ReWire Tutorial Article Sonar - 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. From the Sonar Insert menu, select ReWire Devices -> Reason. A pop-up window will appear. Click OK to create a ReWire folder track, with an audio track and a MIDI track.

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 Sonar – 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 Sonar.

Sonar 1

2. The ReWire Audio Track will by default be set to Reason Mix L / Mix R, which corresponds to the main stereo out in Reason. We'll leave it at that for now.

3. 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 Sonar’s 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 allows you to have Reason play a background track while you record vocals or other audio tracks in Sonar, for example.

But ReWire isn't only about audio. We can also use Sonar’s 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 Sonar to Reason – proceed to the next step!

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Step 2: Routing MIDI