Sure, the title of this video reads like classic click-bait but in this case I actually stand by its claim! There are two knobs in Reason's mixer that far too often get overlooked by people knew to mixing. Unsurprisingly, these knobs are seldom overlooked by professional mix engineers and once you learn to use them, you'll start using them just as much in everything you do.
The High Pass and Low Pass Filter in Reason's main mixer helps you achieve something called "frequency slotting," which is just jargon for this result: Your instruments won't be fighting each other for the same space in your mix. In this tutorial, Ryan shows us how to get clarity and definition out of your mix by mindfully considering the important frequencies for each instrument in your music.
Every week thousands of music makers around the globe share their musical talents on Propellerhead so finding people to collaborate with has never been easier. This week we’re highlighting some creative and fun music that some of you have created together!
machinestatic made a mashup in Reason, based on 9 (!) Figure songs!
People have been requesting we show a method for creating currently trending version of a classic sound: the Reese Bass - namely, the "Dirty" Reese Bass, which is characterized by heavy distortion, compression, and filtration. When it comes to dirt, grit, and nasty sounds, Malström is a fantastic tool for the job. So in this tutorial I'll show you one of the many ways you can approach this type of sound, while thinking out loud along the way so you can gain some insight into custom patch creation in the Reason Rack.
Matt Walker also known as “MAT MEGA” is a hip hop producer from View Park, California and he's been an active producer for 15 years. Over the years, Matt has worked with all types of artists and enjoys making not only hip-hop tracks but rock and pop as well as dancehall, funk, jazz and electronic. Matt says: "I like to keep a open mind when it comes to music. I’m currently working with two bands “The Milky Way Band” (Keys / Production), and “Palms Side Ent” (Dj / Production) rocking shows from San Francisco to Long Beach".
Matt took some time to talk to us about how he's using Reason and he's also dropped a few beats for you to continue working on.
When you load up a brand new Reason song, what’s the very first thing you do?
When I load up a brand new Reason session I'll set my rack up with what I'm gonna be using for the track. That way my work flow is smoother and it helps the the process move faster.
Do you have any production trick that you always use?
Oh yeah, you always gotta have a few on stand-by. One trick I like would be putting Scream 4 on my drums. By doing that, it gives the drums more slap.
What do you do when inspiration just isn't there?
Whenever inspiration isn't there, I'll go dig for samples to catch a vibe from, to put me back in the zone.
How do you use Reason in your music making?
It honestly depends what kind of song I'm working on. The only thing I'd say I rarely switch up would be how I lay drums. I usually stick to ReDrum or Kong when laying drums. Anything else like synth, bass, keys etc I'll use almost anything from Kong to the combinator.
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
3 most used devices for me would be the NN-XT, Kong, and Dr. Rex.
What’s the hardest thing about making music, what do you struggle with the most?
I would say what I struggle with sometimes would be the mix. Just getting it all mixed down to where everything sounds crisp and clean. I think that's one of the most important things when creating music. Getting your mix tight to where you can hear everything clear within the mix.
What motivates your creative ideas and creative activity?
There's a few things that motivates me: either I could be listening to another producer and get motivated or when I'm around my bandmates, I could hear one of them play something and get motivated. I could even be watching tv and hear a crazy sample and immediately wanna go take that sample and chop it up.
I touched on this before in my earlier article about creating a Shimmer reverb, but I want to talk about it more now - routing an effects return to its own mix channel.
Normally when adding a send effect to the Reason rack, you'd route the signal from the FX send at the back of the Master Section to the input of the effects unit, and then from the output of the effects unit to the FX return at the back of the Master Section, as shown below.
Instead, let's route the output of the send effect to its own mixer channel - like this:
Why would we do this? By routing the return from the effects device to its own channel, we're effectively isolating it, and now we can do all sorts of creative stuff with it. Here's a snippet of a hang drum with a touch of chorus, delay, & reverb.
Now I've routed the same piece through a long reverb, the outputs of which are routed to their own mixer channel. This mixer track is panned 100% to the right. This gives the reverb an interesting character of its own, but also makes the pre-effect signal stand out against the background.
Here's the same thing again, but now I've added an Audiomatic Retro Transformer as an insert effect on the mixer channel and some automation, panning the mixer channel slowly from right to left and back again.
Having the effect return on its own channel in the mixer also enables setting up a feedback loop, whereby the output of the effects unit is returned to the input to be processed again. You can achieve this by activating the send that's routed to the effect that's feeding the mixer channel. Be careful with this option, and be ready with the fader if you try it, because things can get out of control very quickly!
Isolating the effect return on its own track will also enable you to use the channel strip's EQ and dynamics processing on the effect return, and you can view the return in the spectrum analyser.
Using the various bounce options availble for mixer channels, you can even render the effect return without the original signal. Here I've added some sequenced gating and filters as further insert effects and then renderned just the effect return channel in the mixer by itself, and then added a beat.
I've used a reverb in this article, mostly because it's an effect with a long tail that makes demonstration easy - but any effect is fair game. Give it a try!