You either already know what this is about – or you don’t know that you already know what this is about.

That is, you’ve heard bass lines made with 808s all over the place. That’s likely to continue, too – thanks to the dominance of PAs with heavy bass, and the corresponding use of bass in all kinds of tracks, this has become a big part of musical language. And it’s a versatile approach to making bass lines. Because of its construction, you could take this same technique and apply it to any kind of music.

But yeah, it is good enough for Drake and Beyoncé.

Propellerhead have done a bang-up job of teaching you how to steal this technique from all those bangers.

Actually, spoiler: the easiest technique is right at the beginning of the video, it involves Reason, and it comes straight from Key Wayne. (Now you know why famous people often don’t like to give up their secrets – a lot of the best production techniques actually aren’t complicated at all. As with cooking, sometimes a simple ingredient combination works perfectly.)

But this goes on to some very good stuff.

You could certainly apply this to software other than Reason. But this video also (legitimately) shows why Reason has staying power. The folks at Propellerhead have come up with an ingenious combination of built-in devices that do what you want, with the kind of succinct quality found in the best hardware. And they have an environment in which it’s uncommonly easy to combine those modules for creative sound design. (I remember years ago sitting with Flying Lotus as he showed me how much he loved that distortion in Reason, too.) There’s still nothing else quite like Reason. People who never get it never get it, but a lot of people stay, or find reason to come back.

And this video is a really nice one. Stay tuned for part two.

  • Polite Society

    nice, i love seeing really simple solutions to signature sounds that you can remake anywhere, even if it’s not necessarily your cup of tea.

  • cynicone

    Just recently discovered Reason’s tutorials on video and it lead me to picking up a copy. Their video content is amazingly well done — and there’s a lot of it. I never really “got it” or cared to until I watched those videos. This coming from someone who’s used FL Studio (since v1), Cubase (since VST32), and Ableton.

    It’s a great “groovebox” on a small Macbook air. Run the rack/mixer/sequencer all in full screen and swipe between em. Great environment for music writing. I wouldn’t consider it a complete environment and still treat it like a groovebox – bouncing out stems or rewiring into another host to finish tracks off. But for content creation and quick writing…it’s awesome.