Unique and creative underground electronic music loops and samples for modern producers.

Introducing PolyStep Sequencer – A Word from the Product Manager


I’m very happy to announce that PolyStep Sequencer is now available in the Propellerhead Shop. It’s another great co-op project between Propellerhead Software, who did the product design, and Lectric Panda who did the development work.

For years, Reason users have been asking for more sequencing options. Some people simply want a polyphonic upgrade to the Matrix sequencer while others have craved a more musically gifted sequencing companion. At the same time, we are always exploring ways we can help people make music and the idea of a highly adaptable, jam-friendly phrase sequencer is something we’ve been toying with for some time.

And now it’s here! PolyStep Sequencer can be all of the above, depending on what you need at the moment. At heart, it’s a great little step sequencer that lets you record in step time (obviously) that has a ton of interesting features that’ll invite you to try new things with your music. New chord progressions, new chord voicings, new rhythms and anything else you can think of  (or can’t think of).

Somewhat related to what Quad Note Generator can do for your music making, we love these devices that can act like that super sweet band member that listens to your song and says “great, but what if you try a D#13 on that?“, and PolyStep Sequencer can certainly do that.

Another favorite part is the real time transpose from MIDI, meaning you can trigger sequences based on the keys you play on your keyboard. It’s one of those hour-eating features, for sure.

We really hope you’ll enjoy PolyStep Sequencer as much as we’ve enjoyed it while developing it and we can’t wait to hear what music will come out of it.

Lukas Lyrestam
Product Manager

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Tutorial: How to Program Realistic Drums in Reason 10


Start making your own drum beats in Reason!

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MIDI drums give you the freedom and flexibility to program your own performances, but they often lack the realism and authenticity of a live drummer. Samuel Prather is a multi-instrumentalist and producer known for his work with renowned artists like Raul Midon, Fred Yonnet, Hugh Masekela and more. He’s also got a reputation for creating realistic-sounding drum programming in Reason 10. Watch the video below for his step-by-step walk-through of how to program drums that sound like they were recorded in a world-class studio.

Drop a Beat!

Start by dragging an instance of Reason Drum Kits into your rack and selecting a premade groove from Reason’s massive library of loops. Or create your own using your favorite MIDI keyboard. Add a few ghost notes or quiet snare hits in-between the backbeat to create a more interesting rhythm.

Next, separate each track onto it’s own lane. To do this, simply right-click and choose “select notes of the same pitch.” Then, right-click again and choose “move selected notes to new lane.” For added control, move your ghost notes to another snare note lane. This will allow you to manipulate them more easily, while still applying the processing used on the main snare hits.

Feel The Groove

The problem with traditional step sequencers is that they often sound stiff and rigid. Reason Drum Kits makes it incredibly easy to simulate the sound and feel of a live drummer. Simply assign a premade groove to any channel using the groove mixer. Don’t worry—grooves are totally non-destructive, so you can always change them later.

Small timing variations are essential to making MIDI drums sound real. After selecting a groove, open up the Tool window and adjust the timing of each hit. You should also randomize the velocity of each hit, since a real drummer would never strike the same surface twice at exactly the same velocity. These subtle changes all add up to help make your tracks sound more realistic.

A Drummer’s Intuition

After locking in the groove, it’s time to bring your beat to life with small nuances that improve realism. Open up the hi-hat lane and move a few of the notes to different cymbal lanes. Hit a crash cymbal at the very beginning of the loop to add excitement. Use open hi-hat samples just before the downbeat to add movement.

Emulate what a real drummer would do behind the kit. Try voicing changes during different sections. For instance, in the bridge you could try using the bell of the hi-hat for a slightly different tone, or switch to a ride cymbal for a laid-back, jazzy vibe. Add fills and variations as needed to keep things interesting.

Mix It Down

Now that you’ve got a professional-sounding drum performance, it’s time to dial in a drum mix to match. Adjust levels for each individual drum using Reason Drum Kits’ built-in studio-grade mixer, or swap out samples altogether using the intuitive interface. Make the kick thump and the cymbals sparkle with the on-board EQ. Get the snare to crack with the transient shaper. Top it all off with a little harmonic saturation to fatten things up, and you’re good to go!

If you’re looking for realistic drum machine software, Reason Drum Kits has everything you need. Stunning samples. Professional-sounding grooves. Advanced signal processing. And with Samuel Prather’s drum programming tips, you’ll be an unstoppable force of rhythm!


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Reason Compact 2.0: A Product Manager's reflections

After months of testing concepts, designing and implementing, we’ve finally released the first major upgrade to of Reason Compact. We’ve added two new instruments—a drum machine called Rytmik and a bass synthesizer called Monotone.

As you might remember, the first version of Compact was released last year in August. We were happy to see it was picked up by so many and thrilled to hear lots of great tunes made with the app.

We always wanted to have more of a compact version of Reason with more than one synth. However, when we first moved Europa onto iOS, we felt it was too good to not share and made it available right away rather than wait for the other stuff.

As you might guess, reactions were strong and varied. Some Reason users were disappointed that it contained only one synth. New people to Propellerhead and the Reason world gave us lots of love for putting such a great sounding instrument and sketch pad into their hands.

A few of the many design iterations that led up to the new drum machine – Rytmik.

Many users asked for drums. We wanted to build the best drums for iPhone while also enabling users to easily continue in Reason. Unfortunately, due to technical reasons, existing drum machines in Reason couldn’t be used. We contemplated using Umpf but thought it should to be free for those jumping between platforms. So ultimately, we decided to build a completely new drum machine. Our Product Designer Johannes worked hard to make a drum machine that is fun and easy to use for new music makers as well for more seasoned. Try it. I think he got it right.

Now we had Europa synth and Rytmik drum machine. We needed a great bass synth to complement those two instruments—a synth easier to use than Europa, consuming little CPU and of above all great sounding for basslines. We gave Pelle, one of our founders and a downright DSP and sound genius, free reign to concoct such an instrument. Monotone was born. Monotone has quickly become one of our absolute favorite synths for basslines around the office.

Both Monotone and Rytmik are new Rack Extension for Reason Desktop come included free in the Reason 10.4 upgrade release.
Our app should work whenever and wherever you want to create music, so therefore iPhone has always been a priority for us—on the device you always have in your pocket. However, we’ve been surprised by how many iPad users have adopted Reason Compact. Today around 25% of our users use Compact on iPads. We’ have many enhancements in this release to improve their iPad users’ workflow—examples are easier access to more synth parameters and that the sequencer is rotated in landscape mode.

Our dream is that everyone who feels like making music should be able to pick up Compact and just get going.

Happy music making!

Product Manager

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Running Reason Rack Extensions on the web


Here at Propellerhead we are not just passionate about music-making, but also technology in itself. When we originally designed our Rack Extension architecture, we sought to build a plugin system that would decrease the need for maintenance of released software and instead enable companies to focus on better things, like adding features or building new cool products.

I remember literally being in an elevator pitching this technology to a potential Rack Extension developer, saying that if you build a plugin this way, it could potentially run in a web browser in the future without you having to do anything extra. Needless to say, he did not believe me. I admit it, it sounded crazy to outsiders at the time as this was 2012 and web standards and browsers were far from where they are today. But even then we knew there was a big overlap in philosophies between the web and what we were trying to achieve. 

Fast forward to today, and the web has caught up. Naturally, as the tech lovers we are, we couldn’t resist trying to prove we were right in our original assumptions.

Last week I talked at Google I/O, the big Google developer conference in Mountain View, about this. Watch the video above (jump to 33:50) to if you want to see Rack Extensions on the web in action.

One direct example of this technology in use is you being able to run the full Europa synth from our webpage by clicking the “Try it now in your browser” link. Not only can you try Europa before you buy, but if you are bored, you can do sound design from anywhere without having Reason installed and save the patches for later use. Technology at your service 🙂

Magnus Berger

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DeLaurentis: Classical French Touch

As a company that makes musical instruments, we’re always fascinated (not to mention very gratified) when we see an artist totally master something we’ve created. That’s why when the first videos of DeLaurentis’ virtuosic Push performances began appearing online a few years ago, we knew this was an artist to…

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Tutorial: How to Make a Post Malone Type Beat in Reason


Post Malone is a Grammy® Award-winning rapper and producer with over a dozen platinum-certified songs like “White Iverson,” “Better Now” and “rockstar (feat. 21 Savage)”. Known for blending genres like hip-hop, pop, rock and R&B, Post Malone has developed a diverse new sound that people love. In this video tutorial, world-class producer Kato On The Track will show you how to make a Post Malone type beat in Reason 10.

Start With an Inspiring Sample

In order to capture Posty’s genre-bending aesthetic, start the track off with a somber guitar loop in a minor key. You can download the loop Kato uses in the video for free from his website. Use a low-pass filter on the loop and roll off the high-end to remove any harshness. Then, use a short plate reverb to add space, and a short delay to create a slapback effect for added depth.

Next, create an ambient vocal loop using your favorite samples, or download Kato’s Melodies Vol. 1 sample pack for free on his website for a fresh dose of inspiration. Give the vocals an underwater effect by rolling off the highs and adding reverb and delay. This will help push them back in the mix and make room for the lead vocal.

808 Bassline

Now that the guitars and vocals are locked in, it’s time to turn this loop into a full song. Add a bassline using an 808 patch with the NN-XT Advanced Sampler. Use a high-pass filter to remove unwanted sub-bass, and a low-pass filter to maintain a dark, lo-fi sound.

Kong Drum Designer

With the bassline in place, it’s time to drop in that Post Malone beat. Load up Kong Drum Designer and recall your favorite kit. Start by adding a snare on the backbeat. Don’t forget to throw in a few rolls for that signature hip-hop sound.

Next, lay down a hi-hat rhythm using a combination of open and closed cymbal hits—Kato even adds a short tape delay on the open hits to match the open, airy mood of the track. Layer in interesting sound effects like reverse sweeps and alternative snare hits—just be sure to roll off the highs with a low-pass filter and add reverb to maintain the vibe.

Then, add a thick, punchy kick with plenty of compression to control the dynamics. Center your kick in the middle of the mix by turning the stereo width down on the mixer channel. Use a high-pass filter to roll off lows below 30 Hz to make room for the bass, along with a low-pass filter to match the aesthetic of the other instruments.

Grain Sample Manipulator

Finally, it’s time to add a soft pad to emphasize the chords and melody of the track. Load up Grain Sample Manipulator and select the Radio Choir preset as a starting point. Use your favorite compressor to smooth out the dynamics and increase the sustain of the pad.

With all of your textures and instruments in place, the only thing this beat needs is a hot 16 from your boy Stoney. Now that you know how to make Post Malone beats in Reason 10, it’s time for you to show the world you’re a “rockstar.”

Ready to start making your own beats?

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