Reasoning with Analog

Here’s a clip of a very unfinished piece. I’m posting it because I think it shows off one of the many, many things that can happen when you combine an analog modular synth with Reason. But first, the story:

I’ve been doing Beatles tunes in Reason. Uploading my mp3 arrangements is, of course, entirely illegal, but so far Sir Paul’s attorneys haven’t contacted me. I had started working on “Blackbird,” but I wasn’t happy with where it was going. Meanwhile, on another channel, I teach cello to kids. One of the pieces in one of the Suzuki cello books is a movement from Bach’s English Suite No. 3. The movement is called a musette. It’s named after an obsolete French bagpipe, if you can believe that. Being a clever fellow, Bach wrote a gavotte that lies perfectly above an unchanging drone note — hence, a musette.

I liked the piece, so I learned it on piano. So now I have a synthesizer that loves to make drones, and a version of “Blackbird” that isn’t quite working yet, but might work if it were redone as a musette. Okay, let’s try it:

This kind of patch, all you can do is keep nudging the knobs until the rhythm comes into focus. Trigger Riot is doing the clock, but two envelopes are coming out of Maths, and it doesn’t know about sync.

Everything but the drone is Reason instruments. A second and more hard-edged drone starts right at the end. Not sure where I’ll go with it, but it should be fun.

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