Dubtrain Reason Resources

Dubtrain loves Reason; it's one of the most flexible, powerful software platforms out there. Here are a couple of projects that you might find interesting.

Using Wind Controllers with Reason

Akai's new EWI USB is by far the easiest route into the narrowly constricted world of wind and breath controllers. This new product (Dec 2008) does away with the onboard sound modules and midi interface of the more expensive EWI 4000s, and cuts about half the price as well. Plus, it features multiple fingering modes, including the EVI (electronic valve instrument) "trumpet-style" mode for us brassers. Sweet.

Here's a few pieces of info I dug out of the internet about using the EWI with Reason:

In Reason's preferences panel, make sure you set up the EWI as a midi KEYBOARD, not a midi CONTROLLER. It won't send the right midi signals as a CONTROLLER, for some reason. This messed me up for hours, and nobody else seems to mention it.

For the NN-XT, set the External Input to "Breath" (it's next to the third wheel). Then open the sample editor and "select all" samples.

Now, in the upper left is the Group Modulation control section.

First, you might want to switch to "legato" instead of "retrig". Below that are some knobs. Toggle on the "x" (external controller) under the "F. Res" and "Level" knobs. Give F. Res about a plus 30 value, and Level a higher one, like plus 75 or even 90 if you want your sound to start from almost nothing on a soft puff.

That should do it! When you blow, the third wheel should move. When you record, the pitch bend, breath and aftertouch (same as breath) values should be recorded along with your note values. Awesome.

Dubtrain Reason Tutorials

Dubtrain's 2005 release of Ouroboros Dub Vol 1 was the final result of a project that heavily involved Reason. I used all kinds of sampled sources and created beats and songs using looped elements. Then I got a couple of friends to record guitar and voice tracks, which I chopped up and imported back into Reason for even more arranging and processing fun.

Here are a couple of tutorials on some of the specific techniques I used to make the album.

Dubtrain Space Echo Combinator

I adapted an open-source description of the elements of a Roland Space Echo tape delay machine, and wired up a series of devices into a Space Echo combinator (Reason 3.0 and up).

Download the combinator

Here's how it works:

an LFO (low frequency oscillator, generated via malstrom) controls the tape motor speed variation (wow)
another LFO controls the tape warble variation (flutter)

these values are merged (with the wow value inverted) and sent as a CV (control voltage) to the chorus/delay unit to apply "tape variation" to the signal.

Use the Dubtrain Space Echo combinator as an aux send effect from your project's mixer or insert it onto a single device.

When a signal is sent to the DSE, it hits an internal mixer, which sends the signal through the following chain:

malstrom: crosstalks the stereo spread
scream 4: simulates the tape amp
scream 4: simulates the tape saturation
chorus/flanger: being controlled by the tape motor LFO's
2-band eq: tape response shaping
delay 1 & 2: multi tap delay simulation using two devices

the two delay outs are returned to the internal mixer, which can then be controlled by the foldback knobs to re-send the signal back through the DSE chain again, if desired.

finally the delayed signal plus foldback is returned from the combinator to your project mixer's stereo Aux In (or where have you).

I edited the graphic elements of a Space Echo face onto the combinator skin, too. It looks sharp, and sounds phenomenal.

The Combinator Device controls:

knob 1: foldback
increases the percentage of signal sent back to the delay unit

knob 2: reverse foldback
increases the percentage of phase-reversed signal sent back to the delay unit.

knob 3: echo time L
increases the echo time of delay 1 in 1/4-note steps

knob 4: echo time R
increases the echo time of delay 2 in 1/4-note steps

button 1: foldback toggle
switches the foldback value from 0 to 100 and back

button 2: reverse foldback toggle
switches the phase-reversed foldback value from 0 to 100 and back

button 3: lo cut
shelves the delay signal around 100Hz

button 4: hi cut
shelves the delay signal around 2.5kHz

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