The age-old adage, “be in the right place at the right time” leaves out the most important third element. “Be ready.” AnonXmous did what he had to do to make sure he put himself in the right place, ready for the right time. But long before that he invested countless hours honing his skills so that when those did converge serendipitously he would also be ready. And now he’s got three Grammy nominations and a Universal publishing deal to show for it.
AnonXmous is the creative mind behind Nicki Minaj’s biggest single to date (Anaconda), as well as records with Chris Brown, Timbaland, Fergie, and work on the best selling Empire soundtrack. To hear him speak of his accomplishments however, he’s just getting started. We sat down to hear his inspiring story and learn some clever techniques he has to stay creative and inspired himself when approaching new writing sessions.
Dunderpatrullen is a four-man electro-collaboration with roots ranging from the wild, untamed forests of northern Sweden to the flower covered fields of southern Scandinavia. The quartet makes music and visual entertainment in a category of its own. Behind the powerful music-making machines, the band members Jim, Stefan, Patrik and Erik fill the musical void left behind by now obsolete retro-consoles you once grew up with and still love. Dunderpatrullen takes you on a musical adventure through a full-color shower during which they make you feel like riding a mental roller coaster of nostalgia.
We had the chance to speak with them about what role Reason plays in their musical production. They've also been so kind to make two video tutorials showing a couple of their secret tips and tricks! Check it out!
What's your favorite new Reason 9 feature?
The new Player devices, hands down. They are amazing for creating new
ideas you probably wouldn't think of otherwise. The new Pitch Edit is
pretty neat as well.
How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity?
The way of getting started with a new song varies. Jamming along to a loop
with drums and a bass line might do the trick. Sometimes it could be more
specific like "I feel like making a really fast and explosive track", or
"let's try out this mellow vibe I've been thinking of".
Inspiration comes from all types of sources. It could be a really great
video game or movie soundtrack, a random song or sometimes an idea just
pops up in your head out of the blue. For some reason the bathroom has
become this holy place for melodies to pop up in the head while taking a
Scales & Chords is also a great way to mess around with unusual scales
or keys you perhaps don't use that often.
What do you do when inspiration just isn't there?
We do something else! You can't force inspiration, so chilling out with a
gnarly video game or watching a movie does the trick sometimes. Hanging out with friends is another neat
way to replenish your inspirational resources. Forcing creativity just tend
to get you frustrated, and creativity and frustration doesn't match that
Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?
Not that we ALWAYS do this, but we work with sampling stuff from our own
video clips and turn them into "audiovisual experiments", as we like to put
it. We chop up the audio sample and put it into Recycle to turn it into a
rex file. Then we just mess around with it on the keyboard to find some
catchy phrases and sometimes match it to the respective video.
A great thing with Reason is that it’s really easy to come up with some of
the strangest ideas and actually make them work.
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
Erik: It has to be Thor, Synapse GQ-7 Graphic Equalizer and Kong.
Jim: It's probably the good old Subtractor, NN-XT and Thor.
Jim: Funny thing - I had also wrote down Sigur Rós before we combined our
answers. I choose their untitled album with untitled songs and made up
language. I think they are really good at creating instrumental music that moves you
without the need of explanation with lyrics and titles, and to me that's a
really important part of music.
For years people have asked us to give some tips and tricks on how to write melodies. Now thanks to the Scales & Chords player in Reason 9, we've come up with a systematic and teachable way for arriving at a melody that doesn't just follow the often trite advice like "just play whatever sounds good" or "use your ear." If it was that easy, people asking for tips and tricks wouldn't be asking!
By the time your done, you should have a good idea on how to start your next melody - and even some ideas for how to use the same techniques to start your next chord progression too.
We're very proud to announce that Reason 9.1 is now available, featuring support for Ableton Link!
Like many of us here in the office I'm in a handful of bands, so when Ableton approached us with integrating Link in Reason I was both professionally and personally intrigued. Making music together is something entirely different from creating by yourself. It's not better or worse, but it's different and incredibly rewarding. Sharing your ideas and inspiring each other will lead you to musical results that never would've happened otherwise. With Link in Reason, it's easier than ever to make music together—regardless of your software of choice.
To update to Reason 9.1, simply launch Reason 9 and download your free update. And if you're on an earlier version or don't own Reason yet, there's never been a better time to get started. It's been really fun working on Reason 9.1 and I'm sure you'll have even more fun making music with it.
Did you watch the epic Reason 9 Sound Bank video? All 9 hours 55 minutes of musical desert automotive action? Good! Because if you did, you could score big in our Reason 9 Road Trip Treasure Hunt!
Treasure Hunt #4 - The Final Quest
Last week we asked you to find the Reason 9 patches used while visiting the Vegas sign and make some music with them. We've had a hard time picking only three winners but we would like to congratulate the following music makers! Congrats! You now have the Rack Extensions in your accounts!
Thank you all for participating! Now go check out all the Treasure Hunt songs right here!
Treasure Hunt #3
It's time to reveal the lucky Parsec winners! First, the answer we were looking for was "the world's biggest thermometer", and we asked you to make some music with the patches heard during the walk to the temperature measuring device. We've enjoyed listening through your Treasure Hunt music and we've chosen these five as our winning favorites! Congratulations! You'll find Parsec in your Propellerhead accounts.
Rules & Conditions
To enter the Reason 9 Road Trip Treasure Hunt, you need to have Reason version 9, since you need the sounds in the Reason 9 sound bank, and you need to be able to drop to Allihoopa. If you don't own Reason 9 yet, you can buy it here or try it out free for 30 days here, and enter the challenge!
The submission period closes on September 12 2016. We will pick three winners and present them on September 13. If you already own one ore more of the prize Rack Extensions, you may still enter the challenge but you won't be able to exchange the ones you already own for other products, nor will you get another copy of that particular device you already own. Propellerhead employees and affiliates may not enter the contest.