In This Lesson:
To create an instrument:
A MIDI keyboard allows you to play music in Reason. Without one, there's not very much that you can do with the program. I suppose you could try and use Reasons on-screen piano using your computer keyboard, but I really wouldn't recommend that as a permanent solution.
Most keyboards plug in through the USB port of your computer, which makes them quite easy to set up.
A good MIDI keyboard (if you don't have one) is an M-audio Oxygen 49. The 49 stands for 49 keys, and runs for about $150.
Another good option if you don't mind only having 25 keys is the Akai MPK Mini. It has 8 very high quality drum pads on it, and 25 keys. The keys aren't very good at simulating a real piano (no pressure simulation), but for a cheap and portable solution, you can't get much better value. I personally use this keyboard, and it fits right in my swiss army laptop bag.
Because you've only got 25 keys, you'll probably have to use the "octave" buttons to go up and down into higher and lower ranges of pitch. An experienced piano player will likely find this very annoying, while it might be very suitable for a beginner musician.
The MPK 25 Mini also has a wonderful arpeggiator on it that can very quickly be used on the fly. The arpeggiator won't beat Reason's RPG-8 arpeggiator (covered in lesson 12), but it certainly is handy if you're quickly coming up with ideas and don't want to fiddle with any settings.
If you want an even cheaper solution, Akai sells the LPK 25, which is very similar to the MPK except without the drum pads. They usually run for under $50. It still has the arpeggiator, just no rhythm pads.
To set up a MIDI Keyboard:
Your keyboard should now work! Click on an instrument in the sequencer panel, and as long as a preset is set up, you should be able to hear whatever notes you hit on the keyboard.
To start recording:
In the next tutorial, we will go through creating note lanes, and learn how to change the tempo.
I recommend taking the Quiz below if you feel unsure of your knowledge of Reason.
If you felt that you really understood the lesson, then I'll bet you can skip it, but if you feel you need some extra review, take the quiz to see if you need to review even more. No one is marking your work, it's simply to help you learn + remember everything you can about making music.
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.