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."
It happens all the time. You hear a song on the radio, on Spotify or on YouTube and you're thinking "Wow, THAT sound is really nice. How do I get that?".
That's exactly what we thought when we heard Clean Bandit's song 'Rather Be'. So after some research time in the lab, Mattias shows you how to recreate the main synth sound from that song in this tutorial video:
The band Halocene won our recent A-List Song Challenge with their upbeat punk rock anthem 'Rock and Roll'. I was really impressed with the production so I asked the band if they were up for sharing the Reason-file with the community—and they were!
If you have Reason 7 or above, you can download the track and check out how it was made. This is a great example of mixing in the box, with extensive use of Reason's big mixer. Regardless of skill level, there are both songwriting and production tricks to learn here. Brad from Halocene was even kind enough to record a short little voice over on how you get around the document at the end of the song.
Download the song and check it out!
Download 'Rock and Roll' by Halocene as a .reason file. (471 MB)
Hilton “Deuce” Wright II, is a record producer and songwriter from Detroit, MI. Along with his cousin B. Wright, the duo known as WrighTrax created music for some of today's top urban pop artists including: Big Sean, Mike Posner, Lil Twist, Drake, Rick Ross, and many more. Currently based in LA, Deuce is working on new projects for Lupe Fiasco, Elzhi (Slum Village), Gilbere Forte, and Mike Posner. An avid Reason user, we sat down with Deuce to talk music making.
Can you tell us a bit about how it works making music and producing for other artists? Every situation is different. Most times I’m in the studio with the artists and sometimes I’ll work on music with a couple co-writers and send it to the artists or one of their representatives. I’ve cultivated tons of relationships over the years and continue to do so. Relationships are everything and create the opportunities to work with the artists.
How do you use Reason in your music making? Reason is where it all starts for me. I’ve built a custom default song template along with numerous favorites list that have my most common used & needed sounds that are easy for me to access. I’ll usually start with a chord progression, drums in Kong, and/or a Dr. OctoRex loop.
What's the best music making tip you ever got? "Make something!" I actually heard that in a Props YouTube video! It’s so true though, even if it’s terrible, just the process of making music is good for your habit development. Also: stay objective! Detach yourself from the music and be able to critique it without your emotions getting in the way.
What do you do when writer's block strikes? I listen to & study other pieces of music that are similar to what I’m trying to make. I’ll usually have three references that I’m referring to sonically, musically, and production wise. They can be used as a starting point or as a creative boost when I get stuck.
What has been the best moment in your music making career thus far? I think the best moment for me thus far has been to watch/listen to music I made in my dorm room, bedroom, and basement get played on national television/radio, and be available in stores worldwide. To watch an idea grow to that level is truly awesome.
Any words of wisdom for aspiring producers and musicians? As cliche as it sounds, DON’T GIVE UP! The only people that don’t succeed are those that quit before their time. It’s never too late.
To get you inspired, Deuce created some patches for use in your tracks. Download the archive, check out the demo song and then make some music!
Please note: The patch MeeKeys and the demo track requires the Radical Piano and Pulsar Rack Extensions.
Suspect and Stenchman, collaborating under the name Suspicious Stench, are two mad-men producers from Dover, UK. After hearing their music, we had to ask about their guttural, growling dubstep sound design. Read on to find out how they do it and download two free Combinator patches!
How do you use Reason in your music making? We use Reason for everything. Quite a lot of people ReWire it but with all the new rack extensions there isn’t much reason to add loads to the CPU when we have everything we need in one simple package.
Suspicious Stench are really two artists collaborating, how do you handle that? Sometimes we make stuff in the studio together and other times we just pass the file back and forth via instant messaging. Also if one of us was to start a project the other would sometimes finish it then go over final details and mix down together.
What do you do when writer's block strikes? We tend to make bass patches & drums when we hit writer's block just so something’s being done and normally it sparks an idea in the process. Either that or watch YouTube videos of people falling over.
Could you tell us a bit about how you approach sound design? We're pretty random when it comes to approach. We don’t really have a formula or a certain structure that we stick to, we basically just make whatever comes out depending on what mood we're in or what we’ve been inspired by at the time. We tend not to start from scratch when designing sounds but instead use a preset that has characteristics we like and shape the sound accordingly
Suspect’s Hover Craft Bass It's a pretty gritty wobbler style bass, which Malström is really good for. I started off with just a Malström and I pretty much just mess about with buttons until I get a good sound and then tweak it from there. I used the Modulator B curve 17 as I don’t use it very much and was after a bit of a different wave pattern. I used 2 square 16’s with a slight bit of oscillator motion on just for extra movement. I also moved the Index on one of the oscillators, but you can set this to how you want it. I set the Shaper to 86 on Noise, this just makes it a little more prominent and fuzzy if you like. I’ve also put the attack up on both oscillators so you don’t get so much of a stabby sound on the first part of the note. Also on the Modulator A, I’ve put a pitch bend on so that the note goes up a bit as it plays to make it more interesting.
I added a compressor to it just to level the sound out and stop it being so harsh. I then EQ'd it with an old school equaliser, the PEQ-2, just to take a little bit of the harshness out again and some low end. I then added a Scream 4 to it as I felt it needed to sound a little more distorted to sound fuller. Then at the end I added a bit of reverb, a Rv-7 Digital Reverb, just to make it sound a bit more wet and to help it sit in the track better. That’s basically all i did to make the sound. You can use this bass as short stabby notes or have it as a longer note to get the full wobble. Also you can change the Modulator curve to suite you and automate the Index which keeps the sound interesting as the track goes on.
Stenchies Lazer Reece This is a pretty simple dual layered reece patch with a bit of a twist. The oscillators are all Multi Osc's set to saw waves, all tuned slightly differently and with a little random detune as well to give a thick texture. The oscillators then go into a Notch Filter which is set differently on the two Thors to give the patch more width and character. The LFO also affects these filters on both instances, but only a relatively small amount (53).
I used slightly different effects on each of the thors, the top one has a Scream 4 on the Tape setting and an EQ with a wide mid cut. The other has a Scream 4 on the Fuzz setting and an RV7000 with the Hall reverb setting applied. I normally use the EQ on the RV7000 to cut all the low frequencies, but I kinda liked the muddiness with the full range of frequencies getting affected so I left it. The EQ is pre-setup to cut though so you can just turn it on if they wish.
I have used the built in Chorus unit on one of the Thors. I tend not to use it on multiple layers as it can soften the sound a little when used too heavily. There is also a Phaser unit that is routed to the AUX send of the line mixer. The amount it is applied to the second Thor can be controlled from the fourth rotary on the Combinator front. This is so you can give it some movement in productions. I have also used the other modulation routers to control a lazerish womp out of one of the multi osc's. The speed and intensity of it can be controlled from the Combinator. Finally there is a control for the filter frequency for one of the notch filters, again this is to give chance for automation that gives movement to the synths sound.