In the second part of our huge Propellerhead Reason 9 review, Matthew Mann presents a step by step guide to pitch editing and concludes with his verdict…
Step by Step – Pitch Editing
1: Select your audio to work with. Either double-click the audio track or click the Pitch Edit button in the toolbar.
2: For those of you familiar with Melodyne, this will look very familiar. For those of you who are new to the world of pitch editing, the blue blobs are words and phrases with a detectable pitch. The grey blobs have no detectable pitch. These are typically sliding notes. The white dots (nodes) above each note are Drift Handles. The blue nodes are Transition Handles. The Drift and Transition Handles only appear when you have selected a note or notes.
3: There are a couple of different ways to adjust the pitch of your audio. One is to click on the ‘Correct’ button in the Pitch section to the left of your audio. The other is to grab one of the blobs with your cursor and drag it up or down. How much the blob moves depends on the settings in the Transpose section to the left of your audio. You can choose Snap, Jump or Fine.
4: Use the Drift node to adjust the natural pitch drift/vibrato present in the selected note. You can add more or reduce it completely. Use the Transition node to adjust the time it takes for pitch transitions between notes.
5: Once you’re happy with your newly pitch-corrected audio, I’d recommend Bounce Clip to New Recording, to free up resources
What’s up, my pitches?
Of course, one thing you might have noticed above is the Pitch Edit button. Yes, one of the most exciting additions to Reason 9 is pitch editing. I was very excited by this, as I’ve always had to do any pitch editing with Melodyne in my other (DAW). That’s fine if I’m working in my other DAW; but if I’m working in Reason, it’s a real workflow killer.
Now, with their new pitch edit mode, you can choose to edit your audio directly in Reason. This feature does not work with polyphonic material, but it does work in mono… and it works pretty well, too. So, it’s great for adjusting dodgy vocals – which I have – so I do end up using it a lot!
And Finally (almost)
I know I haven’t mentioned everything new in Reason 9 – there are so many enhancements, improvements and additions, that it’s easy to miss one or two. So before I conclude our time together, let’s try and get some in. For each different type of audio clip in R9 (Single Take clip set to Vocal Stretch type, Single Take clip set to Allround or Melody Stretch type, and Comp Mode clip), there are new icons in the lower right corner of the clip.
This makes it easier to identify what’s what. Also the Razor tool, until now, could not split notes – it does now; zooming with a scroll wheel now centres on the mouse pointer; the left pane in Edit modes shows the colour of the edited track; the ElectroMechanical and RDK Vintage Mono ReFills are now included in the Factory Soundbank; Softube amp emulations have completely replaced the Line 6 amps and are now embedded in Reason 9; there’s a ReFill with over 1,000 new patches and some of the best patches from previous versions of Reason in the browser – it’s called Reason 9 Sounds; Reason 9 now includes Pulsar, Propellerhead’s dual- channel LFO Rack Extension – we used to have to pay $49 in the online shop to get it; finally, there’s an icon in the Transport Bar that allows you to drop your track to Allihoopa to share it with others – it’s free to sign up.
One thing I noticed – and I’m not entirely certain that it’s exclusive in Reason 9 – is the ability to drag the Browser pane on the left all the way to the left, so that all you see are tiny icons of your device types, ReFills, folders and favorites. You could only show or hide them before, but now you can have a tiny quick-reference list of mini icons. It’s very handy to have there.
Reason 9: The Bottom Line
This is, by far, the biggest upgrade to Reason in a long time. I’d have to say that I am blown away. Although there are no new instruments, per se, and no new effects processors, the
MIDI Devices and the workflow enhancements have changed the game completely for Reason users.
Propellerhead has managed to pack in so many things that people want and need that I think this will bring a whole new wave of producers into the Reason fold. Not only is Reason 9 serious competition against some of the other DAW makers, Propellerhead has managed to keep it affordable – even with the fantastic workflow and creativity enhancements. If I wore a hat, I would certainly be taking it off to the boys (and girls) at the company.
I do wish they would consider a few more themes and, possibly, more MIDI devices. It seems this has started something that could make Reason the only real competition with Cubase and Logic in terms of strong MIDI capabilities – I think it’s reasonable to hope for more of the same in the future.
And adding all these great features without killing my resource meter is pure witchcraft. I’m re-establishing my love affair with Reason, and I strongly recommend v9 to anyone getting into electronic music production or for those thinking about making the switch to a DAW meant for sampling, synthesis, MIDI, electronic music production and rock-solid stability