Rack ba­sics: the ad­van­tages of com­bi­na­tion

Check out the power as we use Rea­son’s Com­bi­na­tor to show ex­actly what we can get done us­ing al­most any DAW’s rack-style sys­tem

Future Music - - PRODUCER’S GUIDE -

What is it about rack sys­tems that makes them so use­ful? We’ll show you in just three steps. Here we’re in Rea­son, demon­strat­ing some clas­sic rack-style work­flow us­ing Pro­peller­head’s vaunted Com­bi­na­tor sys­tem. When Com­bi­na­tors were first launched, the idea was still new and broke a lot of sig­nif­i­cant ground. Ever since, other DAW de­vel­op­ers have been play­ing catch-up, but the nugget of what a rack (or Com­bi­na­tor) does is ba­si­cally the same: house a few sep­a­rate pro­ces­sors in their own ‘shell’, pri­mar­ily for group­ing, sav­ing and re­call, and then go fur­ther by map­ping those de­vices’ pa­ram­e­ters to master or ‘macro’ con­trols that take com­m­mand over far more.

Our ef­fects chain in­volves an en­ve­lope fil­ter send­ing its sig­nal in par­al­lel to both a dis­tor­tion and a de­lay unit. Tricky-ish to set up, so we’d like to save it for fu­ture use. Select all the de­vices, right-click and Com­bine to roll them into a Com­bi­na­tor.

Delv­ing deeper, we can as­sign the Com­bi­na­tor’s four knobs and four but­tons to any pa­ram­e­ter within. We link Ro­tary 1 to the de­lay’s Feed­back and to the dis­tor­tion Amount con­trol, mean­ing that we can push them up to­gether with a sin­gle con­trol.

Just by hav­ing this ef­fects setup in a Com­bi­na­tor, we can now By­pass ev­ery­thing, run or stop any se­quencers, save it all for load­ing later, and even share the Com­bi­na­tor patch with other peo­ple.

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