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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBJTBN6gB4M

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.”
 

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Tutorial: How to Make a Patch from Scratch in Complex-1 with DivKid

https://youtu.be/HIL7LTKYfjg

Modular enthusiast and YouTuber DivKid is back with part two of his series on our latest modular synth Rack Extension Complex-1. In this sound design tutorial, he will show you how to go from total confusion (where does this cable go?) to creating musical bleeps, bloops and useful patches in no-time!
 

DivKid says:

I hope this video serves to give some ideas of not only the possibilities of Complex-1 but also to give you some ideas to try things in other software and hardware synthesis (modular or otherwise). In this patch I go through create stereo synth tones, sequenced arpeggios, FX, folding and a whole load of patching.

 

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Sound Design Tutorial: How To Make Your Own Drum Samples in Reason

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0job6rNo-S8

In electronic music, it’s hard to imagine writing a great song without starting with the drum sounds. And while there are a plethora of fantastic drum samples available just a few clicks away, the hallmark of many renowned producers is their use of original drum sounds. Reason 10 is packed with features to help you create your own drum samples and stand out from the crowd.

Layers

You can easily create your own drum sounds by layering two or more samples together to create a new sound. Use Reason’s browser to select a kick sample that highlights the attack of the beater sound. Then, choose a kick sample that emphasizes the body, sustain, and/or room tone of the drum. After you find two kicks that sound nice together, lower each sample’s volume so that the combined output doesn’t result in clipping.

Now, listen to each sample by itself to hone in on its individual character. You may want to remove or automate the attack portion of the second kick sample so it doesn’t conflict with the beater sound of the first sample. Now you can beef up your drum sounds by using EQ. Experiment with boosting and carving different frequencies between the individual samples so they’ll complement each other instead of clashing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIT6Eo8H_D0

Tone Generator

Another simple way to make your own drum sounds is using a Tone Generator to add sustain and power to existing samples. A Tone Generator is an oscillator that gives you simple envelope and pitch bend control. In Reason 10, you can use the Tone Generator included with Kong Drum Designer to put your own spin on a kick drum sound. Start an instance of NN-Nano Sampler, use the browser to navigate to the REX loops folder, and find the individual slice you want to sample. Set the Tone Generator’s pitch knob to a low setting to add extra boom to the kick sample. Now add a compressor to really squeeze the two sounds together. 

Noise Generator

You can also use Kong’s Noise Generator to shape an acoustic drum sample into a more aggressive-sounding snare. Adjust the Noise Generator’s pitch and decay to match your drum sample, glue the sounds together with a compressor and now you have your own classic snare sound.

Start From Scratch

While Kong’s Tone and Noise Generators are great for adding something to a sample, they can also stand on their own by creating new drum sounds from scratch. You can easily create your own analog-style tom sound by using Tone Generator to trigger a low-pitched tone with medium attack and decay settings. Next, turn the bend knob halfway up and experiment with bend decay. Now you can add a Noise Generator with the same attack and decay settings to the Tone Generator to achieve a classic 80s tom sound. Try layering multiple Tone Generators together at different pitches to experiment with more atonal drum sounds.

Now that you know how to make your own drum samples from scratch, it’s time to start dialing in the unique percussive sounds that will inspire your next hit.
 

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Tutorial: Granular Synthesis Sound Design in Reason 10

Granular synthesizers combine the coolest features of samplers and traditional synths to produce complex sounds you just can’t get anywhere else. The theory behind granular synthesis may be fairly complex, but Reason 10’s Grain Sample Manipulator makes it incredibly easy—and just plain fun—to craft utterly unique textures. This tutorial will teach you how to use Grain to create extraordinary sounds from ordinary audio clips. Read on and watch the video below to learn how to make a patch in Grain!

Granular Synthesis 101
So, what is granular synthesis? How do granular synthesizers work? A granular synth slices audio samples into tiny pieces called grains, which can be played at different speeds, manipulated, and rearranged. The Grain Sample Manipulator even goes step further than most granular synths, incorporating several unique features. But despite its power and versatility, Grain is designed to make it easy to quickly craft complex, one-of-a-kind sounds.

The fun starts in Grain’s sample view, where you can load any sample you like, trim the start and end points, and adjust key parameters like Speed and Root Key. You can make your sample play forward or backward, as a one-shot or a loop, in freeze mode, or controlled by an envelope (more on that later). These settings alone are enough to spend hours tweaking, but things really get interesting in Grain’s other sections.

Modes
One of the keys to Grain’s versatility is its four modes, which each interpret the source sample in a fundamentally different way. The most straightforward of these is Tape mode, which simply maps a sample across the keyboard like a traditional sampler. Long Grains mode employs true granular synthesis, letting you freely adjust the Grain Length, Rate, and X-Fade to achieve a variety of sounds.

Grain’s other two modes share more in common with synthesizers than samplers. Grain Oscillator mode works like an analog oscillator, playing grains at the speed of each note’s pitch. Spectral Grains mode analyzes each grain’s frequency content and uses additive synthesis to recreate them with partial frequencies. The result is an artificial-sounding version of your sample which you can shape with the Snap, Filter, and Formant controls.

Oscillator, Filters, and Effects
Grain also contains some common synthesizer components which make it easy to dial in sounds just like you would on an analog-style synth. A traditional oscillator with six waveform choices can be mixed with any sample to lend a recognizable synth character. With a five-octave range and modulation control, the oscillator can produce everything from bright overtones to subharmonic thickening.

The granular synth and oscillator signals can both be routed through Grain’s filter section, which provides high-pass, band-pass, low-pass, and ladder filters for a variety of timbres. The straightforward Amplifier section controls the volume dynamics with a standard ADSR envelope. A full complement of onboard effects is also available, including chorus, phaser, flanger, delay, reverb, compression, EQ, and six types of distortion.

Modulation
Grain gets infinitely more powerful when you explore its modulation tools. The Envelopes section contains four fully customizable envelopes for unlimited potential. Each can be freely manipulated by adding points, bending lines, or drawing in custom curves. You can even use the Motion envelope to control the playback behavior of your source sample, changing where it starts and stops or making it skip around in time.

Grain also features three low-frequency oscillators with ten different shapes, plus Beat Sync and Delay options. Below the LFO section, Grain’s flexible modulation matrix allows you to link all sorts of parameters for incredibly expressive sounds. In the Source column, you can choose from any of your envelopes, LFOs, MIDI velocity, and more to be the modulator. Each Source can control two Destinations, which can be anything from filter frequency to grain length or even the onboard effect parameters.

With Grain, every recording you’ve ever made, every sample in every library, and countless sounds yet to be discovered can all become the basis of your next awesome patch.

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Europa Sound Design with Adam Fielding

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc0oa0gpL8o

Europa is an infinitely powerful spectral wavetable synthesizer packed with over 500 professional-sounding patches. But sometimes a song calls for a truly one-of-a-kind sound. Making your own synth patches can be complicated, but Europa’s intuitive interface makes it easier than ever to make your own synth sounds.

In this synth patch tutorial, you’ll learn about synth sound design from Adam Fielding as he demonstrates how he created his “Windwave” patch in Europa, available for free at FieldingSoundWorks.com.

At the heart of Europa are three powerful spectral wave engines capable of creating complex soundscapes. When designing the Windwave patch, Adam used all three engines to create different sonic layers. Each engine features over 30 wavetables including traditional analog shapes and complex waveforms that respond to your performance. Or load your own samples as custom wavetables and create sounds unlike anything you’ve ever heard before.

Here are some of Europa’s powerful tools that Adam used to create Windwave and other synth patches:

Modulation

Europa features four versatile envelopes, three LFOs, and an advanced Modulation Matrix for tweaking just about any parameter you can imagine. Add a sense of movement to your patches by morphing between wavetables. Create chords from a single key using shifting harmonics. In Windwave, Adam used an LFO to modulate the pitch drift parameter for a natural, organic sound.

Spectral Filter

Choose from 24 classic analog modeled filters to shape your tone. Or use the advanced Spectral Filter for sound processing that most filters only dream of. Load your own samples as custom filters for far-out effects. You can even modulate the cutoff point to open and close the filter, making tracks brighter or darker over time.

Unison

Make your synths sound larger than life with the Unison module. Use the count control to add depth with subtle doubling effects. Increase the stereo width with the spread knob. Fatten up patches with subharmonic frequencies in octave down mode. Adam mades great use of the Unison module when designing the Windwave patch.

Effects Rack

Polish your tracks to perfection using the built-in effects rack. Tweak your tone with the parametric EQ module. Add punch to your plucks or sustain to your pads with the compressor. Create space and depth with the reverb, delay and phaser modules. Or mangle your sound with six different kinds of distortion.

Behind the Windwave Patch

When designing the Windwave patch, Adam combined all three oscillators, multiple modifiers, and advanced signal processing to create an ambient, atmospheric soundscape.

Engine 1 uses the Robot Ramp wave with harmonics modifiers and Unison detuning to create a shifting fifth chord with a soft, glassy texture. To compliment this layer, engine 2 uses a chaotic-sounding transformer wavetable to create a breathy sound that spans across three octaves. Engine 3 uses a simple saw-triangle wave with the Unison module in octave-down mode to deliver a powerful low-end, filling out the frequency spectrum.

Now that you know the basics of how to design synth sounds in Reason 10, it’s time to start creating your own custom patches!

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Sound Design Tutorial: How to Make a Fat Analog Bass Sound

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBoi2y4LCTQ

There are few things more satisfying than a fat bass synth, and Reason is full of go-to sounds to bring huge low-end to your mix. But for those who like to dive in and tweak some knobs in search of the perfect sound, it can be even more gratifying to design your own bass from the ground up. This sound design tutorial will focus on how to make a bass patch in Reason with Subtractor, the beloved analog-modeling synth with a fat sound and a few tricks up its sleeve.

To get started making a Subtractor bass patch, first right-click anywhere on the instrument and select “reset device” to set all controls to their default state. Then set the polyphony to 1 to make your patch monophonic for a tight bass sound. At first, you’ll hear a very basic, no-frills sawtooth wave—don’t worry, you’ll be turning this humble patch into a thick, beastly bass in no time!
 

Oscillators

Subtractor’s sound starts at its two oscillators, which feature 30 different waveform options. Here, you can also adjust each oscillator’s octave, tuning, mix level, and more. These options can produce some pretty far-out tones, but simpler is often better for bass sounds. Try using a square or sawtooth wave with rich harmonics, supplemented by a rounder triangle or sine wave an octave below that for a thick, assertive tone. To change up your sound a bit, switch the phase mode to X or – and adjust the phase knob to create unique variations on each waveform.

Analog-Style Filters

Next come Subtractor’s analog-style filters, which shape your sound by subtracting certain frequencies (this is also where Subtractor gets its name). Low-pass filters are a great choice for bass patches, because they cut out the high-end to emphasize the low-end. Subtractor has two types of low-pass filters: LP12 gradually rolls off the highs, while LP24 has a steeper cutoff. The frequency and resonance controls fine-tune the sound, and the keyboard tracking control adjusts the filter when you play higher or lower notes. A second low-pass filter can be linked to the first for even more tonal possibilities.

Envelopes

By now you’ve quickly built a rich bass sound with plenty of analog character, but it may still sound a little static. This is where the envelope section comes in handy—envelopes shape your sound over time, from the initial attack of each note to the decay, sustain, and release time. The amp envelope uses these parameters to control volume, while the filter envelope affects the filter frequency instead. Combined, Subtractor’s envelopes can deliver anything from funky wah-wah-type sounds to slowly morphing swells.

Modulation

Oscillator, filter, and envelope combinations offer a ton of possibilities, but the fun really begins when you modulate those parameters to add motion and expression to your sound. Subtractor’s two LFOs (low-frequency oscillators) can be used to rhythmically control parameters including oscillator pitch, phase, or filter frequency, which produces a dubstep-style wobble when synced to tempo.

The mod wheel can also be assigned to different parameters, including LFO speed. Finally, Subtractor’s velocity section allows you to control how the dynamics of your playing affect the sound.

And there you have it—all the sound design knowledge you need to get started making an analog bass patch with Subtractor. Once you’ve mastered the basics, these principles can be applied to many other Reason devices and Rack Extensions, opening the door to limitless possibilities.
 

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Tutorial: 4 EQ Tips to Improve Your Mixes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8uwHXlfzl0

Every artist relies on the tools of the their trade when creating. The painter has the paintbrush, the sculptor has the chisel, and the producer has the equalizer. In this tutorial, we’ll break down everything you need to know about how to use EQ in mixing.

Equalizers change the way an instrument sounds by altering its frequency response. Just like a car stereo, they can be used to add more “bass”, turn down the “treble” and much more. Most EQs use multiple bands to give you control over separate frequency ranges. Parametric EQs are typically broken into low, low-mid, midrange, high-mid, and high frequency bands. Each band uses three basic controls to shape sounds: frequency, gain and “Q”, or quality.
 

Not all EQs feature Q controls, but those that do offer more flexibility when tweaking your tone:

  • The frequency control allows you to select the specific frequency you want to adjust for each band. The gain control is used to control how much you cut or boost the selected frequency.
     
  • The Q knob adjusts the slope of your EQ curve. Bands with low Q settings have a gentle slope that affects a wide range of frequencies, while high Q settings offer a more focused shape.
     
  • Cutting frequencies is called subtractive EQ, and works well for making tracks sound cleaner or clearer. Boosting frequencies is called additive EQ, and is better for emphasizing a specific frequency range in a recording.
     

In addition to these controls, there are three basic EQ shapes: filters, shelves, and bells.

  • Filters do exactly what the name suggests—they filter out unwanted frequencies above or below a certain point. Filters are useful for removing unwanted low-end rumble from recordings, or taming the high-end on harsh-sounding instruments.
     
  • Shelf EQs can be used to cut or boost frequencies above or below a certain point. Shelves are commonly used to add low-end to kick drums, add high-end to guitars, or toning down overly bright cymbals.
     
  • The bell is the most common and versatile EQ shape. With a high Q value, they offer hyper-narrow curves ideal for pinpointing and reducing problematic frequencies. With a low Q value, bell curves offer a subtler slope over a wider range of frequencies, which works well for boosting.
     
  • Learn how to carve out space for each instrument using subtractive EQ. Train your ear to identify problem frequencies using the sweeping technique.
     

Now that you know how to use an EQ, it’s time to get mixing!

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Tutorial: How to Make a Gunna Type Trap Beat with Reason 10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyPnYs7DVVQ

Start making your own beats today!

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Gunna is an Atlanta-based rapper who’s been featured alongside Young Thug, Travis Scott, and Gucci Mane. The young star has released four albums on Young Thug’s YSL label: Drip Season 1, 2, and 3; and 2018’s Drip Harder, which featured the platinum-certified #4 hit “Drip Too Hard” (are you sensing a theme here?). Gunna’s sound is rooted in trap, but has a melodic focus and a uniquely atmospheric quality thanks to skilled producers like Metro Boomin, Turbo, Nav, and Wheezy. In this tutorial, we’ll explore how to make a Gunna-type beat in Reason that drips with subtle style.

Look Behind the Beats

What really sets Gunna’s music apart is what’s going on behind the beats. Most of his songs are built around a dreamy melodic or chordal element—such as a clean guitar sample, a silky electric piano, or a subtly warped synth sound. Instead of starting your beat with the rhythm, try finding a melody or loop that inspires you first, and let that inform the rest of the process. You can even go straight to the source by picking out a Gunna-inspired sample from ProducerGrind’s Drip Season 2 Melody Loop Pack, or use the included MIDI versions to play any of the melodies with your synth or sampler of choice instead.

Make It Slap

Once you’ve found the perfect centerpiece for your beat, make it slap with some classic trap percussion and a booming 808 bass. Load up a kit in Kong, ReDrum, or UMPF Club Drums with snappy hi-hats, a punchy kick sound, and some classic hip-hop snare and clap samples, then use Drum Sequencer to build a pattern quickly. Start with 16th-notes on the hi-hat, then click and drag on certain notes to add repeats and triplets for an iconic trap rhythm. Then throw ProducerGrind’s free Official DJ Spinz 808 sample into the Grain or NN-XT samplers and create a simple bass line in the key of your melody for instant trap flavor.

Add the Melodies

With the foundation of your beat laid, it’s time to start adding some chords and counter-melodies to flesh it out. Reason’s ID8 device is perfect for quickly sketching out parts with go-to piano, organ, string, brass, and flute sounds, which you can then tweak with effects or swap out for your favorite synth or sampler. Don’t indulge too much though—keep it lean with just one or two additional parts. To make your track really “drip”, add some reverb and delay with RV7000 and The Echo, or use an effects sequencer like Sugar Bytes’ Effectrix to warp your sounds in creative ways.

Plan Your Structure

When you’ve built up a solid loop with some interesting layers, the next step is to lay out a structure for your track. First, duplicate the whole pattern for the length of the song, then selectively remove layers to create a build-up and differentiate the verse and hook sections. Start with just the melody for the first few bars—this will be the intro, where the artist and featured guests will add some ad-libs to hype up the song. After the intro, drop the beat in and slowly add your layers until the hook or chorus. Experiment with cutting the percussion track in a few spots to highlight the vocals. When laying down the vocals, the Neptune Pitch Adjuster can be used as a real-time vocal synth for a modern, auto-tuned sound.

Reason 10’s creative workflow and inspiring production tools help you build original beats quickly, and resources like ProducerGrind and the Propellerhead shop are chock full of modern trap sounds to make your beat drip like a Gunna track.

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