Archived articles from the former ReasonToWork.com


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Producer talk: Alkota 

Posted in out-the-way Alaska, the producer & self-proclaimed beatsmith, Alkota Beats has certainly carved a unique path and career in the music industry.  While most producers spend time trying to get beats in the hands of their favorite artist, Alkota is behind the scenes having conversations with industry move-makers.  The story of how it all got started was too compelling not to reach out and inquire.  Fortunately for us, the music & marketing vet took time out to meet with us on everything from selling leases & exclusive beats, Soundclick versus Soundcloud, and how the heck he is killing the game with the Akai MPC flash drives and more!  We asked him about 10 or so questions…


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Eq'ing low end synths

ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS TO LEARN WHEN PRODUCING MUSIC WHERE LOW-END CONTENT IS TO BE EMPHASIZED IS FINDING OUT HOW TO GET IT WORK WELL AT LOUD VOLUMES.  THE KEY, I'VE FOUND, IS TO CREATE SPACE AND REMOVE UNNECESSARY FREQUENCIES.  NOW, I'M NO EXPERT AT THIS,  BUT THERE IS A TRIED & PROVEN TRICK TO GETTING THIS DONE ---> EQUALIZATION.  THE VERY WORD IS DEFINED AS "the process of adjusting the balance between frequency components within an electronic signal. THERE'S A LOT TO BE TAKEN AWAY FROM THIS DEFINITION. I'LL EXPLAIN MY PROCESS... 


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Kong 16 outs

New video tutorial up on setting up your kong drum designer routed to the ssl mixer with 16 output channels. one thing that this instrument in reason provides is flexibility.  there are numerous ways to get your sound right.  however, kong by default, runs out of a stereo output for all pads.  i like to look at kong similar to an mpc with the 8 output expander option.  check the video, then purchase the template!


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Reason and Protools Rewire Basics

Here's a quick vid on a way to rewire propellerheads reason with rack extensions into protools.  the plugins can then be used on both the instrument channel and/or the audio channel.  Reason 6 is shown here with protools 8, but the same concept applies across multiple versions of both reason & protools.  Be sure to check your software's compatibility when upgrading to newer versions. Also, rewire is only activated here when in 32-bit mode.  Enjoy.


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Get Big Drums, Bro

I've yet to meet a producer on any platform (hardware or software) that didnt want to have bigger drums. big drums in your work is the audio industry's version of flexing. Personally, when I listen to another producer's work, the drums tell me alot about where their skill level is.  that's because if the drums dont smack, it simply isnt right.  this tutorial and template is about helping you set yourself up for consistently banging out great sounding drums.


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In the studio with reason 

Just some footage of me rocking with Reason in the lab.  Enjoy!


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Producer Talk: Picnictyme

I recently had a chance to catch up with my bro Picnic and talk music, business, Reason, and everything else this guy has going on.  I can recall (way back in the day) us sharing ideas on MTV’s Music Generator where we both got our start.  Make no mistake, Richard Escobedo, aka, Picnictyme, is nothing short of genius when it comes to this music.  He is currently a member of Erykah Badu’s in-house band, The Cannabinoids, and is responsible for helping kick start a lot of careers.  [photo credit: Luna Matto]

 


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Bars, Keys, and Anomalies: The Sample Pack

Bars, Keys, and Anomalies: The Sample Pack is here!  MSXII Sound Design, via ReasonToWork, has partnered with hiphopdrumsamples.com once again to release this most incredible piece of work.  The success of the Unkempt Breaks inspired a lot of this work, but with a different spin…added notes, melodies, grooves, riffs and such by way of a vintage drum kit, live bass and electric guitar, vibraphone, and Fender Rhodes 73.  The entire experience was captured and condensed to show the details of the creation process.


Using the Synth Immaculate Sounds

Using The Synth Immaculate Sounds couldn’t be any easier.  We worked hard at collecting a bunch of usable sounds that were ready to hit your DAW or hardware/software sampler to be used in your production.  This tutorial walks you through my thought process when trying to get the best out of these sounds.  The Synth Immaculate kit is not intended as a replacement, but as a compliment to your arsenal.  Stay posted after the jump!


Rob Papen Predator Review

I recently was approached with an opportunity to review a dope product in the Rob Papen series of plugins, Predator.  From his website, Papen describes his products as “powerful instruments and plug-ins that bring together innovative design, uncompromising sound quality, and musical, production-grade presets to make your tracks shine.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Here’s why…


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The Sammich Kits Collection

As I continue on in this musical journey, I’m finding that more and more opportunities catch me while I’m expanding my creative limits.  The Reasontowork.com subsidiary, MSXII Sound Design, is booming!  I’ve had to focus more attention here lately to make sure it takes off in the right direction. these kits are  one-shot, layered drums, straight from my personal library.  I’ve crafted each and every one of these sounds to taste–all in Reason of course.  all of The Sammich Kits are all about immediate usability.  peep the full roster of sammich kits + details + medley demos by clicking "Check it out" below.


Making Beats In Reason

As I continue to explore tons of avenues and opportunities in the industry, I will always try to make time to give back.  I’ve received numerous emails, tweets, and posts on how to get a good sound out of Reason.  Tackling this issue was at the forefront of launching Reasontowork.com.  Now that my sound design group, MSXII Sound, has taken off in unexpected ways, I’m getting the same feedback from some of the kits; “how do you get that sound?”  While I will certainly not give away the sustainability aspects of my music production, I will most definitely give any interested reader insight into a process and allow them to explore from there.  With tons of video, interviews, tutorials, and info on this site, I’ve given a lot away!  Dig deep!

In this example, I wanted to fuse our kits The Synth ImmaculateThe Synth Immaculate 2, and The Sammich Kit into one tutorial. For that reason, I used The Sammich Kit medley as a basis for the work.  Peep.


Producer Talk: Justen Williams

I recently had a chance to catch up with the good sir Justen Williams.  You’ve most notably have seen him as an official Propellerheads Software brand ambassador.  Justen and I have recently been chopping it up on music production, techniques, Reason, and everything in between.  You know my stance; you can learn from anyone and I figured that his insight into beats, the music business, and the industry as a whole would be valuable information for the community. Nevertheless, the dude is on his way–recently landing placements with RCA signed artist Dee-1 and additional work with Ford Motor Co. among others.


The Unkempt Breaks Refill

My sound design conglomerate, MSXII Sound Design, is pleased to announce our first refill for Propellerheads Reason with The Unkempt Breaks Refill!  Based on the wildly popular Unkempt Breaks collection, the refill now harnesses the unmatched power of Reason to expand on the incredible live drum loop pack!  Designed with taking creativity to new levels in mind, the refill appeals to both beginners and seasoned users of Reason alike.  It is also backwards compatible with Reason version 6.5 and above; allowing you to take advantage of stock devices such as ECHO, Dr. Octo Rex, and Pulverizer. Whether you like mapping drums in the 16 pads of Kong to program like an Akai MPC, or you’re needing unique grooves to get your song ideas started, the Unkempt Breaks Refill is for you!  Details below…

Refill Features:

  • All original, unique live drum breaks based on the Unkempt Breaks collection by MSXII Sound Design
  • 27 mulit-tracked drum songs (with templates) to start your own song ideas
  • 3 different FX combinators for sound manipulation and coloring
  • Dedicated tape saturation, tube warmth, and bit crushing buttons and knobs on each combinator unit
  • 6 different combinators for Dr. Octo Rex and Kong kits
  • 27 groove files based on the drum loops
  • 6 songs per each FX combinator to jump start songs
  • 10 Dr. Octo Rex patches
  • Compatible with all stock devices in Reason version 6.5 and above
  • 535 MB Refill file