Reason's Redrum: Drum Samples Made Easy
by Brenda Nadic
Propellerheads have really done something great with their virtual drum machine, Redrum. The Redrum is a combination of easy drum samples sequencing, loading and manipulation.
There are ten drum channels in one instance of Redrum, each one with multiple modulation filters and options, such as velocity and panning. Along with panning, another regular is the level rotary knob, which simply controls the level or volume. You can mix and match the volume of all ten drum samples until you have a good internal balance. The master level then controls the volume of every drum sound inside Redrum as it pertains to the global project as a whole. What a great way to mix micro and macro with such ease, huh?
One of the most useful options present in each and every channel strip is the Length control, which can trim the tail off long samples and shorten any other samples to the extent you want. I've found this really helpful when modulating hi-hats and snares. These drum samples sometimes don't get to the point as quick as one might like, so this is one possible use for this control.
The pan option for every strip is also visible all within the same window, which gives you a great visual indication of where every instrument is at. This is just one of those things that you don't think you need until you've played with Redrum. Everything is viewable and no hidden menus need to be accessed! It's good, but there are of course draw-backs to this. People new to Reason may get confused with the layout at first.
You can load a whole bunch of drum samples at the same time, and these are pre-determined in the refills that come with the program (the standard sound banks) and the ones you can acquire from third party manufacturers. So instead of picking and choosing ten different samples and adjusting lots of pots and pans to try to get everything to congeal, one can choose a library of pre-matched samples. These go together very well, and while I don't use them too often, I find they're good when you're low on creativity or time. The sounds just work together. Right away.
At any point, there are sixteen button-type inputs at the bottom of the Redrum. This is where you can click in the drum samples you want, and while you can never see all patterns at the same time here, you can export the patterns to the main sequencer to keep track of them there. This is very close to the way things work in the real world, and Redrum (in fact, Reason in general) has a workflow that will prepare budding audio engineers and music producers for the hardware world very well.
This music article was written for my drum samples, the number 1 site for hip hop drum samples.
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