How to make a drum machine in Reason

When it comes to beat making and working with drum samples, Reason’s devices and effects, and the versatile ways in which you can connect them together, offers an unlimited amount of options.

In the video below Paul Ortiz shows you how to build a drum machine in Reason in under 5 minutes using the Grain Sample Manipulator device.

In the video above Paul takes inspiration from Abelton’s Drumracks and shows how you can quickly build something similar in Reason using a Combinator device and 4x Grain sample manipulator devices (one for each drum hit).

0:25 – First drag a new Combinator device into the rack
0:27 – Add a Mixer device
0:36 – Drag in a new Grain device
0:40 – Prepare the Grain for drum playback
1:27 – With Grain set up, copy the patch and create another 3 instances of Grain (one for each drum sample) then pate the patch
1:50 – In the Combinator set up the keyboard to play back the 4 drum samples, starting on the C1 key
2:12 – Expand the 4 Grain devices and drag in 4 different drum samples to make a complete kit
2:35 – Use the sample browser to audition and swap out different kicks, snares etc
2:56 – Use different Grain algorithms for creative time stretching and compressing on your drum hits.
3:35 – Creative automation of the Grain devices
4:25 – Tips for taking your drum machine to the next level
5:00 – Save the Combinator device so that you recall your drum machine at anytime.

Granular synthesis explained:

Granular synthesis uses samples as sound generators. Samples are split into tiny grains which can then be rearranged, repeated, stretched, partialized, and reconstructed to make entirely new sounds.

Grain Sample Manipulator in Reason 12:

Grain sample manipulator is included with the Reason+ monthly subscription or you can own it outright by purchasing Reason DAW. See the Reason Studio’s Grain product page for more information on Grain.

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