Propellerheads Reason is by far one of the most essential tools for an aspiring music producer. Basically anyone, from novice to expert, can produce sounds for it and create music using it. Reason’s three synthesizers are the electronic musician’s tools to creating new and impressive sounds. An electronic music producer can even couple these synthesizers and combine them with effects to make them even more unique using Reason’s combinator.
Subtractor is the first synthesizer that Reason came with, and produces sounds in mono. However, despite its age, it still continues to be an effective synthesizer used in producing powerful sounds that can be used in today’s music. Subtractor includes 2 oscillators where the sound is initially produced (paired with FM Modulation), a Mod Envelope, a Filter Envelope, two linkable Filters, a Noise controller, two Low Frequency Oscillators (LFOs), an Amp Envelope, and Velocity Control. Subtractor may be old, but it is definitely not obscelete. It still packs a punch with the massive array of features at your disposal.
Malström is another powerful synthesizer of Reason, recognized by its light green color and large array of knobs and switches to play around with. Unlike Subtractor, Malström is a graintable type synthesizer in that it allows you to change where in the sound oscillation begins. Just like the Subtractor, Malström includes 2 oscillators. However, these oscillators each have their own Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release (ADSR in short) controls, and an index slider which determines where in the sound oscillation will begin. Malström also includes a shaper, two filters, two modulators, a velocity controller, and a filter envelope. With all these features, you can produce an unlimited amount of sounds.
Once you have read about Malström and Subtractor, and you got very excited about getting your hands dirty with these synthesizers, you will be amazed at the possibilities of the Thor Polysonic Synthesizer. It includes a whopping three oscillators with different types of user-definable oscillation, three user-definable filters, two LFOs, an amplifier, an oscillator mixer, a filter envelope, an amplifier envelope, a modulator envelope, a global envelope, a step sequencer built in, a delay controller, a chorus controller, and a digital routing environment. The programmer of Thor’s synthesizer includes very clear routing arrows showing what is going where, and also allows you to program the first two filters serially or parallel.
Reason’s Thor synthesizer is packed with features that will keep you busy for an indefinite period of time with endless possibilities for producing quality sounds. However, that does not mean that you should stop using the other synthesizers. They all have their purpose and you might make your decision on what synthesizer to use depending on how much computer resources you plan people who use your sound sets to have.
Miguel Leiva-Gomez is a freelance writer, freelance computer engineer, programmer, musician, and song writer. His passions are music, computers, technology, and educating people. He has always strived his best to explain things in the simplest possible terms to make people understand what he has to show the world. His voice has been heard in cities like Miami, and even in places like Oradea, Romania.