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
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.