Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reason 4 has a real jewel among its newest features.

Yes, another Reason 4 post. I just feel the need to get the word out there. This is some serious stuff, and it might be all you need! Here is another cool set of tools that can be found in Reason version 4.

The Mclass mastering suite is no joke. Within the list of Mclass effects is everything that you should need to get your Reason tracks pumping. Lets dive in and see just what the Mclass mastering suite is all about.

You can either open up each Mclass mastering effect separately, and work with them one at a time, or the coolest part is that you can open up a Combinator preset, titled “M-Class Mastering Suite Combi”, and then simply create the effects that you need, one after the other right inside the Combinator itself. This makes saving your new Combinator mastering suite of instruments (after you get it set up and dialed in just right) a breeze. Opening this precious tool each time, with each new song that you create will now be a snap, or should I say a click?

For you “mastered” Reason users out there, you may know that each dial of these effect units, or each setting that you make often, can be sent to, and controlled by, a midi controller and midi playback. This opens up all sorts of possibilities for dynamic madness. Things like sweepable mid's on the Mclass EQ come to mind, or how about changing the stereo field on the Mclass stereo imager for a cool effect, and that is just a starting point.

Mclass Equalizer.
The Mclass EQ is an awesome tool as it has all sorts of controls, as you might expect with a Reason EQ. Tweaking with the settings is fun to say the least. The parameters include a low cut filter, low shelf, and a hi shelf filter, with a total of 4 bands. The FQ range starts at 30 HZ and rises up to 12KHZ. Everything you need to adjust, as a mastering EQ is represented here.
The workings are simple. You dial in the FQ that you wish to impact, set the “Q” to sharp or soft knee, and then raise the gain till it sounds sweet. Boom, you be done and you be moving on.

Mclass Stereo Imager.

This tool took some getting used to. This device allows you, the user, to split your FQ range at a specified “cutoff” FQ and then send the highs and the lows FQ's to their own stereo field. This is perfect for keeping the bass in the center, or mono like, and the higher FQ's to a wider stereo field. This is an open palette that begs for you to be as creative as you can be, and then settle for what sounds best. Very cool indeed!

Mclass Compressor.
Well, what can I tell you that you do not know about compressors? This is your usual suspect, with ratio, attack, threshold, and release dials, and both an input gain and a gain reduction, gain increase knob for your overall level control. This compressor does do a great job however, and it sounds great too!

Mclass Maximizer.

Don't limit yourself! This “look ahead limiter” is just what I was looking for within reason. With 4ms of look ahead capabilities, an input and output gain makeup, slow, mid, and fast attack and release settings, and a soft clip option, what else do we need? Well, one thing that is very cool is that you can toggle the “peak and VU” options on the meter readings. Very handy I thought, for seeing just where the clip is happening.

These tools are not a new creation by themselves. The good news is that we can now call these tools up anywhere in our Reason rack. They are not just mastering devices. I have longed for such tools, like back in my Reason 2.0 days, and now that I have them I use them extensively. I like the “color” that they put to my Reason works, and they just allow us all to get that much more creative as we work along. The Combinator idea is a smoker, and thanks Propellarhead for being so darn imaginative!
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