Redrum Drum Computer

Redrum is the drum machine in the Reason rack. It has ten channels that can play one aiff or wav sample each. Whole drum kits can be saved as Redrum patches.

For a detailed description of all the parts of Redrum, please go here.


Redrum is a drum machine with a built in pattern sequencer. It has ten channels that plays samples loaded by the user or sounds from a preset drum kit. In addition to the pattern sequencer, Redrum can also be played from Reason's main sequencer or via MIDI. By combining the pattern sequencer and the main sequencer you can easily create fills and variations to the patterns without having to create new patterns for every variation.

The channels

Here is an example channel. The channels differ slightly (see below). At the top there are three play control buttons. The Mute button mutes the channel and the solo button mutes all the other channels. The play button works as a simple preview button and plays the loaded sample when pressed.

Next, there is a display that shows the loaded sample and buttons to browse and load samples.

Each channel has two effect sends that are routed to the drum computer's two effect send outputs. This is a great way to add effects to some drum sounds without having to use up mixer channels.

The pan control does what pan controls normally does.

The level control sets the volume of the sample and the velocity control sets how velocity will affect the sample's volume.

The decay control sets the decay time. You can choose from a fade out or a gate type decay.

The pitch control is used to set a new pitch to the sample if desired.

The channel on the picture has settings for velocity control over the sample's one that lets you apply filtering to a sound depending on the velocity. This option is available in channels 1,2 and 10.

Channels 3,4,5 and 8 and 9 have a setting for how velocity will affect the sample's starting point instead of the filter control.

Channels 6 and 7 have settings for how velocity will affect pitch and pitch bend. This is a very useful feature for conga and tabla type sounds.

Audio examples - Channel functions
Effect sends - A simple drum loop with reverb on the snare and delay on the handclap by using Redrum's built in effect sends. download mp3 (160kb)
Tone control - A percussion loop where velocity is used to control the tone. download mp3 (147kb)


Redrum's programming uses the same kind of step programming as in ReBirth's drum machine. You select the channel to program and enter which steps you want it to play at. Each step can have one of three velocities: Hard, medium or soft. A separate flam option let's you enter flam at any velocity.

Redrum uses patterns that can be between 1 and 64 steps long. The pattern sequencer can be set to run faster or slower than the main sequencer's tempo - in fact it can run 16 times as fast or 1/16 of the original tempo. This means that you can change the resolution of the pattern. By making a pattern 32 steps long and setting the pattern sequencer to run at double tempo, you have created a pattern with 32nd notes. A nice features for those into fast snare rolls etc.

Audio examples - Programming
Pattern resolution - A simple drum n' bass loop created using 32nd note and 64th note resolution patterns. download mp3 (370kb)


Redrum has two built in effect sends with send controls for each channel. This is a great way to add effects to drums without having to use up channels in the mixer (of course, this is Reason, so if you run out of mixer channels - just add a new mixer!).

There are basically two ways to use the effect sends. The default way is to use the Redrum effect sends chained to the Reason mixer. Chaining effect sends means that more sounds sources uses the mixer's effect sends as seen in the picture. Here you can see the Redrum effect sends chained to a mixer.

The other way to use the effect sends is to use separate effects for the Redrum

Sometimes you may want to use insert effects on the drums, say a distortion effect to the snare or a flanger on the hihat. To do this, you can use the separate outputs for each channel to add any effect you want to any channel. On the picture on the right you can see the outputs available for each channel. Also notice the gate out & in that you can use to trigger other devices with the Redrum, or to trigger Redrum sounds from other units. There is also a pitch control voltage input for each channel.

Audio examples - Effects
Send effects - An electro loop using reverb and delay on snare, claps, rim shots and cymbals. download mp3 (180kb)
Insert effects - Some housey drums using a phaser on the hihats. download mp3 (180kb)
Effects and control voltage - Disco extravaganza using control voltage to pitch the samples and compression on the mix. download mp3 (160kb)


As mentioned above, Redrum is not limited to it's internal pattern sequencer. You can also play it from Reason's main sequencer or from another sequencer hooked to Reason via MIDI or ReWire 2.

There are also a couple of cool and useful MIDI play effects. Each channel has it's own mute and solo button and these buttons have their own designated MIDI keys. The Mute and Solo buttons come very handy when programming, but also when jamming or putting a song together. Using mutes, you don't have to create separate patterns for every drum variation as shown in the audio example below.

Audio examples - MIDI play effects
Mute buttons in use - A techno loop with variations using only a looping 16 step pattern and the mute keys. download mp3 (650kb)


When Reason ships it will come with a huge database of sounds for all it's instruments, and naturally for Redrum too. There will be a large selection drum kits to suit a wide range of styles. These kits are not done at this time, so they will be featured in a later close up.

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