Tutorials

Beatmaking and production with Reason & AKAI controllers

Posted April 17, 2018, 11:48 a.m.


 
In part 2 of his beat making videos, producer Justen Williams is back to share his music making process when he's got access to his full size AKAI controllers. Much like part one, which if you haven't seen it is worth the watch, Justen uses a keyboard controller and a pad controller to their fullest advantages.
 
We'll also see how he taps into the music community at Allihoopa to get some stems and samples for his beat. If you make music by clicking with your mouse and wonder what opportunities might await a switch to a controller based workflow, you'll definitely want to check this out.
 

Download
     Download Justen Williams' 808 bass patch for Europa here!

 

Reason Lite is available for free with the purchase of the following Akai hardware products:

• MPD218, MPD226, MPD232
• MPK225, MPK249, MPK261
• MPK mini mk2
• LPK25 Wireless, LPD8 Wireless
 
Current owners of these products can simply log in to their user account at http://www.akaipro.com to get their free Reason Lite license.

Watch part one in Justen Williams' AKAI beatmaking series!
 
For more information on Reason:
http://www.propellerheads.se
 
For more information on AKAI controllers:
http://www.akaipro.com

 

Tutorials

Beatmaking on the go with Reason and AKAI controllers

Posted April 16, 2018, 12:08 p.m.


 
Like many people, Justen Williams often finds himself making music on the go. And when he does, he wants to be just as creative and prolific as he is at home. To make that happen, Justen travels with AKAI portable controllers to help his fingers work as fast as his mind thinks in the rush of inspiration.
 
In this beat making walk-through, Justen shows us how and when he uses each of his controllers and offers a couple tips on making his small controllers work beyond their apparent size and range.

Reason Lite is available for free with the purchase of the following Akai hardware products:

• MPD218, MPD226, MPD232
• MPK225, MPK249, MPK261
• MPK mini mk2
• LPK25 Wireless, LPD8 Wireless
 
Current owners of these products can simply log in to their user account at http://www.akaipro.com to get their free Reason Lite license.

For more information on Reason:
http://www.propellerheads.se
 
For more information on AKAI controllers:
http://www.akaipro.com

Tutorials

How to Chop Samples in Reason 10

Posted March 6, 2018, 12:20 p.m.

To sample or not to sample—that is the question. Actually no it’s not, of course you should sample anything and everything—and the more samples the merrier! In this article and accompanying video, we’ll show you how to sample in Reason 10.

But before we go any further, let’s take a quick stroll through the history books to see how sampling got started (yes, there was a time when sampling didn’t exist…shudder). So what is sampling?

Sampling first appeared in popular music in Jamaican dub music in the 1960s, when artists such as Lee “Scratch” Perry started using pre-recorded samples of reggae rhythms to produce new tracks. The technique quickly spread to psychedelic rock, jazz fusion, and minimalist music during the mid 1960s, and continued to gain traction in electronic and disco music production in the 1970s.

But sampling wasn’t considered a mainstream production technique until the mid 1980s, when DJs manipulated vinyl using two turntables and an audio mixer to create an entirely new genre of music that would dominate the world: hip hop.

With the global rise of hip hop and the release of dedicated digital samplers in the 1980s, sampling quickly found its way into every corner of the music world. And although music and audio technology have changed and evolved over the decades, sampling has remained an invaluable production tool for every conceivable genre—from indie rock to R&B.

Sampling in Reason is incredibly easy and intuitive, with a rich feature set that offers a range of sampling methods to fit any music creation workflow. In this video, hip hop producer, teacher, and sound designer MG The Future provides an in-depth sampling tutorial that will show you how to quickly create captivating arrangements using samples in Reason.

You’ll see how to use Kong’s Nurse REX Player, Slice Trigger Mode, Chunk Trigger Mode, and more to create deep and layered tracks with any sampled sound source (a must watch for J Dilla fans).

Watch the video now to learn how to chop samples in Reason 10!

Follow MG The Future on FacebookSoundCloud, YouTube and Instagram.

Start sampling today with a free trial of Reason 10!

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

Music Talk: Kato on the track - The Making of Get It N Go in Reason

Posted Jan. 26, 2018, 10:08 a.m.

One Week Notice is the title of a 1-week collaborative concept album featuring 9 Hip-Hop Artists and Producers - Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, Demrick, Audio Push, Emilio Rojas, Reezy, Kato and DJ Hoppa. It was recorded fully in Austin, TX at the BeatStars studio and over 20 songs were created during the 7-day process, with 13 making it onto the album.

Kato On The Track is a Music Producer/Entrepreneur out of Atlanta, GA., best known for his production with Artists like: B.o.B, Hopsin, Jarren Benton, Dizzy Wright, Wu-Tang, Joyner Lucas, Token, Tory Lanez, K Camp, Futuristic, Sy Ari and more. Kato is also the founder of a Producer mentorship program, Beat Club, which educates and provides resources and networking to aspiring music Producers around the world.

We caught Kato to have a talk about the One Week Notice project and his workflow in Reason.

Tell us how the One Week Notice came about. Whose idea was it to complete an album in one week? 
One Week Notice was the brain child of Dame Ritter, former CEO of Funk Volume, whom I was signed to up until 2016. We've been friends since, and he basically just called me one day and asked if I'd be interested in flying to Austin for a week, staying in a house full of rappers, and making music all day. What could be better?
 
Could you share some insights on how to collaborate successfully with so many people involved and with that kind of tight deadline? 
The key to collaborating with that many people is just to leave any ego at the door and be open to working with other creatives. After that, the rest is easy.
 
When you load up a brand new Reason song, what’s the very first thing you do?
The first thing I do when I open Reason is load a template. I have different templates for working with vocals, starting a beat, etc. After I load my template, then I'll start searching for the perfect sound to start my melody, or sometimes I'll start with drums first. I usually have an idea going into the project of what I want to make, it's just a matter of finding the right sounds.
 
What drives you musically? Why do you make music?
My motivation for making music is the same as it was on Day 1. It's the only thing that allows me to create something from nothing without any rules or boundaries - what else allows you to do that?? It's absolute 100% freedom to do whatever you want and that idea to me is so amazing in a world full of rules. 

What do you do when inspiration just isn't there? Any tips on tackling writer’s block? 
I hate forcing creativity. When I don't feel inspired by what I'm doing, it takes the fun out of it and doing what you love should always be fun. Most of the time when I lack inspiration, I either step away from the music altogether and do something entirely different, or I'll find inspiration in collaborating with others. I've also been using Splice a lot.

Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?
I've been using the Decimort 2 a LOT recently. It adds so much cool texture whenever I need that extra unique quality. I like anything that takes something clean and makes it dirty.
 
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
Kong Drum Designer, NN-XT and the McDSP C670 Compressor are CRUCIAL to me in every session I start. I can probably make an amazing beat using only those 3 devices and nothing else!
 
Watch how Kato made "Get It N Go" in Reason:
 
Check out the official video for "Get It N Go" off the One Week Notice album: