Ok, this is the Prophet 5
Last time, I told you about some of the sampled synth waveforms that are available in the Reason Factory Sound Bank. In this tutorial, we will create our own version of the Prophet 5, using samples from that legendary instrument.
There is a lot of information about the Prophet 5 at Vintage Synth.com. The Prophet 5 had two analog oscillators plus a noise generator. We're not going to go for a 100% authentic reproduction here, we're just going to get close using the sampled waveforms. Luckily for us, we have samples from the Prophet 5 in the Reason Factory Sound Bank of the sine, square, saw and noise waveforms. In this tutorial, we'll create a combinator that emulates this setup, plus we will add breath control and some effects to really bring our sound to life. Let's get started with an empty combinator. Our shopping list includes:
Pretty simple -- just drag them into the combinator from the tools window. If you collapse the NN-19's, It should look like this (front and back). This is a real flexible setup because we can control volume and panning of each voice independently. Each voice also gets its own amp enveloper, mod envelope and LFO.
Add the voices and Breath Control
Open up the first NN-19 and, click the folder icon next to where it says 'Init Patch' and navigate to the Prophet 5 sawtooth patch in the Reason Factory Sound Bank. You can find it here: Reason Factory Sound Bank > NN19 Sampler Patches > Synth Raw Elements > Raw PV Saw.smp. Play your keyboard or blow into your ewi. You should hear a buzzy sawtooth sound.
Next, let's make a few adjustments and add our breath control. I think the attack is a little harsh, so we can move the Amp envelope attack to 18. We can then add some breath control by modifying the 'Controller' section. Here are the settings I used:
The three things that you can affect with the source are Filter Frequency, LFO amount and Amp amount. Setting the knob to the right means you will add that amount to whatever is set on the patch and moving the knob to the left mean you will subtract an amount from the patch setting. How far to the left or right is how much will be added or subtracted -- and of course, this amount is scaled by the breath, aftertouch or expression. Here are some common scenarios:
"I want the sound to get louder as I blow harder."
Move the amp knob in the controller section to the right. How far to the right will determine the range of volume.
"I want the sound to get brighter as I blow harder."
In the filter section, set the mode to LP12 or LP24, and set the Freq slider to the minimum brightness that you want. Then move the F Freq knob in the Controller section to the right which will raise the filter frequency as you blow harder.
Here are the settings we have now. It should respond to breath control, but it's really nothing to write home about (yet). I circled the parts of the patch that are modified from the original. The arrows point to the parts of the patch that are being modified by the knobs in the 'Controller' section.
Wait a minute! The Prophet 5 had 2 oscillators, not one. Now that we have made our adjustments to our patch, we can just copy this patch to the one below it. From the menu choose Edit -> Copy Patch. Then select the second NN19, and choose Edit -> Paste Patch. On the second patch move the 'Fine' knob under the OSC section to the right. This will give us a slight chorus and thicken up the sound a little.
The Prophet 5 also had a noise generator so I'm going to load that into the last NN-19. The Prophet 5 noise sample is here: Reason Factory Sound Bank -> NN19 Sampler Patches -> Synth Raw Elements -> Raw_PV_Noise.smp. Well, we just can't have white noise blasting all over the place, so let's turn down the white noise in the Mixer 6:2. I set it really low, so that it is only apparent at very soft volumes.While we're at it, we can widen the sound by panning the two saw tooth samplers left and right.
Here is what we have so far:
Adding some effects will really make this sound come alive. I am going to keep the reverb at the main mixer and not include it in the combinator itself. However, I like to include delay and unison in the combinator so let's add those. I'm going to use them as insert effects and route them after the mixer. Like this:
Here is the same line played with reverb, unison and delay:
By now, you should have an idea of what one could do with this basic set up. You could add more voices or swap out the voices for samples from a different synth. You might try adding another NN19 with a sample from an acoustic instrument. You could assign Combinator knobs to control various parameters.
For fun, I swapped out the Prophet samples with MiniMoog samples from the Reason Factory Sound Bank. Here are the results -- it is a totally different sound.
Hopefully, this little tutorial will get you started creating some of your own sounds using sampled synths. We created a combinator and stacked a bunch of NN-19's. We covered some of the basics of adding breath control to any NN-19 sound you may come across in the Reason Factory Sound Bank. We even added some effects to liven up the sound, and give it some depth and character. We finished off by swapping out one sound with another. The Prophet and MiniMoog combinators are below.
Was this tutorial too simplistic or not advanced enough? Let us know in the comments.