Video Tutorial – Making a Gangsta Rap Lead Synth effect in Reason

Hi, I’m Dave from and this is my tutorial on how to make a high pitched hip hop lead sound in reason, remeniscent of a lot of 90s gangstuh rap!

It’s a very simple effect and takes about 5 minutes to do, but covers some useful techniques such as legato and portamento that will help you make other awesome sounding synth effects in the future!

Okay, let’s begin!

1. Right click on the Reason interface and go Create> combinator; this will hold our synth and any effects we apply.

2. Name the synth “Gangstuh lead”

3. Right click in the combinator and go Create > Malstrom graintable synthesizer

4. Right click malstrom and click “Initialize patch” to remove the irritating preset effect!

5. Now we get to making the effect.   Notice how some of the notes are overlapping?   For this effect, we want only one note playing at a time.   There are two ways to do this – reducing the polyphony to “1″ or using the “legato” button, both of which mean only one note can be played at a time.   The is called “monophonic”, and if you see “mono synths” or “poly synths” being referenced, it refers to whether multiple notes can be played by the synth at any one time!   You learn something every day.   SO!   Click the legato button to turn it into a monophonic synth.

6. Next step involves using “portamento” – this discerns the time it takes for the synth to move between each note being played.   Turn it up to about a quarter and listen to the “waa” sound added as it moves to the high note from the low note.   Gangstuh as hell.

7. The sound is a bit thin with just the sine wave, so turn on Oscillator B and select the sawtooth waveform.

8. That makes the sound sharper and gives it more tone, but it’s a bit too sharp;   send both oscillators to filter B.   Select the “Comb-” button and turn the resonance to half way and the frequency to full.   Comb filters add a tiny delay to the sound, which in this case is so fast it’s barely noticeable, but takes the edge off the sound.

9. Awesome, one last step.   Right click Malstrom and go Create > RV – 7 Digital reverb.   Take the Dry/Wet knob down to about “20″, which adds just enough delay to give the effect some sonic space.

10. Rip it to a CD and blast it out of your lowrider!   You are now officially a gangstuh rap producer – Do you feel cool?


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Hi! I'm Dave from and welcome to the site!

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