We get to grips with Reason's versatile new monosynth.
Last month we started our look at the two new instruments in Reason 10.4 with the Rytmik drum machine. This time we turn our attention to the Monotone bass synth. Both the new devices are part of the Reason Compact 2 iOS app, and have been added to Reason so that song ideas you capture on your mobile device can be opened directly in the desktop app. But even if you're not interested in making music on your phone, Monotone in particular is a really nice little synth in its own right.
If you want a basic, classic synth in Reason, what do you use? In the olden days it was Subtractor, but that was built for the computing power of the year 2000, so I don't expect it to match the sound quality of modern synths. Reason's flagship synths are Thor and Europa, which are great, but they're pretty complex. There's a reason small hardware monosynths never go out of fashion: they're simple, fun and great for bass lines and melodic phrases. In the same way Monotone has become my go-to for a quick noodle in Reason.
Monotone follows a familiar two–oscillator, two–envelope, single–filter design. There are of course many small desktop synths and modules along these lines, but the feature set particularly reminds me of...