Assignments and Exercises

Here is a list of assignments and exercises for the course. Please refer to the syllabus for due dates.

  • Exercise A: Getting Started with Reason

    Set up a “rack” of synthesizers in Reason. Explore the available sounds and ways of playing them, including use of control inputs such as the joystick, real-time control knobs, aftertouch, and velocity. Develop sensitivity to envelope types and sound qualities. Write short descriptions of three sounds you like.

  • Exercise B: Making Drum Patterns with Redrum

    Learn about some simple drum patterns heard in various forms of popular music. Construct and vary these patterns using the Redrum drum machine in Reason.

  • Assignment 1: MIDI Sequencing

    Create a multi-track sequence using Reason. This can be your own music or a creative arrangement of someone else’s music. Learn how to set up for recording, specify sounds and effects, use the metronome, correct mistakes, quantize notes, edit velocities, create loops, and set initial tempo, volume, and panning.

  • Exercise C: Making a Sound Change Over Time

    Learn how to automate Instrument and Effect parameters in Reason. Create some ambient music.

  • Assignment 2: MIDI Editing

    Build on your sequencing skills to create a radically altered version of some existing music I provide you with. Learn how to use the Mixing Board to control volume, panning, and effects. Manipulate performance controllers, such as the joystick, and automate synthesis and sampling parameters. Make tempo changes.

  • Assignment 3: Reason Programming

    Program your own sounds for Reason devices, using oscillators, filters, envelopes, etc. Explore the concepts of control voltage and pattern sequencing. Make your own samples and map them to the keyboard.

  • Assignment 4: Working with Audio Tracks

    Reason lets you combine instrument tracks with audio tracks, which use bits of recorded audio. I provide the audio for this assignment; you use it creatively to make some music. Learn how to chop up and rearrange audio tracks. Scale the duration and pitch of audio clips.

  • Final Project

    Use all the knowledge you’ve gained to put together a longer piece of music. We’ll listen to everyone’s work during the last few days of the course.