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- 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
Skill Level Beginner
Reverb, delay, and chorusing effects are essential for a modern music production. Though the perceived level of the resulting effects treatment may vary from one style of music to another, the fact is, every modern production utilizes synthetic reverberation, delay, and other time-based effects to create a sense of size and space in a mix. In Reason, there are several ways to apply effects to a sound, but for the maximum use of resources, and to keep your mix glued together with common room spaces, I want to reveal what I think is the best way to manage effects in a modern mix.
Reason makes this really easy. Let's return to the track of mine that we used for the guitar and bass in a previous chapter. As before, this is a personal track of mine not created for this lesson, so the example file you work with may not look like what I have on the screen. I want to focus on the right effect for this vocal. Right now it's completely dry and unaffected. (music playing) So I need a few effects to make that vocal really shine.
I could go over to my rack, Show Insert Effects on the lead vocal, quickly insert a Reverb device in the track, adjust Wet and Dry to taste. (music playing) And I can even insert another effect right below, such as Delay. (music playing) But that still doesn't allow me to easily blend between the effects, and it may create a situation where the lead vocal ends up in a completely different aural space than the rest of my track.
Instead, let's delete these devices by Shift+Selecting them and hitting Command+Delete or Ctrl+Delete. Let's now scroll up to the Master section of this rack. The Master section has facilities to route up to eight stereo or mono effects chains, with as many devices in that chain as we care to use. Pressing Tab flips the rack around so we can see the inputs and outputs for the effects. This is just like looking at the rear of a physical rack. Pressing Tab once again flips the rack around so we can see the front side again.
Right-clicking on the Master section itself to create a Reverb Unit lets Reason understand that I want a reverb created as part of an FX send, and it automatically routes the cables accordingly. It's connected to FX Send 1 and returns to FX Return 1. Let's name this unit Reverb 1. When I look at the Master section on my mixing board, I see Reverb 1 in the FX 1 slot.
Let's go back to the rack and add a few more effects for a wider palette. Right-clicking on the Master section again and selecting another reverb unit tells Reason to auto-route this device to the next available FX send slot. Let's call this unit Reverb 2 and move it into place. We'll flip the rack around and verify that it's in FX Send and FX Return 2. We can see that it shows up in the Master section of the mixer as well.
Next, I want to bring in my favorite delay chain. It's three devices, so it's cumbersome to create and route. It's much quicker to copy the chain from another song and paste it into this one with all of the settings I like already dialed in. I'll open the song with the effects chain I like. Select all of the effects by Shift+Clicking on each device and right-click and select Copy Devices and Tracks. Now, I'll click back into the song I was working on and paste these in, by right-clicking on the Master section, as before, and pasting the devices in.
I'll move them into place, right where I want them. Now, I still have to connect this chain to my Master section, so I'll go behind the rack again by hitting Tab, unfold the devices so I can see the inputs and outputs, and begin connecting by clicking on a jack and dragging to my desired destination. Since most of my chain is already connected, all I have to do is connect a few cables and I'm up and running. I've got the left side of FX Send 4 going into the left input of Delay 1, the right side of FX Send 3 going into the left Input of Delay 2, both of those left outputs going into the equalizer, and the stereo output of the equalizer returning back to FX Return 3.
It's very complex, but it was so much easier copying and pasting from the other song that I really didn't have to think about it. Now, I'll Tab back to the front of the rack. I'll close out of this other song and have a look at our mixer. And we'll see that Reverb 1 is in FX 1 slot, Reverb 2 is in FX 2 slot, and the Delay EQ is in FX 3 slot. Off we go. (music playing) When I turn on and dial in the level for each send on my vocal channel, a nice dose of effective love comes pouring out towards me.
(music playing) This is the most efficient way to accomplish effects routing in any mix environment. This technique ensures continuity of the recorded spaces, provides a bit of glue so the whole mix gels together properly, and conserves resources on your computer as it respects good engineering etiquette.
There are eight slots available for infinitely long effects chains, so don't be afraid to start chaining together effects and continue experimentation as long as the music requires. In our next video, I'll take this technique further by applying these same effects to several other tracks at the same time, using sends and returns to my advantage.