Reason Micro Tutorial - Dr. Octo Rex

Uploaded by PropellerheadSW on 20.06.2010

Today we're going to talk about the Dr. Octo Rex Loop player, new in Reason 5.
We've got a lot to cover so we're just gonna dive in.
The Dr. Octo Rex is a revamp of the classic Dr. REX Loop Player from past versions of Reason.
It allows you to load up to eight Rex loops into one device and to switch between them live
or during playback via the sequencer.
You might think that the Dr. Octo Rex is exactly what its name implies
simply 8 Dr. REX devices in one unit.
But really the name should be something more like
the Dr. Octo Quantized Live Switching Single Slice Output Capable Editable Manageable
Decay/Pitch Adjustable Reversible Super Duper REX Loop JAM STATION!
But, you know, those guys never listen to my name suggestions.
But that's REALLY what it is!
Dr. Octo Rex can be a simple accompaniment device - laying down drums for example -
with an intro beat, a verse beat, and a fill leading into a chorus beat.
In fact it's great for that use.
But for those of you who use REX files as more than backing tracks,
it's a whole new instrument that gets its fuel,
its sound generation
from REX loops.
To begin working with Dr. Octo Rex we'll want to load some REX loops into it.
We do this by expanding the programmer, making sure our first loop slot is selected,
and clicking the browse loop button to bring up the file browser.
Lets load some guitar loops from the Soul School Refill.
I'll just select a few loops and they'll be loaded into separate slots like this:
If I click the run button I'll hear the currently selected loop start playing
and I can switch loops simply by clicking the buttons on the front panel, like this.
Dr. Octorex automatically quantizes the change to the next bar for me.
I don't have to be precise in my timing if I don't want to.
However, I can change that quantize setting from "next BAR" to "next BEAT,"
or even the next SIXTEENTH note.
Generally, for backing track loops I like to set this to "bar"
but for creative applications like beat juggling I set this to "beat" or "1/16"
To record my loops in the sequencer I have 3 options:
I could simply hit record on the transport and click the buttons on Dr. Octo Rex with my mouse.
The loops will be recorded onto the sequencer as pattern regions,
which will be familiar to you if you've ever sequenced patterns with the Redrum or the Matrix before.
Alternatively, I could use the pencil to draw the loops into the sequencer track.
To do this, I simply click on the pencil tool,
choose which loop I want to draw in, click, and drag.
I can then change to a different loop and draw THAT in.
Wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off,
and voila!
The third, and frankly most fun way to record loop switching
is to play the loops from a controller device like a keyboard or a pad controller in real time.
Warning, though,
you could loose hours of your day to this method.
It's incredibly inspiring and completely addictive.
We'll dig deeper into that process in an upcoming advanced tutorial
along with a detailed look at "slice edit mode."
"What is slice edit mode," you ask?
Well it just happens to be the coolest thing to happen to Reason's REX loop player since
well, the REX file format itself!
Using "Slice Edit Mode", you can edit several key parameters of the loop on a slice by slice basis.
If you want to reverse certain slices in the loop while leaving the rest intact,
you can.
Or you can pitch certain slices down a little,
or a lot!
You can also alter pan, level, decay, and filter frequency
assign slices to dedicated outputs
and create alternate slice groups, which is useful for subtle timbre variations from bar to bar
or for more scrambled effects.
You have creative control over every slice in your loop.
And believe me, you can get seriously tweaky with this.
Well, that's enough for today.
I'm going to play you out with a track I built up using nothing but Dr. Octo Rex Loop players
and the Soul School Refill.
While watching the track come together, you'll recognize many of the techniques you just learned.