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This first tutorial you should have a look at if you have any questions about reason. This is not the official FAQ rather a collection of questions and answers from the official reason messageboard on propellerheads and reasonstation!...

Q: What is this unoffical stuff? I want the Official Reason FAQ!
A: Propellerheads software maintains the Official FAQ.

Q: I am having trouble downloading songs from ReasonStation on my Mac using Internet Explorer. What should I do?
A: Follow the steps in this tutorial.

Q: How do I automate an effect paramter such as Delay Time?
A: Create a sequencer track to control the effect device. Right-click on the device, and choose Create->Sequencer Track for [Device]. Now you can right-click on whatever device control or parameter you want to automate and select Edit Automation.

Q: Are there any parameters on the devices that can't be automated?
A: Yes. They fall into three categories. First, you can't automate patch or sample selection in any of the instruments. You could not, for example, change from Bright Piano to Grand Piano using one NN19 Sampler. There are also certain buttons on devices that don't make sense to automate, since they do not affect the sound, such as "Select Slice Via MIDI" on the Dr. Rex. The final kind of control you are not able to automate are the controls on the back of the rack.

Q: Why won't Reason keep my changes after I press Record?
A: Reason allows you to record only one track at a time. You must first make the track you want to record active. On the far left side of the Sequencer is a column labelled "In". Left-click the column to activate recording for a given track. A small input device icon of a MIDI cable will appear in the track that is ready to record.

Unlike ReBirth, Reason only actually records when it is playing. If you make changes to a parameter that is already automated before pressing the Spacebar, none of your changes will be recorded. Reason will toggle the "Punched In" light to signal that any changes will be temporary. If the parameter was not previously automated, whatever change you make will affect the default value of the device parameter. When you start playing, the changes will be recorded. This dual behavior can be confusing, so be cautious about changing parameters after you press Record, but before you press Play.


Q: Why do I get this error message when I try to start Reason: "Device not ready. The operation could not be completed because the device was not ready."?
A: Reason may produce this message when the sound hardware is in use by another application. Close all sound applications, and start Reason. Some older programs do not share the sound card with other programs. The majority of newer applications, however, play nicely with each other.

Q: Why can't I play a complicated song or make on-the-fly changes without the sound getting distorted and breaking up?
A: This is almost always a latency issue. Select Edit->Preferences... from the menu. Then go to the audio page and increase your Output Latency. Reason's default settings usually aren't the best in this area, so adjust according to your computer and soundcard settings. Play a busy part of one of the demo songs and change some parameters while it's playing to test the settings. Increase your output latency until you hear no irregular pops or cracks.

Also be sure to have only one Reason song open at a time. If you have a song minimized, it can take up a significant portion of CPU time and RAM even if it's not active.

Q: What's the difference between Output Latency and Latency Compensation?
A: Output Latency refers to the time lag between when you send a Note On message, and when the note actually sounds. Different CPU and sound card combinations have varying audio caching strategies. Generally, higher end cards with specialized drivers will have lower latencies.


Latency Compensation, on the other hand, refers to a nudge in milleseconds either forward or backward. This time difference is useful when attempting to synchonize non-Rewire applications with an internal MIDI interface, such as Hubi's Loopback Device.

These properties are discussed in the Operation Manual on page 185.

Q: How do I share my songs across a network so everyone can access the extra WAV/AIFF files?
A: If you want the files to be editable, you should store the external samples on your network, and make sure your song points to those sample files, not the ones on your local drive. Reason should find the samples if the other computers have their network drives mapped identically to the original machine.

If you only want people to listen to the songs, use the File->Song Self-Contain Settings... to adjust which samples are included with your song. Create a published song using File->Publish Song... and the song should load fine for other Reason users. These files are saved with the .rps format.

Q: How come the sequencer no longer tracks along with my song while it's playing?
A: You probably hit CTRL + F (Mac: Command + F) by accident. This may happen occassionally if you use the grouping shortcut quite often (CTRL/Command + G).

Q: Where's the line-drawing tool?
A: A line-drawing tool has not yet been implemented in Reason's sequencer, but is on the list of enhancements that the Propellerheads are considering.

To create a straight line in a Matrix, hold down SHIFT as you draw in the Matrix's main window. This only works for curves and notes, not gates (the lower, smaller window).

Q: Why won't the sequencer break away?
A: A breakaway sequencer window is also high on the list of features that users have requested for a future revision of Reason.

Q: What are the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts?
A: Although everyone's work habits vary, several keystrokes will be of use to just about everyone. It is easy to toggle between the Rack and Sequencer views with the keyboard, rather than the mouse. CTRL + 2 (Mac: Command + 2) pops up a maximized Sequencer view, while CTRL + 1 (Mac: Command + 1) minimizes the Sequencer, revealing the Rack. Shift + [equal] and Shift + [minus] will horizontally zoom in and out of the sequencer view.

While in Sequencer view, Shift + Tab or CTRL + E (Mac: Command + E) toggles between Edit and Arrange views, allowing the composer to switch between seeing note data and the overall structure of the song. While in either of these views, holding down Alt (Mac: Command) toggles between the Select and Pencil tools. If Select is chosen by default, it is a simple matter to hold down Alt with one's thumb in order to draw events. With multiple events (notes, pattern changes, controller edits) selected, used CTRL + G (Mac: Command + G) to group the events together for easier editing.

Q: What will be included in the next version of Reason?
A: Since nothing official has been announced, we can only speculate what enhancements the next release of Reason will contain.

Q: Can the NN19 load Soundfonts? Akai? Roland?
A: Reason does not currently import sample libraries. Native support of various sample formats is a frequently requested feature for the next release of Reason.

Q: When I program a Matrix to trigger a NN19, it plays a bunch of short samples instead of one long continuous one.
A: This question should go in the tutorials section, along with an .rpn illustrating the technique.

When programming the notes in the Matrix, you must "tie" the gates together to get a long continuous note. What this means is that instead of simply clicking on the gate to turn it on, hold down Shift when creating a gate. Instead making a shorter half-gate, the full length of the gate will be filled. You can also turn on the Tie option just below the octave selector to make this the default gate length (in that case, use Shift to create a half-gate).

Q: Reason won't load my REX file (Invalid 'Bars and Beats' settings).
A: This happens because no bpm data was saved with the REX file. Before saving your REX file in ReCycle, be sure to indicate the length of the file in bars and beats. ReCycle will then calculate the bpm based on the time of the file and the number of beats in the file. After saving the REX with bpm data, Reason should load your REX file.

Q: Can I use Reason to create REX files?
A: No. Reason cannot create REX files, only play them. REX files are created with a separate Propellerheads product called Recycle. The current version of Recycle is 2.00, which supports stereo files.

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