While Propellerheads Reason is a great program it also causes the most confusion among all of the 3rd party products we support. This blog discusses the specific files we supply for Reason, some recommendations and why some Reason kits cause problems.
Currently we supply three specific mappings that you can use with Reason: NN-XT, Drum Kits Refill and General MIDI. The bottom line? If you want to skip these rest of this article use the GM mapped loops with the ID8 drum kits. For the details, please read on….
Our Files for Reason
We also supply loops for Reason’s NN-XT kits in the “Other MIDI Mappings” folder. There are some cool kits but they’re not mapped consistently. As a result, your results will vary. You may have to move some of the hits around to match the kit you’re using.
Drum Kits Refill
Now discontinued, these were high-end acoustic drum samples sold by Propellerheads, now Reason Studios. We continue to include these mappings in our downloads because some customers still use them. It included some really good kits.
General MIDI and ID8
For consistent results, the easiest thing to do is use our GM mapped loops with the ID8 drum kits (see image below). You’ll find these loops in your download’s “Other MIDI Mappings” folder. The GM files are often your best option unless you’re using a specific format like Steven Slate Drums or BFD.
image: ID8 with drums loaded
Note: Our Drum Freebie Pak only includes GM mapped files so there is no “Other MIDI Mappings” folder.
Kong Drum Designer
If you want to make your own kits, try using Kong. It has 16 pads, enough to create full drum kits with multiple toms, at least one crash and a ride. You’ll have to squeeze all 16 sounds between MIDI notes 36 and 51 (inclusive). If you want a china (#52), ride bell (#53), splash (#55), cowbell (#56) or second crash (#57), you’ll have to use one of the slots between 36 and 51. The best choices are #39 (clap) and # 40 (snare 2).
The problem with Reason and 3rd party MIDI
The bottom line is that while Reason includes a lot of cool kits, most of their drum-related instruments are designed for programming, not playback. ReDrum is a perfect example.
Many customers immediately fire up ReDrum and try to play our files with it. The problem is that ReDrum has only 10 pads. The general MIDI standard runs from note 35 to note 59 (not including percussion). So there’s no way to squeeze a “real” acoustic kit into 10 slots.
Limited slots is not the only issue. Like NN-XT, Redrum kits are not mapped consistently. In fact, most of them differ in terms of the sounds they have. Again, very cool for programming, less than ideal for third party MIDI.
So if you want to use our loops with Reason, it’s best to try the ID8 kits. If you need different sounds, try building your own kits with Kong. You may have to adjust our files slightly but we can do that for you. If you make a purchase and build a custom kit, we can remap your purchase provided you send us your mapping scheme.