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

Tutorials

How to make a track with BIAS AMP 2 in Reason 10

Posted Feb. 14, 2018, 2:47 p.m.

Join Paul Ortiz a.k.a. Chimp Spanner as he shows you how to get started making a track using the brand new BIAS AMP 2 virtual amp designer VST plugin by Positive Grid in Reason 10. Making use of the modular approach in the Reason rack, Paul utilizes both well-known Reason devices such as the Scream 4 Distortion unit as well as POD VST plugins by Line6 along with BIAS AMP 2.

BIAS AMP 2 by Positive Grid is the ultimate virtual amp designer, authentically recreating the tone and feel of real tube amplifiers, while allowing you to mix and match components to create your ideal amp. You can use Amp Match to clone the tone of real hardware or a guitar track, or connect to the ToneCloud® to gain access to thousands of custom amps from artists and recording studios, or upload your own custom tones to the cloud.

Want to win Reason 10 and BIAS AMP 2?
Click here to enter a giveaway for a chance to win Reason 10 and BIAS AMP 2!

Reason is the music-making software with everything you need to start making music.
Get the free trial of Reason and start making your own tracks!

Want more tutorials by Paul Ortiz?
Subscribe to Paul's YouTube channel for more Reason tutorials!

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:
 
 
Artist stories

Meet Retrowave artist Michael Oakley

Posted Jan. 22, 2018, 9:20 a.m.

Michael Oakley is a Scottish electronic musician whose retro sounding music is a love letter to 1980's synth-pop. Described as "melancholic postcards from the heart wrapped up in synthesisers and drum machines", his debut album California was released fall 2017 to critical acclaim from The Huffington Post and NewRetroWave.

We took some time off Michael's hands to talk a bit about how he works with his music in Reason.
 

What's your favorite thing in Reason 10?

Without a doubt my favourite new addition to Reason 10 is the Grain Sample Manipulator. It makes granular synthesis so easy and accessible. The possibilities are endless and I particularly like loading in vocal samples and creating lush pads or rhythmic textures. Using it makes me feel like what I imagine it must have felt like to use a Fairlight CMI for the first time all those years ago in terms of having endless possibilities for sample manipulation and new sound creation. It's so much fun to use.

"The possibilities are endless"


How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity?

Prior to writing I spend time creating my own soundbank which is basically a folder on my desktop with all my favourite patches from various Reason Refills that I have or sounds I have created from scratch. I have them all categorised into subfolders like bass, pads, analog poly, leads. One of my favourite things about using Reason is that you can save sounds from different instruments into the same folder and browse through easily.

I usually find by browsing through all my hand picked favourite sounds that inspiration usually comes quickly. I like to create a mood and work with that. I then go to my piano and develop the chords/melody until I have a structure and go back to Reason to score things out more clearly.

What's the best music making tip you ever got?

Enjoy what you're doing and always make music for the love of doing it. People relate to that and can feel that energy when they listen to your music regardless of wether they like it or not. Sincerity is the best instrument you can put in your music for sure.

"Enjoy what you're doing and always make music for the love of doing it"


Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?

I like to group things together in Reason and then use the Scream 4 Tape setting to glue everything in each group. I use Scream 4 on everything nearly. It's my most used effects unit. It's so versatile.


The three most used devices in your Reason rack?

1.  Scream 4: I'm surprised this isn't available as a VST because it's the best effects unit I've used in any program. I use it to tape compress things, I use it to make lead sounds pop with the overdrive setting, I use it to bit crush drums or bass sounds and make them sound crunchy. I couldn't live without this!


2.  Thor: When this got added to Reason 4.0 I was super excited. I love the different oscillator options and programming capabilities. I would challenge anyone to name an analog or digital synthesizer sound that can't be created in Thor. It just sounds fantastic.


3.  RV7000: I use at least three of these on the main mixer's auxiliary channels. It's great for simple room reverb just to soften and give a sense of space, but is also amazing for really long spacious effects on pad sounds. I also love the DRM 80s gated plate preset for my drum machine sounds.

What do you do when inspiration just isn't there?

In those moments it's usually either time to listen to some new music and discover something which moves me, or get a new Reason Refill and play through some new patches until I find a something I like. Sometimes it requires taking a break as I have been guilty in the past of spending too many hours staring at a computer screen.

What’s your all-time favorite album?

Endless Summer - The Midnight

 

Follow Michael Oakley on Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud, YouTube.

Start creating Retrowave music yourself with the free trial of Reason.