ReWire Tutorial Article ProTools - Step 1: A Basic ReWire Setup

Reason has 64 ReWire channels, selectable as either stereo or mono channels - this means you can use up to 64 separate audio channels from Reason. For now, let's activate the first channels. These correspond to the main stereo out in Reason.


1. In ProTools, create a stereo audio track.

2. Open the ProTools mixer, and click on an Insert slot in the Mixer to open the Inserts pop-up.

3. Select Reason from the multi-channel plug-in -> Instrument sub menu. A ReWire plug-in will be created, and if Reason isn't already open, it will be launched automatically. Reason will enter ReWire slave mode, as indicated on the Hardware Interface. This means that all audio now is handled by Pro Tools – the ReWire host.


The two programs play, stop, rewind and locate in perfect sync. You can use the transport panel in either program and both programs will respond. Reason will also respond to any tempo changes made in ProTools.

4. The ReWire plug-in will by default be set to Mix L – Mix R, which corresponds to the main stereo out in Reason. We'll leave it at that for now.

5. Try playing back some sound in Reason.

An easy way to do this at this point is to play a drum pattern from a Redrum device (the more advanced option, playing devices via MIDI, is described in Step 3). When the Redrum is playing you should see the level meters move for the ReWire channel in ProTools' mixer, and you should hear the sound from the outputs.

If this all works, you have successfully set up a basic ReWire connection! This setup for example allows you to have Reason play a background track while you record vocals or other audio tracks in ProTools.

But ReWire isn't only about audio. We can also use ProTools' MIDI capabilities to control Reason's devices, just like you would with a hardware synth. If you want to know how to transmit MIDI from ProTools to Reason – proceed to the next step!

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Step 2: Routing MIDI