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Chapter 4. Getting Started > Making a Beat Loop

Making a Beat Loop

Before you start writing, you should create a small working area (perhaps two measures) that repeats in a loop while you create your song. By default, Reason will set up an eight-bar work area, which is a bit long for your first pattern. Keep it short and simple until you're familiar enough with sequencing that you're comfortable inputting longer sections in one go.

If you haven't worked with loops before, a loop is a section of a song that you designate to repeat. Looping is a fast way to work with small sections of a track, because it allows you to hear your work immediately as you add and change your first notes.

Setting up a loop means adjusting your loop markers. These tell Reason where to begin playback, when to loop back, and where to loop back to. These markers are located at the top of the position ruler (Figure 4.20), tagged with the letters L (left, or “begin loop”), R (right, or “end loop”), and P (play).

Figure 4.20. Reason's loop markers set the play and record area.

Let's set up a two-bar work area now.

To create a loop

In the Sequencer, click and drag the L marker to the beginning of the sequence (measure 1), or Ctrl+click (Win) / Opt+click (Mac) in the ruler at measure 1.

Click and drag the R marker to the beginning of measure 3, or Alt+click (Win) / Cmd+click (Mac) in the ruler at the beginning of measure 3.

Set the P marker by clicking the ruler.

Adjust the zoom controls so you can see the whole work area (Figure 4.21).

Figure 4.21. The two-bar working section should now fill the screen.

Make sure the Loop On/Off button is active in the transport bar (Figure 4.22).

Figure 4.22. This button enables loop mode.

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