Captain Beat is the latest addition to Mixed In Key’s Captain Plugins line. It makes drum pattern creation as easy as possible for both beginners and advanced producers who want a helping hand when it comes to crafting beats and coming up with new ideas. Recommended.
First Impressions / Setting up
Setting up Captain Beat was straightforward. After downloading and running the installer Captain Beat was recognised by Ableton Live (should work similarly with your DAW of choice).
Captain Beat is laid out much like the other four current Captain Plugins, with simple and easy to understand controls. There are hundreds of pre-made drum patterns as well as a ton of drum kits and drum samples that cover a wide array of genres. Captain Beat makes the process of coming up with drum or percussion patterns a matter of only a few moments, which is great if you are trying to capture an idea as quickly as possible.
Captain Beat is broken down into two sections. You have the main pattern window, which is tabbed to represent the different sections of a song, where you can see and manipulate the drum patterns. Above the pattern, you can change the characteristics of each sound, add effects, as well as export the pattern to your DAW. To the left of that, you can select the drum kit you are using or even select each drum sound individually.
If you are new to production, the included drum patterns provide a good starting point. There are hundreds of different patterns to choose from, and switching between them is as easy as a click of the mouse. Captain Beat also has what’s called real-time substitution which means that you are able to audition different patterns and sounds without having to stop your DAW to load new patterns or sounds. This speeds up the creation process and helps minimise interruptions to your workflow.
Besides using pre-made patterns, you are able to create your own from scratch. You can do this by drawing in a pattern using your mouse, using keyboard shortcuts, or using a Midi controller. This makes Captain Beat not only great for beginners but also useful for more experienced producers who want to take advantage of Captain Beat’s high-quality drum samples.
Creating a drum pattern is just the beginning. Once a pattern has been created, you are able to sculpt each sound. You can change the volume, length of each sound, and the panning. On top of that, you can add effects such as filter, reverb, and delay. What’s great is that each of these tweaks changes the waveforms you see in the pattern window allowing you to not only hear the changes but see them as well.
After you’ve got the drum pattern to sound the way you want, Captain Beat makes it easy to export the pattern to your DAW in different ways. You can export both the audio or Midi of either the entire pattern or each individual drum sound. This type of flexibility makes it easy to make shape the sound of the drum pattern even further using the different effects and tools in your DAW.
Captain Beat makes creating a complete drum beat from start to finish easy, even for a beginner. With its high-quality drum samples and its pre-existing patterns that fit a wide variety of genres, you are sure to come up with something to fit your project. As an experienced producer, I can appreciate how fast creating a beat can be when using this plugin.
For both beginners and seasoned producers alike, getting an idea out as quickly as possible is key to making more of the music you are looking to create, and Captain Beat does a great job of helping you to do just that. It’s a great new addition to the line-up.