Tutorials

Create Vaporwave with Layers Wave Edition

Posted April 17, 2018, 2:53 p.m.

Layers Wave Edition comes supercharged with the nostalgic, funk-induced sounds of Vaporwave - In this brief tutorial we will show you how to make the most of these kitsch and classic 80s inspired presets to create the much loved sound of Vaporwave in Reason. 

This is what we're making today:

 

 

Download
   Download the Reason song file and get started making Vaporwave with Layers Wave Edition!
 

Step 1. Create an harmonic bed

Central to the Vaporwave sound is a dense textural bed created from either the down-sampling effect of the original music, tape noise or aliasing of audio recordings. Layers Wave Edition has a trusty folder of Texture presets ideal for dense harmonic to build you instrumental on top of.

I’ve selected the patch ‘Inside A Rainbow’ which modulates gracefully over 9 bars adding so intriguing background noise.
 


Notice the heavy use of Flanger across all three four layers, heavy effects processing especially with era specific processing such as Chorus, Flanger and Phasers taken to the extreme are a hallmark of the vaporwave sound.
 


Step 2. Lockdown a funky bassline

Don’t be afraid to get extra funky on this one, as with a lot of 80s electronic music that Vaporwave samples, we want to incorporate a generous amount of vibrato.

For this sound I’ve chosen the Ultimate Peaks Bass patch which at its core uses a DX-7 style sound that couldn’t be more recognisable when it comes to Retro, Synth or Vaporwave inspired music.
 


Vaporwave is notorious for its abuse of distortion, tape-generated or otherwise, so I’ve gone full throttle on the fuzz distortion layer to really give it a crunchy character.


Step 3. Deep pads are a must

Synthetic bell sounds are a hallmark of the period and we’ve chosen the huge bell pad as the harmonic bass in the track. A repeating chord figure in C-minor is traditional Vaporwave territory – again don’t be afraid to go to town with the flanging and distortion here as it brings out the right character of the pads.
 


Step 4. Build a syncopated Rhythm.

The Sequencer & Arpeggio presets are ideal for driving syncopated rhythms, a definitive drive of Vaporwave rhythmic structure.
 


The trig sequencer pattern of DataMiner pushes the rhythm along, compliments the bass and harmony without overriding the general feel of the track.


Step 6. Go full cheese with your melodies

I’ve combined the talents of Titanium Piano, Chiptune MW and Gigawave to add trills, lead melody and synthetic texture to the topline here. Three different timbral bases and MIDI programming using velocity variation works really well here to add depth and movement to your melody – cheesy or not!
 

Now that you’ve learned to how to make Vaporwave with Layers Wave Edition, get Layers Wave Edition here and try it free for 30 days!

Tutorials

Beatmaking and production with Reason & AKAI controllers

Posted April 17, 2018, 11:48 a.m.


 
In part 2 of his beat making videos, producer Justen Williams is back to share his music making process when he's got access to his full size AKAI controllers. Much like part one, which if you haven't seen it is worth the watch, Justen uses a keyboard controller and a pad controller to their fullest advantages.
 
We'll also see how he taps into the music community at Allihoopa to get some stems and samples for his beat. If you make music by clicking with your mouse and wonder what opportunities might await a switch to a controller based workflow, you'll definitely want to check this out.
 

Download
     Download Justen Williams' 808 bass patch for Europa here!

 

Reason Lite is available for free with the purchase of the following Akai hardware products:

• MPD218, MPD226, MPD232
• MPK225, MPK249, MPK261
• MPK mini mk2
• LPK25 Wireless, LPD8 Wireless
 
Current owners of these products can simply log in to their user account at http://www.akaipro.com to get their free Reason Lite license.

Watch part one in Justen Williams' AKAI beatmaking series!
 
For more information on Reason:
http://www.propellerheads.se
 
For more information on AKAI controllers:
http://www.akaipro.com

 

Tutorials

Beatmaking on the go with Reason and AKAI controllers

Posted April 16, 2018, 12:08 p.m.


 
Like many people, Justen Williams often finds himself making music on the go. And when he does, he wants to be just as creative and prolific as he is at home. To make that happen, Justen travels with AKAI portable controllers to help his fingers work as fast as his mind thinks in the rush of inspiration.
 
In this beat making walk-through, Justen shows us how and when he uses each of his controllers and offers a couple tips on making his small controllers work beyond their apparent size and range.

Reason Lite is available for free with the purchase of the following Akai hardware products:

• MPD218, MPD226, MPD232
• MPK225, MPK249, MPK261
• MPK mini mk2
• LPK25 Wireless, LPD8 Wireless
 
Current owners of these products can simply log in to their user account at http://www.akaipro.com to get their free Reason Lite license.

For more information on Reason:
http://www.propellerheads.se
 
For more information on AKAI controllers:
http://www.akaipro.com

Tutorials

Sparking New Ideas with Komplete Select & Reason

Posted Feb. 24, 2018, 1:03 p.m.

We rely on our favorite go-to instruments to capture new ideas as they're forming. We know those instruments well and they help us act quickly to grab that inspiration before it's gone. But what happens if we don't have any ideas cooking yet? Sometimes those favorites are so familiar that we fall into routines and habits that makes sparking new ideas harder for us. The solution is to try entirely new instruments and effects to see how getting out of our comfort zone can create a fresh approach to music making.

In this tutorial, Ryan does just that by building a new idea using instruments new to him. The quick inspiring workflow of Reason remains but the sounds and instruments are coming courtesy of Native Instrument's Komplete Select.

Start making your own musical ideas with Reason's free 30 day trial!

Tutorials

Making a Jazzy Boom Bap Beat in Reason 10

Posted Feb. 15, 2018, 10:44 a.m.

The world of hip-hop music production is full of genres and sub-genres, each with its own unique history and style. Take Boom Bap hip-hop for example. The central elements are a hard-hitting sampled kick drum (boom) and snare drum (bap), typically with the snare on two and four and the MC rapping on the beat.

Boom Bap developed out of the 1980s New York City breakbeat scene, and hit peak popularity in the 1990s, when artists like Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Jay-Z, Nas and A Tribe Called Quest made Boom Bap one of the defining sounds of hip hop. Hip hop production has evolved a great deal since then, with the snare sound frequently replaced with a hand clap or other sample. Still, Boom Bap remains a popular, albeit retro technique that’s sometimes incorporated into other types of hip hop.

One such variation is Jazzy Hip Hop, which is related to the electronica subgenre Chill Hop. It features a mellow, jazzy groove made up of Boom Bap drums and short chordal samples taken from jazz records that typically provide much of the harmonic content.

Reason 10 provides the perfect toolset for creating Boom Bap and Jazzy Hip Hop beats, among many other styles. With myriad instruments and sample players, a massive effects collection, and powerful recording, editing and mixing features, all you need to add is your creativity.

In this video, producer, musician and educator Stefan Guy (stefanguyaudio.com) takes you step-by-step through the creation and production of a Boom Bap/Jazzy Hip Hop beat using Reason 10. He deploys Reason instruments such as Kong Drum Designer, NN-XT Advanced Sampler, and the brand-new Humana Vocal Ensemble—along with effects like Audiomatic Retro Transformer (which he uses for vinyl emulation)—showing you lots of cool production tricks along the way.

Follow Stefan Guy on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Make a Boom Bap track yourself with a free trial of Reason 10!