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Pseudo-granular synthesis in Reason

Granular synthesis is the creation of sound by taking tiny slices of audio from another source and playing them back really quickly. Here’s a handy trick for chopping up samples into pieces without ever leaving Reason. First, create a Redrum drum computer. Next, notice that the function of the bottom left knob in the Redrum varies depending on the channel number. In the third, fourth, and fifth channels, the function is “START”. What this does is alter the starting point in the sound file that you have loaded. So, load up any sound file of your choice (vocal sounds are good) into channel 3, 4 or 5. Then turn Channel 3’s length knob to the left. You want the sound to be just a short burst. Next, while holding Shift, right click (or command click for mac users) on an empty space in the rack. Select “Matrix Pattern Sequencer”. Now, flip the rack around with the Tab key, and then drag a cable from “Gate CV” on the Matrix to “Gate In” on the Redrum. Flip back around again, and then press the Run button on the Matrix. You shuld now hear a stuttering sound. Now play with the Start knob and you will hear the effect we were looking for. Now you can record the automation of the start knob (make sure the Record button next to “Redrum 1” on the sequencer is lit up red, hit record and then press play). Go wild with the pitch and the start time, and you should get some cool sounds. Even cooler: play with the Resolution knob in the matrix to adjust the speed of gate triggering.


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8 Responses to “Pseudo-granular synthesis in Reason”

  1. lia says:

    Hi there, im trying to do exactly what you are talking about but im not gettinh any sound out if it at all…. 🙁

    cool site by the way
    keep it up

  2. lia says:

    I have done it ,thanks….cool trick for granular…cheers

  3. Conkrete says:

    You are a Reason wizard!

  4. Alistair says:


    Dunno if this will ever get replied to, but is there anyway of editing automation of the resolution knob on the matrix? You’re spot on about the cool sounds made, but they ain’t much use if it can’t be recorded. thanks.

  5. Cameron says:

    Alistair, sorry but I don’t think there is a way to record the automation of the resolution knob. The only way around that would be to capture the audio with Audio Hijack or similar program.

  6. TIXXX says:


    you could assign a different resolution to each pattern, and then automatize the pattern in the sequencer or recording it.

  7. matthew says:

    are there similar tricks that you havnt put down for ableton live

  8. eric says:

    about the resolution knob.

    actually, just use an RPG8 instead of a Marix. you can automate the sync rate on the arp where you cant with the resolution on the matrix. i combined the whole thing as well so you can control and record it all.

    man, i love reason. . .

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