Sending notes to track in Reason 9

One of the most common support questions we receive for Step and Euclid is “How can I record the notes from Step/Euclid to a sequencer track?”.
Notes to track

Previously, the solution has involved routing the output of Step or Euclid through an External MIDI Instrument device and looping it back into Reason using a virtual MIDI interface, recording the notes in real time. This works, but it’s pretty cumbersome to set up, and you have to deal with latency issues.

But all this will change when Reason 9 arrives on June 21st.

One of the most prominent new features in Reason 9 is the Player devices. They transform and generate MIDI notes and pass them on to your instrument. They also happen to have a little feature called “Send to track”. It turns out that we can use this feature to send notes from any CV sequencer device to a track, completely latency-free! This involves a little bit of extra work, but we’ll guide you through it step by step.

1. Move your instrument into a Combinator

This step is necessary since we will use the Combinator’s ability to convert CV and Gate signals to MIDI notes later on.

Thor inside Combinator

2. Attach a Player device to the instrument

It doesn’t matter which Player device you choose, since we will not actually be using it. Note that you have to connect the Player directly to the instrument, not to the Combinator.

Create a Player device

3. Disable the Player device by clicking its On button

Disable the Player device

4. Connect Step to the Combinator

Connect the CV/Gate outputs of Step to the corresponding inputs on the Combinator.

Connect Step to the Combinator

5. Set up the loop markers in Reason’s sequencer

Choose the bars that you want to render to track.

Set the loop markers

6. Click on “Send to track”

Go back into the rack and click the “Send to track” button on the Player bar above the instrument.

Send to track
Note that the Player bar will automatically set itself to “Bypass All”. If you want to send notes to track again, you need to disable that switch first.

7. Look again in the sequencer!

Reason has now created a new note lane for your instrument and rendered all the notes from Step into a new clip between the loop markers!

Rendered clip

8. Disable Step

Disable Step’s output by clicking on the Enable button. This is necessary in order to avoid double notes.

Disable Step

That’s all there is to it, really!

  • Note that all automation and CV will be taken into account, so go wild with all the features in Euclid and Step, it will all end up in the rendered MIDI clip!
  • You can also experiment with enabling different Player devices and running Step’s output through them before going into the instrument!

Special thanks to Giles Reaves for making us aware of this feature!

9 Comments

EnochLight

This is a fantastic tutorial; thanks for sharing this!

Noel G.

Thank you for putting this together so quickly. It’s greatly appreciated and it brings more attention to the fine work you have been doing with your Rack Extensions.

Emian

great tutorial ! all RE sequencers i own will actually benefit from Reason 9 i believe !

Tom

Hey!
I’m an owner of the “euclid” an “step note recorder”.
In the “step note recorder” in miss the option to record the notes manually. It would be easier to chose the specific step with the cursor an press the keyboard for the right note. So I don’t have to record and mute the steps, i don’t want to hear.
In bouth rack extensions I miss a button to start an stop the the device in sync.

admin

Thanks for your feedback, Tom!

You can also just record the notes while ignoring the mutes altogether, and later on you can lengthen those steps using the Repeat function. You can also record mutes directly while recording your sequence by pressing the mute button at the steps you want to have silent. You can Remote control this button, for example via a button or key on your MIDI keyboard.

But I guess that you’re also saying is that you would like to edit a note in the middle of the sequence and “overdub” it using your MIDI keyboard, right? I’ll look into that and see if something can be done without complicating the device too much.

Regarding a “button to start and stop the device in sync”, could you please explain to me what you mean? Doesn’t the Enable button accomplish what you need?

Cheers, Niklas

Tom

Hey Niklas,
thanks for your answer.
Sorry for my bad english.
I think about the workflow. It wouldn’t be necessary to record a muted note, to record a break, a pause. If I want set for exanple only 2 notes in a 32 step sequence, it would be easier, to record or edit just these two steps and not more.

Regarding the start button, i’m thinking about a button, like the “run”-button at propellerhead’s matrix sequnencer.
Greeting from cologne.
Tom

admin

There’s no need to record the mutes if you don’t want to: Let’s say you record three notes into the first three steps, and afterwards you want to change the timing so that there’s a rest between the first and second note. All you have to do is go to the Repeat Count view (Rept), and change the repeat count of the first step to 2. Then go to the Repeat Mode view (Mode) and choose “single mode” (a single dot) for that step.

Regarding the Run button, Reason’s stock devices such as Matrix and Redrum have an unfair advantage here because they have access to a “hidden clock” that ensures that they will always stay in sync with each other, even if Reason’s sequencer is stopped. Rack Extensions have no way of accessing this clock, unfortunately. Therefore we decided to put this feature on hold until proper support is added in a future SDK update.

But instead we added another possibility: Since both Euclid and Step have “clock” and “reset” inputs, you can use a Redrum as clock master that can drive several instances of Euclid and Step and make sure that they stay in sync with the other devices. You can read more about this in the “Advanced patch tips” section in the Euclid user guide.

Tom

Hello Niklas,
the cool thing in the step note recorder is, that i can manipulate the velocity and the width for every single note. In the way you explaned with the option of repeat the note, this feature is not more given.
If i want to record only the step 30 and 31, the way you explain, dosn’t work without any indirection.
So I only make a suggestion for a better workflow, if i think it’s better to select the step, i want to record, directly with the curser.

You say third party developers have no possibility to accsess the clock of reason. I don’t think so, because other third party devices like zvork’s Volt SL-1 use reason’s clock to to start and sync thier RE.
If you cinsider these two little things, your step note recorder and also the euclid, will be some awesome rack extensions.
Greets!
Tom

admin

Sure, we can sync to Reason’s clock while Reason’s sequencer is running, that’s what we’re already doing with all our devices today. What I’m referring to is the following scenario:

1. Make sure Reason’s sequencer is stopped.
2. Create a Redrum, program a pattern in it, and start it up using its RUN button.
3. Create a second Redrum, program a pattern in it (or just copy the first Redrum), and start it up using its RUN button as well.

The two Redrums will be playing in perfect sync with each other, regardless of the timing when you press RUN, even though Reason’s main sequencer is stopped. It’s because they have a common clock that makes sure that they always stay in sync with each other. You can also start up a Dr. OctoRex or a Matrix, and all these devices will also sync perfectly with the others.

Now, try adding a 3rd party device (RE) with a RUN button, for example DLD’s AS-16 or one of the Lectric Panda devices (Korde, Propulsion or PSQ). Click on its RUN button and it will start playing. Note that while it plays in the same tempo as the other devices, it will not lock to their positions. It will just play from the beginning immediately, regardless of the positions of the other devices. So they will always be a little off with the timing (unless you’re really lucky).

This is because Rack Extensions have no way of accessing this “hidden” clock, they can only know the tempo and time signature of the song. It’s definitely no coincidence that Propellerhead’s own “tempo synced REs” such as Synchronous and the A-List devices all lack RUN buttons. It’s because of this limitation in the RE environment.

Once you start Reason’s main sequencer, of course, all the devices will play in sync, because they all sync to Reason’s transport position. But that’s already working perfectly as it is today, right?

So this is why we haven’t added RUN buttons to our devices.

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