CycleOn Combinator Project

January 28th, 2010

3.03 update - video removed. please see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYPaRvX9gt8

Here’s a preview of the CycleOn combinator i’m working on. This is basically a loop player system that also includes several different effects and control systems into one patch, and the functionality makes it possible to create live mixing effects and tempo synchronized changes in real time. When paired with a control surface, you can create some compelling live sets. I’ve actually made similar systems in the past, including patches like REXSelector in the factory soundbank, but CycleOn is really a step ahead thanks to the features of Thor and the multiprocessor support of Propellerhead Software Record.

This patch works only with Record+Reason. I honestly believe that working in Record is far superior than working in Reason alone - even as a rewire slave. Again, if you want to try this out using Reason 3 or Reason 4, examples can be found in the factory soundbank!

I’ve set a target Release date: 2010.3.03

Ok, now you can go back and read about the iPad

NAMM 2010 photos

January 15th, 2010

I’m trying out something different for my visit to NAMM this year. My I’m uploading photos directly from the phone and you can view them on facebook (which bounces out to twitter):

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Peff/6585872380

I had to leave Anaheim last night and will miss the show today, but I’ll be back down at the convention on Saturday and Sunday.

Monologue Refill

December 25th, 2009
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The Monologue Refill is a monophonic analogue synthesizer library for the Reason 4.0 NN-XT sampler. The sets include the standard sawtooth, square, triangle waves. Also included are a fixed rate pulse width modulation set, and hard sync sawtooth set. Other sources include, detuned pulses, frequency modulated oscillators, tuned oscillator layers, white noise, and sine wave samples from a self-oscillating resonant filter.

Each category of oscillator waveform is multisampled and looped (some more carefully than others). The NN-XT patches are expanded in dozens of combinator patches (Record and/or Reason 4.0 only) which cover classic bass tones, mono leads, sound effects, arpeggiated and sequenced patches, and a set of analog drum sounds. Also, a pseudo voice set was created using a hard sync sawtooth modulating the filter frequency. This was particularly challenging as each sample zone required careful tweaking.

The raw waveform samples were recorded with the monosynth filter wide open. The synthesizer was connected through an active tube D.I. box, modified with a NOS Telefunken 12AX7. The D.I. was amplified through a Neve 1095 Mic Pre/EQ, and the signal was digitized through a Universal Audio 2192 AD/DA converter. As I previously posted, the samples were tracked in Propellerhead Record where no processing was applied - EQ was applied using the Neve. The audio clips were bounced out and further edited using Redmatica KeyMap Pro for mapping and looping the instrument samples.

Record & Reason 4.0 required to fully use all combinator patches. Included in the archive are a few .record session files and a Reason song file which demonstrate using the drum combis. There are several dozen combinator patches which take advantage of the Thor Low Pass Filter to shape the raw oscillator sets. The combis include several mono bass and mono lead instruments, synthesized drum patches, sound effects, arpeggiated and sequence driven patches, and polyphonic instruments. The Systems directory contains some of the basic architectures for these patches which allow you experiment and create your own variations of the patches.

Download Peff 034 - Monologue.rfl 164MB zip archive.

New Reason Refill - Coming Soon

December 21st, 2009

It’s been a long time since I put out a refill; almost 20 months, I believe! I’m way behind on everything, but this particular project has been sitting on my hard drive for about 1 year now. I really want to get it finished and move on to other things like finishing the book…

The new refill is an monophonic analogue synthesizer sample library that I tracked into Propellerhead Record. It originally started off as a test project, but the results came out so amazing that I decided to push ahead. This experiment with Propellerhead Record turned out pretty well, and I’m happy to say that the end is near on the 034 - Monologue.rfl project.

I sent out a page update on facebook to try out test version of the file, so please check your inboxes there. Any feedback or bugs should be posted on my facebook wall.

Rick Silvestri - Greensleeves

December 14th, 2009
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Happy Holidays, everyone! Rick Silvestri (blacktiger) and I decided to do a bit of holiday music last week. We figured we would try to keep up with the old Propellerhead holiday tradition of sharing Reason Christmas songs, but try something with Record and Reason this year. Rick suggested we work on the xmas classic, What Child is This, aka Greensleeves. Actually Rick suggested a few other things first, but I said that we should play it safe and do something that’s in the public domain.

Rick brought his double bass and a few guitars over and we sat down and worked on a rough arrangement. Since i don’t play guitar, this is the first time I had a chance to try out my little Bryce tube amp head which has a great tone for tracking.

Since my limited system only has two (really good) channels of audio input, I used two mics on each take. In most cases, the Wunder CM7 worked out well, but a few tracks, we ended up selecting the SM58 off axis on the cabinet. The upright bass was also off the CM7 and a direct from the pickup. I was really pleased with the not only the bottom end, but the depth and articulation in room came across nicely as well.

Record worked as well as it possibly could! It is so easy to quickly add and edit tracks on the fly. We used the comping feature for a few things, but “one-take” Rick, charged right through. I ended up applying post processing through some of hardware devices by routing a FX send to an audio output, and then re-recording the affected signal. This included reamp-ing tracks through a moog delay line, some outboard tube compression, and an H3000.

If you don’t have Record and Reason, you can listen to the MP3 Stream here:


For Record and Reason users, we are making the Session file available through the holidays. You can download the file here:

greensleeves_ricksilvestri.record.zip - hosted on dropbox

try speeding up the track. I think it sounds good at 131-135 bpm :)

Preview of Saturday’s ProCon Presentation

November 10th, 2009


A little video preview of my presentation Saturday at the ProCon LA. It needs a little tweaking… and a lot more rehearsal so that I can keep it under 50 minutes :-/

Yes this conference will focus on Record, but it doesn’t mean that Reason will be overlooked. I will try to fit in a section on how Reason Devices can be used for insert and send effects.

The Producers Conference LA page

WonFu [旺福] - Reason Users from Taiwan

November 7th, 2009
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My friends in the band Scrabbel were on tour with 旺福 WonFu, one of the biggest indy/pop bands in Taiwan. Contracted by the Taiwanese Embassy and organized by Dan Lee of Scrabbel, the tour went around to various locations up and down the west coast.

As it turns out, XiaoMin, singer/guitarist and the groups producer, Eric, are not only fellow gear addicts, but they’re also huge fans of Reason. They especially like the Reason Pianos ReFill and claimed that it’s their ‘go to’ piano sound on their productions. Despite the language barrier, we could still talk about different sounds and patches - like hardcore Reason-geeks.

Anyways, it’s one of the moments in life where this shrinking world just got even smaller ;-)