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Create Vaporwave with Layers Wave Edition

Layers Wave Edition comes supercharged with the nostalgic, funk-induced sounds of Vaporwave – In this brief tutorial we will show you how to make the most of these kitsch and classic 80s inspired presets to create the much loved sound of Vaporwave in Reason. 

This is what we’re making today:



   Download the Reason song file and get started making Vaporwave with Layers Wave Edition!

Step 1. Create an harmonic bed

Central to the Vaporwave sound is a dense textural bed created from either the down-sampling effect of the original music, tape noise or aliasing of audio recordings. Layers Wave Edition has a trusty folder of Texture presets ideal for dense harmonic to build you instrumental on top of.

I’ve selected the patch ‘Inside A Rainbow’ which modulates gracefully over 9 bars adding so intriguing background noise.

Notice the heavy use of Flanger across all three four layers, heavy effects processing especially with era specific processing such as Chorus, Flanger and Phasers taken to the extreme are a hallmark of the vaporwave sound.

Step 2. Lockdown a funky bassline

Don’t be afraid to get extra funky on this one, as with a lot of 80s electronic music that Vaporwave samples, we want to incorporate a generous amount of vibrato.

For this sound I’ve chosen the Ultimate Peaks Bass patch which at its core uses a DX-7 style sound that couldn’t be more recognisable when it comes to Retro, Synth or Vaporwave inspired music.

Vaporwave is notorious for its abuse of distortion, tape-generated or otherwise, so I’ve gone full throttle on the fuzz distortion layer to really give it a crunchy character.

Step 3. Deep pads are a must

Synthetic bell sounds are a hallmark of the period and we’ve chosen the huge bell pad as the harmonic bass in the track. A repeating chord figure in C-minor is traditional Vaporwave territory – again don’t be afraid to go to town with the flanging and distortion here as it brings out the right character of the pads.

Step 4. Build a syncopated Rhythm.

The Sequencer & Arpeggio presets are ideal for driving syncopated rhythms, a definitive drive of Vaporwave rhythmic structure.

The trig sequencer pattern of DataMiner pushes the rhythm along, compliments the bass and harmony without overriding the general feel of the track.

Step 6. Go full cheese with your melodies

I’ve combined the talents of Titanium Piano, Chiptune MW and Gigawave to add trills, lead melody and synthetic texture to the topline here. Three different timbral bases and MIDI programming using velocity variation works really well here to add depth and movement to your melody – cheesy or not!

Now that you’ve learned to how to make Vaporwave with Layers Wave Edition, get Layers Wave Edition here and try it free for 30 days!

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How to Use Delay in Reason 10

Nothing adds space and depth to your recordings like delay and echo effects. Ever since musicians figured out how to bounce audio between reels of tape, delay has shaped the sound of modern music.

Reason 10 features powerful delay and echo processors, including The Echo, a feature-rich delay unit that combines elements from digital delays, analog delays, tape delays, glitch, and loop effects. In this article, you’ll learn how to use The Echo to dial in the perfect delay effects for your tracks.

Mini Tutorial: Reason The Echo

In this tutorial, you’ll discover how to use echo to spice-up synthesizer patches, add depth and character to vocals, and write spaced-out guitar lines in the style of U2 or Pink Floyd.

  • See how to use Triggered Mode to control exactly which moments get repeated.
  • Learn how to slice beats and phrases using a DJ-style crossfader with Roll Mode.
  • Add analog saturation with tape-limiting, overdrive, distortion, and tube warmth using the Color Section.
  • Emulate old-school tape delays like the Echoplex or the Space Echo using the Modulation Section.
  • Glitch drum loops, instruments, and even vocals for far-out effects.

Delay Ducking: Reason QuickTips

Delay can bring a lush sonic quality to vocals, but it can be difficult to balance wet and dry signals, which can lead to washed out tracks. Check out this quick tip tutorial to learn how to use The Echo’s ducking feature to ensure the perfect balance of delay on your vocal mixes.

Reason comes with several delay effects; from the bare-bones DDL-1 that does digital delay in its most basic form, via the RV7000 MkII Advanced Reverb that features some very lush echo programs to the multi-talented Echo that’s covered in the tutorial video above.

Now that you know how to use delay in Reason 10, it’s time to get creative! Start your free trial of Reason 10 today.

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We Explore Olafur Arnalds’ Chamber Evolutions by Spitfire Audio

Point Blank composition instructor Kevin Kerrigan once again dives into a new sample library by industry leaders Spitfire Audio. This time Kevin looks at the Chamber Evolution pack, developed with multi-instrumentalist and modern composer Ólafur Arnalds. The sounds contained are of small chamber groups playing with an emphasis on evolving dynamics. In part one of a three-part first-look, Kevin Kerrigan talks us through the nuts and bolts of what the ‘Wave’ sounds contained here are exactly, and how the sample pack is used. Check back next time for some ideas on how to compose with these sounds, and take a look at our Music Composition course and comprehensive BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering degree programme, where you can learn how to put tools like this to good use.

Branded an ‘alchemist’ by Brian Eno, Kevin has worked with Bjork, Gwen Stefani, Eurythmics, Kylie & Sting among others and composes for movies/TV for Paramount, BBC, Warner Bros, Sony & Universal. He teaches Music Composition at our London school and his own compositions focus on the cerebral and beautiful.

Music Composition is an important part of our BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering, which you can also study online. For full lists of our courses check out our schools in London, Los Angeles, Ibiza and Mumbai, as well as Online. Any questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The post We Explore Olafur Arnalds’ Chamber Evolutions by Spitfire Audio appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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Watch our Full Vlog Series w/ DJ Ravine as he Studies at Point Blank London

Now that his time with us in London has come to an end, its time to look back over DJ Ravine’s studies with us. Over three months, we followed him on his journey with three modules: Intro to Music Production, Music Composition and Sound Engineering, each an element that, as Ravine will tell you, have combined to improve his production significantly. Check out all ten of his video blogs below, don’t forget to check out our London courses for yourself.

When Ravine first got started with us, he confessed that his opinion of his own production prowess was less than stellar. So he picked the three modules that he thought would allow him to improve most quickly, all of which form part of our BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering degree course. Intro to Production, to augment the modest knowledge he already had and to sweep up any essential techniques he may have missed, Music Composition, to give his tracks more direction, and Sound Engineering, which he actually selected accidentally… more on that later.

Throughout his studies, he brought us along for the ride and interviewed instructors and classmates for a special insight into the classroom. Anthony Chapman, his Sound Engineering instructor, takes very little time to convince him of the benefits of a little sound-engineering knowledge too, as his group record an original cover of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’. Linton Bennett supplied constant nuggets of composition tips and mantras, and Tom Glendenning took him through all things Ableton.

Everyone here at Point Blank has enjoyed these videos immensely, so we’d like to say a big thanks to DJ Ravine for putting them together. For all that we try, there’s no way of showing how good our courses are without being there, but these videos give as good a taster as we can achieve. We hope you enjoy learning about the various extra-curricular activities that are constantly going down in and around the school too.

All of Ravine’s modules are part of our flagship BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering, and you can also find them in some shorter courses too, like the Master Diploma. That was our original degree programme here and we’re proud to have a launched a second starting in September, the BA (Hons) In Music Industry Management, in which we teach you all the steps necessary to make strides in a career in music. If you have any questions, please give us a call on 020 7729 4884 or send us an email.

Register to Access Free Courses, Plugins, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples, access to our social network Plugged In and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post Watch our Full Vlog Series w/ DJ Ravine as he Studies at Point Blank London appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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How to Make a Song in Reason 10

When you think about great songwriters, who comes to mind? Paul Simon, Max Martin, Björk or maybe Deadmau5? Our recent blog posts have focused on using different tools and effects in Reason 10, but today we’re going to cover the most essential process of all—how to write a song.

Technology has fundamentally changed the way that millions of musicians approach writing songs, and Reason 10 is packed with tools and features that allow you harness your creativity and craft original and compelling tracks. We’ve put together a couple of fast and engaging videos that break down the fundamentals behind creating hooks and melodies, so you can learn how to write a song in Reason 10.

How To Write Melodies: Super Neat Beat Cheat Sheet

Check out this video for a simple, easy-to-follow tutorial that explains the fundamentals behind creating melodies in Reason 10. You’ll see how to use Reason 10’s Scales and Chords Player to develop a systematic approach to melody writing—without wading through complex music theory.

  • Learn how to record single notes to generate complex chord progressions
  • See how to add interest, movement, and complexity to your musical phrases
  • Discover how to create unique melodies using the notes in your chords


Making Catchy Hooks in Your Songs

In this video, you’ll learn the key difference between hooks and melodies, and what makes catchy songs—catchy. You’ll also discover how Reason 10 makes it easy to craft vocal and instrumental hooks that stick in your listeners’ heads long after the track stops playing. 

  • Learn about 4 essential hook techniques, and how to use them in Reason 10
  • Discover how to effectively layer melodies and hooks in your song arrangements
  • See how to apply punctuation to your melodies to make them more memorable

Now that you’ve learned how to make a song in Reason 10, start your free trial of Reason 10 today and start working on your next masterpiece!

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How to Use Reverbs in Reason 10

Creating a mix without reverb? That’s like baking a pizza without cheese, or eating a cupcake without frosting (maybe we’re hungry, but you get the point). Regardless of what style or genre of music you create, reverb is an essential tool in mixing. It brings a tangible sense of space and texture to your mixes, and even a small amount of verb can make a huge difference in the overall sound of your tracks.

Reason 10 is packed with powerful reverb processors that offer exceptional sonic flexibility and versatility. To help you get started, we’ve created a fast and easy-to-follow reverb tutorial that will teach you how to use reverbs in Reason—so you can dial in the perfect sound for your mixes.

RV7000 Advanced Reverb Tutorial

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use RV7000—Reason’s most advanced reverb processor, and the go-to tool for adding space to your tracks.

  • Explore a range of reverb sounds, including concert hall, retro spring reverb, or even a cramped closet
  • See how to set up an effects bus for reverb, and send channels to the effect directly from the mixer
  • Learn how to create a room reverb sound from scratch 

Getting Started with Convolution Reverb

Watch this video to learn how to use convolution reverb to add the sound of a real-world physical space to an instrument, and make it feel more live.

  • Explore patches and impulse responses included with the free RV7000 MKII Refill
  • Learn how to use impulse responses to shape the tonal characteristics of your reverb sounds
  • See how to record your own impulse responses and apply them to your tracks

Quick Tips for Using Gated Reverb

Check out this video for a series of quick tips on how to dial up gated reverb sounds on drums and other instruments.

  • See how to add synthetic, industrial, or retro (1980s) reverb to your snare or hand claps
  • Discover how to create different types of gated reverb sounds
  • Learn how to use different Gate parameters like Release, Hold, and Threshold

Now that you’ve learned all about reverb, it’s time to start making music and adding it to your tracks—start your free trial of Reason 10 today!


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DJ Ravine Studies at Point Blank – Week 8: International Women’s Day

DJ Ravine is back with his weekly update on his progress with us here at Point Blank London as he studies Intro to Music Production, as well as courses in Music Composition and Sound Engineering. We are now at week eight, and assignment deadlines are beginning to loom! Ravine still finds time to take us along with him as he checks out the PB International Women’s Day event, and to explore London when it was covered in snow. Plus, more tutorials and class insights are included in this jam-packed week. If you’re just joining us for this series, check out our YouTube playlist and get yourself caught up. Plus, get the lowdown on all of our London courses at ourLondon school’s webpage.

As always, thanks to DJ Ravine for taking the time to put this together. There’s one or two of us here at PB headquarters who didn’t have a clue how that shiny SSL mixing desk worked so Anthony Chapman’s quick run-through was much appreciated, and it’s great to see the final elements of the Sound Engineering class’ project coming together. Feeling inspired? Take a look at our full list of production courses in London and Online. For more info and to talk to a course advisor, call us on +44 20 7729 4884, and don’t forget to check back next week for the next instalment of Ravine’s vlog.

Register to Access Free Courses, Plugins, Projects, Samples & More

When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples, access to our social network Plugged In and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

The post DJ Ravine Studies at Point Blank – Week 8: International Women’s Day appeared first on Point Blank’s Online Magazine.

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