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If you’re worth your salt, you’re prob­a­bly us­ing the NN-XT sampler over the older NN-19. But if you’ve re­alised what the NN-19 can do that the NN-XT can’t, you’re truly a mas­ter sen­sei of Rea­son. Right-click or Alt-click al­most any pa­ram­e­ter on ’19 and you can au­to­mate it, giv­ing you ac­cess to con­trols for the LFO, Fil­ter, Pitch, Por­ta­mento, and more, in­clud­ing the Sam­ple Start con­trol for some retro stretch tech­niques! It’s pro­nounced “n-n-nine­teen”, by the way, after the Paul Hard­cas­tle track 19 – – betcha didn’t know that.


Like most DAWs, you can con­trol Rea­son with a con­nected MIDI con­troller, but Pro­peller­head’s rack also takes a va­ri­ety of com­mands from your QWERTY key­board if you let it. Head to Op­tions and tick Key­board Con­trol Edit Mode, and se­lect a de­vice in the rack. Ev­ery ar­row rep­re­sents a pa­ram­e­ter that can be mapped to a QWERTY key to switch it on or flick it be­tween min­i­mum and max­i­mum.


Rea­son doesn’t come with its own multi­band pro­ces­sor, but you can make your own us­ing other bits and pieces. The Stereo Imager de­vice will cre­ate the clean­est crossovers for clin­i­cal multi­band splits. Cre­ate a Stereo Imager mod­ule and solo the Lo band. Around the back, flick the Sep­a­rate Out switch to Hi Band. Tweak the Cut­off to de­ter­mine your low­est cross­over, then Du­pli­cate the de­vice for as many bands as you want to cre­ate. The main Out­put sig­nal will be the new Low­est band, while the Sep­a­rate Out goes into the In­put of the next Stereo Imager.


Sur­viv­ing from Rea­son’s very early days, Sub­trac­tor only has one mono out­put… hardly the mak­ings of a mod­ern synth. To get pseu­dostereo ef­fects, try du­pli­cat­ing the sub­trac­tor sig­nal then de­lay­ing and/or pitchshift­ing the copy. You can also try adding cho­rus ef­fects, find­ing a RV-7000 patch with mono in­puts and stereo out­puts, or a com­bi­na­tion of all meth­ods. The re­sult, whichever method you choose, will be to drag Sub­trac­tor out of the dark ages and into the mod­ern sonic world.


Since the shock rev­e­la­tion that Rea­son 9.5 would load VST in­stru­ments and ef­fects, a lot of our old work­arounds for this are, thank­fully, ob­so­lete. But how about the chance for Mac users to load Au­dio Units in the rack? Sim­ple so­lu­tions in­clude in-DAW plugin hosts like Blue Cat Au­dio’s Patch­work for AU ac­cess, but you can do it free with the old work­around: you can get MIDI out of Rea­son’s Ex­ter­nal MIDI In­stru­ment us­ing Au­dio/MIDI Setup’s IAC Driver, and you can route an AU-host­ing DAW’s au­dio back to Rea­son us­ing Sound­flower.


There’s plenty of free Rack Ex­ten­sions in the Prop Shop. You’ll find a few free-toin­stall tools at­peller­ Th­ese will have to be ‘bought’ (for $0) and au­tho­rised, just like any other RE, but in­stal­la­tion is pretty sim­ple. To sift through the free stuff, scroll to the bot­tom of the page to load all the items, then use your web browser’s search func­tion (Cmd-F or Ctrl-F) to type in ‘ free’ and high­light each goodie on the page.


Mal­strom, Thor and Kong can be used as ef­fects pro­ces­sors as well as in­stru­ments. In Mal­strom, flip the rack to find the

Au­dio in­put, and you’ll get ac­cess its fil­ters for left and right chan­nels, the Spread con­trol, and Mod­u­la­tor B. In Kong, route your sig­nal to the

Au­dio In­put, and you’ll get ac­cess to its Bus FX and Mas­ter FX sec­tions.

With Thor, send a sig­nal to its au­dio in­puts and use the mod ma­trix to route Au­dio InL and

Au­dio InR to Fil­ter3. As well as the fil­ter, you can to use Thor’s Cho­rus and De­lay mod­ules, as well as its sec­ond LFO to con­trol them.


Note Echo’s Step Length can be set to 0, mean­ing that ev­ery ‘echo’ will play back at once. Set Pitch to +1 and de­ac­ti­vate cer­tain steps to use Note Echo to pro­duce some one-fin­ger chords; or set Step Length to 0, Re­peats to 1, and de­ac­ti­vate the first step to use Pitch as an in­stant MIDI trans­poser.


Like your crazy aunt with all the cats, there’s one part of the Rack fam­ily that’s not talked about or paid a visit very of­ten. Nurse REX is a mini loop player that re­sides in­side Kong, tak­ing up its tiny space as one of the in­stru­ment’s built-in Drum Mod­ules. With an RX2 loop loaded in, you can use the NurseREX/Kong combo to play loop slices across the pads.


Com­ing up against CPU prob­lems? In the Pref­er­ences, you can raise the CPU limit at which Rea­son will stop it­self. To re­duce waste, switch off all un­nec­es­sary parts of your de­vices, like fully open fil­ters and un­routed mod­ules. Re­duc­ing the num­ber of re­verb de­vices will also help. Swap mul­ti­ple RV7000s for one send ef­fect to cut down; swap that for an RV-7 for a less-CPU-in­ten­sive ef­fect; and to get right down to the bone, try RV-7’s Low Den­sity set­ting.

Scan the Prop Shop for free rack ex­ten­sions and come out with a bunch of new tools for your vir­tual stu­dio

Ex­tend your ar­se­nal of ef­fects with the help of a few in­stru­ments

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