RME Digicheck at work
SIMON V - Music + Mastering

Reason tutorial - Drum & Bass

"Traveller" - An epic Drum & Bass track for the club, which also sounds nice at home.
The final mixed and mastered version is on my Because We Can album.

Simon V - Traveller

Download MP3

Download Propellerheads Reason file

Drums

Reason Tutorial Drums I start listening through samples and collect usable sounds in a work directory. Then I put the first drumkit in the NNXT Sampler together, for creating the basic rhythms. A little play with Redrum is fun and you can experiment faster. This is not the mixing phase, just balance the volume between individual elements.

Bass

Reason Tutorial Bass Let's continue with the fundamentals of this track. Subtractor works nicely for this task, its 2 filters create bass sounds with charm and life. A little distortion from the Scream4 effect gives the sound its character. To massage your belly propely in the club, I need to put in a subbass, which plays below the distorted bassline.

Theme

Reason Tutorial Piano Roll After the drum rhythm and bass are playing along well, the work on the main theme begins. For this task I jammed a little with the bass and tried different melodies to set the tone for the whole piece. During the sound search, my attention was caught by the Orkester Library and a few of the Malström pad sounds. It usually helps to build an 8 bar loop in order to test whether all elements work well together. Only when you feel it's running, start with the arrangement. Otherwise you change parts constantly and have to update them in the whole track afterwards.

Arrangement and Mixdown

Reason Tutorial Arranger Now the loop gets expanded into a whole track. Your attention should be focused on the build-up and arrangement: What's the intro like, when does the main theme come in and how to keep it interesting until the end. A good way to test this is by using the Solo-function, so you know what works solo and what only works with other sounds. For the mixing (equalizing/effects), it's a good idea to start after a break or better the next day, so you have fresh ears.


The most important part of music making is to have fun despite all technical problems,
because it's the only element you really hear when the track is finished.

Rock on,
Simon