You are here

Reason: The Automation Situation

Propellerhead Reason Tips & Techniques
Published November 2018
By Simon Sherbourne

Screen 1: Two lanes of parameter automation on a Thor synth track, and a subsequent section where automation has been embedded in a Note Clip.Screen 1: Two lanes of parameter automation on a Thor synth track, and a subsequent section where automation has been embedded in a Note Clip.

We take a tour of Reason’s extensive automation facilities.

Automation, motion‑sequencing, parameter‑locking, rubber‑banding, clip envelopes, performance capture. Most of the music tech software and gear we use has some concept of recording and reproducing parameter changes. Most likely you’ve done this in Reason by simply putting the transport into record and twiddling some knobs on the focused instrument in the Rack. But there’s a lot more to dig into, such as editing, mixer automation, multitrack automation, and the difference between MIDI CC recording and Sequencer automation.

Quick Start

As a jumping‑off point let’s look at some automation on an instrument. Screen 1 (above) show’s the track for a Thor synth. Notice that there are two different arm buttons in the synth’s lane. One is for recording MIDI, the other (with the little graph icon) is for recording device automation. By default both are armed upon selecting the device.

Just like when you record notes, you can capture parameter movements in real time while the transport is recording. In the screenshot I’ve twiddled the Filter Cutoff and Envelope Decay, resulting in two clips being placed into separate sequencer sub‑lanes. Automation data in Reason always exists within a clip. Notice that the first clips are separate from the note clips: something you’ll need to take into account later if you need to move or edit this performance as a whole.

There is another option, shown in the clip, that starts a couple of bars later. If you tweak standard...

You are reading one of the locked subscriber-only articles from our latest 5 issues.

You've only read 20% of this article, so to continue reading...

Option 1: Buy and download this single SOS article in Adobe PDF format

  • Buy this article now and immediately download the PDF file to your computer.
  • Single article PDFs look identical to the printed magazine layouts (but exclude advertisements).
  • Note: Some shorter articles don't always have a PDF version.

Option 2: Buy the Full Issue PDF **NEW**

  • From the January 2018 edition onwards, it is possible to buy a FULL ISSUE PDF 'replica magazine' (with adverts) for the price of a handful of single PDF articles, and instantly download it. More info...

Option 3: Buy a Digital subscription from our shopstore and open ALL web articles instantly!

  • A DIGITAL sub can be bought from our online ShopStore and used immediately. It opens ALL web articles, the tablet edition, plus Full Issue PDF download... or contact our Subs staff to discuss an upgrade price to add Digital access to your existing Print subscription.
Published November 2018