Behind the Scenes of Propellerheads’ Oversized Drum Machine

There’s obviously something about big. In the 1988 film Big, the iconic scene featured Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia tapping their way across FAO Schwartz’s oversized piano. Now, it’s the drum machine’s turn. David Crowder*Band drummer Bwack made the oversized stage version of an MPC-style set of drum pads, seen below and on CDM in 2008. That model featured a rack for a computer, making it a real workstation. This week, to celebrate the launch of their new releases of Reason and Record, Swedish music developer Propellerhead had their own entry. It features not only pads big enough to dance …

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Free Shigeto EP Explores More Textural, Narrative Worlds

Michigan-born, Brooklyn-based artist Shigeto is one of my favorite artists on Ghostly International. AKA Zach Saginaw, Shigeto has been making collages of electronic beats, richly-textural releases, many of them following the narrative of his family’s experience in Japanese internment camps here in the US during World War II. “What We Held On To” is a surprisingly-deep EP, following his last “Semi-Circle” and coming before the upcoming full-length “Full Circle.” It’s released completely free for download from Ghostly, and the tracks (included here) have also made it to his SoundCloud account if you want to share your comments on that favorite …

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What’s New in Reason 5, Record 1.5, in a Nutshell

Octoloopy: a new Dr. Rex allows loading multiple loops, at last. But drum synthesis, sampling in Reason may steal the show. As I mentioned earlier today, the big news story in the Reason and Record announcements is that you don’t need Record to record; Reason now does sampling. Here’s the full look at what’s new from Propellerhead’s software music workstations. Highlights: A new drum designer. Drum synthesis, sampling, REX loops, physical modeling, and effects modules drive a 16-pad drum instrument, so you’re no longer limited to faux 808s or samples – you can make your own drum sounds. This alone …

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Reason, Record Updates Revealed Today; Big News – Reason Gets Sound Sampling

In case you haven’t seen already, Propellerhead is slowly doling out new feature information on its website for Record 1.5 and Reason 5. So far, they’ve announced pitch correction and vocal synthesis in Record (because we really don’t have enough AutoTune-style vocals in the world, apparently), multiple loop support in REX, and new block-style arrangement (a bit reminiscent of Cubase’s implementation to me). It’s all good stuff, and I look forward to seeing what the final announcement is later today. I’m still hoping that Record gets ReWire host mode, because I can think of some users who would love to …

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ReBirth, Reborn, as Synths in your Hand: Q+A with Ernst Nathorst-Böös

The software synthesizer has come full circle. What was once possible only with a mid-range desktop computer is now easily accomplished with a sub-$200 device that rests in your hand and sips power. That transformation, once something people regarded in some vague time in the future, is now one that’s very present. I expect a lot of the hand-wringing about the future (some of it from me) comes from the uncertainty about just what it’ll mean. For some small glimpse, though, it’s nice to get to talk to Propellerhead CEO Ernst Nathorst-Böös. ReBirth is a tool that convinced a lot …

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ReBirth Arrives for iPhone, iPod touch; $6.99

ReBirth, the Roland groovebox emulation that helped launch the popularity of soft synths, is now on Apple’s mobile devices for US$6.99. (I woke up to a note from Propellerheads’ CEO Ernst left in my inbox overnight, so thanks, Ernst, for the tip!) This is not the native iPad version MusicRadar predicted after an interview with Ernst. For now, iPads scale up the iPhone interface. But a version with “native” resolution for the tablet seems a no-brainer down the road. Feature list: 2 x TB-303 Bassline synths TR-808 Drum Machine TR-909 Drum Machine Pattern Controlled Filter Distortion unit Compressor Mixer 5 …

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Reason and Record Patching and Guitar, New Propellerhead Testing?

52 Reason and Record Tips Week 4 – Unlocking the Secrets of CV and Gate. from James Bernard on Vimeo. Reason and Record may lack plug-in support, but what they do have – open-ended patching between the available modules, in the tradition of analog synthesizers – opens up plenty of creative possibilities. The only sad news is that many Reason uses don’t take full advantage of that depth. Here are three tutorials to get you started, if you’re not familiar with how to do this (or if you need a video to send your friends to get them patching). At …

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Record and Reason: Tips, Tutorials, Goodies, and Reviews

52 Reason and Record Tips by James Bernard Week 1 from James Bernard on Vimeo. I’m writing this from the wintry wonderland that is Stockholm, Sweden. How geeky is this country? Geeky enough to use their entire nation’s terrain to construct the world’s largest scale model of the solar system. And they’re the home of music software developer Propellerhead, with whom I’m talking a stroll in just a few minutes. In the Props’ honor, here’s a round-up of some handy stuff for Reason and Record users, plus a link to my most recent reviews. The timing couldn’t be better. Propellerhead …

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DAW Day: Propellerhead Record is Here, with Lots of Free Training

Record is now shipping, and the beta closed – and now is a perfect time to talk about learning. Okay, let me explain something. Propellerhead doesn’t want Record to be called a “DAW,” for Digital Audio Workstation. I personally overcame my own distaste for the strange acronym today because, well, there’s not another good name for a related set of tools. But I do think Record is different. Workstations are usually defined by being all-in-one environments, for hosting other third-party instruments and effects, and adding in additional features like notation and video scoring. Record is none of those things. You …

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