Reason Drum Kits 2.0

Contact: Propellerhead Software, propellerheads.seFormat: 1 DVD-ROM with 16- and 24-bit (otherwise identical) Reason ReFillsPrice: $129.00

Drum samples. Yawn. Like we really need more? Copy over the ReFill. Load into Reason. Hit a few Trigger Finger pads.

Whoa! These sound fantastic!!

Building on the original Reason Drums refill, this one is for Reason 3 only because the 58 kits depend on the new Combinator module’s features. Thus, the 13 Producer kits include not just the drums, but EQ and other processing that gives the name producers their particular “sound.” There are also 20 Combinator “Style” kits, some new preset kits, and for good measure, two more snare drum samples. It’s accessorized with ReDrum sets, MIDI files, style templates, and other goodies.

But what makes RDK2 really magic is the multisampling (typically 70 samples per drum). Even if you do several hits in a row with the same velocity, there will be slight variations in the sound — you never get the “machine gun drum samples” effect. Furthermore, several mics were used; in the full-blown NN-XT presets with separate outs, you can tweak the levels of the close, overhead, and ambience mics for individual drums. In a hurry? Use the pre-mixed, stereo presets.

Bottom line: Sound quality that leaps out of your speakers, ease of use, versatility (from indie rock to vintage soul) — RDK2 is the perfect drum companion to Reason 3. This is something special.