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Guitar strums are a huge part of popular music, in all kinds of genres, both as rhythmic and harmonic elements. But dit you ever wonder what it would be like to apply the same strumming techniques to bells, pianos or synthesizer sounds? Well, the ST100 Strumming Machine fullfills this.
The ST100 Strumming Machine is a Player device for Propellerhead Software’s Reason 10.1 that lets you play guitar strum-like note patterns on any Reason compatible instrument (Native, Rack Extension or VST). As a full-class citizen Player device it can be chained with “Scales & Chords” or “Note Echo” native players for crazy note generation experiments.
At the heart of the ST100 is a pattern sequencer that lets you define the rhythm of your strums. Add an upward or downwards stroke, modulate the velocity and speed, with it you can create arpegio-like sequences or chord-like stabs. With 4 patterns to switch from and up to 64 steps per pattern, you can create detailed phrases and break monotony. The pattern selection is even automatable using a familiar pattern lane.
Dynamic is what creates emotion in music and without velocity modulation, your strum sequence can feel lifeless and robotic. But maybe this is what you are looking for? Either way, the ST100 lets you define accents at precise timings and modulate in real time the dynamic of these accents. The velocity of each note strum can also be adjusted with global random and time based controls giving you the ability to have strums with increasing or decreasing note velocity, or strums with completely random note velocities for an even more organic feeling.
Strums are just arpegios in disguise you might say. Well speed lets you control if you would rather have clearly detached notes or a more compact stab and this can be adjusted for each pattern step in your sequences. Finally, play around with acceleration to control how your strum notes are spaced out in time for even more expressiveness.
Of course, the ST100 can interact with other Reason modulation devices thanks to the range of CV inputs available on the back panel.
The ST100 Rack Extension can be used on Windows and Mac with Reason 10.1+. Owners of prior versions of Reason will not be able to use it.
The ST100 is available for download at the price of 19€ / 19$ or for a free 30 day trial period at the Propellerhead Shop.