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.
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Posted June 11, 2014, 12:52 p.m.
In the summer of 2012 you couldn't go anywhere in Sweden without hearing the song "Dansa Pausa" by Panetoz. Peaking number one in Sweden and selling 4x platinum, the song was the soundtrack of the summer for many.
The man behind the music is producer Sergio Elgueta, or Memo Crescendo as he's also known. An avid Reason user, Memo sat down in his home studio to show us how he made "Dansa Pausa" from scratch in Reason.
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 Jan. 16, 2014, 3:56 p.m.
Pro Tools users will surely know the name McDSP. They've been producing plugins for Native and HD systems that are some of the most respected and desired out there. And when you hear them it's easy to see why. McDSP's attention to fidelity and sonic character is second to none. Now the legendary McDSP sound joins the Reason rack with three new Rack Extensions. We spoke with Colin McDowell, the McD in McDSP, to learn about what brought him over to Reason and what he's got in the works.
McDSP has been known for making high quality plugins for Pro Tools systems. What was it about the Rack Extension format that interested you to expand McDSP’s devices into the Reason Rack?
We've been excited about the Rack Extensions format for a while. The Rack Extension plug-in format is very cool - a hardware based user interface design coupled with the amazing power of today's host computers. Dang sorry we did not get it done sooner.
Our entire code base had to be re-written for Avid's AAX spec, so we made sure all the cool things we'd do in Pro Tools could be used on other platforms as well. The Moo Tube, C670, and FRG-4RE are the first products to leverage our new code base in this way, and we're just getting started!
Given your varied collection of EQ, Dynamics, Specialty FX, and Mastering Tools how did you decide which devices would be your first Rack Extensions?
Compressors are like potato chips. Folks always want more. The modules from the 6030 Ultimate Compressor plug-in are very popular in Pro Tools, and they seemed like a good fit for the Reason customers. Additionally we felt if we could make some of our more complicated algorithms work on Reason, that would be a good measure of what we could do going forward. And let me tell you, it measured up really well...!!
The Moo Tube, the C670, and the FR 4RE come from dynamics modules in the McDSP Ultimate Compressor bundle. Can you tell us a little bit about them, how they differ, and why they stood out to you guys as the ones to port?
We selected modules from the 6030 with lots of character and utility. The Moo Tube is a highly stylized version of tube based compressors, the C670 is an ultra-vintage multi-stage compression topology, and the FRG-4RE is a feed-forward reactive gain (FRG) design. All three have a variety of music production uses, sound great, and are easy to operate.
The Moo Tube is the most gentle of the three compressors we've released. Its great for vocals, bass, a bit of fader riding. It also has a nice tube character to help you milk your tracks as much as possible.
The C670 is the old guy in the group - classic gear modeling at this best. But the C670 is flexible in its own right and can handle a wide range of material - from an orchestra to a rock band.
The FRG-4RE (aka 'The Frog') is the true 'utility compressor' in the group. It can be a good touch-up compressor, crush tracks into submission, and many things in between.
McDSP’s heritage clearly comes from the shared love of vintage hardware that we all have. The look of McDSP plugins aim to resemble real hardware in their own right. How is it to see your hardware inside a virtual rack such as Reason, now able to cable together and interact with other "hardware."
Seeing McDSP plug-ins in the Reason virtual rack is mighty cool. The 3D modeling techniques required to bring a Rack Extension plug-in to life have enabled us to step up our own graphic designs and create really good looking plug-ins for the Reason platform. The way users interact with the plug-ins in Reason is closer to the 'hardware experience' than any other DAW. Good stuff for those of us afflicted with 'gear lust'!
We say the Rack Extension platform allows for devices to be "full citizens of the Reason rack." Most notably that means Rack Extensions are able to include CV routing between devices that isn’t possible on any other platform. Can you tell us how you’re using CV on the McDSP devices?
McDSP Rack Extension compressor plug-ins provide CV output of the gain reduction signal to other devices in 'the rack'. Such a signal could be useful for modulating a filter frequency, the input threshold on some other level dependent device, or adjusting the output level of another device. Reason folks tend to experiment - I bet they'll come up with some pretty cool uses.
Looking forward, what excites you about the Rack Extension format and McDSP’s future presence in the Reason Rack?
The folks at Propellerhead did a good job with their SDK and appear to be on the cusp of improving it even more. We're excited to bring more of our Pro Tools plug-ins heritage to Reason, and develop new products for Reason customers.
Looking forward we've got a great product road map and are looking forward to delivering more Rack Extensions plug-ins in 2014 and beyond!
Posted Jan. 16, 2014, 3:28 p.m.
He makes it look easy and in some sense it is but Jérôme Tissot, better known as Muttonheads, is a master of infectious hooks and banging club synth sounds. Don't take our word for it, he's got the #1 hits to prove the point. In this special artist interview from France, Muttonheads walks us through his custom mastering suite and his latest hit "Snow White" track by track to see just how it works. His studio is built around his Reason rack and Muttonheads uses it to great effect indeed!