Nov 4, 2011 Propellerhead Reason & Record
Posted by Line6Piper
Line 6′s Propellerhead Product Specialist Matt Piper talks about his experience using Pulveriser, one of the new effects processors in Reason 6.
The first time I used Pulveriser, I did not read the instruction manual. I simply put it on a drum loop, twisted a couple of knobs, and immediately my drums went from “ok drums” to “totally bad ass twisted evil awesome drums.” At that moment I knew: We are going to hear people using Pulveriser on a lot of music from here on out! Never before have I used a sound processor that made it so easy to drastically improve the sound of my drums, vocals, and bass sounds. (You can use it on any audio with great results, but drums and vocals happen to be what I’ve used it the most on so far.) A twist of the Squash knob, a nudge of the Dirt knob, and maybe a tweak of the wet/dry knob, and immediately you hear a huge difference. On the Reason 6 Upgrade video that I posted on November 1, I used Pulveriser on the drums for a dramatic effect, and I used it more subtly on the entire voiceover just to warm up and smooth out my vocal recording. There’s a bunch more that Pulveriser can do, and this mini-tutorial video from Propellerhead shows you how it all works:
So, one of the main things that Pulveriser does so well and so easily is parallel processing. The most common form of parallel processing is parallel compression. The idea is that you apply extreme compression (to your drums, for instance). This squashes the volume of the attacks, so that the relative volume of the decay of each drum or cymbal is louder, making a bigger sound once the output gain has been brought back up to compensate for the reduced attack volume. But once you’ve done that, you’ve lost the crisp definition of the attacks. With parallel compression, you split the dry signal, so that one instance of the drum recording is squashed like crazy, and a second unprocessed dry signal is mixed back in to bring back the attacks and definition. Now you’ve got the best of both worlds: Big long decays, and crisp, well-defined attacks.
So if this parallel processing is already an established studio trick, what’s so special about Pulveriser? Well, besides the fact that it just sounds great, that it has a unique and very cool compression algorithm, that it has a great filter section, envelope follower, LFO, and more, the number one thing for me is: It is so easy to use. Previously, parallel processing meant complex routing/splitting signals/duplicating tracks/etc. Now all I have to do is mangle my sound with the Squash and Dirt knobs, and then dial back in just enough of the dry signal for the sound to breathe again like I want it to.
A common opinion I hear from people who use Pulveriser is that it is the special sauce that tastes great on everything (er, sounds great on everything). Once you try it, you might very well end up using it on every track of your projects, and maybe even sprinkle some on the master mix as well!
Pulveriser is just one of several new features that make Reason 6 such a powerful and fun piece of music production software to use. (Fun?) Yes, fun! It is supposed to be fun – after all, we play music, don’t we?