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Course: Producing Music with Reason

Producing Music with Reason

  • Life Time Access
  • Certificate on Completion
  • Access on Android and iOS App
  • Self-Paced
About this Course

Everything you need to know to get started producing great music with Propeller head Reason (Versions 7, 8, 9 and 10)

Basic knowledge
  • Students should be comfortable in using a PC
  • Students should possess a relatively good pair of speakers or headphone
  • Optional: students should own a MIDI controller or keyboard and have it connected to their computer
  • Students should possess a version of Reason to pro-actively participate in the course (Version 7, 8 or 9). The (free) demo version can be enough. It doesn't need to be installed or set-up (instructions are provided in Section 3 of the course)
What you will learn
  • Understand how the software works and thus feel comfortable navigating it
  • Create musical devices (synth, effects, samplers, drum machines), play and record them
  • Edit MIDI and Audio data
  • Apply effects to individual tracks, mix their creation effectively and process the resultant master bus
  • Produce and export full compositions in Reason with a professional sound quality
Curriculum
Number of Lectures: 27
Total Duration: 04:49:10
Introduction to "Producing Music with Reason"
  • General Presentation of the course  

    This introduction video describes who can benefit most from this course, and what they can get out of it. The aims of the course are presented as well as its structure and a brief description of its content.

  • Interview with presenter (Q&A)  

    This video contains a Q&A session with the instructor followed with examples of music created with Reason:

    ·       What is Reason? 

    ·       What version of Reason are you Teaching in this course?

    ·       Is this course for beginners or advanced users?

    ·       How hard is it to learn how to produce music in Reason?

    ·       Who is the instructor, Edouard Reny?

    ·       What do you like most about Reason?

  • Table of content  

    This video is a detailed description of the structure and content of this course. It will also give you tips on how to follow this course in order to make the most of it. 

The Structure of Reason
  • The Flow of Sound and MIDI in Reason  

    First steps in Reason!

    This video is a theoretical description of the structure of the software. Understanding how Reason is organised allows us to master the flow of sound and music data within it.Reason is composed of three main modules: The sequencer, the Rack and the Mixer. We will describes these and look together at how the sound flows between them.

    Level: Beginner.

  • Moving around the Sequencer, the Rack and the Mixer.  

    This  episode shows the 4 ways to start up the beast, and how it presents itself on  your computer. You will get familiar with the three main windows and learn  how to navigate between them (using the mouse or keyboard shortcuts).

    Level:  Beginner.

  • First Notes in Reason  

    In this video, you will learn how to create a synthesizer in the rack and play a few notes. This will allow you to observe where the sound goes in the software and give you a perfect opportunity to learn what is meant by "the rack" and by "device".

    You will also record a few notes in the sequencer as well as some MIDI parameter data. This will give you the opportunity to learn a few basic editing techniques as well as how to hook up a knob of your midi controller to a midi parameter in the rack, and record its real time motion! 

    Level: Beginner.

  • Applying effects  

    In this video, you will start having a glimpse of Reason's musical power. In this episode, we will edit the MIDI clips we created in the previous video to adjust them to our liking.


    Then you will learn how to connect effects to the synth created in the previous video and how to set them up to get the sound we want. This will give you the opportunity to discover two of Reason's effects modules: The Echo and The Rev7000.


    We will record variations of these effects with time by assigning some of their parameters to knobs on our MIDI controller. 


    Level: Beginner.

  • Creating a Spacey Piano (Exercise)  

    A challenge for you! From what you have learned in the videos up to now in the course, you should be able to create from scratch a spacey piano sound. Try it, seriously! that effort will allow you to get familiar with the basics and prepare you for the second section of the course.

    Level: Beginner.

Producing a music track in Reason
  • Introduction to Music Production in Reason  

    This episode is an introduction to the Core of the Course, Section 2, in which we will produce from scratch a mini music track together (You can hear the final result in this video) . Note that the objective here is not to produce a smash hit, but to give you the know-how and show you the tools to make one yourself! This is what you will learn in this section :


    ·       Navigate across the windows and manipulate editing tools,

    ·       Get familiar with the rack structure,

    ·       Create instruments in the Rack, and apply effects to them,

    ·       Record and edit in the sequencer MIDI notes and parameter automations.

    ·       Basics of a synth and how to manipulate some of the synth parameters while knowing what you are actually doing,

    ·       Basics of drum machine programming,

    ·       Using and editing audio samples in the sequencer,

    ·       Basics in mixing and how to spot problems in a mix as well as correcting them.

    ·       And many other useful things, like shortcuts and tips which are spread around this section.

  • Creating a beat in Reason  

    This episode will show you the different options Reason offers you to create beats (audio loops, sliced Rex loops, Kong Drum machine and Redrum drum machine). 


    We will focus on one specific option to create a basic beat (programming a drum machine, The Redrum) and record it in the sequencer via the Pads of our MIDI controller. Our MIDI recording will allow us to go a little deeper in the editing process and learn some cool editing tips.


    Level: Beginner. 


    Note: This video is not an extensive list of ways to create beats in Reason. There is another powerful option that is not mentioned here but it uses Refills (for example BFD with MIDI clip importation).

  • Sound generation basics and recording a synthbass line.  

    In this video, we will create a bass line using the Subtractor synthesizer. This will give us the opportunity to get introduced to synthesizers. We will briefly describes the basic functions of a synth so that we can generate a sound.


    We will also do a little theory here by describing how sound can be described as waveforms. We will listen to various waveforms and understand why some can be used for a purpose and some others for another. I will exemplify this by improvising the creation of a jazzy pad.


    We will then go back to playing, recording and editing a bass line for our music track.


    Level: Beginner and intermediate level user.

  • Setting up a pad  

    This video will show you how to create a background Pad in Reason. We will explore how to browse and load a preset in the Rack. This will give us the opportunity to discover what is a Combinator. This will also allow us to explore functionalities of the rack. 


    We will see how to learn about sound design in the rack from these presets. Moreover, we will learn how to change the sound on the fly in order to suit it to our needs. We will conclude by playing, recording and editing a pad for our little music track.


    Level: Beginner and intermediate level user.

  • Recording a melody and main file clean up tips  

    We have now a beat, a bass-line and a background pad. Time to play, record and edit a little melody using the spacey piano sound we created in the first section!


    During the creative process, it is important to stay organised in order not to hinder the workflow while composing. The second part of this video will share with you some clean-up tips and a few best practices.


    Level: Beginner. 

  • Sound Design a rising Woosh (part 1)  

    This video and the next introduces you to sound design by creating a rising whoosh sound from scratch. Such sound is often used to announce a change or transition in a song, especially in electro and techno. We will use for this a Thor synthesiser. This first part will share with you the basics of the Thor synthesiser by going through its architecture. We will learn how the sound is generated in the Thor and how it flows in its various modules, as well as what these modules do to it.


    We will then learn how to generate a white noise that will be the base of our sound and sculpt it with time to make it rise. In addition, to make it sound flashy and spread across the stereo field we will create a chain of effects by connecting various devices to the channel strip containing the Thor synthesiser.


    Level: Intermediate level user.

  • Sound Design a rising Woosh (part 2)  

    In this video, we will insert our Whoosh sound in our mini music track. For that, we will sculpt it to our liking by recording in real time synths parameters and the motion of the channel strip fader in the sequencer.


    In the process, we will realise that our whoosh doesn't sound that good, so we will troubleshoot to analyse what is missing and correct it by modifying some synth parameters. We will also add an EQ and a maximiser to the effect chain we created in the previous video.


    Level: Intermediate level user.

  • Importing audio in Reason: an ending impact for our music.  

    In this video, we will import an external audio sample that we will use as final hit for the ending of our music composition. First, we will discuss how and where to find these samples, and the legal implications of using them in a composition. Then we will import an audio sample of a hit, using this example as a good opportunity to get introduced to the basic audio editing tools that are offered in Reason's sequencer. We will explore this a little further by importing an audio loop of a beat, and replacing our current beat with it, just to hear what it sounds like. This is a great way to explore alternatives and change the feel of a composition drastically.


    Level: Beginners and intermediate level user.

  • Mixing Music, the fundamentals  

    Mixing is a crucial step when it comes to making a music track sound professional. Do not count too much on the mastering which is just the final polishing: your track should sound already amazing before the mastering phase! This video presents a step by step technique to mix your music.


    You will also learn fundamental theoretical concepts that will allow you to make wise choices when carrying out the three mixing processes (Volume, Pan and Frequency). This video ends with golden tips!


    Level: Intermediate level user.

  • Preparing the mixing session  

    In this video we will clean up and organise our little music track in order to prepare it for the mixing phase. On the fly, we will carry out a few sonic adjustments to make sure we are satisfied with the individual sounds (EQuing, Reverbing, sonic sculpting).


    This episode will demonstrate how you can do these adjustments easily in Reason.


    Level: Intermediate level user.

  • Spectral mixing and side chain compression  

    This episode focuses on a special mixing technique that can be referred as frequency selective side chain compression (FSSCC).


    The first section of the video is a presentation showing the details of spectral mixing, and the problems due to frequency overlapping between instruments which can occur during that process.


    You will learn how side chain compression (SSC) can be a great tool to solve this issue. However, this can be at the cost of the timber of your sounds. This is when frequency selective side chain compression enters the game. After a demonstration on an electro track of what SSC can do for you in terms of being creative with electronic music, we will learn how to set up FSSCC in Reason and apply it to our music composition.


    Level: Intermediate and Advanced.

  • Finalising the Mix  

    In this video, we will go through the various adjustments I carried out in Studio on our little music: spectral mixing the piano and the pad, light compression applied on the kick, final volume and pan mix, inserting some EQ on the master bus and applying some general reverb on most of the tracks and finally applying light compression on the master bus using the mixers compressor.


    This video concludes this section by exporting our little music track.


    Level: Beginners and intermediate level user.

Installation and Set Up of Reason
  • Installation of Propellerhead Reason  

    This video shows you a step by step process on how to install Reason on your computer!

    Level: Beginner.

  • Setting up General Parameters  

    This episode describes the main set-up options in Reason. We will explore and then set up the editing and appearance options. We will also learn how to build a template (the song format in which Reason opens when launched). We will end this video by setting up some other miscellaneous software parameters.


    Level: Beginner

  • Setting up Audio Parameters  

    This video aims at guiding you to set up Audio in Reason for trouble-free use. It explains what is an audio driver and how Reason interacts with your audio card. You will also learn how to choose wisely some audio setup parameters. 


    Level: Beginner

  • Setting up MIDI Parameters  

    In this episode, you will learn how to make Reason detect and set up your MIDI controller. The example used here is the setting up the MPK Mini MIDI controller. This video concludes with a brief description and recommendations concerning other parameters (Sync, Advanced and Language).


    Level: Beginner.

Bonus Videos
  • Improve your workflow with Keyboard shortcuts  

    Nothing can be more frustrating than losing inspiration just because of a struggle in carrying out a simple operation! It is definitely super useful to know a few shortcuts to improve workflow and not let technical issues hinder the creative process.


    This video teaches you just that by teaching you the must-know shortcuts in Propellerhead Reason. It does that by showing you also how to use them effectively using examples. 


    Level: beginner and intermediate.

  • Become super creative with Rack Extensions  

    Rack extensions (RE) are additional modules that can be used in Reason. These can be seen as plugins exclusive to Reason. Some of these Rack extensions are amazing and boost Reason to another creative dimension! This video presents what is out there for you to play with.


    First, we download a free RE (A control voltage meter) and show how to install it in Reason.


    Then, I improvise for a few minutes by producing a little electro piece and at the same time show you how this new RE integrates in the rack.

  • Setting up VST drums in Reason using NI Kontakt  

    This video shows a technique to connect a multi-output virtual instrument to Reason using Kontakt, and to route all sound sources to different channels of the mixer.

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Course Language
English
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