Rap to this

Posted May 29, 2015, 12:54 p.m.

This week, we want to hear your rhymes and your flow as we serve up a selection of beats to rap to. NYC based producer/engineer Mike Kuz dropped a beat to Propellerhead. Now let’s hear what you can do with it–open it up in Take or Reason and rap to this!

 

We asked the beatmakers last week to serve up some fresh beats for your rapper friends and the response was great! We made a feed with some of our favorites, so let’s hear what they sound like with your vocals on top!

Posted May 29, 2015, 12:54 p.m.

Artist Drop: Mike Kuz

Posted Feb. 6, 2015, 4:24 p.m.

Check out this raw beat straight from hip hop producer Mike Kuz. Wether you rap, remix or sample—open this beat in Reason or Take and make music! It's not every day you can collaborate with a producer/engineer from Stadiumred Studios, a studio with over 12 Grammy wins to its name.

Mike Kuz is an NYC based music producer & mix engineer from Newington, CT. It wasn’t long after his 2010 move to New York that he began earning stripes in the industry, contributing to works by artists such as Wale, J. Cole, Slaughterhouse, Common, Teyana Taylor and more. Working closely with Hip-Hop legends Just Blaze & Young Guru, Kuz has an endless source of knowledge and inspiration to draw from. He has been instrumental in creating the sounds for up-and-comers OnCue, The I.S.A. & S*T*Y.

Posted Feb. 6, 2015, 4:24 p.m.

UpRock Take Diary #3 - M.Born

Posted Sept. 26, 2014, 1:47 p.m.

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You might have seen Carlo "M.Born" Nuevo in our Reason videos, and we're sure you'll see more of him. A talented rapper and beatmaker, Carlo's constantly making music! When he quickly needs to capture an idea there's nothing easier than opening up Take and record. Choose a backing beat, lay down a quick verse and get the right feeling. And once back in the studio, Carlo can export the recording via iTunes File Sharing and use it as the basis of the production. Or just share it with the UpRock guys for some quick feedback.

Take a listen to the basic sketch of his track "Alone in the Rain", recorded in Take:

 

 

Posted Sept. 26, 2014, 1:47 p.m.

Harald Austad producing with Reason

Posted March 7, 2014, 12:38 p.m.

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Harald Austad is a producer and songwriter from Norway. He's worked with artists such as Spellemanns winners (Norwegian Grammys artists of the year) Karpe Diem, Madcon and Jaa9&Onkl P and winner of Norway's Got Talent, Sirius, selling platinum albums and singles. An avid Reason user, we sat down to talk music with Harald.

How do you use Reason in your music making?
I use Reason to make all my beats! Maybe start out with some drums or browse sounds and play with melodiesto get a groove going and then building layer by layer and arranging until the track is there. I mostly use midi, but love the new features for audio editing. I used to combine it with other DAWs, but now I'd say I use Reason for 90% of all the work I do. It's just the best workflow for me, being fast and intuitive. Also, by using the racks in Reason I've learned how to operate in an analog studio better than any other DAW could have.

What's the best music making tip you ever got?
Don't think. Just do. There is no right or wrong, and instead of pondering whether you should do this or that, just go with the flow and create. It doesn't work out perfect every time, but hey, you can always make a new track..

Do you have any favorite sound or patch?
Doing a lot of hiphop, the MPC60 ReFill is great for 808s. Also I love the Reason Electric Bass and Piano ReFills. Simply amazing! Whenever I need orchestra stuff I tend to use the Orkester Soundbank, but whatever sounds I'm using, they're always processed with eq/comp/filters/reverb etc so the final sound will have it's own expression. With all the new Rack Extensions, the possibilities are just endless! I use the Rotor a lot to add warmth to sounds and the Softube Saturation Knob is never wrong. The Korg Polysix and MonoPoly is great for tweaking sounds, as is Rob Papen's Predator, but Thor is still maybe the best there is..

What do you do when writer's block strikes?
Turn on Reason. If Reason is not up and running, I'm not making any music. If I'm uninspired and the process is going slowly, I'll still make something.. It's better to make a slightly boring idea than no idea. You never know, it could be useful in the future, or fit an artist or writer you didn't think about at the time. What inspires me are the sounds, so try out a new Rack Extension or a ReFill and that should help you on the way.

When it comes to writing lyrics, Stargate gave me a good tip that I've been using ever since; Write what you see, not what you feel. When you write 'through your eyes' it's much more easy for others to relate and you can show people your story rather than just saying 'I love you baby'..

What has been the best moment in your music making career thus far?
The next track! It's always about making the next one. I try no to dwell, but constantly keep making new music. It's just like training for anything else. Nothing beats the feeling of starting with nothing and ending up with a great new track. Obviously, hearing my tracks on radio for the first time was pretty cool, but the best moment so far was when the National Broadcasting Orchestra of Norway rearranged and performed a song I did and played it with full orchestra, drums, guitar, choir etc on primetime TV with the King of Norway throwing his hands in the air!

Any Words of Wisdom for aspiring producers and musicians?
The only thing you can do better than anybody else is you. Although I take inspiration and ideas from listening to others, the more honest your own expression is, the better the song will be. It's not always easy, but keep working and learning your skills. It's a craft, and you get better by doing and experimenting. Hard work beats talent, but if you got both, you will make it! Be persistent.

Posted March 7, 2014, 12:38 p.m.

Think Inside the Box with Kool Kojak

Posted Feb. 13, 2014, 6:53 p.m.

Before he was Kool Kojak, Allan Grigg and his brother built their own drum set out of tape and pvc pipes and created their own recordings using their boombox. It was the start of a lifelong quest to make the hip hop sounds that inspired him from childhood. His tenacity led him to New York where he interned at legendary hip hop studios, saved for years to get his prized MPC drum machine, and made musical friendships that would lead to number one hit songs around the world.

Kool Kojak's success is no fluke. He works hard but he plays hard, not afraid to push himself into experimentation and find his own sound. His reputation and credits have led him to work with artists like Flo Rida, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, Ke$ha, and many many more.

Posted Feb. 13, 2014, 6:53 p.m.