In this article series about essential LFO tricks in Propellerhead Reason we will be looking at different ways to use Low Frequency Oscillators to control different settings in stock device. In our previous articles we mainly have been looking at the Subtractor synthesizer. Later we'll go more in depth using the malstrom graintable synthesizer and thor the polysonic synthesizer. In theory it is a basic pattern or oscillator that repeats the same cycle. You can use these to control different settings with in the synthesizer itself. At some point these settings are limited to the connection they internally have. If you use a Combinator in Reason you can modulate different parameters with different low frequency oscillators while doing so. In this article we'll try to shed some light on the latter.
Subtractor and the RPG-8 Arpeggiator
Arpeggiators are cool utilities to create automatic note sequences while playing a few single notes or chords. The only problem here is that it usually ends up playing a stiff sounding sequence. Especially with the default method of the RPG is handled by default. The problem here is that the notes will always play the same notes in strength and length. This is what it usually makes it feels like a 'stiff' sequence. With Propellerhead Reason 9 they tried to sort out this issue with the player Dual Arpeggiator. For nostalgia feeling alone, I sometimes still use the RPG-8 arpeggiator, just because I am custom and aware on what is going to happen with it while pressing a few notes.The dual arp still feels a bit like a weird alien to me. But that is personal take, and being biased here. And i don't care if I am biased. Hence blog, hence a personal touch. I could write these texts as being a robot though with no personal attachment to these type of articles
To set up the basic connection using the Subtractor and an RPG-8 you could do the following:
Step 1. Create a combinator
Step 2. Create a Subtractor inside the combinator
Step 3. Create an RPG-8 inside the combinator (normally this should auto route the RPG to the subtractor)
Step 4. Check the connection of the RPG-8
This is the traditional way on how we would do things.
Step 5. Add an additional Subtractor inside the Combinator
Step 6. Set the LFO 1 to "drift' (last pattern in the LFO)
Step 7. Press Tab (view rear)
Step 8. Connect the LFO 1 from the second subtractor and stick this in to the velocity of the RPG-8
What will happen in theory is that the second subtractor in the chain will in this case just act as a Low Frequency Oscillator alone. The idea with this set up in particular is to make minor changes to the velocity while things progress over time. Only issue in this context is that the Control Voltage can (and most likely will) send out signal that are sometimes 0, or sometimes 127 (and some values in between). To have a bit more control on how much of the LFO needs to be send to the velocity you could either change the Velocty CV amount (the black knob next to the Velocity CV input). The only issue with those little knobs is that they can only set once, and never change. This is one of the reasons why I usually use Thor as a Scaler in between. And alternative route would be using Pulsar Dual LFO.
Written by hydlide