Reason Micro Tutorial: Alligator Triple Filter Gate

Uploaded by PropellerheadSW on 28.08.2011

OK, check it out.
The Alligator Triple Filtered Gate.
It's one of the new creative effects in Reason 6.
Nowadays, a lot of people refer to devices like this as trance-gates.
That's because you're most likely to hear it in places like this.
While people like this
Do things like this
sometimes a little of that.
Alligator is perfect for that style.
If you make music that makes people go
then you'll love Alligator.
But the truth is we can ALL use Alligator in our music.
The triple filter part of its name and the added tonal shaping tools
make Alligator suitable for spicing up nearly any sound.
So what is a gate?
A gate is a very simple concept, actually.
It's like a doorway for sound.
Open the door and sound passes through.
Close the door and sound can't pass through.
Maybe not too exciting, I know,
but if you open and close the gate rhythmically, then trust me, things get much more interesting.
To understand Alligator's front panel, all you really need to know is this.
As the sound travels through Alligator, it's split into three parallel signals.
These three signals can be gated, filtered, distorted, phased, panned, and mixed independently.
By processing the three signals differently
you can create unique and complex textures out of once static sound sources.
Alligator comes preloaded with 64 different patterns
which will open and close the gates in a variety of rhythms.
You can also select the speed of the pattern
and even shift the pattern forward or backward to introduce syncopation to the rhythm.
After the gate and pattern sections, Alligator enters a sea of knobs
that might appear somewhat daunting at first glance but lets break it down a little.
Remember, Alligator processes sound as three parallel signals
so all these knobs are really just the same thing repeated three times.
First the signal passes through Alligator's filter section.
Alligator has three filter types.
The top signal gets high pass filtered,
the middle signal is band pass filtered,
while the bottom signal goes through a low pass filter.
More than anything else, these filters are what give Alligator its sound.
Listen to this synth.
I'll turn Alligator on but leave the filters turned off.
We can hear the gates opening and closing but not much else is being done to the sound.
When I turn the filters on,
the three different signals with three different filter types become instantly apparent.
You can adjust each of the filter's cutoff frequency,
resonance peak, LFO modulation amount, and filter envelope amount.
People new to these concepts might want to read up in the documentation
for a better understanding of what they do.
Of course, if you're not a manual kinda person
you can always just turn the knobs and see what they do.
Nothing weird is going to happen, trust me, watch this.
Yeah, hang on.
MAYBE something weird will happen
but it's nothing a little undo can't get us out of.
Okay moving along.
From the filters, the signal passes through the effects and mixing section.
You can apply overdrive distortion, phaser, and delay to the signal.
To demonstrate, I'll add drive to the high pass signal,
phaser to the band pass signal,
and delay to the low pass signal.
Now if I pan the three signals differently we'll get a nice stereo sound.
Lastly I can adjust the volume of the three signals.
I'll turn down the top signal a little bit to take some of the harshness out of the sound.
I could even mix in a little dry unprocessed signal
if I wanted some of my original pad sound to bleed through.
Changing the pattern preset from our simple movement to a more complex rhythm
gives me a nice starting point for a track.
That's pretty much Alligator 101 and its basic functions.
Let's take a look at a track using Alligator to see different ways it can be used.
The opening pad is gated with Alligator
and I've automated the pattern selector to change the presets for different rhythms.
For my other synth, I knew exactly the gated rhythm I wanted
so rather than browse pattern presets, I turned the pattern section off
and used my MIDI controller to open and close the gates from my keyboard.
I applied Alligator to the bass line to create variations to the performance.
Hopefully you've got a few ideas of your own by now.
Alligator is definitely about experimentation,
so feel free try new ways of turning your sounds into exciting rhythm, texture, and movement.