This week we’ve hooked up with Sample Magic: the award winning samples and loops manufacturer. They’ve dropped a handful of drum beats and electronic loops for you to start building your next song on. Check out the feed below and when inspiration strikes, open up a loop in Reason or Take and make some music!
Like what you're hearing? Sample Magic has great ReFill libraries with many more samples and loops in the Propellerhead Shop.
Sample Magic dropped a new Figure song for you to jam with. Can you take it further?
Sample Magic also sent us a pumping Figure song you to jam with. Listen to their song Spacejam and if you feel like taking it a step further, build on it in Figure! We’re sure they want to hear what you can do with this.
Add your vocals and ideas on this 80s sounding song!
Sample Magic dropped the song Sing to Synthwave and it's a chilly breeze of 80s synth bass and beats so get your hairspray and sing to this!
FreePlay™ is the ultimate stereo personal PA. Perfect for a wide array of applications, FreePlay is the most versatile personal PA ever. Connect instruments, mics and more for mobile performances and presentations or take your backyard party to the next level with FreePlays powerful output and clear stereo sound. And with the FreePlay Connect app for iOS® and Android®, you get complete wireless control right from your phone.
With its battery powerable design, you can take FreePlay anywhere making it the perfect solution for buskers, street performers and anyone that needs a powerful, portable PA that provides hours of performance off the grid. And with Bluetooth® music streaming from any device, you can wirelessly enjoy your favorite tunes or stream backing tracks during your performance.
From the stage to the boardroom to the backyard, FreePlay delivers powerful, rich sound that inspires. Be you and be heard with the Mackie FreePlay.
If you're cray cray for #TayTay or gaga for... well... Gaga, then this tutorial is for you. Electro Pop drums are all about hard hitting, crisp, beats that support the song and give you just enough to clap along with.
In this episode of the Super Neat Beat Cheat Sheet series, Ryan walks you through the creation of pop drums but also shows you his favorite Drum Machine in Reason and it's one you might not even know exists.
Mackie is excited to announce Wireless Mixing With Mackie: From Coffee Shop to Concert Hall. This will be a series of 60-minute events taking place at various Mackie dealers where you can learn all about wireless mixing from a Mackie factory representative and get hands on with the DL1608 and DL32R digital mixers and FreePlay Personal PA. This is a great opportunity to get up to speed on the latest technology and learn about how wireless mixing can vastly improve your workflow and sound. Check below for locations, dates and times.
Mackie wireless devices like FreePlay, DL1608, and DL32R mixing consoles have been designed from the ground up to take full advantage of readily available and affordable wireless networking solutions providing all levels of performers and techs powerful, reliable and extremely intuitive wireless mixing. Mackie is committed to providing end users the best wireless mixing technology and capability, offering wireless mixing options for an array of applications from small coffee shop gigs to large concert arenas.
218 West 44th Street
|Times Square, NYC||NY||10/26||6PM|
1524 E Joppa Rd
12401 Twinbrook Parkway
3677 Stevens Creek Boulevard
1645 Van Ness Ave
1501 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Thousand Oaks , CA 9132
14209 Ventura Boulevard
7325 San Pedro Ave #105
8390 Westheimer Rd
4519 Lyndon B Johnson Freeway
Ted Brown Music
6228 Tacoma Mall Blvd
Tacoma, WA 98409
Seattle, WA — October 2015… Like many artists, Ryan Barber has a wide range of creative passions. The Seattle-based musician, author, teacher, and composer is the founder of Mr. Ryan’s Music and Books, a multi-faceted creative vehicle that enables him to combine his love of teaching with his passion for music, art, and theater. Barber maintains a busy schedule of writing, performing, and directing musical theater, and an equally busy calendar of teaching after-school, pre-school, and private lesson programs. one of the most useful tools in his arsenal these days is the versatile Mackie FreePlay portable PA system.
“I do a lot of sing-alongs and performances with the kids, and those can take place anywhere, from a schoolyard to a park to a gymnasium or cafeteria,” Barber explains. “The FreePlay is great as a small PA for the kids to sing along with — it’s powerful enough to cut through the chatter of 20 or 30 kids, and incredibly versatile.”
With classes and lessons at several schools in the metro Seattle area, Barber is also a fan of the FreePlay’s portability. “The FreePlay is compact and lightweight. When I arrive at a school to teach a class, I don’t have a lot of time to carry in lots of gear and get set up. With the FreePlay, I can grab it and go, and still be able to take all my other gear too.”
Barber, who has authored the children’s book, The Adventures of Mr. Mop, has also composed its accompanying score and musical. He points to the FreePlay as an ideal system for presenting musical theater. “I created a mix of the backing tracks for the score, and streamed that from my iPhone through the FreePlay, and played acoustic guitar and sang to the tracks,” he reports. “It worked great — I had my iPhone on a mic stand and was able to control my mix as I was performing.”
During the summer months, Barber also conducts music camps, and sees the FreePlay as a boon for those events as well. “With the FreePlay’s rechargeable battery, it’s ideal for parks, campgrounds, and other locations where there might not be an AC power outlet nearby."
With the upcoming release of his book and accompanying CD in November, Barber is already anticipating putting on a series of performances to promote the book. “I’ll be doing street fairs and other public events,” he says. “That includes me reading the book, playing the music, singing the songs with an acoustic guitar and backing tracks — FreePlay is perfect for all those things. It’s really an awesome device for teachers, performers, presenters, and anyone who needs just a bit of amplification. It sounds great, it’s easy to use, and it’s portable.”
Mackie today introduces two new models to its best-selling CR Series Multimedia Monitor line– the CR4BT and CR5BT. Both new models feature Bluetooth music streaming from any capable device, adding source flexibility perfect for auditionining comparison tracks or simply enjoying multimedia.
“A common expectation of technology products these days is fewer wires, whether in a studio, entertainment system or other multimedia environment,” commented Mackie Channel Marketing Director, Matt Redmon. “In consideration of that evolving customer demand, the new CRBT models provide the same studio-quality design and acoustic performance as the other Creative Reference models, only now with the flexibility of streaming audio wirelessly in environments where high quality sound is required.”
The new CR4BT and CR5BT join the CR3 and CR4, all designed to bridge the gap between professional and personal appications. The new CR5BT features a high-output 5″ woofer, delivering added low-frequency response, perfect for extended-range music and A/V post-production. All CR monitors ultilize 3/4″ silk-dome tweeters for smooth, articulate highs. Unique to the line, a left/right speaker placement switch allows users to locate the volume control on the left or right of their workstation. The front panel includes a on/off/volume knob with a lit power indication ring that will also control the volume of headphones, which can be plugged directly into the front of the monitors. Both new models feature a front panel Bluetooth button for easy pairing and connection indication. Bluetooth streaming is great for comparing mixes, auditioning files or just enjoying a bit of music or video. There is an additional front panel aux input for connecting alternate audio sources.
“With smartphones always at your side, you can easily find yourself creating professional multimedia one minute and streaming a video the next,” commented Redmon. “With our new Bluetooth-capable CR monitors, you get the best of both worlds…studio-quality performance and effortless connection to the music you love.”
All Mackie CR Series monitors come with all the connecting cables needed for the user to get started immediately. As a bonus, there’s even a pair of acoustic isolation pads included. Used in professional applications, acoustic isolation pads minimize unwanted bass buildup that can muddy a mix. Plus, the pads’ angled design allow the user to tilt the monitors slightly up or down for more focused listening depending on their setup.
“So whether you’re a seasoned pro looking for a compact pair of accurate, articulate monitors for work or just looking for a pair of amazing-sounding speakers for entertainment, Mackie CR Series monitors are an affordable solution that deliver professional results in our most compact form factor to date,” concluded Redmon.
Born in Brooklyn, Grammy nominated producer AnonXmous (a.k.a. Jonathan Solone-Myvett) started out at the young age of 11 and began his path in music in his room using only Reason, which he continues to use loyally until this day. Fast forward through years of positive energy and work, he's worked with artists such as Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, FOX's Empire, Timbaland, Fergie, Will.I.Am, and Tink amongst others.
We spoke with AnonXmous about collaboration within a team of song writers, how he's using Reason and more. He has also dropped a few beats for you to build on so when inspiration strikes, open up a piece in Reason or Take and add your spice! Check it out!
When do you load up a new song in Reason, what’s the very first thing you do?
I instantly open Redrum. DRUMS:)
Do you have any production trick that you always use?
My 808s are what I've been told by Timbaland that I've "innovated" and invented, in the way that I trick them out and make them do cool things they normally wouldn't. So I'd say that.
Can you tell us a bit about your work with Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda"?
Originally it was titled "Big Fat A$$" and there was no Sir Mix a Lot voice sample at all in the song. As well as some crazy 808's, sound effects & crazy drums. It also had a third verse that isn't on the released version. The big bros the Internz added their spice & voilà.
Check out the unused third verse from Anaconda below:
What's the best music making tip you ever got?
I'd say just have NO restrictions. Do EXACTLY what you think in your mind because it's possible, that's when the true fun of your love (music) shows itself.
Can you tell us something about your relation with Timbaland and his "TeamTimbo"?
Timbaland is a great mentor of mine and I met him through Polow Da Don, who is also mentor and he's always been encouraging me and letting me know that I'm on the right track to make an impact in the industry. As far as #TeamTimbo, it's like an elite all star team of talented beings. It's a beautiful thing!
As a producer, writing tracks for other artists, you're often collaborating with other songwriters and producers to reach the end result; tell us about your experience of collaboration, and how you keep the inspiration going throughout a session!
It's all about the vibe with me, so from anything to making sure if anyone wants candy, it's there. Just to keep things happy you know? That's just one example but, energy is everything and the vibe is everything.
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
NN-XT, Redrum, Scream 4 :)
Your best advice for other music makers out there?
Just believe in your sound and perfect it to where nothing can stop you. A positive mindset goes A LONG way. I want to be an example of that. I feel that's a part of our purpose as creators.
Timbaland posted one of AnonXmous' beats:
In a city famed for songwriting, the Music Row offices of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a very special place. When ASCAP needed a new mixing system for its luxurious Connie Bradley Board Room, it called on respected Nashville systems designer and installer Corner Audio & Video. To ensure top performance for its prestigious client, Corner Audio & Video chose the powerful new Mackie DL32R 32-Channel Wireless Digital Mixer.
"We've done a lot of successful installs with the Mackie DL1608 and DL806, and the DL32R is the logical step up," observes Corner Audio & Video owner/president Larry Garris. "With its flexible I/O, recallable preamps, clear sound, rack-mount convenience, and wireless control, it was perfect for the ASCAP board room."
Mackie's cutting-edge technology eliminated the limitations imposed by the room's old auto-mix system with wall-mounted remote volume controls. "The DL32R allowed us to provide a complete matrix mixing system for the Connie Bradley Board Room and the main entrance lobby," recalls Corner Audio & Video Production Consultant Bob Nickerson, the primary system installer/programmer. "It handles 18 wireless mic systems, 2 audio-only playback sources, and 2 audio streams from video playback sources, with channels to spare. We're running an Airport Express connected to the DL32R, and a second one as an extender, and the system is rock solid, even up to the third floor atrium."
The new system provided flexible control for the lobby system, as well as the board room. "We used the DL32R's Aux 1 and 2 outs as zone outputs, with Aux 1 going to the conference room and Aux 2 to the lobby," Nickerson explains. "The client can route any input to any zone. And of course they have complete, wireless iPad control of the entire mixer, including signal processing and routing."
In addition to regular meetings and conferences, ASCAP uses the room to host "Number 1" parties to celebrate artists who have top-ranked songs. At these events, artists often deliver an acoustic performance in the lobby, with overflow in the conference room. The versatility of the DL32R enables the society to easily accommodate these performances.
The installation has been a success in every respect. "The DL32R system works flawlessly; we've had zero problems," notes Garris. "And there's almost no learning curve for the users. ASCAP is very happy, and so are we; we're also doing DL32R installs for a variety of other clients. I have great confidence in this mixer; it has already proven itself."
Seattle, WA - October 2015... If you've spent any time in the Seattle area, chances are you've heard Julian Catford's music. For more than 30 years, the versatile guitarist has been a mainstay at dozens of venues in the metropolitan area. Performing solo as well as with several different Latin, jazz, and swing ensembles, he has shared the stage with such greats as Cab Calloway, Rosemary Clooney, The Mills Brothers, Ed Ames, Little Anthony, and dozens more.
Catford, who has performed internationally across Europe and the Americas, also teaches guitar at Seattle Pacific University. In his home town of Seattle, he's regularly called on to perform at weddings and other events.
For many of these smaller events, Catford has come to rely on his Mackie FreePlay to provide him with a great sounding, totally portable personal PA. "It's really the perfect system for weddings, garden parties, and a lot of the more intimate gigs I play every week," Catford remarks. "It's portable like crazy - the rechargeable battery enables me to be completely self-sufficient, and position myself in the best location, rather than having to be near an electrical outlet. And even at a show lasting several hours, I've yet to run down the battery."
Sonically, FreePlay offers the tone and performance Catford needs for his instrument. "For classical and flamenco in particular, it's important to have a system that delivers the subtlety and overtones of the guitar," he observes. "FreePlay sounds great, and gives me a nice, full-spectrum sound - great bass and articulate high end. The built-in reverb and EQ are more than enough to shape the sound I need, regardless of the space I'm performing in. And I love the FreePlay Connect app, which enables me to not only control my mix from my iPhone, but to stream music to it from my phone during breaks."
Even for larger gigs, Catford finds FreePlay useful. "I've used it with one of the acoustic trios I gig with, and it makes a great personal monitor. It's got enough output to easily cut through, even when I'm playing with a louder instrument like an accordion."
Catford says his Freeplay is not his first portable system, but it's certainly the best he's used. "I had another small amp I used for quite some time, but I could never really depend on it - sometimes it was just too loud for the space, sometimes it was just too boomy, sometimes it wouldn't work at all. And it didn't have nearly the features that Freeplay does. With FreePlay, I can take it to a gig with confidence that it will sound good and do what I need it to do."
A couple years ago the whole world went Trap crazy. It didn't matter what style of music you made, Trap suddenly was starting to influence your style. Trap beats are a little different than other EDM styles but even if you're new to music making, Ryan is here to break it down step by step and have you creating basic Trap beats in minutes.
By the end of this video you'll have learned the basics of layering drum sounds, wiring combinators, advanced drum rolls, and triplet accent rhythms.
Nashville, TN - October 2015... Founded in 1917, St. Ann's Catholic Church has thrived over the years, and as its congregation has grown, the campus has expanded to include a school, rectory, gymnasium, and several other buildings. Their current 500-seat sanctuary underwent a major renovation in the 1990s, and the church recently upgraded their audio system, adding a Mackie DL32R digital mixer with iPad control.
"We came in to replace their speaker system, because they'd been struggling for several years with intelligibility issues," explains Larry Garris, owner of Corner Music Audio & Video in Nashville. While replacing the outdated system with a Renkus-Heinz CFX-series center cluster, the conversation turned to the church's aging mixing console. "They were originally pretty set on staying with an analog console," says Garris. "The priest, who was nearing retirement, is a pretty progressive guy, and while we were in there working on the system, we took an iPad and showed him a bit about the Master Fader app and how it all worked. He got it immediately, and we agreed to bring in a DL32R for them to try out."
"Once they saw how simple it was to operate, they were convinced," adds Corner Music's Production Consultant Bob Nickerson. "They have a lot of volunteers running the sound, so simplicity is key."
As David Krause, one of St. Ann's audio leaders, observes, the DL32R has afforded the church a great deal of flexibility. "We offer both traditional and contemporary services," he explains. "We have at least four distinct groups providing music each week at St. Ann's. Each
group has different personnel and instrumental lineups, and the different groups are typically positioned in different areas of the church
during their respective services. The DL32R allows us to create and save various custom scenes, tailored to each group, and those can be easily accessed as needed. We can create a number of discrete monitor mixes so that individual singers and musicians can hear more or less of any active channels. For weekday Masses which might not include musical accompaniment, our Pastor can access a mixer view which shows only speaking microphones for a non-musician, user-friendly experience."
Although the church rarely uses all 32 of the console's inputs simultaneously, the DL32R enables them to have setups for multiple ensembles connected, thus avoiding the need to plug and re-plug the system for each use.
"The wireless capability was perfect for them, as their choir is in the balcony at the rear of the sanctuary," adds Nickerson. "Their choir director has full control from across the entire room. Their contemporary ensemble sets up at the front of the room, so the ability to switch snapshots is great for them."
Krause agrees. "Controlling the system via iPad allows us to freely roam around the sanctuary to hear what the congregation hears at various points throughout the church and to make adjustments from any of those vantage points."
"I admit to knowing very little about setting up or running sound," adds Music Director Marcina Clark. "But the DL32R allows us to create and save scenes specific to the needs of my ensembles, and those scenes are easy to access and use. I use the system for both an adult choir and a children's choir, in two different locations in the church. My choir mics are hard-wired but we have the flexibility to use wireless mics for solo voices and instruments. We've never sounded better!"
Dan Briggs is the bass player in progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me, jazz fusion trio Trioscapes and the project Orbs. He's been an avid Reason user since 2003 and uses it both when composing and on stage with his band. Currently he is on tour with Between the Buried and Me and we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions when they made their stop in Stockholm for a show.
Be sure to play Dan's music pieces and when inspiration strikes, open in Reason or Take and collaborate with him!
How do you use Reason in your music making? Do you have any examples of where you've used it?
I use it from the very first note while composing to the very last. I started using Reason when I was in college in 2003, and really it was to use the ReDrum and I would import it into my session in Sonar. As the years went on I was implementing more keyboards into my writing, and then the Reason updates allowed you to record audio and have a session just like I had in Sonar so I just stopped using it altogether and moved my whole operation into Reason and it has been so easy and wonderful ever since.
When you load up a brand new Reason song, what’s the very first thing you do?
Well, my saved rack is Piano, a KONG drumset I put together with drummer Matt Lynch (Trioscapes), two Guitar tracks and a Bass track. That way at the very least I'm able to capture an idea just by starting the program, finding the BPM and rolling.
How do you use Reason in Between the Buried and Me? Do you use Reason in a live environment?
Both in the studio and now live. I had been arranging full songs in there, especially for the new Coma Ecliptic album, and a lot of the key sounds we ended up using on the record were straight from the demos Tommy and I did. So when it came time to put a rig together to play live, I didn't want to get a keyboard and try to replicate sounds as best as I could, so I ended up running Reason on a Microsoft Surface. It runs perfectly and the Surface is a super powerful and reliable device.
How does collaborating work for you in a band context? How does Between the Buried and Me usually write and arrange a song?
It's different for every band I'm in, which is kind of cool. Between the Buried and Me is very much about writing on your own and bringing it together after the fact. We're not super productive sitting in the rehearsal room trying to write songs, and especially the direction the songs have gone it's kind of like a singular vision and less chaotic like everything was in the past. That was literally the result of 4 or 5 minds all throwing ideas against the wall. I would think if someone listened to the new album it might make a little more sense as to how it's written. In Trioscapes, you know it's like a jazz/fusion trio ensemble so it's really about vibing off each other, a lot of magic happens on the spot. Orbs functions as a duo of musicians trying to bring other things out in each other; Ashley [Ellyllon] has really helped harness my creative energy and I've helped expand her mind as to what song formats can be. My new group Nova Collective is a cross continent group with two Americans and two Brits, so Reason has been a real life saver there. We're able to share the same Reason session with each other and everyone can learn a song based off of the midi, or I can show a guitar idea that can then be manipulated and changed, or key ideas that our keyboardist can expand upon. So easy considering how much distance was between us while we were writing!
Have you ever experienced writing blocks? If so, how did you overcome them?
I know when to step away, but honestly I'm usually locked in with a new project almost all the time when I'm home. I like to stay creatively active, and when there's new outlets and people to bounce ideas off of I feel like it could never end. I'm inspired by so many different things; obviously a million different kinds of music, film, sometimes even just reading interviews with creative minds or people in different art fields, or grey days, beautiful days, when the Cleveland Indians win, who knows.
What do you like the most: creating and writing in the studio or touring and playing live?
I like a balance. I like to keep things fresh creatively, so I love living in a project and then kind of moving on to the next thing, so touring on an album for two years I don't really mind, as long as I have other things going on, keeping me active creatively. Between the Buried and Me has been able to tour less the last handful of years which has been good for everyone starting familes and what not, but I stay feverishly busy in my "down time" so I love having time away from touring for that.
What’s the hardest thing about making music, what do you struggle with the most?
On the creative front, nothing really. Creating music is a joy, it's fun to constantly push and challenge yourself. The real struggle is after you've created something. Between the Buried and Me has a great team of people to help push it, but I don't really have that with any of my other projects. It's insanely frustrating because you feel like you're starting from zero every time even though you've been touring and putting out albums for over a decade.
What’s your all-time favorite album?
Impossible question! Some favorites: Oingo Boingo "Only a Lad", Dream Theater "Scenes From a Memory", Mahavishnu Orchestra "Visions From the Emerald Beyond", Genesis "Selling England by the Pound".
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
KONG, Thor, and ReTron.
What advice would you give to other people who are motivated to become more creative in their music making?
Just do it! Find people to create with, don't limit yourself, just have a blast.
What’s your best music making tips for someone that is just starting out?
Just be adventurous, explore a ton of different music, find out what your favorite artists are inspired by and really dig deep.
One of the most popular styles of Electronic Music is Deep House. If you're just starting out making music you might be wanting to make Deep House drum beats but stuck for where to learn how. Thankfully, Ryan is here to kick off a new mini-series he'll be making on how to program basic drum beats in many popular styles.
By the end of this video you'll have made your first Deep House drum beat and you'll even pick up some cool advanced Reason tricks along the way!
From October 1, 2015 through November 30, 2015 you can save up to $200 on SRM series loudspeakers purchased from a U.S. or Canada Authorized Mackie dealer.
Whether you need a small personal stage monitor or a monster PA for your heavy metal polka band, SRM series loudspeakers and subwoofers can make it happen. Right now you can score a great deal on your dream sound system and at up to $200 off, this is an offer you can't refuse...
Here’s the amount you will get back per model:
Here’s the full details on how to claim your rebate:
How to Qualify for and Redeem your Rebate:
1. Purchase any SRM series loudspeaker or subwoofer from an Authorized Mackie Dealer between October 1, 2015 and November 30, 2015. (NOTE: B-Stock products DO NOT qualify).
2. Go to mackie.4myrebate.com and enter OFFER CODE: MCK-1007 USA (for purchases made in the USA) or MCK-1007 CAN (for purchases made in Canada)
or search for offer and pre-register for your rebate online.
3. Enter all of the information requested, then print and sign the rebate form.
4. Customers must mail in the following within 30 days of purchase: a. A legible copy of your original dated invoice or purchase receipt (keep the original for your records).
NOTE: If you bought a floor demo, you must send a copy of a store-printed receipt that indicates “no box.”
b. The original box UPC code(s)
c. Completed mail-in-rebate form
5. Offer valid for U.S. and Canadian residents only.
6. Qualified customers will receive an American Express® Prepaid Reward Card
Originally posted on vladg/sound:
Why do you want to use stepped controls in an equalizer? I see 2 possible reasons:
Probably you didn’t know that SlickEQ supports stepped controls by right mouse drag or Ctrl + mouse drag on knobs.
This is how the snap points are defined by default:
And now the secret information. The snap points can be changed! Unfortunately it doesn’t work per-preset basis but only as global setting.
View original 323 more words
Many of you are dropping great music to Propellerhead all week long. This week we've kept busy browsing through all your good stuff, cherry-picking our favorite pieces of creativity. We've compiled all our favorites into these two feeds for you to enjoy.
Check out the feeds, listen to the songs and if you enjoy the songs as much as we do: like your favorites by clicking the heart!
The Sing to this-feed on Discover is the perfect place to start when you need inspiring instrumental backing tracks to sing to. This week we've updated the Sing to this-feed with some great new tracks from the Propellerhead community and we want to hear your voice on them.
Add your voice with Take or Reason and join the music making!
Want to be part of a new song? We've hand-picked three pieces from the community that are just waiting for you to add your musical touch. Build on these!
This hypnotizing loop by Drusik is the perfect song starter. Sing your heart out, play guitar or just hum along to help Drusik develop this into a new song!
This low-key piece with heartfelt singing by ryanjlucas almost had us in tears. Help him finish the song by adding your ideas!
So simple, and yet so complex, Celestial Drifter by brewmeisterbean is one of the most inspiring Figure songs we've ever heard. How would you remix it?
From a simple Figure drum beat to a finished track, hear how Bring the Beast came to life. Click here to check it out!
Fresh off the release of his new, eponymous album, Mocean Worker has shared a stack of loops and pieces in his signature electro-swing style for you to use. He was also kind enough to talk a little bit about the role Reason plays in his productions. Dive in below and we strongly recommend that you hit play while reading!
In what way is Reason helping you in your music making?
I've been using Reason since version 1.0. I came from using only an MPC 3000 and upon discovering Reason coupled with Recycle my mind exploded. I think it says a lot about a piece of software and its development over the years that I'm still constantly finding inspiration from it. I cannot think of a company that does a better job of adding features and work flow enhancements than Propellerhead (take a bow humble Swedish people! do it! ). Reason is where everything starts for me. All groove ideas, melodic ideas, sound design ideas START with Reason. For my latest album "Mocean Worker" (It's nice to have a self titled album when its your 8th full length) I left Reason exactly one time for a synth in another program (breakdown section of "Soul Swing" @ 1:38 into the track is Cyclop from SugarBytes mangled with) and I mixed 2 songs of the 11 outside of Reason. In other words 95.6% of this album was created and stayed at all times within Reason. There really was not a reason (coughs) to leave the Reason environment. It's just constantly turning into a better and better tool.
When you load up a brand new Reason song, what’s the very first thing you do?
I've created a very simple template. It consists of 4 REX players and a Kong Drum Machine and One Audio track. I've been recording audio into Reason since the Record days. It's just so straight forward. I find that this template works best for me. Also by default I have the Bus Compressor turned on. It's probably not the best idea on the planet but I love writing into a slight compression setting as it makes everything feel glued together from the get go. Ever since the console came into the Reason/Record workspace I've been really excited. The console is probably my favorite feature. While it existed in a way since the beginning of Reason's existence this current console is ridiculously cool. Everyone I show the console to kind of freaks out especially engineers because everything you could need is there and now with groups and parallel processing......wow, the sky is the limit.
What’s the hardest thing about making music, what do you struggle with the most?
For me it's mixing. I have the ideas and I can do arrangements and play instruments. I struggle the most with getting a sound that's my own, like the actual sound, not the notes and the groove. I've gone a bit crazy with Rack Extensions and creating suites of effects to write into. What I mean by that is I use a combination of effects sometimes on the Master Section just to see what happens. We all have the same tools now. We all have access to so many of the same sounds and presets. My goal is to find ways to make those same sounds have their own sound. It's very difficult. It's tempting to just write something funky and by happy enough with the results. I just can't bring my self to settle for presets though. It's a bit of a drag sometimes as it makes the process of making records take so much longer. I know I can't wait 3-4 years between full length albums anymore. I think I'm gonna definitely head into a cycle of digital only EP releases and be happy with groupings of 4-5 songs and release material more often. We've definitely headed into strange days within the recording industry. I struggle the most with staying ahead of the curve. For example, this latest release is digital only. I found no need to release a physical CD this time. Streaming is here. It's not going away. Folks still purchase MP3's ( yes , people still buy music! It's a good thing too ).
Do you have any production trick that you always use?
I think I mentioned it earlier. The Bus Compressor in the mixer is no joke. It's an incredible tool. I should clarify that I use it as a way to keep things musical and glued together and in a subtle way, until of course I don't want something to be subtle. I think it's really important especially for any kind of sample based electronic music to be mixing and writing sort of at the same time. Constantly be aware of how things sound and work together. Watch levels!! It's important to leave headroom. I know now everything is loud and squared off and super super loud. Don't fall into the temptation of making everything screamingly loud. Leave headroom and if you have the budget for a real mastering engineer you'll be happy you left the headroom in your mixes because the mastering engineer will really be able to do some tricks if you haven't over compressed your mix and made it 300 db's in level. One of the most sort of thrown away things now is mastering. Don't sleep on mastering. Also, I know it's tempting to pre-master or try to master on your own. If you do this, just understand the more you take a mix and compress it, eq it, limit it, maximize the volume, the less mastering can do for you.
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
Dr. OctoRex (I almost called it Dr. Rex, I'm kind of old school ) , Kong Drum Designer, and a surprise non Props Rack Extension the fxpansion Etch Red Dual Filter. I've fallen in love with this filter (and as a 3B answer, the D-Filter by LabortorialT) both of these filters are all over my album and automated and just amazing sounding.
Can I add that I also almost always use some sort of thing from the Props Radical Keys ( sorry, I mentioned five).
As a bass player, are there any particular devices or tricks that you use in Reason to get the bass sounds you want?
I compress the bass as it's going in. I love the compressor on the mixer. It's really musical. I tend to play one of two styles when I play (especially for this new album ). Either slap technique in the style of Larry Graham or Marcus Miller or a back pick up sort of Victor Bailey / Jaco Pastorious type of sound. Either way I do compress the bass. I just evens things out. As an aside though I will say for bass players that the sound ultimately is all up to you. It's in your hands. If you are a bass player: practice, practice and really get to know your instrument. The more you play an instrument the better it will sound. I know that sounds weird but it's true. Speaking about devices I don't really use any specific Rack Extensions in recording my bass parts. I like to keep it simple. Like I said earlier I trust that the sound I want is already happening as a result of years of practice and knowing the instruments I have very well.
On your new album “Mocean Worker”, could you tell us a bit about how Reason played a part in the production of it?
Reason is at the funky, swinging, grooving center of everything. The goal for this album for me personally was two-fold: 1. Re-discover my roots as a bass player. This is my eigth album and to date even though I tell folks I'm a bass player, I had never played bass on my own albums! Kind of weird, no? I'm incredibly proud of the bass playing on this album. I think that my not playing on my other recordings was more to do with the fact that as a player I felt like I had reached a certain level but as an artist I really didn't feel like I had a real voice yet. Now I feel like I've settled in and found my voice. The second goal was to write and mix everything myself. The last three Mowo! albums were made with so many amazing guests joining forces with me. It was an incredible experience but this time out I wanted to see what would happen with very little input from anyone else. Sort of the same way I started out in my room wearing headphones with a bunch of ideas and the limitation of me being the sole voice to get them out. This is where Reason comes in. ALL of the songs were written in and with the exception of 2 out of 11 ("Soul Swing" and "PunkDisco(Jaco)" were mixed by my main man James Saez in another DAW) were mixed in Reason. I'm extremely happy to say I mixed 9 of the 11 songs myself. That was a gigantic hurdle for me as I have never really been confident in my mixing. The goal for this album was to not only write the music but also make the music sound the way I really heard it in my head. Reason is the lead starring "actor" in this process. It's the tool that enables me get my ideas out and finished. I know that sounds kinda hokey maybe but it's really the truth. The same way I mentioned really knowing an instrument that you own applies to really knowing the software you use. I've been using Reason since version 1.0 and there are a ton of tricks and tips I still don't know. I still watch tutorial videos just like someone who maybe is just getting started with the software. Knowing the tools you use as well as possible and getting the most out of the least amount of bells and whistles is really the secret here! Less is more folks.
You did a widely appreciated video for our Pulsar Rack Extension, care to talk about that experience?
No I cannot. Ever since the court case and those documents I signed as a result I've been sworn to a vow of silence.........
What do you do when inspiration just isn't there?
Keep trying. I don't like to walk away but honestly sometimes just getting a cup of coffee and walking away is the best medicine. I did that a LOT in the last 3.5 years. It's a really tough process to make an album. It's really worth it in the end though. Just fight through it. Writers' block is what it is. Things always come back around. Take a deep breath. You'll get through!
What’s your all-time favorite album?
Wow......thanks. This isn't hard enough to answer at all...........sheesh. For me it's always a couple of albums: Miles Davis "Kind Of Blue", Peter Gabriel "Passion"-Music For The Last Temptation Of Christ". I like other artists to note that what inspires you and what your own music actually sounds like very often are not one in the same. I draw inspiration from a wide range of music based on what it makes me feel. The outcome of that inspiration rarely sounds like the music that inspired it. Some folks find that to be odd. I just like what I like it doesn't mean my music has to sound like it. I actually DON'T want my music to sound like it because at that point I'm just copying something else. Right?
Any Words of Wisdom for aspiring producers and musicians?
Yes, find your voice. I know it's easy to follow trends and try to keep up with the cool kids. Don't fall into that temptation. Follow what you're hearing in your head. Get the music out. Everything else will sort itself out when it's all said and done. If you're in this to have fun and not make it your life's work, then really enjoy the process and have a great time. If you want to make this your career? Learn the business. It's not just about the music at all. Trust me on this one. The music is the one place you'll always have fun regarding "the music business". Learn what managers do. Learn what booking agents do. Learn about publishing and registering your music to protect yourself in whatever country you live in. Entering into a career in the music business now is akin to walking into a saloon in the 1860's in the American West. Make sure your weapon is loaded and ready for use. It's not a fun environment out there "pardner".
You can find all the loops and pieces that Mocean Worker wants you to collaborate with on his profile page.
Rome, Italy — September 2015… Adika Pongo is a band that knows how to get the crowd moving. The seven-piece ensemble has a loyal following and a busy calendar of dates across metro Rome and beyond, blending three-part harmonies with bass, drums, keys, guitar, percussion, sax, and Electronic Wind Instrument to create a unique modern twist on classic 1970s disco and more.
The band recently added a Mackie DL32R 32-channel mixer with iPad control to their arsenal, primarily to use as an onstage monitor mixer. “All seven of us use in-ear monitors — we have no speakers onstage other than a guitar amp,” explains bassist Alessandro Benedetti. “The fact that it could double as a FOH mixer on gigs where we had to bring our own PA was an added plus.” In fact, the band’s first gig with the DL32R required them to use it for FOH and monitors.
“When I set up the DL32R, the first thing that really amazed me was how fast and easy it was,” says Benedetti. “I had only 20 minutes for sound check, and in that time I was able to set the gains on 24 channels, position the faders, add a little boost at 5 kHz for the vocals, and a little bit of reverb. Meanwhile, the musicians were dialing in their own monitors on iPads and iPhones. Really, if you think about it, just 20 minutes for a sound check before we have 200 people dancing in front of us — what more can you ask for?”
Alessandro adds that setting up to record the band was also a breeze. “I had to spend only one more minute to connect the hard disk to the USB port, press record, and record the gig as 24 tracks of 24 bit, 48 kHz audio.”
Mackie’s Master Fader app is key to the speed and simplicity of the DL32R, Alessandro observes. “The app is very well organized — you can find everything without reading through the manual. The I/O setup is one of the easiest I’ve ever used — just choose a physical input and assign it to a channel, and you’re done.”
“I think the sound quality of the DL32R easily compares to mixers costing four times as much,” Alessandro continues. “I use custom-molded in-ear monitors, and I was really amazed at how good it sounded. The detail and tonality is super-clear, and the noise floor is incredibly low. In fact, when I was listening back and soloing some tracks we recorded at a gig, some of the instruments sounded like they’d been recorded in the studio, not live. The preamps are really that good.”
Alessandro reports the DL32R’s onboard processing also exceeded expectations. “The EQ sounds really, really good — very musical and very usable. The compressors and gates are excellent, and effects like reverb and delay sound great, and it’s really easy to dial in what you need.”
“As usual,” Alessandro concludes, “Mackie has found a way to give musicians the chance to get their hands on great quality gear without spending a fortune. The Dl32R really has everything you need to mix and record a live band.”
Check out this fresh supply of loops from CAPSUN ProAudio – a talented team of producers, musicians and sound designers from Brighton, UK. With an ear to the (under)ground, they create high quality sample packs for a wide range of genres.
Get inspired, create and drop back to Propellerhead so we can hear what you did with these loops!
Future Bass elements mixed with bouncy loose quantised drums, evolving bass and choppy lead. This track by CAPSUNProAudio is waiting for your remix! Show us what you can do with this!
CAPSUN ProAudio is a talented team of producers, musicians and sound designers from Brighton, UK. With an ear to the (under)ground, they create high quality sample packs for a wide range of genres.
The track "Dear Johan" is a beautiful pop ballad that only lacks one thing: vocals. Your vocals! Let’s hear your top line on this track and we’ll feature our favorites next week.