In so many of today’s electronic music genres, it all starts with the beat. Yes, your bassline, chords and lead line are important, too, but it’s the beat that frequently sets the tone, locks in the groove and provides the spark that will encourage you to develop a track further.
Fortunately, drums are something at which Reason 11 excels, not least because of its new Beat Map Player device. This powerful MIDI effect uses smart rhythmic algorithms and machine learning techniques to help you create inspiring drum grooves in minutes. Use it in Reason standalone or another DAW via the Reason Rack Plugin.
Beat Map presents you with four channels - kick, snare, hi-hats and percussion - but the real fun begins when you start dragging the crosshairs around the central panel - quite literally a beat map. Do this and, behind the scenes, AI and machine learning gets to work creating endless variations on your groove - just keep going until you find the feel you’re looking for. You can even lock certain elements of the beat (just the kick, for example) by pinning them in the desired position, then carry on exploring the map to change the rest of it.
You can explore different styles and genres using the Map select feature, while the Density and Mirror knobs for each channel enable you to tweak their intensity individually.
If you’ve ever struggled to program your own drums - or you’re simply keen to take a fresh approach that could reinvigorate your workflow - then Beat Map is for you. Because it creates MIDI data, it can be used to trigger any Reason drum machine or instrument, giving you a powerful creative ally that can take your beats in new and possibly unexpected directions.
What’s more, thanks to the Reason Rack Plugin, which enables you to use Reason’s full suite of devices in another DAW, Beat Map can easily be applied to your favourite plugin instruments, potentially giving them a new lease of life.
Beat Map is included for free in Reason 11 (this includes the Reason Rack Plugin), which you can trial for free for 30 days after you’ve downloaded it from the Reason Studios website. The best deal is just round the corner - check out Reason during Black Friday which starts 20 November! For regular beatmaking tips, make sure you’re following Reason Studios on Instagram.