Producing Music with Reason

Author: Erik Hawkins | Course Code: OMPRD-275

With a rack of virtual instruments, effects, mixers, a comprehensive sequencer, extensive groove control for fine-tuning the "feel" of your music, and a patching system that emulates real-world hardware setups, Reason provides a nearly complete production environment for producers and engineers. Producing Music with Reason presents a broad overview of this versatile software's capabilities, and the techniques you'll need to learn to operate it effectively. The course covers sampling, sound design, and sequencing basics, and guides you from the fundamentals of mixing and mastering to more advanced problem solving techniques that will improve your overall productions. You'll learn to create your own unique sounds, and because the program's parts closely parallel much of the setups used by today's top producers, you'll also learn portable skills that you can transfer to a number of different software and hardware setups.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Develop your own instrument patches
  • Understand simple and advanced samplers
  • Compose using multiple pattern sequencers
  • Apply real-time grooves to change the "feel" of your music
  • Know how to make and use a catchy hook
  • Give song structure to your project
  • Mix and master your final project

Berklee Online and Propellerhead have come together to offer an educational discount on Reason 8. Once you enroll in the course, you will be able to purchase this package at the discounted price through the Required Course Materials link on your My Home page. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course.

Lesson 1: Getting to Know Reason

  • Introduction
  • Introduce Yourself
  • Listen to Reason
  • Discussion: Comment on the Songs
  • Definition of a Producer
  • Discussion: Producer or Self-Produced?
  • The Big Picture
  • Installing and Checking Reason
  • Exercise: Loading and Playing a Song
  • MIDI Controllers
  • Exercise: Test Your MIDI Controllers
  • Workshop: Choose the Right MIDI Controller
  • Workshop: How Well Do You Know Reason?
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: Patching Devices
  • Recap

Lesson 2: Devices and Patches

  • Introduction
  • Sound Library File Types
  • Browsing for Patches
  • Exercise: Browse for Patches
  • Workshop: Match the File Type to the Device
  • Refills
  • Song Self-Contain Settings
  • Keeping Sounds Organized
  • Workshop: Organizing Sound Files
  • Discussion: How are Your Sounds Organized?
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: Loading Patches
  • Recap

Lesson 3: Exporting and Importing Audio

  • Introduction
  • Export Audio
  • Exercise: Export Audio
  • External Audio Recording and Processing
  • ReWire Explained
  • Effect Plug-In Formats
  • Discussion: Other Programs
  • Importing Audio Into Reason
  • Sampling
  • Exercise: Record a Sample
  • Assignment: Bounce, Process, Import, Sample
  • Recap

Lesson 4: Simple Samplers

  • Introduction
  • Redrum as a Sampler
  • Exercise: Exploring Redrum Kits
  • Workshop: How Well Do You Know Redrum?
  • Dr. REX Loop Player
  • ReCycle Software Program
  • Exercise: Copy REX Loop to Track
  • Workshop: How well do you know Dr. REX?
  • Exercise: Exploring REX Files
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: Create a Custom Redrum Kit
  • Recap

Lesson 5: Advanced Samplers NN-XT

  • Introduction
  • NN-XT Sampler
  • Exercise: Exploring NN-XT Patches
  • Exercise: Make a Velocity-Mapped Drum
  • Discussion: NN-XT Versus Redrum
  • Recycled Loops
  • Workshop: Making Good Recycling Choices
  • Exercise: Recycle This Loop
  • Loop Tuning for Timing
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: Build a Sample Instrument of Many Zones
  • Recap

Lesson 6: Pattern Sequencers

  • Introduction
  • Redrum Pattern Sequencer
  • Workshop: Redrum's Pattern Sequencer
  • Exercise: Redrum Patches Sequencer
  • Exercise: Compose a Redrum Pattern
  • Matrix Pattern Sequencer
  • Workshop: Matrix Pattern Sequencer
  • Exercise: Compose a Matrix Pattern
  • Pattern Shuffle
  • Patterns for Control
  • Exercise: More Control
  • Pattern to Track and Pattern Lane
  • Discussion: Patterns Versus Tracks
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: Programming a Groove
  • Recap

Lesson 7: The Sequencer and Quantize

  • Introduction
  • Sequencer Basics
  • Important Edit View Facts
  • Tools in the Tool Window
  • Workshop: Tools and Tracks
  • Discussion: Song Mode versus Edit Mode
  • Transport and Record Controls
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Exercise: Record Drums and Bass
  • Quantize
  • Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Sequencer
  • Assignment: Build a Groove
  • Recap

Lesson 8: The Rhythm Section

  • Introduction
  • Production Reference Song
  • Exercise: Select a Reference Song
  • Basic Beat
  • Exercise: Complete the Beat
  • Where to Begin?
  • Discussion: Where Will You Begin?
  • Basic Chord Theory
  • Discussion: Chords Shape Many Elements
  • Bass Line
  • Workshop: Matching the Musical Parts
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: The Rhythm Section
  • Recap
  • Combinator Extra Credit
  • Optional Assignment: Create Your Own Combinator Instrument (Extra Credit)

Lesson 9: Melody and Hook

  • Introduction
  • Defining Terms
  • Creating a Sampled Hook
  • Writing a Melody
  • Workshop: Match the Melody to the Rhythm Section
  • Discussion: Melody, Sampled Hook, or Both?
  • Multitrack Recording
  • Exercise: Making a Multitrack Recording
  • Back to Reason
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: Hook and Melody
  • Recap

Lesson 10: Song Structure and Production

  • Introduction
  • Song Structures
  • Exercise: Production Reference Song Analysis
  • Arranging for Change
  • Exercise: Working with Song Blocks
  • Tempo, Time Signature, and Bar Count Changes
  • Producing Transitions
  • Assignment: Song Structure
  • Recap

Lesson 11: Final Production and Mixing

  • Introduction
  • Advanced Production
  • Exercise: Begin the Final Production
  • Mixing Overview
  • Workshop: Put the Mix Steps in Order
  • Pan, EQ, and Compression
  • Discussion: Essential Mix Tools in Use
  • Reverb and Aux Channels
  • Automating the Mix
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: Final Production and Mix Down
  • Recap

Lesson 12: Final Mix and Mastering

  • Introduction
  • Final Mix Moves
  • Setting Up Multiple Speakers for Better Monitoring
  • Exercise: How Does Your Mix Sound in the Real World?
  • Mastering Demystified
  • Processing Goals of Mastering
  • Workshop: Mastering in Reason
  • Tips of Processing Power
  • Mastering Entirely in Reason
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: Final Mix and Master
  • Recap

Erik Hawkins

Author & Instructor

Erik Hawkins is a composer, producer, remixer, and author whose talents and technical expertise have leaders in the music industry calling him a "taste maker." He has worked with and remixed a variety of top artists, including Irene Cara, Digital Underground, Conscious Daughters, Strypper, Brenda Russell, and DJ Sasha. His own progressive dance music tracks have been used by major television networks and film studios, including ABC, CBS, MTV, Nickelodian, and New Line Cinema. Some of the TV shows and films in which his music can be heard include Ugly Betty, CSI:Miami, Burn Notice, Big Brother, The Last Day of Summer, The Disaster Movie, and The Informers.

More than one hundred of his articles have appeared in the industry's top publications, including Electronic Musician, Mix, and Keyboard. He's had monthly columns in Remix, MC2, and DigiZine. He has authored several books, including Studio-in-a-Box (ArtistPro, 2001) and the Complete Guide to Remixing (Berklee Press, 2003).

For lots of cool music production tips and tricks, check out his Berklee Online blog page:

http://blogs.online.berklee.edu/erikhawkins

To hear more samples of his music, visit his Web sites:

http://www.facebook.com/erikhawkmusic http://soundcloud.com/erikhawkmusic http://www.youtube.com/user/muzicali http://twitter.com/erikhawk

Online Courses Taught by Erik

Pro Tools 101Pro Tools 110Producing Music with ReasonRemixingProgramming and Producing Drum Beats

Textbook(s)

None required


Software Requirements

  • PC Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or higher
  • Mac Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Safari
  • Flash Player: current version
  • Adobe Reader: current version
  • Reason 8 purchased separately, see discount details below:

Berklee Online and Propellerhead have come together to offer an educational discount on Reason 8. Once you enroll in the course, you will be able to purchase this package at the discounted price through the Required Course Materials link on your My Home page. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course.


Hardware Requirements

PC Users
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Intel or AMD processor with dual cores
  • 4 GB RAM or more
  • 3 GB free hard disk space
  • Monitor with 1024x768 resolution or larger
  • A 16 bit Windows compatible audio card, preferably with an ASIO driver
  • Free USB port for Ignition Key
  • Microphone that is compatible with your sound card
  • USB to MIDI controller keyboard (such as the Oxygen 25 by M-Audio)
Mac Users
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or later
  • Intel Mac (multiple cores highly recommended)
  • 4 GB RAM or more
  • 3 GB free hard disk space (program may use up to 20 GB scratch disk space)
  • Monitor with 1024x768 resolution or larger
  • CoreAudio compliant audio interface or build-in audio hardware
  • Free USB port for Ignition Key
  • Microphone that is compatible with your sound card
  • USB to MIDI controller keyboard (such as the Oxygen 25 by M-Audio)

Comments

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Next Term Starts June 27


  • Level
  • Duration
    12 weeks
  • 3-Credit Tuition
    $1,449
  • or
  • Non-Credit Tuition Add 6 CEUs
    $1,200 + $25

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