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!

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

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!

Artist stories

Artist Feature: Tora

Posted Feb. 7, 2018, 12:28 p.m.

Tora is a four-piece electronic band born in Byron Bay, Australia. The group formed in 2013, fusing plush, layered production and instrumentation with graceful vocals. Their soulful electronic music has had them compared to seminal artists such as Radiohead and James Blake. Tora has been busy touring and making a name for themselves at venues and festivals such as Glastonbury, Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass, The Great Escape UK and Canadian Music Week.

We sat down to speak with vocalist and guitar player Jo Loewenthal about their workflow in Reason both in the studio and on tour.

 

 
What's your favorite addition in Reason 10? 
I love Europa, that thing is such a beast, it’s got everything that I wished Thor had!
 
How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity? 
Usually I just sit down, load up an instrument and just play the first thing that comes to my head. I find if I don’t think about it and just roll with the first ideas, and keep following that path I usually end up with something I like. Once I’ve written some parts on a couple of instruments, I tweak the sounds to be the way I can imagine them to be in my head. I find that the times when I go in trying to create a particular vibe, it restricts me and prevents me from discovering new things, so I like to approach it all freely and just listen to my subconscious ideas as they pass through my mind.
 
What's the best music making tip you ever got?
When something isn’t impacting like you want it to, try muting some layers, it creates space and helps you realise what is clashing or what isn’t working. Also make sure that every layer sounds nice on it’s own.
 
"try muting some layers, it creates space"
 
Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?
I try not to use the same tricks in everything, to avoid sounding the same always, but I do love sidechaining long reverbs to give the whole track a pulsing vibe. I’ll make a parallel of an instrument or vocal part, then put a long reverb in the rack on that channel and set it to fully wet, then have a compressor after it and have a kick pattern routed into the side chain on the compressor. You can mix it in as loud or soft as you like, I usually keep it quite subtle but I find it adds a lot to the track when used in the right way.
 
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
  • Pulveriser is easily my most used device, I use it on almost everything.
  • Audiomatic Retro Transformer is also something I use a lot, especially on synths.
  • NN-XT is the most used instrument for me, I often sample my own sounds and put them into the NN-XT, I just love how much control it gives you.
     
Jo in the Propellerhead Studio in Stockholm.

What do you do when inspiration just isn't there?
Well that’s very rare, but it can happen. Usually I’ll go for a walk, or do something physical and completely unrelated to music to clear my head, then come back to the studio and listen to some music I’ve never heard before, also some of my favourite artists to get perspective. Usually by that point I’ll be ready to make music, but if not then I guess I’d just come back tomorrow, but I don’t think that’s ever happened.
 
"what am I listening to? This guy is twisted". I thought it was terrible"
 
What’s your all-time favorite album?
This question is impossible to answer, because I have too many faves. But there’s one album that really changed my perspective on music. I remember the first day I heard it I thought to myself: "what am I listening to? This guy is twisted". I thought it was terrible. But came back to it a couple of weeks later and suddenly I understood it and from that day on I had a completely different outlook on music. For me, this album is the most original and inventive piece of work I’ve ever heard, I don’t know how he imagined it up.
 
James Blake - James Blake (2011)
 
 
Follow Tora on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify or visit their website.
 
 
 
 
Blog

Propellerhead and Positive Grid's BIAS AMP 2 and Reason 10 Giveaway

Posted Feb. 6, 2018, 1:02 p.m.

We have teamed up with Positive Grid, one of the world's leading developers of professional digital audio software and hardware, to bring you the Reason 10 + BIAS AMP 2 giveaway!

BIAS AMP 2 is packed with great features, including new dynamic tone engine, new Preamp Power Amp, New User interface, Improved Amp Match technology, Celestion IRs and much more.

Share your favorite BIAS AMP 2 feature and you can be the winner of:

1st Prize: 1 BIAS Amp 2 Pro License + Propellerhead Reason 10 License

2nd Prize: 1 BIAS Amp 2 STD License + Propellerhead Reason 10 License

3rd Prize: 1 BIAS Amp 2 STD License

Enter by February 19 for your chance to win!
 

Rules:

  • Contest starts on February 5th at 12:00 AM PST and ends on - February 19th 2018 at 11:59 PM PST. Winners will be randomly selected and announced on February 20th 2018 at 10:00 AM PST.
  • Contest available for fans Worldwide. No country restrictions.
  • Users can participate all the times they want.
  • Users will be automatically subscribed to the Positive Grid and Propellerhead Newsletters.
  • 3 winners will be randomly selected on February 20th, 2018

 

Click here to enter the giveaway!

 

Posted Feb. 6, 2018, 1:02 p.m.