(compMus1) Basic Guide to Starting a DP/Reason Project

I know that I need to catch up with lecture notes on analog synthesis, but I think some brief reminders about how to start up with DP and Reason will be of more immediate help.

Starting a project using Digital Performer and Reason requires setting up a number of audio and midi connections, and getting your preferences right in Reason. If you start out with the right connections, your workflow will be easier throughout the project, and both applications will run with fewer crashes.

Almost all of these setup steps have been covered before. I’m just listing out the steps here. With more time I’ll go back and insert links to original posts. In the mean time, the search function works well with this blog.

Starting a DP/Reason project:

  • Launch DP, and create a new project. For your final project, use your last name and the number 3.
  • With your new project open in DP, you should always first check to make sure that the project is using the proper audio driver. (Setup | Configure Audio System | Configure Hardware Driver…)
  • Next, in DP make sure that input monitoring is set to monitor record-enabled tracks through effects. (Setup | Configure Audio System |Input Monitoring Mode…)
  • Finally, make sure that you have at least one interapplication MIDI output port. (Setup | Interapplication MIDI…)
  • Launch Reason
  • Check the audio interface in the Reason rack to make sure that it launched in Rewire Slave Mode. Alternately, you can check the audio driver in preferences (Reason | Preferences… – Audio)
  • In the Reason Preferences window check the Keyboards and Control Surfaces menu option and make sure that Reason is NOT using any keyboard or control surface. You will usually have to deselect the Korg Kontrol49 from being used with Reason.
  • Still in the Reason Preferences, go to Advanced Control. Set Bus A to Digital Performer Out (or whatever your DP interapplication MIDI port is named). Make sure that a green check appears after you make the selection. (DP has to be running for this to work.)
  • As you add synths to your Reason rack, make sure that a) their audio output is connected directly to the audio interface (or to a line mixer if you are combining synths into a larger unit), and b) you make a MIDI connection in the Advanced MIDI Control part of the hardware interface.
  • ****NOTE: DO NOT USE REASON BUS 6 FOR MIDI COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN DP AND REASON. USE INTERAPPLICATION MIDI AND THE ADVANCED MIDI CONTROL.**** If you use bus 6 you don’t have the CC control available for tweaking your synth patches in real time.
  • Setup MIDI and audio communications between DP and Reason.
  • Set the output of MIDI track to the appropriate interappliation port and midi channel for the intended device. For example, DP Output -> DP Output-1 will send MIDI out the DP interapplication port using MIDI channel 1.
  • Set the input of an audio track (mono or stereo depends on the device) to the appropriate Reason outputs. Monitor-enable the track to hear audio. Record enable to record audio, but be sure to turn input monitoring off after you record or you won’t hear what you have recorded.


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