Reason’s unique workflow and extensive sound library gives you everything you need to immerse yourself in the world of future bass production. Check out this video by producer and artist Protostar to learn!
Turn on any Top 40 radio station and you’ll hear the fresh sounds of future bass dominating airplay. But what is future bass? And how do the genre’s top producers create it?
In this tutorial, we’ll break down the defining elements of future bass and demonstrate how Reason 12’s unique workflow and vast collection of instruments and effects can help you create your next future bass anthem.
Pioneered by producers like Flume, Louis The Child, Marshmello, and The Chainsmokers, future bass is one of the hottest new EDM genres today. Combining the percussive grooves of trap and dubstep with the lush textures and gentle bounce of pop, future bass is known for its melodic arrangement of pulsing “supersaw” synth chords and rhythmic pitched vocal samples.
As with all forms of dance music, it helps to start your new song by looping a repetitive groove that makes you want to move. Reason 12 is packed with tools for creating infectious drum patterns—load up to eight percussion loops with the Dr. Octo Rex loop player, or program your own patterns from scratch using Reason’s massive sound library and Redrum drum machine. For a more experimental approach, try using Reason 12’s Kong Drum Designer to sculpt a combination of samples and synthesis and create never-before-heard drum sounds.
Once you’ve created the groove, it’s time to add the signature pulsing chord progressions of future bass. Reason 12 gives you everything you need to compose epic synth parts—choose from hundreds of presets or create your own “supersaw” patch using full-featured synthesizers like Europa, Thor, and Maelstrom. For complex, multi-timbral sounds, try blending multiple instruments and effects together in customizable Combinator devices to create your own elaborate synth sounds.
Now it’s time to focus on the notes in your chord progression. Future bass songs typically feature harmonically rich chords, so don’t be afraid to experiment with suspensions, 7ths, 9ths, 11ths and other inversions to spice up your chord progression. Not a theory whiz? No worries! Reason 12’s Chords and Scales Player will help you craft sophisticated chords and structures with ease. Once you’ve composed a harmonic bed for your song, you can utilize Reason’s intuitive sequencer and advanced automation features to add pitch bends, filter envelopes, volume swells, and LFO wobbles to make your chord progression stand out with the trademark future bass pulse.
No future bass track is complete without an earworm vocal hook—formed by editing the timing and pitch of a vocal sample to create an otherworldly chipmunk-like melody. Reason 12 includes many tools that make it easy to incorporate this trademark technique in your own productions. Pitch Edit allows you to quantize, stretch and re-pitch any vocal sample to the key and timing of your song. After your sample is locked to the scale, you can assign the vocal snippets to any MIDI keyboard using the NN-XT advanced sampler—and compose your own festival-worthy melody with the chopped vocal.
Now that you know the ins and outs of composing a future bass track in Reason 10, it’s time to create the next summer dance classic!