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Europa Expressionism Refill Progress

Published: 11 months ago

Hello there, and welcome to another happy mood article about Reason. While some people may see me as a grumpy cat, there are times when I am in a happy mood. The reason for this is the bug fix that was done for Europa and released with Reason 10.1. There were two crucial things inside of Europa which I saw a flawed synth mechanic (something I already posted in this article about my Europa Refill Project). Just to sum it up, for now, there was a velocity bug inside of both devices (which I reported) and a global envelope bug (which I encountered later, but did not report). These things were quite essential for me otherwise I would create patches that contained a flawed gizmo in them. To be honest, I wouldn't make patches for a synth that would be flawed by design. Therefore, I canceled the project (since there was no update since 5 months after I reported it). So now that the fix has been applied I can resume my Europa Refill project again.

And this was the first video I made about this announcement:

While poking later on the internet (read Facebook) I asked a simple question:

Facebook post asking a question

The results of this would be Europa because there aren't that many around (makes sense). I am personally surprised that no one mentioned Grain though in this Reason group. But ok, that is for a different story I guess. 

So with the excitement still there about Reason 10.1 fixing most of the issues of Europa in Reason 10.1 I started to write down my essential battle plan (I did something similar for Thors Hammer). While I had the idea to make a Refill for Free for Europa I already made about 184 patches in the progress of November, December and January. I barely touched this project as of late March (the FAWM came in between, so there is that). I basically skipped progress on this refill mainly because of the issues I had encountered.

The battle plan

While making preparations for yet another Refill project I do make plans before throwing stuff on the table. Mainly I look at stuff that has already been done, and fact checks what would make things special at this point. This is usually where I grab an Excel Spreadsheet (this guy does it in Libre Office, but I can't stand Microsoft products). And I write down basic tables on what has been done.

FSB 
Bass92
FX21
Melody63
Pads78
Percussion14
Plucked62
Poly92
Rhythmic50
Textures35
 507

This is basically everything that has been done inside the Factory Soundbank.  The majority of the FSB patches usually layout the idea of the sounds and how to make them move and such. Which makes sense in a way since you can capture the idea what might be possible. And it kind of shows that the modulation bus matrix has barely been touched in a lot of those setups since the majority of these patches (with the exception of FX/Textures) looks like this:

Europa Bass Patch

Now to just add, I am not going to complain about the idea that most patches are just about making sounds using the wavetables and such. I am just going to say it is a missed opportunity because Europa can do so much more. As I have also demonstrated in the video above I am planning to work my way to add expression in as many ways I can. Just because I have a feeling this has never been done before in a refill like it. So for me, it is about raising just another bar and throwing this online for free (because I don't care about money because I have a job that pays way better than making just a few patches for just a few people who download them and use them).

The initial idea I started with (while making this refill) I added almost a similar idea of using just the mod wheel. While later I realized you can do much more. The initial patches I have shared looked mostly like this:

Europa Bass Patch - Europa Refill Project

Now they look like this:

Europa Bass Patch - Refill Project

The main key ingredients I will be using for this Europa Refill will mainly contain the following:

- Make use of most of the wavetable slots as it 'adds' something to the sound itself.
- Velocity will do so much more than just changing a volume setting
- LFO yes
- Modwheel yes
- Aftertouch yes
- Sustain pedal (and make use of it in different directions) yes
- Expression pedal fucking yes (ow now I am actually going to swear in my post)
- Breath no

From this day, this list of features will be my standards for making an Hydlide Patch. And yes, I am making this a free refill. So you can go on some forum and blame me not for using Breath...

Why the FSB (most REs included) kind of feel weird

This kind of caught me thinking... why does the folder structure of most refills, factory sound banks, and Rack extensions kind of feel weird. If you think about the idea of "I want to have that sound, yet I do not want to go through 500 patches just to find it"... then you know why the folder structure always feels bad. Because if I want to find a Bass, the first thing I would have to look at is "bass folder". And you know how real musicians browse bases? They look it up by a character that fits in their song.

so. With that said, I will just drop another picture on my other standard on how I define a bass patch folder

Europa Basses folder

While this is still work in progress this idea may still change. But I think you get the picture with this. Since I am trying to define the different type of sounds so you can easily pick that flavor of "bass" rather than having to go through 92 bass patches to figure out which bass you might need. Propellerhead (and RE devs) if you are listening, please take notes. You might learn something here one day ;)

I could define different genres (like I did with Thor's Hammer and that massive Refill 2016). However, this one isn't going to be as big as both the previous ones. My aim here is targetting somewhere around 500 patches and basically call it a day when this refill is made. Also, the timetable is an important part since I am scheduling its release around 9 June 2018. And I have a reason for this specific date. So Hydlide... you have less than 30 days to complete this task. Good luck! ;)

Here is a video that I have posted after this weekend (14 may 2018)

I might update this post if things need to be updated.

Published on Reason Experts
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Published on Reason Experts
Published: 11 months ago
This article is tagged under the following tags:
Reason RackEuropaReason 10

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RandyEspoda
14 May 2018 

RandyEspoda

Lol, I too use exclusively LibreOffice, but with Zotero cause I simply need that. No MS here either, except the OS for music. Thunderbird, Mozilla, PDFelements, things like that. That structure is a huge benefit, a major drawback in the FSB. It's why I have a separate folder for things like kicks, all labeled as per their tuning. Anyway, good luck.

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