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Reason 12

Virtual Studio Plugin by Reason Studios

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from Reason Intro, Essential, LTD, ADPAT & Lite

Reason 12 has an average user rating of 4.60 from 10 reviews

Rate & Review Reason 12

User Reviews by KVR Members for Reason 12

Reason 12

Reviewed By Bwells [all]
March 28th, 2022
Version reviewed: 12 on Windows

I have been using Reason since it was just an instrument and effects suite so its pretty stunning to see how far its come at Reason 12. I knew it had added VST support a couple years back and was reluctant to dive back because I feared opening up to the VST world would destroy its stability. I was wrong. Reason is as stable as its ever been even using several of the VST's I use in Reaper and Studio One.

It's still an inspiring environment to worth within just like back in the day but so much more powerful now. Audio recording is a breeze and with the addition of the built in Pitch edit and timing tools it makes sound warping in Reason almost too easy. The built in devices are all still there but they've added a ton more over the years so I can get whatever sound is in my head nailed down very easily. I love being able to master within Reason using my Izotope Suite so I dont need to export stems out to Studio One for mastering purposes. I've tested out the Reason Rack plugin with Reaper and Studio One and it works like a charm if I needed to go out of the DAW itself but at this point I cant see needing to any longer. Everything can be done within the software on its own.

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Reason 12

Reviewed By Duncle22 [all]
April 24th, 2020
Version reviewed: 11 on Windows

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 [all]
March 24th, 2019
Version reviewed: 10.2 on Mac

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 [all]
January 5th, 2019
Version reviewed: 9.5 on Mac

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 Andrei Marchenko [all]
March 13th, 2016
Version reviewed: 10.11.3 on Mac

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 [all]
August 21st, 2015
Version reviewed: 8.1 on Windows

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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Reason 12

Reviewed By robogone [all]
December 5th, 2013
Version reviewed: 8.1 on Windows

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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Reason 12

Reviewed By TheOfficialValve [all]
December 1st, 2013
Version reviewed: Any on Windows

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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Reason 12

Reviewed By jjpscott01 [all]
August 8th, 2013
Version reviewed: 7.1 on Windows

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 fun making music in Reason 7.

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Reason 12

Reviewed By eox08 [all]
February 13th, 2012
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows

I love Propellerhead's Reason! It's what I first started using back in version 3 and still use it to this day with version 6. Highly highly recommend it to anyone that is wanting to do music production. Excellent tool for beginners and the professionals. Reason taught me sound design and what the differences are in different style instruments. I had absolutely no idea what music production really looked like when I first started. In fact, I remember the first time I ran reason and had no idea what I was doing. I didn't have anyone to teach me, only google and youtube, but now I can route my instruments the way I want and my work flow is up to par. Reason is just a great software. Love it.

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Latest 10 reviews from a total of 10

Comments & Discussion for Reason Studios Reason 12

Discussion: Active
13 February 2012 at 11:08pm

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 9:26pm

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 3:05pm

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 2:52pm

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 11:19am

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 11:15am

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??

23 May 2019 at 8:17pm

Not so easy as you might think; it's 1:1 design pixel by pixel and this is done in order to create ultra clear graphics. If you zoom a photography it will look pretty okay at all resolutions but these are highly detailed instruments where function is above everything else, and boy do they function! Best synthesizer studio on a computer anywhere.

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