How to even out the sounds in your soft synths live

How to even out the sounds in your soft synths live

I know most of my readers don't play keyboard, but I couldn't resist sharing this bit of keyboard tech advice with everyone.

One of the big problems with running software synths live is getting your sounds to all sound level from patch to patch. So here's a mini-tutorial on how I optimize my sounds to get the right levels using Reason 6.5.

1. I begin by inserting a combinator and a line mixer into my rack. The line mixer is routed into my combinator. 

1. I begin by inserting a combinator and a line mixer into my rack. The line mixer is routed into my combinator. 

2. Then I add my sounds (i.e. NN-XT samplers, Subtractor synths, etc) into the combinator. I make sure to select my line mixer by clicking it before I create new devices, so it's automatically routed into the mixer. This allows you to adjust the level of each sound independently. 

2. Then I add my sounds (i.e. NN-XT samplers, Subtractor synths, etc) into the combinator. I make sure to select my line mixer by clicking it before I create new devices, so it's automatically routed into the mixer. This allows you to adjust the level of each sound independently. 

3. Then I create a 14 channel mixer, and route the sends from my combinator into channel one. In Reason 6.5, The mixer automatically routes to a channel strip in the mix window.

3. Then I create a 14 channel mixer, and route the sends from my combinator into channel one. In Reason 6.5, The mixer automatically routes to a channel strip in the mix window.

4. Lastly, I create a compressor and route the 14 channel mixer's output into it. I then adjust the settings to create an even sound. Below is an example of one of my favorite settings for pop/worship performances:

4. Lastly, I create a compressor and route the 14 channel mixer's output into it. I then adjust the settings to create an even sound. Below is an example of one of my favorite settings for pop/worship performances:

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When I need a new sound, I repeat step 1 and 2. 

Of course, these principles apply to any DAW or soft synth- go out and tweak your own program!