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REASON 3.0: THE DUB IS IN THERE!

Get Reason 3.0

THE EFFECTS

Many producers take too much time in finding the perfect sounds for their tunes in the instruments. They're looking for that particular sound of a guitar or piano. For a DUB producer, this isn't the main issue, of course. After all, the Art of DUB is mainly to transform every original instrument into something completely different by using.... Effects!

Reason has much more different effect devices than instruments. Every thinkable kind is there. Echo's, Reverbs, Filters, Flanger, Phaser. There are even a number completely programmable quality devices. That's not all. There's a vocoder, too. And a couple of "hybrids" between effects and instruments.

CHECK REASON NOWLet's take a look at the basic effects. They're all half-sized, that means that you can put two devices next to another in the rack, where the more luxurious effects and all other devices take up the whole width of the rack. Here's a list of the "small effects":

* RV-7 DIGITAL REVERB - Hall, plate and other kinds of reverb are present in a small but powerful device. You'll need to experiment with the settings but it's quite possible to get a decent reverb out of it. 

* DDL-1 DIGITAL DELAY LINE - A basic delay, with enough controls to get any echo you want. There's a choice to display and control the echoes with milliseconds, or to have an echo in perfect sync with the rhythm. 

* D-11 FOLDBACK DISTORTION - This particular device isn't checked for this review. Usually, distortion is either to get a screaming effect or to add some "dirt" to a mix. But in DUB, this can easily be achieved in other ways. 

* ECF-42 ENVELOPE CONTROLLED FILTER - Highly popular in Techno and other synthesizer based music, the ECF-42 will enable you to make a phaser-like effect. This is a very powerful effect, especially in combination with reverb or echo. 

* CF-101 CHORUS/FLANGER - From a subtle enrichment of the guitar sound to the creation of a computerized, metallic effect, this little toy will do the job just nicely, 

* PH-90 PHASER - Many contemporary producers will tell you how they are influenced by Lee Perry's Black Ark Studio. And if there is one effect that predominated this sound, it was the phaser. When you find the right setting, all you got to do is let it run along the instruments for an "instant" vibe. * 

UN-16 UNISON - The UN-16 is a "voice doubler". It works a bit like a chorus. The effect adds delayed and subtly detuned voices to the signal. 

* COMP-01 COMPRESSOR/LIMITER - Compression will make a sound fatter. So for the bassline, it's a must to have a little compression. The COMP-01 is a reasonable compressor for such jobs. 

* PEQ-2 TWO BAND PARAMETRIC EQ - Last, but definitely not the least effect. It's possible to use this EQ for fine-tuning of instruments, but the other application is more interesting. Because of the clever controls, it's possible to create special effects with the EQ by changing control buttons during the mix.

All in all, a nice list of effects. And because it's possible to create any thinkable combination or layering of these effects, the possibilities are virtually endless. For example, you can have a filter, going through an echo, with a little bit of reverb on top of that. Three effects, layered over each other. And that's just one possibility.

Let's try some of these effects, just to listen to the vibe. For this experience, we create a little drum and bassline, with a piano to play the chords. Nothing special. Every sound file has five different segments, separated by silence. We've used the standard setting on most of the effects, by the way.

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 1: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Segment 1: dry 

Segment 2: Reverb on Drum and Piano 

Segment 3: Reverb on Drum, Phaser on Piano, and Echo on Piano 

Segment 4: Reverb on Drum, Phaser on Piano, followed by Reverb on the Phaser 

Segment 5: Reverb on Drum, Piano through Filter, followed by Reverb on the Filter

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 2: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Segment 1: dry, with Echo on Piano, followed by Reverb and Unison on Echo 

Segment 2: Reverb-EQ chain on drum 

Segment 3: Reverb-EQ chain on Drum, Unison on Piano 

Segment 4: Reverb-EQ chain and Echo on Drum, Unison on Piano 

Segment 5: Reverb-EQ chain on Drum, Unison on Piano, echo on Unison

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 3: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Segment 1: Chorus on Drums, 

Segment 2: Chorus on Drums, Echo on Chorus 

Segment 3: Chorus on Drums, Echo on Chorus, Reverb on Echo

Segment 4: Chorus on Drums, Reverb on Chorus 

Segment 5: Chorus on Drums, Echo and Reverb on Chorus, Reverb on Echo

 

As we see, there's an incredible amount of possible combinations, and layers of effects will even gives us a very personal sound. Experimenting with the effects can be time-consuming, though. Before you know it, you're in the midst of the most spectacular DUB effects!

And that's not all. We've only mentioned the standard effects. They're all "half sized" and do what they do. Of course, you can program them to an extend that is beyond satisfaction. And they will bring you killer DUBS when you have the talents.

But Reason goes further. Much further!

In addition to the standard effects, Propellerhead developed a set of Advanced Effect devices. And that is where every DUB producer will start to have an advanced interest fe true! Fully programmable, High-Q effects that definitely match hardware equivalents such as the Alesis Midiverb.

There are three advanced effects: a Distortion, a Vocoder and the RV-7000 Advanced Reverb. Let's check out this last device, as it is definitely the most interesting for the DUB producer.

CHECK REASON NOWBasically, the RV-7000 can be used as a delay, or a reverb. Or a combination, of course. It has a lot of parameters, all fully programmable. But the pre-sets are pretty impressive, too. And versatile! There's even a "Spring Reverb" simulation that is pretty decent, as well as presets that claim to be "Reggaeish Dub Effect". We're definitely have to check out these effects too.

How else can we check them but by listening? We'll use the same riddim of drum, bass and piano. Two RV-7000's will definitely give us a good impression of what can be achieved at a later stage, when we'll program the Reverb for ourselves. We will apply one RV-7000 over the drums, and another over the piano. Let's have a listen:

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 4: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Drums: Dub Slappy Spring Reverb 

Piano: Reverse Repeat

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 5: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 

Drums: 201 Spring Reverb 

Piano: Space Echo 1

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 6: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Drums: RV-1 SpringVerb + occasional Sky-Fi Hit 

Piano: Sky Fi Hit

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 7: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 

Drums: Reso Robot Verb + Rolling Fit Multi Tap Hits from the Reso Robot Verb 

Piano: Rolling Fit Multi Tap

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 8: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 

Drums: 80's Gated Verb + Bright Long Hall Hits 

Piano: Bright Long Hall

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 9: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Drums: Choir Plate 

Piano: Film Score

 

Let's put the Maximizer between the master output and the soundcard, and make a very quick DUB mix. Just for fun. Here's a short Dub, with some fast and slow echo added to the two RV-7000 devices. The bass and drumline have been slightly changed, and some basic mixing already creates a nice DUB vibe. The following track was created in about 15 minutes.

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 10: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

 

CHECK REASON NOWTwo RV-7000's can transform a piano and a drum, from their pre-sets alone. We've just established that they do that pretty fair. However, it's clear that the program functions will be necessary in order to create some deeper effects that will suit the need for a serious DUB producer.

For the following Sound example, we'll use a Subtractor, going through an EQ and subsequently through a compressor for the bassline. For the chords, we use the NN-XT. A Redrum Drum Machine provides the rhythm. For the effects, we've programmed two RV 7000's with a Spring and a Digital Reverb from scratch. Two echo machines complete the setup. A basic Dub set up. The following sound example shows some use of these effects.

 

SOUND EXAMPLE 11: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

 

CHECK REASON NOWJust like Rebirth looked back at what is now regarded to be some "Golden Age", Reason does the same. With the Spring Reverb function, Propellerhead looks at one of the most wanted analogue effects. There's enough dirt in the Spring Reverb simulation to have that challenging sound, which can easily be improved by changing a few parameters.

There's enough niceness in the Digital Reverb too. The echoes aren't that spectacular, though. But then, hardly any serious DUB producer would use the internal feedback of a delay but instead loop it through the mixing table for more control.

We didn't even go through all the effects. There's a great Vocoder, fully programmable although it's not easy to see how it works. But that's a tenet of the Vocoder, too. It's kind of a hybrid between a musical instrument and an effect. And will most definitely provide an extra dimension to your music.

All in all, when you're into producing DUB music, this quick look at the Effects that come with Reason will surely have convinced you that you really want this program. The effects are high to top quality, there's enough room for programming your own pre-sets as well.

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