Multisampling is the established standard for digital representation of analog instruments. While it has been refined somewhat over the years, multisampling still has a few shortcomings:
- The dynamic resolution is often too limited, failing to capture the subtle nuances between the steps.
- Typically, a single microphone (or, at best, a merged signal from multiple microphones) is used, leaving the recording distance, ambience and character set in stone.
- You usually get only one sample per "velocity span", while a real instrument sounds slightly different for every pluck, stroke or beat (even when played at a static velocity level)
- Instruments can be played with countless approaches and techniques, yet multisampling typically only offers the basic archetypes. At best, you get a couple of velocity layers, but these only represent a tiny fraction of all the sound variations you can get out of an analog instrument.
So, how could we bring something fresh to the table?
The answer: Hypersampling. We like to refer to it as multi-dimensional sampling, because it gives you complete control over many aspects of instrument reproduction that used to be out of reach.
What is Hypersampling?
Multiple velocity levelsFor capturing the full dynamic range of each instrument.
Reason Pianos use between 4 and 5 velocity levels and, on average, samples of every third note across the keyboard. Reason Drum Kits uses up to fifteen velocity levels and alternate hits for great playability and realism.
Multiple microphones and signal chainsFor capturing, controlling and blending the characters of various amps and mics.
In Reason Drum Kits, this means that the snare drum is recorded through top, bottom, overhead, and ambience mics - giving you control over the amount of room in your mix, and the blend between the top and bottom snare mics. With Reason Electric Bass we recorded all instruments through two amplifiers and multiple mics. This gives you the option to blend between the direct input signal, a Neumann U47 on an Ampeg Fliptop and an AKG D12 microphone on the more gritty Fender Showman amplifier, as an example.
Use plenty of mics or just a few, whatever sounds best.
Multiple same-velocity samplesAlternation between similar sounding samples, for a more realistic performance.
Using the NN-XT sampler's alternate function, you get a different sample every time you trigger a note. This helps avoiding the "machine gun effect" when playing fast snare rolls with Reason Drum Kits.
Multiple variation samplingCapturing the different playing techniques, sound attributes and noises that make the instrument come alive.
In Reason Electric Bass the C1 and C#1 keys are used for key switching, giving you whole note glissandos and hammer-ons for every sampled note. We also recorded fret noise, ghost notes and all the other things that make acoustic instruments alive. The Reason Pianos ReFill incorporate attributes such as hammer noise and release resonance samples, mimicking real instruments all the way from keystroke through key release.
Essentially, we've taken care of the tricky, boring and expensive work. Leaving you in command of the creative parts: the playing, producing and mixing.