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REASON 3.0: THE DUB IS IN THERE!

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INTRODUCTION

Check Reason NOW!In the last year of the previous century, I found myself in an English Pub, drinking from an orange juice while listening to the techno music in the background. I was basically enjoying this situation, kind of exotic. The music was tight, as computer music should be. And someone told me, how several Techno producers were using software called "Rebirth" to create their tunes. And getting quite good at it, too!

The company that made Rebirth, Propellerhead Software, was obviously aware of what they were doing. They had made a software version of the infamous TR808 and TB303 machines. These machines were originally created by Roland and out of sale for a long time. But they were sought after by almost every self respecting Techno producer.

Rebirth was basically a little studio. There was a rack with two drum computers and two monophonic synthesizers as well as two basic effects: echo and distortion. This could be connected with other programs but it worked quite good as a stand-alone too.

When I listened to the music, it became clear to me. Indeed, I recognized the sounds. In my mind, I went further and imagined how Rebirth was expanded, how this could become a whole virtual studio. And when it would, computer based DUB producing would definitely reach a next phase

DUB music, or actually Reggae Music, was born on Jamaica. Before there were any sequencers, drumcomputers and midifiles. Well, perhaps they were there, but the Jamaicans were not usually part of that global upper class which could afford these technologies.

When King Tubby first released his "versions" and perfectionized the Art Of DUB, the mixing board became an instrument. The engineer became an artist, too. Using effects, while the riddim plays: who says a studio is for fine-tuning and a mixing board for mixing everything together?

Reggae, because of its rhythmic structure, is perfect for sequencing. Even stronger, Reggae is predominantly a studio music. It has been developed in the many Jamaican Studio's who all had their bands playing one riddim after another into the multitrack recorder. We would call these recordings "Midifiles".

In the 1980's we saw the first drum machines entering the studios, and by the mid 1990's computer based music was here to stay indefinitely. Everywhere, everytime. A new generation of artists and listeners was born, free from the very same prejudice that made many protest the electric guitar in the 1940's.

Music "from a box"? Only preterists would now consider that to be "no music". Most people dance to the rhythm because they can feel it. And so it was not too shocking to find out that by the end of the first "Digital Decade", computer based music was filling the dance charts and the speakers of an average English pub. But it was shocking to realize that this little company called Propellerhead were the first to create a stand alone software that would enable the producer to create music, which appeals to a wide audience.

So here we are, in 2005. Rebirth has already reached the same classic status as the hardware it simulated. And the virtual studio that I imagined that UK Pub? It's called REASON. And Propellerhead has just released version 3.0!

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