Posted April 1, 2015, 9:03 a.m.
We’re happy to announce the release of new versions of Figure, Take and Reason!
Never sing a flat note with Take. The new “Voice Tune” helps you stay in tune, or gives you that modern R’n’B sound when turned all the way up. Clean up, distort or color your recordings with effects on each channel, give your tracks a “final mix” sound with mastering presets, and sing in a key that works for you with transposable backing tracks.
Download Take on the App Store (free!)
Figure, the fast and fun beat making app for iOS is now free! Also: Make a beat in Figure and open it in Take—the key of your Figure song is automatically brought over to Take, so Voice Tune gives you great results instantly.
Download Figure on the App Store
Reason gets a bunch of new stuff, too, based on all the feedback we’re getting from you. Reason 8.2 features a slick new auto-update system so you're always using the most current version, without the hassle of bulky manual installs. You’ll also get Improved patch navigation with Revert Browse, extended Remote support for Redrum, more colors for tracks, channels and clips, and tons of other improvements. It’s a free download for owners of Reason 8, of course.
Download the Reason 8.2 update / Buy Reason
Posted March 26, 2015, 10:09 a.m.
The world of Cid Rim circles around the boundless magic and mythical formulas of funk. When speaking of his influences and musical socialisation, the 28 year old viennese producer and drummer of JSBL inevitably ends in the 70's of the past century. While starting as an enthusiastic sample digger, his current works has a playful and interlaced sound, shifted with deep chords. A hybrid of programmed beats and analogue drum patterns meets razor sharp grooves and monumental power-steps. We had a chance to ask him some questions about his music making and feature an exclusive track dropped to Propellerhead. Check it out below!
How do you use Reason in your music making?
Reason is my main production software. It was the first proper program i got, when i was 14 or so and it still is.
What are the three most used devices in your Reason rack?
NN19, Redrum, Subtractor... still!
You just released your new record Charge / Kano and we've been playing it loud in the office. Could you tell us a bit about the creation of these two tracks?
I had a loop of the beat in the beginning of "Charge" lying around. Then I came up with the main chord progression on the piano and when I started to put those two together on the computer i had something in mind, like a huge wall of big band brass for the chords. I tried out how close I could come to that feeling with synth sounds. As soon as i had the main part, the rest of the track went quite easily.
Then when I had it finished, I already knew I wanted to put it on the A side of a record with two club tracks only so I needed another one that fits. Inspired by the drum rolls of the A side I thought I could maybe go even more into to a higher, faster, ridiculous show-off fusion vibe with the second one. It's named after the Mortal Kombat Character "Kano" that can perform a horizontal and upwards roll to hit the opponent. The fast hook of the track reminded me of that move.
What motivates your creative ideas and creative activity?
Just music making itself. I'm enjoying lots of other activities that could seem to influence my music but ultimately I think my main inspiration comes from making music. It's not like the fantastic dish you ate yesterday will get you an idea for the track you're making today. It's rather the amazing beat you just programmed or the bassline you just played that inspires you to go further and maybe make an entire track out of it.
Being a drummer, how does that influence your song writing and producing? The track Saturated Phat Boy you dropped to Propellerhead has quite a complex rhythm.
It helps, but not as much as you'd think. I believe that you can learn how to compose beats on a drum set as well as on a drum computer. In fact the mixture of both is probably a very healthy one, but its not essential. I know producers composing the sickest chord progressions without ever having touched a piano before, so...
Is there something that you do to put yourself into a creative state of mind?
I think the important point is not how to get inspired, but to keep on trying if you're not!
If you have experienced creative blocks, how have you overcome them?
Even more trying. It can help if you start doing things differently. If you got a certain pattern of working, try to lose it, mix it up, go from the back to the front. Or just work with sounds you've never used before. Flip things up and surprise yourself. Just don't stop trying and playing around, I think that's the most important thing.
What advice would you give to other people who are motivated to become more creative in their music making?
It takes time to achieve something. Creativity comes from playing so take your time for playing around. Perfection comes with practice and time, so again, take your time and be patient. If you like making music and you're good at it you just need to do it every day!
Cid Rim also dropped an original piece of music to Propellerhead called "Saturated Phat Boy". Take a listen below! Want to add vocals, an instrument or remix the song? Just open it in Take or Reason to add your own part and join the music making.
Posted March 24, 2015, 10:44 a.m.
Meet Feliks Thielemann and Mathias Schwarz - together they are the German minimal outfit Super Flu.
How do you use Reason in your music making? Do you have any examples of where you've used it?
We use a lot of the old synths and effects, also the new daw’s, but everything is actually running on Reason. It is our main and pretty much only software, so if you want an example of a production we have done with Reason, well, you basically can listen to any of our tracks. They are all produced with the software without exception. We are simply with Reason from version 1 and we have grown up with you guys together, to be honest.
What’s your best music making tips for someone that is just starting out?
It is not only about the gear that you have in your studio or all the options you could imagine, it is all about the ideas you have in your head. Do not get distracted, checking out what is left and right of you. Do not copy or compare. Just do what you actually find interesting and have the passion for.
When do you start a new song, what’s the very first thing you do?
Trying to find an idea which is good enough to fill up a whole track. The idea can come from a sound, a melody, a drum loop or from one of our numerous live sessions.
Your music is filled to the brim with quirky, almost organic sounds. Do you do a lot of sampling?
Yes, actually quite a lot. We worked for many years with samples until we could finally afford to buy the right synthesisers. We are still jamming a lot and sampling the sounds. We also quite often record sounds in their natural environment. For example, we were recently at a scrapyard in our town, where we recorded some sounds.
Super Flu is not one, but two people. How do you go about collaborating?
Over the years we have gotten to know each other so well, so we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and know how we can make good use of them. Felix has classical music education, so he is the nerdy one spending nights at a time at the studio, whereas Mathias is the one who has a very good feeling for the tracks selection… But we actually have a big circle of music friends and we all try to support each other. For example, last year for our concert with the Dortmund Philharmonics one of our good friends lent us his two musical hands and performed with us on stage.
Best musical memory? Any moment in your music making career that sticks out?
Actually the concert in Dortmund that we just mentioned is one of these indescribable experiences in every respect you could imagine. We performed with more than 80 musicians on stage. It has always been a dream of ours to work together with all the arrangers, the conductor… Such an humbling experience! It was also very interesting to play in front of 1500 people who were listening very carefully to every sound that we produced and not to an alcohol buzzed audience. Just it is a crazy feeling. We do love the clubs and the festivals though, don’t get us wrong!
How do you know when you’re actually done with a track?
Actually we are never 100% ready with any of the tracks. You can get lost in the tiny details and build another modulation here or add an element somewhere which is heard just once in the whole track, but at some point it is also a matter of time.
What’s the hardest thing about making music, what do you struggle with the most?
Finding a good idea. Once you have it nailed, it is just a matter of powering through. The track composes itself somehow. The cool thing is that there is no recipe for a hit, everybody needs to come up with his own strategy.
Posted March 18, 2015, 11:59 a.m.
Propellerhead has teamed up with leading Rack Extension and ReFill developers to bring you Reason Rigs – massive hand-tailored bundles of the top instruments, effects and sample packs. At over 70% off, you can now expand your Reason rack at an unbeatable price. Check out the Rigs!
Posted March 10, 2015, 8:40 a.m.
Upbeat nu disco or laid back hip hop? For this week's Propellermix, Mattias and Stefan tried out both. Inspired by Nino Brown's vocal harmonies, your friends at Propellerhead locked themselves in the studio for a Propellermix duel! Two people entered, two remixes came out. Take a listen below!
Want to add vocals, an instrument or remix the original yourself? Simply open it in Take or Reason and start making music. We'd love to hear what you come up with so send us a tweet to @PropellerheadSW or share your music on our Facebook page.