Got a question? Look here for answers.
- I’m getting no sound in Reason, even though I
have at least one sound-making device.
First, try to figure out whether Reason is receiving MIDI messages from your MIDI keyboard. Make sure you have a device selected to receive input in the Reason sequencer. It will have a gray arrow superimposed on the picture of the device in the sequencer. When you play notes on your MIDI keyboard, that arrow should light up green.
If MIDI communication doesn’t seem to be working, do these things, in this order.
- Make sure the MIDI keyboard is powered on. (The on/off switch is in the back, on the left side of the keyboard.)
- Find the USB plug for the MIDI interface. It should be plugged into the USB jack that is closest to the monitor support pole, in back of the iMac. Unplug this, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in. Try playing the keyboard to see if this fixes MIDI communication.
- Failing that, it’s best to restart the computer.
If MIDI was working, and you just weren’t hearing audio, check that you can hear sound made by other programs. If you can, create a new Reason song file, and see if you can get sound out of that. (It could be a problem just with your song file.)
- My Reason song file is possessed! It plays notes, even
though the sequence is not playing. And they’re not
Look for the AUDITION and ARP ON/OFF buttons on the Korg keyboard. If either of these is lit up red, press it to turn it off. Those two functions send MIDI note messages out of the keyboard. These find their way into the Reason device that is set to receive MIDI input.
- I’m trying to play notes on the keyboard that
will trigger sounds in Redrum, but instead of notes, the
mute buttons for the Redrum channels are turning on and
Redrum responds to the first 10 chromatic pitches starting with the C that is two octaves below middle C (that is, MIDI note number 36). Notes that are higher than MIDI note number 45 do other things, such as toggle the mute status of each of the 10 channels. If you’re sure that you’re playing the right notes to trigger sounds, the problem could be that your MIDI master keyboard is set to transpose the notes that you play, so that what is normally note number 60 (middle C) is now note number 72 (or something else). On a 61-key keyboard, that makes the notes that would trigger sounds inaccessible.
To fix this on the Korg Triton Le, first be sure that you are in PROG mode, not COMBI mode (the buttons to the left of the display). If that doesn’t fix the problem, press the GLOBAL button, and look for the Key Transpose setting. It should be set to 0.
There are a few things about using a Mac that can be confusing for Windows users. Here is a brief list.
- macOS has a global menu bar at the top of the screen that is common to all applications. Windows has a menu bar embedded in the main (and usually only) window of each application.
- Since most Windows programs have a single window with the embedded menu bar, when you close that window, it quits the application. Few Mac programs work this way. It’s perfectly normal for a Mac application to have no windows open but still have its menus in the menu bar, when the application is frontmost.
- The Windows system tray in the lower right corner of the screen is roughly equivalent to the group of icons on the right side of the Mac menu bar.
- Keyboard shortcuts that require holding down the control key in Windows use the command key in macOS.
For a more expansive treatment, see A Quick Guide to Using a Mac for Windows Users.
- Getting Started with Reason
This tutorial introduces you to creating a Reason “rack” of instruments and talks about how to play them with a MIDI keyboard.
- Recording Instruments
This video walks you through the process of recording and overdubbing an Instrument track.
- Editing Notes
Shows how to use Edit Mode in the Reason Sequencer to delete a note, move or copy it, and change its velocity, pitch, and duration.
- Changing Notes with the
Shows how to use the Tool Window to change properties of groups of notes selected in the Reason Sequencer.
- Note Clips in the
Shows how to move, copy, resize, chop, and otherwise manipulate clips in the Reason Sequencer.
- Numeric Timing Data in the
Explains what the obscure “3. 2. 1.184” timing fields mean, as well as how to use them to apply the same value to multiple events.
- Using Block Mode in the
Shows how to organize your song in sections that you can copy and reorder easily.
- Automating Instrument and Effect
Shows how to make a parameter change during a sequence.
- Changing Tempo and
Shows how to change tempo and time signature in the middle of a sequence.
- Using Players
Play a note or chord on your keyboard, and let Players generate additional notes and chords.
- Importing Audio into a
Shows how to get audio that is stored in a sound file into your sequence.
- Working with Audio Clips
Shows how to break a long audio clip into smaller ones, resize a clip, adjust a clip’s amplitude envelope, transpose a clip, and other audio tasks.
Shows how to scale the amount of time a clip takes to play and discusses a complicated issue raised by Reason’s automatic time-scaling of audio to match tempo changes. Also describes briefly how to use slices to alter internal clip timing.
- Pitch and Formant Manipulation
Shows how to use the Neptune device for pitch correction and related effects, formant frequency adjustment, and harmonization.
- Basic Mixer
Shows how to make initial volume and pan settings for your devices.
- Automating the Main
Shows how to make continuous volume and pan changes in the Main Mixer.
- Using Send Effects
Shows how to set up an effect in the Main Mixer so that multiple Instrument devices can share it.
- Filters and EQ
Introduces the EQ available in the Main Mixer.
- Delay Effects
A discussion of delay effects and common uses.
- Dynamics Effects
A discussion of dynamics effects, such as compressors, limiters, and gates — devices that manipulate the dynamic range of your music.
A filtering effect that lets you impose the sound of a voice, or other articulated source, onto a synthesizer pad.
Shows how to identify clipping in your project (includes a discussion of Reason’s signal level meters), and how to avoid clipping in your project by applying a limiter to the Master Section.
- Making an AAC file in iTunes
Export your mix from Reason as an uncompressed AIFF or Wave file. Then turn it into an AAC or MP3.
- Drum Machine 101 with
This video introduces you to making a simple beat with Redrum.
- Making Drum Patterns with
A step-by-step tutorial for building simple drum patterns in Redrum and sequencing them, as you would for a song.
- Redrum Pattern
Shows how to change from one Redrum pattern to another using the Sequencer.
- Learning Music
Get started making loop-based music. Learn how to make simple drum patterns, bass line, chords, melody, etc. with a bit of music theory.
- Piano Lessons Online
Watch these videos to learn the basics of notes, chords, and rhythms while playing the piano. We recommend the following sequence of lessons to start.
- Learn to Play Piano
Shows the names of the notes, and how to build chords.
- Learn to Play Piano (Part 1)
Like the first one, but in more detail, showing chord inversions.
- Learn to Play Piano (Part 2)
More about chord progressions, and adding a melody.
- Counting Piano Lessons
These brief lessons introduce the different note values we use in the Reason Sequencer.
- Building Piano Chords
More about building triads.
- Piano Song Lessons
Learn to play simple songs that you already know.
- Learn to Play Piano
- Rock Music on the Drums
Watch a real drummer at work on an acoustic drum kit to get a better feel for the drum types and rock patterns.
Course content is copyright ©2013–2023 John Gibson