Wednesday, May 30

Rack Extensions for Reason and Reason Essentials

Props team up with some of the developers bringing Rack Extensions to the Reasonverse:
"Meet some of the developers bringing Rack Extension devices to Reason's rack! Rack Extensions allow 3rd party developers to bring their expertise, sounds, and inspiring workflow into Reason by merging some of the best elements of typical plugin expandability with the best elements of Reason's ongoing commitment to stability, efficiency, and musicality.
In this video you'll get a look at some of the first Rack Extensions to arrive in Reason's rack, hear direct from the developers themselves and, most importantly, see just how massive this expansion will be for your music."

Well what do we have here...

This looks awesome:

Monday, May 28

Pantheon III - EWI Edition!

New from Nucleus SoundLab - the Pantheon III EWI Edition:
Nucleus SoundLab in collaboration with Bernie Kenerson proudly present Pantheon III - EWI Edition. This is a special version of Pantheon III specifically designed for use with Akai's EWI range of breath controllers. Bernie has taken every Combinator and Thor patch and reworked it for best performance using any breath/wind controller. Beyond that, the contents of the ReFill is identical to the regular edition of Pantheon III - the same amazing patches and thorough PDF documentation.
Pantheon III is comprised of Combinator and Thor patches created by a dream-team of Reason sound designers. Tom Pritchard, Adam Fielding, Kirke Godfrey, Joseph Mizelle, Clint Grierson, Lewis Osborne and Shaun Wallace - Many of these designers have released a number of their own ReFills, both free and commercial. Now all have come together, united by the incredible quality standards of Nucleus SoundLab's Lead Designer Jeremy Janzen, to create the highest-quality Thor ReFill - ever.
Pantheon III is built from the ground up for both Reason 5 and Record. This means that Kong effects are put to good use, as well as the new Combinator CV inputs. As well, 36 patches have been specifically built for those who own both Record + Reason 5 - though they will also work great for Reason 6 owners. These patches use the Line6 amps and Neptune pitch-shifter to take Thor to a completely new level!
Pantheon III is genre agnostic - its not a pack of sounds specifically designed to create one sub-genre of electronic music. Instead, the patches inside are applicable to many different styles such as ambient, IDM, trance, electro, dubstep, filmscore and downtempo. Some sounds fall well outside these genre boundaries as well, and are suitable for exploring totally new sonic territory! Inside you'll find an incredible aural landscape of sounds - such as huge modular chords, 'workstation'-esque pads, filmscore FX, dirty amped leads, and wavetable arpeggios of all stripes.
Any owners of the regular edition of Pantheon III can crossgrade to the EWI version for $19. Owners should have received an email with this offer. If you did not, simply contact us with your name and Pantheon III receipt and you'll be sent a link to purchase at the discounted price.
• 260 fresh and unique Combinators
• 36 Combinators built for Reason 5 + Record (or Reason 6)
• 300 Thor patches.
• All patches reworked for breath/wind controller performance
• 8 .rps demo songs.
• All Combinator and most Thor rotaries/buttons uniquely mapped.
• All Combinator and Thor patches categorized intelligently.
• PDF Design documentation for each patch, detailing important aspects of its design, inspiration and performance.
Demo Video:

Saturday, May 26

Buffre Sounds from Peff!

Peff has uploaded a few teaser sounds from his upcoming Buffre Rack Extension in the past month. Check 'em out:
testing timing coherency and difference between a buffre'd loop and an unprocessed loop:
testing Buffre's beat repeater and bitcrush features under high processing conditions:
Reason ID8 Instrument Drums mangled in the buffer of our Re device:

Thursday, May 24

How to make your drums punchy in Reason

JB's back with the latest installment of Reason Sound Design:
In this Reason Sound Design video Propellerhead product specialist James Bernard give you some tried and tested engineering tips to help get your drums punching through your mix. It may seem redundant at first. After all, drums are punchy by their very nature so why do we need to MAKE them punchy if they already ARE punchy. The simple answer is that when you layer other instruments on top and everything starts fighting for the same sonic frequency space, your drums can get lost in the process.
James will show you through proper EQ, compression, and parallel processing how you can lift your drums back out of the mix and have them punching through your song exactly as you hope for.

Traktor Remix Has Landed

Native Instruments has updated Traktor to 2.5, a free upgrade with the new Remix Deck Technology:
The wait is over: Traktor Pro 2.5, featuring the powerful new Remix Deck™ technology, is now available. Watch Traktor Pro 2.5 in action as techno explorer Stewart Walker flexes the Remix Decks using two Traktor Kontrol F1s and his Traktor Kontrol S4.

Sonic State - Roland Jupiter 50 In Depth Look

Gareth Bowen shows Sonic State's Nick Batt the Roland Jupiter 50:

Tuesday, May 22

Coming tomorrow to Google

Meet Pulsar!

Propellerhead introduced more details on Pulsar today along with the above photo:
Pulsar LGM-1 is a dual channel modulation powerhouse for the Reason rack. We call it an LFO—but it’s also a powerful little synth in its own right. For tweakers, Pulsar makes every single thing in the rack a little bit better. For back-of-the-rackophobes it comes with patches containing everything from lush evolving pads to the grittiest of wobble basses.
Need to add slow modulation to a filter, or alter the speed of a tremolo as you trigger new notes? Pulsar is up for any task. Turn up the Shuffle parameter to introduce some irregularity to your modulation. Smooth out sharp waveforms using Lag. Or go all-out bonkers and let LFO2 trigger the built-in envelope, set to change the rate of LFO2, and route the combined outputs of both LFOs to control the rate of LFO1.
Yeah, we didn't understand that either, but it sounds like this:
When the rate is turned up, Pulsar transforms from low frequency oscillator to high powered synth with plenty of character. The LFO waveforms in combination with lag and shuffle brings tons of tones—edgy and noisy.
With all that said, we've saved the best for last. Pulsar will be free for the first three months. When Reason 6.5 and Reason Essentials 1.5 come out, all you need to do is head over to the Propellerhead Shop and claim your copy.

Soundcells Nordic Red!

As many of you probably recall Soundcells gave away a killer teaser refill for Christmas called Nordic Red, promising a full fledged commercial version later in 2012, well it's here! Check it out:
Nordic Red - the Modular G2x ReFill
‘Prepare yourself for a journey where your creativity can reach new levels‘ - this statement from the ‘Welcome‘ section of the G2 manual is a perfect description of what you can expect from the Nordic Red ReFill. The ability to create an unlimited range of individual sounds will not only provide you with "otherworldly" atmospheric stuff, the deepest textures and great keys, but also with surprisingly "in-your-face" bass patches and wonderful pads when diving into this ReFill: The "self-playing" patches (called "Noodles" in the G2), for example, are great starting points to create some ultra-deep atmospheric textures - an ideal entry for composing film scores or game music.
By using Reason‘s fantastic timestretch algorithm (loading the waves as audio files), all samples can be tweaked further, diving deeper into the recordings, bouncing preferred parts and coming up with even more brilliant ambient gems...
But that´s not all:
If you are looking for quality bass patches, classic (or modern) keys, huge pads and more, you will not be disappointed! As usual, the combinator buttons and knobs were carefully assigned to allow dramtic changes to the default sounds you´ll be hearing initially.
• 126 impressive combinator patches subdivided in 6 folders
• 149 NNXT patches containing the basic patches which were used to build the combinators.
• 600+ 44 khz, 24bit samples, 1.1 GB uncompressed.
• Great for film scores, game music, ambient & drones but also modern dance styles.
• 11 demo files with ‘tutorialesque‘ value are included.
Special sale price 19.90€ (normally 24.90€) now @

Monday, May 21

The Petti Test Ep.4

Reverse Engineering Joker's "Tron"
In the latest episode of The Petti Test Chris Petti reverse engineers the heavy bass synth sound from Joker's Tron using Reason:

CELEBRATE BOB: Moog Store Performance

Cool new Moog video:
Local Asheville piano teacher, Kim Roney, brought two of her pupils to the Moog Store to perform a song in celebration of Bob Moog's birthday. Bob Moog is still inspiring creative exploration in children of all ages. Thank you Dr. Moog, Happy Birthday! How has Bob Moog inspired you? #celebratebob

Saturday, May 19

eXode's Dubstep Bass & Synth ReFill Review!

Daniel Olsson isn't a household name, but probably every Reason user knows his eXode alter ego. Famous for the legendary Massive Synthesis ReFill, eXode began a new commercial venture last year with the fantastic 3 volume Club Soundset series. His latest refills include Pads & Soundscapes and Dubstep Bass & Synth, the latter of which we will be concentrating on in this article and interview.
Not many commercial sound designers programming for Reason release refills based on genres, what made you decide to release a soundbank featuring dubstep basses and synths?
"I developed this refill by chance initially. I had a couple of ideas, one was geared towards bass sounds in general, but the production techniques behind dubstep bass has always intrigued me, so it started with a couple of dubstep type patches and then it kept rolling. Before I knew it, this refill had taken shape, and it made the most sense to release it as a dubstep refill. :)"
For starters let's take a look at the set-up of Dubstep Bass & Synth (which for convenience sake will be shortened to DB&S heretofore). The refill is made up of 64 combinator presets, 42 of which are Bass patches and 22 Synth - labelled with "eXode - Synth (or Bass) - Patch Name". The patches are all in the same folder, which is something I usually don't care for, but with the sound type in the title of the patch I would deem that unnecessary. All of the combinators use the same backdrop, which looks like a brushed metal faceplate with "EXODE" in white in the top right corner with smudgy grime on the sides where fingers would have lifted the rack to insert it in your Reason rack - very cool looking and appropriate!

Now let's take a look at the real meat of the refill - the basses! DB&S comes with 42 unique bass patches that run the ranks from the dirty Wobbles you'd immediately think would be in a Dubstep refill to more unique modded basses and classic grime sounds. Some of my favorites of the Wobble bases are Cthulhu, Dark and Dirty, Lifeform, Magnetic and Random Wobbler. Looking at the patching in the refill I noticed the many different ways eXode went about creating a Wobble - from using the Follower in a Pulveriser modulated by another source, Thor's LFO's modulating both the Frequency and Amp Gain to one of my favorites - Bassrotor, which uses Curve 30 from a Malstrom's Mod B to modulate the Frequency input on a Pulveriser for what sounds like a motor turning over. So of course I had to ask eXode about his choices for modulation:

"In the Dubstep refill I was very conscious about the modulation as it is an integral part of the sound. In the first example you mention, the fact is that the Pulveriser's Follower acts like a lag processor (slew/portamento) with individual rise and fall times when fed an external CV signal. So for some patches I fed it a square wave LFO and smoothed it out to get a modulating waveform that is not a square but still not a sine or a triangle. I've tried to get both traditional wobbles and other ones. That is why I've been using the Malström as well, because of it's many modulator waveforms. I guess I make a choice depending on the type of patch I'm making (traditional wobble or other type)."

Speaking of modulation, many of the bass Combis in DB&S have Rotary 3 routed to control the Wobble amount; this is great for not only dialing in modulation, but can be used to turn off the Wobble in itself. Why do I mention this, because many of the bass patches in DB&S sound great with or without the modulation. A great example of this is the patch Deteriorated, made up of a Malstrom synth using both the Sawtooth*16 and SweepingSaw oscillators routed into individual Low Pass Filters and into a Pulveriser where it's squashed! You can tell when exploring these patches that a lot of thought went into the front panel combi controls, which are tailored for each patch individual (although many share similar assignments.) For example in Deteriorated Button 2 turns on a Lo-Fi effect courtesy of the Digital Distortion of a Scream unit, the Modwheel controls the Shift parameter of the Malstrom synth and Button 3 increases the Dirt of the Pulveriser. eXode uses the Pulveriser quite a bit in both the Dubstep Bass & Synth and his new Soundscapes Refill - for everything from BIT Reduction to dirty squashed sounds to filtering! Which was another thing I had to ask him about:

"Yes. The correct naming is actually sample rate reduction (for the BIT Reduction). I got this idea from the modular world where you take a sample and hold unit and feed it with audio and then clock it with an oscillator running at audio rate. When you run the clock at a slower rate than the source you get sample rate reduction! Anyway I am really in love with the Pulveriser, it brings so much character to the rack that I feel simply wasn't there so easily in Reason 5. I slap it on almost everything with subtle settings of squash and dirt (sometimes more dirt). I also really like the quality of the filter as well, even though they are pretty much the same as some of the previous devices they somehow sound better. Maybe a better algorithm or some other secret stuff is going on in there. For the Dubstep refill I used the LP12+Notch filter for some patches. That filter fit perfectly for the sound I was after."

Another queston I asked exode: While Dubstep Basses and Synths has many of the dirty wobbly agro basses that has made dubstep a household genre, this refill also has some of the more classic cool sounds used by early dubstep pioneers - which makes me wonder who some of the dubstep artists are that you took cues from in designing this bad ass refill?

"To be completely honest, I don't have very much experience of dubstep as a genre. I listened to some tracks from Ministry of Sound - The Sound of Dubstep to get a feel for the sounds. There's also a dubstep section in Raise Your Weapon by deadmau5 that I quite like, but other than that, I can't really name a specific artist. I guess it boils down to the method of research. My goal was to get a feel for the sounds and techniques rather than just trying to copy a specific sound from a famous track, and that is probably also why I can't remember any specific artists that inspired the sounds. :)"

While I had the opportunity to interview eXode I had to ask him about the new Rack Extension technology. Recently on the Propellerhead User Forum there was a discussion about what kind of effect it will have on the sound design business - i.e. will people still spend money on refills when they can buy a new rack device instead? So I asked him about his thoughts on RE, how he thinks it will effect his business and if he will be doing anything different marketing and/or production wise as the result of the new technology?

"I'm a bit split about Rack Extensions at the moment because I see it potentially complicating the refill market. For pure instruments and effects there isn't so much of a debate, you can just do refills focusing on those devices, advanced combinators etc. the difficulties arise when speaking of CV or processing devies. If someone makes an awesome CV device that pays homage to modular synthesis, it would be extremely interesting from a sound designers perspective, but would people actually pay for those kind of Rack Extensions that enable them to use that cool refill you just made? I'm a bit unsure. And then there's also the potential risk of people not paying attention and buying refills that require an extension that they don't own.
In the big scheme I don't see refills dying though, we might however see a surge in "RE" specific refills were we might see i.e. Combinator patches mixing Reason's factory devices with Rack Extension X. Also I'm curious to see if props will somehow integrate the refill shop with this upcoming extension shop so that if you visit Rack Extension X's product page you can also find commercial Refills made for it.
At the end of the day though, there's a healthy soundbank market for VST's so I really don't see why there shouldn't be one for Rack Extensions. :)"

The other major part of DB&S are the synth patches - 22 in all. These patches include interesting modulating sounds (Bouncy Code) as well as smooth leads (Siren Saw), ambient plucks (Cosmic Pluck) and strange percussion (Wooden Bongos). Probably my favorite patch in the synth section is Timbre Wolves. This patch uses LFO1 in a Thor synth as the audio source, for a lovely lead sound that will cut thru any mix. In this patch Button 2 chooses between two different curves for LFO1, greatly changing the character of the sound. This patch uses Thor's Shaper set to Sine to create a unique quality to the sound which is modulated by the second LFO and the filter envelope. The depth of the shaper is controlled with Rotary 3, labelled "Wave Folder", and with the Modwheel - making the shaper very playable. What's particularly interesting about this patch is what isn't used in it - a filter. The filter's on both the Thor and Pulveriser are disabled, while the Bandpass FIlter in The Echo is set to 1.44khz with a generous Resonance for an echo sound that really stands out from the original sound. Very cool!
Another favorite synth patch of mine from DB&S is Slippery Sine. This combi uses a trio of sine waves, courtesy of Thor for a classic analog sound! What I particularly enjoy about this patch is the amount of customization available from the front panel. With Button 1 a couple of D-11 Foldback Distortions are enabled (remember those), the amount of which is controlled with Rotary 1, which is also controlling the Dirt amount in the following Pulveriser. The Pulveriser's Tremor is being used to modulate the Foldback Distortion amount, with a rate determined by Rotary 2. Further effects are added with Button 2 - 4 (Reducer, Chorus, Delay) and Rotary 4 (Reverb.) The patches in DB&S all have interesting mapping dedicated to the Modwheel and Slippery Sine is no exception with a lovely vibrato effect, perfect for adding interest to ending notes in lead lines!

Every good Dubstep track, in my opinion, needs some atmosphere. Coincidentally eXode recently released a fantastic refill called Pads & Soundscapes that compliments the Dubstep & Bass ReFill, which made me wonder if these refills were designed with that in mind or if it was a happy accident:

"Thanks! The Pads & Soundscapes refill was primarily intended for just pads and soundscapes. However, I actually developed the two side by side (at a slow pace, at least six months). I alternated a lot between the two. When loosing inspiration for one, I'd go and work on the other. Perhaps a happy accident, perhaps my subconsciousness had a say... ;)"

Checking out Dubstep Bass & Synth made me wonder what eXode may be working on for the future:

"I currently have a couple of ideas that are still taking shape so perhaps it is too early to tell what or how exactly they will turn out. The ideas as such include some sort of sequel to the pads, a synth oriented refill, and finally I'm playing around with ideas for an refill that will be centered around FM synthesis."

In conclusion Dubstep Bass & Synth is an awesome refill for anyone interested in creating tracks inspired by the South London born genre that seems to have invaded the airwaves on every channel here in the States and around the world. With patches ranging from the dirty Wobbles to lovely understated synths that would be right at home on a Hotflush recording, DB&S would make a great addition to everyone's arsenal. Of course every dubstep enriched anthem needs some soundscapes to fill out the track and eXode's own Pads & Soundscapes is a perfect pairing - the Cabernet Sauvignon to the meat of a Filet Mignon if you will. Now this talk of food has made me hungry and you have a club hit to write, so what are we waiting for?

Pick up Dubstep Bass & Synth today for $15 from eXode Sound!

Friday, May 18

Pulsar: Wobble

Another new example from Propellerhead of the coming Pulsar Rack Extension:
"An example of a wobble bass using the Keyboard Follow function so you can "play" the modulation! In addition, the first of the two sounds is actually... Pulsar and a low pass filter!"

Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Project

Art Pepper wrote in his autobiography Straight Life that one of the greatest bands he played in was while incarcerated at San Quentin in the 1960s. The band, dubbed The San Quentin All Stars, was led by Frank Morgan, a jazz saxophonist that a decade earlier had been crowned the successor to Charlie Parker. But instead of rising to fame Frank Morgan spent the next three decades in and out of prison on drug related arrests - and not always the non-violent kind. Sound of Redemption is Frank Morgan's story, from the needle and spoon to the saxophone. Currently the film is in post-production and has a kickstarter page set-up in hopes to raise the funds needed for color correction, sound mixing, and licensing fees, all of which are essential to finishing the film. A $10,000 pledge will get an Executive Producer credit!
Check out the trailer:

Thursday, May 17

Donna Summer R.I.P.

Donna Summer the seminal queen of Disco passed away this morning in Florida from cancer. LaDonna Adrian Gaines, bet known by her stage name Donna Summer, was born on New Year's Eve, 1948, in Dorchester Massachusetts to a devout Christian family of seven and was raised singing in the church choir at a young age. Influenced by Mahalia Jackson, The Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas, Donna started her own girl group with a cousin and her sister while living in Massachusetts. After dropping out of school to pursue a music career Donna moved to New York City and landed the part of Sheila on the European touring production of Hair. In Europe she married Austrian actor Helmuth Sommer, whom she later divorced, while keeping an anglican version of his name - Summer. The early 70s found Donna singing back-up for Three Dog Night, this led to her meeting producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, with whom she recorded her first big hit "Love to Love You Baby". Summer came up with the main lyric line and performed the song inspired by Marilyn Monroe's famous breathy singing:
Donna Summer • 1948 - 2012 • R.I.P.
Below is one of my favorite Donna Summer tracks "I Feel Love", featuring the synthesized production of Giorgio Moroder that later became the defining sound of an era. The pulsating bass of the track was done on a Moog Modular synced to a Studer A80, as programmer on the track Robbie Wedel explained the novel concept (back then) as "recording a reference pulse on track 16 of the tape, and from that we can then lock in the Moog so that the rest of the tracks are perfectly synchronised." The drums and pad sounds were also done with the Moog Modular, with a little reverb and compression added, courtesy of an early Lexicon rack. Co-Producer Pete Bellotte described the track to Sound on Sound back in 2009, "That track sounds so massive, so future-proof... We never thought of it as a stand-out track, we just thought it part of a good album."
*Giorgio and Donna pic by Redferns
*Crayons pic courtesy of Michael Brandt

Pulsar: Slow Pad

Propellerhead headquarters unleashes another sneak peek at the Pulsar Rack Extension! In this example Pulsar is modulating a Thor pad sound "using the built-in envelope to trigger a rise and fall in speed." The details of Pulsar haven't been made public yet, but on the RE page Propellerhead describe Pulsar as:
"Pulsar LGM-1 is a dual channel modulation power house for the Reason rack. We call it a dual LFO but it’s also a powerful little synth in its own right. More info coming soon."

Wednesday, May 16

Clean Up & Improve Drum Mixes With Gates in Reason

The Loop Loft uploaded this tutorial video on utilizing gates on drum mixes to clean up multi-track drum mixes, check it out:

SUFI PLUG INS: demo video

DJ/Rupture's SUFI PLUG INS for Max4Live "are a suite of free audio software dedicated to exploring non-western & poetic notions of sound in interaction with alternative interfaces."

Hear the Pulsar Rack Extension!

Propellerhead posted a 36 second sound clip example of the coming Pulsar Rack Extension to Soundcloud today, and man does it sound amazing:
"This first example escaped the Propellerhead lab and shows you some of the interesting rhythms you can squeeze out of Pulsar LGM-1. In this example a lone, tempo synced Pulsar is controlling the filter of a Thor synth, using modulation internally in Pulsar to spice the up the rhythm!"

Tuesday, May 15

Review: Korg Mini Kaoss Pad 2 and Kaossilator 2

I'm pretty excited about the new Korg Mini Kaoss Pad 2. I used to have a KP2 years ago and loved feeding sounds thru it and for $159 street price (USD) the new mini KP2 seems like a no brainer! Here's Dan 'JD73' Goldman checking out the new mini Kaoss devices for Music Radar:

Monday, May 14

Bibio - Sunday Evening Filter House

Bibio getting down Sunday evening:
"Sequencing the SP1200 via MIDI and jamming on the mixing desk. Great fun. All the samples & beat are coming from the SP. FX: Akai MFC42 analogue filter, Boss DD7 delay and Moog phaser."

Gold Panda - Financial District

New Gold Panda 7" Financial District available June 5th on Ghostly:

Saturday, May 12

Razor Tutorials by G.W. Childs

G.W. Childs has a brand new tutorial series available on about Native Instruments fantastic Razor Synth! Clocking in at just short of 2 hours, this 43 part series covers everything you need to know about Razor. Here's a few teaser videos:
5 - Visual Display:
16 - Duo Saw:
23 - Formant Oscillator:

Friday, May 11

Tom Oberheim Two Voice Pro coming June 2012!

Mini-Sequencer is enhanced - you still generate a sequence with the knobs ( up to 16 positions ) but you can store sequences from the knobs into flash memory (up to 99 sequences stored)
Two sequences can be played simultaneously (or play one sequence while also playing on the keyboard, like the old one)
After sequences are stored in flash memory, you can edit them to add 2-way, 3-way or 4-way ratcheting and you can program the gate length from zero (like a rest) up to almost the complete step length
Sequences can be chained into songs, and each step in a song can be programmed for sequence number, transpose amount and number of repeats
Sequencer syncs to Midi Clock
Keyboard outputs velocity and pressure
Each module (both SEMs, Mini-Sequencer, Keyboard Control) has mini-jack patch points (over 50 patchpoints)
Pitch and Modulation wheels
Pan pots
Headphone output
Separate Vibrato LFO
The U.S. price of the new Two Voice Pro is $3495

How to make your sounds fatter in Reason!

Mattias Häggström Gerdt with "some tried and true tips for making your sounds bigger and fatter" in this latest installment of Reason Sound Design:

Thursday, May 10

Emulating Figure in Ableton Live!

Danny J Lewis from Point Blank Online "shows you how to create a rack that emulates the mechanics behind the way the drum patterns switch in the recently released 'Figure' app."
Download the rack @

Tuesday, May 8

Rheyne - "MIDI Fighter 3D"

Rheyne performing a "live looping improv jam performed entirely on a DJ TechTools "MIDI Fighter 3D" controlling NI's Kontakt and three separate instances of NI's Massive, as well as three loopers in Ableton Live."

EP73 : Deconstructing A Rhodes

Sonic Couture's Broken Wurli was one of my favorite instruments of last year, so needless to say I was psyched to open up my e-mail box this morning and find this:
A vintage Mk.1 Stage 73 electric piano captured in forensic detail : traditional line-out samples, but also microphones and contact mics for added texture and bite.
Then we went deeper : a complete sonic exploration of the tines and mechanisms : Bowed, Plucked, Mallets and SFX push the limits of the sounds an electric piano can make.
If you liked Broken Wurli and Xtended Piano, you're going to love this!
Download : €99 / $129

Monday, May 7

PLVS VLTRA - Flowers to Bees

"Flowers to Bees" is the first track from Parthenon, the debut album from PLVS VLTRA! Available June 19th on Spectrum Spools:
Spectrum Spools is pleased to release the debut album by veteran musician Toko Yasuda's PLVS VLTRA project.
Toko has been working for years already in established pop acts such as Enon, Blonde Redhead and now touring with St. Vincent handling synthesizer duties for live events. In all her years of songcraft there have been sparse, if any solo output, until now.
"And now for something different..." as we say here at the Spectrum Spools headquarters.
"Parthenon" is a sugar-sweet album of catchy pop songs, crafted with expert precision and outstanding composition logic. Everything is locked in in a way that seems at once like clockwork, and also somehow very free. As if Alice Coltrane's "Universal Consciousness" was reimagined and sent into the future to be reimagined as an electronic pop record.. Most of the album's focus lies on the glowing, ethereal voice that is unmistakably exclusive to Yasuda. Swirling, fine tuned electronic washes and collaged clouds of ambiance swirl and hover around these mega catchy tunes giving them a fantastic depth which commands attention and repeat visits. Yasuda's songcraft here is in peak form as well, with ultra catchy hooks and addictive melodies that have been dialed in to perfection over the many years of making music. One of the most brilliant facets of "Parthenon" is the anti-genre omniverse vibe, where all borders and boundries set to confine music to a general one word descriptor are shattered. "Pop" is a word abused to catch-all, and like any great, well-thought album, "Parthenon" refuses to be pinned down. Here is your summer jam! Enjoy!
Lovingly mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering.
Check it:

Saturday, May 5

Nucleus SoundLab's Filter Research 3!

Nucleus SoundLab's Filter Research 3 available today!
For the last six months I've been secretly working on effects patches for Filter Research 3 from Nucleus SoundLab, along with many other inspiring sound designers like Adam Fielding, Tom Pritchard, Clint Grierson, David Antliff, Shaun Wallace and of course NSL CEO Jeremy Janzen! This refill uses Reason 6's Pulveriser, The Echo, and Alligator devices as the basis for fantastic new effects combinators that will deliver your sonic creations to the Elysian Fields or Hell depending on what your going for ;-). These patches really need to be heard to believed, so check it out:

Filter Research 3 is made up of 200 unique combinators broken down into 14 categories for adept browsing - Beat Repeaters, Delay, Distortion and Saturation, Dynamics, Epic, EQ & Filtering, Guitar and Bass Amp, MIDI Key Control, Modulation, Multi-FX, Pattern-Based, Pitch Processing, Reverb and Vocode FX. Here's the down low from
Propellerhead Reason 6 has finally brought together audio inputs, live sampling, and loop playback together in a single product. With all this new audio content flying through the Reason ecosystem, now is the perfect time to introduce Filter Research 3 - Nucleus SoundLab's third product in their innovative series of effects ReFills. This package of evolved effects once again goes beyond the ordinary. Filter Research 3 is packed full of effects that are not only useful production tools, but are often musically inspirational as well.
The first two Filter Research ReFills created the market for creative effect devices in Reason - but both have now been easily surpassed by Filter Research 3. This new ReFill has been built from the ground up for Propellerhead Reason 6, with every single Combinator using at least one Reason 6 effect device - which are of course Pulveriser, The Echo and Alligator. Also new to Filter Research 3, all patches now feature unique modulation mapping for the Pitch-Bend Wheel. That is of course in addition to unique mappings for all four Combinator Rotaries, Buttons and the Modwheel as usual.
Filter Research 3's standard Combinators are a stunning selection that run the sonic gamut from MIDI-triggered delays, psychotic beat repeaters, guitar amp multi-FX, tuned resonantors, as well as subtle production-ready EQ and Saturation patches. But the centerpiece of this aural experience is once again the Epic Combinators. These six patches by Jeremy Janzen are truly Reason sound design at its finest - . Each Epic Combinator is outfitted with up to 24 macro rotaries in order to give the best possible control experience, while maintaining an elegant simplicity that anyone can take advantage of. If that still sounds intimidating, over sixty minutes of video documentation is included describing how to get the most out of all six patches. Still curious? Meet the Epic Combinators.
200 effect Combinators included.
6 Epic Combinators - including 60+ minutes of HD video documentation.
Each patch uses a at least one new Reason 6 effect device - Pulveriser, The Echo and Alligator.
Each Combinator has all 4 rotaries/buttons uniquely assigned - as well as the Pitch-Bend/Modwheel.
All Combinators created from scratch.
130+ page PDF manual describing each Combinator in-depth.
Requires Reason 6+
Pick up Filter Research 3 today from Nucleus SoundLab for $49!
Filter Research 3 Reason 6 ReFill - Video Demo:
Distorted Goodbye - Filter Research 3 ReFill Documentation:

Friday, May 4

MIDI Fighter 3D, Reason & John Cleese

Bangin' little jam from Propellerhead Product Specialist Mattias Häggström Gerdt:
"Sampled a bit of good 'ol John Cleese, built a nice Kong set around it in Reason and banged a tune out live with the MIDI Fighter 3D."

Missing Pieces - Analog Sweeps Trailer

Coming soon from Navi Retlav:

Adam Yauch • 1964-2012

Grammy winner, activist, and Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch passed away this morning in New York City, after a near-three-year battle with cancer. From
Adam Yauch • 1964-2012 It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam "MCA" Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Yauch taught himself to play bass in high school, forming a band for his 17th birthday party that would later become known the world over as Beastie Boys. With fellow members Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Adrock" Horovitz, Beastie Boys would go on to sell over 40 million records, release four #1 albums–including the first hip hop album ever to top the Billboard 200, the band's 1986 debut full length, Licensed To Ill–win three Grammys, and the MTV Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement award. Last month Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with Diamond and Horovitz reading an acceptance speech on behalf of Yauch, who was unable to attend. In addition to his hand in creating such historic Beastie Boys albums as Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, Hello Nasty and more, Yauch was a founder of the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and activism regarding the injustices perpetrated on native Tibetans by Chinese occupational government and military forces. In 1996, Milarepa produced the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which was attended by 100,000 people, making it the biggest benefit concert on U.S. soil since 1985's Live Aid. The Tibetan Freedom Concert series would continue to stage some of the most significant benefit shows in the world for nearly a decade following in New York City, Washington DC, Tokyo, Sydney, Amsterdam, Taipei and other cities. In the wake of September 11, 2001, Milarepa organized New Yorkers Against Violence, a benefit headlined by Beastie Boys at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, with net proceeds disbursed to the New York Women's Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Association for New Americans (NYANA) September 11th Fund for New Americans–each chosen for their efforts on behalf of 9/11 victims least likely to receive help from other sources. Under the alias of Nathanial Hörnblowér, Yauch directed iconic Beastie Boys videos including "So Whatcha Want," "Intergalactic," "Body Movin" and "Ch-Check It Out." Under his own name, Yauch directed last year's Fight For Your Right Revisited, an extended video for "Make Some Noise" from Beastie Boys' Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, starring Elijah Wood, Danny McBride and Seth Rogen as the 1986 Beastie Boys, making their way through a half hour of cameo-studded misadventures before squaring off against Jack Black, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as Beastie Boys of the future. Yauch's passion and talent for filmmaking led to his founding of Oscilloscope Laboratories, which in 2008 released his directorial film debut, the basketball documentary Gunnin' For That #1 Spot and has since become a major force in independent video distribution, amassing a catalogue of such acclaimed titles as Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy, Oren Moverman's The Messenger, Banksy's Exit Through The Gift Shop, Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze's Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait Of Maurice Sendak, and many more. Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen and his daughter Tenzin Losel, as well as his parents Frances and Noel Yauch.

Thursday, May 3

ReasonSync demonstration

ReasonSync a way new to "control video from Reason, without slaving with Rewire". Coming soon:
via joshielevy

Wednesday, May 2

Radical Piano!

Propellerhead have finally released some information on Radical Piano, a Rack Extension device designed by the Props themselves and coming out with Reason 6.5:
The premise is simple. The results are stunning. We’ll give you three basic pianos paired with the technology to make an infinite number of your own. Based on a custom blend between sampling technology and physical modeling algorithms, Radical Piano affords songwriters, producers, and sound designers an unprecedented level of control to craft a realistic piano that is 100% unique. With Radical Piano you can do things that are otherwise impossible, not only in multi-gigabyte sample libraries but even in the recording of actual acoustic pianos. Do you wish your close mic’d grand piano sounded just a little bit more like a vintage mono upright piano? Use the microphone blend to create a hybrid modeled sound. Route audio like a vocal through the jacks on the back of Radical Piano to hear it resonate the strings as if you had recorded piano and vocals together live. What if with the turn of a knob you could transform the tonal characteristics of your piano, shifting from a soft intimate performance to a bright aggressive instrument that will cut through your mix? We’ve got that knob, and it’s called “Character.” Radical Piano will change the way you use pianos in your music by allowing you to imagine a piano in a real space and set about creating it yourself through intuitive controls. Or like you have done with synthesizers for years, you can listen to your favorite song and emulate the recording with uncanny accuracy. Perhaps even more impressive, the realism of Radical Piano will affect the way you play because it responds like a real piano to sustain pedal movement, key noise and velocity response.
In addition to Radical Piano, on the "What's New" page for Reason, two other devices are listed:
Pulsar LGM-1 is a dual channel modulation power house for the Reason rack. We call it a dual LFO but it’s also a powerful little synth in its own right. More info coming soon.
Polar is a classic harmonizer/pitch shifter with a host of modern tricks up its sleeve. Use it for old school harmonizing and stereo widening effects, or use it to go totally granular filtered pitch shift repeater on your music. More info coming soon.
And finally you can sign up to beta test Reason 6.5!

Tuesday, May 1

Pasto is here!

Wow! Now this looks interesting:
"Pasto is a multi-touch 32 step sequencer suite built in Ableton, TouchOSC and OSCulator."

Elemental Design Instruments

Robert Anselmi of fame, and of course Phi Sequence, posted this great video on facebook this morning, very inspirational:
"A short documentary about creative musical instruments that are handmade by Jim Doble. The instruments come from interesting materials such as glass, slate, old propane tanks, and even wrenches. A film by Fourviere Hill."