This is the final installment of the Route Breath Control Anywhere series, and this time we are using Thor to route our Breath Control.
We are going to take our breath data stream, send it to the CV outs on the back of Thor, and from there, to our devices. Finally, I will show you a technique to control the amount of breath data that is sent to each output, and control this via the front panel knobs on the combinator.
Technique Number 3: Thor Routing
Thor can be used as it was intended - a great synth. However, I have no intention of using it as it was intended! Thor is also an insane data processing unit, and we will use some of those capabilities here. In this case the data we want to process is our incoming breath data.
Step By Step
Remember, we are not using this Thor device for its sound, but for its routing capabilities. We now turn our attention to the Modulation Bus Routing Section or MBRS. That's just a fancy name for defining how to send one piece of data (an LFO or envelope, or performance control) to modulate another one. See the Reason manual for the full list of sources and destinations. In this case, we are going to route Breath to the CV Outs on the back of Thor.
Set up the Source as Breath, the amount as 100 and the Dest to CVOut1-4 just like in the following picture:
7. We'll stick with the Malstrom synth that we have been using throughout this tutorial series - just because I think it's cool to add breath response to a device that has no breath response controls built-in. So, create a Malstrom by right clicking on the Line Mixer you created earlier and choosing Create -> Malstrom Graintable Synthesizer from the popup menu. This will auto route the audio connections to the Line Mixer.
8. Next, we'll add our breath response. Flip the rack around and from the Thor, connect CV out 1 to the Filter Modulation Input on the Malstrom. Route CV Out 2 to Index, Route CV Out 3 to Shift, Route CV Out 4 to Level. The connections should look like this (click the image for full size):
Scaling the breath response
You can pretty much load any patch from the Reason Factory Sound Bank into the Malstrom to try it out.
There are two ways to scale the breath response. First, you can control the amount of breath response going to each parameter by tweaking the input knobs next to each CV Input on the Malstrom. See below:
Here I have a lot of breath going to the Filter, none to Index, just a touch going to Shift and a moderate amount going to level. You can also use the switches to control if the breath data is going to Oscillator A, B or both.
Since we are using breath to control these things, I like to remove the velocity scaling from those same parameters like this:
The other way to scale the breath response is to set each of the input trim pots to max, and use the Thor to scale the input. Here is the same setup, but using Thor to do the scaling:
What you'll find with CV Out 4 going to the level CV in is that as you move the 'Amount' of CV Out 4 down, the overall volume goes down, which is probably not what you want. It might be better to set the trim pot in the middle for level, so you at least have some volume to work with.
The other downside to this technique is that you have to remember which output is routed to which input. We can get around this downside by using the Combinator Rotary knobs to adjust the Breath output scaling.
Combinator Scaling of Breath Input
First, lets label our Combinator knobs so we know what is going to be what. I set mine up like this, with each knob controlling the amount of breath going to each parameter. (BC stands for Breath Control). (Click the images for the large version).
Now, you can mess around with the various controls to see how they affect the sound. Neat huh?
Here is the completed patch. Don't forget to add some reverb! For the final touch, try adding a UN-16 Unison, but I'll leave that up to you.