It’s super easy to sidechain compress in Reason.  And this is the key to producing that classic, pulsing synth pad sound you hear in dance music.  You know, the synth pad that throbs in time with the kick drum.  Here’s a video on how to set this type of sound up in Reason.  Plus, I show you how to keep it going even when your song’s main kick drum drops out, so you can produce inspirational breaks in your arrangement without ever losing the pulse of the kick.

Here’s the completed combinator patch that I demonstrate in the video so you can explore how it’s put together right in your own Reason Rack.

Combinator Patch [COMING SOON]


    Erik, it looks like I will be buying your book today. I have always wondered how to get that synth sound, ala David Guetta type tracks,but I could never figure it out. Thanks for the video, i’ll definitely have to practice on sidechaining with my beats.

    Uncheck the “receive notes” in the combinator programmer for the Redrum, so it won’t receive notes from the keyboard.
    Try to take a longer (loud) sample in the redrum and play with the Length button as well (gate-mode maybe, to have an extra parameter next to compressors Attack/Release, some sort of Sustain)
    Another try-able thing is to set a no-feedback delay on the redrums kick (more dry than wet) gain some dynamics…

    Wow, awesome suggestions Tim! That’s like advanced sidechain tricks, the next video. Sweet!

    Rather than shifting the key map out of the “way”, you could just turn off “Receive Notes” in the Combi Programmer for the ReDrum – probably a cleaner solution as I can’t imagine you’d ever want to ‘play’ your sidechained kick.

    Save yourself some mousing around – almost anything in the menu bar can be had by right-click/two-finger clicking the devices in the rack. Thanks for the video!

    Ha, yes indeed, I’m always telling students to learn the keyboard shortcuts so that they can work faster. I usually do the menus in my videos so that the step is slowed down and easy to see. But yes, keyboard shortcuts are great!

    Hi Erik,
    They keyboard shortcuts are great, no doubt about it – but I poorly communicated that you can do it all with the mouse from the rack, no keyboard required! I can see the value of starting with the menu, however, for teaching purposes.

    Save yourself some mousing around – almost anything in the menu bar can be had by right-click/two-finger clicking the devices in the rack. Thanks for the video!

    Totally. I use the menus for teaching, to slow the process down and make it easy to see. Me going at the speed of right clicking doesn’t show where the commands are located in the menus. I right click all the time :-)

    Any idea on why a C2 note won’t sidechain for me? I’m using an Axiom25, and every note works fine, except the C2. In every project I try it in, the C2 just isn’t picked up by the compressor. C1 good, C3 good, and every other note. I keep working around it, but I need that C2. Any thoughts?

    Well I got it to work using a different BD sample. When I had the problem, I changed the pitch and every possible option and thought it was something with my controller or Thor or global settings.. Still not sure why that C2 didn’t play, I can see it not working if the BD is the same freq as the note I’m trying to play, but even tried changing the pitch of the BD to no avail. Ok now w/ a diff sample.

    Good lessons, thanky!

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