A powerful note and velocity variation device for Reason and Reason Rack Plugin, available now in the Reason Studios Shop
It alters notes!
Note Alter is arguably the most important component of the Loopcracker Suite. It's the one that does the most "cracking" of the... uhm... loops.
Incoming notes are altered either by velocity or note number, or both, dependent on settings. Each element is then governed by probability (dual or split), to allow for different working methods.
CV/Gate input is also included, so this is perfect for sprucing up old Matrix patterns, and rather than generating new variants via a painstaking editing process, you can simply set up direct recording and let it do a few passes (32 bars is usually plenty for a single bar original), then you pick the ones you like and voila!
The way out of repetitive loops is variation. While this can vary quite easily using Note Filter and Note Humanizer, using Alter will change notes and velocities, without changing grooves etc. So extra musicality can be squeezed out of this device relatively easily. Sometimes this can produce very esoteric results, but should you need to hold to a particular scale then this is easily done using either our own Chordbank or even just Scales & Chords which all Reason users with access to player devices have as standard anyway - although, of course, with Chordbank there is the possibility of multiple custom scales.
In a recent update to Note Alter, we also included the new dual probability controls, which allow you to set different levels of sensitivity for note and velocity changes. This is particularly effective for drum tracks where higher velocity variation is required for sounding more natural. For best results in this arena simply set the note probability low-ish, and the velocity probability high-ish, and you're good.
Loopcracker owners should note that this gets even better with Note Humanizer placed just after the Note Alter. This can give you insanely realistic results without the hours of nudging and editing events that it would normally take. Assuming a decent kit sampler is on the end of it (we tested on NI Kontakt Studio Drummer and the Reason Studios RDK 2.0 Refill), and only a VERY good drummer will be able to spot the difference between this and the real thing.
These types of modern composition methods allow the user to go by "what works" in realtime, rather than endless cutting together of takes, hoping that one will do the job.
It is highly unlikely that this will be ported to any other format any time soon, although it isn't completely ruled out. Less of the big name DAWs have this facility built in, but it is certainly available in some. That said, they can be quite difficult to set up in modular fashion and may require multiple tracks. We're open to the idea, but it would require multiple technical challenges to be resolved in order to get it working as well as it does in Reason.
Just like Note Filter, the next build for Note Alter will include a very slight graphics tweak, and Combi patches to showcase some useful templates. Further ahead there are no features on the horizon for Note Alter as yet. Ultimately, if you have an idea then let us know, but most of the obvious "next step" for Note Alter is present in it's big brother device Melodic Inverter.
Keep an eye out on our blog section The Journey for updated details, or alternatively sign up to ReasonTalk, the premier forum for all things Reason and get involved in the conversation. This is also the place to contact us regarding any feature requests and to sign up for beta testing. Just open an account on ReasonTalk and send a direct message to the username 'Enlightenspeed'.