I've been using Propellerhead Reason for more than a decade, but only recently have I gotten interested in actual sound design (as opposed to using pre-installed patches) in Reason. Here are some of the instruments I've made that I think might be of use to other sound designers and composers specifically for game jams and community video projects. If you have any questions about how to use these Combis, feel free to emal me at will at thrillahill dot com.
- If you decide to use these in a project that's great! I'd appreciate it if you'd drop me a line letting me know though and I'd also appreciate a credit anywhere in your credits page - you can use Will Leamon. Again reach out if you have any questions.
Psst? Hey buddy?
You need a dark and scary pad for people to talk over?
Of course you do, we ALL need something like that eventually!
But you want something a little different, but quick and easy to control?
Well if you've got Reason 10, I can help you out.
After Chiptune, the very next thing you'll need in your Game Jam arsenal is some kind of RPG Fantasy music maker. I've been playing these games since, well since they came out basically. So here's a simple, easy to use Combi that gives you the two primary ingredients of any good RPG score: Guitars and Violins. That's right, the Cloudolin is a synth that blends Reason's rather nice stock Mandolin with a "fantasy" string of my own concoction. If you're in a rush and you need a lead instrument for a fantasy RPG, you'd be well advised to play with this for 5 minutes to see if it fits your bill.
The sample is from my very first game jam game, Tiles of Doom. The Cloudolin is the lead instrument up to and through the entrance of the metal guitar.
If you want to make music in game jams, you're going to have make your peace with "Chiptune". You have to put Chiptune in air quotes because, other than music nerds, people don't really know that Chiptune is music made on VERY specific sources (namely the ROMs or whatever used in old videogames). This is all a bit semantic I know, but if you game jam then folks are going to ask for Chiptune but they don't really MEAN Chiptune, they mean "old-timey sounding"*.
This Combinator does "Chiptune", it's actually a blend of subtractive synths and a sampled Farfisa organ but it does the tune well enough. I've used it in a few games now and always with an enthusiastic response. So if you have Reason 10 and download this Combinator, when they ask you "Can you do Chiptune?" you can say "Yes." with confidence.
* Allow me to drop a little science (just a wee bit) on you. The original chiptune producing chips were basically a kind of synthesizer known as a "Subtractive Synthesizer" which is basically a noise generator with a filter. A musician uses the filter to produce unique sounds, so you "subtract" noise until you find the pitch, timbre, sonority or whatever it is you're looking for. For reference listen to like ANY hit song from 1978 to about 1992 (and a lot of music today too). This Combinator blends two subtractive synths (one with a lot of the portamento "moving" quality of old video game music) and the Farfisa. Combinator controls basically let you dial in more or less organ and more or less portamento.