In the last tutorial, we created a 'smart' harmony maker - one that will take a monophonic source and generate harmonies based on a diatonic key. This is fine if you want each harmony voice to have the same sound or timbre, but that's not really that interesting. It's not how a real ensemble works. In a real horn section you have different instruments covering different parts. You may have a trumpet on top, a bari sax on the bottom and some saxes and trombones filling out the middle. In a string section you'll have a bass on the bottom, violins on top and your cellos and violas filling out the middle voices.
We'll expand on the concepts introduced last time, and create a horn section that will stay in a diatonic key, and each voice will have it's own sound. Read on to dive in...
In this tutorial I thought I would talk about resampling in Reason. What's resampling? Well, it's taking a sound you like, which could be a synth sound or sampled sound, and sampling it back into a Reason device.
Why would you want to do this? There are a number of reasons (no pun intended!). First, you may have a huge layer made of 10 or more devices with effects. This may use a lot of CPU when you play it. You could sample the whole thing, throw it into an NN-XT or even an NN19, play the one sample and save a lot of CPU. Another reason would be to add breath control to a sound or device that has no breath control or CV inputs. I know we talked about how to route breath performance data to anywhere in the Reason rack, but there is at least one device that has no breath control or CV inputs - the ID8 device from Record.
To be fair, the ID8 was never intended as a replacement for the other synths or samplers. It is there for Record users who do not have Reason so they at least have something to play. Not only that, the sounds are REALLY good and fit very nice in a song. There are some surprisingly good sounds in here and the Record sound bank has a few combinators that use multiple ID8's to good effect.
I wanted to add breath control to one of the combinators, so in order to do that, I sampled the combinator sounds via the live sampling feature in the NN-XT in Record 1.5/Reason 5. I was then able to add breath control to the NN-XT sound.
Click 'Read More' to learn how to do it.
The search for a killer synth brass patch continues. Here is another take on it. I cribbed from the Record Factory Sound Bank. There is a synth brass patch in there that uses three ID8 devices that sounds pretty good - except that the ID8 does not respond to BC and the usual CV tricks don't work because there are no CV inputs!
I replaced the sounds with one NN-XT and two Thors to come up with something even better. Personally, I think it's a losing battle to try to emulate a perfect horn section. Maybe that's because I'm a horn player and have been fortunate enough to play is some killer horn sections myself. I just know how good a real section can sound and trying to get it perfect and missing, is worse than not trying.
The main thing I like to do is get the same feeling as a real horn section and perform the same musical function as a real horn section, without sounding like cheeseball sampled horns.
I'll definitely be using this one on the gig.
I've been a little lax with the sounds of the week lately - it's been more like the sound of the month. That's what happens when you have to figure life into your life - PLUS I'm working on some really cool new projects.
Since the gigging season is starting soon (as least for me) I thought I would share some patches for tunes that I'm learning in the pop/cover band I'm in.
We are playing 'Last Name' by Carrie Underwood, and I'll be covering a banjo and fiddle. On the recording, the fiddle player does a lot with double stops, so I layered in another violin a perfect fourth below the main one. The second violin is only triggered when velocity (translated as attack strength on the EWI) is above 108.
The bottom part of the range is a banjo, just for fun.
Next time you play a country tune, you can break out the fiddle and banjo! Fun stuff!
The other advantage as a horn player, is that I don't have to lay out this tune, since there are no horns on it. That keeps me musically relevant in the band.
I'm working on a new project and have been creating some breath controlled NN-XT patches. Sometimes there are many layers in one patch - for example, a brass section with trumpets, trombone, and a few saxes.
What I found was I wanted to work on one zone (say the Tenor sax) without hearing the other zones (trumpets and trombones) and the NN-XT doesn't have a 'mute zone' button. The best you can do is turn the Volume down on the zone you don't want to hear, which is inconvenient to say the least.
Here is a technique that I started using when working on NN-XT sounds, especially one with a lot of layers.
The band I am in is starting rehearsals to get ready for the summer wedding season and I thought I would take a second look at my current batch of patches that I use.
I thought my 'go to' brass patch could use an upgrade, so I found something in the Reason Factory Sound Bank and converted it to use breath control.
You can use this sound with your EWI-USB, EWI4000s, WX7-5-11 or whatever wind controller you happen to have and, of course Reason.
Next week, I'll have some time to beef it up with some effects and put it in a combinator.
This is one of the harmon trumpet samples from the Orkester sound bank, included in Reason. Unleash your inner Miles!
This is a version of the recorder from the Reason Factory Sound Bank - set up with breath control, so you don't have to. You can get a real expansive sound if you add some verb and maybe some delay - but I'll leave that up to you. Have fun!
This is the bari sax from the Reason Factory Sound Bank. Breath control added, of course. I used the mf version of the multi sample and just varied the filter and dynamics.
Usually, I don't like playing sax sounds on the gig, because I play sax and it just never sounds quite right. I make an exception in this case because the samples are really good, the effect of having a funky bari on your tune is way cool and it sure beats lugging around 40 pounds of brass! Easier on the neck, too.
This is the Offerdahl Flute from the Reason Factory Sound Bank with Breath Control. Not much to say here except that this would be a sound that you can use as is with some reverb, or you may want to use it in a combinator to add breathiness to another sound.