MIDI out - and Reason's design fits it so perfectly, which could mean it proves worth the wait.

MIDI out. News? No. Welcome in Reason’s unique Rack design? Yes.

Happy 2013, everyone! Here’s CDM with the latest news. It seems there’s a new synth called the Korg MS-20! Or you can have a monosynth with filter saturation – that arrangement of three oscillator knobs looks cool. All of these things use a ground-breaking format called MIDI that allows digital instruments to talk to one another. And you can even get software for your computer that now supports MIDI output. So, you can use your computer to talk to your synth – that is, if you aren’t busy taking advantage of the computer’s ability to slice up audio.

In case things aren’t retro enough for you, though, we have effects you can switch on to make things more retro. (Careful with those settings: it’s possible you may wind up making music on an Aeolian harp and wearing a toga.)

The surprise: we might get excited about all of this anyway.

Yes, in the latest unexpected product announcement (many of them here in the normally quiet month of March), Propellerhead is launching Reason 7. I found about it as our first readers did; I got no advance warning on this one. The banner features: MIDI output, some powerful external device features to support them, and yes, Propellerhead is at last taking advantage of the fact that they invented the REX slicing format that helped launch years of the slicing/looping/stretching craze.

Propellerhead also reaches some kind of marketing singularity with the following voiceover (I am not making this up):
“Soon, we’ll be unveiling the audio-matic retro transformer, an effect unit that adds instant vintage flavor to your tracks.”

Oh, and then they top it:
“Reason has a rack for that.”

Please, please don’t say that again. I’ll do anything you want. We can have Reason week here on CDM. I can come buy you bottles of Aquavit in Stockholm. Actually… wait, the latter sounds like a good idea.

Okay, in case you haven’t already given up on this site and gone to read what Propellerhead has to say, here’s a run-down on what’s coming in Reason 7. I expect we’ll get to know more when we see the Props next month in Frankfurt.

Put MIDI and audio slicing together, and those who love Reason for music making no longer have to make do with other tools.

Put MIDI and audio slicing together, and those who love Reason for music making no longer have to make do with other tools.

  • MIDI OUT SUPPORT. Good grief, finally. Reason’s MIDI devices and rack seem a natural complement to hardware. I genuinely can’t wait to use this.
  • External MIDI Instrument device. They had me at MIDI out, but cleverly you do get a dedicated Rack device. Combine this with Reason’s virtual control voltage routing and modular, and you can imagine some fairly elaborate external MIDI setups.
  • Integrated slicing. Bringing Reason boldly into — actually, the past decades Propellerhead helped create. See, Propellerhead helped launch computer looping with ReCycle and REX, tools for slicing and dicing and stretching loops. ACID, GarageBand, and even Ableton Live, among others, all owe a little bit to the workflows REX helped popularize. (Little wonder, then, that you can still load REX files into GarageBand and Logic.) We all imagined this would shortly be integrated in Reason. Years went by, and… well, you began to wonder if it’d ever happen. Now, in classic Propellerhead fashion, it has; they just wanted to wait until they were good and ready and, evidently, happy with their implementation. So now you can now slice up recordings into single notes and hits, quantize audio, and use Reason’s time stretch. This may be right now prompting groans from Propellerhead’s competitors, but again, those Racks have their own workflow – and Reason’s time stretching has sounded pretty terrific since the release of Record.
  • At last, REX creation is integrated into Reason, for use with Dr. Octo, samplers, and Kong. If you love these devices, it’s fantastic news.
  • Level and pan are in the mixing rack. (I’m going to stop saying “finally” at this point; just imagine it repeating.)
  • Bus channels.
  • Spectrum analysis window.
  • Audiomatic Retro Transformer.

And there are dubstep and “even metal” presets in the included sound banks.


Okay, full disclosure: I’m torn. I’m glad I don’t have to write marketing copy for this. I mean, any audiomatic retro transformer effect aside, this is a bit of an audiomatic retro upgrade. Audio slicing? MIDI out? Pan knobs?

But, here’s the paradox: Reason has something irrational about it that either drives people utterly batty or makes them fall in love and have fun making music in a way no other tool does. (I’m somewhere in between: I resort to Reason when I’m fed up of everything from Pd to Ableton. And I’ve never once not wound up immediately with a track using it. I look forward to Reason reviews as an excuse to use them.)

And, even things like an Audiomatic Retro Transformer can get interesting, just because Props have a track record of putting out devices that sound really, insanely good, partly thanks to talented Swedish audio scientists.

There’s one thing missing from today’s announcement, in which I feel I’ve done a poor job as a journalist. In the midst of a busy year, I simply lacked the resources to fully wrap my head around the Rack Extension ecosystem since it was introduced this time last year at Musikmesse. That did a disservice to a bunch of third-party developers creating tools for the platform – and do readers, some of whom were concerned about whether RE’s implementation was up to snuff from a system performance perspective. I’m very keen to know if Propellerhead has improved performance and resource utilization of those devices in this release, so in addition to testing this, I’ll be researching this. And I hope we’ll get some a better look this year, now that the platform is maturing.

In the meantime, here’s the teaser video.

  • gLOW-x

    You get what you pay for, CPU cycles wise.
    Old effects (you know, the red ones) are bad sounding because they use less CPU cycles.
    Props are using this argument as selling one (less resources) but strangely never speak about what method they used to reduce resources…ppl think it is magic, probably.
    RE use more CPU because they sound better. And getting realistic sound (zero latency filter, audio rate modulation to name a few) take a LOT of resources.

    You want less CPU usage ? Use Subtractor (and say hello to aliased filters,slow envelops…).
    Medium CPU usage ? Thor
    Big CPU usage ? RE synths
    Same applies with effects (red, mastering suite and last Line6 models).
    But at the end of the mix, you get what you paid for, CPU cycles wise.

    Listen to Monark,Synth Squad, Lush101 or Diva to Subtractor if you still don’t understand my point ๐Ÿ˜‰
    So no, you will never get a lot less RE resources. Because they would sound like old red effects.If they improved those old devices to sound as good as RE, they would take as much CPU cycles.

    • Sean Costello

      My understanding is that Reason Extensions can’t use any SSE or Altivec code, just straight C/C++. I haven’t signed any NDA, so I have no idea WHY this is the case. What I do know is that SSE/SSE2/Altivec are heavily used by plugin developers to increase CPU efficiency, as you can effectively process 4 instructions in 1 CPU cycle. The Reason Extensions that show a much higher CPU than the VST/AU/RTAS/AAX equivalents probably made heavy use of SIMD optimization in their non-RE forms.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Uh… that may be. But SSE or Altivec aren’t strictly necessary, though nice to have. What I feel we need to research has more to do with how resources are balanced across instantiations and multiple cores. These tend to be non-trivial problems…

    • eXode

      Synapse Antidote is a RE exclusive synth that utilizes high end oscillator algorithms and ZDF filter designs as well as high end effects and some people view it as CPU intensive, but the truth of the matter is that if you stack as many Thor’s and other built in FX from Reason in a Combinator to match the specs of Antidote (it can have up to 50 oscillators per voice, 800 oscillators when using max polyphony of 16 voices), CPU usage becomes quite similar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.husted James Husted

    I saw the video and the prominent EuroRack and Arp2600 in the background and thought that they finally made a Silent Way sort of Rack extension to drive analogue synths directly. I was disappointed that it only MIDI. MIDI out has been a feature I always wanted but teasing us with the analogue synths in the background was truly cruel…

    • Henry

      Well there are “analog synths” that do have MIDI. Also, there are plenty of MIDI-to-CV converters on the market, not least even some keyboard controllers (like the MAX49) or Arturia’s MiniBrute synth…

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.husted James Husted

      MIDI to CV is not the same as CV control of analogue like you can do with silent way. Drawing control voltage curves with little or no steps is what anyone with a modular wants. With MIDI you get notes or low resolution stepped voltages. I have 5 MIDI to CV converters in my rig already.

    • Henry

      You’re of course right, James – it’s not the same thing. Your comment just sounded rather “excluding”, so I felt like wanting to comment. I’m not using that kind of analog outboard, so I have no practical experiences with CV/Gate control issues…

    • A

      Hopefully this is yet to be anounced. If they release a new version of balance with CV in & out support, for me, balance would go from meh to must buy.

      This update makes Reason a fantastic sampler, that’d fit perfectly in a modular setup.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Ha, yes, I really don’t expect CV on Balance. The whole idea as I understood it was to reach out to a broader audience of musicians.

      That said, I like this basic idea, and given that REs have access to audio, this seems quite possible in software. Would be really cool.

  • KNS

    This site s very pro Ableton.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Yep, that’s why it was a smart move of mine kidnapping Propellerhead’s MIDI programmers in 2002. Damn… they finally escaped.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Seriously? I’m excited about getting to use Reason racks with MIDI gear, which is why I’ve been needling them about it so long. You get a very different workflow than Live (or anything else) provides. Now… as for saying that the ability to *send MIDI messages* is some kind of breakthrough, when this is something every 1980s sequencer did on DOS and Atari ST, well…

      I guess if pointing that out is pro-Ableton, sure, fine, you can call it that. But I’m eager to check out the new Reason MIDI devices and find out more about how they work.

    • KNS

      Yep seriously. I remember you asking if the world needed another echo when Props released The Echo. You write as if Ableton can do know wrong you just don’t seen very balanced when it comes to other DAWs period. I used to wonder if you have some sort of stake in Ableton. I guess its OK its your site after all. Also did anyone say sending midi out was some sort of breakthrough? I certainly didn’t get that from the video.

      All I see was a presentation to their user base who have been begging for these things audio recording was implemented in Reason. You wright good articles for other stuff etc. When it comes to other DAWs you might as well call this site http://www.createabletonlivemusic.com. In the end the whole tone of your article was unnecessary and unprofessional.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      For more evidence of my pro-MIDI bias, anyway – I was thrilled when Live added MIDI in Live 4, 2005 (overdue for that tool, which came out four years prior)


      …and will likewise I expect praise Reason 7. I’m researching the implementation now.

    • eshefer

      I agree.

      midi out isn’t a breakthrugh. however, the way it’s implemented in reason might be (I’ll have to mess around with it once I can to be sure).

      that’s really the main thing people (I.E the h8ers..) don’t get about reason.

      if you just look at specs and features it was never really competative as a DAW, but the workflow had and still has, IMHO, the best ratio between streamlined production workflow and deep-routing posibilities.

      I’m not sure how midi out will work in practice, but from what I see I’m relativly optimistic (I havn’t got the chance to play with it yet). but we will see, I guess. one of the interesting things that might be possible is reason-cv routing to midi CC messages which means that you could use, lets say, LFOs from devices in reason to drive parameters on a HW synth.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Yeah, the more I look at the one screenshot we’ve been given, the more I’m unclear on how it works – but I’m cautiously optimistic. Trying to get more details!

    • eXode

      From watching the video combined with my experience of Reason I’d guess that it works like this: It acts like an instrument rack device in Reason, meaning that you can sequence it from either the main sequencer or from CV/GATE devices in Reason such as the Matrix Pattern Sequencer, RPG8, and the 16-step sequencer in Thor. Judging by the screenshot and also the video, you can select one MIDI CC directly on the device that you can automate directly and/or control from CV on the back (i.e. use a LFO from Subtractor or Thor). If you want to control more CC parameters through CV, I’m guessing that you could just create another MIDI device speaking to the same channel, but set to a different CC. Finally, on the video it does look like that you can access several MIDI CC’s through the sequencers automation, thus enabling you to record more automation that way.

    • Vitor Jesus

      The LFO driving external parameteres example is obvious, but much more can be done. As the MIDI out RE has a CV to MIDI converter and so many modules have CV out, the possibilities are vast and prone to experimentation.
      I could take the CV out from an instrument and send it in CC to control some parameter in a hardware synth. Many users (me included) will open the beta and the first thing theyโ€™ll do is press tab (to show the back of the modules) and add every module to see which ones have CV out. I expect to see a lot of combinators in the Propellerheads forum showing new tricks.

    • Henry

      In fact, I have used Logic live on stage – mainly for backing tracks, playing some soft synths live and applying timed effects to vocals as part of a whole band with drums, bass, guitar and some singers. And I would not hesitate a split second to do the same with Reason. There are also quite a few tutorial videos on the Props’ Youtube channel showing how you can use Reason live and even get spontaneous with it and play it like an instrument.

      I’ve also seen a session once here in Copenhagen with A Guy Called Gerald, who elaborated in detail about how he uses Reason in the studio – and live. Very impressive and inspiring.

      I do see the specifically different approaches that Live and Reason have, and I’ve tried Live several times, just because I thought I’d have to make friends with it, because everybody else does. I never felt at home with it, and in the end I decided that it just didn’t “speak” to me. Reason does.

      Oh, and Propellerhead never called Reason a DAW, and neither did their users. Only media and non-users did and still do.

    • Jack

      As an Ableton and Reason user, I’ve never found a bias – they’re very different tools, and naturally Ableton gets more coverage because its more experimental and it’s performance oriented. The opening paragraph had me laughing my ass off! Love it

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Well, right, exactly — there are two very simple reasons for the tendency to talk more about Ableton Live:

      1. I am very much personally biased toward live performance and experimental interfaces, and Live (because of Session View and Max for Live in particular) has long been biased toward those workflows. Now, some people are using Reason live (the most impressive personally I’ve seen is A Guy Called Gerald, I hope to talk to him about that).

      2. I tend to respond to reader input, which overwhelmingly tends to be about users talking about Live, again owing to those live applications.

      I’ve actually had this conversation with Propellerhead. I’m always looking for better ways to cover things, and to cover a broader range of topics.

      I haven’t personally wound up using Reason outside studio/production applications. It could work well live, though, with a rig of samplers.

      Actually, come to think of it, a big part of the reason I haven’t used it live is because there hasn’t been a good way to slice audio. And MIDI out gets interesting for live performances with hardware. So these two changes could mean that we talk about this more.

    • Henry

      I’m not sure about actual statistics, but I believe there are more Live users out there than Reason users? That’d be the most immediate explanation about why Live is such a much “hotter” topic anyway.

    • mrbiggs

      Who cares if it’s Pro Ableton? If it was Pro Raisin Bran that might be weird. But Ableton = Digital Music. If Peter writes more about Ableton than about Reason, who cares that too? It can’t really be 50/50. If he wrote more about Reason would it make the site “Pro Reason?” Who cares?

    • http://www.facebook.com/Experimentaldog Chris SW Anderson

      Does this mean we can finally send MIDI program change messages to Reason’s devices. Its one thing to send them to outboard gear, but it would solve a bunch of headaches if they finally implemented this.

    • http://twitter.com/ClassickHitz ClassickHitz

      Very pro Ableton with this article being biased as hell IMO! What the article doesn’t clearly point out is the fact other DAWs will have serious competition from here on out Whether or not it took Reason years or months to get up to speed doesn’t really matter at this point. This article also failed to emphasize how Reason just became audio integrated (full DAW) less than 18 months ago. So for what it’s worth Propellerhead has met the standard in a shorter period of time in comparison to Pro Tools, Logic and yes even Ableton.

    • eXode

      I’m all for Reason but I think you’re reading too much into this article. I still get the impression that the author is curious (in a positive way) about what Reason 7 will offer.

    • KNS

      I didnt get curiosity I sense more of a mockery really. Like I said when Props release The Echo he was the first to ask why does the world need another echo. It was from there I noticed a pattern. If it was from the Live camp it would have been a different reaction. This is not about what gets more coverage. Its about the bias content in the articles here when it comes to anything but Live.

    • mrbiggs

      Oh christ. So go start a I <3 Reason blog. If he's biased and likes Ableton more, who cares? If he's critical of Reason, he's critical. I use both, and I like both. If I disagree with something Peter writes, I think I can still get some sleep. This isn't Apple/Microsoft c.1995.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      That’s not really accurate.

      ReCycle, with the sort of slicing features here, was released in 1994. It was the company’s first product.

      Reason was launched in 2000, with MIDI input support. That means there has been a span of 13 years, roughly, between MIDI input and MIDI output. It’s also taken 13 years for Propellerhead to allow you to use Reason without ReCycle for an integrated workflow.

      And Record was released in fall 2009, which is more than 18 months ago. (The only thing that wasn’t truly integrated, then, was the license – but if you bought Record and Reason, you had an integrated audio solution in September 2009, three and a half years ago.)

      Source: Propellerhead’s website.

      And I can’t even see the comparison with Logic and Pro Tools; we’re now talking products that predated Reason by some years. We might as well make a comparison with ADAT.

  • http://twitter.com/KeyOfGrey Sean Y.

    The easy grouping and bussing finally bring 7 up to speed with other DAWs in terms of mixing, and I’m looking forward to hearing the Audiomatic Retro Transformer. I like using Reason to get ideas started but I’ve had horrendous experiences with their unresponsive support team. In fact, that’s the “feature” I wish they had improved most.

    • Henry

      Well, looking at the responses to all kinds of random queries and comments, e.g. on the Props Facebook page, they seem to be quite close to their user community…

    • foljs

      I don’t even think they have a “support team” per se.

      As a European I find this “support” quite useless and mostly a US concept.

      What’s there to support anyway? That’s the software box, install it and use it. If it doesn’t work with some soundcard/PC/whatever box, they cannot hand hold people until it works.

      And what kind of support do you get out of other companies anyway? Some guy going through a script in a call center in New Delhi?

      Genuine bugs, they fix quite well by themselves.

  • Henry

    I switched to Reason just recently, with the 6.5 release, but I already feel like I have been a Reason user for decades – even though I still haven’t explored its full feature set yet. It just feels so inspiring every time I start Reason and go fiddling with something. And to me it just sounds instantly better (as in: more appealing, more punch on the beats, more cripsy and more “round”) than any song I ever did with Logic or Live. It gets so far that I can’t imagine ever going back to either of the big L DAWs…

    However, having read these news, I feel a bit odd: On one hand, it is really embarrassing to welcoming these news (MIDI out, bus channels, spectrum analyser, audio slicing!!) as if they were the latest, hottest thing ever. We’ve all used that in any other DAW already for ages. On the other hand, I feel so deeply committed to Reason that these news made my day just really big time.

    Well, all Reason users had these things on their top 5 wishlist for years – a quick look in the Props user forum reveals this in seconds – and all Logic, Live, Cubase and ProTools users will look oddly at “us” and ask what the heck we were thinking… I just feel that this is the step to where Reason users will finally be able to get rid of the ever-so-weird workflow of ReWire-ing Reason into another DAW, because they can finally do all the sweet (and yet essential) tasks within Reason itself. And *that* – to me – is the big news in this new release, really.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Yeah, exactly – see my comment below.

      I mean, I’ve been impatient about these features because they’re a big part of what I do musically, and a lot of the people I talk to.

      Precisely because they’re basic, this really can make the difference between using Reason and not using Reason.

    • Captain DiscJockey

      This is exactly what I wish Native Instruments would learn for maschine, they left out so many basics that all of the other great features it has only serve to frustrate.

  • julian

    Do you think they will add midi to the Balance interface?

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      That’s a reasonable question. But it’s probably not strictly necessary. Balance was for a different target market. And $/โ‚ฌ30 can buy you a USB MIDI interface.

    • Henry

      Also, pretty much every keyboard controller these days has a MIDI interface, too. I don’t believe it was a question of keeping the price low for Balance – it was probably rather a design or target group decision.

    • Julian

      In your opinion Is there an interface that has superior mic pres under $600 to the Balance? Does the Balance’s Reason integration make it better than a different interface?

  • http://www.facebook.com/vitor.mc.jesus Vitor Jesus

    Long time user. Long time bitching user! I was getting ready to leave reason just because of the lack of MIDI out. This update, for me and a lot of Reason users who also have hardware synths is massive. Can’t wait to try out the arpeggiator (no wonder) and play around with some CV madness (internal CV with conversion to MIDI). I expect to see some REs focusing just on this and on sampling (a new sampler is sure to come, this will make using VSTs much easier).

    It seems they (the Props – Propellerheads) listened to the top feature requests and secretly implemented them (groups, busses, recycle, spectrum analyzer).

    I was hoping that the RE technology would give more time to the Props to focus on what I think they do best, creating inspiring workflows. It seems that they are doing just this.I’m again looking forward to know what will they create next.

  • EnochLight

    It’s interesting – I can see how many users of other DAWs feel like Propellerhead are adding features that other DAWs have had for years like it’s a big deal. It reminds me of when Apple released the iPhone (original) and it couldn’t send/receive MMS, couldn’t record video, etc – there was just a myriad of features missing. Of course, slowly they were added – as the features were likely planned all along. Did people take a similar stance? Yeah, although I understand these are two entirely different markets.

    I don’t know whether these features were ever planned all along or not, but it seems like a logical step in order to keep Reason relative. That said, I trust the integration of these features in Reason work extremely well in the Reason environment. Haters gonna’ hate, but these new features are welcome additions and done the right way, IMHO. I can’t wait!

    • Henry

      Obviously, a matter of perspective. For Reason users, these new features are “new”. For others (and for Reason users, who also use other music making software), they are of course not. Makes one feel slightly shizo once in a while…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=765835808 Tony Scharf

    Ive kept my Reason licenses sporadically up to date…buying about every other version. Every once in a while, I have the urge to try and dig in and make something.

    I didn’t upgrade to record because I couldn’t see myself using it really. Live did that for me.

    MIDI output…now *THAT* has me excited about reason for the first time in years. Controlling my MIDI synths (Or even my modular!) using the Reason step sequencers and such sounds amazing. I can seriously see immediately how I will use this.

    So…they got me on this one. Ill shell out the upgrade price.

  • gLOW-x

    Some ppl probably look at those “new” features, presented as a revolution, like a joke.

    13 years to realize Reason needed MIDI out, a feature asked by Reason users since the beginning, like third party plugins (proprietary or not) and audio recording.
    May be recent Reason users are taking it easy like “nice and better”, but ppl like me take it as “too late…more than 10 years too late guys” (Reason 1 : 2000)

    It is not hate against the Props/Reason, but more a strange feeling they pretend to change the audio world (like with Record), whereas they just change their microcosm.
    It was strange at first…and really boring now.

    I still understand Reason users being happy, but i will not jump around because a DAW integrate MIDI out, slicing and an effect.

    So, as always, it is going to be a revolution only for Reason users.
    It is time for me to close the door, and let the happy few have party ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Henry

      I’m a pretty recent switcher (only started using Reason with 6.5), but the new features have been my top 5 moaning issues from day one. However, why does it matter whether these features feel like being sold as revolution or as just changing their microcosm? Why feel bored or even disappointed, because it was too late?

      Isn’t the question rather whether or not Reason (or any other software) suits your preferred workflow, inspires you and makes you want to write more music? Leaving Reason behind, just because of the above sounds weird to me, if you’d still be happy with whatever other existing features?

    • gLOW-x

      Wait 10 years to get obvious features (since V2 for me), spending your time using workarounds like Rewire and double projects in two DAWs. And dealing with limitations other DAWs don’t get.
      And you may understand me ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Those things totally killed my workflow and inspiration, even if Reason itself is very inspiring with a nice workflow…until you want to go out of the box (like with Apple non jailbreaked). I was just hypnotized by Reason, without looking at reality.

      I dropped Reason at the beginning of V5, just before RE, integrated audio recording and now MIDI out. But frankly, i’m not even thinking of going back. As a new user, you probably got Reason the right moment, when things changed (about time). I’m happy for you ๐Ÿ˜€
      But i will never touch Reason again. Too late.10 years late, in fact ๐Ÿ˜‰
      It is a little like when your ex-wife go with another man and this man don’t understand why you let her go away…let him 10 years too ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Henry

      I do understand your frustration, and I hope you are having better, more creative times with whatever you are using now. And I am obviously happy having joined the Reason train just recently.

    • eXode

      I understand that you may be disappointed, but it’s possible that Reason was never right for you in the first place. You talk about waiting for obvious features, but those features have not been obvious at all imho, if you know at least a little about props past philosophy. What I mean by that is that I think that many of these features (or features from Record and Reason 6) wouldn’t even have been expected 7-10 years ago. I don’t think anyone viewed Reason as something remotely DAW like until Reason 6 (or arguably Reason+Record). Before that, it was at best a “Virtual Electronic Music Studio” environment. :)

    • mrbiggs

      I’ve used Reason like I’ve used my synths and outboard stuff. It’s a fantastic way to sequence and make music, then I dump/record that music into my DAW. And this has worked perfectly for me. I’ve wished for MIDI out at times (a lot of times), but all the other stuff that it was “missing” like audio and whatever never bothered me since, you know, my synth and my drum machine don’t really have either (except of course MIDI out!). What makes it all the butt of jokes is Reason’s marketing, as if they invented it. When they added Record they wrote copy along the lines of “finally, you can record audio to your computer!” and everyone was all wuut? I mean, I know they have to market their wares, but come on and open your eyeballs a bit.
      I love Reason and I love what I can do with it and I am glad it doesn’t use VSTs (in fact I kind of stay away from Extensions too). What it does it does better than anything else I have.
      Yay Midi out. This is the first update I’ll gladly pay for in a long time.

    • foljs

      Well, the whole idea initially was that Reason is a CLOSED system, and that meant a better workflow for some (no VST headaches, more tightly coupled stuff, etc).

      So those features (MIDI out, Rack extensions) didn’t exist not because the Propellerheads couldn’t write them, but because they didn’t fit the original concept.

      It wasn’t a “lack” of MIDI out: it was an intended minimalism, so to speak.

      Now, with the passing of time, the Propellerheads add stuff, but trying to keep the core concept (a DAW with Racks of physical looking stuff and wires and minimal external dependencies).

      The turning point was adding audio recording. After that there was no turning back to a closed, minimal ecosystem. So they try to add the missing pieces, while still keeping it as coherent and close-knit as before.

      If someone doesn’t see any advantage to the “rack/physical lookalike hw” concept, which nobody is forced to like, they can look elsewhere. Just keep in mind that in was never meant to compete with the likes of Logic or Pro Tools. More with stuff like Fruity Loops etc.

      I, for one, find it quite liberating. And I also have been using Cubase in PC and then Logic in the Mac for more than a decade. Heck, Cubase didn’t even have VST plugins when I started. (Oh, and I used a DOS based sequencer with MIDI gear 20 years ago).

  • Eric

    Push aside, couldn’t much of the same be said of Live 9? Audio to MIDI isn’t groundbreaking, and everything else would mostly provoke a headscratch from anyone not immersed in the state of the DAW art. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m having fun with Live 9!)

    I think this looks like a phenomenal update in terms of reducing clicks and keystrokes. Almost nothing here is impossible in Reason 6.5 (Slicing audio and importing into KONG isn’t that hard, bussing is semi-redundant with Reason’s free-wheeling routing, etc), but this is about making them easier. Putting mix controls in the Rack will be a big workflow upgrade – a two-pane view with the Rack and Sequencer will be all you need %90 of the time (with 6.5 you do need to juggle the Mixer, Sequencer and Rack). And the spectrum analysis window (presumably can be enabled with an F-key) looks like a great idea – I like that Props handles what others DAWS put into plugins (the Tuner and ReGroove come to mind) as core DAW features.

  • Captain DiscJockey

    Can someone explain exactly what the new audio slicing means, no one has said how its implemented, only that it is implemented?

    • http://www.facebook.com/anosou Mattias Hรคggstrรถm Gerdt

      There will be more info on that leading up to the release. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/vitor.mc.jesus Vitor Jesus

      Heads up people. Mattias is a Propellerhead product specialist:)

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      So far, you’ll find a lot of it works the way ReCycle did – down to the marker points for slicing – and then allows you to take those slices and add them to the Dr. REX player (for looped playback), Kong (as drum hits), etc. But yes, in addition to what the Props are planning to unveil, you can count on more on CDM, too!

    • http://twitter.com/DIYMBIZ Greg Savage

      of recycle intergrated within Reason. You will no longer have to go
      outside of Reason for cutting/slicing/rexing. This can all be done
      within Reason

  • Robin Renwick

    Hang on, did i hear right? Is there CV out from Reason 7 as well? If so, that may well be the game changer. Reason + Modular Synth Madness anyone?

    • mellonhead

      it seems what they are calling CV out would be more accurately described as MIDI note, gate and CC out. like it takes the virtual CV used in reason and converts it into outgoing midi info.

    • Robin Renwick

      well, if that is the case, that is slightly sad. If they had implemented some form of non-stepped CV out (much like Expert Sleepers have) – then Reason could well turned things slightly on its head.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Sorry, I helped muddle matters here. Propellerhead has always called the routing of control signal inside the software CV. (And that’s fair – though it isn’t really voltage. VCV – virtual control voltage? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

      So, the only output is currently MIDI. But you can do a lot with MIDI, of course. And I imagine as discussed elsewhere it wouldn’t be impossible for someone to devise a clever Rack Extension that sent audio signal to CV devices. Let’s see if someone takes up that challenge. ๐Ÿ˜‰ That’s a third party job, though, not really something that makes sense for Reason’s core audience.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.husted James Husted

      I have suggested this to Oz, the man behind Expert Sleepers Silent Way. He has said that he has considered it a lot and thought it was a good idea. I have seen the videos of Pef using a trick with Thor to route the VCV out to external devices bit of course you don’t have the nice auto-scaling that Silent Way makes happen. I would love to see a Re that just had jacks to plug the VCV into and selections for what channel in your audio interface to use as outputs. It would open Reason to a lot of waiting modular users for sure.

    • Robin Renwick

      yes, i imagine that if Expert Sleepers get involved in this capacity,through a ‘VCV to CV RE’ (phew) it may have the potential to elevate Reason to another level.

    • Aethynvan

      Peff and CV gate with reason on youtube:

  • cCoop

    “And Iโ€™ve never once not wound up immediately with a track using it” – This kinda captures it or me, I’ve used all the DAW’s and like the way Ableton does “somethings”, but I find it hard to make a track that I keep in it. The Props are playing catchup but I’m glad they are playing, I just like the way they do things when they finally do it.

  • Felfecir

    My guess is that Propellerheads didn’t add midi out because Reason didn’t support plugins and they didn’t want people to be using plugins with Reason using some non-rewire DAW via some midi-audio hack.

    Now that they made the Rack Extensions format to their satisfaction, it’s only natural that they would implement midi-out. My feeling is that while they take their time with some features, they generally put out a very polished product that’s great to work with.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Mmm? I doubt that. The main purpose is talking to external hardware instruments. That’s clearly how it’s designed here. And yes, I do have high expectations of the implementation – which can make things worth the wait.

    • Felfecir

      Yes I agree, let me rephrase. Now that REs are here, there’s no catch to implementing midi-out. But the point of midi-out is to connect to external hardware like you said.

  • Captain DiscJockey

    What’s the eta of reason 7 ?

    • eXode

      Q2 of 2013, I’m guessing closer to June. :)

  • http://twitter.com/DIYMBIZ Greg Savage

    It’s about time, we’ve only been asking for some of these upgrades since the beginning :)

  • dave birney

    does anybody know if reasons midi out sends out the combinator name as well? there is a foot controller im looking at for my guitar, the Line 6 FBV, it has midi in and also has a screen that displays text, so it would be great if the name of the combinator in focus would be sent to the display.

    is this possible or not? not having to look at the computer screen when playing live would be great

  • Sam

    Propellerhead drop the ball on midi as far as i am concerned. If you have created songs in with hardware and want to record out to reason. reason Propellerhead did not add that feature to reason. They should have. Its needed even with loopbe and midi ox it still only 4midi inputs at once thats rather short sighted for a program that has unlimited midi outs