Mixing and Mastering
How to make use of send effects in Reason
Regarding mixing and mastering send effects will always play an important role in making a mix work. As I have mentioned in my other article about 5 mixing tips that usually work there are a few elements I have thrown in this list that can be used with send effects. Since we rely on volume, panning, eq, compression, and depth it is the latter which can the quite an essential part of using send effects. While some may see these type of busses as magic (since it is a matter of adding an effect and twist a knob) there is some bigger theory what defines a send effect and how to make use of it. In this article, I want to point out a few different ideas.
The Echo in Propellerhead Reason
The Echo and creative effects
While you are thinking about The Echo you most likely think "delays" right? Normally I would use the Echo just as a delay buy with a touch of magic on the delay itself. Since in theory, the Echo is like the big brother of the DDL-1 Digital Delay. It can do the exact same thing, but it can also be thrown in a creative direction while doing so. In this article, I would like to address a few tips and tricks regarding the Echo which might not be that obvious. While they are right in your face you may not have used the echo in this way more or less. I will skip the break out section in this article since I have also discussed that in a different one. So let's jump right into some, shall we?
Playing melodies around scales
Today's article is all related to Reason 9. Just because of the idea we are going to use players to make a song much faster (and it may also be an aiding tool later to know how to make a melody later). The reason why I am using players is simply that since Reason 9 I haven't really played any chords manually myself (as I am starting to realize this). One may argue that using players is like cheating to create music. When you understand the idea of making music than players in Reason 9 will make things a lot easier to get things done (without forgetting the whole theory behind it). You may have seen me bounding together a whole article about building chords last week. That is the theory behind it... today we'll be expanding on this to make melodies the easy way.
Mixing and Mastering
5 tips mixing tips that usually work
When it comes to mixing it may often be challenging from time to time to have the proper mix setup. There are all these books and all these different techniques that often explain the basics about how to mix and master your stuff. Every time there are little tricks that add that little extra's but if you think simple, mixing isn't that hard. If you think in terms of the Pareto Principle (where is based on the 80/20 rule) it means that doing 20% of what a mixer engineer could normally do would result into 80% of the results of it. Meaning the first 20% is the least effort yet have most of the effective results. Everything else could be done but requires more effort but has limited results
BV512 Vocoder in Reason
self vocoded signals
Welcome back to another article about the BV512 vocoder. In this case, I will mainly look at self-vocoded sounds and how you can make use of the BV512 vocoder to create a different type of artifacts even while using the original sound you were using. In a nutshell, the BV512 vocoder translates pushes the input sound into the additive realm more or less. With that in mind, we can (when needed) make a blend from subtractive towards additive synth while using the vocoder in this context. To be fairly honest here, the BV512 is not the perfect vocoder while applying this technique since it shows 'weird' artifacts in the FFT-mode inside this device. But from a reason build in device perspective, it is the only way to do this. And as long there are no real other Rack Extensions that implement a vocoder in this type of context we'll just have to keep using this device until one gets developed (I would personally love to get one that is a native Rack Extension device for sure). But ok, this is a personal preference anyway. And I know parsec can be set up as a vocoded type of setup, but it is not the same thing.
Layered plucked chord player
Welcome to another article about sound design using the Subtractor. As some of you may well know the subtractor still has a special place in my heart for many reasons. Because it is simplistic to use by looking at it. It has most of the important options to make a sound (while honest, it is not the best there are better options). And it is a synth to work fast with. In most cases, I am into layering my sounds using a combinator. Today I would like to throw in the process on how I have managed to create a chord builder using the Reason 9 players while using the subtractor. There are different things you can do with it, but I will just throw in the basics so you can expand on this after reading this through. The angle I am going for with this setup is to have a house classic type of plucked lead that could work well in any type of Electronic Dance music type of genre.
Sound Design Audio Effects
Noise making effect
In this article, I want to explain the thought process behind the following effect. Since I had a weird childhood a lot of my soundscapes are just plain weird. Sometimes I like to use these type of effects just to have something unpredictable going on while at the same time make it musical. A lot of these type of effect relies on using the audio and make the audio shape the sound in different directions (also known as Audio to CV). At the same time, I want to have some form of manual control on this. The manual control can often be done by using rotaries while doing so.
Chords for beginners
When it comes down to making music a lot of music artists will be using basic chord progressions. Chord progressions have been there for decades and there are complete 'theories' (music theory) that will shed some light on the subject of how it all works. In this article, I will make use of something that is called the circle of fifth from music theory to create basic chord progression based on triads. All of this will require knowledge about triads, major chords, minor chords and the circle of fifth.
So I will jump straight into this because there is a lot to cover.
Control Voltage Step Sequencer of Thor
In the following article, I would like to focus on one specific element that sits inside Thor the Polysonic Synthesizer. It will be the curve output from the step sequencer. While in practical usage the step sequencer is often used to play a sequence in a linear direction. A similar thing could be said for the Matrix Pattern Step Sequencer. Sometimes we just need a simple tool that allows a curve that can be stepped differently per note and sometimes we don't. There are all kinds of different options to make this work. For instance, we could use a velocity setting to act like a "hidden" cv controller (for instance using a Velocity to Filter to mimic the idea of a VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter)). In the next few paragraphs, I would like to use the curve from the Thor synthesizer to mimic this idea but have different things to control its output.
Thor the Polysonic synthesizer
Creating an FM growl bass with Thor
Thor the polysonic synthesizer is cool at times. Till this day I still revisit this device for many different reasons. While it is flexible to play around with different oscillator types. The most interesting part is playing around with the Thor Modulation Bus matrix. Since in theory, this section can almost modulate any setting inside the device itself. The major problem with the mod bus matrix is that there are so many connections possible it is hard to write them all just down in one article. There is one item I find really interesting (and you probably have read about it on this website in particular) and this is the Oscillator to FM.
DDL Digital Delay
Making your own custom reverb
This article is going to be a long stretch and a daring one I might say. If you think in terms of "room" and "size" the first thing you think of is an effect called a reverb. Since a reverb creates "space" right? While using a reverb is basically something everyone has used, tried to manipulate and so on. Let me say this: did you know that you can mimic a reverb with a bunch of delays in a sequence? While most people tend to overlook the idea, it is quite similar to a plain spring reverb. Since in theory, a spring reverb (technically) passes on the sound over a spring, and the spring starts to "move" (tremor) based on the sound. This causes the artifact of a repeating sound that slightly gets altered by the frequency of the spring itself. While there are plenty of ways to mimic this behavior I am going to throw in one simple idea that will reshape the sound in a different way. Just keep in mind while a sound is traveling in a towards a specific object the composition of that object will have an impact on what the result of the rebound sound will be like. Anyway, enough about the intro lets start making a unique type of effect that could be a unique type of reverb while doing so.
Malstrom Graintable synthesizer
Wavetable fun with the malstrom in Propellerhead Reason
Welcome back to another quick tip about Reason. In this article, I will be looking at the Malstrom Graintable. Just for the fun of it. When most people get asked the question about wavetables, the first option that usually comes to mind is Thor or these days Expanse. Others may prefer Europa or Grain. Without a doubt, Expanse is my preferred synth these days to do wavetable manipulation (just because it comes with sample loading). Sometimes I like to pick an odd synthesizer to do wavetable manipulation. The Malstrom fits into the category of odd synthesizers just because most people tend to avoid this green horror machine. The major problem with the Malstrom (at least from what I have heard of) is that it lacks a certain character, it has a thin metallic type of sound output and some have a hard time understanding the Malstrom in general. Once you start to understand what lies under the hood of this synthesizer it will make pretty much sense on how to make a sound work with the Malstrom itself. The only disadvantage with this 15-year-old synth is that it is a bit limited by the wavetables that the Malstrom houses. But still, you can do plenty of things with this device alone.