A Word of Thanks. . .

With the latest release of my “Generations” refill, there’s been a flurry of activity on other boards to help me promote it and showcase it to the world. I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to everyone for putting all of this together. Thumbnail and picture credit: Cristóbal Vila (http://vimeo.com/eterea)

Thanks for all the Flowers!
Image credit: Cristóbal Vila

With the latest release of my “Generations” refill, there’s been a flurry of activity on other boards to help me promote it and showcase it to the world. I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to everyone for putting all of this together. I am always humbled when people come together to help out. And you guys have certainly helped me out.

First, a word of thanks to Hydlide. Not only did you do an amazing job on the demo songs for the refill, but you put together a great series of videos to help show off some of the sounds inside the refill. If you missed it, you can find the full article here:


Another word of thanks goes out to Lewis for his great interview of yours truly. You did a wonderful job pulling all the elements together for this posting, and even shocked me to see some pictures up there that I thought had long been forgotten. So thanks for that. Those that missed out on the interview can find it here:


Another great thank you goes out to Robbneu from his Patch-a-day blog. He put together a wonderful testimonial. And his help along the way with some of my constructions was also a huge part of the whole refill process. Here’s what he had to say:


Without all of you guys, this project would never have been completed on time and I want you to know that your help was invaluable. And thanks to everyone else out there who helped me out in one way or another. It does not go unnoticed.

And a word of thanks to everyone out there on all the forum boards that ask so many interesting questions. Without those questions, I wouldn’t have such a great source of inspiration for these tutorials and patches. So thanks to all of you as well. Keep all the questions coming!

What’s in a Name?

Now another thing I’d like to bring up since we’re chatting. Some people have asked me where the moniker “Phi Sequence” comes from. In case you didn’t know, that’s the name under which I do most of my recording and CD/mp3 distribution at http://www.phisequence.com. The name actually comes from the golden rule of proportion, otherwise known as the Fibonacci sequence of numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on. More info about it can be found at the Wikipedia article for the Golden Ratio. The Golden ratio is expressed mathematically as 1.6180339887 (approximately).

There’s also another resource online which shows just how important this concept is, not only for mathematics, but also for music, science, the stock market, life, and nature. This number is a fundamental idea that permeates almost all aspects of physics and life as we know it. Read more about it here when you get a minute: http://www.goldennumber.net/

Also, my thanks to Guidosh at the Sound of Reason community for pointing out this amazing video. It’s a very short introduction to ways in which the Fibonacci sequence of numbers works in our world:

Nature by Numbers from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.

Reason Patch A Day Refill

A review of Robb Neumann’s “Reason Patch A Day” Refill, with approximately 500 Patches for Propellerhead Reason. This is one refill you don’t want to miss. Basses, Pads, Effects, Combinators, Synths. It’s all in there. Take a listen for yourself.

If you frequent the various Propellerhead forums and sites, you’ve probably come across Robb Neumann’s “Reason Patch A Day” website. The concept is simple. Robb provides a new patch each day which is produced by him or contributed by others, and he provides a short write-up explaining each one on his blog at http://www.reasonpatchaday.blogspot.com/

Recently, he decided to release the entire 1.5-year collection in a single Refill that anyone can download for a donation. Being a person who runs my own Reason website, I know what goes into maintaining this growing monstrosity. And I know that a few modest donations go a long way. And for 500 patches in a rock-solid refill, that’s well worth it. And that’s what you get.

Some of the great Combinator patches from the refill
Some of the great Combinator patches from the refill. Notice the dedication to Brian Eno in the bottom Combi backdrop. Love it!

There’s Basses, Synths, Rhythm patches, and tons of Effects. If you’re looking for some great new sounds or looking to be inspired and see how one sound designer works his magic, then this is a great refill which you’ll want to have in your collection. Play the video review I put together below to hear some of the sounds and what you can accomplish.

Now keep in mind this only scratches the surface. I could go on and demonstrate many more of his patches, but I think this modest little intro showcases some of the magic you’ll find here.

I think in general the refill focuses on Basses, Synths, Pads and Effects. However, there are also some really nice percussion kits, and a lot of great Yamaha RX one-off samples that you can easily put inside an NN-XT kit.

The only nit-pick I would have is that some of the Combi patches that I opened up were templates where you had to add in your own Redrum kits. I would have liked to have been able to open up those Combis and start rocking out right away. But that’s such a minor nit-pick, it should in no way stop you from downloading this refill right away. You will not be disappointed.

To download the Refill, go to http://www.reasonpatchaday.blogspot.com/ and click the Donate button on the right side navigation bar. Once you enter a paypal donation, Robb will send you an email with a link to download the refill. Simple as that.

I think the cherry on the cake are the Combinator backdrops. There’s some really nice designs in there. I know that’s just a minor thing, but it adds that special touch that is usually lacking in a lot of refills. So this refill gets an extra gold star for that.

So thanks to Robb and thanks to all of you Reason/Record sound designers out there. You guys all give of yourselves so much and so freely that it makes me proud to be considered part of this small little niche community. Keep up the great work!

DopeTank Free 2010 Refill

DopeTank Free 2010 Refill: A collection of 106 Thors and 15 Combinators made by Heikki Roots (aka Pirnikas or Deep’n’Dark). He was gracious enough to offer this out to the Reason community for free.

Download the Refill: DopeTank-Free-2010

A collection of 106 Thors and 15 Combinators made by Heikki Roots (aka Pirnikas or Deep’n’Dark). He was gracious enough to offer this out to the Reason community for free. Here’s what he has to say about his refill:

When making this refill I wanted to keep the sound phat, clean and musical. Another thing I wanted was making every sound different so there’s something for everyone.Every sound-designer has their own methods and their own taste of how it should sound. I like when there’s lot of edge but not too much. When playing the sound, it should make you wanna play your midi keyboard. Most of the time the modwheel has been assigned to some parameter, sometimes the other buttons & rotaries as well. When playing pads or other patches that you may play as chords, I’ve tried to keep the sound clean.

The Combinator patches:

There’s 15 combinators inside this refill. When layering sounds, you can make extremely rich and big sounds as you can add just as many layers as you want. Another thing are the effects which bring in lot of possibilities to shape the sounds.Sometimes you have an instrument that doesn’t sound that special, but when layering some sounds together, you can make some “killer” sounds. Some of these patches have tweaking possibilities, most don’t. These patches can be used for many genres, like hiphop, electronic but also for pop or film music etc. So get the refill and expand your rack as this refill is free.

The Thor patches:

The Thor patches have been categorized into different folders so it’s easy to find right sound every time. The categories are:

  • Bass
  • Fx
  • Keys
  • Leads
  • Mono synth
  • Modulated
  • Other
  • Pads
  • Poly synth
  • Sequenced
  • Voices

What I found great about these patches is the fact that the sound is indeed very clean and crisp. For the combinator patches, there’s a lot of interesting reverb going on in most cases, and the sound is very spacious. Also, what’s nice is that every mod wheel does affect a parameter, so you can vary the sound as you play. The only thing I would criticize is the fact that most of the other combinator parameters or Thor parameters don’t have any modulations assigned to them. I think this misses out on a great opportunity to enhance the patches even further. But putting that aside, the sounds in here are top notch!

Highlights for me were the Combinator and Thor Pads. I think this refill shows off a lot of reverb talent and that comes across best in those patches. I also thought the sequenced and voice Thor patches were really nice, and it’s too bad there weren’t more of these. Perhaps in some future patches or refills, since Heikki has promised more free patches to come in the Propellerhead User Forum.

Thanks for sharing Heikki!