Posted June 20, 2018, 6:50 a.m.
Drum ‘N’ Bass is a dance music subgenres that evolved from the tangled web of the UK’s underground rave scene in the 1980s and ‘90s, with roots in the broader genre of Breakbeat. Drum & Bass combines heavy synthesized bass lines with vocal samples from soul and reggae records to create an bold, energetic, and supremely danceable wall of sound. In this article and accompanying video, artist and producer Protostar will show you how to record a DnB track in Reason 10.
The defining element of Drum & Bass is its signature rhythm: it starts with the kick drum on beat 1, a snare hit on beat 2, a syncopated kick just after beat 3 on the “and,” and a final snare on beat 4. This core one-two-and-four pattern forms the heart of the groove and is almost never deviated from. Finally, it needs to be fast—tempos usually range between 160 and 180 BPM.
Load a drum loop into Dr. Octo Rex (anything with “DnB” in the name should suffice) and use the beatmaking tools in Reason 10 to make it your own. Hit the “Copy Loop to Track” button to create a MIDI track from your loop, or create your own pattern in Drum Sequencer—and use it to trigger dance sounds from Umpf Club Drums, one-shot samples from ReDrum, synthesized and acoustic drums from Kong, or all of the above. Attack and decay controls come in handy for fine-tuning stacked kicks and snares: try using just the attack from one sound, the body of another, and the decay tail of a third. Then sprinkle in a variety of loops, extra hits, and dub-like reverb and delay to keep the rhythm interesting.
The addition of a pounding synth bass serves a melodic role, and is what sets DnB apart from other dance genres. Sine and Triangle waves are great for a nice round bottom, squares and saw waves add edgy harmonics, and the right wavetable or granular patch can really get things sounding nasty. All of this is possible with Europa and Thor’s multiple oscillators, but stacking several synths in a Combinator will create a thick, complex sound. Flip the rack around and experiment with patching various filters and envelopes to the Synchronous Effects Modulator and Pulsar Dual LFO devices to give the bass some movement.
Now it’s time to add some extra flavor with samples. Samples are a staple of DnB (typically vocal phrases lifted from old soul and reggae records), and serve to break up the monotony of a constantly pounding beat. Load samples into Dr. Octo Rex or record your own, then slice them up or stretch the possibilities with the Grain Sample Manipulator. Almost any other sound can be added to the mix to give it character—soft dreamy pads, sampled keyboards, erratic zaps and sweeps, or just plain old noise.
Now that you’ve learned how to make a Drum & Bass track in Reason 10, it’s time to “break” it down for yourself!
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Posted June 13, 2018, 4:56 p.m.
In my mind there’s nothing more exciting in electronic music than the drums. Powerful and driving, understated and rhythmic – there’s a world of possibilities at your fingertips with beats, and with our latest Rack Extension device Umpf Club Drums, we want to get you there as soon as possible. I want to drag beat-making in Reason kicking and screaming into the 21st century, with arguably our most essential update to drum production and specifically electronic music in some time.
Parallel compression, dynamic processing and the best drum-hits in the business at the flick of a switch are central to the workflow in Umpf Club Drums, where dialing in a professional-grade beat is quick and easy. Great sounding results and visual feedback with both our dynamic compression display and waveform editors have been designed to highlight creative decisions and quickly get to what’s making your beats pop.
Where Umpf really comes into its own is by allowing you to keep your creating juices flowing without leaving the device. That elusive state of ‘flow’ is a balance of the excitement of creativity, and results which are useable and unique to you. Part of the thinking behind this device is equally balancing those two requirements in a way that makes creating drums in Reason extremely fun.
In combination with the Drum Sequencer (which comes free of purchase with Umpf), you can seamlessly tweak your beats and choice of sounds; dynamically tweaking rhythms and sound processing as you go for the perfect blend. Then inject variation and modulation using the mod-matrix for evolving and unpredictable fills and textures. If none of the 750 drum hits float your boat, drop in your own per slot or go wild and drop in any audio sample you desire for a great way to manipulate audio, triggered by both the sequencer and the mod-matrix.
"My hope is that this new device will unlock new ways of creating music for you in Reason and providing your tracks with endless groove."
The most important goal behind this device was to get you, the music maker, to a Grade-A sounding result in Reason in as short a time as possible. Focusing on what sounds good, what’s exciting and contemporary, guiding you with 100 default kits and Drum Sequencer patches to mix and match as you wish. My hope is that this new device will unlock new ways of creating music for you in Reason and providing your tracks with endless groove.
Posted June 13, 2018, 9:24 a.m.
Over the last decade, the popularity of “lofi” hip-hop has exploded thanks to producers like Nujabes and J Dilla. Lofi hip-hop is all about soft, introspective instrumentals—and Reason 10 has everything you need to lay down the perfect vibe. In this tutorial, producer MG the Future will show you how to make lofi hip hop beats in Reason 10.
Lofi hip-hop revolves around a chill, relaxed beat with a loose swing—often sampled from vintage funk and soul recordings to retain the human element of the performance. Reason 10 is packed with classic hip-hop and vintage break beat loops to get you started. Just select your favorite sample from the Browser and drag it into the Sequencer window. Adjust the BPM using the tempo controller to dial in the perfect downtempo pace, and use Reason’s built-in time stretching and compression capabilities to sync your sample to a loopable 4 or 8-bar clip.
Chop and screw samples using Dr. Octo Rex to create unique grooves by altering individual beat, or play a fresh new beat by triggering sample slices using Reason’s iconic Kong drum machine. Connect Kong to the built-in Pattern Sequencer or new Drum Sequencer Rack Extension and select from dozens of preset drum patterns for instant inspiration, or create your own patterns using advanced 16-step sequencers.
Reason 10 has a near-limitless supply of sampled keyboards and synthesizers to create rich chords and unique lofi textures. Lay down smooth bass lines, soft synth pads, and simple leads with sampled instruments using ID8 or NN-XT. Experiment with colorful keys in Radical Piano, gentle bells in Klang, or the worldly sounds of Pangea for the perfect multi-cultural aesthetic. Build beautiful, lush chords in seconds by pairing any instrument with Reason’s Scales & Chords—simply select the key of your song and play a single note on your keyboard to create rich, full chords perfect for lofi hip-hop.
It’s not called lofi for nothing, and Reason 10 is loaded with the perfect processors for adding vintage vibe. Use Audiomatic Retro Transformer to instantly add grainy goodness to your tracks. With options like radio, VHS, vinyl and more, Retro Transformer is perfect for adding an instant lofi effect. Top it all off with Scream 4 to add harmonic saturation modeled after tubes, tape and analog circuitry, and you’ve got yourself a certified head-bobber.
Now that you know the basics of how to make lofi beats in Reason 10, it’s time to make the boomin’ and bappin’ happen!
Download MG the Future Lofi Combinator patch!
Start your free trial of Reason 10 today.
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 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!