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Plug-ins, Part 2

posted by Record Blog 2009-07-01 at 12:06

The other day I started talking about why we chose not to have open plug-in support in Record and how that really makes for great recording experience. Today I thought I touch on how it helps us achieve great performance and reliability, amongst other things.

I know the world hasn't really had a chance to check this out yet, so you have to take my word for it. Record is an extremely powerful program. Add Reason to the mix, and it gets totally explosive. It runs an incredible amount of effects and processing on the computer you already have. Check out the included picture of the rack used in one of the demo songs, Push Me Down by Josh Mobley. That rack plus 50 tracks plus over 30 channels of the SSL-modeled mixer processing runs really well on my Mac Book (not even a Pro). At a 64 sample buffer rate!

Record demo song Push Me
Down by Josh Mobley
Check out this rack and it all runs on my 2-year old MacBook on its internal drive! More than 80 devices on over 30 mix channels with EQ and dynamics on each and running with 64 sample latency with no additional hardware.

How is that possible? One of the keys is building everything into one environment. We optimized the whole chain for signal flow, formats, memory usage, timing impacts, hyperthreading (for multicore systems), audio latency and stability. In other host environments, a rogue plug-in can hog the CPU, take up an inordinate amount of memory, glitch on playback, or misbehave in other ways like freezing or crashing. Keeping the system closed eliminates those problems and lets us maximize efficiencies.

One of the major problems we see with plug-ins is that they often use so much computing resources that you cannot run more than a couple of instances before your computer runs out of steam. So, you either have to up your buffer sizes or “freeze” tracks to disk to get your CPU resources back, negating any real-time plug-in use, like when tracking.

Just for starters in Record, we give you a complete software channel strip right in the mixer modeled on the SSL 9000K on every channel. It sounds great and it works! Say, later in your project with multiple tracks and devices you want to overdub a guitar with real-time amp modeling? A guitar player can’t have the recording response feel mushy because of latency. And, certainly having to rework the tracks to get a low enough latency kills any creative spark as you go into left brain “what-should-I-do-to-optimize-performance” mode. You want to enable the track, add the amp model and go, right? And that is how it works in Record. Low latency with no reworking settings and no resource management. Period.

What good is having a lot of plug-ins if you can’t really use them? We thought being able to use all your devices in real-time with super low latency was tantamount to a great musical recording environment.

Next post I’ll wrap up the discussion by going into some of the ways we enable collaboration and how we do talk to the outside world…

/Timothy Self

.plan comments

Comments (32)

Comment posted by: Koshdukai - 2009-07-01 13:23

(also continuing from my last comment to your last post)

Now this is, in my opinion, really the winner in this "pro vs againts" plug-ins argument.

Yes, this is what always convinced me that supporting plug-ins would get in the way of a good Reason (and now Record) user experience.

And this is also why I think that Propellerheads need to find a solution for the "still missing devices" or features people ask for.

For me, the best solution would be to provide something like I described here

Even Ableton Live has the "Max for Live" (I think I got the name right).

This allow to users and 3rd parties to develop still missing devices/features but within a controlled environment and with tightly written basic building blocks (mini-devices) that would let anyone expand what's possible now.

Sure, this could open a Pandora's box for the good and the bad. This would open the door to some CPU heavy devices to be made, either by poor construction or simply because or the number of blocks used, but that's already a problem with the Combinator or a rack... it's already possible to build a CPU killer with a song rack or a Combinator.

thank you for you time (if you got this far whithout falling asleep or rolling your eyes) ;)

(also, sorry for the typos...)

Comment posted by: zigzowxenz - 2009-07-01 13:33

I must admit that even though I have been a user of Reason since 2.5 I believe that I have only used about 25% of its potential. With V4 and record I look forward to some audio and to work with my Line 6 Pod Studio.
Many people never saw R4 as a complete DAW until now and now I see it perfect for almost any genre of music not just EDM.
I think now with Record I will be able to use all my refills in different ways and am preparing my Computer now to meet those demands of the modern day professional.

As long as the program is seriously CPU efficient I will be one happy camper.


Comment posted by: squint0r - 2009-07-01 16:21

And having too many plugins makes it easy to be unproductive and focus too much on sound quality rather as opposed to songwriting.

Comment posted by: helmutson - 2009-07-01 17:04

... I say it again and again , Record is THE ultimate tool for me - Record,Reason and Recycle - thats it ... no trouble , only makin' music ...

Comment posted by: coachxm - 2009-07-01 19:45

I will tone it down for a few. Here is my deal. REASON 3.0 and 4.0 actually worked wonders for me in rewire mode. I track from Reason to Protools easy. Rewiring Reason to ProTools was so easy it freaked me out. I was ready to go no problems.

I think for most of us in this blog it is all about balance. Reason is not the solution for everyone, just like Cubase,Cakewalk, Sonic Foundry, Protools and a whole host of other DAWs.

If Record is as stable as Reason 3.0 and 4.0 have been for me, I will purchase it without questions until I am proven wrong. 2 years without crazy issues is an excellent track record as far as I am concerned and I'm not even required to have the latest MAC PRO to run it.

The bottom line is this. I want more efficiency with less software problems cause I rather create music and not troubleshoot software issues.

Comment posted by: mattias800 - 2009-07-01 19:58

Record is hogging my music making by not having been released! *throws money at Props* Give it to me!

Comment posted by: TJBrodeur - 2009-07-01 20:54

I must admit. That is freakin' amazing.

Comment posted by: SocialSecurity - 2009-07-01 23:48

This can only mean that Props will be developing more closed Hi End plugins. As long as they do it's not a problem for me as using third party plug ins even in Cubase 4 causes a lot of random issues that I could do without.
We Reason users do need more plug ins, especially a decent delay unit;)

Comment posted by: Laraka - 2009-07-02 02:14

I wrote something about this 2 months ago :)

Comment posted by: speakeasymk - 2009-07-02 06:14

Stability is one of the greatest things I love about Reason... an Record doesn't need VST/AU/RTAS support... Record doesn't need to be like every other software on the market... if you want the work flow of another software go with that software


so maybe you should continue to work in cubase if it works that well for you... not everyone approaches music making the same way... maybe Record isn't the right software for you...

Comment posted by: ag858 - 2009-07-02 14:29

just out of interest, is your 2-year old macbook single-core?

Comment posted by: speakeasymk - 2009-07-02 19:46

"it still crashes when it has alot of refills and is mad slow loading them up once u get past the search window"

What computer do you use? are you sure you don't need to upgrade your hardware?

"u ppl like u dat put companies like this on the bankrupt wut u say.."

What do you know about any companies financial standings... are you an accountant for any of these companies that you speak of... I think your the one that needs to watch what you say... considering your making ignorant statements about such matters... and stop speaking on behalf of other people they don't need you as a spokesmen for them... whoever they are.. you talk way to much about things you don't know.. you don't even know me and your calling me a "hater"

"i combine reason and cubase.."

So keep combining Reason and Cubase.. no one is making you buy Record... like I said before if that work flow works for you then stick with it... you had said you were coming out WINNING

Comment posted by: speakeasymk - 2009-07-02 19:48

"it still crashes when it has alot of refills and is mad slow loading them up once u get past the search window"

What computer do you use? are you sure you don't need to upgrade your hardware?

"u ppl like u dat put companies like this on the bankrupt wut u say.."

What do you know about any companies financial standings... are you an accountant for any of these companies that you speak of... I think your the one that needs to watch what you say... considering your making ignorant statements about such matters... and stop speaking on behalf of other people they don't need you as a spokesmen for them... whoever they are.. you talk way to much about things you don't know.. you don't even know me and your calling me a "hater"

"i combine reason and cubase.."

So keep combining Reason and Cubase.. no one is making you buy Record... like I said before if that work flow works for you then stick with it... you had said you were coming out WINNING

Comment posted by: speakeasymk - 2009-07-02 23:43


Wow.. all that power and you still some how manage to crash Reason... your not making yourself sounds so good here... I can honestly say that I have never crashed Reason... and I don't have all that power you have.. I wouldn't call this my main rig I use Logic Studio with many Plugins myself amongst other outboard gear and instruments... I guess that goes to show that just because you have a lot of equipment doesn't mean you know how to use it... Im not exactly sure what you are doing to crash one of the most stable programs on the market but I guess its not impossible... but hey don't give up you'll get the hang of it some day...

and try and refrain from name calling... lets be a little more civilized and adult like

Comment posted by: zigzowxenz - 2009-07-03 03:14

WOW is right. I can't believe people getting worked up over a piece of software. Maybe we'll have a murder before release on Sept.9 Everyone involved on this forum whether beta tester or not please take a deep breathe and even a chill pill.

Not everyone will like the way R4 and record will work and if that is the case then dont buy it.
Props have made progress with this application regardless of what we wished for in feature requests.

At the end of the day whether we are musicians or engineers/ producers, do what this software is intended for and that is to make music and spread the word of love that goes with being alive on this troubled planet.
I for one will be upgrading and enjoy being on the beta test team.


Comment posted by: nickmorgan19457 - 2009-07-03 07:56

Is there any chance we could enforce a proper grammar rule on this site?

I've never understood the argument for VSTs in Reason. Why would a plugin run plugins? I don't recall anyone complaining that Kore doesn't support non-NI soft synths.

Comment posted by: speakeasymk - 2009-07-03 15:21

Immaturity at its finest... You've been doing this for 16 years.. for a second I thought you were 16... I guess when you've ran out of anything significant to say you resort to name calling...and ranting about things that don't pertain to the topic at hand...

"Shout out to propellerhead for dat new record and keep up the good work this stuff is the best..i'ma keep dat eye out for dat ne reason release.."

And yet you were just complaining about no VST support... and saying how the company was "TRYIN TO MAKE IT LIKE CHEAP REMIXING SOFWARE" your not making sense anymore... You complained about the "bugs" and complained about the company and now your saying "keep up the good work this stuff is the best.."

Comment posted by: hhsoullover - 2009-07-06 02:40

Although I've to admit, that most parts of this discussion have got nothing to do with the idea of commenting features and limits of an application, I find it entertaining and amusing, that some "ppl" seem to seriously live this "I'm a bad mothafucka"-attitude.

And by the way, if you don't like coke, than just don't buy it. It's easy as that.

Comment posted by: hal1200 - 2009-07-06 19:07

what kind of musician writes (more like flames) a development blog with capital letters. He seem angry because of no VST support. I don't think he's really angry because of that. Cubase isn't an open platform peice of software. AND BARELY ANY MUSIC SOFTWARE IS FREE!

reasons combinator is as geeky as I will ever get in my entire life ever. VSTs are wicked, I ain't into them and u know what... most of Props customers present or future are or will be.

I am a musician, I make my own music start to finish if I have to collaborate with someone Propellerheads software have empowered me to the point where I can make a track 80% finished and send it to someone. And the next blog is about there sharing platform. Now that IS open.

VSTs eat CPU... simple point there.

Man this world is mad. Sort your head out people who use other music platforms. If Reason is for losers why do your favourite artists use it?

There is nothing low level about Reason and there never was. Its always been up to date.

Comment posted by: brattner - 2009-07-10 04:08

OK, so no plugins in RECORD. There is plenty of juicy goodness in the latest release candidate to keep me happy for quite a while. BUT...

Is there anything in development for Record that mimics the functionality of Antares Auto-Tune Evo?

Comment posted by: per666 - 2009-07-10 12:36


I'm a mixer, I use Record. My studio computer is not an intel so I'm using my macbook 2Ghz "not" duo. Last mix was way over mono 100 channels. Check out the dumps. It goes to 60% cpu usage.

Comment posted by: zigzowxenz - 2009-07-10 13:38

Very impressive stats. I checked out the pix.
What are you recording for 100 plus tracks ( an orchestra )
Are you in the box or going through a desk.
I am salivating at the thought of using my Line 6 gear and the new Roland AX synth.
Bring it on ( Record )


Comment posted by: kozmokid - 2009-07-16 23:26

After a heated forum, I came to the conclusion that Record needs a "Open clip audio editor" function. A function that will allow audio files to be exported, edited to the users desire with 3rd party plug-ins from the users desired audio editor. Once saved with out changing the name of the file, the file is imported back in Record without changing the tempo due to sample rate or the position in the sequence.

For example, I record an audio file and I want to add some plug-in that's not in Record but I own and feel it will give that track that edge or whatever. I right click the audio file, select "Open Clip in Audio Editor" it opens up the file in my audio editor. Let's say its WaveLab Essential. I edit the file. Once I save it. The audio file in the sequence shines the same way it would if I imported a new instrument or effect in the rack. The file has now been edited.

Record, Reason, and Recycle basically have all the tools to take anyone's music to the master level. CONSIDER THIS PLEASE!

Comment posted by: taturana - 2009-07-22 06:50

no argument can convince me it's not desirable to have vst functionality. there's simply no way all my plugins can be replaced by propellerhead's own plugins. it seems i'll keep using my main audio sequencer for the serious stuff, while record feels a bit like a toy to me still. i would love to say i'll be replacing wahtever daw i use with record, but if no vst is present that simply won't be happenning.

rogue plugins... c'mon... get serious.

Comment posted by: taturana - 2009-07-22 07:07

just to add to my previous comment, i am a big fan of propellerhead's r&d team... since rebirth, reason is a well used tool here, but with the passing of time many other vst synths have come along and have become my first choice because of their sound. same thing with the fx plugins, i only you guys left the option of vst plugins usage open it would make the program that much more versatile, and cpu munching is really up to the user...

Comment posted by: mcatalao - 2009-07-24 15:31

Well... I'm still not fully convinced...

How about that thirt post?


Comment posted by: per666 - 2009-08-01 14:29

Well well.. There's a lot of plugs you're gonna miss. Not to mention the dusty old outboard.

But still, bear in mind. A lot of the pro mixers doesn't rely that much on gear. Top mixes are done on SSL alone , maybe with some 1176's.
To me it's all about creativity. I now and then tried to move into the box. But the square stiff environment of pro tools in particular kills that spirit as soon as I start.

Sure, Record is a toy. True. And that's exactly what I've been looking for since I started routing my vocals thru crappy guitarlines. Space Echos->Split Box->Analog Delay->Fender Twins->Ribbon Mics->Telefunken Pres.
It makes production/mixing fun. As it should be. In turn, it creates good mixes. The waves bundles don't., let's hope v2.0 is not too far away with the longed for bus structure.

Comment posted by: oxymoron - 2009-08-20 22:53

Props, you have my support! Keep it closed and optimized. It looks like Record+Reason will be a major compositional tool for my work. (Like any pro, I have more than one tool ... and more than one toolbox.)

I would rather use limited tools in innovative ways than innovative tools in limited ways. - oxy

Comment posted by: FIREPOWER - 2009-08-30 17:48

I really cant wait to buy record, I'm a life long Propellerhead supporter. I mean do I have other software that are also on the top of my list...sure. But I like how Propellerhead simplifies things. So i'll be first to add record to my lil studio on release date. Is it pro-tools no, but I know I will get good use out of it and I've been wanting something along the lines as record from Propeller for a while now. So Im happy this is finally here.

Comment posted by: astylesproductions - 2011-04-13 21:06

I have been using reason for 8 yrs. I love it. Friends call me the synth scientist. Ive made music for major artist solely using reason. I can achieve almost any noise I want. That is almost...... Reason and record is really cool but u forgot to bring us a new synthesizer. I shouldn't have to be using other plug in to achieve a skrillex or borgore type synth. That's bullshit u guys didn't give us an upgrade on the thor. U really just gave us some sample driven features with korg and octo (which i personally dont use either unless i wanna reverse and audio clip which u should have upgraded the redrum instead of a korg which i can only put 2 effects on my drum noises)I hope u smart up and do get us somthing versatile like native intruments does with software like massive. I mean is this considered a begginers program or the best. Just give us another synth for god sakes to get me and others to stop complaining about nit having outside vsts. Thanks ill be waiting. I really would like to join something with propellerhead where I can give my opinion since I am a everyday advid user that not a geek. Let me know.

Comment posted by: jazzstratman - 2012-05-31 00:53

I love reason. I have tons of respect for Propellerhead. I dont care to have it decided for me that my 5000 dollars in waves is nothing but a rogue plug in. I"m a big boy, I can control how much I'm taxing my CPU thank you. I will not be leaving cubase behind for the lack of vst/directx support. Its a shame becuase, I like many others would switch to using record in a heartbeat if you simply gave in and let us have and use our vst/directx Plug-ins. Thor needs an update. Redrum needs an update, and we need a new synth. I will allways use reason, I will never use record without my plugs. Just the way it is.

Comment posted by: jazzstratman - 2012-05-31 01:36

The thing that has people upset is, we want to switch to Record, we WANT to,and would, but won't if we cant use our well loved, long long time spent learning and thousands of dollars invested into our plug ins. I personally think its really sad that PH decided not to include plug in support, I could almost cry. PLEAAAASE? PRETTY PLEASE? we are begging you to hear our need to be able to use our plugs in Record. I have Waves Diamond pack, Proteus X2, Korg legacy collection and Ozone3, along with about 20+ other synths and more that I must have. If you give us what we want, we will ALL switch to record, untill then its Reason rewired into Cubase. Or better yet as I have it, Reason rewired into Cubase LE on my laptop then VST system linked to my rack mounted creation station and Cubase. Twice the system resources, runs smooth as a babies bottom. More complicated than it needs to be to set up though. On that note, when you give us VST/DirectX, give us something like VST system link so we can run reason on one box and record on another! Now were talkin! I would pay $600.00+ for record if it had those features! or more!

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