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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Dec 2018 > SYNTH SOUND DESIGN IN REASON 10


A fantastic synth sound can define a song. In the latest part of our Reason sound design series, Andy Jones looks at how you can add more punch to your Reason synth sounds…



An incredible piece of music can be based on one great synth sound. Think back over the last four decades of some of the big synth sounds that backed huge hits. That opening riff from The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me? That bass synth in Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, perhaps? Or what about that famous synth ‘pluck’ from Insomnia by Faithless? Then there’s Darude’s sawtooth-like lead from Sandstorm? Or even the simple ‘tot toot’ from Soft Cell’s Tainted Love? A great synth sound can define a track – a genre even.

Fortunately, when it comes to getting great synth sounds, Reason is the best DAW out there. It’s simply packed with instruments and Players designed to deliver electronic goodness on all levels, so you won’t be short of basses, leads, pads and more. However, as with all preset sounds, they can always be tweaked and improved to make them your own, and that is what this latest part of our sound design series is all about: turning good synth sounds into great synth sounds.


In the opening parts of this series we introduced basic sound synthesis and how it works in Reason. We then looked at the Combinator and how it can be used for creative sound design. This is Reason’s extraordinary rack utility with which you can fill with just about anything you want, and then easily control everything within it – instruments, effects, and more – from a couple of dials and switches on a single channel. This time around we’re going to combine the synthesis and Combinator features to show how you can quite quickly take fairly basic preset sounds and turn them into greatness.

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