The Reason Bass Line Battle was a wonderful chance to flex your drum and bass production skills. Just 8 bars of rocking drums, funky bass, and swanky percussion using Reason’s Factory and Orkester Sound Banks and the Reason Electric Bass refill (or Electric Bass Demo refill, given away for free as part of the contest). And, you weren’t limited to just entering one bass groove, you could enter up to three!

This all sounded like too much fun and I couldn’t help myself, I entered two bass grooves. My entries are titled “Fat Spaghetti Funk!” and “Jungle Biscuit Bounce!”, under the username, “muzicali”. CLICK HERE to vote for me, this link will take you to a page where my submissions are right at the top. (Voting ends Dec. 5th, 2008.) There are about 338 entries, many of which are absolutely amazing. It just goes to show you how much talent is out there! Truly inspiring. (All of the bass line entries are auditioned as streaming audio, so you don’t need Reason to hear the entries on the Propellerhead’s Web site, you only need to log into the Web site.)

Besides having fun writing these grooves, I figured it would be useful to have these song files as production tutorials. Not only do they stress the importance of having a solid drum and bass foundation for your songs, they’re a good demonstration of how to mix drums in Reason (heck, how to mix drums period), and show off how great the Electric Bass refill can sound when used creatively and with purpose.

“Jungle Biscuit Bounce!” is a straight up groove, meant to demonstrate how tight a drummer and bass player can sound when they’re both sitting in the “pocket”. While “Fat Spaghetti Funk!” is a more flamboyant performance, meant to show how great a drummer and bass player who are communicating and really playing off of each other can sound.

That said, here’s a Zip containing both of my Reason song files and the Electric Bass Demo refill which I used to produce the grooves. After you’ve unpacked the Zip, simply move the Electric Bass Demo refill next to your other factory refills and the song’s NN-XT devices will find their samples fine. Have fun exploring these Reason racks and don’t forget to vote for me!

Click here to link to a page where you can download the Zip (about 26 MB).

Download directions:
Right-click PC and from the pop-up menu choose, “Save Link as…”
Control-click Mac and from the pop-up menu choose, “Save Link as…”

Why You Need Reason 4

Oct 25 2007

Is Reason 4 Cool? Is Tony Hawk a good skateboarder? The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” But the question I inevitably hear is, “Why do I need to update Reason if I just use it as a virtual sound module.” Now, that’s an easy answer, the Thor Polysonic Synthesizer and the RPG-8 Monophonic Arpeggiator.

You’ve heard of Thor the Norse God of Thunder, right? Initially, I thought the guys at Propellerhead were just being silly, but this new synth is aptly named because it does produce some thunderous sounds. Take for example the Moog influenced Fat Boy bass patch, or the endlessly entertaining sequenced and rhythmic patches (such as Elastic Overdrive or Modular Funk Machine). Thor has a built-in step sequencer for some amazingly complex and funky sounds. And, if designing sounds isn’t your thing, the Reason 4 Factory Sound Bank comes with a dozen folders packed full of earth shaking Thor patches: Bass, Fx, Lead Synths, Pads, Percussion, Poly Synths, Rhythmic, Sequenced, Textures, Voice and Choir, Signature Patches (patches created by well-known artist and producers), and several uncategorized patches in the Thor Patches parent folder.

At the Reason Producer’s Conference in San Francisco, just before the Release of Reason 4, I distinctly heard Propellerhead product specialist James Bernard answer a question on the possibility of having an arpeggiator function in Reason with, “There will never be an arpeggiator in Reason.” Clearly, he was pulling our collective leg. The RPG-8 is dope! It is a comprehensive arpeggiator with a load of parameters for shaping arpeggios. For example, Hold, Octave Shift, Velocity, Gate Length, it can generate up to a four octave arpeggio, and there are controls for introducing random and sequenced variations (such as the Pattern Steps with which you can mute specific steps in the arpeggio). Better still, the RPG-8 can be controlled by your ReWire master application. For example, in your ReWire master, assign a MIDI track’s output to the RPG-8, send it a chord (or even a single note) and it will play an arpeggio using the instrument device that it is connected to in the Reason rack. Talk about cool!

For those of you with Pro Tools 7.3 and Reason 4, I’m attaching a ReWire session to show you how the RPG-8 can be controlled from an Instrument track in Pro Tools and sending an arpeggio to Thor at the same time. In the Zip folder you’ll find the Pro Tools 7.3 session file and Reason 4 song file. Remember to launch the Pro Tools session first, then the Reason song file. (For those of you without Pro Tools 7.3 and Reason 4, I’m also attaching an MP3 so you can at least hear what I’m going on about.)

1) Session Zip

2) MP3 Audio File

Thor and RPG-8