Mar 012011

Some Amazing things are happeningEvery once in a while I get some great ideas coming into my inbox. This week has been more active than others, and I wanted to share a few ideas with you from some great members sending me their thoughts and their work. Here they are, in no particular order.

Eric Kloeckner’s Recent Musings

First off, we have Kloeckno, who sent me a bunch of great patches that he very generously allowed me to provide everyone: Eric-Kloeckner-Patches. This came from my comment to him that one of the patches he was showcasing in an improv session on YouTube was one helluva great sound. So I asked him if he would send me the patch. He then provided these patches to the community. Well, I delved into them and took a listen. Check them out yourself. I made a video to highlight a few of the sounds within. Great stuff. Simply great.

The patches contain some Combinator Instruments and FX, as well as a very novel way to create a 4-way cross-fader without the need for Thor’s shaper. Very interesting work!

Peff’s new Patch Offerings

Another great development lately has been Peff, hard at work doing some unique high-level stuff for Reason. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should see his new files that are available for download. If you can’t access them here, you’ll need to become a fan. So do it and check them out when you can. You won’t be disappointed. Among the files are a template for Livid OHM users, and a new implementation of an equal power cross-fader which is arguably easier to set up using two Thors, instead of a series of mixers and pan controls.

Mick Comito’s latest Song using the Modulated Thor Oscillator Method

And yet more interesting things from the Reason community. Mick Comito has a really amazing song which definitely resonated with me because it’s very ambient with some nice glitch highlights. His Combinator patch builds on the idea of modulating the Thor oscillators. I had written a tutorial about it a few weeks back and he incorporated this idea into his song. First, have a listen:

Oslating Osolation by SoulReaon

When I emailed him about it, I asked if he would be willing to share the Combinator patch and he replied saying he would be more than happy to share the patch AND the Record song file. So here they are: Mick-Comito-DancingThors. The song is a great exercise in simplicity if you ask me. The main drums are comprised of Rex files, and the Lead is quite a nice Malstrom setup. The modulated Thors provide the spacey/glitchy effect and round out the whole track. Add the Bass, and that’s the entire effort of the song. Structurally simple and yet very rich in sound. If you get a moment, be sure to comment on the song and drop him a line to tell him what you think. I’m sure he would appreciate it. I know I was extremely impressed.

And of course Hydlide has a New Song

Soon by hydliderecordings

So take a listen when you have a minute. As usual, the production on the song is excellent. And he has something in store for us in the not-too-distant future at The Sound of Reason (TSOR) site. So be sure to check in every once in a while and say hi to all the members there.

Some Urgings at the PUF

An Open Letter to the PropellerheadsLastly, thanks to everyone for posting their thoughts on my posting at the PUF. If you have access, you can view the posting here: The post was meant to hopefully open up some better discussion about what makes up a community and how we can all receive some better support, tutorials, information, etc. from the Propellerheads themselves. As of this posting, there was no word from them (though James Bernard did respond), but then today I noticed they had a few responses (from Leo and Ludvig), which was VERY encouraging indeed!

If you get a chance, post a comment and let your voice be heard as well.

I don’t know how the hell I missed this last year, but Introducing James Bernard. . .…s-rescheduled/ 

Reason & Record: Meet the Propellerheads

Propellerhead Record 1.5 & Reason 5 – James Bernard Interview Part One

Propellerhead Record 1.5 & Reason 5 – James Bernard Interview Part Two

James Bernard Propellerhead Masterclass Video – Part One

James Bernard Propellerhead Masterclass Video – Part Two

James Bernard Propellerhead Masterclass – Reason Record Pt 3

James Bernard Propellerhead Masterclass – Reason Record Pt 4

As you can see, there’s a lot of happenings out there in the community that are noteworthy, and I’m sure many others that deserve mention. These are just some of the great ideas that I’ve had the pleasure of looking into, and in talking with everyone here, it’s nice to see a few fresh thoughts come out of the discussions I’ve had. I’d like to thank everyone who contributed here. It does not go unnoticed and is very much appreciated, to say the least.

Have an idea of your own that you want to discuss? Write me and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear about them.

  20 Responses to “Some Amazing Happenings”

  1. Cheers rob, that puts a smile on my face ;)

  2. @Hyd,
    Good. I think we need to have more smiling faces around here. ;-)

  3. Thanks for the encouragement Rob!! It means a lot!!! :)

  4. @Mick,
    No problem. I thought the track was very solid. Keep up the great work!

  5. Thanks @Mick and @Rob – cool stuff! I did a small study in chill using your patches on SoundCloud.

    – Bash

  6. @BashCoder,
    Oooooh shiver. Very chill indeed. That’s a nice little remix you have there. Mick really had a nice spacey vibe with his tune. On yours, I really like the drums and little quirky sounds thrown in. Very sweet. :-)

  7. @PhiSequence – Thanks for the kind words Rob! I really appreciate your work on this site. What an amazing resource!

    – Bash

  8. @Bash,
    Well thanks right back to you. As long as it helps everyone make better music with Reason and be more creative with the program, then I’ll keep on writing the tutorials and throwing out new ideas. ;-)

  9. Hey!

    I find this style of music difficult to understand. to my ears there appears to be no structure and the whole track sounds the almost the same except the breakdown. But I’m liking Micks’ number as the drums are playing an important part to the over all structure of the track. At least you can figure where the 1 starts and I like messing about with the time signature with is track. Nice drums.

    But great work Rob!

  10. Hey EBTGirl,

    Thanks for the listen… I am certainly no expert when it comes to defining music, But I am a drummer and your right, the drums are providing the structure for the most part. The subtle dynamic of the music is driven by the drums. Or is it the other way around… I always get confused. Guess that’s part of being a drummer.

    The thing I like about chillout music, and I’ve thought about this for a while, is that I can listen to it and enjoy it while I’m working (or even relaxing, playing solitaire) with out it being distracting. But that’s my opinion and how I describe it to people who have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention chill.

    What I really like are the drum grooves and bass lines which, while somewhat simple, hmmm, perhaps natural is a better word, are so hypnotic.

    There is a great internet radio site I’m not sure a lot of people are aware of at

    I listen to the ambient channel all the time. This is, imho, the best site out there for chill music.

    Anyway, thanks again for the listen, and thanks to Rob for the Venue!!


  11. @EBTGirl & Mick,
    To me, chillout is a cross between music that makes you think and music which you don’t need to think to appreciate. If you are interested in more like this, listen to Brian Eno, and for something more current than Eno, The Orb. Those are my two favorite Ambient bands. Boards of Canada are also in the same vein. And Seefeel too. Anything on Warp Records Label is interesting for ambient tracks too. And there were two landmark CDs in this genre called “Artificial Intelligence” if you can find them.

    I think part of the appeal for this type of music for me is that there isn’t a structure. Or if there is, it’s very loose. This leaves it open to as much experimentation as you like. Though usually the drums and bass do provide a lynchpin for the whole track overall, as Mick explains here.

    Good conversation.

  12. @EBTGirl and Rob,

    Rob: To me, chillout is a cross between music that makes you think and music which you don’t need to think to appreciate.

    That’s a great way to put it!

    Regarding the structure, instead of verse and chorus, you have Part A, part B, part C, and maybe back to part A but maybe not. The songs are kind of a journey or trip… trip… trip… if you will. The thing I like and the part that makes me “think” is how the artists get from part A to B to C. This is the point I am at in my own personal development. I have a lot of parts. Now I’m working on trying to make the journeys (songs) go to different places and be less monotone etc. as well as mixing (but that’s another conversation).

    Here’sa like to my soundcloud page. I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately and did a tribute to Theivery Corp. and Nightmares On Wax, two of the artists that hooked me into the genre. Not that it stands up to their music but give it a listen and let me know what you think. -Thanks, Mick

  13. @Mick,
    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about structure. Sometimes I can get in a bit of a rut with it. My structure of choice usually goes something like this: Intro / Verse / Breakdown / Outro with a buildup (or chorus I guess) somewhere along the way.

    I guess I’m looking at a possible tutorial to show alternative song structures. Getting into more of the main sequencer side of things with the tutorials here. But not really sure how to tackle it yet, or even if I will.

    Some chill can sound very monotonous. And maybe they are great feats of musical genius, but if it’s TOO monotonous, I’ll just shut it off. I think so much can be done with modulation, and especially in the digital world, where you can modulate the hell out of every parameter of every device, that there’s no need for monotony. However, one does have to exercise a little discipline and not go overboard either.

    Music, like any art form, is a matter of balance between all things. That’s my thinking anyway. Go too far ambient, and you end up with elevator musak. Too far the other way and you end up with chaotic noise. That’s why in all my ambient tracks I try to insert a little chaotic glitch here and there, and in all my glitch tracks, I try to temper it with a little structure somewhere.

    But of course all of this is just one person’s opinion.

  14. Hmmm… now you have me thinking. You do love your glitch.
    I notice I’ve been using a lot of arpegio and rhythmic patches to (sort of) achieve the same thing you aim for with the glitch.

    Thinking about a tutorial huh. I have a lot of 16 and 32 bar beats that really aren’t songs. I think most users, especially on my level, have the same. We start with a patch that sounds cool, add a beat, through in some bass or melody, whatever’s missing, add the glitch or arpy stuff… End up with something that sounds really cool but now needs to be developed. That might be a good starting point to think about the tutorial.

    “So, you have your 16 bar beat… Now what?”

    Might make a nice “community” project too. Maybe somehow…

    Anyway, as always… Nice talking with you!!


  15. Thanks to Mick and Rob!!! this was pretty cool!!! And Rob #13 is a great idea for a tutorial…I struggle with song structure way too much.

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