Audio Production Basics with Reason Software

Audio Production Basics with Reason Software


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Learn the basics of recording, processing, and mixing audio using Reason software, the robust digital audio workstation and musical toolkit used by artists, producers, and sound designers worldwide. Audio Production Basics with Reason Software will guide you every step of the way. The exercises in this book are designed to be completed using the low-cost Reason Intro edition, allowing you to get hands-on practice and easily experience the world of Reason software. Everything discussed in this book translates fully to the standard edition of Reason software, as well as to the expansive Reason Suite edition.

With this book and the included online media files, you’ll get working experience using Reason, covering everything from setting up your computer to the fundamentals of audio production, including:
·Basic digital audio workstation operations and audio hardware options
·Principles of sound production and microphone use
·Essential Reason concepts and operations
·MIDI fundamentals for playing and recording virtual instruments
·Managing devices and routing signals in Reason’s unique rack interface
·Using automation to create dynamic changes to audio
·Mixing your project and exporting your final mixed track

Reason Intro is affordable, easy, and fun. And everything you learn here will apply when you are ready to move on to more advanced versions of Reason. Take the first step now, with Audio Production Basics with Reason Software.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538137277
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 04/30/2020
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 7.55(w) x 9.34(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Zac Changnon is a producer and longtime Reason user. He is a freelance author and composer based in the Los Angeles area. Previously, Zac worked as a software developer with Hyland Software.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction. Welcome to the World of Audio xv

Getting Started in Audio Production xv

Who Should Read This Book xv

What Is Reason Intro? xvi

About This Book xvi

Requirements and Prerequisites xvi

Media Files xvii

Course Organization and Sequence xvii

Conventions and Symbols Used in This Book xvii

Keyboard Shortcuts and Modifiers xviii

Icons xviii

Chapter 1 Computer Concepts 1

Selecting a Computer 3

Mac Versus Windows Considerations 3

The Importance of RAM 4

Processing Power 6

Storage Space 7

Storage Options 9

Onboard Sound Options (Audio In and Out) 10

Other Options to Consider 11

Working with Your Computer 12

File Management 12

Launching Applications 18

Working with an Application 20

Menus 20

Keyboard Shortcuts 22

Review/Discussion Questions 24

Exercise 1 Exploring Audio on the Computer 26

Chapter 2 DAW Concepts 31

Functions of a DAW 32

What Can a DAW Do? 32

Common DAWs 32

Plug-In Formats 39

What Is A Plug-In? 39

Common Plug-In Formats 40

Reason Systems 41

Reason Software Options 41

Reason Hardware Options 42

Downloading and Installing Reason Intro 43

Accessing the Installer 43

Installation Steps 44

Launching Reason Intro for the First Time 46

Important Concepts in Reason 49

Song Files and Audio Data 49

Audio Versus MIDI 50

Review/Discussion Questions 51

Exercise 2 Setting Up a Multitrack Project 53

Chapter 3 Audio Recording Concepts 61

The Basics of Audio 62

Frequency 62

Amplitude 63

Microphones 63

Traditional Microphones 63

USB Microphones 64

Other Considerations 65

Basic Miking Techniques 66

Multitracking and Signal Flow 68

What Is Multitrack Recording? 69

Recording Signal Flow 70

Moving Audio From Analog to Digital 70

Analog Versus Digital Audio 70

The Analog-To-Digital Conversion Process 71

The Audio Interface 72

Audio Interface Considerations 72

Working Without an Audio Interface 75

Review/Discussion Questions 76

Exercise 3 Selecting Your Audio Production Gear 78

Chapter 4 MIDI Recording Concepts 83

A Brief History Of MIDI 84

Digital Control 84

The Birth of MIDI 85

The MIDI Protocol 86

MIDI Notes 86

Program Changes 87

Controller Messages 87

MIDI Controllers 88

Tone-Generating Keyboards 88

Keyboard Controllers 90

Drum Pad Controllers 91

Grid Controllers 91

Alternate Controllers 92

What to Look for in a MIDI Controller 92

Purchasing a Keyboard Controller 93

Setup and Signal Flow 94

Plug-and-Play Setup 94

MIDI Cables and Jacks 94

Using a MIDI Interface 95

Considerations for Using Multiple MIDI Devices 96

MIDI Versus Audio 96

What Is MIDI? 96

Monitoring with Onboard Sound Versus Virtual Instruments 97

Tracking with Virtual Instruments 98

Creating Tracks for Virtual Instruments 98

Summary 100

Review/Discussion Questions 101

Exercise 4 Selecting Your MIDI Production Gear 103

Chapter 5 Reason Concepts, Part 1 107

Creating a Song 108

Main Views and Panels 109

Sequencer View 109

Browser Panel 114

Transport Panel 114

Main Mixer View 115

Racks View 120

Managing Views and Windows 122

Working with Tracks 123

Adding Tracks 123

Mono Versus Stereo Tracks 126

Metronome Click 126

Edited Clips Versus Original Recordings 126

Tracks Versus Lanes 127

Basic Navigation 127

Using the Transport Controls 128

Zooming and Scrolling in the Sequencer View 128

Controlling Playback Behavior 130

Monitoring Your Timeline Location 131

Making Selections 132

Review/Discussion Questions 133

Exercise 5 Configuring and Working on a Song 135

Chapter 6 Reason Concepts, Part 2 143

Setting Up for Recording 144

Recording Audio 145

Setting a Record Location 145

Record-Enabling Audio Tracks 145

Monitoring Audio Tracks 146

Selecting Audio Track Input 147

Initiating a Record Take 148

Stopping a Record Take 149

Settings That Affect Recording and Monitoring 149

Recording MIDI 150

Instrument Creation and Routing 150

Playing Instruments 152

Record-Enabling instrument Tracks 153

Merging and Layering MIDI Performances 154

Importing Audio and MIDI 156

Supported Audio Files 156

Importing from the Desktop 157

Importing from the Browser 157

File Drag and Drop Locations 159

Using the Import Command 161

The Snap Function and the Grid 161

The Snap and Grid Controls 161

Setting the Grid Value 162

Working with Clips 163

Selecting a Sequencer Tool 163

Basic Editing Techniques 163

Advanced Editing Techniques 165

Review/Discussion Questions 170

Exercise 6 Importing and Editing Clips 172

Chapter 7 Mixing Concepts 179

Basic Mixing 180

Setting Levels 180

Panning 186

Processing Options and Techniques 188

Gain-Based Processing 189

Time-Based Processing and Effects 189

Inserts Versus Sends 189

Processing with External Gear 190

Mixing in the Box 190

Advantages of In-the-Box Mixing 191

Getting the Most Out of an In-the-Box Mix 191

Review/Discussion Questions 193

Exercise 7 Creating a Basic Mix 195

Chapter 8 Signal Processing 201

Device Basics 202

Viewing Inserts on Audio Track and Mix Channel Devices 202

Inserting Effects on Audio Track and Mix Channel Devices 204

Moving and Duplicating Effects Devices 208

Displaying VST Plug-In Windows 209

Working with Devices 210

Shortcuts for Adding Insert Effects 210

Effects Devices and Instrument Devices 212

The Disconnect Device and Auto-Route Device Commands 214

Device Controls 215

Common Device Controls 215

Device-Specific Parameters 217

EQ Processing 218

Types of EQ 218

Basic EQ Parameters 219

EQ Effects in Reason Intro 219

Strategies for Using EQ 221

Dynamics Processing 222

Types of Dynamics Processors 222

Basic Dynamics Parameters 223

Dynamics Effects in Reason Intro 224

Strategies for Using Compression 225

Reverb and Delay Effects 226

What Is Reverb? 226

Reverb in Reason Intro 226

Applications for Reverb Processors 227

What Is Delay? 228

Delay in Reason Intro 228

Applications for Delay Processors 229

Wet Versus Dry Signals 229

Using Time-Based Effects as Inserts 229

Using Send-and-Return Configurations 230

Review/Discussion Questions 234

Exercise 8 Optimizing Tracks with Signal Processing 236

Chapter 9 Finishing a Project 243

Recalling a Saved Mix 244

Using Automation 245

Automation, Tracks, and Lanes 245

Recording Real-Time Automation 247

The Automation Override Indicator 249

Working with Automation Clips 250

Editing Automation Points 251

MIDI Performance Controllers 254

Parameter Automation Static Values 255

Muting and Clearing Automation 257

Creating a Mixdown 258

Adding Processing on the Master Section 258

Considerations for Bouncing Audio 262

Setting the Song End Marker 262

Exporting an Audio Mix 263

Review/Discussion Questions 267

Exercise 9 Preparing the Final Mix 269

Chapter 10 Beyond the Basics 275

Cable Routing in the Rack 276

Audio Signals and Cables 276

CV Signals and Cables 277

Cable Color Coding 278

Connecting and Disconnecting Cables 279

Reduce Cable Clutter 283

Mono and Stereo Audio Connections 284

Routing Without Cables 286

MIDI Editing Techniques 287

Sequencer Edit Mode 287

Editing MIDI Data 291

Working with Velocity 295

The Tool Window 296

Submixing 298

Simplifying a Mix 298

Creating Stems 299

Keyboard Shortcuts 300

Function Keys 300

Sequencer Shortcuts 301

Rack Commands 302

Transport Commands 302

Review/Discussion Questions 303

Exercise 10 Finalizing a Project 305

Index 313

About the Authors 321

Customer Reviews