Music 8: Assignment 2

Contact Info: Dan Mitchell

Office Hours

Monday & Wednesday
Room A11:
15 minutes before Music 1A
10 minutes after Music 1A
Room A91:
15 minutes before Music 51
10 minutes after Music 51

[Assignments: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Presentation | Final Project]

Due Date

Tuesday, May 2 at START of period (changed so that there will be time to incorporate modulation into the assignment.)


Create five (minimum) original instruments using the Subtractor module(s) of Reason.


You must follow this format. Read it carefully!

  • Create a rack containing five Subtractor modules
  • You must create at least 5 instrument designs, one per Subtractor.
  • You may start with any Subtractor sound, but it is probably best to start with an INIT patch.
  • The five must be significantly different from one another.
  • You must save each of the five “patches” in a folder inside your folder.
  • You must be prepared to offer a brief explanation of how you created the sounds and how they work, referencing the Subtractor on screen. (HINT: Keep a notebook describing what you did to develop each sound.)
  • You must be prepared to explain any setting in your sounds. If you start with the “init patch” – essentially a “blank slate” – this may be easier than if you start with a pre-existing complex sound that you cannot understand. Be prepared to describe: the patch you started with, all changes to the settings, etc.
  • OPTIONAL: You are NOT required to produce a piece of music using your sounds, but you may if you wish to.
  • Label your project file as follows: “your name #2.” Save it in your folder on the hard disk.

One way to create and keep track of five different Subtractor sounds is to create five Subtractor Synths in your rack: Add the first subtractor and then repeat this process until you have five Subtractors. (Remember that you’ll need to click on the right line in the sequencer window in order to have a different Subtractor be controlled by the keyboard.)

As an alternative, you could simply create and save each of five instruments in a subfolder of your student folder on the computer. This is perhaps less desirable because you will have to import each setup manually when you demonstrate your Subtractor sounds.

NOTE: You are not required to compose/create any musical tracks for this assignment – you only have to design and explain instruments.

Assignment Goals

Create original sounds using the Subtractor in Reason.


You will be graded on technical aspects of the assignment. The assignment will not be graded on its musical merits. However, imagination can’t hurt! The assignment description is intentionally vague so that there is room for you to exercise your imagination. Try to come up with an interesting project within the guidelines of this project.

A late penalty of 1 letter grade per class session is applied to assignments which are handed in late.

For Intro to Electronic Music: Projects must be saved on your classroom computer before the deadline. You will also need to store a backup copy of your work, using one of the methods we discuss in class.

Your grade will be affected if your project does not follow the format outlined above. If your project is nowhere close to following the format, I will ask you to re-do it and hand in the “fixed” version when you finish.

If you have questions or problems on the assignment please let me know right away – in class or by email, or telephone at 864-8511.

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