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Music production software - Reason
One of the best Entry level to Pro Music Production Software
Reason is an all-in music suite which behaves like real hardware modules giving you a real feel of music production.
Once you press the TAB key the screen flips around and it shows you the wiring configuration. The wiring can be adjusted for various effects e.g. sending the output of a kick drum the to compressor or splitting audio signals for independent stereo effect processing. This gives you a feel of physical hardware handling with is useful to know if you have to work away from software sequencers
The software is pre-loaded with Gigabytes worth of sound banks to get you off to a good start. Additional sounds come in the form of Re-fill packs with are similar to Vsts. Some re-fill packs are free on the net and some you have to pay for but there are some very professional quality sounds out there.
For recording I recommend Reason Record. This combined with Reason gives the ultimate package for desktop music production.
For finalizing your tracks, Reason has a compressor/limiter and equalizer modules. I find the compressor very handy when I have heavy bassline with strong kick drums. The compressor allows me to maintain the volume of the whole track without any distortion.
The Mixer module
Please refer to the image to the right to see the mixer module. Every time you add a module it gets automatically wired to the mixer. By press TAB you can flip the screen around and reconnect the wires to different track. It is best to label your module so they are easy to recognize on the mixer. This is your central control panel and monitor and it is always best to start of your tracks with one of the mixers.
The drum machine
This is usually connected underneath the mixer and is where most people start the skeleton of a track. It uses the digital on/off switches so drum beats can be made in a matter of minutes. The are a large number of samples for each type of drum to choose from and samples can also be imported.
Another way to program the drums is to record in realtime and play the drums through your MIDI keyboard. Reason has a quantize function to automatically align your drums with the rest of the instruments.
The NN-XT is an advanced sampler with an impressive list of feature and functions. It is a "fast track sampler" and has the ability for life like instrument emulation. There are a lot of sounds that are pre-loading into it. I like the Rhodes piano patch which I often use to lay down the chords at the begging of a track. If also had a very realistic sounding Grand Piano patch which I always use for practicing to play.
The NN-19 Sampler is similar to the NN-XT but has similar functions and a different set of sounds in the preset instruments. One very good noticeable sound I tend to use a lot is the Vibes Electric piano which is a smoothly oscillating stereo effect good for R&B/Soul.
This is an analogue type polyphonic synthesizer which is based on subtractive synthesis. It uses a similar method to classic analogue synths. I particularly like some the the bass sounds which can be created from it, lots of tweaking around can get some very interesting effects.
The later releases of Reason are capable of recording MIDI, Automation and Audio which are housed in neat clips for easy editing. There is even a re-groove mixer to give your mixes more of a human feel if your tracks sound too "tight".
- Composing with Propellerhead Reason, Part 1: The Def...
If you've ever tried to compose orchestral or instrumental music using Propellerhead's Reason software, and want to make it sound the best it can, then this series of articles is for you.