Join Matt Piper for an in-depth discussion in this video Loop recording, part of Up and Running with Reason 7.
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In the old days, when you went into the recording studio, each reel of tape only ran for not that long and cost a fair amount of money. And when you wanted to edit, you had to use razor blades and tape. That put a little bit of pressure on you when it was time to play your amazing guitar solo. Nowadays, there's no pressure at all, with loop recording. You can let that solo section loop for an hour if you have enough hard drive space, and find the good bits and put them together and make yourself sound amazing.
That's sort of what we're going to do right now. So, I've got a half baked track up that already has a baseline. And a drum loop. And I'm going to drag my right locator over here to the edge of the section that I want to loop. And I have my left locator here. And if I'm in the middle of a big project, and I want to immediately jump to my left or right locator, I can go down here, go to right locator.
You saw the song position pointer jump. Go to left locator, and manually dragging these locators is not the only way. Quite often what I prefer to do is select a clip that is the length of the loop that I want to use. And then I can, on my computer keyboard, hit Cmd+L if I'm on Mac, or Ctrl+L on Windows, and the left and right locators will automatically be positioned at the edges of the selected clip.
And then, in order to actually have the transport loop instead of just continuing on past the right locator. I have to click this Loop button. And again, I don't have to drag my mouse down there and do that. I can actually just hit the L key on my computer keyboard, to turn Loop on and off. So I've got a guitar track here, ready to go. And that's actually what I'd like to record. I'm just going to record a few passes of guitar.
And I don't even think I'm going to bother with a pre-count or click because I have a drum beat and I'm looping, I don't even have to come in right away if I don't want to. There's no pressure. Okay I don't know if I brought them to their knees there but let's see if we can cobble up something together. So if I double-click here, I can see the several takes that rolled past. Let me just zoom in a bit. And let's go ahead and listen to this, and I'll show you what I can do. I can select my Razor and then I can start cutting around on these and dragging and selecting.
And I'm going to turn off snap because it's set to one half of a measure. And, I just want to be able to grab anything I want regardless of the grid. Now, sometimes as you do this, you might hear a little bit of a click or something strange in between the cuts that you made. And if that's the case, you can, let me get my selector tool here. You can grab these handles and crossfade. You can also move these handles, and then you can make your transitions more smooth.
And, you see where it says silence here, if I just decide that I want to have a little bit of silence, I can do that as well. Make on more little crossfade here. Let's hear what that sounds like. Okay. And then, if I want to commit to that, I can bounce it. And so, now, when I close this, and double click, I don't see the Comp Editor anymore. I see the audio quantized slices, which we'll talk about a little bit later in this course.
And if I want to see the Comp Editor again, I can click Open in Comp Editor. And if I decide, I didn't like that balance, I'd like to re-edit that, I can do that as well. And you'll also notice that I have individual volume controls for each one of these ticks. So what I do in the Comp Editior is entirely non destructive. I can revisit it anytime that I want. I can Copy and Paste this clip and do different edits in the same song. Everything that I've recorded is retained. And if you notice here in the lower right hand corner, those three little rectangles signify that that is a Comp Edited clip.
Alright, I'm going to mute this guitar that I just recorded, and press Stop so that my song position pointer is at the beginning, and let's see what happens when we Loop Record with a software instrument. So, I'm going to select my organ track here that I already have set up. Let's hear what that sound like. And on my controller keyboard, like most controller keyboards, I have a pitch control and a modulation control. And when I move the mod wheel it activates a Lesley effect, basically these old organs often were paired with a speaker cabinet called a Lesley with a rotating speaker, so that's the sound that's being simulated there.
So, let's see what happens. What's going on? That sounds confusing, it sounds like there's three of me playing. Okay, that wasn't the same result that we got when we were playing the guitar, and that's because the Comp Editor only works with audio tracks, not with midi. So what's happened here, is that every note that I've played basically, has been recorded here, all in one clip. Which is kind of a mess and not exactly what I was going for.
And also, if you look down here, if you can read it through the squiggles, mod wheel. It's really just recorded over each previous pass. So, I only have the most recent recording of my mod wheel moves. So I've found that out using the virtual wah on the guitar as I loop recorded some fearsome guitar soloing, and then realized after 20 passes that the wah that I had been playing with in Expression Pedal wasn't recorded.
So there's got to be a way around this and there is and I'll show you what it is. It's called Record Source so I'm going to get rid of this that I've just recorded and press F6 to go to the rack and look at this organ track. And unfold it, and I see this Record Source button. I'm going to activate this, and go back to the Sequencer, and create a new audio track. Hitting Cmd+T, or Ctrl+T on Windows.
And I'm going to call this track, Organ Audio. And I need to set the input. And since I activated Record Source, I'm choosing Stereo Input, here, organ actually shows up alongside the inputs on my audio interface. Now, I don't need to arm the virtual instrument, the actual software instrument organ track. I just need to select it. And make sure that my organ audio is armed. Alright, let's try this again.
Okay, and now, if I Double Click here and Open in the Comp Editor, I can see all of these takes that I made. And again, I can do this editing like I did before Then I'm going to mute this track and close it. And I want to show you one quick example of how, loop recording, with a virtual instrument actually can work out well and that is when you're recording drums. So I'm going to create a con by double clicking.
And hear what I've got going on here. So let's do a little loop recording here. I'll give myself a pre count and I'll actually solo con. And let me turn on Quanti no Swa's recording. So the way that came in handy was that I was able to just play one drum part and then another drum part. And so I could keep layering those on. With drums it makes sense. And it's not really a mess because you have individual lanes for each drum. I had closed snare drum, bass drum, and theoretically if I wasn't too far off the mark, this quantization should have saved me.
Well, it almost saved me. I have to move that one over. So loop recording can work nicely when recording virtual percussion and drums. But the real beauty of loop recording in reason is that it takes the pressure off you as a vocalist, as a bassist, a guitarist, any live instrument that you're playing. You can just keep playing until you get it right and fix it in editing.
- Setting up Reason's preferences
- Recording audio and software instrument tracks
- Creating drum beats with Redrum and the Kong Drum Designer
- Triggering REX loops
- Live sampling
- Recording automation
- Quantizing audio
- Pitch correcting vocals
- Using the ReGroove Mixer
- Time stretching and time compressing audio
- Working in the mixer and the rack
- Processing your tracks with compression, EQ, and effects
- Mastering a recording in Reason