Tutorials

Create Vaporwave with Layers Wave Edition

Posted April 17, 2018, 2:53 p.m.

Layers Wave Edition comes supercharged with the nostalgic, funk-induced sounds of Vaporwave - In this brief tutorial we will show you how to make the most of these kitsch and classic 80s inspired presets to create the much loved sound of Vaporwave in Reason. 

This is what we're making today:

 

 

Download
   Download the Reason song file and get started making Vaporwave with Layers Wave Edition!
 

Step 1. Create an harmonic bed

Central to the Vaporwave sound is a dense textural bed created from either the down-sampling effect of the original music, tape noise or aliasing of audio recordings. Layers Wave Edition has a trusty folder of Texture presets ideal for dense harmonic to build you instrumental on top of.

I’ve selected the patch ‘Inside A Rainbow’ which modulates gracefully over 9 bars adding so intriguing background noise.
 


Notice the heavy use of Flanger across all three four layers, heavy effects processing especially with era specific processing such as Chorus, Flanger and Phasers taken to the extreme are a hallmark of the vaporwave sound.
 


Step 2. Lockdown a funky bassline

Don’t be afraid to get extra funky on this one, as with a lot of 80s electronic music that Vaporwave samples, we want to incorporate a generous amount of vibrato.

For this sound I’ve chosen the Ultimate Peaks Bass patch which at its core uses a DX-7 style sound that couldn’t be more recognisable when it comes to Retro, Synth or Vaporwave inspired music.
 


Vaporwave is notorious for its abuse of distortion, tape-generated or otherwise, so I’ve gone full throttle on the fuzz distortion layer to really give it a crunchy character.


Step 3. Deep pads are a must

Synthetic bell sounds are a hallmark of the period and we’ve chosen the huge bell pad as the harmonic bass in the track. A repeating chord figure in C-minor is traditional Vaporwave territory – again don’t be afraid to go to town with the flanging and distortion here as it brings out the right character of the pads.
 


Step 4. Build a syncopated Rhythm.

The Sequencer & Arpeggio presets are ideal for driving syncopated rhythms, a definitive drive of Vaporwave rhythmic structure.
 


The trig sequencer pattern of DataMiner pushes the rhythm along, compliments the bass and harmony without overriding the general feel of the track.


Step 6. Go full cheese with your melodies

I’ve combined the talents of Titanium Piano, Chiptune MW and Gigawave to add trills, lead melody and synthetic texture to the topline here. Three different timbral bases and MIDI programming using velocity variation works really well here to add depth and movement to your melody – cheesy or not!
 

Now that you’ve learned to how to make Vaporwave with Layers Wave Edition, get Layers Wave Edition here and try it free for 30 days!

Crew

Rigs 3 are here

Posted March 14, 2018, 10:50 a.m.

Today Propellerhead are launching the third installment of the hugely successful Rigs. Simply put – it’s difficult to find a better deal in the music industry today.

The new devices that are included in this version are tremendous, top-of-the-line products that have been the best-selling instruments and effects for the past couple of years. Parsec, Expanse, Nostromo, ReSpire are all new additions to the Synthetic Rig. We’ve boosted the Backline Rig to the brink with three new A-List “musicians” as well as the GForce complete catalog. Mix & Mastering have all of McDSP REs included – even the creative FutzBox that provides endless hours of fun with creative impulse responses.

Also, not to forget when you buy a Rig you do not only get the devices and Refills included, you also get a complete video tutorial course from the people of AskVideo as well as a tailor-made patch-refill that utilizes the devices in the Rig with new and fresh patches from some of the best in the industry.

And it’s all package in a very attractive price – 349 USD/EUR.

“What!? What about us loyal customers that have been supporting you from the start?”, you might ask. Well, we thought about you too. You can upgrade to the new version of the Rigs you already own by depositing a small token of gratitude in form of 99 USD/EUR.

Hurry and buy before it runs out. Get Rigs 3 here!

/Mats
Product Manager

Tutorials

Sparking New Ideas with Komplete Select & Reason

Posted Feb. 24, 2018, 1:03 p.m.

We rely on our favorite go-to instruments to capture new ideas as they're forming. We know those instruments well and they help us act quickly to grab that inspiration before it's gone. But what happens if we don't have any ideas cooking yet? Sometimes those favorites are so familiar that we fall into routines and habits that makes sparking new ideas harder for us. The solution is to try entirely new instruments and effects to see how getting out of our comfort zone can create a fresh approach to music making.

In this tutorial, Ryan does just that by building a new idea using instruments new to him. The quick inspiring workflow of Reason remains but the sounds and instruments are coming courtesy of Native Instrument's Komplete Select.

Start making your own musical ideas with Reason's free 30 day trial!

Tutorials

Making a Jazzy Boom Bap Beat in Reason 10

Posted Feb. 15, 2018, 10:44 a.m.

The world of hip-hop music production is full of genres and sub-genres, each with its own unique history and style. Take Boom Bap hip-hop for example. The central elements are a hard-hitting sampled kick drum (boom) and snare drum (bap), typically with the snare on two and four and the MC rapping on the beat.

Boom Bap developed out of the 1980s New York City breakbeat scene, and hit peak popularity in the 1990s, when artists like Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Jay-Z, Nas and A Tribe Called Quest made Boom Bap one of the defining sounds of hip hop. Hip hop production has evolved a great deal since then, with the snare sound frequently replaced with a hand clap or other sample. Still, Boom Bap remains a popular, albeit retro technique that’s sometimes incorporated into other types of hip hop.

One such variation is Jazzy Hip Hop, which is related to the electronica subgenre Chill Hop. It features a mellow, jazzy groove made up of Boom Bap drums and short chordal samples taken from jazz records that typically provide much of the harmonic content.

Reason 10 provides the perfect toolset for creating Boom Bap and Jazzy Hip Hop beats, among many other styles. With myriad instruments and sample players, a massive effects collection, and powerful recording, editing and mixing features, all you need to add is your creativity.

In this video, producer, musician and educator Stefan Guy (stefanguyaudio.com) takes you step-by-step through the creation and production of a Boom Bap/Jazzy Hip Hop beat using Reason 10. He deploys Reason instruments such as Kong Drum Designer, NN-XT Advanced Sampler, and the brand-new Humana Vocal Ensemble—along with effects like Audiomatic Retro Transformer (which he uses for vinyl emulation)—showing you lots of cool production tricks along the way.

Follow Stefan Guy on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Make a Boom Bap track yourself with a free trial of Reason 10!

Artist stories

Artist Feature: Weval

Posted Feb. 15, 2018, 10:24 a.m.

Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte Albers are the brains and muscle of Weval. Together they dream up slow-burning, emotive and highly dynamic electronic music with a taste for danceable drama and epic melodies.

Debuting in 2013 with the „Half Age EP“, Weval have since released two more EPs and in 2016, their sonic expedition moved deeper into uncharted territory with the self-titled debut-full length „Weval“ - not a mere collection of interchangeable tracks, but an organically flowing record with emotional heft and a narrative thread.

 

 

We had the chance to speak with Harm and Merijn about how they are using Reason to produce their electronic landscapes.

When you load up a brand new Reason song, what’s the very first thing you do?
It depends on the mood we want to build, but mostly starting with chopping up a organic drumbeat.

What's your favorite thing in Reason?
Dr. Octo Rex - can't do anything without this tool.

Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?
When we discovered the tape distortion setting in Scream, in combination with reverb (especially if you put the reverb before the distortion) we were extremely happy. That's one of the first things we discovered, after that we felt a lot more confident about our sounds. We still use this technique.

The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
Dr. Octo Rex, Scream and Redrum.

What do you do when inspiration just isn't there? How do you tackle writer’s block?
There is no simple way to tackle a writers block. If it's really there for a long time, maybe then it's time to do something totally different outside of making music, which gives you some new input.

What's the best music making tip you ever got?
Never boost a digital equalizer, especially above 500 Hz. It can destroy a sound and make it sound harsh. If we want more presence we cut out the lows instead of boosting the highs.

What’s your all-time favorite album?
Haha, that's impossible to answer! Maybe it's the first Connan Mockasin album, or Radiohead's In Rainbows.

Follow Weval on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud