How to use Europa by Reason
Europa is a versatile and powerful wavetable synthesizer made by Reason Studios. It’s capable of creating extremely complex and dynamic sounds to show your creativity. You can access Europa as one of Soundation’s Virtual instruments. You can pretty much make any type of synth sound with Europa, from warm analog sounds to digital FM sounds, to modern polished sounds. Even though you can go to wild sonic realms, you can also keep it simple by picking a preset and tweaking it to taste.
- Morphing bass
- Hopeful glitch
What is wavetable synthesis?
A wavetable synth is a lot like a traditional subtractive synthesizer, but instead of having single waveforms, it has wavetables. A wavetable is a selection of multiple waveforms you can morph between to change the timbre of the sound. If you modulate the wavetable to change over time with an LFO or an envelope, you can create lively and evolving sounds. The result can range anywhere from organic to out of this world.
In the Patch selector, you can change, save, and load presets. There are hundreds of first-class factory presets in different styles to choose from.
Sound engine section
The Sound engine section is where the sound is generated. There are 3 engines that you can select and turn on and off.
Select a Wavetable and adjust the position with Shape, which can also be modulated with the Shape modulation knobs. With Phase sync turned on, the waveform will always start from the same point. Oct, Semi, Tune, and KBD control the pitch of the oscillator.
Modifier 1 and Modifier 2 modify the waveform by bending and twisting it in various ways according to the selected Modifier type. Turn up the Amount to modify it more. The amount can also be modulated with the Amount modulation knobs.
The Spectral filter is different from a normal filter, instead of filtering the audio signal, it’s shaping the actual waveform. Depending on the Filter type you select, Freq (frequency) and Res (resonance) will do different things. Generally, Frequency adjusts the tone and Resonance adjusts the steepness of the filter. You can also modulate the frequency with the Frequency modulation knobs.
With Harmonics, you can modulate the harmonics of the waveform in various ways depending on the selected Harmonic algorithm. Adjust the Pos and Amount to change the tone and intensity.
Unison duplicates the oscillator voice and is most often used to make it sound wider and thicker. The Unison type determines what pitch the duplicates will have, except Phase only, which impacts the phase.
Count is the number of duplicates you will have. Blend allows you to make the duplicates louder or quieter. Detune is how much the pitches of the voices are tuned away from each other. With the Phase only unison type, Detune affects the phase instead. Spread is how wide the voices are spread out across the stereo spectrum.
Upload your own audio file to use as a Wavetable or for the Spectral filter.
In the Mixer, you can control the Level and Pan position of each Engine. Level is the loudness and allows you to balance the different sounds. Pan is the stereo position of the engines and allows you to spread out the sounds for a wider soundscape.
The Filter will change the timbre of the synth by filtering away certain frequencies based on the Filter type. Select what engines to run through the filter with the Routing buttons.
Drive adds overdrive distortion to the filter. Res is the resonance of the filter. Turn it up to increase the emphasis around the Freq point. Freq (also known as cutoff) is the frequency point that you can move up or down to change the tone. You can also modulate the frequency with the Frequency modulation knobs.
The Amp controls the shape and movement of the amplitude (loudness). It’s a standard ADSR envelope, which stands for Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release.
Attack is the amount of time it takes for the amplitude to reach the maximum level from when the note starts. Decay is the amount of time it takes to move from the maximum amplitude to the Sustain amplitude. Sustain is the amplitude level for when a note is being held out. Release is the amount of time it takes for the amplitude to drop to silence after the note has ended.
Pan controls the overall stereo position. Gain is the maximum amplitude. Velo modulates the Gain based on the note velocity.
Master volume is the overall loudness output of the synthesizer.
Voices sets the maximum polyphony (how many notes you can play at a time).
Key mode determines if the synth is polyphonic or monophonic and if the envelopes should retrigger or not.
Poly is a polyphonic mode, which means you can play multiple notes at a time. Retrig is a monophonic mode, which means you can only play 1 note at a time. In this mode, the envelopes will be retriggered whenever a new note is played. Legato is also a monophonic mode but the envelopes will not retrigger if the notes are overlapping.
Porta is short for portamento which has to do with how the pitch glides from one note to another.
Off means there will be no gliding. On means the pitch will always glide from the previous note to the new note. Auto means there will only be gliding when the notes are overlapping. Time is the time it takes for the pitch to glide from one note to the other.
P.Range sets the range for the Pitch bend wheel from 0 to 24 semitones which at maximum level is 2 octaves up and down.
Pitch bend wheel
The Pitch bend wheel bends the overall pitch of the synth up and down according to the P.Range. This can be automated in Soundation for a more expressive performance.
The Mod wheel can control other parameters in the synthesizer. Try adjusting it in a preset and see what it does to the sound. You can also set up your own function for the Mod wheel with the modulation knobs or the Modulation bus section. This can be automated in Soundation for a more expressive performance.
The envelope section is where you can create and adjust envelopes — that are used to modulate other parameters. There are 4 envelopes that you can switch between to edit. These are not standard ADSR envelopes, infact, they’re much more flexible because you can draw in any shape you want.
Pick a Preset to start with and then you can double click to create new points or remove points. Drag the points around to where you want them. With Edit Y-pos active, you will be able to adjust only the levels.
Enable Sustain and adjust the Sustain position to sustain the envelope until the note ends. Enable Loop if you want the envelope to repeat like an LFO. With Key trig enabled, the envelope restarts with every new note.
Rate controls the speed of the envelope, which you can also sync to your tempo with Beat sync. With Bipolar enabled, the modulation will go in both directions, otherwise, it will be unipolar and go in one direction. With Global enabled, the envelope will be synchronized between all voices.
LFO stands for “low-frequency oscillator,” which means it’s just like a regular waveform, only a lot slower. However, instead of producing a sound, it can modulate other parameters just like an Envelope.
There are 3 LFOs that you can switch between to edit. Choose a Waveform type and adjust the speed with the Rate knob, which you can also sync to your tempo with Beat sync.
If Key sync is enabled, the LFO will restart with every new note. With Global enabled, the LFO will be synchronized between all voices. If you turn up the Delay, there will be a delay before the LFO modulation starts.
Modulation bus section
The Modulation bus section allows you to route any Source to any Destination. The Source will typically be an Envelope or LFO and the Destination can be something like the Shape in an oscillator. The Source will modulate the Destination based on the Amount. One source can have two destinations that also have a Scale option that changes the modulation for both destinations.
The Effects section has 6 effects that you can add to further shape the sound. The effects are Modulation FX (chorus, flanger, and phaser), Distortion, EQ, Delay, Compressor, and Reverb. Turn the effects On and Off and switch between the effects to edit them. You can also disable all the effects with the Power button.