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Make Beat-Making Simple with Reason 11’s New Beat Map

Geary Yelton

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Beat Map is just one of the new features in Reason 11.2.

Beat Map is a Reason Rack Extension that joins Rytmik, Kong, Umpf, and all the other beat-making tools you’ll find in the newest version of Reason 11. It’s designed to generate inspiring rhythm tracks as quickly as possible.

Beat Map is an algorithmic drummer that couldn’t get much easier to program. Its user interface lets you navigate through a graphic map of rhythmic possibilities and then select the direction that works best for you.

Start by selecting a preset map and drum kit, or route Beat Map to control one of your other Reason Players. Each map gives you four instruments—kick, snare, hi-hat, and percussion—each with its own rhythmic pattern from a collection of built-in beats. Clicking-and-dragging the crosshairs on the Map Panel changes up the beat, altering the rhythm in fundamental ways. Adjust each instrument’s density to make its pattern as busy or sparse as you desire. Once you find just the right combination of instruments and rhythms, you’re well on your way to producing your next hit song.

Beat Map is included for free in Reason 11.2 and 11.2 Suite, or you can buy it separately for $69. Other new features in 11.2 include MIDI Out, so you can control external MIDI instruments and devices. Another is Drag MIDI Notes to Track, so you can drag patterns created in Reason to tracks in your DAW.

For more information and to see Beat Map at work, watch this video on getting started. Better yet, download Reason 11.2 and try it for yourself. And to learn more about Reason 11, read our review here.

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