Thursday, November 17, 2011

From Livermore to Liverpool...

Yes! I am finally off to England :) I am very excited for my trip and extremely excited for the Beatles Museum in Liverpool! I leave tomorrow morning. I am also seeing a musical on Tuesday which I am going to use for my last performance paper in MPA 295...

My video project is going so much better than I thought it would! I have straight through music now which is great, but I didn't feel really proud of it until Tuesday night when I played it on some speakers for my friends. It still needs some work, but at least I'm happy with the end product :))

Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and have a fantastic break.


Monday of this week, we worked on Redrum in Reason. I personally love Reason because of how user friendly it is and how well it works with ProTools.

First, we created a Redrum, a Reverb, and a Distortion all UNDER the Mixer which was highlighted aqua-marine meaning it was selected. This ensures that the wiring will all be correct.

In Redrum, there are 10 different channels, or sound slots that you can populate with whatever sounds you want from the immense sound bank. There are familiar buttons like the Mute and Solo and a nice "audition" button up at the top where you can hear what each sound sounds like. There are 2 sends on each track called Send 1 and Send 2 that go to the effects you chose at the beginning. There is Pan Left and Right which is nice when dealing with over heads and tom rolls. You can adjust the velocity and the length of the sound as well which pertains to ADSR. Next is Pitch and Envelope, Tone with choices like Bright or Dark, and Start which directs the starting point within the sound.

Redrum is cool because it uses Samples rather than sine waves.

How does one go about finding the samples in the huge sample bank? Simply click on the little folder button at the top to Browse Samples > Reason Factory Sound Bank > Redrum Drum Kits > Exclusive Drum Sorted > OK! Then use the up and down arrow buttons to click through the samples.

There are 8 different patterns and 4 different banks for sounds and kits. Like Boom, click the "select" button under each sound to tell it where to input on the tabs. You can only see 16 beats at a time however. So, if the loop is 32 beats, you will have to use the beats selector switch to toggle through.

The red LED light will flash above the beat that is playing at the moment. But if the beats that are being played are more than 16, you wont be able to see any flashing red light.

One can change the dynamics of the hits with the soft, medium, hard options. This is the key to drum programming!

Lastly, you can change the speed of the beats from half time, double time, triplets, etc. and the resolution of the beats.


Malstrüm is the next instrument. Malstrüm has 2 oscillators that can be assigned to 2 different sounds and settings.

This instrument in Reason is awesome because it can emulate different resonant frequencies and formants of different instruments including a human voice. What this means is that the formants of instruments like the voice, violin, guitar, bass, drums, etc. are all different based on the way they are constructed.

The Malsrüm also has a cool Portamento knob that acts as a glissando.

Next was the NN-XT sampler! You can browse samples in this instruments by clicking the folder looking button > Sound FX > Digieffects A or B > OK.

Each of the folders A and B have awesome realistic sounds that would be great for our projects.


I am excited to be using Reason and getting reacquainted with the instruments and settings! I added some Reason drums to my project, but drummer Drew is going to help me fatten that section up. Bobby also really helped me on my project by playing guitar on the end Vacuum section! I love it.

Thanks Boys!

I have so many voice overs to help with when I get back! I'm kind of excited though. I really love the music dept. and I am hoping that we all get into 307 :(

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sometimes, Things Happen For A Reason...


Because the Lab computers are set up to get erased each night, the way one must "slave" Reason to Protools is a little different than it would be on a normal computer.

Normally, one would start Protools first, then open Reason for Rewire-ing and when quitting, Reason must be first in the quit line, then quit Protools. Don't forget to save, not Save Copy As... Just save.

But... for our computers, Reason must be opened first and a series of steps will link Reason to the Digidesign MBox.

Reason > Preferences > Keyboards & Controls > Auto-Detect > Add > Not Selected > M-Audio > Find...

Then.... Close Reason, open Protools and get started rewire-ing. The process is fairly simple if you think about the sounds from the other software (Reason) as being bussed to Protools. Protools is "slaving" Reason. First, one must select Reason in the Inserts section.

Create a new STEREO Instrument Track, Click Inserts > Instruments > Multi-Stereo Instrument > Reason.

Then, when the Reason box opens up with Reason, select whatever channel you would like to use. Mix L-R pertains to Channel 1 and 2. The great thing is that, these Reason channels will not interfere with Protools!

One can take MIDI information from Protools and make it control instruments in Reason OR take audio from Reason and route it to Protools and record it. It is fundamentally impossible to record audio in Reason.

Okay... So the best part about Reason is the Tab to the back action. The cords all move like a real tower! It is the coolest thing ever.

One can Tab to the back to route the different instruments like Redrum and the NNXT. How one would route them to Protools is simple bussing. Create two STEREO audio tracks and make their inputs Channel 1-2 (Redrum) and the other, Channel 3-4 (NNXT). Then bus the Reason instrument track in Protools to the audio tracks! Press Record!

When Protools isn't Slaving Reason, Reason is running through the m-box.

Reason Keystokes.....

  • * (Star) on the keypad to record
  • 4 on the keypad to rewind
  • 5 to fast forward
  • Control Click to automate parameters
There are 3 different places to control effects like delay, reverb, and chorus. The source, the auxiliary fader on the mixer channel, and the auxiliary master fader. When applying these effects, make sure that the MIXER is selected with the aquamarine colored box around it so that the effect will be routed properly. 

And, for sound to be produced properly.... Preferences > Audio > Sound > Digidesign M-Box.


The last 2 weeks have been pretty rough, but.... I am really proud of my video project even though it needs a lot more work still, and I am really proud to be here with so many awesome people that I look up to and want to get to know more! 

Sometimes, things happen for a Reason like coming here after so many transfers. I wouldn't appreciate this school as much if I didn't work so hard to get here. I found my Reason and I'm really glad.