Join J Chris Griffin for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding Auto Combinators, part of Up and Running with Reason 6.5.
Since we now have a basic house beat, it makes sense to continue on the house tip. I want to quickly complete this track and make it cool, but let's say I'm short on inspiration or too pressed for time to really finish customizing it before our gig. The Combinator is your new best friend. The Combinator is simply a device that combines several instruments, effects, and rhythm devices into one unit. It can do almost anything. It's a remarkably flexible device that can assemble an infinite number of units, depending on your CPU resources, to make monster synths, super-potent effects, or rhythm devices that include several drum machines and loop players all working in tandem to create music.
With that in mind, when the Combinator was introduced several years ago, we designers were tasked with a set of patches called Song Starters that would help get a song started quickly with minimal key presses, to inspire if you will. Let me bring up a few of these patches now and play around with them. You should do this as well if you're following along, stop the video where you need to, and resume when you are ready to see more action. Right-clicking in the blank area here, I'll go to Utilities > Combinator.
That will open up a new blank Combinator. And using the Patch Browser, let's go browse some patches. So what opens up in the documents folder, we want to go to Reason Factory Sound Bank/Combinator Patches/ Performance Patches/Song Starters. I'm going to choose, with our theme, the Deep House Starter Combinator. And it loads up and it's ready to run. Let me play Reason at this point, let you hear what's going on. (music playing) So, we have our initial Redrum kit loop that we created in the last video, and we now have this Combinator sound.
So, if I went to the mixer board and muted the Redrum, this is what it sounds like. Now if I muted the Combinator, and just let the Redrum play, that's of course the rhythm we had in our last video. (music playing) Both together! (music playing) Now, one of the cool things about this is you can alter some of the behaviors of this Combinator by turning the knobs here.
So, this seems to be the main kick level in this Combinator. (music playing) We can add some resonance to the percussion, alter our bass level, and so forth. That's cool! Let's bring up another patch. Now, one of the cool things about the Patch Browser is it's not limited to the Patch Browse button. Clicking on the name of the patch brings up a contextual menu that includes all of the patches in the current folder with the loaded patch.
This allows for quick changes. You can use this menu or the up/down arrow buttons to change through patches, and of course it takes time to load up. This is a very quick way to kind of compare some things. Let's bring up another patch called Piebald's Second Tan. (music playing) This will add kind of a different sound to what we've got. (music playing) And again, tweaking the buttons and the knobs provides for a different sound.
Let's even bring up a different kind of sound here. We'll call it Sinebeat. Pushing Play. (music playing) These are all great idea starters or things that will help you get inspired to write a new beat. A couple more that are very cool, Warm Bathroom is one of my favorites. (music playing) Now, let's say you don't want to really rely on Reason to create everything for you; you want to play a little bit on your MIDI keyboard.
You want to have a little bit more customized control. That's after all what this video is about. So let's bring up some of those kinds of Song Starters. Now, I am going to move over to Arpeggiated patches and bring up a different kind of sound. Now, this will actually require me to play it via my MIDI keyboard, and I can do that now. (music playing) It creates a beautiful arpeggiated kind of sound in tempo with our track.
Now, I am going to move this back up to 128 and play. (music playing) You can hear the arpeggiation follow the song tempo and pattern. SQ80 Sqaure Arp is another great patch. (music playing) And one of my favorites: Science.
(music playing) Though this was a quick introduction to the Combinator, I hope you can see how powerful a device like this can be, especially for filling out a sparse track and quickly making your productions bigger and more fulfilling. Our next video will focus on larger productions, only this time using Dr. Octo Rex to fill up the empty space in a track.
- Installing Reason and authorizing your ignition key
- Making music with Dr. Octo Rex
- Expanding on vocals with Neptune
- Creating custom beats with ReDrum
- Using rack extensions
- Creating guitar and bass sounds
- Using synths such as Malström and Thor
- Using the ID8, NN-19, and NN-XT samplers
- Adding reverb to vocals
- Using the sequencer and tracks