Video Tutorial – Making an Epic Trance Lead effect in Reason (Using the Malstrom Synth)

Hi, I’m Dave from and welcome to my tutorial on how to make an epic trance lead effect using the Malstrom Synthesizer in Propellerheads Reason.

I’m Using Reason 4 but this tutorial can be done on Reason 3 as well, and the principles apply to pretty much any synth, so even if you aren’t a Reason user you might learn something from this tutorial.

You can download the tutorial files here:

Download Reason tutorial files

Let’s begin!

1. Create a combinator to hold all the devices. (And copy the lead line to the combinator track)

2. Create a mixer to connect the devices to.

3. Create Malstrom number one and two, and initialize them both. (Right click the logo, click initialize patch) to remove the existing presets; we’re writing this effect from scratch.

4. Mute Malstrom 2 for now.

5. On Malstrom 1 enable oscillator 2 and select the “Sawtooth*16″ Graintable by either right clicking and scrolling to it, or simply pressing the arrow buttons to the right of the text display.

6. Take both oscillators up one octave and detune them just less than half way either way to make the synths give a fatter sound.

7. To make the sound even thicker, take the LFO 1 pitch up to about 10 and the rate to about 80, which wavers the pitch even more, giving a harsher sound.

8. Unmute Malstrom 2

9. Change oscillator one to a saw wave.

10. Listen to the sound – It’s getting there, but it sounds a bit too harsh.

11. Right click on the mixer and click create>RV7000 advanced reverb.

12. You will now have a reverb effects unit in your virtual rack.   Simply take the dry-wet knob to about a quarter of the way up.

13. Turn the “Aux” knobs on the mixer to full on channels one and two to apply the effect to both malstrom units.

14. Here comes the big magic instant-epic-trance secret: Delay.   Right click the Reverb and go create>DDL-1 Digital Delay Line.

15. Turn the Dry-Wet knob to about a quarter of the way around.   This delay effect makes the synth sound a lot bigger.

16. Now for the finishing touches; Right click the delay and go create> Mclass Equalizer.

17. Select the “Lo Cut” option to tidy up the low end of the effect and stop any excess subbass muddying up the mix.

18. Select Param 2 and increase the frequency to about just under 7000 and the gain to 3/4 of the way round.   This will emphasize the attack of the synth and make the notes hit harder.

19. One last effect to add to your rack!   Right click the equilizer and click create > Mclass Maximizer.

20. take the input gain to 3/4 of the way around to compress the effect a little and raise the overall volume, select “4ms look ahead” to make the effect sharper.

21. select slow attack as this helps to blend the two malestrom racks into a single effect on the attack of the notes.

22. Finally, select Soft Clip to give a warmer sound that helps the effect to blend in with the track.

23. Break out your glow sticks and have a celebratory rave!   You have now learned how to make a hard-hitting Anthemic trance effect!


3 Responses to “Video Tutorial – Making an Epic Trance Lead effect in Reason (Using the Malstrom Synth)”

  1. Many Thanks for all the useful sweet info.
    You’ve singlehandedly saved me over 3,000 years of intense study and I’m indebted to you to the maximum allowable amount on this planet.

    You are a True Friend

  2. This is so cool! Thank you for the tutorial file to help me get started! It really helped me! I’ve done some editing (changing key and all that) and added my own melodies and stuff, hopefully building a good track for my album! By the way, my YouTube channel is Ayman170Turbostar if you wanna check out my album so far (at the moment it just has two songs made on Cubase, which I might re-master using Reason).

  3. You know what? I might edit the tutorial file by setting the tempo to 175bpm and replace the current beat with a DnB beat to make a DnB/Trance hybrid!

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

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