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Chapter 3. Redrum > Digging into the Redrum Channels

Digging into the Redrum Channels

For the last few sections of this chapter, we are going to take a look at some of the controls on Redrum’s 10 channel strips. Unlike the Mixer 14:2 (reMix), where each channel is identical, you will notice that Redrum’s channels are slightly different from one another. For a detailed, complete rundown of all the particulars, please see your Reason manual. For now, I am just going to highlight a few of the bits I think you will want to use the most.

Redrum Effects Sends (S1 and S2)

Redrum’s Effects Sends are especially useful when you are connecting Redrum to the reMix Mixer on one stereo channel instead of routing each individual drum to a separate channel on reMix. On reMix (as well as on the smaller Micromix Line Mixer 6:2), each channel has its own effects sends. But when Redrum is connected to only one stereo channel of a mixer, using the effects sends on the mixer channel would apply the effects to all the drums simultaneously. Using Redrum’s own effects sends allows you to send the audio signal from each individual drum to up to two separate effects at any level you want. If reMix is present at the top of the Reason Device Rack, when a new Redrum is created, Redrum’s Send Out 1 and 2 outputs will be automatically routed to the first two available Chaining Aux inputs in the rear of reMix. These inputs bypass the red Auxiliary Send Level knobs on the front of reMix and send the signal directly to the effects device with no attenuation. That may have sounded more complicated than it actually is. Let’s give this a spin!

Open the song you created earlier in this chapter, called Redrum-Ignite. Drag an RV7000 Advanced Reverb directly under the reMix Mixer, and then drag a DDL-1 Digital Delay directly under that. The effects will be “automagically” routed with the RV7000 on Effects Return 1 and the DDL-1 on Effects Return 2 of the reMix Mixer.

Flip your rack around (using the Tab key on your computer keyboard), and you will see that Send Outs 1 and 2 of Redrum have been automatically routed to Chaining Aux inputs 1 and 2 of reMix 14:2. This means that the signal from Redrum’s Send 1 will be processed by the RV7000 Reverb, and the signal from Redrum’s Send 2 will be processed by the DDL-1 Digital Delay. (If you are having trouble reading some of the labels because the cables are in the way, pressing L on your computer keyboard will show or hide the cables.)

Click Tab to flip the Reason Device Rack back around facing front. Click Play on the Reason Transport to hear that oh-so-familiar beat.

Turn up the Send 1 knob on Channel 2 halfway to send snare drum through the RV7000 Reverb.

Turn up the Send 2 knob on Channel 8 halfway to send some hi-hat through the DDL-1 Digital Delay.

Turn the Pan knob on the DDL-1 to about 3 o’clock. Now the delayed signal is panned right.

Turn the Send 2 knob on Channel 2 up halfway to send some snare drum signal through the DDL-1 Digital Delay.

Turn the Feedback knob on the DDL-1 up to 12 o’clock for some extra snare action. Turning up the Feedback knob causes the delay to repeat more times before fading out.

For a cool effect, click the solo button on the top of Channel 2. You will hear only the snare drum with its reverb and delay effects, while all the other drums will be muted.

Watch the progress marker in the Reason Sequencer as it travels from left to right within your loop. Just before bar 2 of the pattern finishes, click the Channel 2 solo button again to hear all the drums come in together.

Channel 8 & 9 Exclusive

When the Channel 8 & 9 Exclusive button is activated, the sounds on channels 8 and 9 will be exclusive of each other, meaning that when a sound is triggered on Channel 8, it will be cut off as soon as a sound is played on Channel 9, and vice versa. This is handy for adding realism to hi-hats, where a closed hi-hat is loaded into one channel, and an open hi-hat is loaded into the other channel. To get a feel for this, please try the following exercise.

Start with an empty rack. Create an instance of the Mixer 14:2 and then create an instance of Redrum. Then open Redrum’s Patch Browser and select Reason Factory sound Bank > Redrum Drum Kits > Tight Kits > Dublab TightKit1.drp.

Click the Channel 8 Select button. This is a closed hi-hat. Click and drag your mouse across all 16 Step buttons so that they are all lit up yellow.

Click on Step buttons 1, 5, 9, and 13 to deactivate them.

Click the Channel 9 Select button. This is the open hi-hat. Click on Steps 1, 5, 9, and 13 so that they are lit up yellow.

Click the Run button. Now practice turning the Channel 8 & 9 Exclusive button on and off. When it is on, the open hi-hat will cease to ring out as soon as the closed hi-hat is played. If the Channel 8 & 9 Exclusive button is off, the open hi-hat will continue to ring out even when the closed hi-hat is played, which would be physically impossible for a real hi-hat!

Pan, Pitch, and Level

The Pan knob included on each channel determines the selected drum’s position in the stereo image. Pan settings are very important for creating a realistic-sounding acoustic kit, as well as for creating ear-catching electronic kits. The little red LED above the Pan knob (between the Send knobs) lights up to indicate when a stereo sample is being used. Its little label looks like an infinity symbol or a bipolar microphone pattern, but of course it signifies stereo in this case. When it is not lit (as in the following exercise), this means a mono sample is being used, and the Pan knob will simply move the mono sample to the left or right of the stereo image. If the Stereo Sample LED is lit to indicate that a stereo sample is being used, then the Pan knob becomes a stereo balance control, emphasizing the left or right channel of the stereo sample. In the following exercise, you will try out the Pan knob, as well as the Pitch knob (which is used for tuning the sample) and the Level knob (which makes the sample louder or quieter).

Start with an empty rack. Create an instance of the Mixer 14:2 and then create an instance of Redrum. Click the Trigger Sample button on Channel 2 a few times to hear the snare drum.

Now turn the Channel 2 Pitch knob to the left and right. Each time you turn it to a new position, click the Trigger Sample button on Channel 2 a few times to hear the snare drum play back at a new pitch. When you are done experimenting, turn the Pitch knob back to 12 o’clock.

Turn the Channel 2 Pan knob to 9 o’clock. Now your snare drum sounds more or less as if it were in the same position as it would if you were sitting behind a right-handed drum kit (in front of you and to the left).

Turn the Channel 2 Level knob all the way up. Now when you trigger your snare sample, it is a bit louder.

Don’t Lose your Channel Strip Settings!

Loading a new individual sample into a Redrum channel (using the Browse Sample button) does not affect any of your other settings. However, when you load a new Redrum Patch (using the Browse Patch button), not only will new samples (drum sounds) be loaded into each of Redrum’s 10 drum channels, but new channel strip settings will be loaded as well. This is important to keep in mind. If you are working with one patch (or kit), and you have all your pan, pitch, and tone settings perfectly the way you want them, you’d better save that as a new patch, or else when you load another kit, those settings will be lost forever! Patches (drum kits) are saved by clicking the diskette icon to the far right of the Patch Display window.


Now that you’ve spent some quality time with Dr.Rex in Chapter 2 and Redrum in this chapter, I hope you are already starting to feel pretty comfortable working with beats with Reason. Now it’s time to move onto exploring the virtual synths Reason has to offer!

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