Learn how to set the most important preferences, including how to add a MIDI controller keyboard. Also learn how to set the audio buffer size in order to control audio latency. Audio engineer and music producer Matt Piper guides you through these settings so that setup of Reason 10 is quick and easy.
- [Instructor] Before we start making music with Reason, let's take a quick look at the preferences. Here we are on the general page of the preferences and we don't need to go over every single one of these right now, but I want to point out a few things that might help you get started. So, if you look at the middle of this window, you see where it says default song and the selection there is empty rack. So, that's what we're looking at right now. There are no instruments or effects loaded, it's a blank slate.
If you prefer, you can open with a template song and by default they have their empty plus effects, okay? If you want to choose which template song to open with, you can click the browse button here. And if I look at the browser, in the upper left, I don't immediately see template songs. So, I actually have to find them. So, I'm going to click this arrow to browse up a level and look in my music folder and I see Reason, so I'll open that and now I see template songs.
And I have a few choices here, I have a 16 track tape recorder that's all set up with a bunch of audio input channels, album mastering, et cetera. You see a few kind of starter templates there. Now you can create your own templates, basically any Reason song file can be used as a template file. So, if you find you have a way that you work regularly where you need one audio track for vocals, another audio track for guitar, maybe Dr. Octo Rex loop player, some things that you use regularly that can help you get started quickly, you can save a song with those items already loaded and then browse to that location here and then that will show in this window and you can just choose to open with a template song.
Okay, I'll change it back to empty rack. Another choice that you have is open last song on start up. That can be really useful if you're working on one project, one song that you're working on for a week. So you know every single time you open Reason, you're just going to pick up where you left off. CPU usage limit, you really probably don't need to worry about right now but if you end up being a superpower user with a huge project with every instrument and effect under the sun in there and your computer starts to labor under the strain, you can turn this up to 95% or live on the edge and switch it to none and then just try not to have other applications running if you're really up against what your processor can handle.
Below that you see theme, there are actually a couple of additional skins here for Reason. You can choose a blue theme or a dark theme, so you won't have so much white and light gray in your field of view. Please keep in mind, you see it says requires restart, so you need to restart the application in order to see those changes, okay? Let's look at audio, this is where you choose the audio interface that you'll be using. So, here in the studio we have several audio interfaces connected so when you click here you will probably not see this many entries but you'll just want to select the audio interface that you're using.
You can set the sample rate that you want, you can set the audio buffer size below that and that is going to determine how much latency, which is that little delay that you might hear when you speak into the mic and your voice sounds just a bit delayed. If you turn down the buffer size, that delay will become shorter. However, it's a little more strain on your CPU of your computer, so if you start to have pops and clicks or other sorts of glitches, you may have to turn that buffer size back up.
You can see the input and output latency, that delay I mentioned, is reported under that. At the bottom you can see there are monitoring choices, we'll leave that on automatic for now but later, when we record, I will show you why you might want to choose another option there. Control services, this is actually something important if you are using any kind of MIDI controller, like a keyboard connected via USB to your computer or a drum pad controller.
Now chances are, if you have a newer controller, all you need to do is press this button and Reason will scan through, looking for every kind of controller that it knows about. In other words, that was included when this version of Reason was released. Now the keyboard that I'm using is simply not included in the database that comes with Reason 10, so it was not found, that is okay.
Instead of auto detect, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna press add and now I could choose a specific manufacturer here, but I'm just going to click other and then it says MIDI control keyboard. That's fine, I'm using a MIDI control keyboard. And now I need to connect to that keyboard. The easiest way for me to do that, is to just press the find button and now I'll press a key on my keyboard and it found it, and so I'll press choose and click okay.
And now I've got a happy, little, green check mark that should be working just fine. Sync we don't need to worry about right now but if you are receiving MIDI clock sync or sending MIDI clock output, this is where you would deal with that. And a couple of things on the advanced page, you see where it says VST plugin folders? That is where Reason is going to look for VST plugins, third-party plugins, we'll get into later in this course.
And you can add a folder location here, or as many as you need to depending on where your VST plugins are stored. Finally, at the bottom it says scratch disk folder, you can leave that at default if you like. However, that is likely to be your system folder, the main hard drive in your computer. So, if that drive is getting full, you might want to change the scratch disk location to an external drive. And that's a quick overview of the Reason preferences.
- Accessing function keys on the Mac
- Installing additional free content and instruments
- Recording audio and virtual instruments
- Working with the new Reason instruments
- Making beats with loops and the sequencer
- Editing audio
- Correcting pitch
- Automating tempo and time signature
- Mixing tracks in Reason
- Mastering the final recording