Posted Aug. 3, 2016, 8:51 a.m.
Jordi Moonen and Laurens Van Steenbergen, also known as Aerotronic, met each other at the age of seven and discovered at this very young age to share the same taste of music. A couple of years later, they decided to start experimenting with dj-ing and producing, leading to developing a passion that has been growing ever since.
Aerotronic has released their music on labels such as Teenage Riot Records, Sex Cult and Boxon Records, and gained support from many artists including Mr Oizo, Zombie Nation, Fake Blood and Mixhell.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Jordi and Laurens about their relation to Reason and their thoughts on our latest release, Reason 9. Be sure to download and check out their top 5 custom Combinator patches below!
What's your favorite new Reason 9 feature?
The Dual Arpeggio is definitely a game changer. It’s so easy to program polyphonic sequences now. I like it that you can make it as simple or complex as you want. It feels like a fusion of the Matrix Pattern Sequencer and the RPG-8, but even bigger. And you can perfect your loops with the ease of clicking the send to track button, which transfers the arpeggio sequence into midi data. Super useful. I also found myself to be using the ‘Bounce in place’ function quite a lot. It allows for quick loop creations. Overall, R9 is a superb update, from the players to the pitch edit. It’s all really solid.
How do you get started with a new song? What usually sparks your creativity?
We just listen to a lot of different music. It does help a lot that we have a very similar taste in music, that makes it easy for us to agree on production decisions. Then, when we start to make music, it all really depends on what new sound design we come up with. Sometimes it’s a melody hook. Sometimes it’s some percussion loops we’ve made. Then we try to build a theme around it. Sound design is a big part of what we do. Mostly we come up with some new sounds in seperate sessions, later we record the results and manipulate them. Building the full track happens later. Once we’ve established a couple of decent loops, we try building them up and down into a structure that makes the most sense to us.
What do you do if writer's block hits? Any tips to break out of it?
When we don’t have any ideas with the material we made, we just let it sit in our computer folder for a couple of weeks. So you fully forget about the progress you made. When you come back later with a fresh mind, you can easily spot what you like or dislike. We recently finished a project that was over 3 years old (see the song ZYX below!). So anything can happen really. I also noticed that once you run out of ideas, the best thing is to go do something completely different. Otherwise you’re wasting time. It also helps to take risks, do things to your track that you wouldn’t normally do, if you’re lucky, that kind of experimentation can pay off.
Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?
It’s standard for us to cut the frequency of our kick drums below 60hz with the Main Mixer EQ. The spectrum analyzer has a highpass filter which you can move to cut some of that useless low end. Another one, is to use Thor’s low pass filer on other audio sources. It’s simply a great filter, and our songs have a lot of filter automations going on. The new bounce in place feature from Reason 9 is also a clever trick to save some DSP on your overall project.
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
Tough question. Malström is definitely among the most imporatant three. It has been a vital part of the Aerotronic sound. Especially the very glitchy synths. The RV7000 is also very important to us. Amazing sounding reverb/delay unit. It’s so easy to make it sound good too, adding a bit of wetness to the overall mix. Our last choice would be a tie between Redrum and Kong. We both used these so much. Redrum handles our sample-based drum sections and with Kong you can create some stellar drums from scratch with the built in drum synths.
Download Aerotronic's Combinator patches
This is the arpeggio you can hear throughout the song ‘ZYX’. It sounds best when you layer it with other analog sounding synths. Gives drive to the track.
The lead stab to our song ‘Revelation’. It’s so simple it works. The song has one of our favorite buildups from the entire Aerotronic discography.
There are numerous acid style synths you can spot in our songs. This is one of them. Build with a Malström, and it sounds so dope.
By automating the pitch and the free rate of the RPG-8, you get that glitchy type of sound that we made in the song “Gearshift”. Also build with a Malström.
Night Tales Bass
In one of the darker cuts of our album, we have this huge bassline going on that drives the track from beginning to end. The more you chop your notes the better it sounds. Listen here!
Update December 15, 2016!
Aerotronic made 50 patches for Parsec 2 that they want to share with the Reason community! All free! :)
Download Aerotronic's 50 free Parsec2 patches!
Posted Feb. 25, 2015, 2:01 p.m.
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."
Download the patch (Please note: the patch uses the Synapse DR-1 Deep Reverb, but it can be opened without it)
Posted Nov. 12, 2014, 12:09 p.m.
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:
Listen to the original song:
Download the patch as a .thor file.
Posted Sept. 17, 2014, 1:11 p.m.
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)
Please note: This song requires Reason 7 and the A-List Electric Guitarist and Audiomatic Rack Extensions.
Posted May 28, 2014, 1:26 p.m.
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.