Reason Producer: Sam Heim

Posted Feb. 25, 2015, 2:01 p.m.

Samuel Aneheim Ulvenäs AKA Sam Heim is a Swedish producer who lives and breathes Reason. He just produced Fredrik Jean Venard's debut single 'Business' and when we heard it here at PropellerHQ, we absolutely loved it. Sam is also a really nice guy and when we met him at Dreamhill Studios, we talked him into sharing a Combinator patch from the song! Read what Sam had to say and grab the distorted piano patch below:


"My name is Samuel and I started out as what you call a "bedroom producer", hanging around EDM forums a lot and speaking to other producers where we all exchanged experience with each other and just had fun. Some of them very successful today; Dj Deamon (Madeon) and Ekowraith (Porter Robinson). I've been producing in Reason since version 2.5 and it's still my go-to DAW. One of the many reasons that I love Reason is because of its great audio processing and its creatively humble workflow that lets me jump in to an idea as quick as I need to. Today I'm located at Dreamhill Studios in Stockholm, founded by producer and songwriter Anders Bagge.

When I produced this particular song, I wanted to create an ambient atmosphere that would sit well with the hip hop beat and Fredriks voice, but I still wanted it to be a bit edgy. With all my love for distortion and reverb I came up with this idea of a sound that I wanted to share with you guys."


Download the patch (Please note: the patch uses the Synapse DR-1 Deep Reverb, but it can be opened without it)

Posted Feb. 25, 2015, 2:01 p.m.

Sound Design with Suspicious Stench

Posted April 25, 2014, 2:56 p.m.


Suspect and Stenchman, collaborating under the name Suspicious Stench, are two mad-men producers from Dover, UK. After hearing their music, we had to ask about their guttural, growling dubstep sound design. Read on to find out how they do it and download two free Combinator patches!

How do you use Reason in your music making?
We use Reason for everything. Quite a lot of people ReWire it but with all the new rack extensions there isn’t much reason to add loads to the CPU when we have everything we need in one simple package.

Suspicious Stench are really two artists collaborating, how do you handle that?
Sometimes we make stuff in the studio together and other times we just pass the file back and forth via instant messaging. Also if one of us was to start a project the other would sometimes finish it then go over final details and mix down together.

What do you do when writer's block strikes?
We tend to make bass patches & drums when we hit writer's block just so something’s being done and normally it sparks an idea in the process. Either that or watch YouTube videos of people falling over.

Could you tell us a bit about how you approach sound design?
We're pretty random when it comes to approach. We don’t really have a formula or a certain structure that we stick to, we basically just make whatever comes out depending on what mood we're in or what we’ve been inspired by at the time. We tend not to start from scratch when designing sounds but instead use a preset that has characteristics we like and shape the sound accordingly



Download Suspicious Stench's Combinator patches
(Requires Reason 6.5+)


Suspect’s Hover Craft Bass
It's a pretty gritty wobbler style bass, which Malström is really good for. I started off with just a Malström and I pretty much just mess about with buttons until I get a good sound and then tweak it from there. I used the Modulator B curve 17 as I don’t use it very much and was after a bit of a different wave pattern. I used 2 square 16’s with a slight bit of oscillator motion on just for extra movement. I also moved the Index on one of the oscillators, but you can set this to how you want it. I set the Shaper to 86 on Noise, this just makes it a little more prominent and fuzzy if you like. I’ve also put the attack up on both oscillators so you don’t get so much of a stabby sound on the first part of the note. Also on the Modulator A, I’ve put a pitch bend on so that the note goes up a bit as it plays to make it more interesting.

I added a compressor to it just to level the sound out and stop it being so harsh. I then EQ'd it with an old school equaliser, the PEQ-2, just to take a little bit of the harshness out again and some low end. I then added a Scream 4 to it as I felt it needed to sound a little more distorted to sound fuller. Then at the end I added a bit of reverb, a Rv-7 Digital Reverb, just to make it sound a bit more wet and to help it sit in the track better. That’s basically all i did to make the sound. You can use this bass as short stabby notes or have it as a longer note to get the full wobble. Also you can change the Modulator curve to suite you and automate the Index which keeps the sound interesting as the track goes on.


Stenchies Lazer Reece
This is a pretty simple dual layered reece patch with a bit of a twist. The oscillators are all Multi Osc's set to saw waves, all tuned slightly differently and with a little random detune as well to give a thick texture. The oscillators then go into a Notch Filter which is set differently on the two Thors to give the patch more width and character. The LFO also affects these filters on both instances, but only a relatively small amount (53).

I used slightly different effects on each of the thors, the top one has a Scream 4 on the Tape setting and an EQ with a wide mid cut. The other has a Scream 4 on the Fuzz setting and an RV7000 with the Hall reverb setting applied. I normally use the EQ on the RV7000 to cut all the low frequencies, but I kinda liked the muddiness with the full range of frequencies getting affected so I left it. The EQ is pre-setup to cut though so you can just turn it on if they wish.

I have used the built in Chorus unit on one of the Thors. I tend not to use it on multiple layers as it can soften the sound a little when used too heavily. There is also a Phaser unit that is routed to the AUX send of the line mixer. The amount it is applied to the second Thor can be controlled from the fourth rotary on the Combinator front. This is so you can give it some movement in productions. I have also used the other modulation routers to control a lazerish womp out of one of the multi osc's. The speed and intensity of it can be controlled from the Combinator. Finally there is a control for the filter frequency for one of the notch filters, again this is to give chance for automation that gives movement to the synths sound.

Posted April 25, 2014, 2:56 p.m.

Remapping incoming MIDI from your digital drum kit

Posted Oct. 18, 2013, 9:09 a.m.

I have a digital drum kit that sends MIDI, but making sure sent notes trigger the right drum pads in Kong is a bit tricky. Hitting the floor tom triggers the snare drum, the snare drum triggers the crash, and so on. This can temporarily be solved by using the right-hand drum assignment buttons in Kong, but such changes are not persistent when changing patches. Ideally, remapping of incoming notes would happen behind the scenes so that Kong receives the proper notes to begin with. This would also enable us to load entire drum kit patches in Kong without losing the remapping.

Thanks to Thor and Combinator (and most of all to Leo who came up with this solution) I now have a general purpose Reason patch that does exactly this, and I thought I'd share it to anyone who might have the same problem. Keep reading if you want to know how it works in detail, or just download the patch right away:


It is called Millenium MPS-100 because that's the name of my drum kit but of course it applies to any kit, although you might have to edit the mapping. However, such change is trivial and you will only have to do it once. Here's how it works:

Inside the Combinator is a Kong and ten Thors, one for each drum. This includes open and closed hi-hat as well as the hi-hat pedal itself as three separate drums. Each Thor has a cable going from its CV1 output to the Gate In input on the corresponding Kong pad. The modulation matrix in Thor has one entry with the source Voice Key > Velocity, amount 100 and destination CV Output > 1. This will send any incoming notes to the CV output that is routed to Kong.

All ten Thors are set up this way, with the only difference being that they are routed to different Kong pads. Now, playing a drum will trigger a pad, but you will discover that in fact all the routed pads are played at the same time for all the drums. The last step in making this patch work is to make it only trigger a pad if one specific drum/note is played. This is done using the programmer section of the Combinator:


As seen in the image, the Thors have been appropriately named for easy reference. Each unit is then selected in the list on the left side, and its key narrowed down from the initial range over many notes to just one single note, by dragging the left and right handles right beneath the keyboard. This single note is then moved to the note coming from the drum kit. The easiest way to figure out what notes the drum kit is sending is to simply press record in Reason, hit each drum once in some order that is easy to remember, then look at the recorded notes in the sequencer.

Mission accomplished! The drum kit will now play the correct notes regardless of its initial configuration, and this patch can be saved and reused whenever you would normally use a Kong. I've seen people resort to additional MIDI software to do something like this at a system level, which just seems overkill. If your drum kit has no way to alter the MIDI out data, which is the case for most lower-end kits, this is the perfect solution. Once again, the power and versatility of Thor saves the day.

On a last note (no pun intended): If more people are doing this, a collaborative ReFill could be built and maintained with remapped Kong patches for various drum kits. Feel free to start a thread in the user forum and share your own configurations.

Posted Oct. 18, 2013, 9:09 a.m.

One Hand in the Mix - Building Crossfaders using the Combinator

Posted Jan. 16, 2006, 10:39 a.m.

With the invention of Propellerhead Software's Remote technology, Reason is, more than ever, a powerful live performance tool, especially when used in conjunction with a control surface. One of the basic elements for many live applications is the ability to segue between two audio sources in real-time using a crossfader. The principle is simple where the level of two faders simultaneously change when receiving a single controller event. The fader levels are inversely proportional so as one level increases, the other decreases. This allows convenient blending or transitions between audio sources without having to use two controllers or separate mouse parameter changes. This installment of Discovering Reason describes two methods of creating crossfaders using the Combinator in Reason 3.0, and when used with an external control surface, present a powerful tool for live performance.

The principle of a crossfader is very straightforward, and most Reason users can probably already figure out how to create a crossfader patch using the Combinator and the Micro Mix Line Mixer. For those who have yet to explore this type of control, the following project is adapted from Chapter 5 of Power Tools for Reason 3.0, which describes using multiple modulation routings from a single Combinator Rotary control.

Basic Crossfader

In Chapter 4 of Power Tools for Reason 3.0, an example demonstrated a technique of using a CV signal and an inverted CV signal to modulate two fader levels simultaneously in order to create a crossfader. A more elegant solution to this effect uses the multiple modulation routing features of the Combinator.

  1. In an empty rack, create a reMix mixer.

  2. Create a Combinator.

  3. In the Combinator sub-rack, create a microMix Line mixer.

  4. Click on the Show Programmer button, and click on Line Mixer 1 in the device list.

  5. In the modulation routing list, set the rotary 1 target to Channel 1 Level. Set the rotary 1 Min to 127 and Max to 0.

  6. Beneath the button 4 source field, set the empty source field to Rotary 1. Set the target to Channel 2 Level, in 0,Max 127.

  7. Double-click on the rotary 1 label and change the name to "X-Fade."

  8. Click on the disk icon in the Combinator and save the patch as "Basic Crossfader.cmb."

This configuration fades between the microMix channel 1 and 2 inputs, and now that it is saved as a patch, it can be recalled anytime in the future for use in other projects. The next section illustrates how to implement the crossfader with sound sources.

  1. Click on the empty rack area beneath the Combinator.

  2. Bypass auto-routing (Hold the Shift Key and select an item from the create menu) and create a Dr.REX Loop Player.

  3. On the Dr.REX, load the loop, "Hhp11_Chronic_093_Chrnc.rx2" from the Factory Sound Bank\Dr Rex Drum Loops\Hip Hop directory.

  4. Copy the REX data to the Dr.REX 1 sequencer track.

  5. Connect the Dr.REX 1 audio outputs to the microMix channel 1 inputs.

  6. Click on the empty rack area beneath the Dr.REX.

  7. Bypass auto-routing and create another Dr.REX Loop Player.

  8. On the second Dr.REX, load the ReCycle file "Hhp18_Furious_093_Chrnc.rx2" from the Factory Sound Bank\Dr Rex Drum Loops\Hip Hop directory.

  9. Copy the REX data to the Dr.REX 2 sequencer track.

  10. Connect the Dr.REX 2 audio outputs to the MicroMix Channel 2 inputs.

Example File: Basic Crossfader.rns

Cables from outside of the Combinator can connect directly into devices in the sub-rack, but these connections are not saved with the patches. The Combinator will indicate "external routing" when such connections are present. The two Dr.REX loops provide two different sound sources. Run the sequence to play the loops, then adjust the Combinator's X-Fade rotary control to crossfade between the two loops.

Discovering Part16 1

Figure 1. The basic crossfader only uses a single Micro Mix Line Mixer. The sound sources are two Dr.Rex players externally routed into the Line Mixer inputs. The Rex Players are not included in the Combinator rack.

There is an inherent problem with this configuration, heard as you fade between the two sources. As you run the sequence, slowly turn the X-Fade Rotary from left to right and back. As the control nears the mid point, the output level dips down. The linear fading characteristic of this configuration causes this decrease in level. The effect of the dip can be reduced by decreasing the range of modulation, but cannot effectively be overcome for this configuration. While this works fine for most applications, for live performance applications a more desirable effect is an equal-power crossfade.

Equal Power Crossfader

The attenuation characteristics of both the ReMix and MicroMix mixer pan pots is not linear like the crossfade example above, instead the pan pots have a scaled attenuation rate called constant-power or equal-power. The output level of the two panned signals is constant between the left and right channels. The scaled attenuation of the pan pots can be used to create an Equal Power Crossfader.

Discovering Part16 2

Figure 2. Two Line Mixers are used for the Equal Power Crossfader patch. Each Mixer handles a single channel, so two are required for a stereo crossfader. The Spider Audio Merger/Splitters are used as patchbays so that external stereo connections automatically route to the proper input channels.

The following is referenced on the Power Tools for Reason 3.0 CD-ROM in the Combinator patches folder. For the readers of Discovering Reason, the project illustrates how to create this effect on your own. An example Reason song file is included at the end of the project.

Equal Power Crossfader Combinator Patch

    1. In an empty rack, create a reMix mixer.

    2. Create a Combinator, and verify that it is cabled to the remix Channel 1 inputs.

    3. In the Combinator sub-rack, bypass auto-routing (hold down the shift key) and create two microMix Line mixers.

    4. Bypass auto-routing and connect the Line Mixer 1 Left output to the Combinator 'From Devices' Left input.

    5. Connect the Line Mixer 2 Left output to the Combinator 'From Devices' Right input.

    6. Create a Spider Audio Merger/Splitter, and Rename it to 'Input 1'

    7. Bypass Auto-routing and connect the 'Input 1' Merger Output Left to the Line Mixer 1 Channel 1 Left input.

    8. Connect the 'Input 1' Merger Output Right to the Line Mixer 2 Channel 1 Left input.

    9. Create another Spider Audio Merger/Splitter, and Rename it to 'Input 2'.

    10. Bypass Auto-routing and connect the 'Input 2' Merger Output Left to the Line Mixer 1 Channel 2 Left input.

    11. Connect the 'Input 2' Merger Output Right to the Line Mixer 2 Channel 2 Left input.

    12. Click on the Show Programmer button, and program the following modulation routings. For the second Rotary 1 source, use the Assignable Source set to Rotary 1:

Line Mixer 1Rotary 1Channel 1 Pan-6463
Line Mixer 1Rotary 1Channel 2 Pan63-64
Line Mixer 2Rotary 1Channel 1 Pan-6463
Line Mixer 2Rotary 1Channel 2 Pan63-64

    1. Double-click on the rotary 1 label and change the name to "X-Fade."

    2. Click on the disk icon in the Combinator, and save the patch as "Equal Power Crossfader.cmb."

The Spider Audio Mergers are not a necessary part of the effect, but they provide an easy way to connect sources into the crossfader. The merger inputs take advantage of the auto-routing rules so that stereo sources are properly cabled in a single connection. One of these can be routed to the combinator's inputs instead. Since four inputs are available, multiple input sources can be configured to mix through a single crossfader.

Sound Source

  1. Click on the empty rack area beneath the Combinator.

  2. Bypass auto-routing (Hold the Shift Key and select an item from the create menu) and create a Dr.REX Loop Player.

  3. On the Dr.REX, load the loop, "Hhp11_Chronic_093_Chrnc.rx2" from the Factory Sound Bank\Dr Rex Drum Loops\Hip Hop directory.

  4. Copy the REX data to the Dr.REX 1 sequencer track.

  5. Connect the Dr.REX 1 audio outputs to 'Input 1' Merge Input 1 inputs.

  6. Bypass auto-routing and create another Dr.REX Loop Player.

  7. On the second Dr.REX, load the ReCycle file "Hhp18_Furious_093_Chrnc.rx2" from the Factory Sound Bank\Dr Rex Drum Loops\Hip Hop directory.

  8. Copy the REX data to the Dr.REX 2 sequencer track.

  9. Connect the Dr.REX 2 audio outputs to the 'Input 2' Merge Input 1 inputs.

Run the sequence and adjust the X-Fade (Rotary 1) on the Combinator.

Example File: Equal Power Xfade.rns

The louder crossfade action is noticeable immediately in the Equal Power Xfade example. The mid point between the two sources does not diminish as much as the basic crossfader example making it better suited for applications like mixing loops where even dynamics are desired during the transition.

The example song file features extra controls for input level trims to balance the incoming signals as well as a master level control. A few other features you might wish to add are kill switches on the button controls that modulate input channel muting. All of this can be assigned to a Remote control surface for use in a live performance or other real-time mixing applications, and of course, the crossfades can be recorded and edited on the Combinator 1 sequencer track.

Wet/Dry Balance Crossfader

Crossfader configurations effect can also be implemented as a Wet/Dry Balance control as well for real-time switching between a direct signal and a processed signal. Again, this can be especially useful for drum loops in a live situation where you want to create the energy of a performance rather than a preprogrammed sequence.

The following example file demonstrates using a ReCycle Loop playing from a Dr.REX Loop player being processed with a custom delay effect based on the "Beat Juggler" Project in Power Tools for Reason 3.0. The Loop audio is split into parallel signals using a Spider Audio Splitter. The dry signal passes through the splitter into the Equal Power Crossfader Input 1, and a split signal, processed through the delay effect, is connected to the Crossfader Input 2. The demonstration sequence is recorded in real-time with various control parameters for the crossfader, delay time, and delay feedback being controlled by a Remote Control surface.

Example File: Equal Power Xfade DelayFX.rns

A single fader is used to mix between the direct loop level and the delayed loop level via the crossfader, liberating a hand to manipulate the delay and feedback effects. Obviously this quite useful for live performances, but it's also an exciting way to create tracks in the studio environment as well. You can quickly create rhythmic variation on the fly rather than tediously programming REX slices. This type of effect crossfader can be implemented with any variety of effects like the Scream 4 distortion, the ECF-42 Filter, or the Reverb units for even more variations.

Text & Music by Kurt Kurasaki

Posted Jan. 16, 2006, 10:39 a.m.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Combinator – Part II

Posted Jan. 15, 2006, 1:11 p.m.

As an aspiring Combinator aficionado you will probably go through these two phases:

Phase 1: Awe. "Woah, I'm gonna build like the biggest, baddest, meanest synth evverr!".

Phase 2: Sanity. "OK, that was fun... but now I want to create something truly useful".

Combinators don't have to be gargantuan, complex CPU hogs - they can be lean and efficient too. We're going to continue with the theme we started in part one of this article and build a few more "replacement" Combinators; the term 'replacement' signifying that these Combinators can do everything that the original devices do, and then some - so why not let them replace the standard devices in your compositions?

The SuperSub

Discovering Part15 1

Here's a Combinator based on dual Subtractors. We'll call it SuperSub in honor of the legendary Roland Super JX, which was essentially two JX-8P synths in one machine. (Incidentally, the Super JX was one of Douglas Adams' favorite synths, which ties in with the title of this article.). The JX-8P was perhaps not the most exciting of synths, as it had lower quality oscillators than predecessors such as the Juno-60, but once they stacked two of them together inside the JX-10 it transformed into a whole other animal.

The "Discovering twist" here is that the Combinator allows you to control the waveform selection on the Subtractors with the rotary controls, and the rotary controls can be controlled by CV. This means you can change waveforms using for example a Matrix sequencer, allowing you to build rhythmic Subtractor textures by sequencing waveform changes. To top it off, we'll also add some instant fattening functionality: Unison, macro detune and stereo spread.

The SuperSub recipe:

  • 1 Line Mixer 6:2

  • 2 Subtractors

  • 1 UN-16 Unison

  • 2 Matrix sequencers

  • 1 Spider CV

Audio routings

The line outs from the two Subtractors connect to channels 1 and 2 on the Line Mixer. The UN-16 Unison will be used as a send effect (not an insert as one might think), so we'll just connect it to the Aux sends and returns on the Line Mixer.

CV/Gate routings

We've got a Spider CV here and we'll be using it to split the the Note and Gate CV coming from the Matrix unit responsible for sequencing the notes. Connect Note CV on the Matrix to Split A - In, and Gate CV to Split B - In on the Spider CV. Then connect the Split A and B outputs to the Note and Gate CV inputs on the two Subtractors. Finally there's the second Matrix which controls the Waveform selection on the Subtractors: Connect Curve CV to Rotary 3 on the Combinator. If you want to change waveforms on one of the Subtractors only, simply unplug this cable or disable its routing in the programmer.

Discovering Part15 2


Rotaries 1 and 2 will be controlling the Filter Frequency and Resonance parameters on both Subtractors simultaneously. Rotary 3 is for selecting waveforms - this will normally be done by the Matrix Sequencer, but it can be done manually too of course. Rotary 4 detunes the oscillators using different scales - detuning Osc 1 up and Osc 2 down, spreading evenly so that you'll get max detune values of -25 and +25 on Subtractor A and -50/+50 on Subtractor B.


Button 1 toggles the mode on the UN-16 Unison between On and Off (not Bypass, as this would amplify the signal). Button 2 will pan the first Subtractor full left and the second Subtractor full right - this is handy if you're using the same patch on both Subtractors to create a stereo sound - with the detuning, the Unison and stereo spread you can get a really wide sound quickly. Button 3 switches the Wave sequencer On/Off, and Button 4 toggles the Note sequencer On/Off.

Discovering Part15 3

Combinator Programming

Most of the programming here deals with the two Subtractors. Rotaries 1, 2 and 3 should be programmed identically for both synths. Rotary 1 controls Filter Freq, Rotary 2 controls Resonance - pretty straightforward stuff.

Rotary 3 is controlled by a Matrix unit and its job is basically to convert Curve CV data to Waveform selection. It should therefore be assigned to the parameters "Osc1 Wave" and "Osc 2 Wave" with the values Min 0 / Max 31 (there are 32 waveforms in total).

Rotary 4 will control the parameters "Osc1 Fine Tune" and "Osc2 Fine Tune".

We'll use four different sets of values here in order to detune each of the four oscillators differently. Subtractor A - Osc1 Max 25, Osc2 Max -25. Subtractor B - Osc1 Max 50, Osc2 Max -50. The Min value should be 0 for all four. That takes care of the Subtractors, but there are a few items left - the buttons.

In the Unison modulation routing panel, create a simple On/Off function by routing Button 1 to "Enabled", Min 0 / Max 1.

For the 6:2 Mixer, there should be two entries for Button 2: "Channel 1 Pan" Min 0 / -64 and "Channel 2 Pan" Min 0 / Max 63. This is the "spread" function which is obtained by simply panning the two Subs hard left and hard right. For the Matrix that selects waveforms, route Button 3 to "Pattern Enable", Min 0 / Max 1.

Finally, on the note sequencing Matrix unit: Button 4, "Pattern Enable", Min 0 / Max 1.

This is the SuperSub, skinned, sealed & delivered: subersub.cmb. Now let's see what it can do.

moving_mongolia.rns - We loaded the factory patches "Outer Mongolia" and "Cloud Chamber" into the Subtractors and enabled all the SuperSub extras; heavy detuning, unison and spread. On the first 8 bars, the Waveform Sequencer is disabled. It kicks in at bar 9, after which you can hear a major difference in the way the texture moves and evolves. Exercise: Try loading other pad sounds from the factory bank into the Subtractors. The waveform sequencer will keep going. You can stumble upon great sounds by simply doing this.

80s_super_dance_lead.rns - a heavily detuned, old school techno lead patch. Exercise: Remove all the extras progressively. Switch off the spread and the unison, and set detuning to zero. Finally, Mute one of the Subtractors. Notice what a day-and-night difference a little layering and FX magic can make.

annoying_man.rns - a buzzy, glitchy sound with a dash of distortion. The waveform sequencer is running a randomized pattern. Exercise: With the sequencer playing, open the curve display on the "Wave Seq" Matrix and experiment with drawing different curves by just click-dragging arbitrarily across the display. Endless variations there.

squaretooth_bass.rns - this is a bass sound that alternates between sawtooth and square wave on every 1/8 note, to showcase a slightly more organized way of using the waveform sequencer. Exercise: Experiment with the setting on the 3rd Combinator knob "Waveform 1-32" while the pattern is playing. Notice how the waveforms change, but the sequencer keeps alternating between two adjacent waveforms.

ReDrum D / A / G

Discovering Part15 4Discovering Part15 4Discovering Part15 4

ReDrum D, A and G are three different Combinators based around Matrix sequenced ReDrum units. D is for Dual, A for Analog and G for Graintable. ReDrum A emulates an analog drum machine, with one Subtractor for each ReDrum channel. ReDrum G is similar, but uses Malströms instead of Subtractors. We will go through the D model in detail; the other two are bonus patches that you can download and explore on your own.

Playing ReDrum with Matrix sequencers is great because you get one independent pattern sequencer for each drum channel, meaning you can have individual pattern length and time resolution for each drum. You also get a finer velocity resolution (0-127) than with the internal ReDrum sequencer (0-3) - and last but not least, it's much quicker to draw Matrix patterns than to enter them in the ReDrum sequencer.

Discovering Part15 5

You can have one Matrix unit for each of the ten ReDrum channels, of course, but this is likely overkill. It's more practical to use the internal ReDrum sequencer for those sounds which have little or no variation, while using separate Matrix sequencers for the snare and bass drum, for example. In our example Combinators we've put three Matrix sequencers (for bass drum, snare drum and closed hi-hat), but you can add more if you like.

The ReDrum D (Dual) uses two ReDrum units that are linked via Gate, so that channel 1 on ReDrum B is triggered by channel 1 on ReDrum A. This allows you not only to layer two samples per channel, but also to make velocity gradients between the two samples.

The ReDrum D shopping list:

  • 1 Mixer 14:2

  • 2 Spider Audio

  • 2 Redrum

  • 3-10 Matrix Sequencers

Audio routings

Since we're dealing with 10+10 ReDrum channels here, we ought to need 20 mixer channels. Of course we could have two 14:2 mixers, or add a 6:2 mixer and get a total of 20, but we want to keep this one lean. So let's see. It makes sense to merge ReDrum channels 8 and 9 into one mixer channel, as they're intended for closed and open hihat. Then we could also merge channels 3-5, the tom channels, into one. That leaves a total of 7 outputs per ReDrum unit, 14 channels, precisely what we have.

Now, the routing isn't very complicated but it's a loooot of cables back there so we need some guidance through the jungle.

First, channel 1 (BD) of the "Master" ReDrum goes to mixer channel 1. Channel 1 of the "Slave" ReDrum goes to mixer channel 2 (it's more practical to have these 'pairs' next to each other on the mixer). Then there's channels 3-5, which we were going to merge. Since the Main Output on a ReDrum gets all the leftover channels that aren't routed via individual outputs, and all ReDrum channels except 3-5 will indeed be routed via individual outputs, this means ReDrum is already merging channels 3-5 for us on the Main output.

So, connect Main Out on the Master ReDrum to mixer channel 3, and Main Out on the Slave ReDrum to channel 4. Now onto ReDrum channels 6 and 7. These will be routed to the mixer as follows: ReDrum Master 6 to Mixer 7. ReDrum Slave 6 to Mixer 8. ReDrum Master 7 to Mixer 9. ReDrum Slave 7 to Mixer 10. Now for the hihat channels 8+9. These will need to be merged with Spider Audio. Take channels 8+9 on the Master ReDrum and route them to Spider Audio #1. Do the same for the Slave ReDrum and Spider Audio #2. Then take the merged output from Spider #1 and route it to mixer channel 11, and from Spider #2 to mixer channel 12. Finally, connect Master ReDrum channel 10 to Mixer channel 13 and Slave ReDrum channel 10 to Mixer channel 14. Phew. What do we have on the mixer now?

Channels 1-2: Bass Drum A+B.
Channels 3-4: Snare Drum A+B.
Channels 5-6: Lo/Mid/Hi Toms A+B.
Channels 7-8: Perc 1 A+B.
Channels 9-10: Perc 2 A+B.
Channels 11-12: Hihat Open/Closed A+B.
Channels 13-14: Cymbal A+B.

CV/Gate routings

Two issues to deal with here: 1) The Master+Slave routing between the two ReDrums, 2) Matrix routing. First, you need to connect Gate Out on each of the 10 channels on the Master ReDrum to Gate In on each of the channels on the Slave ReDrum. Many cables, but easy. Then there's the Matrix routing. As mentioned earlier, we only have 3 Matrix units in this example, but you can fill up with more if you need'em. Either way, the routing is simple: Just connect Gate Out on the Matrix to Gate In on the Master ReDrum channel you want to control.

Discovering Part15 6


Simple stuff. The Combinator panel buttons 1-4 and rotaries 1-4 will act as four pairs, with the button starting and stopping a sequencer and the rotary selecting patterns on that sequencer. 
Discovering Part15 7

Combinator programming

Not much! Each Rotary will be assigned to "Pattern Select", Min 0 / Max 31. Each Button will be assigned to "Pattern Enable", Min 0 / Max 1. You will need to enter this four times, for the Master ReDrum (button 4/rotary 4) and the three Matrix sequencers (buttons 1-3/rotary 1-3). That's all there is to it.
The finished ReDrum D Combinator: redrumd.cmb

And, as promised, ReDrum A (Analog): redruma.cmb and ReDrum G (Graintable): redrumg.cmb. Play around with these if you ever get tired of sampled drums! And enjoy what little is left of the summer!

Text & Music by Fredrik Hägglund

Posted Jan. 15, 2006, 1:11 p.m.