Thor Polysonic Synthesizer in Propellerhead Reason 4.0

The Thor Polysonic Synthesizer (which would be called “Thor” later for convenience in this article) is a new-introduced device in Propellerhead Reason 4. The following passages would explain what it does by dividing it into different parts, and then describe how each part coordinates with other parts and external devices. This article supposes that the reader has the basic idea of general settings/buttons of Reason.

The controller panel

  • Pitch bend & Range setting
  • Modulation Wheel
  • Keyboard Modes:
    Mono Legato vs. Mono Retrigger
    whether a new “attack” of the envelope is triggered
    Polyphony & Release Polyphony
    The later sets how many released notes are not cut even there are new note-on.
    Portamento setting
    when to do portamento, “auto” means “only when the previous note is still held”
  • Trigger setting – It sets what inputs would trigger the note/oscillators.
  • Rotaries and Buttons – would be covered later…
  • Master Volume – only for outputs 1 & 2 (though Thor may have 4-channel outputs)

Voice & Global sections

This part is just like routed basic synthesizers. 3 oscillators are mixed into 2 different filters and then mixed again. The twice-mixed audio then is modified by different envelopes and filters. Though Thor has some advanced usage for much more complicated routings.
Something important to note in the voice sections (left half part):
  • Each oscillators and filters could be different types by clicking the arrow pop-up in the upper left corner.
  • In fact, Filter 2 could have 4 inputs: 3 oscillators and the audio from the shaper.
  • The mixer does not “mix” the audio inputs from the 3 oscillators, it just modifies their amplitude. You should turn on the routing (by lighting up the numbered-button at the left side of the filters) to feed needed oscillators’ signals to filters.

Knobs for oscillators
  • OCT, SEMI, TUNE: units for them are octaves, semitones and cents, respectively. By using these knobs, we can assign different pitches for different oscillators even by pressing only one key.
  • KBD: stands for “keyboard track”, not only an on/off setting. For instance, by setting it as 64 and pressing E3, we’ll get a D3 frequency.
  • Others depend on oscillator type.

Knobs for filters
  • Drive: modifying the input level, would be silence if set to zero
  • FREQ and RES: frequency and resonance.
  • ENV: the level of the filter effect modified by “Filter Env” (below the “Amp” part)
  • INV: decides whether to invert the envelope, just like the button in SubTractor.
  • VEL: decides how much the velocity would affect the envelope level. (Note the difference between velocity and volume)

Other details
  • The knob “KBD FOLLOW” in LFO1 works like keyboard tracking.
  • The output of Shaper would not be zero by setting its drive zero.
  • After panning in the Amp part, the audio signals are treated as stereo.
  • Some settings may change other settings. For example, with KBD set nonzero, a filter’s FREQ value would not be constant anymore.
  • You can do AM on OSC1 and OSC2.
  • The level of synchronization of OSC1 to OSC2 and OSC3 could be assigned. (BW stands for “bandwidth”) This means that OSC1 may affect the frequency of the other two.

Modulation Bus Routing Section

This section is another feature of Thor and could be divided into 3 small parts. Let’s start with the easiest left half part by examples.
  • The 1st line of the section means that the audio signal of LFO1 would affect the pitch of OSC2 by level 15.
  • The 4th line means that Rotary1 (which is in the controller panel) would affect Freq of Fiter3 in its opposite way.
  • The 5th line means that the amount of modulation would also depend on the value of Rotary2.
The 2 parts in the right half part are both based on the basic part. The 1st line in the right half part means that wheeling up the modulation wheel would cause the decrement of “Filt1 Freq” and increment of “Filt1 Res”; the lower right part, in short, allows us to modulate a destination by 3 sources.
Other details
  • The button “CLR” would clear the settings of its line. (Just try!)
  • “Audio Input” of 3 filters and Amp could be assigned as destination. The assigned input would NOT clear the original input, that is, we can route audio signals from other external devices to Thor’s filters.
  • On the other hand, if a filter has no input from the voice section, the filter may still have output.
  • CV and Audio signals could be routed to each other.
  • To the right of the button in Controller Panel there’s a spin set for a pitch. If set, pressing that key would NOT trigger a note-on, but momentarily turn on the button’s modulation. Note that it works only for un-lit button.

Step Sequencer

Well, this section could be said independent from the Thor device. You don’t have to understand the niggling routing settings to use this part. This section is like a simplified Matrix Pattern Sequencer. You can specify each step’s pitch, velocity, gate length, duration … etc. The main differences you may note are that in Thor:
  • To make the notes pronounced, you should turn on the “STEP SEQ” in Trigger part of Controller panel.
  • There are only 16 steps available, but you can use less than 16 if you wish. (By screwing the STEPS knob in the lower right or clicking the red circle) Turn off the pink rectangle light would cause that step to be mute.
  • There are no pattern banks or shuffle function.
  • You can use non-synced rate on step running.

And then let’s check other settings…
Run mode and direction
The sequencer would not stop after pressing RUN button.
1 Shot
The sequencer would run the whole step once.
The sequencer runs only one step by each RUN pressing.
Pendulum 1
1, 2, 3, …, 15, 16, 16, 15, 14, …, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, …
Pendulum 2
1, 2, 3, …, 15, 16, 15, 14, 13, …, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, …

Edit knob
The current value of the edit knob means what kind value the step knobs are showing.
  • Note: Octave range could be set (the center is C3).
  • Velocity: Note that the velocity does NOT mean volume exactly.
  • Gate length: measured in percentage.
  • Step duration: the unit is what you set in sequencer rate.
  • Curve 1 & 2: only used for bus routing section

Other details
  • You can use some functions in “Edit” menu, like “Random Sequencer Pattern.”
  • RESET button would reset everything on Step Sequencer, even those values not editing.

PDF download

Reference: Propellerhead Reason 4.0 Operation Manual......
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(寫得很亂....) 話說李登輝當了十二年的國民黨總統,然後支持台獨。他很厲害的呢。



(前言:交大女桌較弱,故交大不希望女桌併入桌球正式賽。但是請注意提案方式....) 交大提案「『同意』女子桌球賽併入桌球正式賽中」 表決結果是贊成略多於反對(但人數比例沒有到兩倍) 決議:依據梅竹賽實施辦法,提案須三分之二(含)以上委員同意,故本提案「不通過」

細節我忘了,但應該不難發現有個問題的癥結點在於「未通過之提案是否表示該議題之決議為提案之反面」 不過當時清大這方不會玩規則,當場也沒人想起來要提異議,就放任該提案之反面成立了。總之這一步比李登輝更乾脆,實行者甚至不需要先加入對方陣營。

會想到這些則是因為最近的陳雲林系列事件。圓山飯店的暴動與大專院校師生的逕行靜坐,被反對者描述為「引發了社會不安」,然後新竹有人號召於明天(Nov 10, 2008)上午11點在清大小吃部前野台廣場靜坐抗議,這次的主題是「反集遊惡法」。







那麼,最後補上最近的事件讓我想到的歌....羅大佑 - 超級市民 (1984年)

超級市民 詞曲:羅大佑
那年我們坐在淡水河邊 看著台北市的垃圾漂過眼前
遠處吹來一陣濃濃的煙 垃圾山正開著一個焰火慶典
親愛的台北市民 繽紛的台北市
垃圾永遠燒不完 大家團結一條心

大廈關了一些樣品屋 屋子加上鐵窗防老鼠
槍聲響徹了六合路 誰把手槍丟進了澄清湖
親愛的高雄市民 威風的高雄市
槍聲一響齊步走 大家團結一條心

唏哩嘩啦下了一陣雨的那一天 大家都有信心不怕危險
淹水淹得我們踮腳尖 塞車塞得我們灰頭又土臉
親愛的台北市民 盪漾的台北市
刮風下雨不要緊 大家團結一條心
親愛的台北市民 塞車的台北市
塞車永遠塞不停 大家團結一條心

陶喆的〈孫子兵法〉也很不錯,最後一句的前面:「爸爸的爸爸 請問為何」,特別是故意不用「爺爺」這個稱謂似乎又有帶了點反階級意識。

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總之,今天想起了Martin Niemöller的這段話,所以還是決定po這篇:

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,habe ich geschwiegen;ich war ja kein Kommunist.

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,habe ich geschwiegen;ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,habe ich nicht protestiert;ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

Als sie die Juden holten,habe ich geschwiegen;ich war ja kein Jude.

Als sie mich holten,gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.



1. 莊敏泰已有多項前科,為何得以擔任屬於服務業的計程車司機?大眾安全何在?主管機關是否篩選過於草率?
2. 在新竹火車站發生計程車司機群起滋事已非單一事件,偵辦警員也口口聲聲向被害人說:「這種事已經不是第一次了,我們也沒辦法,你就自認倒楣吧!」。既然事情已經不是第一次,為何治安單位還任其囂張?治安單位是否管理草率?難道有人被害時只能自認倒楣?還有鐵道警察到底在做什麼?
3. 警員偵辦態度明知誰對誰錯,卻意圖草率了事,被害人被警員告知:「這種事屬於個人糾紛,並不是治安敗壞的問題,你不能都把這件事怪在警察辦事不力啊!」。一個學生在公共場合被計程車司機圍毆竟不是治安的問題?身為人民褓姆的警察公信力何在?這是警察應有的辦案態度嗎?


Yahoo!奇摩知識+ :: 新竹的計程車石不跳錶???


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