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Generative music using Reason and modular synthesizers part 2

Generative music using Reason and modular synthesizers part 2

In this article about Generative music, I will mainly look at the step sequencer of Thor and what you could do pretty fast to get something going. If you think simple you will realize pretty fast that the step sequencer of Thor comes with a setting called random playback on the step sequencer itself. The issue that sometimes comes back to me, random playback is defined by a random seed value and based on this value it will play the sequencer in a random state. Now sure, this might be really your thing to do, or sometimes it may not. Overall the random features come with lack of control over what is really happening. This type of composition is usually a combination of having something random, based on logical terms (OR, AND, IF, XOR etc) to make changes in the music based on those logical operators. While reason by default (without Rack Extensions that is) is not the best environment it work. However, you can get pretty with just a few limitations you will be having. So that is what we'll be doing today, throwing in different ideas with having the limitations we have and try to create generative music.

one year ago
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A Serial effect chain with switches

A Serial effect chain with switches

Welcome back to another article about setting up creative effect in a modular way. While back in the days of Reason 4 or Reason 5 this idea was my favorite thing to do in Propellerhead Reason. While since recently I picked up a Launchpad Pro I am using this technique more then ever. The problem with Rack Extensions is that they can result in to CPU issues (especially if you use more then 64 of them). This lead me to go back to the way reason kind of started and build my own custom effect chains from the ground up again (because they are way more CPU friendly to begin with). While native stock devices will sound a bit more direct and straight forward (to throw in one example the DDL-digital delay vs the Echo) it sometimes requires a bit more tweaking to make certain effects sound interesting enough. Sure it may require more units to make it work, but again from a CPU perspective they are still more friendly.

2017-09-24
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Modular synth with subtractive synthesis

Modular synth with subtractive synthesis

Welcome back to a quick article about a modular synthesizer setup. While I have been working with different concepts and ideas regarding building different styles of modular synths there is one combination I never have dreamed about doing: A Modular build with subtractive synthesis. While in theory it is quite similar as previous build I did regarding using Thor. You can for instance read in my previous concept about setting up a Thor build based on that idea (linked up in the related section at the bottom of this article). I also did similar builds using the NN-XT because it can have its unique options regarding to filters. However, for some reason I never had this idea to do it with a subtractor. And to be honest, it can be quite cool to do it.

2017-09-18
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The malstrom as a filter

The malstrom as a filter

In this Propellerhead Reason tutorial we'll be looking at using the Malstrom Graintable Synthesizer as a Filter unit for the Reason Rack. While you either use Thor in such a way there are still plenty of reasons why the malstrom is my favorite choice in certain situations. The limitation on this synthesizer however is that it has the Low Pass Filter 12 dB per octave, the Band Pass Filter, the Comb filters and an additional AM filter. While if you compare this with Thor the Polysonic synthesizer this beast case with an additional Low Pass Ladder Filter, the Notch filter, Peak Filter and the additional Formant Filter.

2017-09-16
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A modular build with Thor

A modular build with Thor

Welcome back to an idea I had in my mind to do for a very long time. I did something similar while making a 4-Operator FM synthesizer in Reason. While that concept was never finished (because it was way to time consuming to set it up). Also because it had bad reception on the PUF back then, I decided to ditch the whole idea on creating a polyphonic 4-Operator FM synth. While last week there was this additional spark again to create a different set up. And this set up was initialized by the idea on the Xpander build I did last week. The Xpander synthesizer was based on 6 oscillators and where every oscillator has their own position on the Notch Filter.

2017-09-09
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Make a modular synth in Reason

Make a modular synth in Reason

Thor can be used as an effect unit, while at the same time this device can be a fundamental building block in to creating a true Modular synthesizer. The only thing we need to understand is how a modular synthesizer is build, how it works and how we can create one from the ground up again to make something custom and unique at the same time. Yep, it is Monday and today it is time to geek out with Propellerhead Reason!

2017-09-04
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Creative Delay effects

Creative Delay effects

Welcome to another tutorial about Propellerhead Reason. Today I will dive in to setting up a wide range of different creative effects using Digital Delays or using Digital Delays in combination with different utilities that come as stock devices. While there are rack extensions that do something similar, the idea with these creative setups is to show case what some crafty wiring can do for you while setting up an effect chain. It is more or less a combination of thinking inside the box, while thinking outside the box more or less. So if you have the proper mindset to be creative, and you are up for the challenge, then maybe these type of articles can be useful. If you think it is a waste of your time (because it is too much work), then just don't bother reading any further and just VST your way using effects in Reason.

2017-09-02
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Matrix toolbox combinator part 3

Matrix toolbox combinator part 3

Welcome to another follow up reason tutorial on the series about the Matrix Toolbox I have been setting up inside Propellerhead Reason. Today it will be somewhat similar as the previous toolbox. The major difference here is that I wanted to have a toolbox series that allow different sets of control to manipulate the CV output. In this case I am using a set up where all 4 matrix pattern step sequencers are using for one single CV output. The matrix curves are merged together in 2 by 2 pairs. The curves can be balanced (like a mix knob if you will) to go from one set to another control voltage set. The result, a flexible method to manipulate CV while being in full control on what is happening with their outputs.

2017-08-28
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Matrix toolbox combinator part 2

Matrix toolbox combinator part 2

In my previous Propellerhead Reason tutorial I mainly wrote down the basics about the matrix pattern step sequencer and its default usages. While I ended up with a concept and design for setting up more complicated Control Voltage toolbox. In this article I am going to partially continue with the idea I ended with but expand it with the exact feature I wanted to build. The whole idea I wanted to head towards is to have different matrix patterns based on toggle buttons to toggle back and forth between different patterns and different presets while making gradual adjustments. The case and point is, a patter inside the matrix pattern step sequencer is always going to be the same exact pattern repeating the exact same cycle.

2017-08-24
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Matrix combinator toolbox

Matrix combinator toolbox

In this propellerhead reason tutorial I will mainly look at one device in particular: the Matrix Step sequencer. While by default the matrix is used as a step sequencer. This device is still used in my production as my go to Control Voltage device. Today I want to share a single combinator which contains four different matrix patterns step sequencers using up to 8 slots each. The whole idea here is that it could be used as 4 different outputs to control 4 different inputs. Let me divide this article up in to a few different segments. For those who are new to this DAW might learn a few things here. Others might want to skip the first few segments though in case you already know what this device is doing.

2017-08-23
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Matrix pattern sequencer in Reason

Matrix pattern sequencer in Reason

Welcome back to another reason tutorial. I have been writing down multiple articles where the Matrix Pattern Sequencer has been applied. I never wrote down a complete article dedicated to this simple, yet effective machine. Since the Matrix is quite versatile as a device. What makes it even cooler is that matrix has been here since the first versions of Reason. Till this day, the pattern step sequencer still is quite useful. By default the Matrix pattern step sequencer is used to make monophonic lines.

2016-10-12
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Matrix pattern advanced usages

Matrix pattern advanced usages

Welcome back to another tutorial about Reason. In this Reason tutorial I will write some more advanced and irregular usage while using the Matrix Pattern step sequencer. In its default state the Matrix is a nice and clean device to set up monophonic lines rather fast. You can read more about this in an article I posted 4 days ago here: Matrix pattern step sequencer in Reason While the Matrix feels like underestimated, it can be used for all kinds of Control voltage toolbox set ups. In this article I ...

2016-10-12
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