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Making music with Dr. Octo Rex

From: Up and Running with Reason 6.5

Video: Making music with Dr. Octo Rex

With Reason installed and configured the way I want, now I'm ready to quickly create some music. I'll make a new song by typing Command+N or Ctrl+N, and you can do this as well if you're following along, or you can also select New from the Reason file menu. It opens up just the way I configured it in my template session from earlier in the course. Now, there is no easier way to get started making music than with Dr. Octo Rex. This instrument uses a file format that takes audio and chops it up into it's constituent beats and phrases called a Rex file.

Making music with Dr. Octo Rex

With Reason installed and configured the way I want, now I'm ready to quickly create some music. I'll make a new song by typing Command+N or Ctrl+N, and you can do this as well if you're following along, or you can also select New from the Reason file menu. It opens up just the way I configured it in my template session from earlier in the course. Now, there is no easier way to get started making music than with Dr. Octo Rex. This instrument uses a file format that takes audio and chops it up into it's constituent beats and phrases called a Rex file.

The software that creates and edits the Rex file is called Recycle, also from Propellerhead. Dr. Octo Rex is a playback-only device, and there are hundreds of Rex files to choose from inside the Reason Factory Sound Bank. So I chose the Dr. Octo Rex by going to the Create menu > Instruments > Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player, or by right- clicking, or if you're on a one-button mouse in a Mac, by Control+clicking and selecting Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player. When I instantiate a Dr. Octo Rex player, the default patch automatically loads.

This default loop is exactly what I want at the moment, and when I press Play in Reason the loop begins playing along in tempo and at the right place in the song. By the way, the spacebar is the best way to start and stop playback in Reason. Pressing the spacebar initiates, stops, and then resumes playback of a song. Now, the key command to return to the start of a song is Shift+Return pressed twice. I'll use this key command quite often in the course to return to the start of a song for playback.

Now, if you hit Shift+Return just once, it'll take you back to where you last left off on playback. Buttons in Dr. Octo Rex contained preloaded alternate versions of the loop. There are eight loop placeholders, hence the name Dr. Octo Rex. Trigger next loop determines what happens when you press the buttons. Does it move to the alternate loop on the next bar or the next beat or on the next 16th note? For our purposes, we'll just leave it on the bar.

So every time we hit a new button it will wait to the next bar before it moves to the alternate loop. Dr. Octo Rex has many great features, which will not cover here, but you can uncover and expose all kinds of different controls, and we'll get into these later in the course. Since this video is all about making music right away, let me quickly explain some of the sequencer and transport features I need to use to get music recorded. Moving over to the Sequencer window, loop indicators determine where a loop start point and a loop end point occur.

These are set to bars 1 and 9, respectively, and this is where I want them. And I'll turn the Loop button on so when the playback head reaches bar 9 it will loop back to bar 1. Zooming is either accomplished with the mouse set to the zoom handles or simply with the G and H keys. The built-in click or metronome is enabled with the click button, and the click level is set to taste. The Pre indicates the pre-count off bars and we can set those in Options > Number of Pre-count Bars, so we can set One, Two, Three, or Four.

We'll leave it to One for our purposes here. Let's record a drum loop progression utilizing drum loops 1, 2, 3, and 4. Now Reason can automate and record nearly every parameter in the program, and I want to let it know to record the loop select buttons in real time. Since I'm recording just one instrument, I want to consolidate my screens. So I'll press F6 and F7 together to bring the Sequencer window and the rack together. So now we can see both in the same screen.

Now, I want to let Reason know that I intend to automate some of these buttons, so I'll Option+Click one of the buttons. It'll draw kind of a gate or a line around all the buttons and a new Pattern Select lane will be enabled inside the sequencer. This lets Reason know that I'm about to do something with these buttons. So, we've got a pre-count of one bar and I'm going to select loop 1, put it in record, and you can see that even as I hit the next button, it waits to the bar.

(drums playing) Great! So here's the automation for the buttons I just pressed. And if we play back, Shift+Return twice, you can see the buttons here following along, what I just recorded, and you can hear the loop change accordingly. (drums playing) We've automated some buttons, made a basic drum loop.

The next video on the course builds on this loop with additional audio loops and instruments.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Reason 6.5
Up and Running with Reason 6.5

37 video lessons · 3371 viewers

J Chris Griffin
Author

 
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  1. 2m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Using the exercise files
      58s
  2. 8m 39s
    1. Installing Reason and authorizing your ignition key
      1m 47s
    2. Investigating the Reason folder
      2m 1s
    3. Setting preferences and settings for controllers and audio
      4m 51s
  3. 22m 8s
    1. Making music with Dr. Octo Rex
      5m 8s
    2. Creating additional Dr. Octo Rex tracks and instrument tracks
      3m 53s
    3. Finishing your first beat
      3m 33s
    4. Creating audio tracks for vocals or instruments
      5m 43s
    5. Expanding the vocal possibilities with Neptune
      3m 51s
  4. 18m 7s
    1. Using the ReDrum drum module
      5m 11s
    2. Adding Auto Combinators
      6m 9s
    3. Utilizing multi-loops in Dr. Octo Rex
      6m 47s
  5. 10m 56s
    1. Trying and buying Rack Extensions
      2m 53s
    2. Using Rack Extensions
      8m 3s
  6. 11m 38s
    1. Creating guitar sounds with the Line 6 devices
      6m 10s
    2. Creating bass sounds with the Line 6 devices
      2m 2s
    3. Printing guitar and bass tracks with final amp settings
      3m 26s
  7. 48m 51s
    1. Using the SubTractor analog synth
      4m 14s
    2. Using the Malström Graintable synth
      3m 49s
    3. Using the Thor polyphonic synth
      4m 39s
    4. Using the ID8 Instrument Device
      3m 24s
    5. Using the NN-19 digital sampler
      3m 42s
    6. Using the NN-XT advanced sampler
      7m 8s
    7. Utilizing the Kong Drum Designer
      7m 49s
    8. Utilizing the Combinator
      4m 31s
    9. Utilizing a synth or sampler without a MIDI keyboard
      3m 52s
    10. Using third-party ReFills
      5m 43s
  8. 13m 57s
    1. Putting reverb on vocal tracks
      6m 12s
    2. Adding effects to other tracks
      3m 23s
    3. Utilizing cool effects via the master section
      4m 22s
  9. 28m 59s
    1. Understanding the layout of the sequencer
      8m 6s
    2. Utilizing Blocks mode
      9m 40s
    3. Using the ReGroove Mixer
      5m 17s
    4. Editing MIDI performance data
      3m 13s
    5. Editing audio tracks
      2m 43s
  10. 51s
    1. What's next?
      51s

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