Posted Jan. 15, 2018, 12:46 p.m.
Over the last few years, a new retro music genre has emerged, bloomed and taken on a life of its own. Synthwave, or Retrowave is an electronic music genre heavily influenced by the sounds and aestethics of 1980s movies and its soundtracks (think John Carpenter, Vangelis etc) and video games. This nostalgia-induced style of electronic music pays tribute to the style, feel and sound of the 80s. Musically, Synthwave music often draws inspiration from bands that build their musical foundation on drum machines and (nowadays) classic synthesizers.
Emerging in the late 2000’s, Synthwave acts like Kavinsky, College and Com Truise were among the first to make the genre widely known and loved. Both Kavinsky and College were featured in the Synthwave-heavy soundtrack for the movie Drive, which definitely helped many discover the sounds of Synthwave and bring the genre into the mainstream. The Netflix hit show Stranger Things also features Synthwave music in its soundtrack and the whole series could of course also be considered an homage to 80s movies.
Synthwave music is often inspired by and based around 80s style components such as drum machines (such as the Linn Drum) and analogue synthesizers like the Roland Juno and Jupiter 8, mixed with more modern production techniques like creative use of sidechain compression.
With its rich plethora of drum machines and analogue inspired synthesizers, picking Reason to produce a Synthwave track is a perfect match. Here to show you how it’s done is producer and musician Paul Ortiz of Synthwave group ZETA.
Producer, musician and Reason producer Paul Ortiz (Chimp Spanner) is a member of Synthwave group ZETA, along with Daniel Tompkins (TesseracT) and Katie Jackson. Together they fuse the retro synth heavy decade of the 80s with futuristic and breath-taking imagery, bringing past and future together in a Cyberpunk-esque package that is ZETA.
Follow ZETA on YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, Bandcamp.
Make a Synthwave track yourself with Reason's free trial!
Posted Dec. 12, 2017, 9:57 a.m.
Updated December 12.
Time's up and we've listened to and watched what you've been doing with Reason 10 and we're amazed by the sheer creativity in the Reason community. Wow! It was no easy task picking only five winners but here goes. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for participating! We will reach out to every winner via the specific social medium where the contribution was posted.
Winner 1: one Propellerhead made Rack Extension + ReFill, one Europa t-shirt, one Grain t-shirt
Winner 2: one Propellerhead made Rack Extension
Winner 3: one Propellerhead made ReFill
Winner 4: one Europa t-shirt
Winner 5: one Grain t-shirt
Reason 10 is here and we want to hear the cool things you can do with it! Share your sounds on a social media channel of your choice using the #1stReason10 hashtag so we can find it.
A jury of Propelleheads will pick five lucky winners by December 11.
Good luck and happy music-making!
Don’t have Reason 10 yet? Download the trial today and join the challenge!
Posted Nov. 29, 2017, 3:49 p.m.
With VSTs in Reason, you can now tap into the amazing pedalboard designing capabilities of BIAS FX, while blending the tones you create inside that plugin with standard rack devices like Scream 4 for custom tones only possible in Reason.
Posted Nov. 17, 2017, 12:37 p.m.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 17
Thanks so much for joining the Grain fest! We hope you've had a good a time at the party. Keep making music and posting your Reason 10 sounds using the #1stEuropa and #stGrain hashtags! We'll keep an eye out and repost your gems!
Please enjoy a few of our favorites in the #1stGrain fest!
Welcome to Grain week! The Grain Sample Manipulator has taken the Reason world by storm and now we want to hear what you are doing with it. Lush sonic landscapes? Glitchy Basslines? Or something completely unheard of?
Share your first Grain creations with the world using the #1stGrain hashtag. We’ll share and repost our favorites by Thursday Nov 16th. Go granular and share!
Don’t have Reason 10 yet? Download the trial today and join the Grain fest!
Want to hear our favorites in the #1stEuropa week? Click here!
Posted Nov. 14, 2017, 10:20 a.m.
From the hip hop’s immortal 808 kick to the sound of the mighty Linndrum, drum machines have provided the pulse and energy in electronic music for more than 40 years and we keep getting hypnotized by the robotic grooves they provide.
The history of the drum machine actually goes back all the way to the 1930s, when Leo Theremin (yes, that Theremin) built a sine wave based rhythm instrument called the Rhythmicon. The size of a refrigerator and notoriously hard to use, it wasn’t a hit and it would take another 30 years before rhythm machines actually started to come out as products. Early examples such as the Wurlitzer Side Man used vacuum tubes for sound generation and mechanical rotating discs for sequencing and they didn’t make a huge impact on music when they came out. Gradually, drum machines shrunk in both size and price with the adoption of solid state electronics and products such as the Donca-Matic range from Keio-Giken (that would later become Korg) in the late 60s.
Drum machines were initially thought of as accompaniment tools that practice your playing to when a drummer wasn’t available and indeed they didn’t really see much use in recordings from the era. In the early 70s drum machines started to appear in pop productions with Sly & the Family Stone scoring the first #1 featuring a drum machine: Family Affair.
As electronic pop music started to evolve, drum machines became part of the sound and not a novelty. With more advanced products such as the Roland CR78, artist could program their own rhythm patterns and the electronic rhythms could be heard on more and more pop records.
In 1980, the Linn LM-1 came out. It was a pricey unit at almost $5000, but it offered sampled drum sounds and helped define the sound of the 80s as we know it today. Ironically, the most iconic machines of the era: the Roland TR-808 and TR-909 didn’t make a huge impact when they first appeared. They were analog drum machines (apart from the hi-hats and cymbals in the 909) and didn’t sound as modern as their sampled counterparts that came out around the same time. The 808 & 909 route to legendary status went via pawn shops and classified ads where a new generation of hip hop beatmakers and budding house producers could get their hands on these machines for peanut money.
Looking to add the sound of iconic drum machines to your beats? Reason’s Redrum was designed to mimic the 80s legends both in sound and workflow. And the mighty Kong Drum Designer lets you craft your own synthetic drum sounds. The Propellerhead shop is a gold mine for these sought-after sounds. Rack Extensions to emulate classic drum machines, drum loop libraries constructed with the legends from years gone by - take a look at which of these top drum machines will work for you.
Don’t have Reason? Start with a free 30 day trial and see what Reason can do for your music-making.