Whether you are a beginner at computer music production or a seasoned professional, one thing all recording artists and producers can agree upon is that if not managed efficiently, the recording process can become very messy and frustrating. This is especially true if you are creating productions with many tracks, overdubs etc. The best way to ensure that your process stays in check and on track is to develop a solid workflow system from the beginning so that once your project begins to take shape, grow in scope or just takes another direction the technicalities of managing your software application do not get in the way of your creative process.
In this series of blog posts I would like to layout some simple yet not always obvious steps we can take within Reason to prepare our projects and simplify some of the repetitive actions of the recording process within Reason.
Keyboard Control Edit ModeKeyboard control edit mode is a function within Reason that allows the user to map certain task commands of the Transport bar to your computer's keyboard. The value of this function lies in that you can essentially create a personalized key command language to your liking. Having mastered your key commands you will save a tremendous amount of time in keeping your workflow moving in those crucial creative moments. First let us take a look at the transport bar and decide which controls we want to edit.
The Transport bar is what I will call the central control center of your Reason sequencer. All of the main functions of you sequencer are located here. Most, but not all, of the functions of the transport bar are customizable. These 3 areas are the ones you will use the most:
Let us now begin the set up process. First go to the menu bar and select the Options menu located at the top of the program.
Select Keyboard Control Edit Mode from the drop down menu.
When you have done this your Transport bar is going to look grayed out like this:
Now click anywhere within the transport bar. When you have done that your transport bar should now show yellow arrows on all of the transport controls that are assignable:
The next step is to click on the Transport control that you would like to assign a shortcut or keyboard command to. You will notice that I have chosen the Click function and having done that, the yellow arrow has changed to orange:
Having selected the control you want to map we need to go back to the top menu bar and this time select the Edit menu:
From The Edit menu we are going to select Edit Keyboard Control Mapping:
Once you have selected this option a small window will appear called Keyboard Control:
When this window has appeared what you will do is press the key or combination of keys that you would like to be the command for that action on the Transport bar. While selecting your key command you will see activity in the Key Received area which indicates that the program has received your request. As you can see below I have selected the key 'C' to control the function to turn the Metronome Click on and off:
When you have made your choice of key command it will be reflected on the transport bar with the chosen key command in a yellow box over the pre-selected function.
Now what you will do from here on is repeat this process over the entire Transport bar or just for the functions that you know you will use the most while working on your projects.
I find this function very useful because most of the time, be it my own project or a production project for another artist, I am almost always playing all the instruments so being able to quickly reach and arm record or move the locators with ease instead of having to stop and use the mouse is very helpful.
Lastly, I would like to leave you with a list of my personal Transport Bar key commands just in case you are having key command writers block! Also know that by default the space bar works as the stop and play command so there is no need to map those two unless you have some clever and compelling reason to do so. In my next post we'll continue to learn more ways to master the workflow in Reason. I will show you how to assign controls on your MIDI Controller to functions on Reason devices. Until next time, stay creative.
Transport Key Commands
- Fast Forward:Shift+F
- New Dub:Shift+D
- New Alt:Shift+A
- Loop on/off:O
- Left Locator: Shift+1
- Right Locator:Shift+2
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