”VST support in Reason? When hell freezes over.” That seems to have been the common way to express it. Now that you’ve all recovered from the shock I thought I’d give you some background to this decision of ours, and how we’re thinking about it going forward. But first I need to thank you all for the ridiculous amounts of positive feedback that we’ve received on the announcement of 9.5. I’ve been reading the comments in all the social media channels to get a feeling for how the news landed, and I must say that I blushed. We are seriously humbled and extremely grateful for your amazing support!
The reason is actually pretty simple: Because your music now requires it.
I won’t talk about how VSTs in Reason actually work, other people are better at communicating that. I just want to say something about why we did it and what it means going forward. The reason is actually pretty simple: Because your music now requires it. Musicians get inspired by a lot of things, but the instruments and effects themselves are certainly a big part, if not the biggest. There’s been an enormous explosion of cool plugins over the last few years. As a musician it’s wonderful to see so many developers unleashing their creativity in designs of all shapes and forms. And we just didn’t want Reason musicians to miss out on that. It was that simple.
As you may know, we’ve had some reservations on the plugin formats out there, VST included. The technical designs leave the host vulnerable to problems that might affect your song document. The lack of integration standards make basic tasks like finding sounds, automation, setting up remote control etc, harder than it should be. And that takes focus off what is always closest to our heart – your music making. And there are market problems too, finding the perfect EQ for your specific situation takes hours of unnecessary account registration and downloads. And purchasing a plug often means putting in your credit card on one web site and getting the actual product from another.
So, all of the above is what lead us to creating the Rack Extension format. It really does solve all of the above by cutting one giant Gordian knot.
Having said that, the VST world has really evolved too, in a very positive way. Technical quality is much better than it used to be. So is platform compatibility. The VST 2.4 standard has really gelled. And there are now integration conventions that allowed us to do what we think is the coolest VST implementation in any DAW, from a musical perspective, maximizing Reason resources such as cv and gate, the Combinator, players, browsing, etc.
But in the words of Agent Smith, “Why choose”? We now have three classes of devices in Reason, each one with its own merit, and that’s a good thing. There are the devices that come with the program when you buy it. There are the Rack Extensions that you can add after the fact. And now there’s a third category, VSTs. And make no mistake, we are committed to all three “formats” and will keep working on them all. For each one we will keep finding the optimal path forward, the path that supports you as a musician in the best way we can think of.
We are committed to the RE format and will keep working on it from all perspectives
I would also like to take this opportunity to say a word about the Rack Extension format, a word that is maybe more directed to our beloved developers, you who have supplied the Reason community with over three hundred amazing products so far. We have not stopped. As you know, we just did a serious update of the SDK this year, allowing you to create even cooler products. Next up is a serious update to the technology for building sampled based Rack Extensions. I think that shows that we are committed to the RE format and will keep working on it from all perspectives, both where it can go technically and how we can make your products available to Reason musicians all over the world. And if you’re thinking musicians are less interested in RE products, now that we have announced Reason 9.5, I can tell you that I have the data, and nothing could be further from the truth. If you want to check out what other developers have been doing really recently, look at Resonans, Arkana and the new version of ABL3 (specifically how it uses cv out). And yes, we’re all looking forward to ReSpire.
Last, I’ll take this chance to plug our yearly May Madness sales. Never before has there been so many cool Reason devices to choose from, at such amazing prices. Since we made Reason 9.5 a free update, you might just have some cash to spare. Don’t miss out.
Happy music making, and please keep the feedback coming, we couldn’t do our job without it.
We're happy to announce that Reason 9.2 and a new version of the Rack Extension toolkit is now available!
When we created Rack Extensions we wanted to build a plug-in format that truly felt like Reason, with all the great workflow you guys expect. CV and audio connections, full automation, undo, integration with the Reason browser and much more.
Now, we've taken the next step! With Reason 9.2 and the new Rack Extension toolkit, developers can create devices with Reason's unique sampling feature and create much better, more user friendly interfaces with hideable widgets and panels, improved displays and more. We believe this will lead to even more exciting instruments, effects and utilities to help Reason users everywhere make more and better music. To show you just how great the new features are, Blamsoft and LoveOne have created two amazing synths.
Blamsoft's best-selling synth Expanse has been updated to version 2. The most exciting feature is that you can now load your own samples to create custom wavetables! It's also fully compatible with the Serum wavetable format, bringing an unfathomable number of new synth sounds to the Reason rack. I've personally had a lot of fun using Reason's sample feature to sample my guitar to create my own wavetables. Try it out and check the video below to see it in action.
Proton, developed by LoveOne in collaboration with Selig Audio, is a brand new synth and the first granular synth Rack Extension, which is exciting in itself. Based on the Neutron plug-in, Proton can load up any sample and synthesize new sound by throwing "particles" on the waveform to play parts of it. It sounds a bit like science fiction, but it's extremely fun and easy to use. Endless experimentation and interesting soundscapes awaits by simply dropping a sample on Proton and tweaking some parameters.
To update to Reason 9.2, simply launch Reason 9 or 9.1 and download your free update. And if you're on an earlier version or don't own Reason yet, there's never been a better time to get started. I'm really looking forward to see what new, exciting Rack Extensions that will be released. The only thing I know for sure is that there are now even more ways to get creative in the Reason rack.
We're very proud to announce that Reason 9.1 is now available, featuring support for Ableton Link!
Like many of us here in the office I'm in a handful of bands, so when Ableton approached us with integrating Link in Reason I was both professionally and personally intrigued. Making music together is something entirely different from creating by yourself. It's not better or worse, but it's different and incredibly rewarding. Sharing your ideas and inspiring each other will lead you to musical results that never would've happened otherwise. With Link in Reason, it's easier than ever to make music together—regardless of your software of choice.
To update to Reason 9.1, simply launch Reason 9 and download your free update. And if you're on an earlier version or don't own Reason yet, there's never been a better time to get started. It's been really fun working on Reason 9.1 and I'm sure you'll have even more fun making music with it.
The latest additions to the A-List series are two new Drummers – Classic and Power.
Classic Drummer is meticulously recorded by Ryan Gruss from Loop Loft using “vintage tea-towels” dampening the drums, very much inspired by production techniques of the 60s. If you want dry, clean drums to shape into your own sound this is the stuff you must have. And considering the amount of effects that comes with Reason there is an endless supply of new sounds, never before heard by mankind. Or keep it dry and fresh in a nostalgic way.
Power Drummer on the other hand is recorded by the punkfather of drums, Ryan Greene. An old metalhead like myself gets goosebumps on my goosebumps when I listen to this at the “proper” volume. Raw energy fed straight to the soul without even touching a granola bar. You might even get a friendly visit from your neighbor after he has attempted to play along on your common wall. The room in this recording is the best we’ve ever heard! And let me tell you that I’m not even that kind of a nerd that sits and listen to rooms all day. Well, actually I do. I sit in an office room all day and listen to the soft, lackadaisical keyboard noises from our developers as they work their magic. But, nothing compares to the ROOM in the Power Drummer. It has that “je ne sais quoi” (or as the French call it “that certain something”) that can put the loudest 3-month baby in a meditative trance.
Question time: What could possibly be the drawback from using these skin-clad cans of doom?
I prefer the sound of one kit, but prefer the playing style of another A-List Drummer.
My music demands several drummers playing in unison.
Correct answer: A – None, none more black.
All of these objections above can be solved by flipping the rack. Lo and behold - an ingenious feature of CV ins and outs, meaning that we can link different drummers. If you like me have decided to use all three drummers but want them to play the same rhythm, what do you do? You either decide to spend some quality time at the backside of the rack. Or you simply download the freshly prepared Combinators that have done this work for you already. Or if you desperately need the Plush Pilots playing style on the Dry kit from Classic Drummer. Just use the Combinators, mix or mute the drums as you like and Bob’s your uncle.
The extra Combinators that works for all three drummers can be downloaded here.
If you don’t own these products yet, try them out for free over here.
We're incredibly proud to announce Reason 9 and I'm personally super excited to finally share this version with you!
Reason 9 is filled with new devices, features and sounds that makes the journey from musical inspiration to perfection even better. I've actually been making music with Reason 9 during most of its development cycle and as a music maker, it's been extremely inspiring to work with. The first time I tried using Scales & Chords together with a Dual Arpeggio and one of the new patches, it resulted in something I would've never thought of writing—and eventually a whole new song! And as one of the top 3 worst singers in the world, Pitch Edit quickly proved indispensable.
I could go on and on about this version and how much I like it, but it's one of those things you have to see and hear for yourself. Make sure you try the new version and stay tuned on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as we show you more of Reason 9 in action.