Synth School With Subtractor In Propellerhead Reason

This tutorial takes a look at Subtractor synthesis in Propellerhead Reason.

It’s part of an excellent series of tutorials on Reason & Record by James Bernard.

Here’s his summary of the Subtractor tutorial:

As electronic music producers, we rely on synths as our bread and butter sounds for leads, bass lines, effects, textures, and so on. Knowing that, how crazy is it that so many of us don’t REALLY know how to use them?! I mean, it’s not our fault in some ways. The presets we get from the factory soundbank and ReFills are very good. Usually one of those with a couple random knob adjustments get us off and going just fine.

But imagine the power you’d have if you could sculpt a sound and control a sound with precise knowledge of what you’re doing and the effect it will have. Imagine if you had your own folder of custom patches that you created; your own stash of secret sauce that nobody else has. Imagine if you could think of a sound you’d like to create and to know instantly how to do it.

I’m going to embark on a multi-week exploration of synthesis theory to do just that for you. This week we’re starting with the most basic synth there is – the Subtractor. But don’t let its simplicity fool you. It’s capable of some amazing sounds.

2 thoughts on “Synth School With Subtractor In Propellerhead Reason

  1. This is good stuff indeed. And he's simply right; knowing how to use and tweak presets is one thing, but knowing /your gear itself/ can make things so much more fun and productive… Not to mention saving money; why buy presets when you can invest some time in grasping basics which (with a little practice) can help you simply design the sounds you want yourself?

    I know; sometimes time is money and such worth saving time.

    Anyway, Reason is really worth diving into IMO. At a pricetag which is slightly higher than one (that's 1) single high-end softsynth (Absynth 5 for example) you get an environment with several high quality soft synths and a sequencer as well. Not to forget that it can "fit" any decent daw out there through use of Rewire.

    I think Reason shares something with Live in this manner; many people seem to highly underestimate its capabilities. When it comes to Live people tend to pick up the interface as "easy" (so the program itself must be easy too) whereas with Reason many people don't seem to realize that all those cables at "the back" (press tab) can give you access to very daunting and extraordinary capabilities.

    Both may look "simple" but please; don't let looks deceive you 🙂

    I know I'm biased (on both ends) but I really think that Reason is the kind of environment which can suit many people. You have many custom presets and access to even more through 'refills' (either free or commercial) and it allows for some massive tweaking and designing as well….

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