Rack Extensions by Ochen K.

A-Series 1 Modular Synth

The A-Series Modular Synth is the first fully modular synth for Reason, where you can design your synths however you want for whatever sound you can imagine. And because all the modules are mix-and-match, all those Reason effects and devices that you already have can go right inside your custom synth. The A-Series 1 is the first rack extension in series.

The A-Series Modular Synth is a set of modular synth components to allow you to design your own synth in Reason. The A-Series components aren’t hard-coded together, meaning that the audio and CV signal paths between all the components that make up your synth are completely up to you.

The A-Series 1 is the firsts of two rack extensions to launch in the A-Series. The other is the A-Series 2. The A-Series 1 contains a midi-to-CV converter, a VCO, an envelope generator, a VCA, and an LFO. The A-Series 2 contains a poly splitter, a sample and hold, a noise generator, a VCF, a ring modular, and a mixer.

Modules:

The A-Series 1 rack extension contains the following modules:

A-19SEQ – A midi-to-CV converter, receiving midi signals from a midi keyboard or the Reason sequencer, of from rack sequencers like the Matrix, and converts the signals into CV (note) data and gate (velocity) data. These signals can then be routed to control any other device, such as a VCO or envelope generator.

A-11VCO – A voltage controlled oscillator generating four waveforms – saw, square, triangle, and sine – all at the same time. The A-11VCO has a 7-octave range with coarse and fine tuning, can accept and mix a second pitch modulation signal to create FM-like effects, and can modulate the pulse width of square waves. Each parameter can be controlled by CV input.

A-14ADSR – An envelope generator with three speed ranges and standard attack, decay, sustain, and release parameters. Each parameter can be controlled by CV input.

A-13VCA – A voltage controlled amplifier allowing multiple signals to control a sound’s gate shape, with two gain CV ins and a two-in audio mixer. Each parameter can be controlled by CV input.

A-14LFO – An LFO with four signal waveforms – saw, square, triangle, and sine, three cycle speed ranges, with both free-running and tempo-synced cycles, and pulse width modulation of the square wave signal. Each parameter can be controlled by CV input.

If you have any questions or suggestions, send them to reinfo@ochenk.com.


A-Series 2 Modular Synth

The A-Series Modular Synth is the first fully modular synth for Reason, where you can design your synths however you want for whatever sound you can imagine. And because all the modules are mix-and-match, all those Reason effects and devices that you already have can go right inside your custom synth. The A-Series 2 is the second rack extension in series.

The A-Series Modular Synth is a set of modular synth components to allow you to design your own synth in Reason. The A-Series components aren’t hard-coded together, meaning that the audio and CV signal paths between all the components that make up your synth are completely up to you.

The A-Series 2 is the second of two rack extensions to launch in the A-Series. The other is the A-Series 1. The A-Series 2 contains a poly splitter, a sample and hold, a noise generator, a VCF, a ring modular, and a mixer. The A-Series 1 contains a midi-to-CV converter, a VCO, an envelope generator, a VCA, and an LFO.

Modules:

The A-Series 2 rack extension contains the following modules:

A-19POLY – A polyphonic to monophonic splitter allowing for the creation of polyphonic synths. The A-19POLY supports up to eight voices, each with independent gate and CV data, and three note assign modes: lowest first, sequential (round robin), and random.

A-14SH – A sample and hold module allowing the sampling of CV data and holding that sample constant until a new sample period is triggered.

A-11NOISE – An audio noise generator and a random CV generator. The audio noise generator can generate white noise, pink noise, brown noise, and any blend in between. Each parameter can be controlled by CV input.

A-12VCF – A voltage controlled filter with a four-poll high-pass and low-pass filter, a band-pass filter when used in combination, and CV control over each frequency cutoff.

A-11RM – A ring modulator taking two audio signals and modulating them to produce a single audio result.

A-13MIXER – A six channel mixer with six audio ins and one master audio out. The level of each in and out can be controlled by CV signals.

If you have any questions or suggestions, send them to reinfo@ochenk.com.


CVTuner

CVTuner maps CV data to custom musical scales that you define. Pick from any common scale presets, or define your own scale of any number of notes. CVTuner also generates a harmony CV signal at a harmonic interval of your choice. Turn modular data into musical data.

CVTuner takes in any CV data you send it and tunes it to any musical scale you want. There are presets to get you going, and you can define any scale you can think of, of any number of notes.

There are two ways to define a scale to map CV data to. The first is using one of the preset scales. The second is to use the keyboard button section with your own custom scale. These work independently. Only one or the other is active at a time. To choose which way to define your scale mode, use the Def (define) dial. When the Def button is to the left, the CV data is mapped to the preset scales. When the Def dial is to the right, CV data is mapped to your custom scale.

The Preset Scales

The Root drop-down lets to you pick any root note to base the scale upon. The Scale drop-down lets you select from thirteen preset scales. These include: major, minor, pentatonic major, pentatonic minor, major triad, minor triad, chromatic, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian, and locrian.

The Keyboard Scale

To set a custom scale, enable each button for each note you want in the scale. A scale can have any number of notes from just one note to all twelve. The keyboard buttons can also be enabled by using C3 through B4 on your midi keyboard controller.

Source

The Source dial allows you to use any type of CV data, either note data (0-127), bipolar data (-1 to 1), or unipolar data (0 to 1).

Round

The Round dial lets you decide what CVTuner does with CV signals that are in between notes in your scale. For example, if you have a C major scale selected, and a CV signal comes in to CVTuner that maps to C#, should that CV signal be tuned down to C, or up to D? If the Round dial is set to UP, it will round to D. If it is set to DOWN, it will round to C. If it is set to TRIAD, it will round to the nearest triad note in the scale, which is C. (Note, this only works for the preset scales.) If the Round dial is set to RANDOM, the note will be tuned randomly up or down.

Harmony

CVTuner can also produce a second CV out signal that has a harmonic offset from the CV note that is tuned. The number on the Harmony dial relates to the number of scale steps you want to offset the note. For example, if you use the preset C major scale, and set a harmony offset of 2, when the main signal is tuned to a C note, an E note will be sent out of the Harmony CV out. But if the present is a C major triad scale, where the only notes in the scale are C, E, and G, when a C note is send out the main CV out, and Harmony is set to 2, a G will be sent out the Harmony CV out because G is two scale steps above C. The possible range for the Harmony dial is -7 to 7.

If you have any questions or suggestions, send them to reinfo@ochenk.com.


PCV

The PCV is a probability CV step sequencer trigger that allows you to generate sequences of three different types of CV signals within custom ranges according to random probabilities. Create sequences up to 32 steps long with step resolutions anywhere between a half-note and a thirty-second note in length.

The PCV is a utility to generate CV signals that aren’t based on LFOs or other analog concepts of looping oscillation. With the PCV, you can create sequences that include randomized values within ranges that you control.

Three CV data types are generated by the PCV – Unipolar, Bipolar, and Note CV data. Unipolar CV signals range from zero to 100 percent. Bipolar CV signals range from -100 percent to 100 percent. And Note CV signals range from 1 to 127. Many faders and dials that go from zero to some value, like filter frequencies, ADSR values, and LFO rates are usually Unipolar. Dials and wheels where the neutral value is in the middle, like pitch bend wheels and pan knobs are Bipolar. And elements that control note values, like instrument sequencer CV ins are Note CVs.

The PCV’s sequencer has three dials per step. The top dial is a probability dial. This determines the likelihood of a CV value being triggered at that step. When the probability is at 100 percent, a CV value will be generated every time the PCV sequencer gets to that step. When the probability is at zero, no CV value will ever be triggered when the PCV sequencer gets to that step. But when the probability is between zero and 100 percent, the percentage determines the likelihood of a CV value being triggered at that step. For example, if the probability dial of step 1 is at 60 percent, every time the PCV sequencer gets to step 1, there is a 60 percent chance that the PCV will trigger a new CV value.

The middle dial at each step is the minimum value of the range of possible generated CV values. The bottom dial is the maximum value of the range of possible generated CV values. So, if the PCV sequencer determines that a value should be triggered at step 1, the value generated will be somewhere between the minimum and maximum values for that step. When the minimum and maximum value are the same, a CV signal at that value will be triggered.

The Portamento dial determines how quickly the CV signal changes between steps. When Port is at zero, the change in CV values happens immediately. When Port is at 100 percent, the value slowly changes over the duration of an entire step.

The Steps dial determines the length, in steps, of your sequencer. Sequences can be any length between 1 and 32 steps. Steps beyond the 16th step reuse the dial values of the first 16 steps.

The Speed dial sets the resolution of each step of the sequence. Each step can last anywhere between a half note and a thirty-second note.

The Gate dial determines the duration of each trigger, ranging from nearly no duration, to a duration four times the length of the step resolution. So, if each step lasts 1/4 note, a gate of 100% lasts a whole note.

The PCV has an automatable Pause button to stop the sequencer, a local Shuffle dial, and a Seed dial to change the seed of the random number generator inside the PCV.

On the back of the PCV, the PCV’s CV signals come out of the CV out jack, and the Seed dial value can be controlled by a CV in signal.

The PCV provides a way to generate unique sequences of CV values that are as exact or as surprising as you want them to be.

If you have any questions or suggestions, send them to reinfo@ochenk.com.


Glitch

Glitch brings the most sought-after glitch-style effects to Reason, while allowing you to integrate your own glitchy sounds into the mix. Each glitch effect has its own time resolution, and the whole device can trigger its own effects randomly.

Glitch is an effect chain that include five on-board effects (Shuffle, Stutter, Gate, Tape Stop, and Reverse) and allows you to add four custom effects into the chain. There is also a random trigger sequencer that randomly enables each of the effects based on the probabilities that you choose.

Effects:

Shuffle – Shuffle mode takes the most recent measure, cuts it up into however many segments you choose, and plays back the segments in random order. As the play head advances, so too does the sample material. So for example, when the play head is in measure two, Shuffle is playing material from measure one. When the play head is in measure three, Shuffle is playing material from measure two. The Resolution dial determines how many segments the measure is cut into. When the Resolution is at 1/4, there are four segments, each a quarter-note in length. When Resolution is at 1/32, there are 32 segments, each a thirty-second note in length.

Stutter – Stutter takes the most recent sound and repeats it. The Resolution dial determines how much is repeated. When Resolution is at 1/4, the most recent quarter-note material is repeated. When Resolution is at 1/32, the most recent thirty-second-note material is repeated. The Resolution is tempo-synced, but the start and end points of the stutter loop are not quantized.

Gate – Gate turns the audio on and off. The Resolution dial determines the duration of a period of on-off. If the Resolution is 1/4, the first half of each quarter note will be at full 9pass-through) volume and the second half of each quarter note will be silent.

Tape Stop – Tape Stop slows down the audio until it stops. The Resolution dial determines how long it takes for the “tape” to come to a complete stop. At 0 percent, the audio stops within a fraction of a second. When the dial is at 100 percent, it can take several seconds.

Reverse – Reverse takes the most recent piece of audio and plays it in reverse. The Resolution dial determines the size of that segment. When Resolution is at 1/4, the most recent quarter-note will play in reverse. As the play head advances, so too does the reversed material. So for example, if the resolution is 1/4 and the play head is at the start of measure two, Reverse will play the last quarter note of measure one in reverse. When it’s done, the play head will be at the second quarter note in measure two, and Reverse will play the first quarter note of measure two in reverse.

External Effects 1-4:

Any other Reason effects can be hooked up to Glitch as external effects. Hook up the sends and returns on the back of Glitch to the ins and outs of other effects. The Glitch also has a wet/dry dial per external effect.

Random:

You can enable any effect at any time by pressing the Enable button under each effect. (The Enable buttons can also be triggered by a keyboard using notes C3 through D4.) But you can also have Glitch trigger itself by enabling the Radom section. By pressing the Enable button in the Random section, the Glitch will randomly select different Glitch effects. The Random Resolution dial determines how often the effect changes. When Resolution is on 1/4, Glitch will randomly select a new effect every quarter note. The Resolution of each individual effect is normally determined by the Resolution dial of each effect. But if Random Dials is selected, when Glitch randomly selects an effect, it will also select a random Resolution.

Each effect has a Probability dial. When Glitch randomly selects an effect, it will do so per the probability dial. The greater the Probability, the more likely the effect is to be chosen. The lower the Probability, the less likely the effect is to be chosen. If you do not want an effect to ever be chosen, set the Probability dial of that effect to zero percent.

There is also a Seed dial, for when you like the Probability dials as they are, but you don’t like the select of random choices.


PDT2

The PDT2 is a two-channel probability step sequencer. It allows you to add the slightest bit of variety in a hi hat or shaker to a preexisting beat, or generate brand new, completely random drum tracks that continually surprise the ear.

Most drum step sequencers, including the Redrum Drum Computer, allow you to determine whether a sample will play at a particular step or not, but it is a binary choice – either the sample is triggered or it isn’t. A probability step sequencer allows you to determine whether a sample will play at a particular step, but also allows you to set the probability of the sample actually being triggered. For example, you can set step one to trigger sample one, but only 50 percent of the time. In the PDT2, when a step dial is set to 0 percent, the sample will never be triggered at that step. When the dial is set to 100 percent, the sample will always be triggered at that step. But when a step dial is set to somewhere in between 0 and 100 percent, the sample will be triggered that percentage of the time. (E.g. if a dial is set to 25 percent, the sample will be triggered, randomly, approximately 25 percent of the time at that step.)

Linear Drumming

A single PDT2 can control up to two drum tracks, either independently, or in tandem with each other. When the Linear Pattern button is turned off, the two sequencer channels operate completely independently. When the Linear Pattern button is turned on, each channel will calculate its own probabilities, but will never trigger at the same time as each other. For example, if channel 1 controls a closed hi hat sound and channel 2 controls an open hi hat sound, you might not want them to ever trigger at the same time. In that case, press the Linear Pattern button. Now, on any particular step, if both the closed hi hat and open hi hat channels are triggered, only one will play – usually the one with the higher probability.

Seeding

When dealing with random numbers, you usually want completely random numbers. But when making music, you usually want control over the final sequence of sounds. The PDT2 gives you both. The random probabilities that the PDT2 generates are completely random based on a “seed” that you control. For any given pattern of dials, and any given position in the song, when the seed is the same, the triggers will be the same. This means that when you have your drum pattern dialed in, the resulting triggered beat will sound the same each time you play the song. If you change one of the step dials, the entire beat will change. But if your dials are exactly where you want them to be, and drums are triggered exactly as often you want them to be, but you just don’t like the particular random choices of the pattern, change the seed. You’ll get a whole new pattern based on your same set of probabilities. Because any change in any probability dial produces an entirely new random sequence, and the seed dial can produce random variants of each pattern of dials, the variations are nearly endless, yet you can have complete confidence in knowing ahead of time what the final triggered sequence will sound like.

Shuffle

When playing a groove, a live drummer will often shuffle a hi hat ride differently than a shuffle between the snare and bass drum, both of which might be different than the global shuffle of the song. Each PDT2 has its own independent shuffle dial.

CV Outs

Each PDT2 has two channels. Each channel has two CV outs on the back of the device. The first is a Gate CV output. This is the primary trigger. This is the CV that goes into the Redrum or Kong or any other instrument that you want triggered based on probabilities. The other CV output is a Level CV output. When a signal is sent out of the Gate CV, the value of the source probability is sent out of the Level CV. For example, if the dial for step one is set to 50 percent, and the PDT2 determines that it should be triggered, a signal is sent to the Gate CV to trigger the sample, and a value of 50 percent is sent to the Level CV. This Level CV can be used any way you wish. In the example Combinator patches provided with the PDT2, the Level CV is often used to control the volume of the triggered sample. The thinking is that if a step has a low probability, it might be a ghost note, or a pick up, or something otherwise ancillary to the beat. Most of the time, those elements are softer than the primary elements of a beat – the downbeat or back beat – which should be louder, and should be played more consistently, meaning a higher probability. Therefore, when using the Level CV to control volume, the higher probability triggers are louder and the lower probability triggers are softer. There is no requirement to use the Level CV in this way, or to use it at all. But when used in this way, it adds a level of complexity and listenability and interest to a beat.