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Malstrom Graintable synthesizer

Wavetable fun with the malstrom in Propellerhead Reason

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.

12 months ago
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LFO and the Malstrom in Propellerhead Reason

LFO and the Malstrom in Propellerhead Reason

Welcome back to another article about LFO (or Low Frequency Oscillator in short). In the last few articles I mainly touched these settings using the Subtractor. While the Malstrom feels limited at times, one should never underestimate the flexibility of the Modulators (Mod A and Mod B). In theory the modulators are used to modulate different parameters inside this synthesizer itself. While in practice a lot of LFO patterns I designed back in the day was all based on the Malstrom Mod A and Mod B. The benefit behind this device in particular is that it has most of the interesting patterns to use and to manipulate. While other stock devices come with their Sine, Triangle, Saw, S/H (Sample and Hold) and Drift. Sure, these are nice. But sometimes you need something else. And the Malstrom Graintable Synthesizer is just what it is... something else.

 
2017-07-11
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Creating a synthetic tape string

Creating a synthetic tape string

If you think tape string you may think melotron. It is the first thing that comes to mind because the melotron was all about using tape recordings and throwing this in a synthesizer. Tape sounds usually have a character of warmth, yet also have a lot of movement due to the nature on how the tape can be speed up / slowed down. Using tape motion was later adapted in terms of creating chorus effect or flange effects. In theory a chorus / flange effect in the old school days would be produced by having 2 times the same tape rolling, but one would speed up / slow down over time. The amount of changes would determine later on if it would be a flange (low amount of changes) or a chorus effect (high amount of changes).

2017-06-10
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Best way to use Malstrom wavetables

Best way to use Malstrom wavetables

The malstrom graintable normally will play a sequence of different waves in a sequence. Every section with in the wave table is called a grain. And by default a wave table consists of 128 grains per wave table (in theory that is). Once you reset the Malstrom, the synthesizer will play the complete wave table in a sequence. Thus, this results in to a 'moving' type of song. Kind of like a similar thing that would happen if you would set an LFO against a wave table oscillator inside Thor.

2017-06-06
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Granular synthesis with the Malstrom

Granular synthesis with the Malstrom

While with the new Propellerhead Reason 9 update we have a new device called "Proton". While I find the granular synthesis method of the Proton device pretty awesome to play with, I still use the malstrom a lot of times when it comes to some unique sounding granular synthesis sound effects. Granular synthesis is a technique where a sound (or wave form) gets chopped up in to smaller sections (called grains). These grains are then played in a sequence defined by the granular synth itself.

2017-03-12
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AM filter in Reason

AM filter in Reason

The AM filter in Propellerhead Reason is found in the Malstrom Graintable Synthesizer. AM stands for Amplitude modulation and is also known as Ring Modulation. Amplitude Modulation is about changing the volume of one oscillator with another oscillator. While in the Malstrom this is a filter. And the filter is defined by a sine wave pattern. The frequency of the filter will define the rate of the sine wave pattern. While the Resonance will determine the amount of the amplitude modulation that takes place.

2017-03-09
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A full scale choir set up in Reason

A full scale choir set up in Reason

While I had a master plan to keep things organized with monthly topics, it already goes down the drain because I am coming up with tons of new ideas... So I'll just throw random topics up in the air. Todays setup is a Sound Design topic for Propellerhead Reason. I am layering different female voice set ups to create a very large sounding choir.

2016-10-12
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Malstrom Graintable 101 part 5

Malstrom Graintable 101 part 5

In the last few parts I have been talking about the wave tables in a musical context. At least, that is what most of them are, they either try to "emulate" some form of instrument, or try to synthesize it. I haven't been talking about the FX section, because this will also require a lot of knowledge about modulation. Also, keep note that this topic will be quite a bit longer then previous segments, since there is a lot to cover. So, wrap yourself in, because we are going warp speed! The

2016-10-12
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Malstrom Graintable 101 Part 4

Malstrom Graintable 101 Part 4

Here we go again... Malstrom Part 4 already. In the previous articles I wrote down the basic concepts on the different wave forms you have in the Malstrom: - Bass , Misc , Guitar - Synth There are still 3 segments I haven't been talking about yet: - FX - Wave - Wind In this post I would like to look at the Wind section before moving on to the FX. Since wind is an odd beast in the rest of all the wave forms. While wind sounds are captured sounds from "blowing" on stuff (whistle, .

2016-10-12
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Malstrom Graintable 101 Part 3

Malstrom Graintable 101 Part 3

Welcome back to another topic which I will just throw in the void. Like I have been mentioning in part 2 of this series is that I wanted to write down something about the "synth" section for the Malstrom. The main issue I have been encountering while writing stuff down about this segment is that it has a wide of different sounds in this segment. So there for just writing a line up like "this is how we brew out synth stuff from the malstrom" will not do it. Since these sounds are multi .

2016-10-12
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Malstrom Graintable 101 Part 2

Malstrom Graintable 101 Part 2

In this part of our Malstrom Series I would like to focus more on the elements that drive the sound: the oscillators. The thing with most oscillator types is that they are often very linear in use. Since you set the oscillator, you set the cent amount and your almost all set to drive the sound in a different direction while using Filters and such. The malstrom is an odd beast in this realm since it not only has an oscillator, but it also has different settings like the motion or the shift to drive the ...

2016-10-12
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Malstrom Graintable 101 Part 1

Malstrom Graintable 101 Part 1

While I have been doing a lot of different write ups, video tutorials about the Malstrom GrainTable Synthesizer there are always different techniques I barely discuss in my own tutorials since this is where stuff often gets too complicated for people to follow. Yet, at this point I feel like doing a Malstrom 101 series just to focus on the Green Goblin of Reason since it fits perfect in my production style. Also, the Malstrom is an underrated synthesizer in the Reason Rack. While if I have to take a ...

2016-10-12
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