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 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!
Posted April 17, 2018, 1:40 p.m.
Nothing adds space and depth to your recordings like delay and echo effects. Ever since musicians figured out how to bounce audio between reels of tape, delay has shaped the sound of modern music.
Reason 10 features powerful delay and echo processors, including The Echo, a feature-rich delay unit that combines elements from digital delays, analog delays, tape delays, glitch, and loop effects. In this article, you’ll learn how to use The Echo to dial in the perfect delay effects for your tracks.
Mini Tutorial: Reason The Echo
In this tutorial, you’ll discover how to use echo to spice-up synthesizer patches, add depth and character to vocals, and write spaced-out guitar lines in the style of U2 or Pink Floyd.
- See how to use Triggered Mode to control exactly which moments get repeated.
- Learn how to slice beats and phrases using a DJ-style crossfader with Roll Mode.
- Add analog saturation with tape-limiting, overdrive, distortion, and tube warmth using the Color Section.
- Emulate old-school tape delays like the Echoplex or the Space Echo using the Modulation Section.
- Glitch drum loops, instruments, and even vocals for far-out effects.
Delay Ducking: Reason QuickTips
Delay can bring a lush sonic quality to vocals, but it can be difficult to balance wet and dry signals, which can lead to washed out tracks. Check out this quick tip tutorial to learn how to use The Echo’s ducking feature to ensure the perfect balance of delay on your vocal mixes.
Reason comes with several delay effects; from the bare-bones DDL-1 that does digital delay in its most basic form, via the RV7000 MkII Advanced Reverb that features some very lush echo programs to the multi-talented Echo that’s covered in the tutorial video above.
Now that you know how to use delay in Reason 10, it’s time to get creative! Start your free trial of Reason 10 today.
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:
For more information on AKAI controllers:
Posted March 28, 2018, 2:15 p.m.
When you think about great songwriters, who comes to mind? Paul Simon, Max Martin, Björk or maybe Deadmau5? Our recent blog posts have focused on using different tools and effects in Reason 10, but today we’re going to cover the most essential process of all—how to write a song.
Technology has fundamentally changed the way that millions of musicians approach writing songs, and Reason 10 is packed with tools and features that allow you harness your creativity and craft original and compelling tracks. We’ve put together a couple of fast and engaging videos that break down the fundamentals behind creating hooks and melodies, so you can learn how to write a song in Reason 10.
How To Write Melodies: Super Neat Beat Cheat Sheet
Check out this video for a simple, easy-to-follow tutorial that explains the fundamentals behind creating melodies in Reason 10. You’ll see how to use Reason 10’s Scales and Chords Player to develop a systematic approach to melody writing—without wading through complex music theory.
- Learn how to record single notes to generate complex chord progressions
- See how to add interest, movement, and complexity to your musical phrases
- Discover how to create unique melodies using the notes in your chords
Making Catchy Hooks in Your Songs
In this video, you’ll learn the key difference between hooks and melodies, and what makes catchy songs—catchy. You’ll also discover how Reason 10 makes it easy to craft vocal and instrumental hooks that stick in your listeners’ heads long after the track stops playing.
- Learn about 4 essential hook techniques, and how to use them in Reason 10
- Discover how to effectively layer melodies and hooks in your song arrangements
- See how to apply punctuation to your melodies to make them more memorable
Now that you’ve learned how to make a song in Reason 10, start your free trial of Reason 10 today and start working on your next masterpiece!
Posted March 15, 2018, 9:09 a.m.
Creating a mix without reverb? That’s like baking a pizza without cheese, or eating a cupcake without frosting (maybe we’re hungry, but you get the point). Regardless of what style or genre of music you create, reverb is an essential tool in mixing. It brings a tangible sense of space and texture to your mixes, and even a small amount of verb can make a huge difference in the overall sound of your tracks.
Reason 10 is packed with powerful reverb processors that offer exceptional sonic flexibility and versatility. To help you get started, we’ve created a fast and easy-to-follow reverb tutorial that will teach you how to use reverbs in Reason—so you can dial in the perfect sound for your mixes.
RV7000 Advanced Reverb Tutorial
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use RV7000—Reason’s most advanced reverb processor, and the go-to tool for adding space to your tracks.
- Explore a range of reverb sounds, including concert hall, retro spring reverb, or even a cramped closet
- See how to set up an effects bus for reverb, and send channels to the effect directly from the mixer
- Learn how to create a room reverb sound from scratch
Getting Started with Convolution Reverb
Watch this video to learn how to use convolution reverb to add the sound of a real-world physical space to an instrument, and make it feel more live.
- Explore patches and impulse responses included with the free RV7000 MKII Refill
- Learn how to use impulse responses to shape the tonal characteristics of your reverb sounds
- See how to record your own impulse responses and apply them to your tracks
Quick Tips for Using Gated Reverb
Check out this video for a series of quick tips on how to dial up gated reverb sounds on drums and other instruments.
- See how to add synthetic, industrial, or retro (1980s) reverb to your snare or hand claps
- Discover how to create different types of gated reverb sounds
- Learn how to use different Gate parameters like Release, Hold, and Threshold
Now that you’ve learned all about reverb, it’s time to start making music and adding it to your tracks—start your free trial of Reason 10 today!