Propellerhead Reason

Propellerhead Reason

Making music should be as easy as powering up a computer, loading up a powerful piece of music software, and getting down to business. And it is. Reason is a virtual studio rack with all the tools and instruments you need to turn your ideas into music. And it's more than just a set of excellent synths and effects. It's a complete music system. Step into the age of Reason.

Synthesizers, samplers, drum machine, REX file loop player, professional mastering tools, mixer, vocoder, world class effects, pattern sequencer and more. As many of each as your computer can handle. Reason is an infinitely expandable all-in-one music production environment, complete with its own realtime sequencer.

Although easy to learn and a breeze to use, Reason is an extremely flexible music system - a system that can be just as complex and advanced as you make it. With sophisticated tools such as the MClass mastering suite, the mighty Combinator device, or the all-powerful Thor synth, Reason will not just impress, but inspire you.


Need more gear?

No problem. Choose a synth, a drum machine, a loop player or any device from the Create menu, and it will instantly appear in your rack, logically patched into the signal chain. And because Reason is designed to go easy on your computer, you can repeat the process until you're more than happy. If you ever wished you had eleven samplers and ten compressors, Reason is definitely for you. And if you have created more machines than you have mixer channels, just create another mixer. The studio of your dreams is just a few mouse clicks away.

reason dr octo rex

Control your controls

Each unit in Reason's virtual rack is edited from its own on-screen front panel. All the sliders, knobs, buttons and functions are right in front of you, ready to be tweaked, turned and twisted in absolute real-time. And all your front panel actions - filter adjustments, pitch bending, gain riding or panning - can be recorded and automated in the Reason sequencer.


Radical routing

A single keypress will turn Reason's rack around, and there you are, in patch cord heaven. Most audio connections are made automatically. When a new device is created, it appears immediately below the currently selected device, and Reason patches it into the system in the most logical way. Repatch by dragging the patch cord plug to the desired connector, or just make a pop-up menu choice. Most devices have one or more parameters controlled by Gate and/or CV. And all instrument devices have several Gate or CV output options. Combine this with easy, transparent patching, and you have connection power approaching that of a fully modular synth.

Here some of the Reason devices are explained in full detail
with thorough descriptions of what each device is capable of.

Thor Polysonic Synthesizer

Four different filter types. Six forms of synthesis. Godlike modulation capabilities.

Thunderous sound. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Thor Polysonic synthesizer.




Thor sounds like no synthesizer you've ever heard before - and every single one of them. Where other synths use one specific form of synthesis and one single filter, the Thor polysonic synthesizer features six different oscillator types and four unique filters. What does this give you? Simply the most powerful synth ever created; an unstoppable monster of a sound generator that utilises synthesizer technology from the last 40 years.

The power of Thor compels you!

Six open filter and oscillator slots let you load up three different synth filters and three separate oscillators simultaneously, allowing you to dial in synth sounds that are An all-powerful modulation matrix gives you complete control over your signal flow, letting you modulate anything within Thor with anything within Thor. Sound deep enough for you? It gets deeper.

At the bottom of this synth sits an analog style step sequencer with more than one twist. Being every bit as modular as the rest of Thor's components, this step sequencer does more than just play melodies - use it as a modulation tool, trigger phrases from specific keys, create intense arpeggios, generate piercing percussion lines. With its unique selection of oscillator types and synth filters, the Thor polysonic synthesizer is a veritable synth museum. But believe it, there's nothing dusty about this instrument; Thor may have one foot in history, but its sound is pure future. Take the Thor tour to find out more.

Reason Thor

RPG-8 Monophonic Arpeggiator

Turn boring chords into fluttering melody lines with the RPG-8, Reason's new tool for creative arpeggiation.




Reason version 4 ships with RPG-8, a brand new unit dedicated to the art of arpeggiation. Some arpeggiators are quite content with simply transforming chords into wandering rhythmic melody lines. The RPG-8 monophonic arpeggiator is not. With a wide range of on-panel controls and mode selectors, a pattern section for muting selected notes in an arpeggio and a large display showing values and positions, this device gives you full creative control over your arpeggios. Although very hands-on and user friendly, the RPG-8 boasts some very advanced features under the surface. Features that will change how you play Reason's instruments.


The 'Single Note Repeat' function engages the arpeggiator only when two or more simultaneous notes are held down - letting you add sudden bursts of arpeggio to your melody lines. The 'Manual' mode will arpeggiate notes strictly in the order they were input, for realtime arpeggio control. The RPG-8 monophonic arpeggiator is a creative workhorse that can - and should - be used with all of Reason's sound sources; try arpeggiating your breakbeats, your orchestra samples, or your ReCycled vocals. Only in Reason version 4.


Reason sequencer

The Reason sequencer has matured. Fully grown and fully featured, Reason's music production environment now comes with vector and tempo automation, count-in, multiple lane tracks.



With a whole new look, a ton of fresh features and a completely new way of handling sequencer data, the Reason sequencer has matured. Dedicated to turning your ideas into great music, the new sequencer is swifter, stronger and more intuitive than ever. The key word here is workflow. A sequencer device or instrument now gets its own dedicated track, with separate lanes for note, performance and automation data, opting for a better overview and less clutter.


All sequencer data - notes, automation, the works - is now housed in clips - musical building blocks that can be opened, sliced or moved. When a clip is moved to a new location, all its internal data follows right along with it, always ending up exactly where you intended it to. For safe, speedy sequencing.


The new features and functions added to the Reason version 4 sequencer all strive toward making your Reason experience smoother and snappier. Like the new Tool window, an ever present floating window that provides lightning fast access to those detailed editing functions you use all the time; quantize, transpose, note velocity, note length and legato. Always in sync with your flow, forever adapting to you and your working methods, Reason's new sequencer simply gets you there faster.



Here is a closer look at the edit view in the Reason 4 sequencer.
Sequencer Edit

ReGroove Mixer

It's all about timing for Reason's new groove management console. Meet ReGroove mixer, the unquantizer.



Want your music to sound less rigid, less programmed? Need your drums to move and groove as if played live by actual musicians? If you want your tracks to flow with that loose, yet tight feel, a regular shuffle control just doesn't cut it. That's why we created the ReGroove mixer, Reason's own realtime groove management device.


The ReGroove mixer in Reason 4 gives you more than just a set of sequencer swing parameters - this is a unique device dedicated to one thing: the groove.


The ReGroove Mixer applies its timing magic non-destructively and in realtime, giving you freedom to adjust its settings - and fine-tune your groove - as your music is playing.


You can lock all your tracks together into one unified feel. Or you can apply different settings to up to 32 musical elements in your song, for ultimate control. Each of the groove channels feature controls for groove amount, slide and shuffle plus more detailed settings. The Reason soundbank comes with a great selection of groove patches, many of them created from analyzed recordings of real musicians as well as classic groovy tracks.


NN-XT Advanced Sampler

Ever wanted a sampler with a PhD in flexibility? A sampler that's as advanced as any pro machine, but user-friendly and inspiring. The NN-XT is that sampler.


The NN-XT is a highly advanced sampler with an impressive list of features and functions to it. Where the NN-19 is a "fast-track" sampler, this machine is for your more demanding sampling tasks. The NN-XT is bursting with detailed programming options, but comes with an intuitive user interface, making it the perfect tool for both sound design and life-like instrument emulation. Just load up one of the included orchestral library patches, and you'll know what we're talking about.


NNXT 500

The NN-XT is packed with useful features to help you build your own stunningly realistic instrument patches: alternate sample playback, auto-pitch detection, zones with individual parameters and much more. But don't think for a minute that instrument emulation is all this thing is good for - the filters, the envelopes and the tempo syncable LFOs let you perform some crazy tricks on whatever material you put in there.


All in all, the NN-XT is probably one of the most flexible samplers around, and when we say probably, we mean definitely.


Inside the NN-XT

Ready to dig into the programs and patches? One click pulls out the handy programming module and gives you access to all the options:


Editing a Zone

To select one or more zones for editing, simply click on them. All the parameters in the edit module are now affecting the selected zone, providing full control over everything from key range and loop points to modulation wheel behavior and filtering. Too easy.


Layers and Velocity Crossfades

This is where it gets good. Zones with overlapping keyranges are automatically layered onto each other, and there's no limit to how complex a layered sound can be. For velocity switching, simply change the velocity range for the overlapping zones, and for some velocity crossfading, just adjust the fade in and out parameters or let the NN-XT do it for you. Easy does it.

Automatic Pitch Detection

Apart from Loading and automatically mapping your Aiff and Wav files, the NN-XT can offer another helping hand: Automatic pitch detection. The NN-XT simply identifies the root note of each of the samples in a collection and automatically maps it in the most intelligent way. Who said sampling had to be difficult?


Alternating Zones

Programming a realistic emulation of an instrument is no picnic. Many acoustic instruments sound distinctly different for every note played, and sometimes you need to be able to alternate between two playing styles. Enter the NN-XT. Our sophisticated sampler's "Alternate" function solves the problem automatically. By randomly alternating between samples whenever the same key is played repeatedly, the NN-XT makes sure the same sample is never triggered twice in a row. The result is added realism. And the process is as easy as it is automatic.


Loading Third-party Sampler Patches

The NN-XT happily loads sampler patches from the biggest library around: SoundFont 2 patches are not only loaded and mapped, but also retain their programmed patch characteristics. A utility for converting third-party sample and patch data is also on its way, providing the missing link between NN-XT and the Akai library. Check our website for future information.


The Back

No Reason device is complete without CV and Gate inputs and outputs on the back. And the NN-XT is no exception. This makes Reason's samplers the only sampling instruments around that can be controlled in the same way as analogue synths. And with a total of 16 audio output channels, there should be plenty of scope for further external processing.


Reason Version 4.0 - Mac, Review from Amazon
(by Louis S. Carrozzi)

"In order to give a meaningful review of Reason 4.0 and the major improvements in this latest version of Propellerheads' music creation software package, I first need to state exactly what Reason is, and what it is not.

The most descriptive definition of Reason is that it is basically a "virtual rack mount studio", complete with a built in sequencer, faithfully simulated in a single software package.

Reason Front

For those who are familiar with rack mount studio units, Reason incorporates most (if not all) common hardware rack mount units you would find in a typical recording studio. This includes mixer boards, effects processors (such as reverb, distortion, chorus and flanger units, etc.), two very robust digital samplers which can use samples and wave files as instrumental components, a drum sequencer, a drum sequence sampler/playback tool, and several analog synthesizer units as well - and much, much more. Each of these devices can be "cable patched" into one another within Reason in almost any conceivable combination, and all of the units look and act like their hardware counterparts would in an actual recording studio.

Also, you can "create" as many of these virtual hardware components as you need and the only limitation you have on how many you can effectively use is limited only by your computer's processor speed, RAM, and the sound card hardware in your computer. Since Reason 4.0 uses software to simulate the functions of these virtual hardware units, having a high-end soundcard is NOT necessary to get the most out of the Reason package. Any decent PC or Mac sound card or chip is capable of getting near perfect sound quality out of this package - even the basic sound hardware found in a standard off the shelf Mac laptop such as the MacBook Pro will do just fine.

As a digital music creation platform, Reason has been very good for years, with one noticeable feature missing: The ability to record "live" instruments, such as guitars or vocals.

While this lack of live recording ability has always made Reason a questionably "complete" DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software package, what it lacks in recording capability it more than makes up for by what it does best: Be a one-man-band/studio in a single box. For those who are already using another software package such as CakeWalk Sonar Studio for live recording, Reason does have the ability to be "rewired" into other packages that support rewiring, such as Sonar. As an add-on component to other DAW software packages, Reason adds a some huge capabilities to other programs and can more than stand on it's own for creation of any conceivable type of electronic music from hip hop to classical to jazz and far beyond.

If you are looking to do a lot of live instrument recording, you might want to look at another software package, but if you are doing something "instrumental", say composing a music piece for a television commercial, look no further. Reason has you covered - in a very big way.

Reason Back

This basic description of Reason as a "one stop recording studio" was accurate for version 2.5. While Reason Version 2.5 was very robust, there were several features that were noticeably missing:

  • The ability to easily combine samplers or synths into "layered" instruments (more than one type of sound being controlled by a single sequencer track)
  • A coherent and robust piano roll / track view with typical visual components (e.g. as found in other DAW packages such as Sonar)
  • A mastering suite of tools for controlling final mix down of tracks into a final polished and well engineered song
  • The ability to change tempo within a music project by measure
  • A very robust and complex synthesizer capable of producing a huge range of different sounds

Starting with the last drawback first, Reason 2.5 and 3.0 contained 2 main synths: The Subtractor Analog synth and the Malstrom Graintable synth. Reason 4 also still contains these two instruments. While these two synths were plenty capable of producing a host of "vintage" style synths sounds, they lacked the kind of customization that can be found in other high-end digital music packages such as Apple's Logic audio software, making music such as "trance" or "techno-electronica" style music incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to do in Reason. This has now changed in a radical way for the better. More on that in a minute...

Reason 3.0 was a huge step in the right direction for Reason users. There were two major advances in Reason 3.0:

  • The addition of a FULL suite of recording and mastering tools including a parametric EQ unit and a compressor unit, (among others). The mastering suite units were a huge leap forward for Reason because they allowed composers to control exactly how a finished song should sound - and even how individual instruments within the song should sound - and these units also greatly reduced the occurrences of audio-clipping which can ruin a digital recording. As with all other Reason "hardware units" the user has the ability to create and use as many mastering units as needed for any given project, limited only by processor speed and the amount of RAM in the user's computer.
  • The addition of a new rack unit called the "Combinator". The Combinator was another giant improvement on the Reason package because it allowed users to "group" any other kinds of Reason units into 1 "package" or "group" and then assign the entire group to a single sequencer track. This meant that a user could now throw a mixer, some effects units, and several instruments into 1 package and treat the entire package as a single instrument from within the sequencer. Obviously, this stretched Reason's sound producing capabilities much further and allowed the user to create multi-layered polyphonic instruments with ease.

Propellerhead ReasonReason 3.0 was a great leap forward, for sure, but there were still the problems of having a somewhat limited synthesizer capability (there were still only the 2 synth units, and Reason was still fairly limited in that respect), you still couldn't change tempos mid song (you were pretty much stuck with one time signature per song) and the sequencer still had several problems that made it difficult, frustrating and often time consuming when working within the sequencer itself. With respect to the sequencer issues, there were several other problems, but rather than go into all the details of what was still wrong with Reason 3.0, let's just get to the new version of Reason: Reason Version 4.0 and go over how any and ALL drawbacks of Reason 3.0 are now completely eliminated in Reason version 4.

Reason 4.0 is probably the first version of Reason that has finally eliminated any and all potential weaknesses with this software package, and Reason 4.0 is truly a devastating creative tool for musicians looking for full-featured music creation, recording and engineering package for less than a thousand bucks. This is especially true if you are looking to do any kind of techno, trance, or industrial music as the new "Thor" polyphonic synthesizer utterly SLAYS anything previous versions of Reason had in terms of synthesis of sound or synchronized sequences of sound.

Probably the biggest instrumental leap forward for Reason 4.0 is the addition of the "Thor" Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer as a new instrument found only in Reason version 4.0. The Thor synth is an amazing piece of "virtual hardware" that allows the user to create literally thousands (if not millions) of possible combinations of sound generators, oscillators, filters, envelope controls, and even automated or hardware controlled sound parameters, which can handle almost any aspect of sound generation. While Reason 4.0 ships with a fairly decent amount of Thor "instruments presets" pre-created, these prefabricated presets really only scratch the surface of what Thor is truly capable of.

When the sequencing hardware found within Thor is combined with various parameters of the Thor sound generators and controllers, Thor completely blows away any kind of synth found in previous versions of Reason, and now the Reason software package has the capability of producing the deep and complex types of sounds and sequence loops that are often only found in hardware synths costing nearly two thousand dollars or more. The sequencing generator in Thor can be used to create delays, arpeggios, small instrumental sub-sequences and all other manner of complex sound effects found in a lot of high-end keyboard synths, and this places Reason 4.0's synth sound generation and control squarely in Apple's "Logic" audio software territory as well as now putting Reason 4.0 on the same turf as higher end Korg and Roland keyboard workstations. By using Thor in combination with Reason's Combinator and the already built-in digital samplers, the sky is no longer the limit for sound creation in Reason. The Thor Polyphonic Synth is a HUGE addition to Reason version 4.0 and alone is well worth the price of admission by itself, but Reason version 4.0 doesn't stop there.

The second, and another very significant upgrade to Reason version 4.0 is that all of the previous drawbacks of the Reason 2.5/3.0 sequencer have been completely eliminated in version 4.0.

Like previous versions of Reason, you can color-code your track labels with a right click on the track header. You can now toggle between track view and sequence piano roll view with a single mouse click; each of the tracks can now be viewed with the sequence elements (such as note placement in the piano roll now visible in track view as well) as well as effects controllers and note properties fully visible with a mouse click or two. If you are a person who uses the visual cues of your sequence elements to keep track of what is what in your song, Reason 4.0's sequencer is now on par with the robustness of other software packages such as Sonar Studio. Also, you can now actually see the instrument (or Combinator unit) as a visual element of the left hand side of track view very clearly, and each track is now expandable individually, or as a whole. Also, all of your automation tracks are now controlled by "automation lanes" contained inside the track header for quick and easy navigation of automation channels within each track. Just these changes alone make working with Reason's sequencer fun, easy and very intuitive, and all of the sequencer controls now make sense from an ease of use and robustness standpoint. You want to open up a sequence segment in piano roll? Simply double click the sequence and Reason takes you right into piano roll, and places you exactly within the right measures - Reason even color codes and highlights the appropriate measures in question so no more hunting around for "those particular measures" you want to edit.

There is also one other consideration here: You can now toggle piano roll in your main reason rack-mount view window - easily. This is a huge feature enhancement for Reason 4.0 because now you can test your patch creations within the main rack mount window simply by playing the keys in Reason's piano roll, and you can switch between track and your Reason hardware units with a couple of mouse clicks without ever having to leave the main Reason window. This almost totally eliminates the need to hook up an external MIDI controller keyboard to test out your new sound creations. Of course, Reason has always included MIDI-capable hardware control via an external controller such as a MIDI keyboard, but now you don't need one to edit your sounds quickly and efficiently.

Another welcome addition to the Reason 4.0 suite of components is the brand new RPG-8 Arpeggiator which allows you to create custom arpeggios that can control various aspects of other Reason instruments. This is another great tool for people looking to create techno-trance music or musical effects for instruments, and again extends Reason 4.0's capabilities further.

Having said all this, I haven't even touched on Reason 4.0's continuation of previous strengths such as the built in vo-coder, the robustness and flexibility of the NN-XT built in digital sampler unit, the Dr.Rex drum sequencer, the myriad of effects processors and the incredibly intuitive and visual design of the virtual hardware units in Reason. What Reason has done extremely well with previous versions is now a whole lot better in version 4.0 while still retaining all of the elements that made previous versions of Reason great.

At $400, Reason 4.0 is an absolutely incredible value - being basically an entire recording studio in one box - and its previous weaknesses have been seen, faced, and dismissed outright. If Reason 4.0 supported live recording and VSTi compatibility, it would basically do anything and everything you could possibly want, no matter what type of music you are looking to create. Even with these two features missing, $400 is still a "steal deal" for this software package. For $400 bucks you basically get a $2,000+ keyboard, oh, and that keyboard also happens to come with a complete recording studio.

Try and beat that, for the price? You can't.

If all of this still isn't enough for you to get the job done, it is worth mentioning that there are literally hundreds of free downloads that you can get off the internet to "plug in" new pre-created instruments into Reason's various components and there are many commercial packages - both from Propellerheads and other companies - that can add whole new dimensions to Reason's sound capabilities that go far beyond the basic package you get from Reason "straight out of the box". Not to mention the fact that Propellerheads also have several other software packages that expand Reason's capabilities even further - not that you would need any of them if you learn how to use Reason itself, but even a great program can get even better with add-ons.

If you are a beginner just getting into the hobby of digital music creation and recording on your PC or Mac, Reason 4.0's intuitive and visual interface can get you into music creation easily, and is a worthy product just based on that. However, even a seasoned professional will find Reason to be a hugely flexible, robust and powerful application for professional quality sequencing, recording and engineering. And, while Reason may not be able to record vocals or live instruments on its own, Reason's powerful re-wire capabilities and sampling units can easily integrate Reason's powerful features with your existing DAW software. For example, you can create your instrumental tracks in Reason, then simply export the loop you created (or even the entire song) as a *.wav or *.aiff file for use in another application. Conversely, you can record your "live music" audio files in another application, export them as *.wav files, then import them into Reason's NN-19 or NN-XT digital samplers and then engineer and mix down your entire song in Reason alone. Bam! Done.

When you are done with all of your hard work, you can export your entire song straight to a *.wav or *.aif file and go from there. Sadly, Reason 4.0 still doesn't have a direct song to *.mp3 encoder, but that's not really a big deal since most computers these days have some easy (and often free) way to convert *.wav or *.aif files to *.mp3 format or to CD audio tracks. Mac OS X, for example has a free *.mp3 converter as a feature of ITunes.

All of that aside, Reason 4.0 is still an awesome program and a significant upgrade from version 3.0, and Reason 4.0 probably gives you more bang for your buck than any other digital audio workstation package out there (minus the live recording and VSTi compatibility issues). Reason is an amazingly powerful, robust, flexible and comprehensive music-making package worthy of addition to any home/PC-based recording studio.

The bottom line? Believe the hype.

Buy it, and try it, learn it, love it.

Reason 4.0 aims to please, and you won't be disappointed.

Propellerhead Reason 5

reason 5 final cablingReason's 'synths in a rack with cables round the back' philosophy has been in place for ten years, and it's still going strong. It has remained separate from the DAW pack, though, firstly because it's never been able to record audio, and secondly because it's a self-contained system. Propellerhead realized that they could create a stable music-making experience by excluding VSTs, Audio Units or third-party plug-ins of any kind, in fact. The only way to 'expand' Reason has been by Rewiring it to other DAWs.

This introversion's made it easy to exchange Reason files with other users, because everybody's got the same devices. Reason remains popular in all styles of Electronic music, including Dubstep, Drum'n'Bass, Trance, and House, and it's used by artists such as The Prodigy, Pendulum, Claude Von Stroke (of course), Dave Spoon, Luke Vibert, and Armin van Buuren. It can be applied to other genres, though - to prove the point, Propellerhead's Refill titles (collections of add-on presets) include Soul School, Electric Bass, Abbey Road Keyboards, Pianos, Drum Kits and Strings.

Now we've got a major update to Reason, as well as the first update to their newest product - Record - which can integrate with Reason or run as a totally standalone program. You can read about Record elsewhere in this review, but I'm going to ignore it here (mostly), because Reason is still sold as a standalone product.

Revisiting Reason

The core devices remain in Reason 5: synths like Malstrom, Thor, and Subtractor, the Redrum drum machine - the NN-19/XT samplers, and effects and assorted other devices including reverb, a vocoder, delay, an arpeggiator, and a pattern sequencer. There's one massive change, though - after 10 years of waiting, you can now record straight into Reason's sample-based devices, in addition to processing incoming audio signals in real time, giving Reason a new lease of life as an audio effects rack.

The other new features ain't so trivial, either - the impressive Kong drum machine; Blocks, a new pattern-based song structure tool; the Dr Octo Rex loop player; multiprocessor support, and many small workflow improvements.

Reason 5 continues to be CPU-friendly, and just as stable as previous versions - that's the no-plug-in rule paying off again. Just as well, because the Propellerhead have been boasting lately (in an understated Swedish way) about the stability of their app, which is a dangerous thing in the software business, especially when a certain other DAW has been plagued with bugs recently.

King Kong

Honestly, I wasn't excited by the idea of dealing with another new software drum machine, but I liked the Kong drum designer. It's easy to get around, and to figure out what everything does, and the library patches sound great. If you don't have a controller connected, you can audition pads by clicking, getting different velocities depending on where you click. This might be a good time to mention that Reason, more than most DAWs, needs an integrated hardware controller. For the test, I used the M-Audio Axiom Pro 49, which is supported by Reason's Remote protocol. As soon as it was selected in Preferences, the Axiom's LCD displayed device names, and the parameters that were available to the knobs and faders.

I could also use the Bank buttons to navigate device presets ... nice to be able to do this without any configuration. Kong is now the first call for drums in Reason. Dr Rex has upgraded to Dr Octo Rex, and is now being promoted as .a songwriting tool. It's a REX playback machine with eight slots, and the idea is that you can build arrangements by triggering loops within the device, so you'd have one Dr Octo Rex containing beats, another containing bass parts, and so on. The loop triggers can then be quantized. It keeps full editing functions for each slot, with nine parameters that can be applied to each slice. I wasn't sold on this as an arrangement tool, but it works for building beats, and the slice editing tools are a solid way to change the nature of an imported loop.

Blocks are like a hybrid of pattern-based and linear sequencing - create your sequencer parts as usual, then paste them into blocks, and rearrange them to taste.

Moving Forward

There are workflow changes, too - like the way that clips are created automatically as soon as you start drawing-in notes. Right-click on the end of a cable, choose 'Scroll to Connected Device', and the other end of the cable is highlighted automatically - good for those times when you have a big rack with a lot of cables trailing all over the place. Among other things, there are new MIDI sequencing tools, like 'Move Selected Notes to New Lane' in the context menu.

Some of these new features are going to be pretty useful on stage too. I can imagine syncing Kong with Traktor Pro, actually - it'd be a great way to add drum machine functionality to that DJ program. Audio routing will be cool for live shows, especially once you start doing things like using the Matrix device to sequence filter effect parameters. Let's quickly quit Reason, and launch Record. If you've got Reason on your computer (and added it to the Ignition key), Record can access Reason's instruments and effects- the rack is viewable just like the Record mixer or sequencer windows, so it feels totally integrated. Record also opens Reason songs that you made earlier, using them as the basis for new projects.

reason 5

Must be the Reason

There's no doubt that Reason 5 is an essential upgrade. Current Reason users should snap this up, and grab Record to boot. If you haven't looked at Reason for a while, it's time to check it out again. If you're a DAW newb, the Duo is a great production and recording setup. Unless you've got a very, good motive to jump over from Logic or Ableton Live, the Duo isn't for you (but Reason might be). For song creation and live on stage, Reason adds yet another dimension and continues to delight. It's happy doing its own thing and keeps getting all the better for it.

Propellerhead Reason Books

Introducing Reason 4Reason 4 IgniteReason 4 Power

In order to understand Propellerhead Reason and to learn tips and tricks you need a good book. Check some of the most popular Propellerhead Reason Books. Take your time and find one that suits you most.

Before you make the final decision you should also
compare Reason with other recording studio software.
Buy Now Propellerhead Reason 5

Propellerhead Reason 5

Reason has established itself as the go-to software for the creative musician. With its intuitive creative flow, ever-expanding rack of instruments and effects and generous sound palette to get you started, reason is the music software that doesn't get in your way, but helps you along in your creative process. Version 5 adds the mighty Kong Drum designer, the versatile Droctorex Loop Player, live sampling input, the blocks pattern based sequencing mode and much, much more. Reason is built around its virtual rack of instruments and effects. As you work on your track, you are building the rack as you go. Everything is automatically patched in and routed as you create more instruments. Should you want to get deep, simply flip the rack around and route audio cables anyway you like, just like in a real world studio, only faster and better. Finding your sound is an important part of the musical process. Reason's huge and extensible sound bank is an incredibly powerful tool to get you going, fast. With Gigabytes of synth patches, multi-sampled instruments, drum kits, effects and more, you will have what you need from the start. Still want more? There are tons of commercial and free Refills out there to help you define your sound. The thing that strikes most new Reason users is how much they get done in a short amount of time, and how fun it is doing it. Reason's legendary crative flow lets you stay focused on the music and explore your options as you go. With a completely integrated environment like Reason, you will face fewer dialog boxes, more fun and more music.

Buy Now Propellerhead Reason 5 Upgrade

Propellerhead Reason 5 Upgrade

Official upgrade for existing Reason owners to version 5.

Buy Now Propellerhead Reason 4

Propellerhead Reason 4

The most descriptive definition of Reason is that it is basically a "virtual rack mount studio", complete with a built in sequencer, faithfully simulated in a single software package.

Reason has reached the next level. Stronger, swifter and smoother to work with, Reason 4 will alter the way you create your music.

Buy Now M-Audio AXIOM 49 Advanced 49-Key Semi-Weighted USB MIDI Controller

M-Audio AXIOM 49 Advanced 49-Key Semi-Weighted USB MIDI Controller

If you need total MIDI control and playability in a compact package, check out the Axiom 49. This advanced 49-key USB mobile MIDI controller delivers semi-weighted action plus assignable aftertouch, along with eight rubberized trigger pads that are perfect for handson drum programming and performance. Nine sliders complement eight endless rotary encoder knobs to control just about any software studio parameter you can think of 15 MIDI-assignable buttons--including six transport controls--and assignable wheels and foot pedals round out total control. The dedicated front-panel keypad and backlit LCD screen provide intuitive setup. There's room for 20 non-volatile memory locations for instant access to setups, plus compatibility with our free Enigma editor/librarian software for managing a virtually infinite library via Mac or PC.

Buy Now M-Audio AXIOM 61 Advanced 61-Key Semi-Weighted USB MIDI Controller

M-Audio AXIOM 61 Advanced 61-Key Semi-Weighted USB MIDI Controller

The Axiom 61 is an advanced 61-key USB mobile MIDI controller with semi-weighted action and assignable aftertouch. Eight rubberized trigger pads are ideal for creating drum tracks and firing samples. Nine sliders and eight endless rotary encoder knobs put you in total control of your software studio. There are also 15 MIDI-assignable buttons--including six transport controls--assignable wheels, foot pedals and more. Programming is a breeze with dedicated front-panel keypad and backlit LCD screen. 20 memory locations store your setups and the free Enigma editor/librarian software lets you manage an unlimited number on your computer.