with Polar does not work in the same way, and the sound does not come back in afterwards. If anyone knows a workaround for this issue, please let me know. 🙂

That about does it for Freebie Friday here at Reason101. If you have any cool Polar patches, please share them. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas on how to use these devices, whether they be the stock Reason devices or the new Rack Extensions. Carry on. . .

Pulsar+Essentials Patch Pack

Here’s a few patches I put together for Reason Essential users who have the Pulsar Rack Extension. It was pointed out that there were very few synths and effects bundled with Pulsar that are usable in a Reason Essentials environment (I think there were about 5 out of 90 synths and 11 out of 52 effects which were compatible with Reason Essentials). And being one of the team members that helped come up with those sounds, I felt it was a missed opportunity.

Pulsar plus Essentials Patch PackHere’s a few patches I put together for Reason Essentials users who have the Pulsar Rack Extension. It was pointed out that there were very few synths and effects bundled with Pulsar that are usable in a Reason Essentials environment (I think there were about 5 out of 90 synths and 11 out of 52 effects). All other synths and effects can only be used within the full Reason program. Being one of the team members that helped come up with those sounds, I feel a huge sense of pride at all the sounds we produced. I also wanted to apologize for not including more patches for our Reason Essentials brethren (and sistren?). I hope this makes up for it.

The Pulsar+Essentials Patch Pack contains 14 synths and 6 effects. Since Pulsar cannot save nor load patches, all the patches are Combinators, and all of them use Pulsar, so you need to download the Pulsar Rack Extension in order to use these patches. While they were built for Reason Essentials 1.5  users in mind, there’s nothing stopping those who have the full version of Reason 6.5 from taking advantage of them. Try them out and if you like them, please consider donating: [paypal-donation]

There are two sections:

  1. Instruments — Use Pulsar’s LFOs as Oscillators to generate the instrument sounds or else use the Subtractor and/or other Essentials instruments to generate the sound. In this second scenario, at least a few Pulsars are used to modulate various parameters of the instruments.
  2. Effects — Use Pulsar on its own or with other effect devices in order to process your instruments in some way.

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


  • 4-way ID8 Synth with Multi-FX

This instrument gives you the choice to play all four modes of the ID8 “Synth” patch, and then processes that patch through a variety of effects devices. The Pulsar is used to modulate the “Scream” distortion. From the Scream, the signal is split to an overlapping low and high band of frequencies, and in turn is processed through a Reverb (high) and Delay (Low). The signal is then merged back together and sent back the the output. Use Button 1 to change the distortion type from “Warp” to “Digital” and use the remaining 3 buttons to decide which of the four Synths to play through those effects. Rotary 1 adjusts the amount of Reverb, Rotary 2 adjusts the Reverb Decay, Rotary 3 adjusts the amount of Delay, and Button 4 adjusts the P2 parameter of the distortion (Bias for Warp and Rate for Digital).

The Pitch Bend and Mod Wheels are automatically mapped to the ID8. I really do wish you could assign different Pitches and Mods (you can have some limited assignments if you use the Combinator’s Mod Routing section, but yeah, it’s limited). The Pitch Bend will pitch the Synth sound up or down 2 semitones, which is standard for the ID8. The Mod wheel applies Vibrato to the synth.

  • Another Layered Synth
  • Layered Detuned Organ

These two synths use multiple Pulsar  devices to create layered Oscillators sent to different Mix channels inside the Combinator. Adjustable parameters are the Amp Envelope Attack (Rotary 1), Amp Envelope Release (Rotary 2), Shuffle (Rotary 3), Level (Rotary 4), Detuning or Presence (Button 1), Presence or Vibrato (Button 2), Tremolo (button 3), and Mastering (button 4). The Pitch Bend wheel allows you to spread the synth layers across the stereo field (panning them) and Mod Wheel applies Reverb to the synths.

The cool thing about the Layered Detuned Organ is the fact that you can detune it using Button 1. This adjusts the rate differently for all three Pulsar devices (each pair of LFOs are set to a slightly different rate using the Envelope Rate knobs). This produces a much fatter “detuned” Oscillator sound.  The “Presence” parameter accesses a set of delay devices set to very short durations (a la Haas effect). This effect raises perceived loudness without actually hearing the delays; resulting in a more spacious sound. The Vibrato and Tremolo are pretty basic, adjusting the pitch and amp modulations with other Pulsar LFO units.

The Another Layered Synth patch is similar, however, it only uses 2 Pulsars instead of 3, and the waveforms are different.

Note: You’ll notice an audible “plucked” sound when the synth notes are released. I have a feeling this has something to do with the way the rates are adjusted (detuned) in the Amp Envelope of each Pulsar device. However, I have not found a way to get rid of this sound. If anyone (Reason or Reason Essentials user) has any suggestions to get rid of it, please let me know.

  • Arced Archaic Arp

This patch use the Subtractor synth as the basis for generating the sound, and a series of Pulsars to mangle or modulate that sound. It creates a moving Arp-like synth sound, and boy do I sure love me some modulation. This is probably one of my favorite synths developed in this pack. A few special notes: The distorted Vibrato (Button 1) gives the synth a very driven metallic feel, which sounds more like distortion than vibrato. The standard Vibrato (on Button 2) is more akin to what most people think of as “Vibrato.” Using both of them together is probably not what you want to do, but separately they are pretty cool I think. Everything else on this patch is pretty self-explanatory.

  • Basic 4-Step Synth
  • Basic Saw Synth
  • Basic Sine Synth
  • Basic Slope Synth
  • Basic Square Synth

These synths are simple ways for the Reason Essential user to play Pulsar as a synth. They each use a different Waveform as the basic Oscillators, and the combined LFO 1 & 2 are used as a mono synth. Adjustable parameters are the Amp Envelope Attack (Rotary 1), Amp Envelope Release (Rotary 2), Shuffle (Rotary 3), Level (Rotary 4), Delay (Button 1), Distortion or Modulation (Button 3), and Reverb (Button 4). The Pitch and Mod Wheel are mapped to different parameters on different synths. The idea behind these synths were to create very simple dual oscillator synths that are the “bare bones” for Essentials users. But don’t let that fool you. There’s a lot of power in these little synths. For example, to get a really fat beefy sound, increase the “Shuffle” parameter mapped to Rotary 3.

  • Dominion

This is another bassy, filter-modulated sound (not really dubstep, but still kinda fun to play). It’s unique in that it combines a Subtractor Synth with the Pulsar LFOs-as-Oscillators, which was another interesting Reason integration idea I had. I used the RV7000 as an Echo (Button 3), and there’s some fun Scream distortion on Button 4. Note that you can adjust the mix between the two synth layers using Rotary 3 and 4. Most of the other controls adjust the Panning settings for the global sound.

  • Phi’s ID8 Bass Synth

This synth bass patch uses 2 overlapping ID8 devices, with one of the Basses detuned down an octave (using the Combinator’s Transpose function – in the Key Mapping area of the Programmer). The sound is then processed through a Scream Distortion Unit to give it some more “oomph.” You can select between two different algorithms using Button 4, and then change Parameter 2 with Rotary 4. Release time is adjusted using Rotary 1, and Rotary 2 spreads the Basses a little bit in opposite directions in the stereo field. Buttons 1-3 allow you to Modulate a few different parameters with the Pulsar LFOs. Button 1 turns on the Volume modulation, Button 2 turns on the Bass Tone modulation, and Button 3 turns on the Distortion modulations. The Pitch Bend and Mod Wheels are hard-coded to the ID8 Bass devices. Pitch Bend adjusts the pitch up or down by 2 semitones, and the Mod Wheel is mapped to Bass Vibrato.

  • Pulsar Drum Gates [Btn 4=RUN]

It might be fairly self-explanatory, but you can’t play this instrument. Instead, you “Run” it using Button 4, which turns the whole thing on or off. Then you can adjust various parameters using the other Rotaries, Buttons and Wheels. The idea behind this patch was to create a kind of drum kit / song starter patch that uses the Pulsar devices as drum gates for the various drums. The Pulsars take over the role of the Redrum sequencer (or the main sequencer, for that matter). I particularly like how the Mod Wheel changes the kit’s sound entirely.

The other interesting idea with this patch was the CV connection from LFO 1 to LFO 2’s Rate input. Originally, I had thought about setting up each drum to be turned on or off by enabling LFO 2 to run or not (I discarded that idea in favor of level switches on the four Rotaries, but still used the on/off idea for the “FM Fuzz” on Button 3). Anyway, if you do turn your drums on/off using this method, and still want access to combine LFO 1 with LFO 2, sending the CV cable from one LFO to the other LFO’s Rate is the way to go. Otherwise, you could just send the Combination CV directly into the drum device’s gate. I hope that makes sense.

  • Rate Rhythm Synth

This patch is unique because of the kinds of modulations going on. Pulsar is used as an Oscillator, but the Subtractor’s Mod Envelope is being manipulated by another Pulsar. In turn, the Mod Envelope is used to adjust the rate of the Main Pulsar’s Oscillators, which gives it a rate wobble (vibrato during the decay and sustain stage of the envelope) which kind of sounds like a natural Horn instrument. There’s also some other manipulations going on in here, but I think that’s the one trick that is most interesting about this patch. It also goes to show you that you can manipulate any Subtractor parameters using the Pulsar’s LFOs.

  • Wave Sprinter

This was another idea I had in which the Wave shapes from the Pulsar are in a state of constant LFO flux. The Pulsar LFOs are used as Oscillators in this one. But since the Waves are constantly shifting, the sound they produce can be quite chaotic (aka: lovely in my world). You can alternate which waves are fluctuating using Button 2. You can also turn the Wave shifter off and on using Button 4. The Pitch Wheel affects how fast or slow the Waves fluctuate (Rate). Lastly, the Mod Wheel is very cool way to get an extreme pitch shift for the Oscillators in the main Pulsar. Hope you have some fun with it.


The effects were all designed as Inserts, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use them as Sends as well. Here is what I’ve included, with a brief description of each.

  • Pulsating Chorus
  • Pulsating Delays
  • Pulsating Echo Multi-FX
  • Pulsating Scream

These effects were built with simplicity in mind. Essentially, they each use Pulsars to modulate the various parameters of their respective effects device (CF-101 Chorus, DDL-1 Delay, and Scream 4 Sound Destruction Unit.

Pulsating Chorus focuses on modulating the Delay and Rate of the CF-101 device. Feedback is mapped to the Pitch Wheel and Modulation mapped to Rotary 1. Try out both to get some extreme effects. There’s also a Pan control on Button 2 and a way to sync the panning to the tempo using Button 3. All other parameters affect the Delay and Rate of the CF-101 using two Pulsar devices.

The Pulsating Delays are a set of Delay devices set to different delay times for the Left & Right position in the stereo field. All the other parameters affect the Feedback and Dry/Wet signal of both delay units.

The Pulsating Echo Multi-FX patch uses two RV7000 devices set to the “Echo” algorithm. They are then processed through a Hi and Low Stereo split. Note that the delay times of each Echo algorithm is different. You can use the various Rotaries and Buttons to have Pulsar’s LFOs applied to various aspects of the Stereo Imagers (X-Over Frequency on Button 1 and Width on Button 2) and Reverbs (Master Volume on Button 4). Note that Rotary 1 adjusts the Cross-over frequency manually when not using the Auto-Wah on Button 1. The same goes for the Reverb Master Volume adjustment on Rotary 4. Because of this, when you turn off Button 1 or Button 4, the parameters of each device go back to 0 (Middle) for the X-Over Frequency, or 64 (Middle) for Reverb Dry/Wet; regardless of where the Rotaries are set – simply readjust the rotaries to get these two parameters back where you want after turning off Button 1 or Button 4. There’s also a Tremolo adjustment on Button 3, with its adjustable Rate setting on Rotary 3.

Pulsating Scream is a bit of a monstrosity and was probably the most challenging effect to set up. It uses some Pulsars to modulate the Damage Type, P2 parameter, and the Scream’s “Auto” parameter in the “Body” section. All of this can be turned on and off, and modulated to create some really crazy gated distortion or some very subtle chorus-like effects (for example, load the effect and turn off Button 1 & 2 — hear what I mean)?

One minor quirk with this Scream effect should be noted: Button 3 switches between the Feedback and Modulation algorithms in Scream’s damage section. However, if you automate the Damage Type (using Button 2), when you then go to turn off this automation, the Damage Type will always reset to “Feedback,” even if Button 3 is telling you the algorithm should be set to “Modulation” — simply press Button 3 two times and you’ll get back to the “Modulation” algorithm. Yes, I know there’s definitely a way to jury-rig this button to work more logically, but I was getting a little tired towards the end of developing that patch and I just didn’t have the mental energy nor dexterity to rework it. Either way, I think it’s a minor inconvenience. This patch is still my favorite out of all the effects patches.

  • Pulsator Tremolo & Pan

This is a combo effect patch that allows you to adjust both the Tremolo of any incoming signal, as well as the Panning of that incoming signal in the stereo field. You can combine the Tremolo with the original signal (Button 1), and adjust how much Panning and Tremolo is used to affect the audio. This is probably a close second on my list of favorite effects in this pack. The nice thing about it is how you can shape the combination of both Tremolo and Pan together.

  • Simple EQ Wah

There is a Wah effect that I built for the Pulsar which is included in the stock patches, however, it uses a Thor to do some CV trickery. So I developed its little brother here, which essentially does the same thing, but can be used by Essentials users. It’s a very simple concept. It uses the Pulsar LFOs to create both a boost and a cut in the EQ frequencies of the M Class Equalizer, and then make that boost and cut travel along the EQ’s frequencies. It produces a basic Wah sound. Use the various parameters in the Combinator to achieve a plethora of Wah-type wobbly sounds for your audio.

So that’s what you’ll find included in the free Pulsar Essentials Pack. If you have any ideas for additional patches, let me know and I’ll be happy to try to come up with new ones and include them here. Also let me know if you have any questions, or what you think of the patches in general. All my best for now, and happy Reasoning (essentially, that is).

Bernard Childcare Trust

It’s wonderful to be a part of something that truly makes a difference in our little music community, and I was lucky enough to contribute to a ReFill that helps out a true legend in the Reason world, James Bernard. The Bernard Childcare Trust is a ReFill where the proceeds go directly to helping out the 4 Bernard children. The family suffered a tragic loss in July 2011, when Nicole Bernard, wife to James and mother to the children, passed away. Please help out by purchasing this ReFill.

It’s wonderful to be a part of something that truly makes a difference in our little music community, and I was lucky enough to contribute to a ReFill that helps out a true legend in the Reason world, James Bernard.

A ReFill with a purpose!Those of you who know the story already realize that he recently had a tragedy in his life and the lives of his four children. His wife passed away in 2011. So a group of us got together and produced a ReFill for Reason labeled the Bernard Childcare Trust. Ben from 3rdFloorSound headed the project and a group of very respected and talented sound designers jumped in to contribute their sound and FX patches.

All proceeds from the sale of this ReFill will go towards a fund for the Bernard children, and I can’t think of any better cause than this. So if you want to contribute and add a few new and interesting patches to your library, I would encourage you to take a look at the page, and purchase the ReFill. It’s not going to break your bank, but it will most definitely make a difference.

Now for the DVD extras:

First, here’s the demo song I put together for the ReFill: Bernard-Childcare-Trust-Demo. You’ll need to have the ReFill on your computer in order to use the file, but if you do, you have access to the Full Reason song file (.reason). Feel free to remix it or play around with it. And let me know if you create something interesting from it. Everything except the drums were from the Bernard Childcare Trust ReFill. Cheers!

You can listen, comment, and download the demo song (.wav file format) from SoundCloud here:

JBCCT by Phi Sequence

Also, here are two videos showcasing a demo I put together for the sounds you’ll find under my section of the ReFill (Phi Sequence folder).

And here’s a brief rundown of what you will find in my section of the Refill:


The following 3 Pads were in part created while I was watching the service for Nicole Bernard streamed over the internet. As you can imagine, it was a very moving experience. So the sounds are deep and very rich. I hope that came across in these patches.

  • A Homage to Hope & Expectation
  • A Homage to Peace
  • A Homage to Rest

The following were two ideas I was developing for the FSB6 ReFill. One is a very common Reese Bass idea I had after watching a few videos on creating Reese Basses on the internet. The second was a typical glitch-induced mayhem patch (those who know me, know I love chaotic and mangled sounds – I think this one falls into that category).

  • Reese Bass (Run)
  • Robot 303


The following patches are two other Pad ideas I had, along the same lines as the 3 Combinator pads.

  • Oblong Starstreak
  • There IS Celebration Here

The following patches are some Synth ideas. Some Leads which were developed specifically for this ReFill. Dark Blue Smear is a cross between an organ and an Oboe sound. Blue Yearnings is a wobbly lead. Buzzer Lead is exactly that. Sounds like it buzzes at a very fast rate. Synthetic Shine is a higher pitched ethereal synth sound. And Trance Symphony is more of a Trance lead line.

  • Dark Blue Smear
  • Blue Yearnings
  • Buzzer Lead
  • Synthetic Shine
  • Trance Symphony

The following two were underdeveloped ideas for the FSB 6 project. From Cowbell to Champagne Glass is a drum / bell sound that hopefully can recreate something close to both sounds, and a few things in between. Use the Rotaries, buttons, and Mod Wheel to change the shape of the sound, and add it into your projects as a synth triggered by a Redrum or Kong (to add inside your drum kits, if you like). Make Em Dance James is a bouncy Synth patch that I put together which uses the Step Sequencer in Thor. I figured that there were enough rich deep sombre sounds in this ReFill, that I had to put something in that gives an upbeat emotion. There’s only so much Beethoven one can listen to after all (not that I’m comparing my abilities to that of Beethoven whatsoever). I just felt that there should be a few patches in here which are more uplifting. Hopefully this one fits that category.

  • From Cowbell to Champagne Glass
  • Make Em Dance James

This last Thor patch is just a fun little texture where I got Thor to mouth the words “Yadda Yadda Yadda” — made me smile, so I included it here.

  • Yadda Yadda Yadda


The Frog Bass is a throaty Bass-like sound, which could also be used as a Texture. Muck Rain is one of my favorite Textures, simply because it sounds like you’re in the middle of a swamp. And Tin Can Whistle is a very simple sound that can be used as a one-shot triggered for some added percussive sound. It’s kind of like a Digeridoo meets a downward ramping bomb being dropped. Hard to explain properly, but give it a whirl and see what you think.

  • Frog Bass
  • Muck Rain Texture
  • Tin Can Whistle

These two are just too hard for me to categorize. They’re more Textures than Synths. Space Murk is a fun one to play with. It reminded me of a space symphony sound.

  • Rough Tension
  • Space Murk


These two Chip Tune patches were derivatives of the Chip Tune Emulators I put together for the FSB 6 ReFill

  • ChippyTune Fun 1
  • ChippyTune Fun 2

The FM Enveloper patch is a Subtractor Arp that is probably one of my favorites in the ReFill. You can hear it used in the Demo song I put together for this ReFill.

  • FM Envelopers

The First Flight patch is a cross between a Synth and a Bass. It uses some noise to create what I thought sounded like an engine in flight. And finally, Revy Bass is a really nice sounding Bass that was put together with a lot of love and care. You can hear this bass in theDemo song I put together for this ReFill

  • Revy Bass
  • First Flight

For more details, and to purchase the ReFill, go here: http://www.3rdfloorsound.com/bernard-childcare-trust.html

Thanks go out to all those who purchase this ReFill, and to all my friends and fellow sound construction architects. This is what makes it such a blessing to be part of the Reason & Music communities. I can’t think of another place I’d rather hang my hat.

All my best,


EditEd4TV’s 88MPH ReFill

Anyone using Reason should already be sufficiently versed in the work that Ed Bauman has done. If not, then this is the perfect time to get acquainted. Simply put, he’s one of the gurus. And he has recently released a ReFill for version 4 and up, titled “88MPH Vol. 1” (a new volume 2 will be available late 2011 and volume 3 available early 2012). This ReFill packs in 51 Combinators of 80’s sounds; sounds which he used to recreate with utter realism some of the best hits of the 80’s. From Prince’s “1999” to Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” he is the man who can’t get his perfect recreations (“Re-Covers,” to use a term he coined) posted on YouTube because the video service can’t recognize his tunes from the original. That’s just how good he is!

Ed “EditEd4TV” Bauman’s 88MPH Vol.1 ReFill
Available now at: http://baumanproductions.com/88mph.html

Anyone using Reason should already be sufficiently versed in the work that Ed Bauman has done. If not, then this is the perfect time to get acquainted. Simply put, he’s one of the gurus. And he has recently released a ReFill for version 4 and up, titled 88MPH Vol. 1 (a new volume 2 will be available late 2011 and volume 3 available early 2012). This ReFill packs in 51 Combinators of 80’s sounds; sounds which he used to recreate with utter realism some of the best hits of the 80’s. From Prince’s “1999” to Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” he is the man who gets grief from YouTube because his perfect recreations (“Re-Covers,” to use a term he coined) fool the video service into thinking they are the original. That’s just how good he is!

So here, I’m going to take a quick look at his ReFill, and also post a demo video I created using the ReFill. I would highly recommend if you are into the sounds coming out of the 80’s or if you want to learn a little more about how to program those sounds, that you pick up this ReFill. It won’t disappoint you.

Ed was also gracious enough to allow me to provide a free Combinator from the ReFill. Since Blondie’s Heart of Glass has always been a great disco classic near and dear to my heart, I thought I would provide one of the sounds taken from that song. You can download the Combinator patch file here: E4TV_Bland E Herd a Class Pulsing Synth. Thank you Ed!

Ed's 88MPH Vol 1 Free Combinator Synth Patch
Ed’s 88MPH Vol 1 Free Combinator Synth Patch

First, here’s what Ed posted about his ReFill:

These are all Combinators with all 4 Combinator knobs and buttons mapped to various parameters. Usually Combinator knob 4 is mapped to volume for convenient live use. The remaining knobs and buttons control anything from filter frequency to reverb amount, reverb time, chorus speed, octave settings, and more. Pitch wheel and mod wheel are mapped as well. About 90% of the ReFill is custom Thor and Subtractor patches, with the remaining 10% made up of NN-XT patches which rely on the Orkester and Factory Soundbank for samples.

Each and every patch has enormous potential, from the default load-in setting to drastic changes when you alter the programmed parameters… try low octave power drones, and for patches with delay try playing staccato notes in tempo, move the pitch wheel and mod wheel, etc. When you load in a new patch, about 80% of the time all the knobs are at either 0%, 50%, or 100%. At first load-in you’ll find the patch to be exactly as I used it in my ReCover, so you can simply deviate from there.

This ReFill is a collection of 51 Combinator patches only; sequencer content is NOT provided. Requires Reason version 4.0 or higher due to extensive use of Combinator and Thor devices. There is not a VSTi version available and it will not natively work with any DAW (though you can of course use ReWire with your DAW of choice in conjunction with Reason/Record): this is a Reason/Record product only.

So the basic idea is that Ed provides you with all the sounds from the original songs, but not the sequencer information. Which means that we can bring the flavor of the 80’s into today’s music, and create our own tracks with them. I did that here:

Here’s a video that Ed put together to promote the ReFill:

And here’s the little demo I put together to showcase a few sounds from Ed’s Refill. Remember that this is just a taste of his refill. Ed is a meticulous programmer, and each Combinator is worth its weight in gold if you ask me. So please support his work:

I hope this gives you a good idea of what’s included in the ReFill and what can be done with these sounds. And might I suggest also having a look at his “Reasonable Help 2010” ReFill, in which you get 50 patches that help teach you how to design sounds and develop better patches.  It’s a great tool for the medium or advanced level Reason user. I wrote a review of that ReFill back in January 2010.

A huge thanks to Ed for putting this package together. You truly are an inspiration to all of us Reason users. Please keep doing what you’re doing my friend. You can purchase Ed’s 88MPH Vol.1 ReFill here:  http://baumanproductions.com/88mph.html

Organizing your Files

I would diverge a bit and talk about a subject that everyone needs to understand: organizing your files. Hopefully this will shed a little light on how Reason files operate, and at the same time provide some ideas with a safe method of organization.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how to best organize Reason and Record refills and files and such, so I thought I would diverge a bit and talk about this, since it’s important for everyone. It’s also tied closely with another subject: how does Reason handle files. In my opinion, everyone needs to have a basic understanding of this subject, as understanding this will help you put together a foolproof file structure on your hard drive or external drive. In the process, I’ll provide my own method for file organization, which I think has some pretty good benefits.

First and Foremost: How the heck do these files work?

First, what must be understood is the idea that samples in Reason and Record are not automatically part of the song files. Note that wav files loaded into a track in Record is a different story. Any wav files loaded on their own channels are saved along with the song. When it comes to samples, the only thing saved with the song file is a link to the sample location. This means that each time a sample is loaded into a song, the location and name of the sample is noted and stored. When the song is saved, the sample’s file name and location are saved along with the song. When the song is reopened, the program performs a check to see that all the saved sample links are still valid. If not, you get a warning telling you that the sample is missing. UH OH. Now you’re in trouble.

But what causes a sample to go missing. If you’ve understood the above paragraph, it’s not a great leap to figure out that if you change the sample’s location or file name (or both), Reason’s sample check will fail. So why am I telling you this? Because once you understand how samples are treated in Reason, you’ll understand how best to organize them. Knowledge is power after all.

Second, we must also understand the difference between a sample and a patch. A sample is a .wav or .aiff file which can be loaded into any of Reason’s sample players (the NN19, NN-XT, Redrum, Kong, or Dr. Rex). A patch is completely different. Patches do not rely on any outside files, and instead are built wholly inside Reason. This means that you can rename and relocate patches anywhere you like. They will still load fine within Reason or Record. Patches can be loaded into any of Reason’s Synthesizers (Subtractor, Malstrom, and Thor), as well as the advanced FX devices (Scream and the RV7000).

A special case exists with the Combinator, NN19, NN-XT, Redrum, and possibly Kong, which can make things a little confusing. All three of these devices can load both samples and patches. While the Combinator does not have the ability to load a sample per se, it can contain instruments which do load samples, therefore it has the possibility of containing samples. The NN19, NN-XT, and Redrum can all load both samples and patches (Kits = Patches in the case of Redrum). Lastly, if you use the NurseRex or Nano-XT in Kong, you’ll realize that Kong can also hold samples. Point is this: if you have a sample contained inside a Reason device, be it Kong, Combinator or NN-XT, etc. then you’ll have to be extra careful to ensure that those samples are not changed. No renaming, and no moving around from folder to folder. If you change sample file names or move them to another folder, the link is broken and you get the dreaded “Sample not found” dialog.

Truth be told, moving them from folder to folder is really not a huge issue if you follow my advice for file organization below (in other words, if you keep all the Samples in a single parent folder — create as many subfolders under this as you like, and move the samples around freely under this main parent folder). The more dangerous culprit is renaming the sample file, as this will make it almost impossible to find later, especially if you have thousands of samples on your hard drive or if you do some massive renaming of a bunch of sample files. Just don’t do it. Force yourself to think of a naming convention that makes sense to you (and it doesn’t hurt to make it somewhat logical in the event you’ll be collaborating with others).

Note also that if you trade files between others that don’t have your samples or the same refills you do, you’ll also get the dreaded “File not found” message. In this case there are two easy solutions: 1. If the samples are your own creations, self-contain the song (from the file menu) and send the song to your colleague. When the song is opened on the other end, all the samples are contained and will open up properly. 2. If you are using samples from a refill which your colleague does not have, tell your colleague to download the refill if it’s free or pay for it if it’s commercial. Problem solved.

In conclusion, you have to simply be cognizant of the fact that if samples are used anywhere in your Reason devices, Reason is only storing a link to those samples. Now let’s look at things from the other side of the coin. Let’s see how we can best optimize the samples and other Reason files so that we never lose any samples, songs or other files ever again.

The Simple File Organization Method for Reason or Record

One of the simplest solutions to file organization is to create a directory outside the “C:\Program Files\Reason” directory entirely (I put mine under the C:\ drive directly and I call it “Reason” for lack of a better term — call this folder anything that makes sense to you like “Audio” or “AudioWork” but I would stay away from “Music” because Windows creates a “My Music” folder automatically — looking back I probably would have chosen a name other than “Reason” so as not to confuse it with the Reason directory under the Program Files on my hard drive, but I’ve never been tripped up by this).

Then under this folder I created the following sub-folders:

  • Main Refills (where I place all 3rd party refills)
  • Working Refill (where I place my own patches for my own refill development)
  • Samples (Where I place all my sample wav or aiff files)
  • Songs (all .rns, .rps, and .record files go here)
  • Output (all .wav or .mp3 output goes here)
  • Miscellaneous (files others provide me, documentation, charts, etc)
  • Scratchpad (any stupid experiments or playful fun stuff goes here – usually in .rns or .record file format).

You can create any number of sub-folders under the above folders as you wish. The idea though, is to keep the samples in their own folder and keep some basic top level organization.

I personally have the whole above “Reason” folder backed up on 2 different hard drives and I do a DVD backup twice a year. This takes care of ensuring I sleep like a baby each and every night, and even if my computer explodes or gets accidentally hurled off the balcony after receiving that final blue screen of death straw during the best jam session I’ve had in a decade, it’s unlikely all 3 hard drives will crash at the same time. And even if they do, I have everything stored on hard media (DVD). At the absolute very least, and if you only do one of the above, back up your stuff onto a DVD! Hard Drives fail. DVDs seldom do. But even with that recommendation, I still would highly suggest in backing it up in at least 2 other places above and beyond your main computer (a secondary hard drive and DVD).

Some of the benefits of the above organizational approach:

  1. Easy to find what you want quickly
  2. You can always uninstall/install reason without ever worrying you’ll overwrite something or having to move something outside the main reason folder every time you uninstall/install
  3. Saving all my scratchpad stuff in .rns or .record format means that I can go directly into windows explorer and double-click on the file to open the Reason or Record program with my song loaded in one shot, which saves time.
  4. Separating the output (.wav) from the songs (.rns or .record) means that I can organize my output in whatever way I want without touching the main song files — which is nice when trying out different track listings. Note that all the output files are further organized into sub-folders for different full CDs or genre, etc. Whatever works for you.
  5. Keeping all the samples in one folder means that you’ll never lose the samples or the link to the sample from a song. You could also subgroup samples underneath in sub-folders based on sample type: drums, nature sounds, urban sounds, etc. As long as they stay in this folder, you can subgroup them any way you like and you can even change the samples from one location to another under this folder — if the song ends up losing the connection with the sample, just point to the “Samples” folder, and let Reason/Record find the samples for you. Since they will always be in this folder. Only thing you can’t do is rename a sample. That’s always unwise.
  6. Finally, this type of system means I have one folder to backup. Not a bunch of folders and files all over the place on my hard drive.

I know some people advocate the opposite approach of saving everything related to a song in a single folder and creating separate folders for each song. But this approach means you end up with several copies of the same samples and patches all over the place, and I think it can become a mess very quickly. Also, with the “self-contained” settings in Reason and Record, the program can do this for you on the fly.

Here’s another idea if you really want to keep all the patch and sample files with your songs. Try using the “favorites” feature in the Reason song browser to create a “favorite list” for each song you create. This way you have all the files and patches for each song stored in a favorites list. And you can duplicate patch listings in multiple favorite lists without duplicating the patches themselves.

The other added benefit is that it can help you when you’re looking for a specific patch from a specific song. You don’t need to open up the song file. Instead, open the song browser, click on the “favorite list” for the song that contains the patch, and there it is.

Building a Refill: How do I organize that?

Well you’re on your own for that one jack. Mainly because I’m way too tired from writing this long post. But here is an example on how I would probably try setting things up. Usually I create several folders for each instrument or device at the top level, then the sub-folder would contain the various instruments. If I don’t have any patches for a specific instrument, I omit that folder entirely (no need to have an empty folder). Here’s an example:

  • Instrument Device (for instance, Thor)
    • Bass
      • Acoustic
      • Synth
    • Bells & Mallets
    • Drums
      • Kits
      • Hits
        • Bass Drum
        • Snare
        • Toms
        • Rimshots
        • Assorted
    • Horns & Woodwinds
      • Sax
      • Oboe
      • Flute
    • Pads
      • Upbeat
      • Downbeat
      • Neutral
    • Piano
    • Strings
      • Guitar
      • Violin
    • Synths
      • Mono
      • Polyphonic

For the FX devices, I usually just list the device at the top level, and put all the patches directly under that folder. If it gets out of hand though, I might try separating even that into sub-folders based on sound types. For example, you could set up the RV7000 as according to it’s algorithms (Room, Arena, Spring, Echo, etc.). Or you could set up the Scream according to its damage types (Tape, Tube, Fuzz, etc.)

For Rex loops, I would probably list them based on purpose and then Tempo. For example:

  • Dr.OctoRex Loops
    • Drum Loops
      • 90 BPM
      • 100 BPM
      • 110 BPM
      • 120 BPM
    • Music Loops
      • 90 BPM
      • 100 BPM
    • Experimental Loops
      • 90 BPM
      • 100 BPM
    • Assorted Loops
      • 100 BPM
      • 110 BPM

In conclusion, when you’re dealing with file structures on your hard drive the idea is to make it as easy as possible for you to find what you’re looking for. When creating file structures for refills, the idea is to make it as easy as possible for the end user.

As an update, Vitor posted the following on EditEd4TV’s forum in this post. I wanted to reprint this, because it’s also good advice:

I already do what you say, I just don’t agree with the use of optical media to store backups. It’s slow and it’s destined to fail in less than 10 years, even if you store it carefully. And a 1TB HDD costs 50-60 bucks, how much would it cost to get that on DVDs? That’s almost 250 DVDs.

I prefer to keep buying new and bigger HDDs and keep rotating the old drives to become OS drives (my OS HDDs and work HDDs are distinct). Right now I have 320GB and 500GB for OS duties and 2x1TB for work and backups. Next year, I’ll just reassign the oldest 1TB to OS duties and buy a new HDD to become a new backup drive.
I also use an external USB 2.5 250GB to store the most important stuff and keep it in a different location.

Just don’t forget that you should not trust a new HDD, at least not until a week has passed and you’ve been able to test it all. Sometimes they fail on the first week. Remember this to prevent disaster.

I hope some of this helps to demystify how files work in Reason and Record, and provides a helpful and simple approach to file organization on your computer. If you have any other advice in this area, please don’t hesitate to share it with us.