Reason Song Challenge 6 – Re-Tron – The Winners!

Reason Song Challenge 6 – Re-Tron – The Winners!

Well, not one to keep you guys waiting, Dave & Chris have been hard at it since Sunday afternoon and I now have the results. Also, I have some words from Chris & Dave that they would like me to share, plus personal critiques from the guys on each and every one of the entries!!

And to top that, the prize package has increased!! SIGNIFICANTLY!!

So, without further ado, let me pass the virtual mic’ to Dave and Chris, owners of GForce Software, after which I will announce the winners. Dave? Chris? Over to you…

We’ve said it a million times before but after release of the original M-Tron back in 2000, we were inundated with CDs from happy users eager to let us hear their work, and while it’s always been a thrill to hear how musicians use the fruits of our labour, there’s only so many times you can hear another regurgitated version of a Prog Epic before you start to lose the will to live.

Several months later, while wondering if we’d created a monster and done the music world a disservice, we suddenly started to receive CDs from a new generation of user who had carried none of the prog-baggage and instead used these evocative tones in a new, fresh and exciting way. That was when we started to jump for joy and it’s thanks to those CDs (from musicians such as Putte and Harmonic33 if you want to check them out) that our Melly passion continued unabated over the following twelve years.

During that time we’ve twice built Refills so as to provide the Reason community with some real Melly substance but after doing the work it’s never been as graceful a solution as we wanted so nothing saw release

Rack Extensions is exactly the elegant solution we’d been hoping for and we jumped on the idea of bringing the Melly vibe to this platform because (a) we’ve always respected Propellerheads and (b) we’ve always considered Reason users connoisseurs of fine music making software.

So here we are after release of Re-Tron and having invested a rather large sum of money in bringing the Re-Tron to Reason users, but until we get our first royalty statement we have absolutely no idea if all that time and effort was a complete waste or if we’ve sold so many copies we can afford to retire.

Actually the retirement bit of the last sentence is a joke – that’s not going to happen as we’d rather give our money to the pub landlord instead of those sharp suited assholes who claim to look after your future while secretly using it to find their lavish lifestyle….

…anyway, sorry, I digress…..But the truth is while we sit and wait slightly nervously, Failed Muso’s idea of a competition seemed a good idea if for no other reason than it might make a good distraction while we wait.

However, listening to your submissions to this competition has been much more than a distraction. In much the same way as those fresh CDs did all those years ago, it’s inspired us…big time! In fact, several submissions here made us consider that just to have provided the tools to enable these tracks to be written might make the Re-Tron graft worthwhile alone.

So while it’s an often used cliché that “the entries were so good we had a hard time picking one winner” in this case it really is true. In fact, it was so difficult we decided to opt for 1st, 2nd & 3 Places and even then we had a hard enough time deciding which they were from our short list of ten.

So, ladies and gentlemen.. here’s the new prize list

1st Prize = 3 GForce instruments of their choice plus the next GForce Rack Extension as soon as it’s released

2nd Prize = 2 GForce instruments of their choice

3rd Prize = 1 GForce instrument of their choice

NB: An instrument can be either the Re-Tron or one of our existing plug-ins

So thank you VERY much to everyone who entered. The standard of work is so high and stylistically varied we’re totally blown away by all of your work.

Chris & Dave

Thanks guys!

So, up next, here is what Chris & Dave had to say about each and every one of your efforts…

All I Know- Bibi Jockoso
Great vibe. Bonus points for using the audio from the old Mellotron Pathe News and double bonus points for the impOSCar too.

CircusTron – Upright
Very impressive. Up and funky. Like it. Nice to hear the Tron used like this.

Tangerine Dream Style – largo02
Like the shuffled synth element offsetting some neat Tron patches

Nort On Board – Moofi
We’re always suckers for the backwards guitars so this had us from the off. Nice chords and that lead patch has exactly what we wanted to hear from Re-Tron….an old nostalgic vibe but with something new about it too.

The Secret Lives of Stars – Undercurve
Great track. A proper song that again uses Re-Tron sounds in a new and refreshing way. Love the trumpet, Alligator & pulsar sound combo. Inspiring stuff.

13 Little Re-Trons Sitting In A Row – The Fat Controller
Again, really good use of classic Tron sounds but in a new and fresh way

Garden City Supply Jingle – Jbensonjingles
Very funny and very good. We came close to Googling Garden City Supply to see if it was real or a spoof. We hope you got the gig if it’s the former.

Not Quite Lost – BetraX
Nice work. We love the grainy quality of the Re-tron piano and the strings are always timeless

Re-Tron Symphony – the fix
Contemporary beats and old school Tron sounds is always a winner here. Top job which definitely deserves an honourable mention.

Cush – Greg Hobgood
Great intro, great production and a great atmospheric vibe. Would work really well in a film and again is definitely worth an honourable mention.

ReTronica – Mad_ManX
Surprise beats after the flute intro and when those typical dubstep synth sounds kicked in we went “Oooo”
Nice to hear Tron sounds working so well with those contemporary dubstep tones

Spy Heels – Wendy Dunham
Again, someone who’s taken the Re-Tron sounds and made them their own. Loved the fact that we were confused as to ‘is this Tron or not” for some of the sounds

Vangelisstyle Lead – largo02
Nice combination Re-Tron sounds. Could easily be a track from the 70s from someone like Tangerine Dream or Brainticket

Many Happy Re-Trons – Grumbleweed
Impressive guitar solo which is always harder than a lot of people imagine when using a keyboard. Top work.

Largo02 track2 – Largo02
This is definitely very Tangerine Dream and rather lovely. See how that 8 second limitation makes the music breathe. Top stuff.

largo02 PopTrack – Largo02
Nice and aggressive but still with that 70s vibe. Neat drum programming and the lead is beautifully nasty. Would love to use this as a demo for the website.

Largo02 – largo02
By this time, the variations on a theme are starting to become a bit obvious. Not dissimilar to all those Prog CDs we were sent years ago 😉

Empty Layers – mattpiper
Brilliantly in your face. Brilliant drum programming. Lovely use of the Re-Tron sounds and a lovely vibe. Matt would have come second if he didn’t work for Props 😉

Even though you don’t want to – TheGrammarPolice
Dave remembered this band from the previous Reason comp and with good reason. Great humour and quirky vibe…all in all a perfect marriage with the Tron

lo la notte – turbopage
Great chords from the off and the surprise vocals made us stop and listen. A lovely combination.

meloYaOut – UWD
Nice mellow and atmospheric track and as we said before, we’re always a sucker for the reverse guitar patch.

Two Faced – Schlang
Love the vibes and the groove when it kicked in. Another track great use of the various Re-Tron patches in an imaginative way and which we’d happily use on our website as a demo of what can be done.

Chinatown – t2hmusic
Love that motif that kicks in at 26 secs. Well produced and again, a track we’d be pleased to use as a demo on our website any time.

Revel – deankay
The dark side of the Re-tron. Really atmospheric music and vocals and the way the sounds and, in particular, the cello at 2.33 onwards is used really adds some menace. Very nice work.

Walk away – noise beats sound
Great intro and a nice reggae feel thereafter. Good orchestration and vocals too.

Castaway – Kings Of Democracy
We love it when people use the Tron cello to great effect such as is evident here. Brilliant changes too

Run – RoboticEFX
Tron robot reggae? We love it! The juxtaposition of the Tron, fizzy bass and this style of music makes us smile…..In a good way, of course!

Drifting Tron – 0zone0
Like Raymond Scott on acid or the ghost of a 1960s guitarist stuck in between worlds. We salute the originality of this track

Mapped Out – Glorious Scenes
A cinematic start and when the groove kicks in with that baseline, we smiled. Another track that we’d be pleased to use as a Re-Tron demo example.

Get Them – BlazeRProds
Another well produced and kicking track which takes the Tron into new territory. Yet another one we’d love to use as an example of what can be done with classic sounds.

Eurydice’s Farewell – GEM
A lovely intro that turns into a cool song with great breakdowns, tension and builds. Love the gentle fragility of the vocals too. Another honourable mention in our opinion.

Never Thought Of You (That Way) – The Quixotes
Another act we remember from the previous competition due to the evident songwriting and arrangement skill. Reminded me of Edwyn Collins and begs the question, if this act hasn’t got a deal, why not?

Getaway – a million tiny architects
Superb intro with all the anticipation of an old school experimental Tron track and then those sublime vocals kick in. Definitely a track that we’d love to use on the website as a prime example of what can be done with considered and skilful orchestration

Liberty – Hrmonik
Probably the most surprising entry in the Re-Tron competition and really inspired use of an instrument that all too often is associated with Prog. Nice one!

extemporaneum for re-tron combinator – am0eba
An interesting combination of what seems to be Radical Piano, Re-Tron and perhaps the Polysix. Strangely hypnotic

Our Finest Hour – VillaN
A nice selection of Re-Tron sounds combined to make a great hook against the glitchy groove.

Mini Mello Melody – Raymond Hayter
Lovely intro and great production. Extra points added for squeezing the Sax in there too. Definitely a track we’d love to host as an example of what can be done with some skill and talent.

Retron competition – Agua
Great intro and lovely groove. All those Re-Tron sounds carefully shoe-horned into something with space and atmosphere contributes to another demo we’d be proud to have on our site.

Life Is Easy, if you’re welcome – fragile tom
Great production, great orchestration, great arrangement, great vocals and an interesting song. I think this is the first time we’ve heard a Tron on anything overtly 80s beside Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.

Fair is the end – EchoProjectStudio
Another track we’d be proud to use on the website and one that shows how those classic strings are far more than a one trick pony. Great percussion programming too. Oh, and that end is inspired 🙂

Re-tronia – nikoslevantis
What is it about Re-Tron sounds that help create such good intros? Sometimes an intro can end up going nowhere but here that’s not the case and this is close to being a master-class in showing off the Re-Tron sounds via both an interesting musical style and skilful production and playing.

And so, to the winners…

In Third Place…

The Ship – ethday
Great vocals, great arrangement and the is that the mandolin we hear at 1.50? The breakdown and build are superb as is the overall quality of production and the positive message. 3rd PLACE!

In Second Place…

Upon The Paths Of light – Darksphere Empire
Well produced, arranged and mixed with great string lines, chords and a wonderful groove, it’s tracks like this that inspire us when we sit for days and weeks coding and writing. We definitely want to use this as one of the Rack Extension page demos and for that alone we award it 2nd PLACE!

And our First prize goes to…

Walk With Me – Ray Man
Stunning! Made us stop and listen and reminded us of Gilbert O’Sullivan (who, with the exception of “Clair”, we think is one of the great songwriters). Superb vocals and arrangements and we feel proud to have contributed to such a wonderful track. Brilliant end too. How can it be anything other than……1st PLACE!

So there you have it! Congratulations to all of our winners and to every single one of you for your efforts of such excellent quality! You’ve done yourselves, the Mellotron and the Reason Community as a whole VERY proud!

If all the winners could drop me a personal message here in the forum, I will tell you all how to claim your prizes. If you could also tell me what you want, that would be very useful. Visit for more info on their product range. I need to enter one of these competitions as I’m desperate to play with impOSCar and the Minimonsta!!

And with that, the 6th challenge is over and the 7th is waiting in the wings! Next time, there will be a bit of a twist, so be on your guard and start honing those skills!

I would just like to extend my thanks to Dave & Chris for their full and total support of this challenge. They have both been incredibly good to me and to you guys too. They are true gents and a rare breed in this industry. They really do believe in the Reason Community and they fully deserve our support for their continued involvement in the Rack Extension arena. If you haven’t got Re-Tron already, go get it whilst it is still on offer!!

And thank you to each and every one of you, for your enthusiasm, your unbridled talent and your gallant sportsmanship. The way you all encourage each other is amazing and a joy to behold. It really does add weight to the term “community” and makes it a very strong and powerful thing. Kudos to you all.

I’m off to have a lie down…. Here are all the entries for your delectation…

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