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Production with Reason & Record

The dynamic Propellerhead duo are back! Josh Mobley (aka Neoverse) and Kurt Kurasaki (aka Peff) take you on a new music production journey, this time using Reason 5 and Record 1.5, creating an awesome new track from the ground up.

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Song Overview 4m:18s

Get a basic overview of the song that is created throughout this tutorial.

Producing the Beat in Reason


Initial Beat with Rex 2m:16s

Josh runs through the process of finding a loop, setting tempo, setting the playback mode of the Dr.OctoREX loop player, and extracting the MIDI data embedded in a loop.


Working with Kong 10m:16s

Loop samples are transferred to a Kong Drum Designer, then effect usage, layering and groups are all discussed.


Main Melody 7m:28s

Different musical and sampled elements go into the beat of the song, and In this section Josh starts to layer the drums with basslines, pads and hits by loading instrument patches and recording sequences and editing midi clips. Josh also explains how he uses the ReGroove Mixer to tighten up the feel of the beat by using a custom groove quantization template.


Export Tracking Beat 1m:46s

The initial beat is expanded to repeat for several minutes by using copy and paste functions in Reason. Once this rough arrangement is set, the beat is exported to an audio file.

Migrating from Reason to Record


Opening and Converting 3m:31s

In this section Josh takes the original beat developed in Reason and Opens the song file in Record, and then explains the process for quickly routing devices in to the Record SSL mixer. Once set up, Josh explains a few of the navigation features to get around quickly in the Record user interface.


Organizing 1m:47s

Using the Label and Color features in Record will help you keep things organized and will also help you quickly identify objects in the Record user interface. In this segment, Josh shows you some handy organizational tips.


Importing Audio 1m:49s

Record makes it easy to work with audio files in any format. In this section, Josh imports the audio tracks or vocal stems and sets up a quick arrangement of the beat.


Working with Blocks 5m:56s

The Blocks feature in Record and Reason is an arrangement tool that can be used to quickly set up repetitive musical phrases. Josh uses Blocks to establish repeating vocal parts, and in this portion of the tutorial, he shows you how to move clips and tracks from the sequencer into a block, and how to arrange blocks in the timeline.


Blocks as Markers 1m:51s

The Blocks feature can be used as an organization tool which defines the flow of your track. Josh explains how he uses empty blocks to mark various parts of the arrangement.

Production in Record


Sadness Edit 8m:31s

In this segment, Josh explains how to pitch samples using the NN-XT sampler, resample and use the time stretch audio clips.


Hook Elements 2m:54s

Josh describes the elements added to the arrangement and some techniques for Offsetting REX loop MIDI clips.


Break Elements 6m:27s

For the Breakdown of the arrangement, the song reverts to a set of samples mapped to a second Kong. Josh walks through and explains how some of these elements are programmed and edited using the Sample Editor.


Kong Verse Parts 5m:01s

The Kong Drum Designer uses velocity mapped samples which allow for further control over the drum arrangement. Josh explains how he uses velocity mappings to change the drums between the verses and hooks.


Building the Intro 7m:59s

Josh goes through and explains the use of sequencing features like lanes, audio comp editing, and automation to manipulate these elements. Additionally, Josh explains in detail the use of automation clips.


OctoRex Verse Slot 2m:59s

MIDI Sequences with the Dr.OctoREX require an additional automation when using multiple loops. Josh explains how he uses this feature of the Dr.OctoREX to make variations in song the arrangement.


Final Tweaks & Outro 5m:27s

Josh discusses how he adds and subtract instruments to keep the momentum of the track flowing.

Mixing Tips for Record


Subgroups 4m:43s

Several mixer channels are merged to a single stereo mix channel to create a submix. In this section, Josh shows you how to set up this configuration using Spider Audio Mergers and a Record Mix Channel.


Vox Distortion 6m:06s

Josh explains how he applies the Scream 4 as an insert effect on the Record Main Mixer, and uses distortion along with automation to alter the character of the vocals on the track.


Bus FX & Routing 3m:39s

This segment explains using delays and reverbs routed through the FX bus of the Record main mixer, and then explains the process of adding and applying bus effects on a mix.


Kong Multi-Out Routing 3m:51s

For better mix control over the individual Kong drums, Josh explains how these are routed to separate mix channels in the Record Main Mixer.


Bus FX Automation 2m:27s

Josh continues his description of effects in the mix and shows how he uses FX Bus automation to control delay effects.


Ducking via Sidechaining 3m:04s

This segment describes how Josh uses ducking via the compressor sidechain inputs to govern the levels between delay effects and an audio track.


EQ 2m:21s

Equalizers are used to balance the frequency response of signals and with complicated projects with many tracks, EQ is crucial for establishing a good balance. Josh gives a brief explanation of using the Equalizers on the Record Main Mixer to shape the backing tracks so that they sit with the mix.


Master Bus Compressor 1m:53s

The Record Main Mixer master bus compressor can be used to really make a mix shine. Josh explains how he uses the compressor on the production and provides some insight on dialing up the appropriate settings.


Final Volume Automation 2m:07s

In this section, Josh explains how he has applied fader automation throughout the track to balance the levels and balance among the tracks, as the song builds.

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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