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 Reason by Propellerhead Software is an Audio Plugin Host. It can host VST Plugins. It supports ReWire.
Reason Reason Reason
Product Reason
Developer Propellerhead Software
Price (MSRP)
€369 / $449
Type / Tags
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Can Host
Can Host
ReWire Mixer/Synth Application
Operating System Availability
Download Released
Downloads Released
Downloads Released
Supported Sample Formats (loads or saves) include

Reason is a virtual studio rack with all the tools and instruments you need to turn your ideas into music.

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

Although easy to learn and use, Reason is a flexible music system - a system that can be just as complex and advanced as you make it, featuring numerous tools such as the MClass mastering suite, the Combinator device, and the powerful Thor synth.

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. If you need more machines than you have mixer channels, just create another mixer.

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.

A single keypress will turn Reason's rack around to reveal "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.

The numerous included synths, samplers, effect, etc. are detailed here.

Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 4.33 from 6 reviews

Reviewed By Andrey Marchenko
March 13, 2016

Last time when i used Reason was about 10 years ago if not more. It was pretty rudimentary DAW back in the past. Lacks in many ways of production. Now we have 8.3 version. What i can say here? Installed demo of it and after 4 days of hard using i can say: "Folks it;s great!". If you're looking new way for production and really good quality instruments (Rack Extension in Reason's paradigm) and don't want to pay extra money for it - this is for you! You can get damn good FXs and synths under 99$. Also great one about Propellerhead Reason is modular system: you can connect almost everything with everything by CV I/O system. That means you have huge modulation possibilities in this DAW. In my mind only NI Reaktor has so much chances for connection inside the program.

Somebody can say that Reason's huge minus is lack of opportunity in VST connection but i will say that this is huge plus! Personally i'm a little bit tired about all this VSTs that we have on market nowadays. One is not working as should work, one is with bug, one is just don't work as should at this DAW and work in another and etc. Also if you want to -re-install your system it will take ages to download all your plugins and register it. On other side folks from Propellerhead offer for us a whole ecosystem where you need to click once and all products will be installed on your machine, ecosystem where all plugins works as it should because they're only for one DAW - for Reason. Stability, fun and intuitive using - that's about Propellerhead Reason.

I can tell you about in-build SSL 9000k emulation, about instruments, FXs and really creative flow but you have to try it by yourself! On official site you can find next strings:

"Reason is the music software made with one thing in mind: you. And whatever music is on your mind, Reason makes it easier to bring it out. Go faster from good ideas to great music than ever before."

And this words - true ;)

P.S: By my personal taste only one thing i can move to cons of Reason: Sequencer. Don't get me wrong, please. It's good but i want to see things like curves for automation lines (also waveforms ala sin, square, triangle and etc.), folder tracks, proper track delay in +/- ms (you can realize it with ReGroove mixer but this is not as i want to see). Also i miss ability to setup custom shortcuts for my work but i can live with this.

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Reviewed By AsPeeXXXVIII
August 21, 2015

I've used Reason Essentials for all of my music production for a year now. The two main reasons (no pun intended) I decided to go with Reason when I contemplated switching out of Reaper last year were its relative affordability and unique look, namely the so-called Rack Extensions.

Now Reason isn't a DAW in the purest sense. It is, to be more precise, a music production suite. Nevertheless, Reason comes with a selection of stock Rack Extensions and sounds that covers a variety of musical needs. Techno, rap, DnB, ambient, even orchestral or heavy metal - you can do all of it in Reason. And the best thing is that you can only get the Essentials version and still be able to do all of it.

However, even a DAW as versatile as Reason is not without its flaws. Namely, due to its unique Rack Extension format, Reason doesn't support common plugin formats. Thankfully that flaw is partly fixed by the sheer number of additional Rack Extensions available in the Propellerhead Shop. Another downside is that if you don't have access to Internet, you have to run Reason in Demo Mode, which does not allow the opening of files.


  • Relatively affordable.
  • Great workflow.
  • Clean and easy-to-use interface.
  • Comes with a virtual keyboard for those who lack a MIDI controller.
  • The uniqueness and fun factor of "the rack".
  • A satisfying selection of stock Rack Extensions and sounds, even in the Essentials version.
  • The Scream 4 Distortion unit.


  • Lack of VST and other plugin support.
  • Requires an Internet connection for full functionality, namely being able to open files.

Final verdict:

An excellent music production suite with enough sonic variety to cover almost any genre imaginable, even in the most basic and cheapest edition. Highly recommended for versatile multi-genre musicians.

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Reviewed By robogone
December 5, 2013

Reason seems to be one of those love it or hate it tools for most people and sits in a space that's not quite plugin and not quite DAW. Personally I love it, and have used it since version 4, and have seen quite a few changes in that time.

To me, one of the best decisions that Propellerheads made was to consolidate Reason and Record into one tool, as it made no sense to keep them separate. It certainly extends the range of Reason to give it audio capabilities, and it has a very good mixer.

While third party plugin use has never been a feature of Reason, the Props came to a compromise and brought RE functionality to the table. RE may have failed if third parties had not developed for the platform, but when you look at the respected developers creating RE's, you have to realize that Reason is taken seriously as a platform for them to develop for.

At the core of Reason is a variety of tools that can be routed to a mixer as in any other DAW, but with the advantage that you can easily flip your racks around to patch any device to pretty much any other device. If you have no experience of this on other hardware or software there's a learning curve for sure, but once you master this, you really see the strengths of Reason.

I won't go into the details of each instrument on the racks as it would take up too much space, but Reason certainly has a wide range of instruments, covering various types of percussion, synthesizers, samplers and effects. The Props web site is a good place to start if you want to read further into what is included.

A common complaint that I have heard on KVR is that Reason relies on ReWire to communicate with other software. ReWire is not for everyone, but as it is implemented in most major DAWs and is pretty simple to set up, I'm happy with it and have never really had any issues using Reason and Ableton Live side by side. A recent addition is MIDI out, so that really opens up more opportunities with external instrument triggering, and any other uses for MIDI out.

On the downside, Reason does have a very cluttered GUI if you don't have a large monitor, and gets very fiddly on laptops. I think it is a little difficult to learn coming from other DAWs or hardware, but as with any tool, you can learn it over time.

Solid as a rock as far as stability is concerned and very efficient in terms of processor use. Some of the tools might have a bigger processor hit (Kong comes to mind), but for the most part they are very efficient.

I think it is priced very fairly, and upgrades come in at a reasonable price too.

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Reviewed By TheOfficialValve
December 1, 2013

Propellerhead Reason is probably one of the most versatile tools in the music world you will ever find. This program emulates the classic synthesizer rack, along with a sampler, sequencer and a virtual mixer. Of course, all the standard assets are there, such as MIDI, sampling, blah, blah, blah, and at first glance reason may seem like any other DAW, but look harder and you'll see this is no ordinary software. It includes easy-to-use and professional plug-ins such as Subtractor, Malstrom, NN-19, NN-XT, Thor, Neptune, Sylenth, Alligator, among others. If you have experience with real-world hardware, such as synthesizers, samplers and racks, Reason is probably the most easy to learn for you, considering it is just that, just virtual. And you can connect some real racks and synthesizers in to DAW itself, so you get the same feel you did the first time you took out those real-world tools of the trade, while making it just that much easier. Whether you're a newbie, a professional, or just a guy who wants to make some music like you could with your old sampler, Reason is definitely for you.


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Reviewed By jjpscott01
August 8, 2013

Reason 7 is an update that was clearly designed for the musician. I own or have owned Pro tools 8, Studio one 2, Fl Studio 11, Reaper 4 and now Reason 7. All have amazing feature sets and each Daw will bring something different to the table. The thing that worries me about these workstations growing and expanding more with every update is that while they are a blast to play with, musicians are being trapped into a web i'm sure we all have been familiar with. Its become too easy to "play" or "learn" or "experiment" with different options, choices, plugins, features, etc. Reason 7 is an update that was clearly designed to get out of the way. Making music is just too easy and too much fun with version 7. Its updates like audio time stretching, parallel processing and visual EQ spectrum's that may seem behind in terms of Daw innovation, but they are almost brilliantly integrated to the point where you almost get the sense Propellerhead are one step ahead of the game. Almost like they see that our options for music making in the Daw world have expanded to the point where us musicians will want a Daw that gets out of the way and just lets us do what we should spend our time doing anyway. Writing and producing our songs. I will continue to work with different workstations for different reasons. That is, if i can pull myself away from having too much music music in Reason 7.

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Discussion: Active


13 February 2012 at 11:08pmliquidsound

Yes. A great workstation. I'm amazed at how easy is to create any kind of music style when sitting in front of that luxurious infinite stack of Synths and effects including the new Mixer. The audio stretching is impeccable! And the new effects are able to transform beyond recognition (if you so desire) any audio going through them.

17 October 2012 at 9:26pmDefaultUserName

Love the new workflow and the rack extensions, and i didn't think i would but it really opens up a new world of sonic capabilities.

3 December 2013 at 3:05pmzeebot

Terrible review, doesn't cover half of the things in reason and a glaring mistake saying that SYLENTH is included in the software??

This is obviously written by someone who doesn't know the software at all.

21 August 2015 at 2:52pmballacr75

I think that Reason now MUST have a decent MIDI OUT instrument, i mean with Bank MSB and LSB, with more than 1 assegnable knob (maybe 16...) because almost every keyboard has more than 128 patch, and I don't want to program bank change msb and lsb into the sequencer, it is very very uncomfortable...

31 March 2016 at 11:19ampquenin

The workflow improvments in Reason 8 are great, Reason now feel almost like a modern DAW, but still far some other DAWs.

The way you add insert effects to an instrument is still not very handy, as the cabling system. I think that the "real device" paradigm of Reason has its limits.

Otherwise, it's a great package for the price, think of what you get for that price in the hardware world. But the upgrades are pricey.

129 € for the Reason 8 upgrade is almost a fraud. Certainly there has been a lot of work behind the scene, but it was just about bringing Reason workflow to a descent level compared to other DAWs.

2 October 2017 at 11:15ameivind

Reason is fine, but we are in October 2017, and still - after all these years with increased monitor screen estate the Props have yet to make the Reason rack scalable. Maybe the solution used in Terry Gilliams move Brazil (1985) is a viable addon??

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Average user rating of 4.33 from 6 reviews

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