If you are dedicated beat maker then choosing the right software is key. In terms of both workflow and flexibility Reason is clearly at the top of its game. Whether you are an electronic or hip hop beat maker you really need to check out the latest tools available in Reason. Let’s take a look at three distinct routes you can take in Reason to reach beat making Nirvana.
When it comes to beat making the path to a successful outcome often lies in speed. Turning that initial spark of inspiration into a finished track is tough and time can be your enemy, sit on an idea too long and it stagnates. One of the fastest and most direct beat making techniques in Reason is to bring samples directly into audio tracks.
No samplers, drum machines or synths in sight here. There is a real elegance to dealing with audio in this way and it allows lighting fast manipulation of drum sounds. Want a reverse snare, you got it. Change the level or length of a specific hit, done. You can even use precise automation to create custom envelopes.
It’s also worth remembering that this approach allows you instantly mix and process your individual hits using Reason’s awesome console. This quick and dirty approach transforms the humble sequencer into a fully fledged beat making machine.
A more traditional option for beat creation in Reason is the mighty Kong Drum Designer. As its name suggests this is more than just a drum machine, it's essentially a one stop shop for perfecting your ideal drum sounds. From acoustic to electronic and back again this the electronic beat maker’s dream set up.
Kong uses samples, virtual analog synthesis and physical modelling to get you to where you need to be. On top of this multiple pads can be layered and processed with Kong’s internal effects. Combine this with the freedom of MIDI programming and you have the perfect beat making tool.
To get started with Kong try loading up some of the excellent preset kits supplied when you install Reason. Not only will these give you the perfect starting point and some welcome inspiration but they’ll also supply valuable insight into how a great Kong kit is constructed.
Last but not least is a Reason device that is sometimes overlooked by the aspiring beat maker but when handled correctly the Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player can be the perfect addition to your sonic arsenal.
At its heart Dr. Octo Rex is a sampler that is finely tuned for playing and processing, you guessed it, loops. This said once a loop has been sliced into its core components the results can be manipulated to not only compliment a programmed drum part but also played back as single hits. This approach can transform your existing loop libraries into creative kits that have a distinct and original flavour.
Utilising and combining these varied approaches in Reason will help the serious beat maker create standout sounds and patterns. We haven’t even touched on the long list of rack extensions perfect for beat making here and of course the much loved ReDrum can play a major role in any beat based project. Stay tuned for in depth instruction and techniques!
So now that you are acquainted with the essentials of Reason's beat making toolbox, why not try it on your own? Sign up for a free 30 day trial and see what beats you'll be making with Reason. Let's go!