Up to 99 Voice Polyphony.
A combination of a multimode filter and a second, linkable, lowpass filter allows for complex filtering effects.
Two Oscillators, each with 32 waveforms.
Frequency Modulation (FM).
Oscillator Phase Offset Modulation.
Two Low Frequency Oscillators (LFO:s)
Three Envelope Generators.
Extensive Velocity Control.
Oscillators generate two basic properties, waveform and pitch (frequency). The type of waveform the oscillator produces determines the type of sound and the timbre.
Start up Reason, go up to File at the top and select New. This will give you a blank Reason rack with a mixer on top. Now either right click in the rack space and choose the Subtractor or choose it from Create up in the navbar.
First thing to do is select an oscillator waveform. In the top middle of Subtractor you'll see both of the oscillators (Osc 1, Osc 2) along with the controls for each.
Oscillator 1 provides 32 waveforms. The first four are standard waveforms, and the rest are "special" waveforms.
If you have no idea how to use waveforms or their differing characteristics, I suggest you do a Google search and brush up on them. It will help out when using Reason 3.0 along with any other audio software programs and soft or hardware synths. There is tons of free info around the web, also check back here soon as I plan on writing a post on waveform, synthesizer basics.
Click the little up and down arrows to select a waveform. You will see the waveforms changing in the LED looking display they are shown using standard waveform symbols, and the special waveforms are numbered 5 - 32.
Now next to the waveform box you'll see three other LED's where you can set the frequency (pitch) of the waveform. Octave, Semitone, and Cent controls are here. Octave allows you to change the pitch in octaves, other words in huge leaps of pitch from high to low. I usually use this to get into the ballpark of frequency I want. Then semitones let you raise the pitch up by half-steps, think of this as going up the piano keys. Then Cent would be used for ultra fine tuning of the pitch you would like. be careful when using cent as it can throw you off of standard instrument tuning and clash with other instruments slightly, unless that's what you're going for I would suggest not messing with the Cent control while still learning the basics.
Reason 3.0 Subtractor gives you not one but two Oscillator to work with. This second one is setup basically the same but when using it you can modulate Osc 1 in certain ways as I'll get to later. By turning on Osc 2 you can build intervals using the semitone control, i.e. 5 semitones equal a Perfect 4th musical interval. Get to studying music notation and theory some time if don't understand any of this.
And of course the Mix knob will let you set the volume mix between both Oscillators.
The Noise Generator produces noise instead of a pitched waveform. Noise can be used to produce a variety of sounds, such as "wind" or "crashing wave" sounds, other common applications include non-pitched sounds like drums and percussion, or simulating woodwind instruments.
To use the Noise generator first, turn Osc 2 off, then turn on the little Noise light. Now play a few notes on your MIDI keyboard and you should now hear Osc 1 mixed with the sound of the Noise Generator. Try turning the Mix knob all the way to the right, and play a few more notes. Now just the Noise Generator is coming through. There are three knobs to control the Noise Generator parameters. Noise decay controls how long it takes for the noise to fade out when you play a note. Noise Color controls the tone of the noise, left for lower tones, and right for higher pitched frequencies. And level controls the volume of the noise generator.
Experiment with these controls within Reason on the Subtractor Synthesizer and you will soon get the hang of how waveforms and sythns basically work and are set-up. In the next Reason tutorial I'll explain Subtractor's deeper controls such as, Frequency Modulation (FM), Ring Modulation, LFO's, Filters, Envelopes, ect.. Have fun implementing your new synth toy into all your Reason 3.0 or other music/MIDI projects.
Propellerhead Reason 3.0 REsource