Take a listen to Hip Hop, Trap, Pop, EDM, or just about any other genre these days and you'll hear the distinct tones of the "808 Bass" - a term used to describe tuned and pitched sub-bass lines whose origins come from a classic drum machine, not a bass synth. But as standard as the 808 Bass is, the way everyone makes them these days is not quite as standard. That's one reason why 808 Bass sounds and bass lines are something of a mystery for aspiring producers and beat makers.
In part one of a two part series, we take a look at the origins of the 808 Bass and the philosophy that goes into creating custom patches and writing 808 bass lines.
Over the last months we've been posting these #ReasonQuickTip videos on our social media channels and due to popular demand, we've now compiled them in one space. This YouTube playlist will be updated whenever a new #ReasonQuickTip gets posted so be sure to bookmark this page!
If you want to share your best tip with us, just tweet us or write to us on Facebook or Instagram! Maybe your tip will be our next video?
The latest additions to the A-List series are two new Drummers – Classic and Power.
Classic Drummer is meticulously recorded by Ryan Gruss from Loop Loft using “vintage tea-towels” dampening the drums, very much inspired by production techniques of the 60s. If you want dry, clean drums to shape into your own sound this is the stuff you must have. And considering the amount of effects that comes with Reason there is an endless supply of new sounds, never before heard by mankind. Or keep it dry and fresh in a nostalgic way.
Power Drummer on the other hand is recorded by the punkfather of drums, Ryan Greene. An old metalhead like myself gets goosebumps on my goosebumps when I listen to this at the “proper” volume. Raw energy fed straight to the soul without even touching a granola bar. You might even get a friendly visit from your neighbor after he has attempted to play along on your common wall. The room in this recording is the best we’ve ever heard! And let me tell you that I’m not even that kind of a nerd that sits and listen to rooms all day. Well, actually I do. I sit in an office room all day and listen to the soft, lackadaisical keyboard noises from our developers as they work their magic. But, nothing compares to the ROOM in the Power Drummer. It has that “je ne sais quoi” (or as the French call it “that certain something”) that can put the loudest 3-month baby in a meditative trance.
Question time: What could possibly be the drawback from using these skin-clad cans of doom?
I prefer the sound of one kit, but prefer the playing style of another A-List Drummer.
My music demands several drummers playing in unison.
Correct answer: A – None, none more black.
All of these objections above can be solved by flipping the rack. Lo and behold - an ingenious feature of CV ins and outs, meaning that we can link different drummers. If you like me have decided to use all three drummers but want them to play the same rhythm, what do you do? You either decide to spend some quality time at the backside of the rack. Or you simply download the freshly prepared Combinators that have done this work for you already. Or if you desperately need the Plush Pilots playing style on the Dry kit from Classic Drummer. Just use the Combinators, mix or mute the drums as you like and Bob’s your uncle.
The extra Combinators that works for all three drummers can be downloaded here.
If you don’t own these products yet, try them out for free over here.
Saying "Drum n' Bass" is practically as vague as saying Rock n' Roll. There's a world of difference between Jerry Lee Lewis and Gwar - even if they share some common heritage. Similarly, Liquid Drum n' Bass is a popular variant of the original Drum n' Bass styles coming out of the UK in the 90s. Liquid DnB fuses modern EDM production with the essence of classic DnB for an increasingly popular result.
Here, Ryan shows you how you can put together your own Liquid DnB drum sounds and perhaps most importantly, how you can tap into the Pro potential of Reason's mixer to get some seriously punchy drum sounds.
I own LOTS of hardware. I like hardware. But when you're programming patterns and loops in hardware, you generally find you're looking at a XOXOX style row of 16 triggers. If you stick to laying out triggers in groups of 16, it's fairly easy for things to get pretty stale and repetitive. I use a number of tricks to try and avoid this, and I wanted to see if they could be replicated in Reason. The first of these is using repeated patterns of differing lengths to create polyrhythms.
Let's start with a fairly simple pattern using the kick, clap and hihat:
The kick and clap here are playing a pattern that repeats itself every bar - that is every 16 steps (where a step is a 16th note).
Let's add another voice to the pattern, but instead of a pattern that repeats every 16 steps, lets add a shorter pattern that begins again after only 6 steps. We can create a clip on the sequencer track that's just 6 steps (six 16th notes) long.
Hear how - even though it's at the same tempo - it slides out of sync with the original kick and clap pattern?
So now we have two patterns running alongside each other; one that's a bar long and one that's just a little under half a bar. It'll be three bars before these two patterns catch up with each other and start in sync again.
Now let's add another voice. This time I'm using a pattern that's 15 steps long.
Now my pattern won't start to repeat itself until after an entire 15 bars.
Let's add a last voice, this time using a pattern that repeats itself every eighteen steps.
Lay this on top of the original pattern, and now we have a lilting, rolling pattern that, while still being perfectly in time, is varied in such a way that it will only repeat itself after 45 bars!
Try creating polyrhythms yourself by building patterns for Kong or the ReDrum using clips that don't all start and end in the same place. Experiment with different lengths, and then go back and edit the parts if you want - perhaps you want to delete two voices that are triggered at the same time, for example.
And by all means, take the piece I've been using for an example here and add your ideas in Reason or Take. Here it is in its entirety - all 45 bars of it!
By request, here's a picture of the grid for this pattern - I've coloured the different voices in using their clip colours, and added boxes at the beginning of the pattern to show where each clip starts and ends.