Patching Up A Gig With Reason

Although its primary function is as a music creation and production tool, Propellerhead’s Reason is also a versatile live performance vehicle – all the more so if you take advantage of some of the unique possibilities opened up by the combinator device…

Combinator Performance Patches

To make things really simple for the beginner and the impatient, the props have created a number of performance patches for the combinator which can be found in the Factory Sound Bank. Examples of these are the late night sax and strings patch, and the acoustic bass and rhodes patch. When you load these up, you’ll notice that the lower half of your keyboard (in the case of the latter patch) produces the bass notes and everything to the right of middle C gives you some pleasant rhodes tones. Thus, if you so wish, you can use your left hand to play bass while the right jingles along with a lead melody.

Using a bit of patching and the combinator’s zone map assignment programmer, you can actually assign several different instruments to different note ranges on your keyboard. This means that you can create a single combinator patch for each live track in your set, which contains everything you need to play that track on stage. Now, if you also set up Reason so that you can switch between different combinator patches using your controller keyboard, you can play your entire set without ever even looking at your laptop screen. But how is this done?

How To Switch Between Songs

There are two basic approaches – either load up every combinator into the rack and switch to the next combinator after each song, or have a single combinator in the rack and load a new patch into it after each song.

For the first approach, you need to set up keys on your MIDI controller to switch the sequencer focus to the next sequencer track (i.e. the next combinator in your set). To do this, open the Additional Remote Overrides menu. Then you must double-click the Target Previous Track command and assign it to the desired key on your controller. Repeat this step for the Target Next Track command and you’re good to go. This method allows you to switch between songs instantly, but it may place a lot of strain on your processor, so make sure you test that your rig can take it before going public.

If you use the single combinator approach, there will be a slight delay between each song as you wait for the patch to load, but there will also be less demand placed on your computer. If the pause is not an issue for you, then this could be the safest option. Before you start, you’ll need to save all the patches for your tracks into a single folder, in the order you want them to appear in your set. Then, map the next/previous patch buttons on the combinator’s control panel to the required keys on your controller, using the process outlined in the previous paragraph. When you hit the key you assigned to the next patch button, the next combi patch in your selected folder should load and you’ll be ready to move on through the setlist. For more details on patching and splitting your combinator patches, try this article over at SOS.


Home | Canabrism | Guides | All Music Technology Posts | XML Sitemap