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Virtual Studio by Reason Studios
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Instrument(s) 
Effect(s) 
Can Host
Instruments
 
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Operating System Availability
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 12 
 12 
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Reason 12

Get your hands on the all new Combinator, high resolution graphics, Mimic Creative Sampler and more.

The Rack and Reason

Wanna add some personality to the music you make in Ableton Live, Apple Logic, FL Studio or Avid ProTools? Just use Reason+ with the Rack as a plugin.

But if you prefer to make your music in Reason (like many of the greatest producers in the world do) you can rest assured that you will always have what you need to be original and sound like you. All updates and major upgrades are included in Reason+.

What is the Rack?

If Reason was a song, the Rack would be the hook. It is the creative sound design playground where you can combine instruments, effects and other devices to find just the sound you are looking for.

Plug a huge supply of premium synthesizers, sampled instruments and effects into your favorite DAW. Reason 11 adds the Reason Rack Plugin–a VST3/AU/AAX version of the legendary Reason Rack with all its devices, creative sound design, modular routing and a huge library of loops, sounds and samples.

Create any sound you want by dragging instruments and effects to the Reason Rack. Everything is automatically connected for you in a logical top-to-bottom flow.

Start with an instrument. Add an effect by dropping it under the instrument. Add a MIDI Player effect by dragging and dropping to the top.

For quick access to amazing sounds, find what you need in among thousands of synth patches, sampled instruments, loops and sounds created by world-class sound designers.

You'll find patches for specific devices or Combinator patches that combines any number of instrument and effects to deliver just the sound you need.

Scary to some and strangely alluring to others, the backside of Reason's rack is where you can go all-modular with the free routing of audio and control voltage signals. Control synth filters from envelope followers, control panning with LFOs or split up the audio signal to create huge sonic landscapes with parallel processing.

If this isn't your cup of tea, don't worry. You can make music in Reason without ever diving into cable-town.

Reason's rack, instruments, effects and sounds are all included in Reason Rack Plugin, while sequencing and mixing is left to the host DAW.

Drag MIDI clips directly from Redrum, Dr. OctoRex etc to your sequencer.

Reason Rack Plugin is available as a VST3 plugin (macOS/Windows), an AAX plugin (macOS/Windows) and an AU.

Reason as a studio

From your first beat to your next album, Reason is the music production software that helps you nail those ideas when inspiration strikes. Easy to get started with, yet as deep as you want it to be, Reason's intuitive music making gadgets and professional production tools will get you off the ground and keep you occupied for a long time to come.

At the heart of Reason's music-making environment is the rack. All instruments, effects and utilities are accessible in the rack for immediate tweaking. And for experimental-minded, turn the rack over and access the modular-style routing of audio and control voltages made possible by Reason's virtual cables.

Sequencing

Record, edit, arrange. Simply connect your MIDI controller and start making music—no setup required. Capture MIDI performances and automation, or draw in notes with the mouse. Whatever suits your workflow, Reason's sequencer is fast, flexible and fun. Keeping with Reason's famous ease of use, Reason's sequencer still comes with all the editing features you need. If your playing is too tight—use the ReGroove Groove Mixer to add more human feel.

Recording

Record your audio with ease. From a simple vocal take to a full band recording session, the recording workflow is easy and fast. No dialog boxes to break your flow. Need to nail a tricky performance? The comp editor helps you stitch multiple takes together to a perfect take. You can even record first and pick a tempo later. Reason's legendary project-wide time stretch will change the tempo of your entire song without any audible artifacts.

Record your audio with ease. From a simple vocal take to a full band recording session, the recording workflow is easy and fast. No dialog boxes to break your flow. Need to nail a tricky performance? The comp editor helps you stitch multiple takes together to a perfect take. You can even record first and pick a tempo later. Reason's legendary project-wide time stretch will change the tempo of your entire song without any audible artifacts.

Mixing

Reason gives your tracks that big studio sound right out of your computer. Faithfully modeled after the famous SSL 9000k* analog mixing desk, Reason's mixer comes complete with flexible routing, full dynamics, EQ, advanced effects handling, full automation, groups and parallel channels, and the famous master-bus compression. The spectrum analyzer window and visual EQ makes it easy to fine-tune the sound of your tracks from anywhere in the program.

Audio Editing

With your audio safely recorded in your project, Reason can help you polish your tracks to perfection. Slice Edit helps you correct the timing problems in your recordings, from subtle tweaks to hard quantize. Reason's Pitch Edit can quickly correct the pitch in a vocal recording and gives you detailed control over pitch, time and articulations in the performance. And the best of all: It sounds good. Really, really good.

Sampling

All sample players in Reason are also samplers. Hit the sample button on the instrument's panel and start recording straight into the selected instrument, bringing the lost art of creative sampling back again. All samples can be trimmed, edited and normalized in Reason's built-in sample editor.

Blocks

Intro, verse, chorus–if that's how you think about your music, then Blocks might help you build your songs. Create your song's discreet parts and use Blocks as a very fast way of creating a musical structure for your song. With the basic arrangement laid out, you can see the contents of the blocks and create variations and mute individual parts, or add further musical elements on top.

REX

With REX loops you turn concrete-rigid loops into musical modeling clay, letting you change tempo, pitch and timing independently, and remodel the groove to suit all your musical purposes. Playing them back in Reason's Dr. Octo Rex even lets you deconstruct the loops and create fills and variations that recorded loops can't provide. Reason can turn audio recordings into REX files on its own, but for expert level control you might want to try ReCycle.

Take your music anywhere

The Reason platform extends beyond the Reason software. Music is made in any number of settings and situations and Reason can be there for you when you need it.

Start your song ideas on Reason Compact for iOS and finish them on your computer. The same instruments are available on your phone and on your desktop so you can flesh out the production with all that Reason can offer.

Use your favorite Reason instrument in other music production software with the Reason Rack Plugin, a VST/AU version of the Reason Rack.

Jam in perfect sync with your Ableton Live using friends. Reason supports Ableton Link to stay wirelessly on the beat tougher with any number of Link-enabled computers, apps or devices.

{See video at top of page}

User Reviews Average user rating of 4.56 from 5 reviews Add A Review

Reason 12
Reviewed By Duncle22
April 24th, 2020

Just dropped Cubase for Reason 11 & i have no regrets its GREAT!!! The audio quality all the synths & effects are top notch. Was using Cubase for the last 10 years but just wanted a change. I've tried loads of DAW's from Logic to Pro Tools to Live, all good software but not for me. Reason rocks now!!.

Thanks UNCLE 22.

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Reason 12
Reviewed By CloudsOfSound
March 24th, 2019

I've used many different DAWs in the last 15 years or so, including Cubase, Pro Tools and in later years Studio One, Logic Pro X and Ableton Live.

A few months ago I sold my Ableton Live Suite and Cubase 9 license and purchased Reason 10.

Initially it was a lot to get used to. Reason works a little bit different than most other DAWs, but once you "get it", there's no going back to the restrictions of other DAWs compared to the incredible flexibility you get with Reason's rack based architecture.

Once you understand how CV patching and routing functions, a universe of possibilities opens up for unrestricted creative sound design.
I don't regret making the switch to Reason in any way.

Also, it runs almost as smoothly on my 11 year old iMac as it does on my new MacBook Pro, something that is quite unique compared to other DAWs I've used.

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Reason 12
Reviewed By synthesite
January 5th, 2019

I've used it since it first came out, total jawdropping experience back then giving me 9 ms of latency and hundreds of notes of polyphony running MacOS 9 on a PowerBook G3. Since then I've even worked at Propellerhead and I've lived with Reason for nearly 20 years now; I've also got Logic and more programs but I feel at home in Reason and it's got the same key commands as Cubase on Atari which I started out with.;-) I am still using Reason 9.5 but might update. Very good also that they still support MacOS 10.7 which means I can even use my 2007 Mac Pro 1,1 with it. Refill maker and remixer here.

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Reason 12
Reviewed By Andrey Marchenko
March 13th, 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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Reason 12
Reviewed By AsPeeXXXVIII
August 21st, 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.

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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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