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

Beatmaking on the go with Reason and AKAI controllers

Posted April 16, 2018, 12:08 p.m.


 
Like many people, Justen Williams often finds himself making music on the go. And when he does, he wants to be just as creative and prolific as he is at home. To make that happen, Justen travels with AKAI portable controllers to help his fingers work as fast as his mind thinks in the rush of inspiration.
 
In this beat making walk-through, Justen shows us how and when he uses each of his controllers and offers a couple tips on making his small controllers work beyond their apparent size and range.

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.

For more information on Reason:
http://www.propellerheads.se
 
For more information on AKAI controllers:
http://www.akaipro.com

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!

Tutorials

Polyrhythms

Posted Nov. 11, 2015, 1:57 p.m.

 

I own LOTS of hardware. I like hardware. But when you're programming patterns and loops in hardware, you generally find you're looking at a XOXOX style row of 16 triggers. If you stick to laying out triggers in groups of 16, it's fairly easy for things to get pretty stale and repetitive. I use a number of tricks to try and avoid this, and I wanted to see if they could be replicated in Reason. The first of these is using repeated patterns of differing lengths to create polyrhythms.

Let's start with a fairly simple pattern using the kick, clap and hihat:

The kick and clap here are playing a pattern that repeats itself every bar -  that is every 16 steps (where a step is a 16th note).

Let's add another voice to the pattern, but instead of a pattern that repeats every 16 steps, lets add a shorter pattern that begins again after only 6 steps. We can create a clip on the sequencer track that's just 6 steps (six 16th notes) long.

Hear how - even though it's at the same tempo - it slides out of sync with the original kick and clap pattern?

So now we have two patterns running alongside each other; one that's a bar long and one that's just a little under half a bar. It'll be three bars before these two patterns catch up with each other and start in sync again.

Now let's add another voice. This time I'm using a pattern that's 15 steps long.

Now my pattern won't start to repeat itself until after an entire 15 bars.

Let's add a last voice, this time using a pattern that repeats itself every eighteen steps.

Lay this on top of the original pattern, and now we have a lilting, rolling pattern that, while still being perfectly in time, is varied in such a way that it will only repeat itself after 45 bars!

Try creating polyrhythms yourself by building patterns for Kong or the ReDrum using clips that don't all start and end in the same place. Experiment with different lengths, and then go back and edit the parts if you want - perhaps you want to delete two voices that are triggered at the same time, for example.

And by all means, take the piece I've been using for an example here and add your ideas in Reason or Take. Here it is in its entirety - all 45 bars of it!

 

djanDownload a picture of the grid

By request, here's a picture of the grid for this pattern - I've coloured the different voices in using their clip colours, and added boxes at the beginning of the pattern to show where each clip starts and ends.

- craig

Posted Nov. 11, 2015, 1:57 p.m.

Tutorials

Electro Pop Drums: Super Neat Beat Cheat Sheet

Posted Oct. 20, 2015, 3:02 p.m.

If you're cray cray for #TayTay or gaga for... well... Gaga, then this tutorial is for you. Electro Pop drums are all about hard hitting, crisp, beats that support the song and give you just enough to clap along with.

In this episode of the Super Neat Beat Cheat Sheet series, Ryan walks you through the creation of pop drums but also shows you his favorite Drum Machine in Reason and it's one you might not even know exists.