Amateur needs help with Reason

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BYRN
Posts: 12
Joined: 19 Sep 2018

Post 19 Sep 2018

I just started using Reason 10 a few months ago and figured this forum would be the best place to seek help on some of the basics. Is anybody out there willing to answer any general questions for me?
Last edited by BYRN on 20 Sep 2018, edited 1 time in total.
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Timmy Crowne
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Location: California, United States

Post 20 Sep 2018

Welcome to Reason and welcome to the forum! Since you’re starting off, it’s possible you can find answers to some of your questions by searching past threads or checking the stickies at the top of each subcategory. The manual is also worth reading if you haven’t yet. That said, a lot of us here are willing to help. So if you don’t see what you’re looking for, feel free to ask away!

BYRN
Posts: 12
Joined: 19 Sep 2018

Post 20 Sep 2018

Thanks Timmy. I will check it out. I've had experience with a handful of DAWs so I do have most of the basics down, but I need help with things such as:
1. Using compressors
2. Using the combinator
3. Using samples and loops
4. Noise sweeps
5. Adding fx properly
6. Track panning
7. How to master properly
8. Basic tricks of the trade for better sounds

I've produced dozens of songs over the last few years, some of which came out decent, but I don't have the money to go to school and was hoping to learn from peers. I will search the forums and user manual to see what help I can find there. Other than that, I'll hang around the forum and pick peoples brains. Thanks for the response Timmy.
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artotaku
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Location: Munich, Germany

Post 20 Sep 2018

BYRN wrote:
20 Sep 2018
4. Noise sweeps
First, this is no different as in other DAWs. You get the quickest result by using a sample library with specific noise sweeps and just dragging the samples as an audio clip onto an audio channel. I often timestretch and resize the audio clip so it fits perfectly as a transition sound at the end of a bar.
I often use the built-in EQ of the audio channel to remove any low end and add reverb and delay from the send fx. You can also edit the volume fade-in fade-out curve of the audio clip to get a crescendo.

Second, if you want to build your own sweeps you would just choose a synth instrument e. g. Thor and modulate its noise generator. The modulation can be done either by automation (as you know from other DAWs), by any other internal source from the synth (via modulation matrix) or from the outside via CV signal (which is rather specific to Reason and more advanced concept).

Of course, either way you do it you can add more and more FX devices as insert FX to further sculpt the sound of the sweeps.

BYRN
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Joined: 19 Sep 2018

Post 20 Sep 2018

Awesome, thanks Artotako, I definitely enjoy creating them myself as opposed to using a sample. (Although I'm sure tons of people use samples, it's not like you can tell the difference.) Sorry if this is a stupid question, but where do I find the noise generator on thor?
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aeox
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Post 20 Sep 2018

Welcome!

I'm in no position to be offering any technical/musical advice but, I just want to say that you will find a lot of useful information around on the forum! Especially if you actively keep up to date on all posts. I've learned so much from here!
whoahh

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artotaku
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Post 20 Sep 2018

BYRN wrote:
20 Sep 2018
Awesome, thanks Artotako, I definitely enjoy creating them myself as opposed to using a sample. (Although I'm sure tons of people use samples, it's not like you can tell the difference.) Sorry if this is a stupid question, but where do I find the noise generator on thor?
Thor has three oscillators. For each you can select an oscillator type (arrow down in left upper corner). One of them is the Noise Oscillator.

All of the Reason stock synths have some kind of noise osc. Maybe the most versatile in sound shaping is the new flagship synth Europa.

thor-noise-oscillator.png
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Carly(Poohbear)
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Post 21 Sep 2018

Old but still worth their weight in gold..



These will answer a lot of your questions and others that you have not even thought of yet ;) , of course the remaining ones you can ask here about :)



PoohBear

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tips & Tutorial's viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7503909
PoohBears Reasosn Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqCNsA ... p4cQF4j-8A
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My Soundcloud Page ....... Nektar Mappings
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artotaku
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Post 21 Sep 2018

BYRN wrote:
20 Sep 2018
5. Adding fx properly
Since you have full control over the audio routing of devices in Reason there are different ways to build an FX chain which is up to personal taste
or organizational purposes.

Insert FX
You can attach them right after an instrument device or you can put them as insert FX into the mix channel that is attached to the instrument device.
Doing the latter has some advantages e. g. you can bypass all FX devices at once and change the order how the mix channel settings (compressor, insert FX, etc) are applied.

If you want to save the instruments with its FX chain in a patch you would put all devices in a combinator and save the combinator patch.

Send FX
Either add them as send FX to the mix channel (which is the same as in other DAWS) or to mixer devices (Reason specific).
I prefer the first or a mix of both, e .g if you want to build a complex instrument out of other instruments in combinator and the send FX should be inside the combinator.
Last edited by artotaku on 25 Sep 2018, edited 1 time in total.

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Timmy Crowne
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Location: California, United States

Post 21 Sep 2018

BYRN wrote:
20 Sep 2018
3. Using samples and loops
Samples and loops can be used a few different ways:

The main sequencer. The advantage to this method is that you can take advantage of time stretching by alt/option clicking the end of the audio region and dragging it to your desired length. Because each sample/loop can be on its own track, it automatically has its own channel on the mixer. You also obviously get a visual representation of the waveform and can apply fades as well.

NN-19/NN-XT. The advantage here is that you can load or layer multiple samples across the keyboard and process them with envelope, filters, keyboard tracking and velocity sensitivity.

Kong. The advantage here is that it’s very quick and easy to spread samples out or juggle loops across the 16 pads, using its onboard effects to tweak and tune the sound you’re after.

Redrum. While not having the flexibility of the other methods, this device really streamlines the pattern creation aspect. You can get a interesting drum loop going in no time flat.

Now what’s really cool is when you combine some of these methods. For example, you can program a basic rhythm in Redrum and use its gate-outs to trigger some of the pads in Kong. Insert a Dual Arp above an NNXT with a few samples loaded, hold down your drum keys and hear an unexpected pattern emerge. Use a Spider splitter to tap the signal from either device and route it to the sidechain input of an audio track where you’ve cued up a top loop, set the mix channel compressor to get some pumping going. The possibilities are endless!

BYRN
Posts: 12
Joined: 19 Sep 2018

Post 21 Sep 2018

Wow thank you guys so much, I should have come to this forum a long time ago! Everybody has given me such great advice. I don't know how to thank you other than saying thanks! I will try out all these ideas and see what works for me.
Just in case anyone is wondering, I'm trying to perfect goa trance and psy trance, so I was in desperate need of this info.
Here's a link to one track I created on Protools before I realized Reason comes with better synths to shape my sounds. It's not psy at all, kind of just a trance track. Please don't be too harsh, I know it sucks. Hahaha. I did no panning, no compression, and I slapped it together in a few days. Any constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated.

https://m.soundcloud.com/byron-mclaggan/beyond-time
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RobC
Posts: 947
Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 21 Sep 2018

I'll let you, too know that I'm working on a new mastering standard, I just have to beg people to be more open for it, first, and give it a try. xD It will make things a lot easier.

ArchitectNub
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Sep 2018
Location: Czech

Post 22 Sep 2018

IRC you need to replace every other with survival_a but keep the old names. Dunno which one is of dead. Perhaps the smallest file?

BYRN
Posts: 12
Joined: 19 Sep 2018

Post 23 Sep 2018

What about panning? From what I understand you keep the lowers tracks suck as kick and bass toward center. What do I do with leads and rhythms? And compressors, when and where should I use them?
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selig
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Post 23 Sep 2018

BYRN wrote:What about panning? From what I understand you keep the lowers tracks suck as kick and bass toward center. What do I do with leads and rhythms? And compressors, when and where should I use them?
Panning is easy to “reverse engineer”, listening to tracks you like (use phones to make this easier).

As a VERY general rule, the most important tracks are panned center. Another loose rule is that when you pan one thing to one side, you pan a similar thing to the other (for overall ‘balance’).

For example, if you pan a high hat to the left, pan a shaker to the right. If they play a similar pattern they create a nice balanced sound. If they play an alternating pattern you can create a nice “movement” (bouncing back and forth) effect with the higher frequencies.
You can do similar things with a delay: original track panned one side, delay panned the opposite.

How far to pan? Depends, everyone has their own approach. Some pan hard left/right, some never pan past about 50-75% to either side. There are no rules here IMO.

As for panning the low frequencies “center”, this is a technique for vinyl records, which do not respond well to loud low frequencies panned to one side (you can actually force the needle out of the groove if you do this). For all other formats, do what you feel - but note some listeners don’t like important/loud things panned away from center.

Another way to use panning is to record the same instrument twice (double tracked) and pan one left and the other right. Candidates for this are guitars (acoustic and electric) and background vocals.

For synths, there are many patches that use one oscillator panned left and one panned right, with each one detuned in opposite directions (usually a few cents sharp/flat).

Also, don’t forget the possibility of auto-panning, or moving the pan back and forth by an LFO or automation as the track plays, another way to create “movement” in a mix.

In the end, many suggest it’s a good idea to check mixes in mono to make sure overall balances are good and to be sure you’re not relying solely on panning to “de-clutter” your mix. Cluttered mixes are often the result of more than one instrument unintentionally occupying the same frequency range (read about “masking effect”). Sometimes you want two different instruments to “double” each other, but other times you may have accidentally overdubbed too many instruments in the same range. In these cases panning won’t always solve the issue - the solution may be to move one part up/down an octave or more (if it works musically), or worst case delete the part (at least for the section where it’s the most cluttered).

Hope this helps - my answers are in no way meant to be definitive but rather simply to contribute to the overall “knowledge base” on this forum.
:)


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RobC
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Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 24 Sep 2018

selig wrote:
23 Sep 2018

Another loose rule is that when you pan one thing to one side, you pan a similar thing to the other (for overall ‘balance’).

For example, if you pan a high hat to the left, pan a shaker to the right.

As for panning the low frequencies “center”

In the end, many suggest it’s a good idea to check mixes in mono

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1. I noticed that it may end up kind of in a dual-mono feel, so I would rather do that asymmetrically. So if one is 50 % to the left, then I'd put the other between 0-25 % or 75-100 % to the right. When it comes to hard panning, it's not necessarily a bad effect, but it's good to watch that at least in the arrangement, something happens in the other channel, that has similar content on the frequency spectrum, as well as rhythm and dynamics.

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_localization
"As the frequency drops below 80 Hz it becomes difficult or impossible to use either time difference or level difference to determine a sound's lateral source" - Thus, center everything below 80 Hz. "below about 200 Hz, so a precise evaluation of the input direction is nearly impossible on the basis of level differences alone." So yeah, basses may benefit from dual mono effects, or haas effect, mostly ~ maybe 3D effects, instead of plain panning, which can be insufficient in those frequency regions (unless the bass sound is very harmonic). Originally, I had the idea, to hard cut (with a FIR filter) sub to the center of a kick, and a synth bass, then hard pan everything above 80 Hz to the left and to the right. Sounded great with a dynamic kick and an electric picked bass! That way it also was easy to localize. But probably won't do that, cause see 1. above.

3. I always check the mid/center/mono sound - especially when ~ haas-ing around (GET IT?! 8D), cause there can be big surprises and differences. Especially noticeable with dual mono effects. When I used to create my own pitch detuning false stereo fx, I didn't like that in mono, I got that drifting away effect when using a static wave sample. I solved that by reversing this effect with inverting one channel. This way, in mono you heard more of the clean sound, while in stereo, you got the wide sound, and heard the drifting away effect. Creates slightly delayed, combing effect and whatnot, which is cool in stereo, but it's not nice when in mono, these muffle up the sound badly. It's debatable.

4. It's not nice to cuss!

I already admitted, my communication isn't the best, but people could dig out interesting things from my brain, cause I experimented tons. Far-far more than making music. Didn't realize that...

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DrGOA®
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Location: Ruse, Bulgaria

Post 25 Sep 2018

What questions you have about Combintor?
I love it.

BYRN
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Joined: 19 Sep 2018

Post 16 Nov 2018

I'm having trouble getting the frequency to automate in thor. Can someone help?
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selig
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Post 16 Nov 2018

BYRN wrote:
16 Nov 2018
I'm having trouble getting the frequency to automate in thor. Can someone help?
Frequency of what, oscillators, filters, LFOs?

Let's take filters as one example. There are two main ways to move the frequency around, with CV using an LFO a routing it via the Mod Matrix, or with automation. CV can be more versatile, automation can be quicker and gives more visual feedback.

Advantages of using CV - you can mix several signals together, you can ALSO control/automate depth with any other signal or mod wheel, you can control/automate LFO rate the same ways. So you can get more complex movement.

Advantages of using automation - it's best when you want "manual" control (turning the knob yourself), but note that you can only use one source because you are literally controlling the knob. So if you record automation over the top of existing automation, it will erase what was previously recorded and replace it with the new recording.

To automate a control, all you need to do it go into record and move the knob (assuming the track in question is selected - if you play on your keyboard and hear it, then it's selected). You can move any controls that are automate-able at this point and they will all be recorded in their own lanes.

If automation is not being recorded, double check to be sure you have the automation record enable selected:
Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 4.16.08 PM.png
You may also want to disable MIDI/Note recording (the red button to the right of automation enable), just so you don't accidentally record anything unintentionally.
:)
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BYRN
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Joined: 19 Sep 2018

Post 16 Nov 2018

Selig
Lol I underatand that having such a technically advanced synth is a good thing but god it's confusing. I'll try clicking that automation recors button and see if that works. I'm using a preset on thor so i honestly dont know what has been done to lfos, oscillators and such. I'll screen shot it if pressing that button doesn't work. Maybe you can help me further. Thanks for the quick reply.
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BYRN
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Joined: 19 Sep 2018

Post 16 Nov 2018

Thankyou, i feel like an idiot. Still learning. Sorry. Thanks again.
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BYRN
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Joined: 19 Sep 2018

Post 30 Nov 2018

Hey Reason 10 Amateur here with another question. You guys have been a huge help so far. Ok...

I'm trying to figure out how to route my devices to the main mixer, instead of just routing them to a 16 by 2 mixer that I created. I know I can just hit Tab and run my combinator to the slot I need on the 16 x 2 mixer, but is there a way to do away with the 16x 2 mixer and just use the master mixer that starts up with an empty template?
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selig
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Post 30 Nov 2018

BYRN wrote:Hey Reason 10 Amateur here with another question. You guys have been a huge help so far. Ok...

I'm trying to figure out how to route my devices to the main mixer, instead of just routing them to a 16 by 2 mixer that I created. I know I can just hit Tab and run my combinator to the slot I need on the 16 x 2 mixer, but is there a way to do away with the 16x 2 mixer and just use the master mixer that starts up with an empty template?
New devices are automatically routed to a Mix Channel in the big (SSL) mixer. Simplest way to route an instrument to the big mixer if it’s currently routed to a line mixer or 14:2 mixer is to delete the mixer and select “auto-route”. You can also use the new (10.2) feature on the back to route to new Mix Channel (right click on output jacks).


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BYRN
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Joined: 19 Sep 2018

Post 30 Nov 2018

Ok thanks. I had a feeling that's what I was supposed to do. Now, I did that a few time (but not before deleting the 14:2 mixer) and it didn't seem to route anything. Do i need to make sure I've delwted the 14:2 mixer first?
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selig
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Post 30 Nov 2018

BYRN wrote:Ok thanks. I had a feeling that's what I was supposed to do. Now, I did that a few time (but not before deleting the 14:2 mixer) and it didn't seem to route anything. Do i need to make sure I've delwted the 14:2 mixer first?
Yes - if it’s already routed to something (anything) auto-route cannot work.


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