NEW: version 1.2.0 adds “skip previous” and “skip next” play modes, play mode randomization percentages, step trigger probabilities, generate new patterns and phrases, plus other QOL improvements
Phrase is a player device for the Reason rack which specializes in the creation of musical motifs and phrases. A great tool to inspire new ideas for melodies, bass-lines, chord progressions, even drums and percussion parts. The programming interface does away with the traditional piano roll and offers a less laborious way to get results fast. Thanks to several editing options, it’s easy to create or modify sequences in just a few clicks. No drawing of notes required.
At the core of the device lies a 16 step sequencer which is triggered when you play a note. Like an arpeggiator, you play it with a keyboard or other MIDI device capable of sending notes, but you can also use a note track in Reason. With every new note, the sequence is automatically transposed and adjusted based on the step parameters. If you hold down more than one note at once, you can get different results from the same sequence just by changing the order in which the notes are played.
The step parameters can be set individually or for an entire row at once. Each parameter type has it own edit menu with various options for altering the values. For some parameter types, there are built-in presets which are great starting points for generating new sequences quickly.
Similar editing functions are also available at the sequence level, where all parameters for all steps can be altered at once. A customizable randomization engine can help spark new ideas. To keep things in check, the note correction algorithm will force all outgoing notes to the chosen key and scale. In addition, you can automatically create entire phrases of the desired length in just a mouse click for instant inspiration.
Finally, you can have up to 4 sequence variations per patch, and these can be switched live during play.
Phrase is fast to program, fun to use and it encourages experimentation. Try it out and see for yourself!