Artist Drop: Matthew Tarach (Scar The Martyr)

Posted July 28, 2015, 12:33 p.m.

In his own words, Matthew Tarach is:

  • Cleveland based Engineer/Producer.
  • Keyboardist for Scar the Martyr
  • Proud Reason user
  • Rum enthusiast
  • Player of video games
  • Looking for some awesome collaborations!

The metal band Scar the Martyr was founded in 2013 by former Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison (with other members from bands like Strapping Young Lad and Nine Inch Nails) and they released their self-titled debut album later in the same year.

We had a chance to ask Matthew some questions about his music making and his work with Scar The Martyr. We are also glad to feature an exclusive piece dropped to Propellerhead for you to build on. Check it out below!

When you load up a brand new Reason song, what’s the very first thing you do?
I usually just mess around. I usually initialize a patch on one of the synths and just start tweaking before I even start doing anything important.

In what way is Reason helping you in your music making?
It helps with my workflow immensely. I often use reason in tandem with PT via ReWire.

How do you use Reason in Scar The Martyr? Do you use Reason in a live environment?
Reason is the heart of my live performance. I have NN-XT racks with all the samples I use during the set and individual patches and tracks that I cycle through depending on which song. Typically Combinators with keysplits. The low CPU usage makes it incredibly reliable for touring.

How does collaborating work for you in a band context? How does Scar The Martyr usually write and arrange a song?
We all live in different states, so a lot of the writing (at least my end) is done via file transfers. A few of the guys will write instrumentation and send me PT files. This is where I use ReWire predominantly.

Have you ever experienced writing blocks? If so, how did you overcome them?
Hah, often enough, and with a few drinks and tons of Grand Theft Auto. I've realized it's best to put things down and clear your mind if your current train of thought and ideas will flow more easily. I'll also switch instruments, if I'm having trouble writing piano/keys etc, I'll switch to guitar and vice versa.

What’s the hardest thing about making music, what do you struggle with the most?
Knowing when to stop on a song. Especially in a digital age, I can just keep adding more and more layers. At one point you need to know to just say "OK, I'm done".

What’s your all-time favorite album?
Oh man... that's difficult. I don't know that I really have one. I do constantly binge "Death Cult Armageddon" by Dimmu Borgir and "Sound Awake" by Karnivool.

The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
Subtractor, NN-XT, Scream 4 Distorsion.

What advice would you give to other people who are motivated to become more creative in their music making?
Listen to tons of different music and genres. Find sounds you like and try to replicate them, chances are you'll find out how to make new sounds that inspire awesome songs.

 

Learn more about Scar The Martyr on their official website: http://www.scarthemartyr.com/

 

Posted July 28, 2015, 12:33 p.m.

Elite Session with Lucky Date

Posted July 20, 2015, 2:15 p.m.

 

House producer and long time Reason user Lucky Date recently joined up with Pyramind and held a two hour Elite Session which is now available online over at their website. Among LOTS of other things, Lucky Date talks about his production process and workflow in Reason and also how he came to the name "Lucky Date". We get an in-depth exploration of his own tracks and how they came about, as well as a discussion about collaboration techniques when working with other producers and musicians.

Check out the video teaser below and then head over to Pyramind's website for the full two hour Elite Session.

 


Click here to watch the full two hour Elite Session with Lucky Date!

 

Pyramind Training, the San Francisco music production school, operates side by side with Pyramind Studios. Pyramind offers a wide range of programs; Music for Picture and Games, Electronic Music Production and Rock & Acoustic recording as well as four online programs centered around specific DAWs.

Click here to learn more about the courses at Pyramind Training!

 

 

Posted July 20, 2015, 2:15 p.m.

Artist Drop: D.K. the Punisher

Posted July 15, 2015, 8:34 a.m.

Donovan Knight, better known as D.K. the Punisher, is a producer/songwriter/DJ from Baltimore, MD. D.K.’s journey with music began in 2000 at age 8 when he began rapping, and continued 4 years later when he began making beats for himself and other rappers. D.K. has produced records for Dom Kennedy, Mac Miller and many others.

In 2013 D.K. produced Justin Bieber's single All That Matters,  along with Andre Harris.

D.K. dropped a few beats to Propellerhead for you to build on, and we also got a chance to ask him how Reason helps in his music making.

 

When you load up a brand new Reason song, what’s the very first thing you do?
First I do is start browsing through sounds. I have a dope template set up already, so all I have to do is search until something catches my ear.

In what way is Reason helping you in your music making?
Just by completely facilitating my creative process. Reason is sort of responsible for the way I approach music making, even in other DAWs. I like to tweak and create my own sounds a lot to give an advantage over my peers.

The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
NN-XT, Subtractor, Combinator

What’s your all-time favorite album?
Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life

What advice would you give to other people who are motivated to become more creative in their music making?
Explore as many types of music and experiences as possible. Inspiration is everything, and having many points of reference when it comes to creating is just as crucial.

 

 

Posted July 15, 2015, 8:34 a.m.

Artist Drop: Cid Rim

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 26, 2015, 10:09 a.m.

Music Talk: Super Flu

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 March 24, 2015, 10:44 a.m.