Video Exclusive: Tettix shows HOWTO make "Fake 'n' Bake" chiptunes with Reason

One of our favorite musicians, Judson "Tettix" Cowan, has taken the time to show us how he makes "Fake 'n' Bake Chiptunes" in Propellerheads' Reason. Which is awesome, because if I ever get off my ass and write that chiptune opera we've talked about doing for ages, I'll probably be doing it in Reason, not in retro hardware.

This is great stuff, Judson. Thanks so much for putting it together for us!

In part three Tettix remixes an old favorite, the dungeon theme from Zelda.

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17 Comments

  1. I dunno.

    It’s extremely slickly done, and sounds marvellous, which is really all that should count. And I’m really loth to use loaded terms like “authenticity” in regards to music. But without using the old equipment it just seems somehow less… joyful.

    Which is garbage, I know, because if someone told me that I was hearing stuff made on pawnshop gizmos, I’d be wowed.

    I suppose you have to ask yourself whether one respects the artist for figuring it all out (and I do) or soldering it all together.

    But carry on, regardless. Great sounds there.

  2. I downloaded a torrent containing the MOD files from a whole bunch of keygens and cracks the other day (not illegal in and of itself surely?). 900 tracks packed into 50 golden mb. You can take apart the tracks in ModPlug which is a fairly basic tracker:
    http://pweb.jps.net/~olivierl/

  3. I call myself a simulacrist.

    I have a great respect for the curators of real, vintage gear. And it is thanks to their diligence that I can be a simulacrist. The simulacrist, while understanding of the romantic notions of real hardware, does not allow it to distract him from modern technology’s capacity to sample, emulate, and otherwise mimic the real thing to a fidelity that most cannot begin to differentiate.

    My simulacrist conversion came when I first loaded up a sample bank (in Reason, as it happens) of the keyboard I grew up with, the Casio SK-1. There they were, the old sounds I knew from years ago — all captured within my laptop forever, to live beyond the failing of their original plastic and silicon home, even beyond the failing of this particular laptop, precise and unchanging images of their mortal progenitor.

  4. Great tutorial! Out of the box, Reason comes with quite a few Atari and NES sampled midi instruments for the NN19 and NNXT sampler. Judson’s work sounds a million times better than any of these samples but I guess if you want to get an old-school sound in a hurry, that’s one way to go.

    Also, you could split the drums between distortion and undistorted using a merger/splitter and the alternate outputs on the Redrum.

  5. Darn, at work and I can’t actually listen to these, but thanks for the heads up. I love fooling around with Reason, and will give me another musical aspect to stab at.

    As for the vintage gear vs virtualization debate, I liken it to turntable DJs vs. laptop/bar DJs. Back in the late 80’s/early 90’s it was unthinkable to ever put a set together using CDs or anything else besides vinyl. Nowadays, every little bar that has a DJ is doing it on a laptop with Traktor. I understand and respect the skill it takes to do make a set with two turntables, but I also understand that it isn’t a requirement and that as long as the DJ and music is doing their job, it doesn’t really matter.

  6. After some sleep, I’ve decided to recant slightly. I do think that using vintage gear makes things more of a labour of love, but musically I say whatever gets the sounds out.

    That said, I would like to hear somebody take these sounds to a My Bloody Valentine-ish level of oversaturation.

  7. Those tutorials are absolutely awesome! I don’t have the latest Reason so it’s extremely useful that he’s using Reason4. I’m pretty new with Reason/Ableton and all of the features, buttons, and knobs can be overwhelming. I’ve gotten books, but they’re a little dry. Thanks for posting these tutorials.
    ———-
    OliviaB.

    San Francisco DUI lawyer

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