Making Super Fast FX Kits In Reason

Straight from the excellent video course on "Twisted Sound Design in Reason", super Reason trainer, Mo Volans, shows how to make super fast FX kits in Reason 6's Kong.  

I recently put together a new video tutorial on 'Twisted Sound Design In Reason' and I thought it might be helpful for me to share some little nuggets from it with you. In this quick tutorial I'll show you a method I used in the video for making super fast FX based kits in Reason's 'Kong'.

Kong: King Of FX?

Most of you who have used Kong will see it as a straight up drum machine. There's no doubt that when it comes to playing back, synthesizing and generally shaping drums, Kong is King but it's also no slouch when it comes to effects samples.

Kong is quite happy to behave like any other sampler, so if you are looking for an alternative to the NN-XT and NN-19, Kong could be it. All we really need to do is get everything loaded and mapped, we'll start by wiping the decks and starting with a blank instrument.

Kong is reset.

Kong is reset.

As always right-click anywhere in Kong's interface and go to reset device option. This will wipe any default patch that is loaded and ensure that there are no crazy settings or effects routings in place.

Opening Our Effects

The next step is to select the effects samples we'd like to use to make up our kit. You can do this by hitting the load sample button in Kong and then navigating to your favorite effects sample folder. 

Now select 16 of the samples in the folder using either the Option or Shift keys. Now when you open the selected samples, they will automatically be spanned to all of Kong's 16 pads and in exactly the order you selected them.

Selecting the 16 samples we want to use.

Selecting the 16 samples we want to use.

Your kit is now ready to play and these samples usually load very quickly. You might want to save your kit at this point to ensure your work is safe. These effects kits can then be instantly called upon in future projects.

The sounds are automatically spanned when loaded.

The sounds are automatically spanned when loaded.

Some Optional Routing

Your new FX kits are playable as soon as they are loaded, but you may prefer to break some of the sounds out for a bit of additional processing. The Kong features a whole group of virtual stereo outs and these can be used to out put a single sound or several.

I find the best way to use this feature is via a sub mixer. Load up a 14:2 mixer and start to manually route Kong's outputs into it. Once the routing is done this can be thrown into a Combinator and saved, saving the hassle in the future.

The Kong's outputs are sent to a sub mixer.

The Kong's outputs are sent to a sub mixer.

You can now easily set up a nice mix of your new sounds, add effects and even use the mixers EQ if needed. A system like this literally takes minutes to set up and is the best way I've found to trigger large groups of effects samples in Reason.

Mo has been a professional in the music industry for around 15 years. He has released material with the world's leading record labels and also produces music for TV and Film. Mo is also a prolific writer and is a regular contributor to magazines such as Music Tech, Future Music and EQ magazine. There isn't a piece of music software tha... Read More


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