Tutorials

How to Record Retrowave with Reason 10

Posted June 17, 2018, 2:06 p.m.

With influences ranging from 1970s and '80s film soundtracks to artists like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, and John Carpenter, Retrowave is a genre of driving, synth-based music that has surged in popularity thanks to retro-inspired shows and movies like Stranger Things and Blade Runner 2049. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to record a Retrowave track in Reason 10 using a palette of lush synthesizers, punchy drum machines, and spacey effects.

The foundation of Retrowave starts with a classic arpeggiated synth track. Retrowave relies on the iconic sounds of popular '70s and '80s keyboards—so open up Reason’s browser and try out some analog subtractive synths and early-digital FM devices. Once you've dialed up a patch you like, plug it into the RPG-8 Monophonic Arpeggiator at 80-150 BPM to create the robotic pulse that will form the backbone of your track. Select an Up, Down, or Up+Down pattern and try out some chords until you find the right groove.

Now that you have a solid bassline or chord progression looping on the arpeggiator, take advantage of ReDrum’s authentic drum machine interface to program a simple, minimal and driving beat. Look for an electronic kit with a punchy kick and snare and tunable toms for the occasional tom fill. For a modern, danceable sound, sidechain the kick to one or more synths.

Now we’re ready to flesh out the song by layering sounds and arranging tracks. You can double your chord progression with a lush pad, program a dreamy synth drone with filter-sweeping automation, or add some soaring leads with a portamento synth or live guitar through the “lead” setting on the Softube Amp. To bring a more epic sound to your synth leads, add a healthy dose of delay or chorus.

Once you have the structure of your song laid out, it's time to fine-tune the mix and add a glossy sheen of effects. For an iconic 80’s sound, thicken up your synths with the CF-101 chorus and throw some gated reverb from the RV7000 on the drums. If things are sounding a little robotic, modulating filters with the Synchronous Effects Modulator can give your synths some extra life.  Finally, try the “Tape” or “VHS” settings on the Audiomatic Retro Transformer for an authentic lo-fi filter before rounding everything out with Reason's MClass Mastering Suite.

Now that you know how to record a Retrowave track in Reason 10, it’s time to create your own sci-fi dreamscape! Start your free trial of Reason 10 today.

Crew

Umpf Club Drums – The Future of Beats in Reason

Posted June 13, 2018, 4:56 p.m.

In my mind there’s nothing more exciting in electronic music than the drums. Powerful and driving, understated and rhythmic – there’s a world of possibilities at your fingertips with beats, and with our latest Rack Extension device Umpf Club Drums, we want to get you there as soon as possible. I want to drag beat-making in Reason kicking and screaming into the 21st century, with arguably our most essential update to drum production and specifically electronic music in some time.
 


Parallel compression, dynamic processing and the best drum-hits in the business at the flick of a switch are central to the workflow in Umpf Club Drums, where dialing in a professional-grade beat is quick and easy. Great sounding results and visual feedback with both our dynamic compression display and waveform editors have been designed to highlight creative decisions and quickly get to what’s making your beats pop.

Where Umpf really comes into its own is by allowing you to keep your creating juices flowing without leaving the device. That elusive state of ‘flow’ is a balance of the excitement of creativity, and results which are useable and unique to you. Part of the thinking behind this device is equally balancing those two requirements in a way that makes creating drums in Reason extremely fun.
 


In combination with the Drum Sequencer (which comes free of purchase with Umpf), you can seamlessly tweak your beats and choice of sounds; dynamically tweaking rhythms and sound processing as you go for the perfect blend. Then inject variation and modulation using the mod-matrix for evolving and unpredictable fills and textures. If none of the 750 drum hits float your boat, drop in your own per slot or go wild and drop in any audio sample you desire for a great way to manipulate audio, triggered by both the sequencer and the mod-matrix.
 

"My hope is that this new device will unlock new ways of creating music for you in Reason and providing your tracks with endless groove."

The most important goal behind this device was to get you, the music maker, to a Grade-A sounding result in Reason in as short a time as possible. Focusing on what sounds good, what’s exciting and contemporary, guiding you with 100 default kits and Drum Sequencer patches to mix and match as you wish. My hope is that this new device will unlock new ways of creating music for you in Reason and providing your tracks with endless groove.

Lukas Lyrestam
Product Manager

Tutorials

How to Make Lofi Hip-Hop Beats in Reason 10

Posted June 13, 2018, 9:24 a.m.

Over the last decade, the popularity of “lofi” hip-hop has exploded thanks to producers like Nujabes and J Dilla. Lofi hip-hop is all about soft, introspective instrumentals—and Reason 10 has everything you need to lay down the perfect vibe. In this tutorial, producer MG the Future will show you how to make lofi hip hop beats in Reason 10.

Lofi hip-hop revolves around a chill, relaxed beat with a loose swing—often sampled from vintage funk and soul recordings to retain the human element of the performance. Reason 10 is packed with classic hip-hop and vintage break beat loops to get you started. Just select your favorite sample from the Browser and drag it into the Sequencer window. Adjust the BPM using the tempo controller to dial in the perfect downtempo pace, and use Reason’s built-in time stretching and compression capabilities to sync your sample to a loopable 4 or 8-bar clip.

Chop and screw samples using Dr. Octo Rex to create unique grooves by altering individual beat, or play a fresh new beat by triggering sample slices using Reason’s iconic Kong drum machine. Connect Kong to the built-in Pattern Sequencer or new Drum Sequencer Rack Extension and select from dozens of preset drum patterns for instant inspiration, or create your own patterns using advanced 16-step sequencers.

Reason 10 has a near-limitless supply of sampled keyboards and synthesizers to create rich chords and unique lofi textures. Lay down smooth bass lines, soft synth pads, and simple leads with sampled instruments using ID8 or NN-XT. Experiment with colorful keys in Radical Piano, gentle bells in Klang, or the worldly sounds of Pangea for the perfect multi-cultural aesthetic. Build beautiful, lush chords in seconds by pairing any instrument with Reason’s Scales & Chords—simply select the key of your song and play a single note on your keyboard to create rich, full chords perfect for lofi hip-hop.

It’s not called lofi for nothing, and Reason 10 is loaded with the perfect processors for adding vintage vibe. Use Audiomatic Retro Transformer to instantly add grainy goodness to your tracks. With options like radio, VHS, vinyl and more, Retro Transformer is perfect for adding an instant lofi effect. Top it all off with Scream 4 to add harmonic saturation modeled after tubes, tape and analog circuitry, and you’ve got yourself a certified head-bobber.

Now that you know the basics of how to make lofi beats in Reason 10, it’s time to make the boomin’ and bappin’ happen!
 

Download
   Download MG the Future Lofi Combinator patch!
 

Start your free trial of Reason 10 today

Tutorials

Download Andrew Huang's FREE patches for Europa by Reason

Posted June 5, 2018, 9:26 a.m.

Andrew Huang is a Toronto-based music and video producer with a penchant for working within absurd, self-imposed limitations. 

A versatile and prolific musician, he has released over 2,000 songs in a massive range of genres. He is perhaps best known for the strange feats of musicianship which have earned him over 1.3 million subscribers and 170 million views on his YouTube channel: He has rapped 300 words in a minute, and maybe you know him from his Glorious MIDI unicorn video?

In this video, Andrew tries our latest creation Europa by Reason (VST / AU plugin available for any DAW) and boldly sets out to "turn any sound into a WAY COOLER SOUND". Watch the video to learn more about our new wavetable synthesizer's powerful sonic possibilites and maybe learn a new trick or two?

Andrew also created 20 custom patches for Europa which you can download from the link below and load up in Europa (the patches are already included in the VST / AU version).
 

Download
   Download Andrew Huang's Europa patches!

 

Learn more about Europa by Reason and try it out directly in your browser!

Try Reason for free!

Crew

Europa by Reason VST/AU plugin is here

Posted May 30, 2018, 2:02 p.m.

Today Propellerhead released our first VST/AU. We’ve been doing plugins for six years, and DAW instruments and effects since long before that, so what’s the big deal?

Well, this one works in Ableton Live, Apple Logic, Image Line FL Studio, Presonus Studio One, Cubase and many other DAWs (I hate that word. Can’t we just call them music making apps?!), not just in Reason. What does that mean?

First of all it means that all you loyal Reason users (thank you!) can use one of your favorite synths in any other DAW (naturally) that you also have installed. A free Europa by Reason license just got injected into your user account.

But secondly it means that those of you who have chosen some other music making app as your favorite, now finally can get some Reason goodness into your life. Europa is a killer beast of a synth. It sounds absolutely amazing, it’s mind-blowingly powerful and it’s straight forward to get around. There’s a demo version to try if you don’t believe us, but we really think you’ll find it’s true.

Some of you might wonder if there’s a longer thought behind this release and if it indicates a change in how we think about Reason, how much resources we put into it, if there’s a shift to how we think about updates etc? The answers is no. We can do multiple things at a time. We’ve created this VST/AU. We’re working on a mobile app. And we’re working on Reason just as always, adding features as I write this. Reason stays what it is. We already announced that there will be no paid update this year but we promise to bring you more of what you love anyway, as soon as we are able to.

The other thing you should note is that we also released Europa on the web today. From a futuristic and tech standpoint, that’s actually an even bigger deal than the VST/AU. What you are seeing there is an actual Rack Extension instrument running in a web browser. We didn’t recompile Europa or adapt it to the web to make this work, we made the web adapt to us. This is to a large extent possible thanks to some really exciting efforts by a very smart team at Google. And you can reap the benefits of their and our work right here.

So please enjoy Europa in whatever format you run it in. It really sounds equally amazing and inspiring in all its guises.

Happy music making!
 

Ernst Nathorst-Böös
CEO

 

Get your free trial of Europa by Reason now!

Posted May 30, 2018, 2:02 p.m.