Take a moment to become familiar with the ReWire channel's interface. If you have more than one ReWire client installed on your computer (Cubase etc), they should show up in the drop-down Client menu. Simply choose the client you want to use (in this case, Reason). Clicking the 'Show Panel' button should automatically open the ReWire client, but this may not work on all systems (be patient...it usually takes a minute to open up). If the client does not open automatically, go ahead and try opening it manually. Once Reason is open, the 'Reason Hardware Interface' should show that Reason is currently in 'ReWire Slave Mode'. If it is not, be sure that FL is registered as a ReWire client.
Note - the only draw-back to using ReWire is that saving a project in FLStudio does not automatically save the Reason project
. You must create a project in both Reason and FL Studio to save the changes you make. To keep things organized, it is a good idea to label the projects in each program the same so that they do not get mixed up with other projects. Also, keep in mind that whenever you open a FLStudio project that contains a ReWire channel, you must manually open the rewire client by clicking the 'Show Panel' button in the ReWire channel settings window. FLStudio will not automatically open a rewire client for you upon opening a ReWire project.
So now you should have both FLStudio and Reason open, ReWired, and ready to go!
Start with an empty rack in Reason (you may want to create your own custom rack that Reason can open with each time). In this example I am going to use the Subtractor, Malstrom, NNXT, and NN-19 modules in Reason. When using Reason as a slave in ReWire mode, it is always best to wire the devices cables directly to the Reason Hardware Interface (top of the rack). This allows us to actually send audio from each module to its own independent mixer FX channel in FLStudio. Go ahead and add a Subtractor module (Create > Subtractor - hold down the SHIFT key to keep Reason from automatically wiring the module). Below the Subtractor module, add a 'Spider Audio Merger / Splitter' module. Flip the rack over (keyboard shortcut: 'Tab') and wire it as shown:
Sending the audio through a 'Spider Audio Merger / Splitter' enables FLStudio to recieve a stereo signal from a mono source. The audio from the Spider should then be wired directly into the Hardware Interface's first two stereo output channels. Now add a Malstrom module along with another Spider module and wire it accordingly:
The audio from the Spider for the Malstrom module should be routed to the third output channel in the Hardware Interface. Make sure that the audio signal from only the first module is connected in a stereo patch. I'll get to an explanation of why further on in the tutorial. Now, go ahead and add a NNXT and NN-19 module and wire them to the fourth and fifth output channels (respectively) in the Hardware Interface. The following picture shows the rack with all the modules wired in the correct way:
Now that you have the rack in Reason set up, go back to FLStudio. In the ReWire channel settings window, set the FX to a free FX channel...in this case we are using FX 1. Then, click the little light to the left of 'Multi Outputs' so that it remains 'lit' (take a look at the ReWire image above for reference). It is important that we do this, as the first audio signal from Reason is placed in the first FX slot that you assigned the ReWire channel to. Then every audio signal afterward is then sent to its own FX channel in sequence after the first. So the Subtractor will be in FX 1, the Malstrom in 2, etc...here's a picture of the mixer with the audio in action:
Now that the routing is set up so that we can apply effects to each module in Reason, it is now time to connect FL to each module so that we can trigger and automate them from directly within FLStudio!
When using external software or even hardware, it is necessary to use a MIDI Out channel in FLStudio to send MIDI data. We will want to add a MIDI Out channel for each synth module in Reason; in our case four. Before we do this there is one more setting we need to make in the ReWire channel setting. In the Rewire channel settings window, click on the button labeled "MIDI Options". You will get a pop-up window that looks like this:
This window enables us to view both the assigned MIDI channels for each module in Reason as well as allows us to set a unique Port for Reason to avoid any confusion with multiple MIDI devices that may be running. Set a port number and click the 'Add/Change' button to apply the port assignment. I have chosen Port 20 simply because there are a few Ports below Port 12 that are used by FLStudio. Any Port will be fine, though it is a good idea to stay away from Ports that may be used by FLStudio or other programs. Once you have done this, write down the Port number and MIDI channels that each module is assigned to in Reason (right-side panel), and then click OK.
Now add a MIDI Out channel (Channels > Add One > MIDI Out) and set the Port number to what you created in the ReWire channel. *Note - every MIDI Out channel that you are using for Reason needs the same Port number.
* Now assign a channel number from the list that you wrote down...in this case, use the channel number for the Subtractor Module. If the settings are correct, you should be able to hear Subtractor's default patch when you click on the keyboard at the bottom of the MIDI Out channel. Excellent! Now add three more MIDI Out channels and set their Port / MIDI Channels for each of the remaining modules in Reason.
Now that you have all of the MIDI Out channels loaded and the MIDI channels / Ports assigned, you should be able to choose the sounds you want for each module in Reason and audition them in FLStudio. "But how do I adjust volume / pan and automate parameters of these Modules?" It's not as simple as you would think, but it does make using Reason all the more fun when you can control all the parameters within FLStudio!
The MIDI Out channels for each module automatically have the Volume and Pan parameters assigned to the Vol and pan for that module. Try adjusting the volume on the MIDI Out channel for the Subtractor, and you will see that the volume for the Subtractor changes as well. Simple! Ok...so what about the other parameters? This is where it can get tricky.
First we have to configure the MIDI Out channel to handle the task of making adjustments to various parameters in Reason. This involves assigning CC#s to one or more of the knobs that the MIDI Out channel provides. Right click a knob (as shown),
and choose 'configure' in the drop-down list. A new window will pop up where you can assign a name and Control number for any parameter in Reason. Reason provides a chart with the control number for each parameter of every module. To find this chart, go to Start > Propellerheads > Reason > MIDI Implematation chart. (in PDF format)
For this tutorial I am going to link to the Filter 1 Freq slider for the Subtractor Module.
Refer to the Reason MIDI Implentation Chart and find the entries for Filter Freq under the Subtractor heading. The CC#s should be 74. Here is an example of how you can set up this assignment:
Be sure to label each knob according to the parameter you want to control in Reason. Once you have entered in the appropriate info, click 'Accept' and try adjusting the knob. If the CC# is correct, the slider for the Filter 1 Frequency on the Subtractor should have moved. Excellent! Now you can automate that parameter by right clicking the knob in the MIDI Out channel and choosing 'Edit Events', 'Create Auto-Clip' or by simply recording automation with playback of the project! Another cool trick is to Link the knob to a MIDI controller (if you have one) and then manually move the knob back and forth. You'll see the slider in Reason move as well!
Once you have the settings for one module, the rest should be easy. Simply refer back to the MIDI Implentation Chart for Reason to find the parameters that you would like to control within FLStudio. This looks like a lot of work, but is actually quite simple and doesn't take very much time once you know what to do.
Another time saver is to save the changed controls of the MIDI out channel to a preset so you can use them in other projects. Say for example a Subtractor device with its Filter Freq etc controls, instead of going through the process of looking for control numbers in every project, once you've added what you want click on the MIDI Out dropdown within its settings window and choose Save Preset as... and name accordingly for example, "Reason Subtractor". Now when you load a new MIDI out channel and want to use a subtractor as the source just choose the Reason subtractor preset you created.