(compMus1) DP, Reason, and Continuous Controllers

We’ve had a problem routing MIDI continuous controllers (CC’s) through Digital Performer to Reason using Rewire. Using CC’s allows you to automate more parameters than can be done with Mod Wheel (all front panel knobs and sliders can be automated). I’ve finally pieced together the solution.

Interapplication MIDI from Digital Performer

The first part of the problem is that you can not use Rewire to send MIDI data from DP to Reason. Getting around this requires a little configuration in Reason, and using interapplication MIDI between DP and Reason. To start, check to make sure that Interapplication MIDI is enabled in DP. You do this in the same dialog box that you used to turn on the Apple Software Synth, outlined in a previous post. Just above the Apple Soft Synth check box is the section that lists interapplication MIDI outputs coming from DP. Make sure that you have at least one output.

Reason Preferences

In Reason go to the Preferences menu (under the Reason menu). First, go to Keyboards and Control Surfaces, and in the section for the Korg Kontrol 49 uncheck the box that says “Use with Reason.” You don’t want to have any control surface or keyboard selected as a control for Reason.


Go to the Advanced Control section of the Reason preferences. Choose DP Output for Bus A of the External Control section. If DP is running, then there will be a green check by the drop down menu once you select DP Output. You can leave Busses B – D with no MIDI input. (16 MIDI channels should be enough for this project, but if you need more, then use Bus B and add DP Output2, or whatever DP named the second DP MIDI output port.)


Assigning Devices in the Audio/MIDI Interface

You have to assign MIDI channels from incoming MIDI busses (ports) to devices in Reason using the Audio/MIDI interface at the top of your Reason rack. Make sure the interface is expanded (left triangle). If the MIDI portion of the interface doesn’t show (it usually doesn’t), click on the button next to “ADV. MIDI DEVICE.” It will turn red (like in the graphic below), and the interface will expand to include the MIDI assignment section. Make sure Bus A is selected, and then use the arrows below each scribble strip to assign that MIDI channel to a device in Reason. From the graphic you can see that I’ve assigned samplers to the first three MIDI channels, a Scream distortion unit to the MIDI channel 4, and I’m in the process of assigning MIDI channel 5 to the last sampler in my rack.


Changing MIDI Output Assignments in DP

You must now change from using Rewire for MIDI communications, and instead use the DP output port. Unfortunately, you can’t select an output by device name in Reason (like you can in Rewire). You will have to keep track of which MIDI channel is assigned to what device. The graphic below shows two MIDI tracks both going to the same device in Reason (the sampler named “maybe”). The top track is assigned to “DP output – 5” (MIDI channel 5 of DP output), which is routed through the Adv MIDI Control to the sampler “maybe.” The bottom track is assigned to Rewire Bus6: maybe. The problem with the bottom track is that you can’t send MIDI CC to the device in Reason for real time control.


Real-Time Control of Reason Parameters Using MIDI CCs

Using Advanced MIDI Control instead of Rewire allows you to use MIDI CCs to control sampler/synth parameters in real time. You can control any front panel knob or slider – not just those linked to the Mod Wheel section. The key is to use MIDI CC numbers as outlined in the Reason MIDI Implementation Charts.pdf. You will find this file in the manuals volume of the musictech server. Look for Software | Reason 4. The documentation consists of a list of MIDI CC numbers, and the parameters that they are assigned to for each device. Some of the highlights for the NN-19:

  • LFO Rate: CC #26
  • LFO Amount: CC #27
  • Amp Envelope Attack: CC# 73

There are many others. Some of the parameters are not grouped in their entirety (like the Amp Envelope parameters).

To send the proper CC numbers you will have to either reprogram the Korg Kontrol 49, or use Custom Consoles in DP. I’ll describe both ways in separate posts to follow.


One response to “(compMus1) DP, Reason, and Continuous Controllers”

  1. phwitkamp Avatar

    just curious, when will the posts be up for custom controls in DP and reprogramming the Korg?

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