Time to create your timeline.  Remember, you can select any digital device and show how it has evolved into what it is today.  Get creative, artistic and take time in developing a time-line.  It doesn’t have to be a plain straight line across the paper with one color used to add dates.  Use colors, markers, cut-outs, etc.

Complete any 3 of the video tutorials found at Reason 4 Tutorial.

Click the image below to be taken to the website with video tutorials and Leave a comment with which tutorials you completed.


Reason’s Mixer is one of the most important devices in the software, but most home musicians don’t pay much attention to it. It’s simple enough to get your head around the basics of leveling devices with a bit of experimentation, but in this tutorial we’re going to go further into the breadth of features this essential and under-appreciated device offers.

In true Propellerhead fashion, as they’ve shown with both Reason and the newer Record software, their design ethos is to imitate not just the look and feel but the functionality of physical audio equipment. If you’re used to working with other DAWs, Reason’s mixer might be more unfamiliar to you.

The Reason Channel Strip

The Mixer is made up of 14 stereo channels, each with identical parameters. The beauty of digital mixers is that it doesn’t matter how many channels each device supports, because you can add more! We’ll discuss how you can do this later. Here’s what a channel strip, without any settings altered from the defaults, will look like:

There are five main elements of the channel strip.  Find the definition of the following –

The Master Fader: 

The Pan Control: 

The Mute & Solo Controls: 

Basic EQ: 

Aux Levels: 

Answer the following questions –

1. How many channels are in the Reason Mixer?

2. What does the acronym DAW mean?

3. What company makes the Reason software?

“Haiku” is a traditional form of Japanese poetry.  Haiku poems consist of 3 lines.  The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables.  The lines rarely rhyme.

Here’s a Haiku to help you remember:

I am first with five
Then seven in the middle
Five again to end.

Because Haikus are such short poems, they are usually written about things that are recognizable to the reader.

Write 5 Haiku’s of your own.

Define the following terms:

1) Mixdown
2) Mixer
3) Sweetening
4) Cocktail party effect
5) Layering
6) SFX
7) Donut
8) Compression
9) Backtiming
10) Equalizer
11) Low-frequency enhancement
12) Surround sound
13) Bias
14) Bias current
15) Bandwidth curve

1. One of the following is not a basic system of audio consoles: (p. 83)
a. input
b. output
c. monitor
d.surround sound input

2. All audio consoles have input sections, output sections, monitor sections, and master sections: (p. 80)
a. true
b. false

3. The master fader on a console: (p. 88)
a. controls the level from the master bus to the master recorder
b. controls t= he signal level of outgoing signals after they are fed from the individual channels
c. controls the level of signals in the control room
d. controls the level of signals in the master control= room

4.    Split consoles and in line consoles are identical. (p.80)
b. false

5.   If a console is 8 x 2, it has: (p. 81)
a. 8 inputs and 2 outputs
b. 8 outputs and 2 inputs
c . 8 routing systems
d. 16 channels

6. Most multichannel production consoles have controls that route a sound source to either a microphone level or line lev= el input because: (p. 83)
a. mic and line level sources require different levels of preamplification
b. separate routing is required if mic and line level sources are used at the same time
c. it facilitates finer adjustment of the sensitivity control
d. it makes high and low impedance signals fed to the console compatible with each other

7. The foldback system feeds signals from the console to headphones. (p. 85)
a. true
b. false

8.  A Pan pot or panoramic potentiometer is: (p. 80)
a. an equalizer that ba= lances frequencies between two left and right sound sources
b. a volume control that shifts loudness between two m= aster channels
c. another name for a trim control
d. the control on a console that creates stereo

9.   Percentage of modulation on a VU meter is: (p. 86)
a. the percentage of fluctuation that exists in a signal’s average modulation
b. the average loudness of a sound source fed to the console
c. what percentage of the total loudness a sound source is generating
d. the percentage of an applied signal in relation to the maximum signal a system should handle

10.  If a signal is below 20 percent of modulation, it is said to be: (p. 87)
a. in the red
b. in the black
c. in the mud
d. pinning

11. Headroom refers to the amount of level between: (p. 87)
a. normal operating level and overload
b. normal operating level and 0 VU
c. level in the black and level in the red
d. average level and level in the mud

12. The difference between a VU meter and a peak program meter is that the ppm was designed to: (p. 87)
a. indicate transient peaks
b. indicate peaking when the level goes above 0 VU
c. indicate the ratio of peaks in level to dips in level
d. indicate peaks when the level indicator is in the red

13. For a number of input signals to be fed into= an output line, there must be a: (p. 81)
a. module
b. trim
c. bus
d. potentiometer

14. One of the following is usually not a function included in a multichannel production console’s input system: (p.81)
a. polarity reversal control
b. pan pot
c. pad/trim
d. reverb (or effects) return

15. The connecting point of most, if not all, of a studio’s inputs and outputs is t= he: (p. 90)
a. multichannel production console
b. multitrack tape recorder
c. effects bus
d. patch panel

16. Multiples are special jacks that are: (p. 92)
a. wired to the inputs and outputs of special devices = such as slate/talkback, pre- and post-foldback, and oscillator
b. wired to each other
c. wired to the inputs and outputs of the console
d. wired to = more than one input and/or output

17. A balanced phone plug has a: (p. 92)
a. ring and tip
b. tip and sleeve
c. ring, tip, and sleeve
d. ring, tip, and jack

18. In automated consoles, the write mode can be used: (p. 94)
a. to create an automated mix
b. to synchronize positional information
c. to change a previous setting
d. to operate the fader controls

19. One of the following is not an advantage of console automation: (p. 94)
a. documentation of console settings is easier
b. it makes overall record keeping more complicated
c. it has made the engineer’s arms longer
d. in the long run, it is less time consuming

20. Digital consoles are available in three configurations. Which one of the following is not one of them?  (p. 95)
a. an analog console that is digitally controlled
b. a console with an analog input signal that is direc= tly accepted as digital information
c. a digital console that is actually a console
d. an analog console that is actually a “virtual” console

21. Which of the following is not an operating m= ode of automation systems? (p.94)
a. read mode
b. update mode
c. write mode
d. default mode

22. A half normal in a patch bay: (p.91)
a.  continues rather than interrupts signal flow
b. always interrupts the normal connection
c. are a switch rather than a junction
d. are the same as multiples

23. A digital control surface: (p.97.)
a. is the same as a digital console
b. allows the operator to automate an analog console
c. provides external control of a virtual audio environment
d. allows the operator to record directly to disc

RIP Gregory Isaacs
July 15, 1951 – October 25, 2010

Use your favorite search engine to find the answer(s) to the following questions.  Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.

  1. What does MIDI stand for?
  2. When was MIDI first released?
  3. What Note number does MIDI give to Middle C?
  4. MIDI Velocity normally affects…
  5. What range of values does MIDI typically use?
  6. For which Madonna song did producer Patrick Leonard create the bass line using step time sequencing?
  7. MIDI THRU passes on the signal at a device’s…
  8. What does Local On/Off connect / disconnect?
  9. Which of the following MIDI messages don’t exist ?
  10. Who designed the pre-MIDI LM-1 digital drum machine?


Read the article HERE and find the definition of the following terms.  Make sure to click on NEXT at the bottom right of each page to continue with the article.

1) What is a Codec?
2) What is compression ration?
3) What is Lossy/Lossless?
4) What is Bit Rate?
5) What is VBR?
6) What is CBR?
7) What is Sample Rate/Bit Depth?
8. What is Dynamic Range?
9)  What is DCT?
10) What is ID3?
11) Name 5 major Audio Formats and define each one.

1. Why are MP3’s so popular?

2. Are MP3’s compressed?

3. Are MP3’s superior quality to FLAC and WAV files?

4. Which is a larger file size MP3, WMA or WAV?

5. What is a codec?

  • CODEC stands for Compression Decompression. A codec is a set of rules that determines how data is removed from a file to reduce its file size. All codecs result in lossy compression.
  • CODEC stands for Compression Decompression. A codec is a set of rules that determines how data is removed from a file to reduce its file size. Today’s codecs result in lossless compression.
  • CODEC stands for Compression Decompression. A codec is a set of rules that determines how data is removed from a file to reduce its file size. Today’s codecs result in lossy compression but the audible loss in quality is minimal.
  • CODEC stands for Compression Decompression. A codec is a set of rules that determines how data is added to a file to increase the audio quality of the file.
6. What is MIDI?
  • MIDI is part of the QuickTime software.
  • MIDI is a software synthesis package that generates 128 different timbres for use in electronic music.
  • MIDI is a sound card standard for PCs and Macs. Users must have a MIDI installed to listen to .mid files on the Internet.
  • MIDI is a language that describes a musical performance rather than recording it to a digital audio file. As a result, files sizes are very small. The quality of the sound from a MIDI file is dependent on the user’s computer hardware.
7. MP3 was developed by a team of:
a. American engineers
b. Japanese engineers
c. French engineers
d. German engineers8.

8. What does MP3 stand for?
a. MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3
b. Music Product 3
c. Manage Programming 3
d. MPEG 3

9. What is the name of the compression format MP3 uses?

a. Bossy
b. Glossy
c. Flossy
d. Lossy

It’s time to start sharing our sounds/music/creations online and a great tool to do that can be found here.  Click the image below to create a FREE account.

  • Upload 2 MP3′s to http://www.soundcloud.com
  • Leave a comment on 3 other users sounds
  • Add users/follow playbackradio
  • follow 5 other users (ask friends their account/user name)

September 2020

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RSS The Makeshift Musician

  • Producing Natural-Sounding MIDI Notes
    When making electronically-produced music, you’ll find yourself often programming notes rather than playing them. People who don’t understand the medium will say that this makes the music cold, mechanical and lifeless, but they simply don’t understand the amount of work and craftsmanship that goes into manually arranging notes. A composer needs to take into […]
  • Weekly Music Writing – Like lifting weights made of creativity
    A while back I wrote about writing music constantly in order to build your skills and flex your creativity. I’ve been making music for several years now and my biggest project had been a 16 track score for a tragically unreleased computer game, which I finished in about 6 months. This was a great exercise, […]
  • Microphones, Cables and Everything Else in Your Studio
    This is the final part of the Makeshift Musician’s Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Studio So, you’ve got your room for your studio, you’ve set up your computer, hooked up your audio interface and installed your recording software. What’s next? Actually, a lot of stuff. Microphones Unless you’re an all-software kind of musician, you need […] […]
  • Audio Recording Software for Your Studio
    This is Part 4 of the Makeshift Musician’s Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Studio We’re now down to the last big component of your beast of a studio. To add this last piece, we need to dive into the prickly, sometimes confusing realm of software. Luckily for you, though, there are a lot of easy […]
  • Audio Interface, or, How to Get Sound into Your Computer
    This is Part 3 of the Makeshift Musician’s Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Studio Now that you’ve got a computer, it’s entirely possible that you’re now standing in front of it with your guitar or piano or whatever, your eyes slowly moving back and forth between the two objects in a confused manner, wondering how […]

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    Just Blaze on the evolution of musical styles, the state of New York hip-hop, DJ’ing, and ghot production. “A lot of these guys employ people who do their music for them.” “Some of these DJ’s that are constantly on the road are also constantly putting out new music.  How… because they have guys under them […]
  • Battle Of The Americas Beat Battle f/ Young Guru
    The Beat Academy presents The Battle of The Americas Beat Battle featuring judges Young Guru, Symbolyc One (S1), and Jake One. On Saturday June 21st 24 producers from USA and Canada will go to war in the ultimate team beat battle! Grab tickets or visit Beat Academy for more info. Video of The Road to […]
  • DJ Premier Explains Iconic Gangstarr Logo
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