Reason 6: Export Options Explored

Once you're done working on your music in Reason 6 it's time to export the song, or even export parts of the project so it can be mixed by someone else. Hollin Jones runs through all the options.  

Reason 6 is a powerful audio and MIDI recording and production environment, and comes with a full arsenal of instruments, effects and other tools to help you make great sounding tracks. You have always been able to export sections of songs, loops or even whole tracks as audio files, but Reason 6 has something new: the ability to selectively export tracks and choose which parts of the mixer you want to include or bypass. This puts it right up there with more conventionally “pro” DAWs which offer a similar functionality. In fact, some offer fewer options during export than Reason does. 

There are many cases in which you might need to export audio as individual tracks (“stems”), or bypass certain mixer sections during export. The most obvious use for this would be to mix your project on a different system to the one you have recorded and edited it on. While Reason's mixer is great, you might be mixing in a room with poor acoustics, or on a less-than-perfect set of speakers. Some people like to use any budget they have for the mix stage, since this is really vital to producing something that sounds great. So the ability to take all your Reason tracks to a pro studio with full acoustic treatment for mixing is a real bonus. It's also a good trick for backing up projects. 

Also, you might want to include Reason's effects but exclude, for example, the fader settings, so the mixer dynamics and EQ are applied, but the levels are not set on export. Or, bypass the mixer altogether and use the controls on the mixer into which you transfer the project. Here's how it works. 

Step 1

With your project edited and finished, select File > Bounce Mixer Channels... This brings up the batch export window. 

Batch export window

Step 2

In the box on the left, you can select any individual channel to include or exclude from the export. Scroll down and you can also output a master file as well as Send effect channels. Including these will give you more flexibility at the mix stage.

Excluding channels

Step 3

In the Mixer settings box to the right, you have three options. Choosing “All” will export with each channel running through all active mixer sections. “All except fader” will leave out the fader and pan settings and so give you stems at the original volume of each part. “None” bypasses the mixer altogether and outputs raw files. You can Normalize on Export as well, though this should only be used when your recordings are too quiet. 

The three Mixer export options

Step 4

At the bottom left hand corner you can choose to bounce the whole song or just the content of a loop as defined by the left and right markers. The default setting is to output audio files to your hard drive, but you can choose to bounce to new tracks inside the project as well.  This is great for “rendering down” CPU-heavy tracks or converting MIDI parts to audio files. 

Bouncing options

Step 5

In the File Format section you can choose a sample rate and bit depth : 44.1 kHz and 16 or 24-bit is usually the optimum setting, or 48kHz if you are supplying audio for use in a digital video project. You can choose to dither if coming down from the project setting of 24-bit to 16-bit audio. 

[If outputting for CD, you'll need to go from 24-bit to 16-bit. Only dither your audio files once: at the very last stage of preparing for CD - Ed]

Choosing the file format

When all this is done, hit “OK” and your files will be rendered out!

Hollin Jones was classically trained as a piano player but found the lure of blues and jazz too much to resist. Graduating from bands to composition then production, he relishes the chance to play anything with keys. A sometime lecturer in videographics, music production and photography post production, Hollin has been a freelance w... Read More


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