Importing MIDI & WAV files into Reason

Importing MIDI & WAV files into Reason

May 29th 2012

reason_tutorial_button1.jpgIn this short tutorial for Propellerheads Reason users we’ll show you the basics of how to import and use MIDI and WAV files like those you’ll find on DMS



Check out our premium Reason Refills. We all know that Reason Refills are a great way to expand the already bulging factory soundset included with Reason, but how do you import other sounds into this versatile peice of music production software? We’ll start off by looking at MIDI files like those in our DMS MIDI packs – see our FAQ and Glossary entries for more information on exactly what a MIDI file is. These allow you to easily reconstruct a single riff or entire peice of music and add your own unique sounds using any of Reason’s instruments.

First off let’s import a MIDI file into Reason’s sequencer. Make sure that you’ve got a song open with at least one instrument in your rack and a sequencer track added. Then from the file menu choose “import MIDI file”. This will open a file browser window. Navigate to the location where your MIDI files are stored, select a file and click open.


The MIDI file will then be imported onto empty sequencer tracks. You can see from our example below that this MIDI file contains Lead and Bass channels.


If you press play on the sequencer you won’t hear any sound, that’s because we first need to assign a sound to the imported MIDI sequences. You can do this by clicking the small black triangle in the ‘out’ column. This will bring up a drop down menu of available devices, choose your favoured device, make sure there’s a preset loaded into it and hit play. Now you’ll hear the some sound, in our case a trance riff. Repeat the process for any other channels in the MIDI file to hear them with any instrument or sound you like!


Using the pencil tool from the Sequencer’s menu we can turn our MIDI information into something useful in terms of using it in a Reason song. Click with the pencil tool on each MIDI channel to create a box around the data, then click the black square at the end of each to expand it to the entire sequence.


Double click each box to see the note data in each MIDI sequence. You can now edit this data as you would with a sequence that you’d recorded into Reason youself from a MIDI keyboard.



Now we’ll take a quick look at using WAV format samples in Reason. Depending on the type of sample your working with there are several ways to use WAV.

For single hit drum sounds the most convenient is Redrum. This handy drum machine can import up to 10 separate drum hits which can be triggered from your midi keyboard or built up into a pattern using Redrum’s internal sequencer.


For melodic sounds, like synth samples that you’d like to play from your MIDI controller keyboard, by far the best choice is the NN-XT Advanced Sampler. To import a sound into the NN-XT click the arrow to open the ‘Remote Editor’, this will open the sampler’s keymapping and other parameters page.


To import a single sound click the load sample button and navigate to the sample of your choice. Click open and the sample will be mapped to a key zone in the NN-XT.


From here we can can the sample, add ADSR envelope and filter setting and a whole lot more. The “Spread” knob that you’ll find in the Amp section is particulaly useful for spicing up mono samples.


The NN-XT also imports Sound Fonts (SF2) so importing multi samples needn’t be a laborious chore. You can also use Chicken Systems Translator Free to convert pretty much any other sample or sampler format to NN-XT (.sxt) format.

So there you go – quick and easy ways to use MIDI and sounds like those you can get here on DMS or from elsewhere on the net in Reason! While the specifics of operation of each of the Reason devices we’ve used today is beyond the scope of this guide you’ll find plenty of tutorials on Reason related sites and some great videos on Youtube.

Have fun!


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