Getting Started With Handy Drums Plugins – REASON

Ensure you have installed a VST version of Handy Drums on your computer before attempting to load them inside Reason. (See installation tutorials for Win or Mac)

Before using the software, you must authorize it by entering the serial number (license key) you received with your purchase. Here is how to authorize Handy Drums. Alernatively, you can run it in the FREE TRIAL mode.

Handy Drums Plugins: What they are and what they are not #


Handy Drums plugins are virtual drum sound modules. They playback drum samples when triggered by MIDI data. It is necessary to have a midi track with music notes routed to the plugin to make a sound. They can also be used as standalone apps on Windows and MacOS computers, in which case they must be played using hardware MIDI controllers.


Handy Drums plugins are not drum machines. They don’t contain drum loops and do not have a sequencer built into them.

Loading Handy Drums Plugin Instrument Inside Reason #

In this example, we will show you how to load Handy Drums inside Reason’s sequencer window.

Click the “Add Track” button and navigate to Instruments > GoranGrooves > Handy Drums (instrument of your choice)


Once the plugin loads, the user interface should also open. 

If it does not, double-click on the left of the newly created sequencer track.

Playing A Drum Loop Through Handy Drums Inside Reason #

To play a drum groove through the Handy Drums plugins, you will need to drop an existing MIDI drum performance (drum loop) onto an Instrument track with Handy Drums instrument loaded or create/program a performance from scratch right on your Instrument track.


To import an existing midi file into Reason:

  • Find the MIDI file you want to import using your folder browser (or Finder if on Mac).
  • Drag the desired file into the sequencer window.

If MIDI loops contain several instrument tracks, they may separate into several tracks with different instrument/s loaded when imported.


If so, right-click on the Handy Drums instrument track and select “New Note Lane.”

Add the additional midi information on the spare lanes and delete unwanted track/s.


We are working on recreating all our midi loops to work out of the box with Reason.

!Note that CC4 information for variable hats may not be imported with the file correctly. We are working on a fix for our loops.

Enabling Plugin Multiple Outputs Inside Reason #

To set up multiple outputs for an instrument in Reason, do the following:

  • Inside Handy Drums, decide which stereo output you want each component to go to. For example, Kick 1+2, Snare 3+4.
  • With Reason’s Rack selected, press “TAB” on your computer keyboard to see the back connections of the rack.
  • Expand the view by pressing the small arrow on the left of the Handy Drums rack.
  • Right-click on the left of the pair of the “Optional Audio Outputs” connectors and select “Route To New Mix Channel.” 

This will create a new rack/mixer channel and connect the stereo cables to it.

Now, when you play each component, it should come out of the new channels.

Renaming the new channels with their corresponding component names is a good practice.

Double-click on the rack name and enter the new name corresponding to the component it is connected to.

Now that everything is working well, let us dive deeper into Handy Drums features and functionalities.