Producing Music with Reason
4.4 (21 ratings)
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Producing Music with Reason

Everything you need to know to get started producing great music with Propellerhead Reason (Version 7, 8 and 9)
4.4 (21 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
96 students enrolled
Created by Edouard Reny
Last updated 6/2017
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Current price: $10 Original price: $60 Discount: 83% off
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  • 5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand how Propellerhead Reason works and thus feel comfortable navigating it.
  • Produce and export full compositions in Reason with a professional sound quality.
  • Create musical devices (synth, effects, samplers, drum machines), play and record them.
  • Edit MIDI and Audio data.
  • Apply effects to individual tracks, mix music effectively and process the resultant master bus.
View Curriculum
  • Students should be comfortable in using a PC.
  • Students should possess a relatively good pair of speakers or headphone.
  • Optional: students should own a MIDI controller or keyboard and have it connected to their computer.
  • Students should possess a version of Reason to pro-actively participate in the course (Version 7, 8 or 9). The (free) demo version can be enough. It doesn't need to be installed or set-up (instructions are provided in Section 3 of the course)

This video course shows you step by step how to produce music using Propellerhead Reason! It is packed with goodies that both beginner and intermediate level users will find extremely useful in all steps of the music production process: theoretical presentations, demos, screencasts, activities and invaluable tips and tricks dispersed all around the course

The first section is to get beginners started: you will understand how Reason works, create your first devices, play and record your first notes, and apply your first effects.

The second section is the core of the course. Everything you need to know to produce your first music track in Reason. Together, we will produce a short music piece with beat, bass, pad, piano, effects and we will even design our own ear candy. We will also extensively look into mixing theory and apply what we learn on our little creation. This exercise will give you the tools to fly with your own creative wings.

The third section compiles videos on how to install and set up reason, so that you can enjoy music making without any technical difficulties.

The last section contains bonus videos tips to help you explore Reason further. For example a video contains a compilation of really indispensable keyboard shortcuts. Another will explain what are Rack Extensions and how to explore them (We will explore one together to show you). This section is aimed at being dynamic, more videos will be added with time depending on your feedback and your requests.

This course is aimed at beginners and intermediate level users. In addition, it only requires the Reason package: throughout this course, we will only use the devices part of the base package (except some videos in section 4).

This course will show you fantastic tools to explore your own musicality, so have a lot of fun following it!


Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for musicians and composers that wish to put into shape their musical ideas.
  • This course is for bedroom music producers that wish to design professional sounding music.
  • This course is for DJs that want to create their own sounds and beats to include in their mixes.
  • This course is for music producers that would like to explore an alternative DAW.
  • This course is for video creators that would like to make their audio more creative.
  • This course introduces Reason’s Synth, which can be of interest for sound designers.
  • This course is suited for rappers or slammers that wish to create their own beat for their lyrics
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Curriculum For This Course
27 Lectures
3 Lectures 17:47

This introduction video describes who can benefit most from this course, and what they can get out of it. The aims of the course are presented as well as its structure and a brief description of its content.

Preview 02:42

Q&A session with the instructor followed with examples of music created with Reason:
  • What is Reason?  
  • What version of Reason are you Teaching in this course?
  • Is this course for beginners or advanced users?
  • How hard is it to learn how to produce music in Reason?
  • Who is the instructor, Edouard Reny?
  • What do you like most about Reason?
Preview 09:57

This video is a detailed description of the structure and content of this course. It will also give you tips on how to follow this course in order to make the most of it. 

Preview 05:08
The Structure of Reason
5 Lectures 54:10

First steps in Reason! This video is a theoretical description of the structure of the software. Understanding how Reason is organised allows us to master the flow of sound and music data within it.Reason is composed of three main modules: The sequencer, the Rack and the Mixer. We will describes these and look together at how the sound flows between them.
Level: Beginner.

The flow of MIDI and sound in Reason

This episode shows the 4 ways to start up the beast, and how it presents itself on your computer. You will get familiar with the three main windows and learn how to navigate between them (using the mouse or keyboard shortcuts).
Level: Beginner.
Moving around the sequencer, the rack and the mixer

In this video, you will learn how to create a synthesizer in the rack and play a few notes. This will allow you to observe where the sound goes in the software and give you a perfect opportunity to learn what is meant by "the rack" and by "device". You will also record a few notes in the sequencer as well as some MIDI parameter data. This will give you the opportunity to learn a few basic editing techniques as well as how to hook up a knob of your midi controller to a midi parameter in the rack, and record its real time motion!
Level: Beginner.

First notes in Reason

In this video, you will start having a glimpse of Reason's musical power. In this episode, we will edit the MIDI clips we created in the previous video to adjust them to our liking. Then you will learn how to connect effects to the synth created in the previous video and how to set them up to get the sound we want. This will give you the opportunity to discover two of Reason's effects modules: The Echo and The Rev7000. We will record variations of these effects with time by assigning some of their parameters to knobs on our MIDI controller.
Level: Beginner.

Applying effects

A challenge for you! From what you have learned in the videos up to now in the course, you should be able to create from scratch a spacey piano sound. Try it, seriously! that effort will allow you to get familiar with the basics and prepare you for the second section of the course.
Level: Beginner.

Creating a spacey piano (Exercise)
Producing a music track in Reason
12 Lectures 02:30:38
This episode is an introduction to the Core of the Course, Section 2, in which we will produce from scratch a mini music track together (You can hear the final result in this video) . Note that the objective here is not to produce a smash hit, but to give you the know-how and show you the tools to make one yourself! This is what you will learn in this section :
  • Navigate across the windows and manipulate editing tools,
  • Get familiar with the rack structure,
  • Create instruments in the Rack, and apply effects to them,
  • Record and edit in the sequencer MIDI notes and parameter automations.
  • Basics of a synth and how to manipulate some of the synth parameters while knowing what you are actually doing,
  • Basics of drum machine programming,
  • Using and editing audio samples in the sequencer,
  • Basics in mixing and how to spot problems in a mix as well as correcting them.
  • And many other useful things, like shortcuts and tips which are spread around this section.
Preview 02:44

This episode will show you the different options Reason offers you to create beats (audio loops, sliced Rex loops, Kong Drum machine and Redrum drum machine).  
We will focus on one specific option to create a basic beat (programming a drum machine, The Redrum) and record it in the sequencer via the Pads of our MIDI controller. Our MIDI recording will allow us to go a little deeper in the editing process and learn some cool editing tips.
Level: Beginner. 

Note: This video is not an extensive list of ways to create beats in Reason. There is another powerful option that is not mentioned here but it uses Refills (for example BFD with MIDI clip importation).

Creating a Beat in Reason

In this video, we will create a bass line using the Subtractor synthesizer. This will give us the opportunity to get introduced to synthesizers. We will briefly describes the basic functions of a synth so that we can generate a sound. We will also do a little theory here by describing how sound can be described as waveforms. We will listen to various waveforms and understand why some can be used for a purpose and some others for another. I will exemplify this by improvising the creation of a jazzy pad. We will then go back to playing, recording and editing a bass line for our music track.
Level: Beginner and intermediate level user.

Sound generation basics + recording a synthbass line

This video will show you how to create a background Pad in Reason. We will explore how to browse and load a preset in the Rack. This will give us the opportunity to discover what is a Combinator. This will also allow us to explore functionalities of the rack. We will see how to learn about sound design in the rack from these presets. Moreover, we will learn how to change the sound on the fly in order to suit it to our needs. We will conclude by playing, recording and editing a pad for our little music track.
Level: Beginner and intermediate level user.

Setting up a pad

We have now a beat, a bass-line and a background pad. Time to play, record and edit a little melody using the spacey piano sound we created in the first section! During the creative process, it is important to stay organised in order not to hinder the workflow while composing. The second part of this video will share with you some clean-up tips and a few best practices.
Level: Beginner. 

Recording a melody and main file clean up tips.

This video and the next introduces you to sound design by creating a rising whoosh sound from scratch. Such sound is often used to announce a change or transition in a song, especially in electro and techno. We will use for this a Thor synthesiser. This first part will share with you the basics of the Thor synthesiser by going through its architecture. We will learn how the sound is generated in the Thor and how it flows in its various modules, as well as what these modules do to it.
We will then learn how to generate a white noise that will be the base of our sound and sculpt it with time to make it rise. In addition, to make it sound flashy and spread across the stereo field we will create a chain of effects by connecting various devices to the channel strip containing the Thor synthesiser.
Level: Intermediate level user.

Sound design a rising woosh (Part 1)

In this video, we will insert our Whoosh sound in our mini music track. For that, we will sculpt it to our liking by recording in real time synths parameters and the motion of the channel strip fader in the sequencer.
In the process, we will realise that our whoosh doesn't sound that good, so we will troubleshoot to analyse what is missing and correct it by modifying some synth parameters. We will also add an EQ and a maximiser to the effect chain we created in the previous video.
Level: Intermediate level user.

Sound design a rising woosh (Part 2)

In this video, we will import an external audio sample that we will use as final hit for the ending of our music composition. First, we will discuss how and where to find these samples, and the legal implications of using them in a composition. Then we will import an audio sample of a hit, using this example as a good opportunity to get introduced to the basic audio editing tools that are offered in Reason's sequencer. We will explore this a little further by importing an audio loop of a beat, and replacing our current beat with it, just to hear what it sounds like. This is a great way to explore alternatives and change the feel of a composition drastically.
Level: Beginners and intermediate level user.

Importing audio in Reason: an ending impact for our music.

Mixing is a crucial step when it comes to making a music track sound professional. Do not count too much on the mastering which is just the final polishing: your track should sound already amazing before the mastering phase! This video presents a step by step technique to mix your music. You will also learn fundamental theoretical concepts that will allow you to make wise choices when carrying out the three mixing processes (Volume, Pan and Frequency). This video ends with golden tips!
Level: Intermediate level user.

Mixing music: the fundamentals

In this video we will clean up and organise our little music track in order to prepare it for the mixing phase. On the fly, we will carry out a few sonic adjustments  to make sure we are satisfied with the individual sounds (EQuing, Reverbing, sonic sculpting). This episode will demonstrate how you can do these adjustments easily in Reason.
Level: Intermediate level user.

Preparing the mixing session

This episode focuses on a special mixing technique that can be referred as frequency selective side chain compression (FSSCC). The first section of the video is a presentation showing the details of spectral mixing, and the problems due to frequency overlapping between instruments which can occur during that process. You will learn how side chain compression (SSC) can be a great tool to solve this issue. However, this can be at the cost of the timber of your sounds. This is when frequency selective side chain compression enters the game. After a demonstration on an electro track of what SSC can do for you in terms of being creative with electronic music, we will learn how to set up FSSCC in Reason and apply it to our music composition.
Level: Intermediate and Advanced.

Spectral mixing and side chain compression

In this video, we will go through the various adjustments I carried out in Studio on our little music: spectral mixing the piano and the pad, light compression applied on the kick, final volume and pan mix, inserting some EQ on the master bus and applying some general reverb on most of the tracks and finally applying light compression on the master bus using the mixers compressor. This video concludes this section by exporting our little music track.
Level: Beginners and intermediate level user.

Finalizing the mix
Installation and set up of Reason
4 Lectures 27:21

This video shows you a step by step process on how to install Reason on your computer!
Level: Beginner.

Installation of Propellerhead reason

This episode describes the main set-up options in Reason. We will explore and then set up the editing  and appearance options. We will also learn how to build a template (the song format in which Reason opens when launched). We will end this video by setting up some other miscellaneous software parameters.
Level: Beginner.

Setting up general parameters

This video aims at guiding you to set up Audio in Reason for trouble-free use. It explains what is an audio driver and how Reason interacts with your audio card. You will also learn how to choose wisely some audio setup parameters. 
Level: Beginner.

Setting up audio parameters

In this episode, you will learn how to make Reason detect and set up your MIDI controller. The example used here is the setting up the MPK Mini MIDI controller. This video concludes with a brief description and recommendations concerning other parameters (Sync, Advanced and Language).
Level: Beginner.

Setting up MIDI controllers
Bonus Videos
3 Lectures 39:02

Nothing can be more frustrating than losing inspiration just because of a struggle in carrying out a simple operation! It is definitely super useful to know a few shortcuts to improve workflow and not let technical issues hinder the creative process. This video teaches you just that by teaching you the must-know shortcuts in Propellerhead Reason. It does that by showing you also how to use them effectively using examples. 
Level: beginner and intermediate.

Improve your workflow with Keyboard shortcuts

Rack extensions (RE) are additional modules that can be used in Reason. These can be seen as plugins exclusive to Reason. Some of these Rack extensions are amazing and boost Reason to another creative dimension! This video presents what is out there for you to play with. First, we download a free RE (A control voltage meter) and show how to install it in Reason. Then, I improvise for a few minutes by producing a little electro piece and at the same time show you how this new RE integrates in the rack.

Become super creative with Rack Extensions

Setting up VST drums in Reason using NI Kontakt
About the Instructor
Edouard Reny
4.4 Average rating
21 Reviews
96 Students
1 Course
Music Producer & Tutor in Physics

Edouard Andre Reny was born in 1971 in Bordeaux, France. Long studies in sciences armed him a PhD in solid state chemistry which led him to a post doctorate contract at Hiroshima University, Japan. In his early thirties, he integrated a large water treatment corporation in The Netherlands as a senior researcher. A decade later, he decided to fly with his own wings by founding his own company, “Synaptic Machines”, that brought together his interests in sciences, his drive to share it with the world, and his passion and talent for music. Why not make a living with what one truly loves!

This coincided with the realisation that he was a damn good teacher. To support financially his bran new company, he started tutoring a few kids in their late teens to prepare for their International Baccalaureate and A-levels in Physics. The success rates were so high, and he enjoyed so much helping these kids, he decided to make this activity a primary professional objective! Today, he is helping a dozen students on a weekly basis, and nearly as many are on a waiting list!

On the music side, since his teenage years, Edouard has been composing and playing as a multi-instrumentalist in various pop-rock, blues, rock, jazz, heavy metal, folk, singer-songwriter, and electro bands. He is also known as “Edward Keys” or “Synaptic-Machines”. Very exigent about sonic quality, Edouard studied as an autodidact sound engineering, mixing techniques and mastering in order to enhance his own productions. Today, backed by 25 years of experience in music production, he professionalised, and sales licenses for use of his composition to various media (TV, radio, Web videos etc.).

Edouard discovered Udemy early 2017. It felt like a perfect opportunity to share with other, on a wide scale, the knowledge he has accumulated, and which has led him to a fulfilling professional life full of music, passion for science, and most importantly gratitude from his students. He will release his first course around spring 2017 (Producing Music in Propellerhead Reason). He intends to work on new online courses around 3 themes (music, Physics and well-being) and hopes to publish at least two per year.