REASON NN-XT FAQ by Stephen Allsopp

1.   What is NN-XT?
2.   How is the NN-XT structured?
3.   What soundfile formats does NN-XT support?
4.   How do I load complete patches into NN-XT?
5.   How do I load REX files into NN-XT?
6.   How do I load soundfonts into NN-XT?
7.   How do I load individual samples into NN-XT?
8.   What are zones in NN-XT?
9.   What are groups in NN-XT?
10. How do I create key ranges in NN-XT?  

1.  What is NN-XT?  
The NN-XT is a software sampler that comes packaged with Propellerheads Reason The NN-XT facilitates the loading of samples and the creation of multi-sample patches whereby samples can be mapped across the keyboard. Other features include automatic pitch detection, graphical zone and loop editing, layering, zone velocity switching and crossfading, as well as the loading of soundfonts and the ability to assign individual synth parameter settings for each sample.

2.  What soundfile formats does NN-XT support? 
Apart from its native format patches (.sxt),  NN-XT supports wav, AIFF, soundfont, REX file slices and NN-19 patches (.smp).

3.  How is the NN-XT structured?
The NN-XT has two interface panels. When you load the NN-XT into Reason only the main panel is visible. This is where you load complete sample patches and set the global controls which dictate the sound parameters of entire patches as opposed to the individual key zonesIt is only when you open the remote editor (by clicking on its maximise/minimise arrow) that the NN-XT begins to reveal its true potentialThe remote editor is comprised of two main areas, these are the key map display screen where you can perform extensive and detailed sample editing, and the synth parameter controls.

4  How do I load complete patches into NN-XT?
A patch is best described as a ‘complete sound package.’ It contains a set of samples and all the relevant parameter settings for use in NN-XT. To load a patch into NN-XT simply click on the browser button directly above the letters NN in the main editor. The Reason Patch Browser allows you to preview your patches prior to loading.

5.   How do I load REX files into NN-XT
To load a REX file into NN-XT use the patch browser as outlined in the previous answer. Once you have loaded your REX file you must next create a Dr Rex Loop player into which you load the same REX file. Use the To Track option on the Dr Rex Loop player to place the file data in a sequencer track. Next assign the NN-XT to this track so that it plays the data back. When you have done this delete the Dr Rex Loop player.

6.   How do I load soundfonts into NN-XT? 
To load a soundfont (or soundfont preset) into NN-XT follow the procedure for loading a complete patch as described in Answer 4. NN-XT will then attempt to map the soundfont settings to its own parameters. This operation often delivers mixed results in terms of accuracy and some soundfonts will work better than others. To load individual soundfont samples into NN-XT use the sample browser in the top left corner of the remote editor.

7.   How do I load individual samples into NN-XT?
The quickest way to load samples into NN-XT is by right clicking on the device and choosing Browse Samples from the drop down menu.

8.   What are zones in NN-XT?
As soon as a sample is loaded into NN-XT it is placed inside its own zone in the key map display. Essentially, a zone contains the sample and is a very practical means of editing the sample sound (this zone/sample relationship can be found in Logic Audio’s EXS24). For example, you may have several zones that play the same sample, but each of these zones can be assigned radically different parameter settings, yet only one sample is being referenced by NN-XT. If you were editing the actual sample itself however, you would have to load multiple copies of the same sample into NN-XT, thus making the file size of your song that much larger and placing greater demands on your processor.

9.   What are groups in NN-XT?
Groups are used in NN-XT to organise your zones/samples. For example, you may have a number of samples in a patch that require identical synth parameters. If you group these together they can then be edited as one entity. To create a group simply select the relevant zones, then right click on the device (outside of the key map display) and choose Group Selected Zones.

10. How do I create key ranges in NN-XT?
To establish the key range of a particular zone in NN-XT you must first select this zone in the key map display. When you click and drag on the white handles that appear at either end of the selected zone you can then expand or reduce its keyboard range. The key map zone provides a clear, graphical view of where all zones are mapped on the keyboard.