The latest update to Propellerhead Software’s jewel in the crown is on its way; take a look at the new features!
Over the years, Reason has grown into a beast of a music production workstation. The core capabilities have been expanded into a full DAW, the mixer is a massive, hugely powerful clone of a SSL desk, and Rack Extensions have allowed third parties to bring their instruments and effects to Reason. The introduction of Rack Extensions has freed Propellerhead’s time up; with new instruments and effects being taken care of by third parties, Propellerhead have been able to dig into the heart of Reason and fill in most of the remaining gaps in the fundamentals of Reason’s workflow.
- Inline audio slicing. Reason 7 will allow recorded/imported audio to be sliced in the main timeline, which opens up all manner of potential. Quantising audio material, bouncing to rex files, even tighter timestretching and more will be possible in Reason 7!
- Bounce to REX. Finally! Rex files are truly handy little things, containing as they do both slice and timing information of an audio file. However, until now you’ve needed Propellerhead’s ReCycle to create them yourself. Reason 7 will allow you to export directly to Rex from the timeline, which will be a real boon for those of us that like to sample and chop up sounds from (for instance) vinyl.
- MIDI out. Another one for the ‘finally!’ header. Anyone with a studio with external equipment will rejoice at the announcement that Reason 7 is to feature MIDI out, allowing sequencing of your hardware studio from within Reason.
- Mixer workflow improvements. Single click parallel processing channel creation, super simple bus channel creation, and level and pan controls cloned onto devices themselves will make Reason 7 even simpler to mix on.
- Spectrum Analyser. Sometimes your ears need a bit of a hand, and a built in spectrum analyser with an overlaid graphic EQ will allow you to tweak even more effectively in Reason 7 – and it being in its own window should reduce the amount of darting between mixer and device views, especially combined with the aforementioned level and pan controls on devices.
- Audiomatic Retro Transformer. Vintage modes are all the rage at the moment, and the single new device addition in Reason 7 is the Audiomatic Retro Transformer, a device that can be placed on any channel or group to knock some of the hi-fi out of your sounds. Details are sparse at the moment, but I’d guess at classic gear aping presets to give you that old school Emu, Akai, Roland, and probably analogue signal stuff too like tape.
- Expanded Sound Bank. Aside from a little housekeeping here and there and the addition of presets for new devices, the meat of Reason’s sound bank hasn’t changed a great deal in some years. Reason 7 will boost the library with new drum loops in “big room house, dubstep, and even metal” genres – this doesn’t sound like a gigantic overhaul, but it’s nice nonetheless.
- New Import Capabilities. No longer will you be limited to importing WAV and AIFF audio files, with MP3, AAC, and WMA support announced in Reason 7. Hopefully there’ll be even more – FLAC and ALAC would definitely be handy, and Propellerhead haven’t ruled anything out yet.
- Reason 7 will be a paid upgrade – €129/$129.
- Reason Essentials 2 will be a free upgrade and adds audio slicing, rex bouncing, level and pan on device, import format capability, and a bigger sound bank.
- No release date confirmed, except ‘second quarter 2013′.
- System requirements have been beefed up – now you’ll need at least 4GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.7 or higher or Windows 7 or higher.
I’m looking forward to testing Reason 7. The one reservation I have is that Propellerhead might be holding on to Rex a little too tight; whilst bouncing audio to rex is a massive step forward in workflow for producers that sample, once those slices have been committed to rex there’s no going back. I’d much rather see a system that allows users to edit slices in a sampler on the fly, but my worries might be unfounded… I’ll know when I start testing it. Oh, actually, there’s one more. NN-XT is a great sampler, but I’d like to see it improved a little. More powerful envelopes that allow greater control over timing, better control over start point and so on – things that would really help NN-XT to shake hands with sliced audio bouncing in a slightly more ‘free’ way than the walled garden of Rex.
Propellerhead is also open beta testing Reason 7 – you can sign up for the beta here.
Let us know what you think below!