Browsing Tag

Artist stories

Music Talk: Ken Evans on recreating New Order classics in Reason

Ken Evans in the Tycho Central Studio
 

Ken Evans has been creating electronic music in the synth pop genre since 1985. In 1993 he co-founded the Brisbane (Australia) band Tycho Brahe, which has so far released five albums and a number of singles and EPs, has appeared on numerous compilations, and has remixed and produced other artists. Various live lineups of Tycho Brahe based around the core duo of Ken Evans and Georgina Emery have performed with or opened for acts such as The Human League, John Foxx, Real Life, Pseudo Echo, VNV Nation, Covenant and others. Ken established Tycho Sound Design as a separate business in 2017, to provide production services outside of the band framework.

The major project at that time was the construction of new live backing tracks for songs from the New Order albums “Technique” and “Republic” for ex-Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook, for international touring as Peter Hook & The Light. This followed on from similar work for Peter Hook’s previous “Substance” tour. Ken creates brand new versions of all of the sequenced synth and drum machine parts of these classic recordings in Reason, using a combination of Reason instruments and Rack Extensions, VST’s, vintage hardware synths and drum machines, all sequenced, recorded and mixed in Reason.

“my job is to re-create all of those classic synth and drum machine sounds and sequences as accurately as possible”

How did this project come about?

Initially I was a fan of Peter Hook & The Light, but through contact with their keyboard player at the time (Andy Poole), he became aware of my production work for Tycho Brahe and other acts. Around 2015, Andy asked if I could create a new backing track for “Bizarre Love Triangle”. The band were impressed with the quality and accuracy of my work on that, so asked me to redo some of their other backing tracks. They were touring New Order’s “Low Life” and “Brotherhood” albums at the time, so I ended up creating new backing tracks for “The Perfect Kiss” and others, plus some other minor sound design work. By late 2016 they were touring North America on their “Substance” tour, and I was creating new backing tracks whilst they were on the road. I’d send over new tracks, and they’d substitute them in and sort them out at soundcheck for that night’s show.

All up I created new backing tracks for around half of the New Order songs on the Substance tour, in addition to “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “The Perfect Kiss, this included “1963”, “Shellshock”, “Confusion (’87 version)”, “Subculture”, plus some additional sound design and production work on “Blue Monday” and “Hurt”.

Hooky subsequently asked me to do the same for the “Technique” and “Republic” albums, plus all of the associated singles and b-sides from that era. So for his gigs with The Light my job is to re-create all of those classic synth and drum machine sounds and sequences as accurately as possible from the ground up, with only the released versions as a guide. It is very challenging work!
 


Peter Hook & The Light at Royal Albert Hall, London

What was your approach the recreating these legendary sounds in Reason?

A lot of research went in to finding out what equipment New Order was using at the specific time for each album…this from interviews, live footage, plus whatever Hooky might remember, with the idea being to assemble a representative collection of instruments and a “sound palette” for the job. Some of the sounds were obscure but others were very distinct and obvious – 808’s and 909’s, Roland D-50 (which was all over “Technique”), Korg M1 (which was all over “Republic”), EMU Emulator library samples, various Yamaha FM synths etc…it’s a long list. Anything on that list that I didn’t have in the studio as a vintage hardware unit required me to either substitute a similar sounding hardware unit, or more often I would use either a Reason instrument, Rack Extension, or sample libraries sourced for use in Reason’s NN-XT sampler. A lot of the synth sounds where I couldn’t identify the original hardware were very convincingly re-created using either Thor, Subtractor, Malstrom, or sometimes the Korg Polysix or MonoPoly Rack Extensions, and of course effects and processing within Reason played a large part in massaging the sounds to get them right.

After assembling the basic “sound palette”, the first thing to do for each song was to import a stereo file of the studio recording into a Reason session, and map out the tempo and structure. I’d time stretch it in Reason to lock the bpm to a whole number value, straighten out any tempo wobbles, identify any shuffle on the track and match that, mostly using the quantise function in Reason’s Tool Window or sometimes the ReGroove Mixer. That stereo file would then be used as a template and mix reference against which to build a brand new version of the electronic parts of the song from the ground up, keeping the reference file on a single track to enable an A/B comparison on the fly, comparing my new sounds and mix back to the original for accuracy.


The Reason project for “Round & Round” off of New Order’s “Technique” (1989)
 

Typically I’d start with the kick drum, and either source or design a sound to match the original, and then get that into either ReDrum or NN-XT and sequence it to match the arrangement. Then I’d usually move on to other drum and percussion parts, and do the same, then the bass synth, other synth parts, etc, and just keep building it one layer at a time, designing or sourcing sounds one at a time and layering them in, EQ’ing, mixing, adding effects and dynamics processing, etc as required along the way. Each individual sound would usually end up with its own channel on the Reason Mixer for maximum mix and processing flexibility. Sometimes it could take several hours just to get one sound right, other times you’d instantly recognise it as a classic preset from a synth which made things much easier.

After a full reconstruction and mix of the electronic parts of a song were complete, a stereo mix of my recreated version would be sent to the band for feedback, any required adjustments would be incorporated, and then final sign off would come from Hooky. I’d then render sub-mixed stems or separate parts directly out of Reason as separate 24 bit 44k files…one file for the kick drum, one for the bass synth, one for the hi hats, one for the twiddly sequence part etc etc…sometimes this would run to around 30 individual files for one song.
 

https://youtu.be/04MjkaJDmKw
Peter Hook & The Light – The Perfect Kiss (Live)

Keeping all the parts separate enabled the band to further edit the arrangement if required, and to adjust the overall balance and mix for whichever live venue. Martin Rebelski (ex-Doves, current keyboardist with The Light) and Paul Kehoe (drums) could then also choose which parts to play live – these parts being muted or removed from the live playback files. For most of the keyboard parts played live, I supplied Martin with multi-samples of the required sound usually as an NN-XT patch, or sometimes as several NN-XT patches and/or synth patches arranged in a Combinator with keyboard splits and effects etc. The band uses Reason for live keyboards, which made it really simple to supply patches to them sourced from my Reason sessions. Paul was also supplied with many of the distinctive electronic drum and percussion sounds I’d created, exported directly from Reason with processing intact, so those parts could be muted or removed from the backing track files, loaded into his drum hardware and then played live via drum triggers or drum pads where required.

There was an immense focus on getting the electronic parts of these songs sounding as close to the originals as possible, including all of the tiny details with obsessively accurate sound design and sequencing. Some of the more complex songs took up to 60 hours from start to completion, and nothing was regarded as being completed until everyone involved was satisfied.

Overall, I put in more than 1000 hours of work across 20 songs for the Technique/Republic project. Hooky’s response to the work was overwhelmingly positive – that it sounded as good as the original, and of course this was immensely validating and satisfying feedback for me. A few years ago I couldn’t have realistically contemplated a project of this complexity with this degree of sonic accuracy, but it was all completed via Reason in my small studio, Tycho Central. It is an incredible experience for me personally to see the band live, incorporating my backing track work for these classic songs with live drums, guitar, keyboards, vocals, and of course Hooky’s signature bass guitar sound, at a typically sold out gig.

Which Reason instruments or Rack Extension play the biggest role in this project?

Every session used multiple instances of NN-XT, ReDrum, Subtractor, and the PX7 Rack Extension in particular, but through the course of the entire project I probably used almost everything on hand at one point or another…it was whatever would get the job done best. The NN-XT sampler was often used to fly in stock Emulator II library samples that I’d converted to wav format, or in some cases I’d sample one of my hardware synths to manipulate the sample further. I love the NN-XT as its architecture is very similar to my old Ensoniq hardware samplers which I used through the ’90s and ’00s, but there’s a massive amount of flexibility and sample editing capability in NN-XT, plus the ability to drag and drop samples from the browser made auditioning samples very fast and simple.

For a lot of the drum machine sounds including 808’s and 909’s I used samples loaded into ReDrum, or if it was an older analogue machine with some wobble to it I used multi-samples in NN-XT in “round robin” mode, with “alt” selected for the sample group, to get that subtle variation between hits. Propellerhead’s PX7 was used on many of the bass synth parts for this project… often I would layer two PX7’s each with different but complimenting bass sounds to fatten things up. For pads and strings often I’d layer a PX7 with my hardware D-50 or my hardware Emax sampler – I’d sequence the hardware synth from Reason using External MIDI Instrument, and record the hardware unit’s audio into Reason, and then route the software instrument and hardware synth’s recorded audio to a new output bus in the Reason Mixer for combined processing, EQ, effects etc to glue the layered sound together.

Subtractor got a lot of use for the rapid monophonic sequences, and Thor got a lot of use too, for example the big sawtooth synth chord sound on “World (The Price of Love)” is all Thor, which I was then able to supply as a patch to Martin to play live. All of the mixing was done in the box in Reason, using the mixer’s EQ and channel compression… the RV7000 MkII Reverb, The Echo, and Scream 4 Distortion were all used a lot… Sometimes for a bit of colour I would run sounds through the BV512 Digital Vocoder, just using it as an EQ. The Alligator Filter Gate was also used a lot just for its filter section for a bit of colour, although the gating was used extensively on some songs like “Mr Disco”, where the entire mix is gated through it at one point. Reason’s MClass Equalizer, Compressor and Maximizer were used heavily, also Softube’s Saturation Knob to warm things up a bit, the Jiggery Pokery Chenille BBD Chorus Ensemble, FXpansion’s DCAM EnvShaper, Synapse DR-1 Deep Reverb, and many others… it’s a very long list.

Reason’s External MIDI Instrument was crucial – this enabled me to very easily integrate various hardware units into a session, such as my Prophet 5, D-50, Juno-106, Emax sampler, etc and via a MIDI to CV/Gate converter my vintage Minimoog, SH-101 etc. The clock out let me sync various other units like my Oberheim DMX, Yamaha RX-5, LinnDrum, etc and my TB-303 which was clocked via a MIDI to DIN sync converter. The ability of Reason to be able to run VSTs as well really saved the day when it came to recreating parts of the Republic album, specifically via a VST version of the Korg M1.

Overall, what made this project feasible for me was Reason’s ability to bring everything in the room together onto a single platform to get the job done – Reason instruments, Rack Extensions, MIDI sequencing, clocking, and recording of vintage hardware, plus VST’s, plus the ability to import or resample a mixture of audio file formats of differing sample rates etc for further processing in NN-XT and ReDrum, mixing it all “in the box” with full session recall, and then rendering the final files for live playback, plus exporting of live synth/sample patches and drum samples.

What was the hardest part for you in recreating these classic tracks, and how did you overcome it?

There were two major difficulties, the first being the very challenging reverse engineering of the original recordings. “Republic” in particular was sonically a very dense record, and it was an intense process trying to identify and work out all of the separate parts to re-create them. Some of the rapid complex sequences would require grabbing a section of the original, and time stretching it out or slowing it down to try to identify and map out what was actually going on, sometimes using EQ to help isolate a part for clearer listening, or other tricks like phase inverting a copy of the file against itself to reveal hidden details via phase cancellation…there were many, many hours of intense listening involved. Sometimes if something was really uncertain I’d consult with a band member for their opinion or discussion on a sound, a chord voicing, or some complex part.

The second main difficulty was the sound design… often it was an educated guess as to which synth made which sound, and then you’d just try and build the sound using that synth or a representation of it, either from scratch or using a preset as a starting point. Some sounds were simple, or would be an obvious unaltered preset – for example the “Fantasia” patch from the Roland D-50 which is on several songs on “Technique”… but often you would dead-end with the sound design and have to go back to the drawing board and try a completely new and different approach; this sometimes got very frustrating. Some samples had to be re-created from scratch, for example there’s a sample of me in an NN-XT going “pah pah, pah-pah-pah!” on “Fine Time” to re-create Bernard Sumner’s vocal sample. I got my three sons in so we could re-create the “playing for England – En-Ger-Land!” football team vocal parts for “World In Motion” – all recorded in Reason with multiple passes using slightly different voices and accents for each pass to make 4 voices sound like 20.

At times the complexity of the task seemed overwhelming or impossible, especially with the deadline of that first sold out gig looming…I had a little post-it note stuck to the bottom of my monitor on which I’d written, “You will always find a way through – eventually!”, but overall it just came down to some very intense listening, patience, some creative solutions and a very disciplined work ethic.

Do you/Peter Hook also use Reason on stage playing these songs?

The live keyboard parts for Peter Hook & The Light are played from Reason, either as multi-samples of various processed synths or Reason instruments, or as Reason synth patches or Combinators. Personally I’ve been using Reason live on stage with Tycho Brahe for many years, often at the centre of a 4 piece band – running playback sequences and sound files, supporting anything up to three controller keyboards, a full MIDI drum kit, and MIDI percussion pad all at the same time running from one computer with a multiple output audio interface. That rig replaced most of what we used to take out in the old days – multiple hardware samplers, digital playback machines, drum modules, etc – and we’ve used basically the same Reason-based live rig flawlessly for some major gigs, such as opening for The Human League in Sydney and Melbourne in 2009.

I originally started using Reason way back in 2005 as a rationalised solution for our live shows – it still serves that purpose but these days it is also at the centre of all my recording and production work.

For more info on Tycho Brahe and Tycho Sound Design:
www.tycho.com.au
www.facebook.com/tychobraheband

For more info on Peter Hook & The Light:
www.peterhookandthelight.live
www.facebook.com/peterhookandthelight

Read more here

Music Talk: Ken Evans on recreating New Order albums for Peter Hook & The Light

Ken Evans in the Tycho Central Studio
 

Ken Evans has been creating electronic music in the synth pop genre since 1985. In 1993 he co-founded the Brisbane (Australia) band Tycho Brahe, which has so far released five albums and a number of singles and EPs, has appeared on numerous compilations, and has remixed and produced other artists. Various live lineups of Tycho Brahe based around the core duo of Ken Evans and Georgina Emery have performed with or opened for acts such as The Human League, John Foxx, Real Life, Pseudo Echo, VNV Nation, Covenant and others. Ken established Tycho Sound Design as a separate business in 2017, to provide production services outside of the band framework.

The major project at that time was the construction of new live backing tracks for songs from the New Order albums “Technique” and “Republic” for ex-Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook, for international touring as Peter Hook & The Light. This followed on from similar work for Peter Hook’s previous “Substance” tour. Ken creates brand new versions of all of the sequenced synth and drum machine parts of these classic recordings in Reason, using a combination of Reason instruments and Rack Extensions, VST’s, vintage hardware synths and drum machines, all sequenced, recorded and mixed in Reason.

“my job is to re-create all of those classic synth and drum machine sounds and sequences as accurately as possible”

How did this project come about?

Initially I was a fan of Peter Hook & The Light, but through contact with their keyboard player at the time (Andy Poole), he became aware of my production work for Tycho Brahe and other acts. Around 2015, Andy asked if I could create a new backing track for “Bizarre Love Triangle”. The band were impressed with the quality and accuracy of my work on that, so asked me to redo some of their other backing tracks. They were touring New Order’s “Low Life” and “Brotherhood” albums at the time, so I ended up creating new backing tracks for “The Perfect Kiss” and others, plus some other minor sound design work. By late 2016 they were touring North America on their “Substance” tour, and I was creating new backing tracks whilst they were on the road. I’d send over new tracks, and they’d substitute them in and sort them out at soundcheck for that night’s show.

All up I created new backing tracks for around half of the New Order songs on the Substance tour, in addition to “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “The Perfect Kiss, this included “1963”, “Shellshock”, “Confusion (’87 version)”, “Subculture”, plus some additional sound design and production work on “Blue Monday” and “Hurt”.

Hooky subsequently asked me to do the same for the “Technique” and “Republic” albums, plus all of the associated singles and b-sides from that era. So for his gigs with The Light my job is to re-create all of those classic synth and drum machine sounds and sequences as accurately as possible from the ground up, with only the released versions as a guide. It is very challenging work!
 


Peter Hook & The Light at The Albert Hall, Manchester

What was your approach the recreating these legendary sounds in Reason?

A lot of research went in to finding out what equipment New Order was using at the specific time for each album…this from interviews, live footage, plus whatever Hooky might remember, with the idea being to assemble a representative collection of instruments and a “sound palette” for the job. Some of the sounds were obscure but others were very distinct and obvious – 808’s and 909’s, Roland D-50 (which was all over “Technique”), Korg M1 (which was all over “Republic”), EMU Emulator library samples, various Yamaha FM synths etc…it’s a long list. Anything on that list that I didn’t have in the studio as a vintage hardware unit required me to either substitute a similar sounding hardware unit, or more often I would use either a Reason instrument, Rack Extension, or sample libraries sourced for use in Reason’s NN-XT sampler. A lot of the synth sounds where I couldn’t identify the original hardware were very convincingly re-created using either Thor, Subtractor, Malstrom, or sometimes the Korg Polysix or MonoPoly Rack Extensions, and of course effects and processing within Reason played a large part in massaging the sounds to get them right.

After assembling the basic “sound palette”, the first thing to do for each song was to import a stereo file of the studio recording into a Reason session, and map out the tempo and structure. I’d time stretch it in Reason to lock the bpm to a whole number value, straighten out any tempo wobbles, identify any shuffle on the track and match that, mostly using the quantise function in Reason’s Tool Window or sometimes the ReGroove Mixer. That stereo file would then be used as a template and mix reference against which to build a brand new version of the electronic parts of the song from the ground up, keeping the reference file on a single track to enable an A/B comparison on the fly, comparing my new sounds and mix back to the original for accuracy.


The Reason project for “Round & Round” off of New Order’s “Technique” (1989)
 

Typically I’d start with the kick drum, and either source or design a sound to match the original, and then get that into either ReDrum or NN-XT and sequence it to match the arrangement. Then I’d usually move on to other drum and percussion parts, and do the same, then the bass synth, other synth parts, etc, and just keep building it one layer at a time, designing or sourcing sounds one at a time and layering them in, EQ’ing, mixing, adding effects and dynamics processing, etc as required along the way. Each individual sound would usually end up with its own channel on the Reason Mixer for maximum mix and processing flexibility. Sometimes it could take several hours just to get one sound right, other times you’d instantly recognise it as a classic preset from a synth which made things much easier.

After a full reconstruction and mix of the electronic parts of a song were complete, a stereo mix of my recreated version would be sent to the band for feedback, any required adjustments would be incorporated, and then final sign off would come from Hooky. I’d then render sub-mixed stems or separate parts directly out of Reason as separate 24 bit 44k files…one file for the kick drum, one for the bass synth, one for the hi hats, one for the twiddly sequence part etc etc…sometimes this would run to around 30 individual files for one song.
 

https://youtu.be/04MjkaJDmKw
Peter Hook & The Light – The Perfect Kiss (Live)

Keeping all the parts separate enabled the band to further edit the arrangement if required, and to adjust the overall balance and mix for whichever live venue. Martin Rebelski (ex-Doves, current keyboardist with The Light) and Paul Kehoe (drums) could then also choose which parts to play live – these parts being muted or removed from the live playback files. For most of the keyboard parts played live, I supplied Martin with multi-samples of the required sound usually as an NN-XT patch, or sometimes as several NN-XT patches and/or synth patches arranged in a Combinator with keyboard splits and effects etc. The band uses Reason for live keyboards, which made it really simple to supply patches to them sourced from my Reason sessions. Paul was also supplied with many of the distinctive electronic drum and percussion sounds I’d created, exported directly from Reason with processing intact, so those parts could be muted or removed from the backing track files, loaded into his drum hardware and then played live via drum triggers or drum pads where required.

There was an immense focus on getting the electronic parts of these songs sounding as close to the originals as possible, including all of the tiny details with obsessively accurate sound design and sequencing. Some of the more complex songs took up to 60 hours from start to completion, and nothing was regarded as being completed until everyone involved was satisfied.

Overall, I put in more than 1000 hours of work across 20 songs for the Technique/Republic project. Hooky’s response to the work was overwhelmingly positive – that it sounded as good as the original, and of course this was immensely validating and satisfying feedback for me. A few years ago I couldn’t have realistically contemplated a project of this complexity with this degree of sonic accuracy, but it was all completed via Reason in my small studio, Tycho Central. It is an incredible experience for me personally to see the band live, incorporating my backing track work for these classic songs with live drums, guitar, keyboards, vocals, and of course Hooky’s signature bass guitar sound, at a typically sold out gig.

Which Reason instruments or Rack Extension play the biggest role in this project?

Every session used multiple instances of NN-XT, ReDrum, Subtractor, and the PX7 Rack Extension in particular, but through the course of the entire project I probably used almost everything on hand at one point or another…it was whatever would get the job done best. The NN-XT sampler was often used to fly in stock Emulator II library samples that I’d converted to wav format, or in some cases I’d sample one of my hardware synths to manipulate the sample further. I love the NN-XT as its architecture is very similar to my old Ensoniq hardware samplers which I used through the ’90s and ’00s, but there’s a massive amount of flexibility and sample editing capability in NN-XT, plus the ability to drag and drop samples from the browser made auditioning samples very fast and simple.

For a lot of the drum machine sounds including 808’s and 909’s I used samples loaded into ReDrum, or if it was an older analogue machine with some wobble to it I used multi-samples in NN-XT in “round robin” mode, with “alt” selected for the sample group, to get that subtle variation between hits. Propellerhead’s PX7 was used on many of the bass synth parts for this project… often I would layer two PX7’s each with different but complimenting bass sounds to fatten things up. For pads and strings often I’d layer a PX7 with my hardware D-50 or my hardware Emax sampler – I’d sequence the hardware synth from Reason using External MIDI Instrument, and record the hardware unit’s audio into Reason, and then route the software instrument and hardware synth’s recorded audio to a new output bus in the Reason Mixer for combined processing, EQ, effects etc to glue the layered sound together.

Subtractor got a lot of use for the rapid monophonic sequences, and Thor got a lot of use too, for example the big sawtooth synth chord sound on “World (The Price of Love)” is all Thor, which I was then able to supply as a patch to Martin to play live. All of the mixing was done in the box in Reason, using the mixer’s EQ and channel compression… the RV7000 MkII Reverb, The Echo, and Scream 4 Distortion were all used a lot… Sometimes for a bit of colour I would run sounds through the BV512 Digital Vocoder, just using it as an EQ. The Alligator Filter Gate was also used a lot just for its filter section for a bit of colour, although the gating was used extensively on some songs like “Mr Disco”, where the entire mix is gated through it at one point. Reason’s MClass Equalizer, Compressor and Maximizer were used heavily, also Softube’s Saturation Knob to warm things up a bit, the Jiggery Pokery Chenille BBD Chorus Ensemble, FXpansion’s DCAM EnvShaper, Synapse DR-1 Deep Reverb, and many others… it’s a very long list.

Reason’s External MIDI Instrument was crucial – this enabled me to very easily integrate various hardware units into a session, such as my Prophet 5, D-50, Juno-106, Emax sampler, etc and via a MIDI to CV/Gate converter my vintage Minimoog, SH-101 etc. The clock out let me sync various other units like my Oberheim DMX, Yamaha RX-5, LinnDrum, etc and my TB-303 which was clocked via a MIDI to DIN sync converter. The ability of Reason to be able to run VSTs as well really saved the day when it came to recreating parts of the Republic album, specifically via a VST version of the Korg M1.

Overall, what made this project feasible for me was Reason’s ability to bring everything in the room together onto a single platform to get the job done – Reason instruments, Rack Extensions, MIDI sequencing, clocking, and recording of vintage hardware, plus VST’s, plus the ability to import or resample a mixture of audio file formats of differing sample rates etc for further processing in NN-XT and ReDrum, mixing it all “in the box” with full session recall, and then rendering the final files for live playback, plus exporting of live synth/sample patches and drum samples.

What was the hardest part for you in recreating these classic tracks, and how did you overcome it?

There were two major difficulties, the first being the very challenging reverse engineering of the original recordings. “Republic” in particular was sonically a very dense record, and it was an intense process trying to identify and work out all of the separate parts to re-create them. Some of the rapid complex sequences would require grabbing a section of the original, and time stretching it out or slowing it down to try to identify and map out what was actually going on, sometimes using EQ to help isolate a part for clearer listening, or other tricks like phase inverting a copy of the file against itself to reveal hidden details via phase cancellation…there were many, many hours of intense listening involved. Sometimes if something was really uncertain I’d consult with a band member for their opinion or discussion on a sound, a chord voicing, or some complex part.

The second main difficulty was the sound design… often it was an educated guess as to which synth made which sound, and then you’d just try and build the sound using that synth or a representation of it, either from scratch or using a preset as a starting point. Some sounds were simple, or would be an obvious unaltered preset – for example the “Fantasia” patch from the Roland D-50 which is on several songs on “Technique”… but often you would dead-end with the sound design and have to go back to the drawing board and try a completely new and different approach; this sometimes got very frustrating. Some samples had to be re-created from scratch, for example there’s a sample of me in an NN-XT going “pah pah, pah-pah-pah!” on “Fine Time” to re-create Bernard Sumner’s vocal sample. I got my three sons in so we could re-create the “playing for England – En-Ger-Land!” football team vocal parts for “World In Motion” – all recorded in Reason with multiple passes using slightly different voices and accents for each pass to make 4 voices sound like 20.

At times the complexity of the task seemed overwhelming or impossible, especially with the deadline of that first sold out gig looming…I had a little post-it note stuck to the bottom of my monitor on which I’d written, “You will always find a way through – eventually!”, but overall it just came down to some very intense listening, patience, some creative solutions and a very disciplined work ethic.

Do you/Peter Hook also use Reason on stage playing these songs?

The live keyboard parts for Peter Hook & The Light are played from Reason, either as multi-samples of various processed synths or Reason instruments, or as Reason synth patches or Combinators. Personally I’ve been using Reason live on stage with Tycho Brahe for many years, often at the centre of a 4 piece band – running playback sequences and sound files, supporting anything up to three controller keyboards, a full MIDI drum kit, and MIDI percussion pad all at the same time running from one computer with a multiple output audio interface. That rig replaced most of what we used to take out in the old days – multiple hardware samplers, digital playback machines, drum modules, etc – and we’ve used basically the same Reason-based live rig flawlessly for some major gigs, such as opening for The Human League in Sydney and Melbourne in 2009.

I originally started using Reason way back in 2005 as a rationalised solution for our live shows – it still serves that purpose but these days it is also at the centre of all my recording and production work.

For more info on Tycho Brahe and Tycho Sound Design:
www.tycho.com.au
www.facebook.com/tychobraheband

For more info on Peter Hook & The Light:
www.peterhookandthelight.live
www.facebook.com/peterhookandthelight

Read more here

Artist Feature: Tobtok

Swedish rising star producer Tobtok a.k.a. Tobias Karlsson has teamed up with his Uppsala native producer colleage Oliver Nelson to release their new single ‘Yellow’ on February 22, featuring lead vocalist Liv Dawson. We are happy to present the opportunity for you to enter a Spotify pre-save campaign for a chance to win a brand new copy of Reason 10 – the music making software choice of Tokbok. We got the chance to speak with Tobtok during his hectic release schedule about how he approaches music making and producing in Reason.

How did the collaboration between you and Oliver come about? What does your songwriting process look like?

We have worked on a bunch of collabs now over the years, and ever since we first got together in 2013 we’ve worked very closely together and been involved in each others careers ever since! I’ve always been working in Reason since I first started with music-production in 2009 (celebrating 10 years with Reason!), and Oliver has always worked in Ableton, so we’ve had to combine the two over the years.

We have a few different ways of working. Sometimes we sit together throughout the whole process as we live literally 1 minutes from each other which is quite convenient, but we also often swap stems and work of different elements of the song. For example, in “Yellow” Oliver was more in charge of the drums while I worked more on the Instruments, and then we did the final mixdown in Reason!

I think that the fact that a lot of the big elements in the song is Reason-made sounds make it stands out and doesn’t sound like everything else out there.
 

How did you write ‘Yellow’? What was the creative process? 

We actually got a demo sent to us from the hugely talented Madfun and M-22 who originally wrote it. Everyone in our camp thought that it was special and had an interesting theme that we wanted to explore. Me and Oliver put our spin to it and made it to what it is today!

What’s your favorite thing about Reason?

There is so many things I love about Reason, but if I have to pick one it’s how great and easy the interface is. I’ve tried out pretty much every DAW out there and I found myself being most comfortable in Reason, because it’s just not overly complicated, it’s almost like playing with Lego! I also like that there’s a bunch of really handy tools incorporated into the program, for example the Vocal Pitch Edit mode is so handy and much better than other programs that you can tune vocals in etc. also the main mixer is top notch!
 

“The number 1 rule in Reason is to always put everything in combinators!”

Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?

The number 1 rule in Reason is to always put everything in combinators! I see a lot of people who ignore this, and it does my head in! It’s so easy and makes the whole project more tidy, and most of all it’s very efficient when you want to save the sound you’ve made rather than saving all patches or presets individually.

The three most used devices in your Reason rack?

At the moment it’s Radical Piano, Parsec 2 and Audiomatic Retro Transformer.

What are your tips for new producers wanting to start out making music?

Have fun with it, always strive to improve your sound design and watch tutorials on how to mix properly, because a nice piece of music can get ruined with a bad production. I’ve learned a whole lot watching Reason’s tutorial clips on your website over the years hehe. 
 

Download
     Download Combinator patches used in ‘Yellow’

Tobtok was kind enough to share three of his custom Combinator patches used in the single ‘Yellow’. Click above to download them! Please note that the patches require Parsec 2 and Fab Filter Q2.

 

Read more here

Artist Feature: Phonix Beats

Darius Barnes, professionally known as Phonix Beats (or simply Phonix), is an American record producer and songwriter from Los Angeles, CA. Following the footsteps of his father, (established musician/producer John Barnes, who worked extensively with Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, and Bill Withers, amongst many others) Darius began a career in music production and became known for his successful recordings with artists such as J. Cole, 50 Cent, Bryson Tiller, Fabolous, Trey Songz, and many others.

How did you start out making music? How did it all begin?

I was born into a musical family, so music was apart of my life from the very start. I began playing drums and singing at an early age. My parents always had a studio so I learned how to use vintage equipment, tape machines (reel to reel), patch bay etc.
I began playing around with my fathers LINN 9000 drum machine around 11 years old and my brothers MPC 2000xl around 13. I always wanted to produce music but being so young it wasn’t like it is today where you can just plug up and play – it was way more involved. Around 16 years old my fathers friend came over the studio (Inner Sound Studios) and had the very first version of Reason. He showed me how to use it and I was hooked immediately. I loved how I didn’t need outboard gear to make music and the stock sounds (Reason Sound Bank) where absolutely amazing. 18 years later me and Reason have grown to new heights. I am now a Grammy nominated producer and the CEO of a new recording label “FANKLUB ENT.”. Who would’ve known it all started with Reason.

When you load up a brand new Reason song, what’s the very first thing you do?

It depends on the situation. On one hand I will open up a Redrum and begin constructing a solid drum pattern that I know I’ll for sure want to use and further produce. On the other hand, I will go through melodies, sounds, and or samples. I like to use the NN-XT for my loops/ samples because for me it’s more complex than the NN-19. Once I have the melodies locked in place I create the foundation for the composition (Drums).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd1wEy1j9No

What are your tips for new producers wanting to start out making music?

Have fun at all times and DO IT EVERYDAY !!!! You have to work hard to master your craft but it’s worth it. You will create your own musical identity that will be exclusive to only you. Kinda like a finger print.

Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?

I love to use the Combinator to create new sounds from scratch. It can be strenuous if you’re not a patient person. I will spend days, even weeks just solely creating new sounds, in search of new musically creative discoveries. Some I can make on the fly, some take a slower process.

How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity?

Anything can spark my creativity, honestly. I can be walking down a street and a sound from a passing truck with a chain hanging off the back can trigger a whole beat in my head instantly. I am never unplugged from the world so because of that anything from nature, random sounds, other music, TV or video games can cause me to jump on my computer and make music.

What do you do when inspiration just isn’t there? How do you tackle writer’s block?

I used to just push myself through, no matter how frustrating it would get. That ultimately wasn’t good for me because I would feel more empty trying to force music and it would show in my work. Nowadays, I do things like step away from music completely. I’ll read, travel, meditate, cook etc. There are so many aspects of life that you miss just sitting in the chair cranking out music like a factory machine. You must enjoy other parts of life because it plays a vital role in your musical development. music is a life path and music is free-spirited at heart. We must strive to be that as well, to make timeless music.

What are your best tips for producers and beat makers wanting to get into the business?

Always make sure you finish your product. Always have a strong mix not matter how tough it is to get it done. Find an artist / writer that compliments your sound. Work diligently to create your sound with him/her. If you’re doing placements. study the artist and understand their sound so that you are familiar with their capabilities.

ALWAYS HAVE FUN !!!! Because it reflects in your music.

Follow Phonix Beats on Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud.

 

Start making your own beats with Reason!

download reason for free

Read more here

Artist Feature: Gabriel Gassi

Gabriel kick-started his passion for urban/R&B and pop productions with a lego-like building music program at the age of 10, alongside playing drums to quench his other thirst as a youngster in rock and punk bands. A ‘chameleon’ is an apt description for this multi-skilled music maker, citing influences as diverse as Lil Durk, Justin Bieber and Tory Lanez. Gabriel spent years studying, shape shifting and translating the sounds from his vivid imagination, across a myriad of genres, to live instruments and remixes for outside successful Swedish performers, bringing out their inner artist and winning respected acclaim for his work.

Gabriel’s new single Rosebud explores a seductive mix of minimalism, feel-good frequencies, hooky, monotone vocals and wistful lyrics. Here’s Gabriel’s thoughts on Rosebud:
 

“I wrote this song during a time when I didn’t have a lot of money. I escaped into the world of video games, finding cheat codes to at least make my virtual life more extra.”

With his armour of strong songs, production and live stage skill set, Gabriel Gassi is set to make waves on a whole new level in the future. We got a chance to talk to Gabriel before he’s out making those waves, about his use of Reason and approach to music-making.
 

Congratulations on your new single release! Lots of Reason users have had the chance to dissect it already since it’s included as a demo song in Reason Lite. Any big differences comparing the Reason demo song to the released single version?

Nothing major, the essential parts from the song are still there! A few adjustments in terms of, like, changing some drum sounds in the new version.

How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity?

To get started I click File > New in Reason and everything that happens after that is beyond my control! Just kidding – but seriously, getting started with a new song and what sparks my creativity vary a lot, for better or worse. It often depends on what state I’m in; if I’m happy or sad, if I have homework or if my cat wants to cuddle or not. When I’m happy, the source for inspiration can be literally anything from a movie soundtrack to a dog on the street happening to bark in a specific note that perfectly fits the chords I’m playing on my keyboard. When I’m low I tend to focus on, and thus get my inspiration from, self-lived events such as breakups or being broke. I wrote ’Rosebud’ during a time when I had literally no money.

What’s the best music-making tip you ever got?

Work minimalistic, clean up unnessesary sounds and give extra love to the elements that really play important parts in your song!

How did you start out making music? How did it all begin?

It all began with an easter egg hunt. As every year in my and my little brother’s childhood, we searched high and low for candy-stuffed easter eggs, hid by our parents.

This year when I was ten, instead of candy in my easter egg I got this music program called Hip Hop eJay, where you built your own songs out of loops. It was a little bit like building with LEGO bricks. Few years later I got Reason, in which I could advance my beat making to a more unique level. To this day I still make my music in Reason. And I still use loops a lot.

What are your tips for new producers wanting to start out making music?

If you have never produced before and you want to start out making music, don’t be afraid to dive right into your music-making program on your own terms, rather than learning from tutorials made by others. I’m not saying tutorials aren’t the way to learn how to produce – they can be great for learning tricks that otherwise maybe wouldn’t have come to our attention – I’m just saying that if you are open to in your own way, in your own tempo and with your own preferences explore this music program you’re about to work with, I think the chances for you to really develop a unique producer ID will increase.

Favorite thing about Reason?

That it always moves forward without changing its past. When I started out with Reason it had no proper audio handling and was based on midi and sampling. Today Reason has both audio editing and VST plugin support– and my old favorite samplers NN–XT and Dr. Rex are still there! As an artist striving to create modern pop music with a feel of nostalgia to it – juggling between today’s and yesterday’s tools and sounds is just what I need in my music-making.

What’s happening next for you?

I’m finishing up some more demos – and maybe it’s time for an EP or a debut album? Don’t really wanna give away too much right now but will have some real bangers for you soon! Or maybe just a bunch of selfies.

Favorite music right now?

Everything from PC Music.

Follow Gabriel on Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud.
 

Listen to the new single Rosebud:

Read more here

Artist Feature: Iglooghost

Irish producer Seamus Malliagh makes electronic music under the moniker Iglooghost. Signed to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label at the mere age of 18, he released his first Chinese Nü Yr EP in 2015. Following that with his debut album Neō Wax Bloom in 2017. Iglooghost now picks up the storyline from the debut album with a setting that takes place 3000 years prior to the events occuring in Neō Wax Bloom. We caught up with Iglooghost to talk a bit about his music making and what role Reason plays in that.

You recently released two new EPs, “Clear Tamei” and “Steel Mogu”. Congratulations to that, they sound great! Could you tell us a bit about the process that went into creating those?

It was fun! I made it because I was still really excited from making Neō Wax Bloom and I wanted to tie up a few loose ends I felt needed addressing in the storyline, and also because I wanted to have a tiny bit more fun with a similar sound pallet before moving on with the next big project.

https://youtu.be/eWku6kzJA80

How did you start out making music? How did it all begin?

I always used to make fake album covers and packaging and characters and tracklists when I was younger but didn’t know how to make music. All that stuff came way before I figured out how to do things on a computer. I had real bad dyspraxia as a kid so I could never figure out how to play drums or guitar or anything no matter how hard I tried hahaha.

How do you get started with a new song? Do you always start with the beat? Or does melodies and progressions come first?

It changes. I always imagine it in my head before I make it so I usually start creating it with the most prevelant sound in my head.
 

“Make the stuff you are annoyed doesn’t exist yet!”

What are your tips for new producers wanting to start out making music?

I say this a lot but it’s just because I wish someone told me this when I was like 14. Make the stuff you are annoyed doesn’t exist yet! You ever spend tons of time lurking YouTube and 4chan for some really specific dream combination of sounds that you invented in your head? Just make it yourself if you can’t find it! Make your weird math-rock/memphis cassette trap/prepared dulcimer/chamber choir hybrid thing that’s only existent in your brain.

Favorite thing about Reason?

I love how easy it is to manipulate audio files! I stretch stuff so much using the alt key and then hit quantize to turn it into a weird groove. It works so quick and I always find something really unexpected inside things I’ve dragged in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blABlrysdeQ

Name three of your favorite artists!

It always changes but right now I’ve been listening to a lot of Kelly Moran, Nico Muhly, and Bhad Bhabie.

Follow Iglooghost on Instagram, Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook.

Photo by Daisy Emily Warne

Read more here

Artist Feature: Tora

Tora is a four-piece electronic band born in Byron Bay, Australia. The group formed in 2013, fusing plush, layered production and instrumentation with graceful vocals. Their soulful electronic music has had them compared to seminal artists such as Radiohead and James Blake. Tora has been busy touring and making a name for themselves at venues and festivals such as Glastonbury, Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass, The Great Escape UK and Canadian Music Week.

We sat down to speak with vocalist and guitar player Jo Loewenthal about their workflow in Reason both in the studio and on tour.

 

 
What’s your favorite addition in Reason 10? 
I love Europa, that thing is such a beast, it’s got everything that I wished Thor had!
 
How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity? 
Usually I just sit down, load up an instrument and just play the first thing that comes to my head. I find if I don’t think about it and just roll with the first ideas, and keep following that path I usually end up with something I like. Once I’ve written some parts on a couple of instruments, I tweak the sounds to be the way I can imagine them to be in my head. I find that the times when I go in trying to create a particular vibe, it restricts me and prevents me from discovering new things, so I like to approach it all freely and just listen to my subconscious ideas as they pass through my mind.
 
What’s the best music making tip you ever got?
When something isn’t impacting like you want it to, try muting some layers, it creates space and helps you realise what is clashing or what isn’t working. Also make sure that every layer sounds nice on it’s own.
 
“try muting some layers, it creates space”
 
Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?
I try not to use the same tricks in everything, to avoid sounding the same always, but I do love sidechaining long reverbs to give the whole track a pulsing vibe. I’ll make a parallel of an instrument or vocal part, then put a long reverb in the rack on that channel and set it to fully wet, then have a compressor after it and have a kick pattern routed into the side chain on the compressor. You can mix it in as loud or soft as you like, I usually keep it quite subtle but I find it adds a lot to the track when used in the right way.
 
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
  • Pulveriser is easily my most used device, I use it on almost everything.
  • Audiomatic Retro Transformer is also something I use a lot, especially on synths.
  • NN-XT is the most used instrument for me, I often sample my own sounds and put them into the NN-XT, I just love how much control it gives you.
     
Jo in the Propellerhead Studio in Stockholm.
What do you do when inspiration just isn’t there?
Well that’s very rare, but it can happen. Usually I’ll go for a walk, or do something physical and completely unrelated to music to clear my head, then come back to the studio and listen to some music I’ve never heard before, also some of my favourite artists to get perspective. Usually by that point I’ll be ready to make music, but if not then I guess I’d just come back tomorrow, but I don’t think that’s ever happened.
 
“what am I listening to? This guy is twisted”. I thought it was terrible”
 
What’s your all-time favorite album?
This question is impossible to answer, because I have too many faves. But there’s one album that really changed my perspective on music. I remember the first day I heard it I thought to myself: “what am I listening to? This guy is twisted”. I thought it was terrible. But came back to it a couple of weeks later and suddenly I understood it and from that day on I had a completely different outlook on music. For me, this album is the most original and inventive piece of work I’ve ever heard, I don’t know how he imagined it up.
 
James Blake – James Blake (2011)
 
 
Follow Tora on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify or visit their website.
 
 
 
 

Read more here

Music Talk: Kato on the track – The Making of Get It N Go in Reason

One Week Notice is the title of a 1-week collaborative concept album featuring 9 Hip-Hop Artists and Producers – Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, Demrick, Audio Push, Emilio Rojas, Reezy, Kato and DJ Hoppa. It was recorded fully in Austin, TX at the BeatStars studio and over 20 songs were created during the 7-day process, with 13 making it onto the album.

Kato On The Track is a Music Producer/Entrepreneur out of Atlanta, GA., best known for his production with Artists like: B.o.B, Hopsin, Jarren Benton, Dizzy Wright, Wu-Tang, Joyner Lucas, Token, Tory Lanez, K Camp, Futuristic, Sy Ari and more. Kato is also the founder of a Producer mentorship program, Beat Club, which educates and provides resources and networking to aspiring music Producers around the world.

We caught Kato to have a talk about the One Week Notice project and his workflow in Reason.

Tell us how the One Week Notice came about. Whose idea was it to complete an album in one week? 
One Week Notice was the brain child of Dame Ritter, former CEO of Funk Volume, whom I was signed to up until 2016. We’ve been friends since, and he basically just called me one day and asked if I’d be interested in flying to Austin for a week, staying in a house full of rappers, and making music all day. What could be better?
 
Could you share some insights on how to collaborate successfully with so many people involved and with that kind of tight deadline? 
The key to collaborating with that many people is just to leave any ego at the door and be open to working with other creatives. After that, the rest is easy.
 
When you load up a brand new Reason song, what’s the very first thing you do?
The first thing I do when I open Reason is load a template. I have different templates for working with vocals, starting a beat, etc. After I load my template, then I’ll start searching for the perfect sound to start my melody, or sometimes I’ll start with drums first. I usually have an idea going into the project of what I want to make, it’s just a matter of finding the right sounds.
 
What drives you musically? Why do you make music?
My motivation for making music is the same as it was on Day 1. It’s the only thing that allows me to create something from nothing without any rules or boundaries – what else allows you to do that?? It’s absolute 100% freedom to do whatever you want and that idea to me is so amazing in a world full of rules. 
What do you do when inspiration just isn’t there? Any tips on tackling writer’s block? 
I hate forcing creativity. When I don’t feel inspired by what I’m doing, it takes the fun out of it and doing what you love should always be fun. Most of the time when I lack inspiration, I either step away from the music altogether and do something entirely different, or I’ll find inspiration in collaborating with others. I’ve also been using Splice a lot.
Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?
I’ve been using the Decimort 2 a LOT recently. It adds so much cool texture whenever I need that extra unique quality. I like anything that takes something clean and makes it dirty.
 
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
Kong Drum Designer, NN-XT and the McDSP C670 Compressor are CRUCIAL to me in every session I start. I can probably make an amazing beat using only those 3 devices and nothing else!
 
Watch how Kato made “Get It N Go” in Reason:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlVCa9-2Uvc
 
Check out the official video for “Get It N Go” off the One Week Notice album:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaYaXaI_Qrc
 
 

Read more here

Meet Retrowave artist Michael Oakley

Michael Oakley is a Scottish electronic musician whose retro sounding music is a love letter to 1980’s synth-pop. Described as “melancholic postcards from the heart wrapped up in synthesisers and drum machines”, his debut album California was released fall 2017 to critical acclaim from The Huffington Post and NewRetroWave.

We took some time off Michael’s hands to talk a bit about how he works with his music in Reason.
 

What’s your favorite thing in Reason 10?

Without a doubt my favourite new addition to Reason 10 is the Grain Sample Manipulator. It makes granular synthesis so easy and accessible. The possibilities are endless and I particularly like loading in vocal samples and creating lush pads or rhythmic textures. Using it makes me feel like what I imagine it must have felt like to use a Fairlight CMI for the first time all those years ago in terms of having endless possibilities for sample manipulation and new sound creation. It’s so much fun to use.

The possibilities are endless

How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity?

Prior to writing I spend time creating my own soundbank which is basically a folder on my desktop with all my favourite patches from various Reason Refills that I have or sounds I have created from scratch. I have them all categorised into subfolders like bass, pads, analog poly, leads. One of my favourite things about using Reason is that you can save sounds from different instruments into the same folder and browse through easily.

I usually find by browsing through all my hand picked favourite sounds that inspiration usually comes quickly. I like to create a mood and work with that. I then go to my piano and develop the chords/melody until I have a structure and go back to Reason to score things out more clearly.

What’s the best music making tip you ever got?

Enjoy what you’re doing and always make music for the love of doing it. People relate to that and can feel that energy when they listen to your music regardless of wether they like it or not. Sincerity is the best instrument you can put in your music for sure.

Enjoy what you’re doing and always make music for the love of doing it.

Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?

I like to group things together in Reason and then use the Scream 4 Tape setting to glue everything in each group. I use Scream 4 on everything nearly. It’s my most used effects unit. It’s so versatile.

The three most used devices in your Reason rack?

1.  Scream 4: I’m surprised this isn’t available as a VST because it’s the best effects unit I’ve used in any program. I use it to tape compress things, I use it to make lead sounds pop with the overdrive setting, I use it to bit crush drums or bass sounds and make them sound crunchy. I couldn’t live without this!

2.  Thor: When this got added to Reason 4.0 I was super excited. I love the different oscillator options and programming capabilities. I would challenge anyone to name an analog or digital synthesizer sound that can’t be created in Thor. It just sounds fantastic.

3.  RV7000: I use at least three of these on the main mixer’s auxiliary channels. It’s great for simple room reverb just to soften and give a sense of space, but is also amazing for really long spacious effects on pad sounds. I also love the DRM 80s gated plate preset for my drum machine sounds.

What do you do when inspiration just isn’t there?

In those moments it’s usually either time to listen to some new music and discover something which moves me, or get a new Reason Refill and play through some new patches until I find a something I like. Sometimes it requires taking a break as I have been guilty in the past of spending too many hours staring at a computer screen.

What’s your all-time favorite album?

Endless Summer – The Midnight

 

Follow Michael Oakley on Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud, YouTube.

Start creating Retrowave music yourself with the free trial of Reason.

Read more here

Artist video: Justen Williams

When Justen’s parents forbid him from listening to the corrupting influence of “secular music” – they inadvertently helped him train to become a music producer. 

Thanks to peer to peer filesharing and an abundance of instrumental mp3 hip hop mixes available there, Justen Williams was listening to Top 40 hip hop minus the vocals. And what was left, he could study in unobscured detail to see how the kick fit with the bass and why those effects create a specific mood.

But it wasn’t until a college friend introduced Justen to Reason that he saw what he’d always dreamed of: an entire beatmaking studio right on his computer screen. After getting his own copy of Reason, Justen Williams never looked back. His production skills and collaborations with New Orleans artists have landed him placements with Ford, HBO, Empire, Dancing with the Stars, NFL Films, and album production with Kourtney Heart, Justin Garner, and Dee 1.

We joined Justen in New Orleans to discuss his early beatmaking and production experiments with Reason and his biggest viral success, Sallie Mae Back.

Read more here