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Music Tech - focus on Reason 5
Music Tech magazine has a Reason 5 issue out. There are some great articles for beginners and pros a like. The included DVD has a bunch of video tutorials. I got it for around $20 at my local Borders. I consider it money well spent.
Most of the tutorials in the mag and on the DVD are beginner-oriented, but I have found that no matter how much you think you know, you can always pick up a few tips here and there.
Yet Another Brecker Lead - one from the master! I never get tired of watching the Brecker video above. Michael Brecker was an undisputed master of the EWI and did a lot of innovative things with the instrument. I thought I would attempt to recreate the lead sound (that comes in around 2:30) from this video using just Thor. I think I got around 90% there. Hope you dig it.
This patch has a hint of a muted trumpet (courtesy of the wavetable oscillator) and you can control the balance of this and the synthy sound with Rotary 1.
I'm working on a new project, and am creating a bunch of fairly standard Oberheim style patches. Here is one of them - well, actually a work in progress. It uses the State Variable filter in Thor to give it that Oberheim sound.
This is a classic 'synvox' sound like you might hear in one of those 80's electronic bands. I used to love this sound when I was young.
Anyway, this sounds great layered behind another sound - it really adds some depth and breathiness to the sound. Just put it in a Combinator with another sound and mix it in accordingly, or play it stand - alone.
A long standing bug affecting Breath Control in Thor has been fixed!
An alert reader informed me of a strange 'ripping' or 'staticy' sound he was hearing in some Thor patches. Intrigued, I was able to isolate the problem and replicate it. Interestingly enough, he was right! When you map Breath to, really anything, in Thor there was a strange 'stepping' sound. Now, this was only noticeble if the filter cutoff was low and the gain was cranked pretty high, but it was there nonetheless. Not only that, it carried over to Breath routed to the CV outs in Thor (so anything controlled with the output CV sounded stepped as well). Also, when the same breath control data was remapped to mod wheel it went away, and the transitions were smooth. As far as I could tell, this bug goes all the way back to Reason 4.
Well, it took some convincing, but the Props have fixed this in 5.0.1! The audio quality of Breath control in Thor is now greatly improved! From the release notes: "Automation of aftertouch, expression and breath are now smoothed in Thor."
Here are some before and after examples of what this sounded like.
You can hear the stepping in this sample from Reason 5.0.0, it almost sounds like a geiger counter in the background:
This one is perfectly smooth (Reason 5.0.1), the way it should be:
Here is the patch I used to test this, so you can try it out on your own system if you haven't yet downloaded the update. You'll have to turn up the volume, and it works best when you use low breath values. Translation - blow very softly into your wind controller of choice.
This is reason #76 why I love this software. The Props actually listen to their customers and fix problems as they arise.
My recommendation: If you care about your sound (and who doesn't?) upgrade to Reason 5.0.1 and/or Record 1.5.1. Not only do you get this fix, but you get all the other various fixes that go along with this maintenance release.
Thanks, Props, for making Reason work even better with wind controllers!