Meet the Propellerheads

Uploaded by PropellerheadSW on 16.06.2010

Music making, it is a really complex activity.
But there's a bit of confusion about where the complexity is.
People think that the actual tools have to be super complex.
You can make complex music with a guitar, but it's actually a pretty straight forward device.
It was a three man operation to start with.
The three founders: Ernst, Marcus and Pelle.
Yes, I was number seven to join.
I think I joined just after the "two guy's in a garage" moment.
We wanted to do a great music product. We loved synthesizers.
It was that living room feel to that office. People were there around the clock.
You'd find Marcus and Dan in the middle of the night as you went home from the studio
and you'd find some other people there in the daytime doing work.
ReBirth grew out of a private project of Marcus.
When you ask Marcus he says that he started coding seriously when he was thirteen,
before that he was only playing around.
It was really a very, very early vision of Reason.
Reason is the program we wanted to do when we did ReBirth
because at that time computers weren't fast enough, latency was a big problem.
Marcus came one day and said "we should use cables"
and Peter and I immediately said "No way, Jose."
You're crazy, we can't do that".
So instead of going experimental and doing something that was just half working and incomplete,
we decided, "ok, let's cut down the features and do something that really works."
It was totally unheard of, seeing software that behaved like that.
And then after ReBirth was done, they went back to the prototype and did the real thing.
The rack metaphor made perfect sense to us because we loved the hardware.
There are literally two sides to Reason. It's the front and the back.
If you give yourself those limitations, then that's actually a liberating experience.
Totally free signal-routing. You can connect stuff anywhere you want.
It's a metaphor that works.
And the cable, everybody understands a cable.
It only has one plug in each end.
One plug can go in one hole and one plug can go in the other hole.
You should feel at home in the program and know how it works.
I've been seeing all the versions coming out.
I've been here since Reason one and before that
and I've never been so excited about a new version as I am about this one.
I think this is the biggest update we've ever done.
Yeah absolutely.
Yes this is a pretty cool update.
[Both] It is.
I think we crammed a lot of stuff in there.
The hardest thing is not coming up with nice ideas for features obviously,
it's picking the right one.
It has definitely more of the toys.
I think anybody interested in great sound, actually creating great sound,
is really going to appreciate Kong.
We wanted to build a machine that's really easy to use, but then also very deep.
Kong is more about rediscovering the sound making abilities.
Kong is like a toy-store filled with audio toys.
It does really make a difference. It is a different beast.
In this version we have Kong, which is getting the drum sounds that you want.
And then we have Blocks which is like the pattern sequencer feature of the MPC.
When you use them together, the overall experience is going to be like that of an MPC.
That's a feature that I didn't know I wanted as badly as I want it now.
It's a hard feature to describe
because it doesn't take up much space, and it doesn't flash or anything.
It's just there.
When we looked at Dr Rex, we saw people using it for two completely different types of purposes.
One as a starting point.
This is going to be my loop that I'm going to use as a foundation for my writing process.
So, the basic idea was to make it better when you have loops that are variations of each other.
You can actually play the loops as an instrument.
The other thing we saw that people used it for was as a creative tool to create new sounds.
Then we put in the slice edit mode.
When people start using it they will realize its creative potential.
So, we sort of went in two directions.
It's just a whole new instrument.
If you are recording vocals you will at least apply a gentle amount of pitch correction.
Almost in all cases.
When we talk to professionals in the field they say "I really don't like that sound,
it's becoming too overused.
But...of course I use it."
Parts of it are standard tools now. You really need to have them in your toolbox.
So how can we take this one step further.
Neptune is one of the things that has been living on Pelle's computer for years I think.
He sits and tinkers and comes up with amazing stuff such as the voice synth.
If you tell him something is impossible then he'll do it.
His brain is wired like that.
Some new features are old features that we have resurrected, like sampling.
It's not made to make a perfect rendition of that grand piano,
but it's made to capture those "spur of the moment" ideas that just pops up.
Going back into the low tech way of doing sampling.
You can reach points where you had no idea that you would end up.
If you listen to old records based on samples you can definitely hear that there might have been a plan
but it sort of meandered through the process of actually capturing those samples.
If it's inspiring and fun to work with the end result will become better.
Must be. I mean how can it not.
It is fun. It is creative.
A lot of the requests from users, we have listened to them.
A lot of the things are in this update.
One of those principles that we try to follow when we make decisions
to use the machete and not the swiss army knife.
All of these different devices have a specific purpose.
So, hopefully you will have a swiss army knife filled with machetes.
We take our time, that's true.
But in return we try to think hard on what we're doing and we try to make things very stable.
The most important thing is this comment that we get back from people
"I finally got your program a week ago, and now I've made more music in that week than I did in months."
In a way we'll just keep doing what we always have done.
And that is to try to figure out where we fit in and where we can help the most.
What can we do with technology, what do people actually need,
how do they use their stuff,
wherever that takes us in terms of features and technology and platforms,
we'll see.