Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Introducing The Bernard Childcare Trust Refill

I've had two very different projects consuming some of my free time and yet haven't really been able to spend much time talking about either while posting here. That said, the veil of secrecy has been lifted from one of those projects and I'm finally able to talk about it... The Bernard Childcare Trust Refill.

As you no doubt already know from other sources and posts on the internet, The Bernard Childcare Trust Refill is a new benefit refill put together by a handful of Reason fans and sound designers, including Ben from 3rd Floor Sound, DrDist/Odarminux, Ed who is better known as EditEd4TV, Rob/PhiSequence from Reason 101, and Koshdukai. Proceeds from sale of the refill go to support the children of James and Nicole Benard, who tragically lost their mother to cancer a few months ago.

With no overriding theme, the refill is filled with some interesting tools and sounds from some very capable and creative sound designers. Having been busy with the holidays, I haven't had a chance to spend much time with the completed refill, but what I have seen over the past few weeks as it has come together has been very impressive. There are a number of intriguing patches, samples, and effects from some of the most prolific figures in the Reason community. My own contributions are very meager when compared to the output of the others involved in the refill, but it was an honor to be involved, and I'm proud of what we've been able to accomplish together.

Many of you have been very generous with donations to Reason Patch A Day the last couple of weeks and I have been genuinely surprised and truly appreciative of your support. However, if you have any generosity left, I urge you to consider purchasing a copy of The Bernard Childcare Trust Refill. I can say without reservation that I can't think of any better cause, and in addition to the knowledge that you're doing something truly good, you'll also be gaining a great collection of sounds and tools.

Purchase your copy here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Announcing the Reason Patch A Day Archive Refill, Vol. 2

It is time for me to take my annual, holiday leave of absence, but before I disappear for a couple of weeks I wanted to announce the availability of the Reason Patch A Day Archive Refill, Vol. 2.

As before, the Reason Patch A Day Archive Refill, Vol. 2 collects the patches and samples shared here on the Reason Patch A Day blog. The Volume 2 refill contains patches from September 25, 2010 to today with a total of 513 files, including:

  • 54 Bass Patches
  • 2 Instrument Combinators
  • 3 Effect Combinators
  • 10 Effect Patches
  • 3 Kong Kits
  • 77 Pad Patches
  • 141 Percussion Patches
  • 31 Synth Patches
  • 33 Samples
  • 25 Drum Loops
  • 134 Drum Samples

Previous site donors received a handful of additional patches that were not shared on the blog and six months of updates to the Volume 1 refill. To thank site donors for their continued support, the Reason Patch A Day Archive Refill, Vol 2 contains bonus drum samples exported from the Korg iElectribe app loops provided during the last year. As the iElectribe app uses synthesis to create its sound, these samples are unique to the loops provided throughout Reason Patch A Day's last year, and have been provided in the Archive in WAV format for easy use in the NN-19, NN-XT, Redrum, or Kong devices.

So, how do you get a copy? As before, it just takes a donation of $1 or more. If you have donated in the past your donation is greatly appreciated, then and now, but I would ask you to send me a dollar or two again, if you'd like a copy of the latest refill. Remember, most of the refill has already been provided here at no cost. You're just paying for the convenience of having it all in one place, as well as getting a few bonus sounds, while also supporting my work over the last three years.

Donations can be made using the sidebar "Donate" button! Check the upper right side of the block to toss a few dollars in to support the site!

I'll see you all after the holidays! I hope that, regardless of your faith or circumstances, that you find this season warm, joyful, and filled with music.

Monday, September 26, 2011

PAD Challenge: 5 New Tracks From Nikolai Bonamente

I poked a little fun at Nikolai Bonamente (formerly 1.44 MB) during one of my recent Challenge update posts, because during last year's Challenge he managed to produce two tracks, while everyone else worked feverishly to come up with just one. My joke was that even if no one else creates a track for the challenge, we'd no doubt have a couple of tracks from Nikolai to fill our ears and time.

Well, as it turns out, not only did Nikolai manage to surpass his output from last year, but he completely blew my good-natured prediction out of the water, writing a whopping FIVE tracks during the week. This is what Nikolai had to say about his efforts over the last week:

Each song was put together roughly over the course of a weekday evening after work with a beer (or two) and a cat climbing over everything. The production isn't fabulous but as I usually compose and then try to spend some time away from the track to lose familiarity before going back to calm everything down that wasn't going to happen in the tome allowed. Most tracks were put together with Robb's PADs and standard Reason soundbank patches - with the exception of the beats on a couple of tracks being from the Rebirth 808 / 909 refill.... oh and I used Peff's fantastic square bass (free from his site) on a couple as well. Each track up on the soundcloud site has track notes regarding which PAD's were included.

Nikolai's trick of inserting comments where each patch from Reason Patch A Day appears is actually really clever and makes listening along a lot of fun.

Here's his first track, Nomad....

2011 PAD challenge NOMAD by Nikolai Bonamente

As you can see from his Comment "signposts," Nikolai used the Chimera - Thor, Nomad - subtractor PAD, and Reductio Ad Absurdum - Malstrom patches in Nomad. Nikolai wrote the following about his track:

This is the last one that was put together on Friday and I think is my favorite of the bunch - it achieves the feel I was going for early this year with Thorong-La and Glide-Plane . While both of these tracks headed off into embellishment land Nomad stays fairly minimal with lots of space and has a sort of lazy drifting lilt that it's name suggests.

2011 PAD challenge NERVE AGENT by Nikolai Bonamente

His second track, Nerve Agent, used the following patches: Ironic is Iconic - Subtractor, Newcomer - Malstrom, Peanut Snap - Sample, Rebop HiHat 6 - Kong, Rebop Snare 4 - Kong, Reductio Ad Absurdum - Malstrom, and Starpower - Thor.

Nikolai had this to say about his track:

An attempt to tweak some acid out of Robbs pads - I've been tooling around with the rebirth refills lately so I wanted something in that general area. This track shows examples of Robb's PADs after a fair degree of tweaking, some nice airly reverb layer percussion and my desire to try sounds that grate a little around the edges in otherwise fairly commercial sounding tracks.

2011 PAD challenge COVER PRICE by Nikolai Bonamente

Again, as you can see from Nikolai's carefully placed comments, the patches Brush - Malstrom, Peanut Snap - Sample, Rebop HiHat 6 - Kong, Rebop Snare 4 - Kong, and Secret Door - Thor (processed through the Veiled effects combinator) make an appearance in Cover Price.

This one came out of nowhere - I think I was a little um tipsy when I knocked it up. In the past I've not been a big beat head, but I'm getting closer so this track again shows experimentation with some of Robb's latest Kong patches.

2011 PAD challenge INFINITE RIM SHOT (short cut to sanity remix) by Nikolai Bonamente

Acrimony - Malstrom, Rebop Kick1 - Kong, Rebop Rimshot 3 - Kong, and Rebop Snare 3 - Kong all make an appearance in Infinite Rim Shot (Short Cut to Sanity Remix).

Nikolai had this to say about Infinite Rim Shot:

The result of 20 minutes playing with the rebop rimshot and delay and reverb - I almost did a minimal track with just that oscillating around for 7 minutes. After a while I thought some more percussion and another screeching PAD would go nicely.

2011 PAD challenge MILKWEED KEEPSAKE by Nikolai Bonamente

And lastly, Milkweed Keepsake uses the following patches: Keepsake - Malstrom, Milkweed - Malstrom, and Rebop Tom 2 - Kong, among others.

Of his song Milkweek Keepsake, Nikolai wrote:

This was heading in the direction ambient drum and bass but then took a big swing elsewhere - another attempt to make spooky left field ambient pads dancable.

A truly Herculean effort, Nikolai! The best part is that we all have five new tunes to listen to because of it, so thanks for submitting all of these to the Challenge.

If anyone has any constructive criticism for Nikolai, please be sure to post a comment or two on his tracks via Soundcloud or leave a message for him in the comments section here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

PAD Challenge: "Original Console Generation" by DJ Mad Wax

DJ Mad Wax, fellow Denverite Reason user and blogger, left a message stating that he'd be unable to put together a new track for this year's Challenge, but he wanted to share a song he put together a while back that he felt fit the requirements.

Original Console Generation - by vocoderecords

As DJ Mad Wax explained, "Original Console Generation" uses a number of PAD sounds in his track. If he has a moment to let me know which patches he used, I'll post the list here, but this is what he had to say about the track:

I've had zero time to work on this due to work life and family stuff :/ plus my laptop is on the fritz and Reason 5 kept crashing. so I have an alternative if amenable - I'm submitting a song I did last year, but

  1. it was finished and completed in 4 hours, one session
  2. mastered on another day in a two hour session, no changes to the original
  3. it uses almost exclusively Reasonpatchaday sounds, except for the drums and the main bass line.

As always, be sure to check out what DJ Mad Wax is up to over on the excellent City of Bass blog.

PAD Challenge: "Postprandial Somnolence"

Hopefully it gets better from here. "Postprandial Somnolence" is my entry into this year's PAD Challenge, a dark, beat-heavy tune that gets a decent grove going, but ultimately doesn't really go anywhere.

Postprandial Somnolence by Reason Patch A Day

I have that problem, occasionally. I develop what I think it going to be a good track, then can't figure out what to do with it, once I get it together. Still, despite my disappointment in the track, I am glad to have finished something in time for the Challenge, something I wasn't sure was going to happen. At the very least, I have something I can tweak and polish.

As with most of the tracks I've shared, "Postprandial Somnolence" is comprised almost exclusively of patches and effects that can be found here on Reason Patch A Day. I used the following patches:

Instrument Patches: Bushwhacked, Coiled - Cowbell (not shared here on the blog), Coiled - HiHat 4, Coiled - Wood Block 2, Croup, das Andere, Dull - Bass Drum, Keepsake, Mantis Prayers, Neptune's Rings - Galle Ring, Niche - Snare 4, Norse Gods - Hnoss, Noise FX1 (not shared here on the blog), Rebop - Rim 3, Spectacles, Spectral Winds, Subterranean,

Effect Patches: Atmosphere, Borealis, Drone Chorus, Drum Box - Trip-Hop, Familiar Dream, Interesting, Shimmering, Simple Bass Enhance, Simple Mastering, Simple Pad Enhance, Soulful, Stereo Delay, Subtle Wide

I'm looking forward to hearing what everyone else has come up with, so if you have tracks that you were hoping to share, please get them to me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Well, I certainly didn't see that coming.

I've been promising to post my thoughts about the Reason 6 upgrade for a couple of months now, but for some reason, haven't been able to find the time I've needed to sit down and articulate my opinion. I think it boils down to a confusing mix of excitement and disappointment.

On the one hand, I've been wanting an advanced delay unit in Reason for a few years now. The DDL-1 is probably the most used effect unit in my own tracks, but having access to others delay plug-ins via VSTs or AUs in Logic or Renoise, I've found the trusty, half-rack device wanting at times. Of course, with Reasons rack wiring, you should be able to create any sort of delay you want, but I'll still be welcoming The Echo with wide-open arms come September 30th.

The Alligator Triple Filtered Gate looks interesting and profoundly powerful, but looking at the video, I'm confident that I won't truly "get it" until I have it in my rack and I've twisted a few virtual knobs.

The Pulveriser Demolution Unit looks like a lot of fun, so it should be an interesting upgrade, as well.

Still, there are aspects of the upgrade that make me shake my head a little, specifically the merging of Record with Reason, a product that I've enjoyed quite a bit and I feel wasn't really given time to prove itself.

Its a smart decision, of course. The field of music production software is already confusing, so selling two programs that in many ways feel identical probably wasn't the best tactic for increasing brand awareness or possibly even brand loyalty. Many people felt that Record's biggest feature, the ability to record and edit audio, should have just been included in Reason and with Reason 6 they're getting their wish. But, for those of us who bought into Record and its aluminum dongle, it does feel a little bit like I paid money to be a beta tester.

That probably sounds a little more melodramatic than I intend, but in this case, those skeptical few who didn't purchase Record are actually being rewarded for their patience. The upgrade to Reason 6 for non-Record users, while a bit more expensive than the upgrade path for Reason/Record, saves them money over the path I took, which was to purchase Record (for Reason Users) when it was released. Of course, its not a huge amount, but principal often gets stuck in the throat worse than specifics.

I know, I know, I've had more time to enjoy the Record devices, so maybe that was worth the extra few dollars I paid to the folks at Propellerheads. I've paid them money for things I didn't need in the past (the Electro-Mechanical Refill disc is a great example, considering I already downloaded it for free when I purchased it), so I guess this shouldn't be any different, but I'm still somewhat disappointed in the death of Record.

Maybe that's why the recent announcement put a smile on my face. Don't get me wrong, I'll likely pay at least as much as I would have for the physical upgrade, but having the option to change that, to get back those few dollars I lost in chasing them down the tangled path of unsupported software, is a profound act of goodwill on the part of our fearless, Swedish software leaders. It feels a little like an apology, but even more, feels like a thank you, which is why I applaud Propellerheads' Pay What You Want scheme.

I suppose my only real conflict now stems from whether or not I want the box. If I'm going to pay the same price for a download as I would for yet another box, do I actually want the box on my shelf? Given that I have all of my other Reason boxes, volumes 1 through 5, on the shelf, along with Record and Recycle, it almost seems like a shame not to get a box for the latest release, even if it is a little less eco-friendly.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Countdown Has Begun....

The 2nd Annual PAD Challenge has begun! Start those tracks and get them to me. You have have one week!

The deadline is Sunday, September 25th!

Monday, September 12, 2011

2nd Annual PAD Challenge: 2nd Update

We have a couple of additional participants in this year's PAD Challenge who have volunteered:

  • Nikolai
  • DJ Mad Wax
  • THP808
  • robbneu (me)

Thanks for joining in on the fun, guys. I'm really looking forward to your songs!

I think what we'll do is set the deadline for signing up for this Friday, September 16th. So, if you're reading this now and think you might be interested, you're still welcome to join in. Drop a note in the comments or send me an email. Following that, you'll have one week to create something new, so get me your completed songs by September 23rd.

As I stated, and Nikolai reiterated in his comment, this should be a low stakes, low stress experience, with some good natured encouragement and hopefully some constructive criticism when its all over. At worst, you'll come away from it with a completed song. At best, you'll come away from it with a completed song you're proud of. The goal is just to jump in with both feet and accomplish something.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The 2nd Annual PAD Challenge... Update

So, I originally said the deadline for the PAD Challenge was the weekend, but that deadline has come and gone, with just Nikolai tossing his hat into the ring. While I have no doubt that Nikolai will manage to create enough songs in a week to fill several challenges, I thought I'd leave the window open for a little while longer.

So, check in if you want to join this year's Challenge!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Announcing The 2011 PAD Challenge

It's time. Actually, if you've taken a few minutes to read the rant I posted well over a month ago, its past time. So, with little fanfare, but much expectation (at least from me), I'm announcing the 2011 PAD Challenge.

If you're new to the blog and wasn't able to follow along with last year's PAD Challenge, the concept is pretty simple. Basically, the challenge piece of the PAD Challenge is to write and finish a new song in just one week. Last year, the stipulation was that you needed to try a song in a genre or style you don't normally work in. For example, I choose to put together a straight up dance track, but I thought we'd keep things a little more open this year. So, the goal is just to create a track. That's it.

So, who is with me? You have until this weekend to decide if you want to participate, then after that, one week to put together a new track. Please use at least one patch from the blog, and send me an email with a link to your track, or the track itself, and I'll share the results here on the blog.

This was a lot of fun last year and I for see this year's Challenge being even more successful, so leave a comment if you plan to join in.

Essential Music Making Gear: AppleTV

Okay, okay, I'll admit it: I can be something of a Luddite in certain respects and have spent years ignoring the phenomenon of YouTube tutorials. I know, it's a little ridiculous, but I've always felt more comfortable following along with tutorials when I'm reading them from a book or a magazine. Its how I originally learned to use Reason almost a decade ago and tends to be the same way I learn the ins-and-outs of any new Reason device following one of the major upgrades.

That said, I've had a 2nd generation AppleTV for a while now, and have slowly been using it to view YouTube more and more, enjoying the opportunity to watch clips online from the comfort of my couch, rather than sitting in front of my computer. The videos posted by Propellerheads have been a blast,from various artist interviews to the slick new promotional commercials, as well as the excellent series of tutorials put together by James Benard as part of his 52 Weeks of Reason campaign.

Of course, Propellerheads Software isn't the only entity posting Reason entertaining and informative tutorials on YouTube. I have subscriptions to videos from a number of the Reason community's big names, such as the always excellent tutorials posted by Reason 101, Ned Rush, Lucky Date Videos, Peff, and Boy In A Band, effectively giving me "Reason TV" at the touch of a remote button.

How is this better than just watching videos on my computer screen? Well, in truth, its not, but I don't really have the patience for watching YouTube on my computer. When I'm sitting at my computer, which isn't as often as I would like, I tend to be focused on putting together patches for this blog, working on music of my own, or doing the day-to-day grunt work that has become necessary in our modern life. With the AppleTV, I can start up a video while folding some laundry, cooking, or doing something else that doesn't always require my full attention. And, if the tutorial is especially good or interesting, I can grab my laptop and "play along" from the comfort of my couch.

Not only have the tutorials I've enjoyed been full of interesting tips and rare glimpses into other people's workflows that I always appreciate, they've been inspirational. Something about seeing other people at work in Reason makes me want to work in Reason, so during my two week break a couple of months ago, I spent a lot of time soaking in wisdom and energy from these videos, picking up the occasional tip, but also excitement.

So, while something like an AppleTV isn't an obvious piece of essential "music making" gear, I've found it to be an excellent addition to my modest "studio." If you have an internet box like the AppleTV, I urge you to set up some subscriptions, and experience Reason away from the computer. I think you'll find it as energizing as I have.

This post isn't meant to be an advertisement for Apple. Regardless of my computer choices, I don't really consider myself a fanboy, nor do I believe that Apple always provides the best product and features. Roku has a line of competing boxes that have many of the advantages of Apple's internet TV box and many more, although YouTube access has been temporarily suspended (there is still Vimeo). Google and Boxee have boxes of their own as well. So, if this is something you're interested in, do a little research and figure out what works best for your setup and needs.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bragware Report: Imprecations, by Ceo1 & Abandoned Orchard, by Nikolai Bonamente

Probably the most rewarding feedback I receive from Reason Patch A Day is when readers send me emails to share what they've created with the patches posted here. Recently, French artist Ceo1 sent me an email to share a new track that he created using only patches that had been posted during the blog's first few months, back in 2008.

Ceo1 explains:

I like from time to time to write songs under rules (like with only one refill bank, only with a piano, etc.). Often, having rules enables me to focus more on the feel of the piece, rather than wandering through my 10,000 refills (note : I don't actually have 10,000 refills, but you catch my drift).

So, I did it like this with your instruments: I tried them all and felt what could inspire me and started from there to develop a theme. I hit a wall with the 2008 instruments, because even though I find them very neat sounding and inspiring to me, they were a bit similar. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but I felt they were in the same category of dark pads or something like that (besides the Paper Towel Tube, of course).

In the end I like what I've done with it, but I'm pretty sure that I can do something maybe better with your other sounds, which I have to try, and that's a whole lot more!

Ceo - Imprecations by Ceo1

As Ceo1 explained to me, the patches used in Imprecations were: Ancient Tongue, John Carpenter, Dreary Chorus, Ice Age, Paper Towel Tube, the Yamaha RX 11 samples, Ominous Cloud, Under Emergency Power, and Vocode - Creese

You may remember the name of long time reader Nikolai Bonamente, formerly 1.44MB, who has shared a number of songs here on Reason Patch A Day, stretching back to his two tracks that were a part of the original PAD Challenge in August of 2010.

I've had the pleasure of exchanging more than a few emails with Nikolai over the last year and have been following him on Soundcloud as well. I've been impressed with his ability to crank out the tunes. He seems to turn them out faster than I can listen to them, but I thought I'd highlight one of his more recent tunes, a song called Abandoned Orchard that he posted a couple of months ago.

Abandoned Orchard uses the Rectification patch and might be my favorite track Nikolai has produced. He describes it by saying:

With Abandoned orchard I started off with the bass - playing with it's distortion was very pleasing to my ear - I'd had a few bars lying around for while and then along came the strings which seemed like a really good fit.

You can hear Abandoned Orchard here:

Abandoned orchard by Nikolai Bonamente

Thank you both, Ceo1 and Nikolai Bonamente, for sharing your tracks with me and the readers here on Reason Patch A Day. If anyone has any constructive comments or criticism to offer, please leave them on either Ceo1 or Nikoali's Soundcloud pages, or feel free to leave them a note here in the comments.

If you have a track of your own that you'd like to highlight on the blog, please send me an email with a link to your track and a description, so I can post it here. I'm always eager to hear what's being done with the patches shared here, so I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I'm not one of those Reason users that has hundreds of refills crammed into my computer's hard drive. As I've mentioned here a few times, I tend to use my own patches and sounds when I can, so I have just a couple of commercial refills, a couple of select mini-refills from guys like Stompp and Peff, and of course a handful of Propellerheads Software refills.

I will, however, admit that I have a weakness for drum samples. If you post a set of quality samples from an old, somewhat obscure drum machine, you can bet good money that I've downloaded it and filed it away with all of the other drum machine samples I searched out. The problem is, as much as I enjoy testing out the samples when I download them, I rarely go back to them. There's nothing wrong with them, of course, they're almost always excellent quality and have intriguing sonic character, but I'm a creature of habit and tend to reach for the "usual suspects," regardless of whatever else I have stored away somewhere. So, while I've managed to be very careful and judicious about the refills I put on my laptop's hard drive, I have literally thousands of Wav files collecting digital dust in my documents folder.

The problem is compounded a little bit by this blog. As I've mentioned before, I file my patches by category, with every patch I've created stored in one of them, such as Pad, Bass, Synth, Percussion, Loops, and so on. In addition to these ever-swelling folders, I also have a copy of my Reason Patch A Day Archive Refill, Vol 1 taking up space, and duplicating literally hundreds of files.

Each file is only a few KBs, of course, but it doesn't take long for those KBs to add up and I feel like I'm suffering from a little digital bloat (don't even get me started on my iTunes music and TV show files).

So, this weekend, I'm going to pare things down a little. My goal is, by Monday, to have a lean, clean hard drive, with a svelte backup file copied over to another disc, and maybe even a burnt DVD or two to give me a redundant backup of the important stuff.

What about you? Interested in doing a little spring cleaning of your own? How often do you go through your files and weed out the unnecessary stuff?

Expect an instrument patch tonight. I overslept and didn't have a chance to put one together this morning.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

An Interview with Hydlide of The Sound of Reason

You may already be aware of the redesign of Hydlide's website The Sound of Reason and its metamorphosis into the new Sound of Reason Network, but you may not be familiar with the reasons behind this change or understand what Hydlide's latest venture means to the Reason community. Hydlide, who was nice enough to include Reason Patch A Day in his new community site, agreed to answer a few of my questions in this short, informal interview.

Reason Patch A Day: After building up a fairly sizable and active community with The Sound of Reason page, forums, and podcasts, what made you think there was something else that you needed to do?

Hydlide: The message that I often used in some of those "monolog" podcasts is a phrase that was: "It is not about me; it is about the community." Another thing that kind of got to me was the thought "I can't just do just all by myself." Or, let me rephrase that by saying, "I prefer not to do it all by myself," since everything that I had been doing between 2006 and 2010 was more or less a one man show. And to be honest, it is a lot of work to just maintain a website, be an admin on a forum and keep the content fresh.

I mainly used YouTube as a tool to make tutorials, since for me... it is the easy way out. I have a daytime job and while I sat on the train, I could write the plot for the next tutorial. Then, I would come home, read my mails, pop up the video recording stuff, record the video, compress it, and upload it while I sleep. This was almost done on a daily basis in 2010. It worked out for me, but I learned that I needed to combine it with written articles that gave a little bit more background information as well as to appeal to people that just like to sit back, relax and read through a complete article, rather then having someone explain hip hop in 10 minutes on a YouTube video. So it works both ways.

I had been doing a lot of website analysis and I would check out who was out there in the Reason community. And every time I started to do a rundown on certain pages, it hit me... it is always the same page that loaded, except for a few that are still active. The scene was more or less getting slow paced. I personally wanted to have a place that would always update. Give new toys to the community, keeping them up-to-date with new articles, etc.

I have done a few experiments with it, like make my patch section of the webpage, but eventually I started to work more towards the direction of "sound design" as my main topic, focus more about song structure that sort of thing. Those are things that I personally wanted to focus on. But that would mean that I needed to drop the rest. To still keep that "momentum" thing going I started to use ustream. I mean, we have a chatroom and sometimes theres a heated discussion going on like "how the heck do I do this." I pop up my ustream, and I just say to the guy... here, go to this channel and I'll show you right here how its done. These are small things that the large group does not see, since it just happens in irregular moments and it usually happened in sessions of like 30 minutes or so. People loved it....

Later, I made a segment where our own community members could provide patches and post them on the frontpage. Yet another experiment, but that one failed. I had a similar experience with "making a community refill." I had to make the complete refill myself back in 2010 since no one else was contributing to the project. So I think, all this combined taught me: If you want something done you need to do it yourself, or... have members that are already active doing it. Make them unite and just have a community that would really be one big happy family that mainly focusses on reason and record.

Reason Patch A Day: Was there any one moment or thing that started you down this line?

Hydlide: Two moments started it I think. First of all there was the moment I stopped making video tutorials. It was a big time saver for me to do something else. Second, I had to step down as being an administrator of my own forumboard because I wanted to see how the ship would float without me, and it gave me time to focus more on other things behind the scene. This happened all around November 2010, I think.

This is the moment I started to focus more on website analysis and coding stuff (since that is basically my real job). I wrote down the initial thought process about "the kernel." The system that needed to be rewritten to initially integrate my own website with the forumboard, since at the time they were 2 different things. While I was writing the whole thing down, I thought to myself... "Hey, if I can do this... I can do much more, right? Heck, I can even rewrite everything if I want too... setup an external connection to another website. etc."

Epic Design played a role in this thought process. Since we were initially setting up a centralized point to move all the podcasts there. Get rid of Soundcloud. One minor problem was, how to establish the connection with the podcasts and still keep the site updating with the latest version. I think this is the step that took it too that direction where I was really heading too... since I thought by myself, if I can do this... I can do this with any website right?

Reason Patch A Day: I'm sure plenty of people are going to have their own opinions, but what do you think is the biggest distinction between what you were doing previously with The Sound of Reason and the new Sound of Reason Network?

Hydlide: The biggest distinction would be that it is self-sustaining now. I mean, if I did it "right" I could just let it run and take a vacation for 2 years and come back and see what happened with the place. The thing with the previous setup, it was a one man show more or less. I had to provide the content myself. But with the new site, it puts the Reason/Record community more "upfront"... kind of like this is what is happening out there. And I can take this network idea pretty far. It has a lot of potential, and there all sorts of ideas that we could do to improve the network, but that is long term thinking.

I think the biggest impact it is going to have (vague assumption, but I will mention it) is that I am putting myself more in the background, more or less. Sure... all the content that I provide is still there, but eventually it will get snowed under by the network when it grows and gets larger. So in the end the old concept of The Sound of Reason will more be a melody humming in the background while the community (e.g. the people that are part of the network) will be the main trumpets making most of the noise, to put it in musical context.

Reason Patch A Day: What has been the response so far? Have you been happy with how your redesign has been received?

Hydlide: There are 3 different groups that I think have reacted to the redesign.

First of all, you have the fanbase from the original site who were already following my work and understood what I was trying to do over here. When I presented them the wall of text "this is what we did," they applauded. Then you have the larger group of Reason users that really don't understand the concept what we have been setting up, because for them it is just another website. And lastly, you have the company (Propellerheads Software), who seem to think it is "just a revamped website." But they probably haven't been following the story along how it was all setup and thought out.

The only thing that I do know is this, since the initial launch the amount of visitors have started to grow really rapidly. I think it has something to do with the way I presented it on YouTube as a big mystery plot, like "Soon it is coming." And everything I was doing on our own community was more or less building up towards this vague SOON. So, at this point people are probably still curious about what we have been establishing here. I am already seeing that part of the impact, which pretty much pleases me. But I am more curious about what happens with it in the long term. Since this is what I am good at, I take one step, analyze that step and let it run for a couple of weeks, recheck the impact, change a few things here and there and run the same circle again. But this is a process which takes time and for me it is time well spend since most of the hard work has been now, and for me its just more a moment that I can sit back, chill a bit and watch the show :)

Reason Patch A Day: Thanks for taking the time to describe a little about what you're doing with the revamped The Sound of Reason Network, Hydlide!

If you haven't taken the time to check it out, I urge you to click-through and see what Hydlide has been doing, and see what the greater Reason community as been up to recently. I'm proud to be a part of Hydlide's redesign and I am just as excited as you are to see where it goes in the months ahead.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bragware Report: Hematoma

I've mentioned it on this blog and to a few of you privately, but I've been feeling stuck for a long time. I've created a few tracks in the last couple of years, but the ones I have created have either left me feeling a little cold or have been oddly similar to previous tracks, despite my best efforts to move into fresh territory.

Given my stagnation, it was a real pleasure to put together a new track this weekend, a "ambient dub" song I'm calling Hematoma.

Hematoma by Reason Patch A Day

As is usually the case with the tracks I create, nearly every sound you hear in the track comes from a patch that has been posted here on Reason Patch A Day. The only major exception are four drum samples I used from the free sample pack from the excellent Wave Alchemy - Tech House and Minimal sample kit. There are also a couple of patches that have not been posted here, but are available in the Reason Patch A Day Archive Refill.

Instrument Patches: 1 Up - Warp Gate, 1 Up - Computer, Alien Princess, Calm Alert, Clouds - Cumulus, Cough Tone (not posted here, but available in the PAD Refill), Croup, DB1 Squirt, Dizzying Echoes, Electro-Cowbell, Incognito, Little Wings, Lustral, Microscopic, Noise Pad, Orphan (look for a post soon!), Rubbed Raw 2 (not posted here, but available in the PAD Refill), Space Static 5, Stranga Sono, Surrender

Effect Patches: A Little Energy, Airport Music, Campfire, DB Murky Beats, DB Snare Box 2, Drone Chorus, Heft (Stereo), Interesting, Latent Period, Simple Bass Enhance, Simple Mastering, Simple Pad Enhance, Simple Smear, Soulful, Spacey, Stereo Delay, Sub Wide, Subtle Wide, Veiled

Remember, if you post a track using any of the patches found here, I want to hear about it. Please send me a message at patchaday (at) earthlink (dot) net and I'll post links to your music here on Reason Patch A Day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bragware Report: Attention Deficit, by 1.44MB

I just got a new email from 1.44MB informing me that he has a new track up on Soundcloud that uses several patches from Reason Patch A Day. The song is called "attention deficit" and can be found on his Soundcloud page or can be listened to using the embedded player below:

attention deficit by 1.44mb

As 1.44MB explained, his new track uses "the Piston patch from last week, and the Effect Combinators Campfire, Heft and Rough Around The Edges. As before, any constructive criticism or comments you have about the track are welcome, so jump over to 1.44MB's Soundcloud page and let him know what you think. You can also leave comments here.

I like the track quite a bit, which isn't too surprising, given my weakness for 80s era Tangerine Dream. The bass and atmospheric sounds at around the 2:10 mark definitely has that old school Tangerine Dream sound, as does the synthesizer that comes in around 3:15. Nicely done, 1.44MB!

Have a track of your own that uses patches or sounds from Reason Patch A Day? Let me know by sending me an email and I'll feature your track here on the blog. I can be reached at patchaday (at) earthlink (dot) net.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bragware Report: 1.44 MB's "a different petit besoin"

You might remember reader 1.44MB from the PAD Challenge that took place back in April of 2010.

The PAD Challenge was a pretty simple idea, brought about when another reader, Ruurd Huizenga, sent me a full week's worth of reader contribution patches, effectively giving me a break from my blogging responsibilities. So, having the week off, I challenged myself to create a new track, something I wasn't doing much of at the time (or now, for that matter). That personal challenge to create something new lead to a challenge to my readers and seven fellow Reason users joined me in creating new tracks while Ruurd's unintentional clocked ticked away the week. It was a lot of fun and while I'm not completely satisfied with my own contribution to the challenge, it felt pretty great to get something new done.

1.44MB was the only reader who submitted two tracks to the challenge, Burn Area and Vathi, and participated in the remix challenge a couple of weeks later, remixing my track Breaching the Heliopause and DJ Mad Wax's Ostbanhoff.

After two years of posting reminders that the patches here on Reason Patch A Day are bragware, I recently received an email from 1.44MB telling me that he used the Lone Cry REX file in a track. Finally! Someone willing to brag! He calls the track "'a different petit besoin" and you can find it on his Soundcloud page.

a different petit besoin by 1.44mb

In an email exchange he and I shared, 1.44MB mentioned, "I'd love to figure out how the really good chaps on Soundcloud get such crisp, voluminous sounding tracks," so if you have any constructive suggestions to offer, please leave them for him on Soundcloud.

Thanks for sharing your work, 1.44MB! It's great to hear Reason Patch A Day patches and sounds in action. If anyone else has used a patch or loop in a finished track, I want to hear about it. Leave a link where you've hosted your project in the comments section or send me an e-mail at patchaday (at) earthlink (dot) net and I'll put up a post like this one so others can hear what you've done.

Thanks again, 1.44MB, for being the first to step forward!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Review: Propellerhead Reason 4 Tips And Tricks, by Hollin Jones

If you remember my book review synopsis from the beginning of 2009, the name Hollin Jones might seem familiar, since his other book "Music Projects With Propellerhead Reason" was briefly discussed and rated with a few other Reason-themed books currently sitting on my bookshelf. While I appreciated the conversational tone of "Music Projects With Propellerhead Reason" and its easy to follow tutorials, I felt it was kind of lacking for the seasoned Reason user. Outside of a few interesting tips and reminders that I found useful, the book skewed a little too much toward the beginner, and I remember thinking that while the book's author knew a great deal about Reason, his format, a brief examination of several popular genres, was actually hampering his ability to provide any useful tips or workflow enhancements to those of us who've been using the program for an extended period of time.

With that in mind, I was eagerly anticipating "Propellerhead Reason 4 Tips and Tricks," hoping it would allow Jones to better display his obvious knowledge and provide some new information that would be useful, regardless of genre, about my favorite music making software. So, did Jones succeed in providing a book full of useful tips and tricks, as its title suggests?

Unfortunately, the short answer is no. "Tips and Tricks," like "Music Projects With Propellerhead Reason" before it, seems written with the Reason beginner in mind, tackling very simple topics like program installation, to slightly more tricky issues like exporting your finished tracks. Like a lot of Reason books, it has separate chapters for different pieces of the Reason rack, and talks you through each device, its basic operation, and provides numerous sidebar tips for how you can tweak or use a device. Its pretty basic stuff, really, with the sidebar tips being the most interesting pieces of the book, providing little reminders and ideas for how you can use each device more efficiently or in more interesting ways.

"Propellerhead Reason 4 Tips And Tricks" is a well-written book and maintains the conversational, friendly tone of Jones' other Reason book. If I were just starting out with Reason, rather than celebrating my ninth year of using it, I think this book would be indispensable. Many of its lessons and tips seem very basic, almost frustratingly so, but for someone just starting to dip their toes into the Reason waters, this book would be a great companion to the Reason manual, or perhaps even a good replacement, until a new user feels ready to digest the more technical presentation of the Reason manual.

Using the same rating system I used with the previous books, I'd give Reason 4 Tips and Tricks:

Overall Usefulness: Great for beginners

Patch Design Tips: Poor

Reason Version: 4.0

Hollin Jones also writes for Music Tech magazine. He's a good writer and really seems to know his stuff. I don't know how well it would sell, but if he were to write a "Reason 4 for Masochists" book, I'd be first in line to buy a copy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The AREX 2011 VSTi Site Has Moved

I've put up a few posts about the Yamaha RX11 VSTi. It's a neat little Windows VST that emulates one of my favorite pieces of hardware, the Yamaha RX11 Digital Rhythm Programmer. Alex, the brains behind the VST, posted a comment recently letting me know that the site has moved. So, if you haven't checked this out yet, or want to make sure you have the latest version, look for it at:

If you're using a Windows machine, it's a lot easier than trolling eBay for a RX11 of your own!