Posted June 20, 2018, 6:50 a.m.
Drum ‘N’ Bass is a dance music subgenres that evolved from the tangled web of the UK’s underground rave scene in the 1980s and ‘90s, with roots in the broader genre of Breakbeat. Drum & Bass combines heavy synthesized bass lines with vocal samples from soul and reggae records to create an bold, energetic, and supremely danceable wall of sound. In this article and accompanying video, artist and producer Protostar will show you how to record a DnB track in Reason 10.
The defining element of Drum & Bass is its signature rhythm: it starts with the kick drum on beat 1, a snare hit on beat 2, a syncopated kick just after beat 3 on the “and,” and a final snare on beat 4. This core one-two-and-four pattern forms the heart of the groove and is almost never deviated from. Finally, it needs to be fast—tempos usually range between 160 and 180 BPM.
Load a drum loop into Dr. Octo Rex (anything with “DnB” in the name should suffice) and use the beatmaking tools in Reason 10 to make it your own. Hit the “Copy Loop to Track” button to create a MIDI track from your loop, or create your own pattern in Drum Sequencer—and use it to trigger dance sounds from Umpf Club Drums, one-shot samples from ReDrum, synthesized and acoustic drums from Kong, or all of the above. Attack and decay controls come in handy for fine-tuning stacked kicks and snares: try using just the attack from one sound, the body of another, and the decay tail of a third. Then sprinkle in a variety of loops, extra hits, and dub-like reverb and delay to keep the rhythm interesting.
The addition of a pounding synth bass serves a melodic role, and is what sets DnB apart from other dance genres. Sine and Triangle waves are great for a nice round bottom, squares and saw waves add edgy harmonics, and the right wavetable or granular patch can really get things sounding nasty. All of this is possible with Europa and Thor’s multiple oscillators, but stacking several synths in a Combinator will create a thick, complex sound. Flip the rack around and experiment with patching various filters and envelopes to the Synchronous Effects Modulator and Pulsar Dual LFO devices to give the bass some movement.
Now it’s time to add some extra flavor with samples. Samples are a staple of DnB (typically vocal phrases lifted from old soul and reggae records), and serve to break up the monotony of a constantly pounding beat. Load samples into Dr. Octo Rex or record your own, then slice them up or stretch the possibilities with the Grain Sample Manipulator. Almost any other sound can be added to the mix to give it character—soft dreamy pads, sampled keyboards, erratic zaps and sweeps, or just plain old noise.
Now that you’ve learned how to make a Drum & Bass track in Reason 10, it’s time to “break” it down for yourself!
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Posted June 13, 2018, 4:56 p.m.
In my mind there’s nothing more exciting in electronic music than the drums. Powerful and driving, understated and rhythmic – there’s a world of possibilities at your fingertips with beats, and with our latest Rack Extension device Umpf Club Drums, we want to get you there as soon as possible. I want to drag beat-making in Reason kicking and screaming into the 21st century, with arguably our most essential update to drum production and specifically electronic music in some time.
Parallel compression, dynamic processing and the best drum-hits in the business at the flick of a switch are central to the workflow in Umpf Club Drums, where dialing in a professional-grade beat is quick and easy. Great sounding results and visual feedback with both our dynamic compression display and waveform editors have been designed to highlight creative decisions and quickly get to what’s making your beats pop.
Where Umpf really comes into its own is by allowing you to keep your creating juices flowing without leaving the device. That elusive state of ‘flow’ is a balance of the excitement of creativity, and results which are useable and unique to you. Part of the thinking behind this device is equally balancing those two requirements in a way that makes creating drums in Reason extremely fun.
In combination with the Drum Sequencer (which comes free of purchase with Umpf), you can seamlessly tweak your beats and choice of sounds; dynamically tweaking rhythms and sound processing as you go for the perfect blend. Then inject variation and modulation using the mod-matrix for evolving and unpredictable fills and textures. If none of the 750 drum hits float your boat, drop in your own per slot or go wild and drop in any audio sample you desire for a great way to manipulate audio, triggered by both the sequencer and the mod-matrix.
"My hope is that this new device will unlock new ways of creating music for you in Reason and providing your tracks with endless groove."
The most important goal behind this device was to get you, the music maker, to a Grade-A sounding result in Reason in as short a time as possible. Focusing on what sounds good, what’s exciting and contemporary, guiding you with 100 default kits and Drum Sequencer patches to mix and match as you wish. My hope is that this new device will unlock new ways of creating music for you in Reason and providing your tracks with endless groove.
Posted June 13, 2018, 9:24 a.m.
Over the last decade, the popularity of “lofi” hip-hop has exploded thanks to producers like Nujabes and J Dilla. Lofi hip-hop is all about soft, introspective instrumentals—and Reason 10 has everything you need to lay down the perfect vibe. In this tutorial, producer MG the Future will show you how to make lofi hip hop beats in Reason 10.
Lofi hip-hop revolves around a chill, relaxed beat with a loose swing—often sampled from vintage funk and soul recordings to retain the human element of the performance. Reason 10 is packed with classic hip-hop and vintage break beat loops to get you started. Just select your favorite sample from the Browser and drag it into the Sequencer window. Adjust the BPM using the tempo controller to dial in the perfect downtempo pace, and use Reason’s built-in time stretching and compression capabilities to sync your sample to a loopable 4 or 8-bar clip.
Chop and screw samples using Dr. Octo Rex to create unique grooves by altering individual beat, or play a fresh new beat by triggering sample slices using Reason’s iconic Kong drum machine. Connect Kong to the built-in Pattern Sequencer or new Drum Sequencer Rack Extension and select from dozens of preset drum patterns for instant inspiration, or create your own patterns using advanced 16-step sequencers.
Reason 10 has a near-limitless supply of sampled keyboards and synthesizers to create rich chords and unique lofi textures. Lay down smooth bass lines, soft synth pads, and simple leads with sampled instruments using ID8 or NN-XT. Experiment with colorful keys in Radical Piano, gentle bells in Klang, or the worldly sounds of Pangea for the perfect multi-cultural aesthetic. Build beautiful, lush chords in seconds by pairing any instrument with Reason’s Scales & Chords—simply select the key of your song and play a single note on your keyboard to create rich, full chords perfect for lofi hip-hop.
It’s not called lofi for nothing, and Reason 10 is loaded with the perfect processors for adding vintage vibe. Use Audiomatic Retro Transformer to instantly add grainy goodness to your tracks. With options like radio, VHS, vinyl and more, Retro Transformer is perfect for adding an instant lofi effect. Top it all off with Scream 4 to add harmonic saturation modeled after tubes, tape and analog circuitry, and you’ve got yourself a certified head-bobber.
Now that you know the basics of how to make lofi beats in Reason 10, it’s time to make the boomin’ and bappin’ happen!
Download MG the Future Lofi Combinator patch!
Start your free trial of Reason 10 today.
Posted June 5, 2018, 9:26 a.m.
Andrew Huang is a Toronto-based music and video producer with a penchant for working within absurd, self-imposed limitations.
A versatile and prolific musician, he has released over 2,000 songs in a massive range of genres. He is perhaps best known for the strange feats of musicianship which have earned him over 1.3 million subscribers and 170 million views on his YouTube channel: He has rapped 300 words in a minute, and maybe you know him from his Glorious MIDI unicorn video?
In this video, Andrew tries our latest creation Europa by Reason (VST / AU plugin available for any DAW) and boldly sets out to "turn any sound into a WAY COOLER SOUND". Watch the video to learn more about our new wavetable synthesizer's powerful sonic possibilites and maybe learn a new trick or two?
Andrew also created 20 custom patches for Europa which you can download from the link below and load up in Europa (the patches are already included in the VST / AU version).
Download Andrew Huang's Europa patches!
Learn more about Europa by Reason and try it out directly in your browser!
Try Reason 10 free for 30 days!
Posted May 30, 2018, 2:02 p.m.
Today Propellerhead released our first VST/AU. We’ve been doing plugins for six years, and DAW instruments and effects since long before that, so what’s the big deal?
Well, this one works in Ableton Live, Apple Logic, Image Line FL Studio, Presonus Studio One, Cubase and many other DAWs (I hate that word. Can’t we just call them music making apps?!), not just in Reason. What does that mean?
First of all it means that all you loyal Reason users (thank you!) can use one of your favorite synths in any other DAW (naturally) that you also have installed. A free Europa by Reason license just got injected into your user account.
But secondly it means that those of you who have chosen some other music making app as your favorite, now finally can get some Reason goodness into your life. Europa is a killer beast of a synth. It sounds absolutely amazing, it’s mind-blowingly powerful and it’s straight forward to get around. There’s a demo version to try if you don’t believe us, but we really think you’ll find it’s true.
Some of you might wonder if there’s a longer thought behind this release and if it indicates a change in how we think about Reason, how much resources we put into it, if there’s a shift to how we think about updates etc? The answers is no. We can do multiple things at a time. We’ve created this VST/AU. We’re working on a mobile app. And we’re working on Reason just as always, adding features as I write this. Reason stays what it is. We already announced that there will be no paid update this year but we promise to bring you more of what you love anyway, as soon as we are able to.
The other thing you should note is that we also released Europa on the web today. From a futuristic and tech standpoint, that’s actually an even bigger deal than the VST/AU. What you are seeing there is an actual Rack Extension instrument running in a web browser. We didn’t recompile Europa or adapt it to the web to make this work, we made the web adapt to us. This is to a large extent possible thanks to some really exciting efforts by a very smart team at Google. And you can reap the benefits of their and our work right here.
So please enjoy Europa in whatever format you run it in. It really sounds equally amazing and inspiring in all its guises.
Happy music making!