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Music Production with Reason 4

This groundbreaking release shows you how one of the hottest songs included in the new Reason 4 Factory Soundbank was created. Learn step-by-step how the awe inspiring track "Narrow Escape" was written and produced by the songwriter Josh Mobley (aka Neoverse), with comentary by Kurt Kurasaki (aka Peff).

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Chapter 1 - Introduction


Introduction 2m:10s

Video introduction by Kurt and Josh. Describes what will be covered and how this project came to be.


New in Reason 4 6m:15s

Get a basic introduction to the new features in Reason 4 and the basic layout of Reason.


Song Overview 4m:25s

Get a basic introduction to the new features in Reason 4 and the basic layout of Reason.


Mixer Setup 1m:26s

Explanation of typical rack setup when getting started with a new Reason song.


Josh Submix Setup 2m:40s

Explanation of Josh's use of Submixers within combinators.

Chapter 2 - Drum Arrangement


Drum Programming 5m:18s

Josh demonstrates the basics of using the ReDrum Drum computer and Pattern Programming as well as drum sequencing techniques with the Reason 4.0 Sequencer tools.


Percussion 4m:54s

Using Dr.REX Loop Players, percussive elements are added to the track in a dedicated Combinator submixer patch. The process of using loops in Reason is demonstrated as well as some advanced features of the sequencer.


ReGroove 2m:51s

This video explains how to use the ReGroove mixer and browse for groove templates. The demo then shows how to apply a groove template to the drums to add a swing to the programming.

Chapter 3 - Sequencing and Arrangement


Setting up the Mixer 1m:50s

Reason's auto routing features are described in this section as a Mixer and Aux Bus effects are added into the rack. RV-7000 Patch browsing is explained.


Sequencing the Bass 2m:18s

Josh loads up a customized synth stack combi in this segment, then records and arranges the bassline sequence. This is another demonstration of the sequencer, clips, and quantization.


Labeling the Bass 1m:18s

Organizing the sequencer by using the track, lane, and clip labels is an important technique to keep the workflow moving. This section shows how to label and color clips and lanes.


Moving Lanes 1m:29s

The sequence for the chorus is arranged in this segment, and the various lanes are reorganized in order.


Detaching the Sequencer 1m:12s

Having already recorded a few more bass sequences, Josh shows more on labeling sequences. This includes a quick demonstration of full screen sequencing mode. The reason track uses separate lanes to indicate different sections of the song.


Vector Automation 2m:12s

Demonstration of adding automation clips in the arrangement view of the sequencer. Editing Vectors and using the value editors for precise changes.


Divide & Mute Loops 2m:45s

Use of the Razor Tool to divide clips, and the mute feature to create small musical drop out in the song before the chorus. Use of the Eraser tool to remove excess clips for the shaker loop.

Chapter 4 - Song Development


Guitar Distortion 1m:32s

Procedure for inserting distortion effect between a sound module and loading a Scream 4 distortion patch.


Guitar Automation 2m:02s

Josh demonstrates using multiple sequencer lanes to automate a pitch bend and organize automation clips.


Sequencing the Piano 2m:54s

Using the browse instrument and search features of the browser, a piano patch is added to the track and Josh records a sequence.


The Bell 1m:33s

Demonstration of adding a custom made Combinator patch to the song and sequencing it. A description of how the sound originated by Woody who layered a bell tone along with a falsetto vocal sample.


STOMPP 1m:52s

Demonstration of the Drone Combinator patch called "Stompp - Deep Chord" and applying to the bridge of the song.


Nasty Sweep Intro 2m:18s

Adding an intro sound with the Malstrom and adding an automation clip in the sequencer to modulate a filter sweep.


Nasty Sweep Arrangement 1m:06s

Arranging the filter sweep sequence to enhance different transitions throughout the song.


Intro Drum Fill 0m:41s

See how a Drum fill is added to the intro of the song.

Chapter 5 - Song Arrangement


Arranging the Second Section 1m:11s

See Josh using the copy and paste features to quickly duplicate the base tracks for the second part of the song.


Adding a Dropout 0m:41s

Learn how to use the Razor to create a breakdown for the transition into the second verse of the song.


Sub-Drop 2m:18s

Learn how Josh uses a Thor percussion sound to add a sub-bass drop in the breakdown


Drum Fill 0m:49s

Demonstrates recording a drum fill during the transition, to add movement and signal a change.


Crash & Context 0m:31s

This tutorial walks you through adding a Crash cymbal hit, for excitement, and listening to the entire breakdown sequence.


Ambient Breakdown 2m:51s

This tutorial demonstrates collapsing sequencer tracks to get an overview. Removing sequencer clips for Drums, Bass, etc. to create a dramatic transition for the final ending arrangement. Clip Manipulation by using the tempo change feature in the toolbar. Also listen through the entire breakdown and transitions.


Thor Programming 6m:14s

This segment is a demonstration of programming the Thor Polysonic synthesizer to create a custom patch for the breakdown.


Organ & Fill 1m:52s

Overview of the final touches added to the bridge before the third chorus. Description of adding parts to increase track intensity to bring the song to a climax.


Exporting the Song 1m:04s

Brief overview on exporting a song out for burning, sharing or collaboration.

Chapter 6 - Vocals in Reason


Prep Vocals for ReCycle 2m:11s

This video covers previewing the vocal tracks in a DAW and preparing them for use with ReCycle.


Vocals in ReCycle 4m:12s

Demonstration of how to use ReCycle to cut up a vocal track for use in Reason.


Vocals in Reason 2m:05s

Demonstrates the process of importing the vocal REX files into Reason through a Dr.REX loop player, and the process of loading REX files into the NN-XT.


Vocal Looping 2m:17s

Special effect technique of looping samples in the NN-XT.


NN-XT Vocal Zones 5m:32s

The process of consolidating multiple ReCycle loops into a single NN-XT sampler, and the procedure for adjusting the sequence.

Chapter 7 - Dynamics Processing


Vocal Submix 3m:50s

Setting up the NN-XT Zone to route vocals through separate outputs into the vocal submixer.


Vocal Compression 2m:52s

This video covers inserting Compressors on the vocal tracks.


De-Ess Vocals 3m:22s

Inserting a DeEss configuration using the sidechain input feature on the MClass compressor.


De-Essing Explained 3m:46s

Deeper explanation of what happened in the De-Ess video.


Compressing Drums 5m:21s

Overview on how to use an MClass Compressor with drums.

Chapter 8 - Special Effects


Grain Vocals 7m:39s

Building a custom granular sampler Combinator patch.


Grain Main Vocals 1m:19s

This tutorial applies the granular triggering configuration to the main vocals and sequencing the effect through the breakdown.


Using a Vocoder 2m:57s

Alternative approach to the Ambient Breakdown by adding a vocoded layer derived from the Stompp patch and the vocal effects.

Chapter 9 - Engineering a Mixdown


Mixing Sounds 6m:05s

The process of going through and balancing levels for the mixdown.


Mix Automation 4m:07s

This tutorial guides you through using the sequencer to automate mixer parameters.


Vocal Automation 4m:00s

Take a look at the process of automating the Vocal mix and elements.

Chapter 10 - Mastering


Josh Mastering 6m:16s

Using the MClass mastering suite as an insert between the group mixer and the the Reason Hardware interface. Selecting a MClass patch and adjusting the settings to apply equalization and limiting.


Kurt Mastering 11m:55s

Take another look at mastering Narrow Escape with the use of all MClass devices plus some more detailed mastering tips.

Kurt Kurasaki

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

Throughout the years, I've studied different instruments including piano, sax, and classical guitar.  I can't say that I've excelled at any of these since I was never disciplined enough to practice.  I did enjoy studying music theory, and I've been interested in electronics since I was quite young.  I was always taking things apart - telephones, radios, televisions, and sometimes I manage to reassemble them without ending up with spare parts. When I was two-years-old, I had this record player and I wanted to find out where the sound was coming from, so I took it apart. It was still plugged-in, and I learned about high voltage electricity - the hard way.  Eventually the two interests met when I was given my first little electronic keyboard, a Casio VL-1.

2. What training have you had?

Other than a few classes on synthesizer programming at Columbia University, I have no formal training in music or recording.  I'm primarily self-taught in production and recording.   While in University in 1990, I recorded an album. It was MIDI synth based and I recorded it straight to DAT. I had a Roland D-50 as a controller and a rack consisting of an Akai Sampler, Korg M-1, MKS-80 Super Jupiter and a Proteus module - all being driven by the old Voyetra DOS based sequencer.

3. When did you get into recording?

I had a small project studio back in the mid 90s where we used ADATs and a Neotek console with a lot of outboard analog gear.  My first real DAW was the Akai 4 track recorder.  I learned early on the importance of a good front end for digital and since then, I have tried to keep my workstation up to date with good converters.

4. People you have worked with/for?

My commitments to Propellerhead Software keep me pretty busy.  Between the various sound design projects and Producers Conferences , I have so little time to commit to other productions.

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I'm pretty good at deconstructing and reverse engineering processes which makes it possible for me to demonstrate how things are accomplished with music hardware and software.  I love to learn about new things and I'm constantly exploring and experimenting on innovative uses of Reason.

I'm also take a lot of time to think about pedagogical approaches and try to find the best balance of information that will satisfy the curiosity of experienced Reason users while keeping the language and explanations simple enough for a neophyte.

Products by Kurt Kurasaki

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