Posted March 26, 2015, 10:09 a.m.
The world of Cid Rim circles around the boundless magic and mythical formulas of funk. When speaking of his influences and musical socialisation, the 28 year old viennese producer and drummer of JSBL inevitably ends in the 70's of the past century. While starting as an enthusiastic sample digger, his current works has a playful and interlaced sound, shifted with deep chords. A hybrid of programmed beats and analogue drum patterns meets razor sharp grooves and monumental power-steps. We had a chance to ask him some questions about his music making and feature an exclusive track dropped to Propellerhead. Check it out below!
How do you use Reason in your music making?
Reason is my main production software. It was the first proper program i got, when i was 14 or so and it still is.
What are the three most used devices in your Reason rack?
NN19, Redrum, Subtractor... still!
You just released your new record Charge / Kano and we've been playing it loud in the office. Could you tell us a bit about the creation of these two tracks?
I had a loop of the beat in the beginning of "Charge" lying around. Then I came up with the main chord progression on the piano and when I started to put those two together on the computer i had something in mind, like a huge wall of big band brass for the chords. I tried out how close I could come to that feeling with synth sounds. As soon as i had the main part, the rest of the track went quite easily.
Then when I had it finished, I already knew I wanted to put it on the A side of a record with two club tracks only so I needed another one that fits. Inspired by the drum rolls of the A side I thought I could maybe go even more into to a higher, faster, ridiculous show-off fusion vibe with the second one. It's named after the Mortal Kombat Character "Kano" that can perform a horizontal and upwards roll to hit the opponent. The fast hook of the track reminded me of that move.
What motivates your creative ideas and creative activity?
Just music making itself. I'm enjoying lots of other activities that could seem to influence my music but ultimately I think my main inspiration comes from making music. It's not like the fantastic dish you ate yesterday will get you an idea for the track you're making today. It's rather the amazing beat you just programmed or the bassline you just played that inspires you to go further and maybe make an entire track out of it.
Being a drummer, how does that influence your song writing and producing? The track Saturated Phat Boy you dropped to Propellerhead has quite a complex rhythm.
It helps, but not as much as you'd think. I believe that you can learn how to compose beats on a drum set as well as on a drum computer. In fact the mixture of both is probably a very healthy one, but its not essential. I know producers composing the sickest chord progressions without ever having touched a piano before, so...
Is there something that you do to put yourself into a creative state of mind?
I think the important point is not how to get inspired, but to keep on trying if you're not!
If you have experienced creative blocks, how have you overcome them?
Even more trying. It can help if you start doing things differently. If you got a certain pattern of working, try to lose it, mix it up, go from the back to the front. Or just work with sounds you've never used before. Flip things up and surprise yourself. Just don't stop trying and playing around, I think that's the most important thing.
What advice would you give to other people who are motivated to become more creative in their music making?
It takes time to achieve something. Creativity comes from playing so take your time for playing around. Perfection comes with practice and time, so again, take your time and be patient. If you like making music and you're good at it you just need to do it every day!
Cid Rim also dropped an original piece of music to Propellerhead called "Saturated Phat Boy". Take a listen below! Want to add vocals, an instrument or remix the song? Just open it in Take or Reason to add your own part and join the music making.
Posted March 24, 2015, 10:44 a.m.
Meet Feliks Thielemann and Mathias Schwarz - together they are the German minimal outfit Super Flu.
How do you use Reason in your music making? Do you have any examples of where you've used it?
We use a lot of the old synths and effects, also the new daw’s, but everything is actually running on Reason. It is our main and pretty much only software, so if you want an example of a production we have done with Reason, well, you basically can listen to any of our tracks. They are all produced with the software without exception. We are simply with Reason from version 1 and we have grown up with you guys together, to be honest.
What’s your best music making tips for someone that is just starting out?
It is not only about the gear that you have in your studio or all the options you could imagine, it is all about the ideas you have in your head. Do not get distracted, checking out what is left and right of you. Do not copy or compare. Just do what you actually find interesting and have the passion for.
When do you start a new song, what’s the very first thing you do?
Trying to find an idea which is good enough to fill up a whole track. The idea can come from a sound, a melody, a drum loop or from one of our numerous live sessions.
Your music is filled to the brim with quirky, almost organic sounds. Do you do a lot of sampling?
Yes, actually quite a lot. We worked for many years with samples until we could finally afford to buy the right synthesisers. We are still jamming a lot and sampling the sounds. We also quite often record sounds in their natural environment. For example, we were recently at a scrapyard in our town, where we recorded some sounds.
Super Flu is not one, but two people. How do you go about collaborating?
Over the years we have gotten to know each other so well, so we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and know how we can make good use of them. Felix has classical music education, so he is the nerdy one spending nights at a time at the studio, whereas Mathias is the one who has a very good feeling for the tracks selection… But we actually have a big circle of music friends and we all try to support each other. For example, last year for our concert with the Dortmund Philharmonics one of our good friends lent us his two musical hands and performed with us on stage.
Best musical memory? Any moment in your music making career that sticks out?
Actually the concert in Dortmund that we just mentioned is one of these indescribable experiences in every respect you could imagine. We performed with more than 80 musicians on stage. It has always been a dream of ours to work together with all the arrangers, the conductor… Such an humbling experience! It was also very interesting to play in front of 1500 people who were listening very carefully to every sound that we produced and not to an alcohol buzzed audience. Just it is a crazy feeling. We do love the clubs and the festivals though, don’t get us wrong!
How do you know when you’re actually done with a track?
Actually we are never 100% ready with any of the tracks. You can get lost in the tiny details and build another modulation here or add an element somewhere which is heard just once in the whole track, but at some point it is also a matter of time.
What’s the hardest thing about making music, what do you struggle with the most?
Finding a good idea. Once you have it nailed, it is just a matter of powering through. The track composes itself somehow. The cool thing is that there is no recipe for a hit, everybody needs to come up with his own strategy.
Posted Feb. 25, 2015, 2:01 p.m.
Samuel Aneheim Ulvenäs AKA Sam Heim is a Swedish producer who lives and breathes Reason. He just produced Fredrik Jean Venard's debut single 'Business' and when we heard it here at PropellerHQ, we absolutely loved it. Sam is also a really nice guy and when we met him at Dreamhill Studios, we talked him into sharing a Combinator patch from the song! Read what Sam had to say and grab the distorted piano patch below:
"My name is Samuel and I started out as what you call a "bedroom producer", hanging around EDM forums a lot and speaking to other producers where we all exchanged experience with each other and just had fun. Some of them very successful today; Dj Deamon (Madeon) and Ekowraith (Porter Robinson). I've been producing in Reason since version 2.5 and it's still my go-to DAW. One of the many reasons that I love Reason is because of its great audio processing and its creatively humble workflow that lets me jump in to an idea as quick as I need to. Today I'm located at Dreamhill Studios in Stockholm, founded by producer and songwriter Anders Bagge.
When I produced this particular song, I wanted to create an ambient atmosphere that would sit well with the hip hop beat and Fredriks voice, but I still wanted it to be a bit edgy. With all my love for distortion and reverb I came up with this idea of a sound that I wanted to share with you guys."
Download the patch (Please note: the patch uses the Synapse DR-1 Deep Reverb, but it can be opened without it)
Posted Feb. 6, 2015, 4:24 p.m.
Check out this raw beat straight from hip hop producer Mike Kuz. Wether you rap, remix or sample—open this beat in Reason or Take and make music! It's not every day you can collaborate with a producer/engineer from Stadiumred Studios, a studio with over 12 Grammy wins to its name.
Mike Kuz is an NYC based music producer & mix engineer from Newington, CT. It wasn’t long after his 2010 move to New York that he began earning stripes in the industry, contributing to works by artists such as Wale, J. Cole, Slaughterhouse, Common, Teyana Taylor and more. Working closely with Hip-Hop legends Just Blaze & Young Guru, Kuz has an endless source of knowledge and inspiration to draw from. He has been instrumental in creating the sounds for up-and-comers OnCue, The I.S.A. & S*T*Y.
Posted Sept. 10, 2014, 3:36 p.m.
Singer-songwriter Andrew Foster recorded his latest song 'Science of You' with Take Creative Vocal Recorder. A beautiful song from a beautiful place, Andrew filmed himself recording it on the south coast of England. Below you can watch him record it and then hear the complete Take song!