Two Knobs That'll Change Your Mixing

Posted Feb. 3, 2016, 12:12 p.m.



Sure, the title of this video reads like classic click-bait but in this case I actually stand by its claim! There are two knobs in Reason's mixer that far too often get overlooked by people knew to mixing. Unsurprisingly, these knobs are seldom overlooked by professional mix engineers and once you learn to use them, you'll start using them just as much in everything you do.

The High Pass and Low Pass Filter in Reason's main mixer helps you achieve something called "frequency slotting," which is just jargon for this result: Your instruments won't be fighting each other for the same space in your mix. In this tutorial, Ryan shows us how to get clarity and definition out of your mix by mindfully considering the important frequencies for each instrument in your music.

Try out Reason here:
http://propellerheads.se/tryreason

Posted Feb. 3, 2016, 12:12 p.m.

Dirty Reese Bass: Custom Patch Design

Posted Jan. 22, 2016, 3:32 p.m.

People have been requesting we show a method for creating currently trending version of a classic sound: the Reese Bass - namely, the "Dirty" Reese Bass, which is characterized by heavy distortion, compression, and filtration. When it comes to dirt, grit, and nasty sounds, Malström is a fantastic tool for the job. So in this tutorial I'll show you one of the many ways you can approach this type of sound, while thinking out loud along the way so you can gain some insight into custom patch creation in the Reason Rack.

/Ryan

So Why ReCycle?

Posted Jan. 18, 2016, 12:32 p.m.

A question that we hear on a semi regular basis - especially since Reason became capable of creating REX loops - is "Why would I want ReCycle? What can I do with ReCycle that I can't do in Reason?"

I thought that now would be a good time to look into this. So what can you do with ReCycle that you can't do in Reason?

 

 

Most obvious are the various tools that at your disposal in ReCycle for adding and removing slices. Opening an 8 bar WAV loop in Reason, and double-clicking the clip to open the loop in edit mode reveals that Reason has created 106 slices. This is probably just fine for most applications, but suppose I want to get granular and perform more advanced loop treatments. I can add or remove slices, but I need to do it manually - selecting a slice marker and then hitting delete, or selecting the pencil tool to draw in a new slice marker.

If I open the same 8 bar loop in ReCycle, I can simply adjust the Sensitivity slider to add or remove slices. The sensitivity slider determines how sensitive Recycle is to transients, and so governs how many slices will be created; the more sensitive ReCycle is to transients, the more slices will be created.

With a sensitivity of 71, my loop has 106 slices in ReCycle, just as it does in Reason. Maxing out the sensitivity to 99 gives me 175  slices, while pulling back the sensitivity to 1 results in 68 slices.

Moving a slider back and forth to automatically add and remove slices is far easier than manually adding and removing them!

But it doesn't end there. You can manually add and remove slices in ReCycle - exactly as you can in Reason - but you can combine this with automatic slicing using the sensitivity slider. In ReCycle there are Mute and Lock tools, which allow you to remove slices that were created automatically by raising the sensitivity, or to retain slices that would otherwise be removed by lowering the sensitivity.

A further advantage offered in ReCycle is the option to add slice markers at a zero-crossing points - holding down the shift key when manually adding a slice marker will snap the marker to the nearest zero-crossing.

ReCycle also has built-in effects that can be applied to sliced loops. As well as a gating function, and settings for adjusting the gain and pitch of your loop, you can apply an envelope, EQ and transient shaping to each slice in a loop.

 

 

The envelope allows you to apply an AD envelope and stretch each slice, where stretch applies a "tail" to each slice - useful if you know that your loop will be used at a slower tempo.

The transient shaper is effectively a compressor with controls for threshold, amount, attack and release with automatic gain compensation. The EQ is a two band parametric EQ with hi and lo cut.

If you'd like to try it out, the demo is available at the bottom of the ReCycle product page, here.

Posted Jan. 18, 2016, 12:32 p.m.

Routing Effects Returns to Their Own Mix Channel

Posted Dec. 7, 2015, 12:40 p.m.

I touched on this before in my earlier article about creating a Shimmer reverb, but I want to talk about it more now - routing an effects return to its own mix channel.

Normally when adding a send effect to the Reason rack, you'd route the signal from the FX send at the back of the Master Section to the input of the effects unit, and then from the output of the effects unit to the FX return at the back of the Master Section, as shown below.

Instead, let's route the output of the send effect to its own mixer channel - like this:

Why would we do this? By routing the return from the effects device to its own channel, we're effectively isolating it, and now we can do all sorts of creative stuff with it. Here's a snippet of a hang drum with a touch of chorus, delay, & reverb.

Now I've routed the same piece through a long reverb, the outputs of which are routed to their own mixer channel. This mixer track is panned 100% to the right. This gives the reverb an interesting character of its own, but also makes the pre-effect signal stand out against the background.

Here's the same thing again, but now I've added an Audiomatic Retro Transformer as an insert effect on the mixer channel and some automation, panning the mixer channel slowly from right to left and back again.

Having the effect return on its own channel in the mixer also enables setting up a feedback loop, whereby the output of the effects unit is returned to the input to be processed again. You can achieve this by activating the send that's routed to the effect that's feeding the mixer channel. Be careful with this option, and be ready with the fader if you try it, because things can get out of control very quickly!

Isolating the effect return on its own track will also enable you to use the channel strip's EQ and dynamics processing on the effect return, and you can view the return in the spectrum analyser.

Using the various bounce options availble for mixer channels, you can even render the effect return without the original signal. Here I've added some sequenced gating and filters as further insert effects and then renderned just the effect return channel in the mixer by itself, and then added a beat.

I've used a reverb in this article, mostly because it's an effect with a long tail that makes demonstration easy - but any effect is fair game. Give it a try!

- craig

Liquid Drum n' Bass: Super Neat Beat Cheat Sheet

Posted Nov. 19, 2015, 2:56 p.m.

Saying "Drum n' Bass" is practically as vague as saying Rock n' Roll. There's a world of difference between Jerry Lee Lewis and Gwar - even if they share some common heritage. Similarly, Liquid Drum n' Bass is a popular variant of the original Drum n' Bass styles coming out of the UK in the 90s. Liquid DnB fuses modern EDM production with the essence of classic DnB for an increasingly popular result.

Here, Ryan shows you how you can put together your own Liquid DnB drum sounds and perhaps most importantly, how you can tap into the Pro potential of Reason's mixer to get some seriously punchy drum sounds.

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