In this tip, our Sound Design in Reason online instructor Caiti VerBrugge walks us through three new devices included in Reason 9 - Dual Arpeggio, Note Echo, and Scales & Chords. These are not only new devices, but a whole new category of devices for Reason called Players - Reason’s first MIDI effects.
First, Caiti walks us through Dual Arpeggio. This arpeggiator expands upon Reason’s classic RPG-8, giving you even more control over the patterns formed by your chords. Dual Arpeggio lets you control the number of steps generated, pencil in the exact pattern you want, and even control each note’s velocity. As implied by its name, you can create 2 arpeggios and run them at the same time.
Next, she covers Note Echo. You can use this device similarly to how you would use a traditional delay - but since it processes MIDI, you have more control over how each note repeat will sound. Your delay can have up to 16 steps, and you can easily turn each step on or off by clicking on them - giving you exceptional control over the rhythm of your MIDI delay. Of course, you can also control the step length of each note repeat, and sync this to your song’s tempo. Note Echo also allows you to set the pitch and velocity of each note repeat to ascend or descend by the amount you choose. For example, if you set the pitch knob to +12 semitones - each note repeat will increase an octave. This makes it easy to get creative fast.
Last but certainly not least, Caiti covers Scales & Chords. This device transposes your MIDI notes to a selected key and scale - making it incredibly easy for music theory novices to write melodies and chord progressions. You can even create a custom scale! The device can also trigger chords. You can control the number of notes the chords contain, as well as the chord inversions. Turn on “open chords” if you want your chord to be spread out over the keyboard. You can also add an octave up, down, or add color to each chord. You can even alter your chords - switching them from major to minor (and vice versa) to add suspense to your progression.
Reason 9 also comes with other new features - including a vocal pitch edit mode, bounce in place function, and more. If you’re a Reason junkie, this is a must-have update that will definitely improve and expand your workflow.
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