I’m guessing most of you reading this blog have a copy of Reason that Berklee has generously bestowed upon you?  If not, I would run down to the Student Computer Support Center and see if they’ll hook you up.  Now, then.  If you’re not too familiar with the software’s Dr. Rex loop component, this might be good to try.

Go ahead and open up Reason – set up a 14 channel Mixer, a Dr. Rex Looper, a DDL-1 digital delay line, and a Matrix Sequencer, in that order.

Fire up a beat, lets go with the RZA track under “Abstract Hip-Hop”.  Preview the track, and make sure the delay signal is 100% wet.  Hit the tab button on your computer to view the back of your Reason Instrument Rack.  The Matrix should be set to bi-polar, and the Curve CV should be routed into the feedback of your Delay Line.  (You can easily patch by dragging an output of one instrument to an input of another, you’ll see the wire immediately appear.)

It should look like this:

Reason

Paste loops of the Dr. Rex track into your timeline, and run the sequencer on the Matrix.  This is where the fun starts.  Just play around with the curve, and it will control the feedback of your delayed drums directly.  Heres an example of a curve I saved:

Picture 7

Now the beat sounds like this

You can save various curve patterns to different banks in the Matrix, and alternate them throughout a song to get a variety of drum loops from just one sample.  This can also be done with a Rex instrument file or Redrum patterns.  Try plugging the Curve CV of your Matrix into the pan on your delay line, or a Modulation input of your Dr. Rex!

Want to learn anything specific?  Comment on the post and ask a question for next week’s blog!

Until next time, here’s the world’s most expensive cat.

-Johnny