What if an algorithm could help you get started on rhythm?

What if Reason could provide the musical groundwork to help you get to where you wanted to go, without impeding your creativity?

These are all questions we wanted to answer during the development of our new player Beat Map!

The world of modular synths and sequencers is a fantastic petri-dish of weird and wonderful musical concepts. Contrary to the world of classical harmony and rhythm, modular set-ups utilize random and algorithmically generated notes to sequence the different modules. This was a concept we thought we could take inspiration from to improve the daily music-making lives of Reason users.

Possibly the most meticulous and soul-destroying part of creating beats with samples is the monotonous click of notes in a piano roll. It’s unmusical, unstimulating and essentially unrelated to whatever else is happening in the context of your music. As instrument designers and ultimately music makers, it’s our job to remove the tedious bits in favor of results that sound good to you.

Beat Map is in my eyes the explorative tool that now aids you in finding the rhythm of your music. No longer do you have to start from a blank slate to accompany your chord sequence or call up a drum loop to back your latest soundscape. Using an algorithm based around time, velocity and dynamics we’ve honed a collection of over 1000 interpolating rhythms to help you visually explore how you want your beats, rhythms and sample-triggers to sound.

Whether you are looking to accompany an existing idea or exploring something entirely new, Beat Map is your musical companion. My own favorite use cases are…

  1. Using the Beat Map combinator and drum kit presets to explore a soley harmonic idea. In this early state none of the rhythmic elements are set and navigating around the map in various stages of density and position help me explore new musical ideas.
  2. For creating top-loops to add to my existing beats  Generally, I find it hard and unmusical to do this in the sequencer so it’s fantastic to find a tool to help me speed things up in terms of getting the right sounds in the right places.
  3. Triggering slices from a drum break: Beat Map is fantastic at generating tight amen-style breakbeats using the right sample material. It becomes endlessly inspiring as you navigate around the different maps.
  4. Writing material using only players! Players empower you to make music in a creative way, it’s what makes Reason special. As a creative challenge I let only the players make the music and swap out devices as I go, PolyStep Sequencer for my chords, Quad Note Generator for my bass and Beat Map for everything else.

Lukas Lyrestam
Product & Business Development Manager