Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Section 6: Music Production: My Techniques & Tips For Improving Keyboard Playing Skills

  hand & keys small

I have a niece called Emily, she's 11 and she can read music notation and play the piano that is really quite complex in arrangement, she does have a music teacher who helps her but it's pretty impressive how good she is. Reading music for me was never my thing, not because I didn't appreciate other pre written compositions, I just desired to make my own and find my own way there to create something know one else had that was unique to me.

I am right handed but after a while my left hand began to work intuitively without the need to look at the keys which at the time was really quite satisfying but also it felt like a natural progression. It just takes lots of practice, it may take a few months but it's worth it because once you learn to play with two hands, you will never forget it, but that doesn't mean you won't get rusty if you stop practicing for a long period of time.

You really need at least 61 Keys to learn on, not just because you have an extra octave or two but because you have more freedom for your arms to move around the physical space.


Once you learn to play fluently, and not just draw notes and twiddle knobs your music will be so much easier to produce and it's so much more fun too.


If you really want to power drive your music playing skills, set a time limit on how long you can continue to play non stop without making any errors or key fluffs. When you start out it's good to know just where your fingers are on the keyboard and will help you memorise what keys make what sounds. Once you have a good grasp of that and feel confident enough, take the next step of minimising how often you look at the keys, then follow up with not looking at any and just follow the notes you record on screen.

Many of my piano tracks including a few on soundclick like Dual Escapism and Aftershock were produced in exactly this way (live without stopping for the whole duration). Sure there are pauses between each section but my mind was working two or three times faster to work out the next section.

Before you even go for it, it's best I find to let you self free play, making mistakes, it doesn't matter, find new chords, find new melodies and build some sort of picture of how you would like to incorporate those idea's.

For the actual piano sounds if you don't already have the props commercial Piano Refill or any others that sound good, the built in soundbank has the perfect alternative and it sounds pretty authentic.


Create a combinator, a line mixer and 'A Grand Piano 1.0sxt for the NNXT and add a touch of release (8 to 12)if you like the sustain effect, if not using a foot sustain pedal. Add a RV7000 loading the default AllC1 Mid Hall preset and (set Dry/Wet knob to no more than +32) with the NNXT selected and then add a MClass Equalizer with the R7000 selected. Enable PARM 2 of the MClass Equalizer and set the FREQ knob to the 3 O'clock position (8.351 Khz) then the GAIN to about the 3 O'clock position or slightly over it ( 13.4dB ). Then finally set the bottom knob of the three to about the 9 O'clock position ( 1.9 ). 

What you should have with this is a pretty realistic representation of a real Piano. You could of course raise the dry and wet knob but you don't want to drown it too much in it.

Here's the combinator as described above.

Download Piano scottym combi

Propellerheads Reason: Section 5: Additional Resources & Links

To be added

Propellerheads Reason Section 4: Video User Tutorials 1: Producing Hardstyle Day 1 to 7


Tutorial showing the process of producing hardstyle music demonstrated by ‘Boy in a Band’.


How to make a hardstyle beat [Day 1 | Hardstyle Tutorial 7 Day Song]


How to make a hardstyle kick [Day 1 pt 2 | Hardstyle Tutorial 7 Day Song]


How to make a hardstyle bass [Day 2 | Hardstyle Tutorial 7 Day Song]

How to make a hardstyle Lead Synth [Day 3 | Hardstyle Tutorial 7 Day Song]


How to make an arp + pad [Day 4 | Hardstyle Tutorial 7 Day Song]


How to process hardstyle vocals [Day 5 | Hardstyle Tutorial 7 Day Song]


How to add FX [Day 5 pt 2 | Hardstyle Tutorial 7 Day Song]


How to arrange hardstyle music [Day 6 | Hardstyle Tutorial 7 Day Song]


How to mix and master hardstyle [Day 7 | Hardstyle Tutorial 7 Day Song]



Monday, 9 January 2012

Propellerheads Reason: Section 3: Video Tutorial Mix

In this section you will find a selection of videos which are from prior versions of Reason as well as from the previous Record product which is now part of the complete Reason package..

Propellerhead Reason 4.0 - Introducing Thor


Reason version 4 - RPG-8

Reason Micro Tutorial - Kong Basics

Reason Micro Tutorial - Dr. Octo Rex


Record 1.5 - Neptune tutorial


Propellerheads Reason 6: Section 2: Video Tutorials


Propellerhead Software In The Classroom


Introducing Reason 6


Reason Micro Tutorial: Alligator Triple Filter Gate


Create A Gated Delay Effect Sound


Reason Micro Tutorial: Pulveriser Demolition


Reason Micro Tutorial: The Echo


Mixing/Mastering Reason 6

Friday, 16 December 2011

Propellerheads Reason 6: Section 1: Combinators


Custom Combinators 


This is a project which I have been working on to push the creative possibilities of Reason with the inclusion of the new devices in version 6.

This advanced and highly flexible Drum Machine / Loop Synth processor allows for both real-time/step time programming or a mixture of both as well as full keyboard control triggering and manipulation.

It uses multiple techniques and modes for triggering drums / effects, and makes use of the new Alligators (dual) which are linked with the Matrix devices for further user programming. The Matrix Devices ( includes 24 custom made patterns) for speed variations in alternative user modes. Kong can be played live as well as programmed from Redrum as well as triggered from the RPG8 in realtime. DrOctorex is automated adding new creative possibilities such as selecting from one of the main combinator knobs. I'm only scratching the surface of what is possible and even if you are only just using main knobs, it includes a full fx processing system including thor fx cycling effects. Everything has been carefully put together and it's full of magic tricks and ways to trigger things from the main panel from enabling the execute PTRN buttons to the 4 below the main knobs.

 No Refills are required as it uses the default soundbanks.

It comes with it's very own unique custom made background as shown above.  

Enjoy :-)

Download (Direct Link Below)


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Introduction Bio

June 2011
Blog Content 
My blog here will cover graphics/audio applications from the Adobe Production Suite (including After Effects), Maxon Cinema 4D,  Propellerheads Reason, and wide range of other programs such as Utilities. There will be resources and projects where these programs have been involved too, by myself and through other online resources.

___________________My Life & Background___________________

Created Using Cinema 4D R9.0 (2005)
 (Click on image to enlarge)

Hi thanks for visiting, my name is Scott Moncrieff and I live in a small coastal village in the North of Scotland who is into both music production with Reason and the computer arts with a particular focus on Cinema 4D, as this has been my main 3D application I've used since 2002. I've now stopped with version 11.5 XL with the Mograph 2 and Hair modules due to the ever rising upgrade costs and structure changes Maxon made. I graduated with an HND in Interactive Multimedia back in 2008 and have since worked in the field of film / video production / graphic design since then. I have always had a struggle with the two sides of my brain fighting for attention in either music or art so bringing them together is quite amazing and satisfying for me.
 Created Using Cinema 4D R11/R11.5 (2010)
(Click on image to enlarge)

Ever since my first ZX81 computer when I played my first space invader game at the age of 4, I somehow knew as I grew up that music and art would come together, this was probably when I saw my older brother programming a music application into our Atari 800 XL which I myself produced rainbow coloured patterns on. 

I have been producing music since I was 15 with computers such as the Atari Mega ST/ Amiga 500 & 1200 / Playstation 1 and for the past 11 years, on the PC. My PC's have included an Athlon 750, Athlon 64 3500 and what I use presently an Intel I7 920 home custom build which I'll have a section on.

Octamed Sound Studio (Amiga)
I've used a wide range of software over the years on all those platforms mentioned above, it was however on the Amiga 1200 where I really got to grips with learning to build tracks. This was when I got a free cover disk from 'CU Amiga Magazine'  when I was about 17. Although I had tried many music applications like Bars and Pipes given away through other magazines, it was Octamed Soundstudio from 'CU' where I produced my real work, using step-time programming and sample editing functions. Eventually I bought my first full size keyboard that I still use today, a Yamaha PSR 330 ( my first ever keyboard was a Casio SK1 Sampling Keyboard at the age of 8), and programming midi into Octamed. I then progressed on to Music and the more powerful Music 2000 version on the Playstation 1 from 1997 to 2001.

Music 2000 (Playstation 1)
I lost my dad to cancer in 1998, and in 1999 I went to Germany for 3 weeks to a place called Wiemar which opened my eyes to how isolated life could be but it was a great experience anyway, I'll some day put some photo's on here of the experience. My Dad was talented musically, he sang and played the acoustic guitar, keyboard, mouth organ and accordion so I miss jamming with him while I played my PSR330 with him on the guitar.

During 2000 to 2001 I studied music at home through an open learning college course and got my first PC in August 2000 to help me progress and get the most out of the experience as well as connect me to the internet for the first time. I was rewarded £280 for successfully completing the course which I really enjoyed and spent too many hours on each day (sometimes 20 to 30.. burn out warning lol)

Discovering all this new software out there including VST's which I could try out with Magix Generation 6 software was fun, however I often felt that VST's were too resource hungry so I was really looking for an alternative. I had heard about Propellerheads Reason through computer magazines such as 'Computer Music Magazine', 'Future Music' and Sound On Sound. I had shown my music tutor this amazing new rack based software and told him that I wanted this bought with the grant. I had to buy something musical and as you will probably guess, Im still using the same software 10 years on.

Propellerheads Reason 6 (PC/Mac)
My user names on the internet include THE INTRANCER which is the name I had on reasonstation.net as well as  soundclick.com where you can hear a selection of my own Propellerheads Reason based music. You will also find me on the Propellerheads forum under the user name of Scottym. I also come under the name of Scott M C4D from 3D Buzz and -/\-Scott-M-C4D-/\- from Cgtalk. I have my own youtube channel under the name of Skyhawk77 where I have posted a few experiments with motion graphics in Cinema 4D. 

Click Here To Listen To A Selection Of My Music Created With Reason

Anyway I hope you enjoy discovering the new and exciting things you find here.

Update 24 12 2011
Photo taken 23 12 2011

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