Rewire, Reason and Cubase Sx three mighty powers combined
If you have a recent version of Cubase Sx you
can basically use Reason as a virtual instrument. This means that you can set the output of any midi channel in Cubase. The audio from Reason will come into Cubase as a mixer channel and you can then apply all you effects just like it was regular audio ... Whippee dooo!
If you are unfamiliar with Reason then read on coz I'll start with a brief introduction to the different components.
Why use Reason?
Reason is a very powerful tool. It is an especially good program for the novice producer as you can get Cubase later and make a very powerful production system.
Let's take Reason from the top:
The Reason interface is designed to look like a hardware rack. With the different components of reason looking like actual hardware instruments. Always at the top of the rack is the "Hardware "Interface". This is not really important when you use Reason with Cubase except on the left in the audio out box it should say "Rewire Slave Mode". You get Reason to do this automatically if you load it after loading Cubase.
One other important point with the hardware interface is that Reason can output up to 64 channels into Cubase. If you want each component in Reason to have a separate channel in Cubase then press the "tab" key to flip the rack over and plug the cables for each component directly into the numbered channels on the back of the hardware interface. If you flick back to Cubase the channel numbers correspond to the channel numbers in the rewire panal (in Cubase go panels>rewire to see this).
This sounds a little complicated but it's not really. Plug the Reason components into the hardware interface channels 1-64 and see them appear in Cubase in the rewire channels 1-64 and on the main mixer.
When this is done the Reason components (you have loaded) will come up as possible outputs for your midi channels.
Now I'll go through the Reason components and show you what they do.
How to work the different Reason components:
One component you won't need when using Reason with Cubase is the mixer. It is best to just leave this component out to save space and computer power. Remember I outlined how to connect your Reason components directly to the hardware interface earlier? So let's start instead with the component I use the most, the NN-19 digital sampler.
The NN-19 digital sampler:
This is a very nice sampler that I use for drums as well as for instruments. If you right click in some empty rack space you can select this component to load. You can load as many as you want until your computer locks up.
This is a nice sampler that lets you pitch shift, filter and adjust the amplification evelope.
The red arrow on the left is where you click to load in the patches included with Reason in the sound bank. The arrow on the right is where you click to load in any sample you want. This is where I load in my own individual drum sounds.
If you load in your own samples remember to right click and initialize the patch so that the sampler setting don't make you sample sound funny.
The Subtractor synth
This is a software synth that is good for making basslines. Simply give it some midi notes select a suitable bad ass patch and away you go. If you don't know anything about synths don't worry just fiddle with every nob and button while some midi notes loop over and over. Here's what it looks like.
The red arrow points to where to load in the patches included with Reason in the sound bank
The DR Rex:
This is what I call a loop sampler. What you do is load in special loops called rex files (they have a .rex filename extension). You can edit any loop and create a .rex file if you have another program called Recycle 2. If you don't have Recycle 2 then you are stuck with the rex files included with Reason.
I'll have to explain exactly what a rex file is so that you get how this thing works. What Recycle 2 does is put in marker before every beat. This means the all the kicks and snares and hats in the loop are marked AND mapped to a keyboard.
When you load in the rex file to DR Rex you can change the tempo in the loop without pitch shifting the sounds. This is done because the beats are moved around by the markers so that they get closer or more spaced when the tempo is adjusted. You can make any loop fit the tempo of your song with this baby. You can also put the sounds back in in any order by changing the midi data.
The best thing to do is load up a rex file and have a play with some midi data. Here's what a DR Rex looks like.
The red arrow is where you load in rex files. This baby has all the standard filtering options. Nice.
This machine is a stock standard drum sampler. Reason comes with heaps of good drum kits and you can mix and match them. Each strip is the settings for a single drum sound. So the 10 strips correspond to 10 different drum sounds you can load in at once. You can also load in your own drum sounds.
I don't use this machine much since I simply use a number of NN-19 samples (one for each drum sound). I've got a grunty PC though and you might not want to bother hooking up that many samplers.
Here's what this baby looks like.
Load in each drum sound using the buttons below the LED at the top of the strips. Or you can load in a whole drum kit (red arrow). The machine has heaps of patterns for use with the drum kits so check them out.
This machine has patterns that accompany the built in kits. The pattern sequencer is at the bottom. You don't have to use them as you can turn the pattern sequencer off and sequence midi in cubase.
If you are looking to get into production or you want to add a whole host of new sounds to Logic or Cubase then I totally recommend Reason