The first thing you'll see when you launch Reason is the Demo Song (Figure 3.1). Anytime you have Reason running, you're looking at a songthe Reason file format. We'll use the Demo Song to see and hear what Reason instruments sound and look like, and to see how music looks after it's recorded.
Figure 3.1. The Demo Song
The Demo Song is a typical finished Reason project, with stacks of knob-plastered devices and a host of music tracks.
Introduction to the Rack and Sequencer
The Reason interface has two windows: One reads music, and the other one plays it.
The lower window is your writing workspace and is called the Sequencer. Think of it as sheet music. The upper window, your studio, is called the Rack. It plays the notes and makes the soundyour orchestra (albeit a shiny modular one with lots of knobs!).
The Sequencer and Rack are invisibly connected and work together.
Start a new song by setting up the Rack. It's a one-step process, and you'll build your studio one instrument at a time as you write, adding more gear as it's needed. The Rack can be as complex or simple as you want it to be; it's up to you.
For now, let's look at the Rack used by the Demo Song (Figure 3.2).
Figure 3.2. The Demo Rack
To play a song in Reason
Meet the Mixer
Now look at the Rack (top window) to see the Mixer (Figure 3.4). From the Mixer you can control the volume levels of all the instruments that are playing in the song.
Figure 3.4. The Rack Mixer
Each vertical strip on the Mixer represents the sound coming from a particular instrument, and represents a Mixer audio channel. As the song plays, signal levels go up and down on the channel indicators. The Mixer funnels all these channels into one stereo sound coming through your speakers.
To use the Mixer