Tutorials

How to Make a Drum n Bass Track in Reason

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!

Start your free trial of Reason 10 today.

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Tutorials

How to Record Retrowave with Reason 10

Posted June 17, 2018, 2:06 p.m.

With influences ranging from 1970s and '80s film soundtracks to artists like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, and John Carpenter, Retrowave is a genre of driving, synth-based music that has surged in popularity thanks to retro-inspired shows and movies like Stranger Things and Blade Runner 2049. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to record a Retrowave track in Reason 10 using a palette of lush synthesizers, punchy drum machines, and spacey effects.

The foundation of Retrowave starts with a classic arpeggiated synth track. Retrowave relies on the iconic sounds of popular '70s and '80s keyboards—so open up Reason’s browser and try out some analog subtractive synths and early-digital FM devices. Once you've dialed up a patch you like, plug it into the RPG-8 Monophonic Arpeggiator at 80-150 BPM to create the robotic pulse that will form the backbone of your track. Select an Up, Down, or Up+Down pattern and try out some chords until you find the right groove.

Now that you have a solid bassline or chord progression looping on the arpeggiator, take advantage of ReDrum’s authentic drum machine interface to program a simple, minimal and driving beat. Look for an electronic kit with a punchy kick and snare and tunable toms for the occasional tom fill. For a modern, danceable sound, sidechain the kick to one or more synths.

Now we’re ready to flesh out the song by layering sounds and arranging tracks. You can double your chord progression with a lush pad, program a dreamy synth drone with filter-sweeping automation, or add some soaring leads with a portamento synth or live guitar through the “lead” setting on the Softube Amp. To bring a more epic sound to your synth leads, add a healthy dose of delay or chorus.

Once you have the structure of your song laid out, it's time to fine-tune the mix and add a glossy sheen of effects. For an iconic 80’s sound, thicken up your synths with the CF-101 chorus and throw some gated reverb from the RV7000 on the drums. If things are sounding a little robotic, modulating filters with the Synchronous Effects Modulator can give your synths some extra life.  Finally, try the “Tape” or “VHS” settings on the Audiomatic Retro Transformer for an authentic lo-fi filter before rounding everything out with Reason's MClass Mastering Suite.

Now that you know how to record a Retrowave track in Reason 10, it’s time to create your own sci-fi dreamscape! Start your free trial of Reason 10 today.

Crew

Umpf Club Drums – The Future of Beats in Reason

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.

Lukas Lyrestam
Product Manager

Tutorials

Download Andrew Huang's FREE patches for Europa by Reason

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
   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!

Tutorials

How to Record Vocals in Reason 10

Posted May 22, 2018, 8 a.m.

Reason 10 is known for its robust collection of synthesizers, drum machines, and loops—but it also offers a powerful toolset for vocal production. With advanced features like time and pitch-correction, step sequencing, and a built-in sampler, Reason 10 offers a full-fledged vocal production suite. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to record vocals in Reason 10.

Vocals are arguably the most important part of any song, which is why Reason 10 was designed to make recording vocals quick and easy. Watch this video tutorial with Stefan Guy to learn how to:
 

  • Connect an audio interface and easily route mic signals
  • Properly set sample rate and buffer size for minimal latency
  • Create a well-balanced headphone mix
  • Accurately set microphone levels
  • Monitor levels on multiple channels using advanced metering
  • Use the precount function to improve your workflow
  • Create the perfect take using the comping feature
     

And that’s only the beginning—with Reason 10 you can adjust the time and pitch of your track after you record using advanced editing features like Pitch Edit and Time Stretch. You can even mix and master your vocal recordings in Reason 10 with acclaimed signal processors modeled after classic British consoles.

Now that you know how to record vocals in Reason 10, it’s time to start singing!

Start your free trial of Reason 10 today!