Propellerhead Reason 6
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- Unlimited audio recording and instrument channels
- Fully featured high-precision multitrack sequencer with Blocks mode and audio comping tools
- High quality realtime time stretch & audio transpose
- Advanced exporting - export your separate mixer channels as individual audio stems, including effects and tempo track
- Free update to the all new Reason 6.5
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Reason - Complete music making and recording studioReason is an integrated software music recording and production studio with audio recording, million-dollar mixing and EQs, and all the instruments, sounds and effects you could ever dream of for writing, recording, remixing and producing great-sounding tracks.About ReasonAt the heart of Reason is the virtual rack that builds itself as you create your song. Create instruments and effects and route them any way you want to. Add, delete, replace and tweak. Your rack is what you want it to be. Need more gear? No problem. Choose a synth, a drum machine, a loop player or any device from the Create menu and it will instantly appear in your rack, logically patched into the signal chain. And because Reason is designed to go easy on your computer, you can repeat the process until you're more than happy.A single key press will turn the Reason rack around, and there you are, in patch cord heaven. Most audio connections are made automatically. When a new device is created, it appears immediately below the currently selected device, and Reason patches it into the system in the most logical way. Repatch by dragging the patch cord plug to the desired connector to build your own sounds - or tweak the included presets.Each virtual rack unit is edited from its own on-screen front panel. All the sliders, knobs, buttons and functions are right in front of you, ready to be tweaked, turned and twisted in absolute real-time. And all your front panel actions - filter adjustments, pitch bending, gain riding or panning - can be recorded and automated in the Reason sequencer.The fully equipped mixing desk adds a big studio signal chain to all your sound sources. The Reason mixing console's sound and signal processing was faithfully modeled after the legendary SSL 9000k analog mixing desk.
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You can find sites to swap loop files specific to the tools this has and I have had good success getting help from tech support as they did not see that I had registered as an owner after trying the trial. The trial download lets you work the whole thing but you cant open what you save..so you either leave your first project running on the computer or start from scratch.
There are several YouTube videos that got me going from company people that made it worthwhile. When you purchase from here..you get the usb key (dongle) that makes it fully functional and you can move the key from computer to computer or log on to the site at boot up from the window that will also enable the program.
You also get steady upgrades from this the smart company....so for the investment you have a very powerful recording program that is very easy...go to the their site and watch the testimonials on how it lets you stay focused on the music side of your brain and not the rocket science side.
Using Reason is a fun experience that doesn't take much learning to get started. Digging deeper isn't necessary to produce great music, but if you do dig deeper Reason is filled with tools that are simply mind-boggling. I'm not sure how many people realize how significant the recording capabilities of Reason are but the more I use it the more I feel like Reason truly is an entire studio in a box. The reality is almost deceptive; when you launch the program the UI is subtle. There is no neon sign that says "You just walked into a complete music studio.", nor is there much hand-holding. The Propellerhead culture, for the most part, expects you to be a genius with a degree in synthesizers. Don't worry! This is just a foolish marketing department, nothing more. It must be difficult for a seasoned producer who is used to using racks filled with hardware to fully trust that a software program is going to replace a room filled with gear. I almost didn't believe it myself, until now. For me, it took buying a new laptop. My 7 year old PC just couldn't run it very well.
The first hump for most people will be building their very first song in Reason, and using some of the tools for the first time. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get past this initial challenge. The power AND FUN of Reason might be elusive until you break yourself in a bit. One single good evening of practice should be all it takes to become a decent Reason operator, as Propellerhead worked hard to build a program that makes itself invisible to the creative process. Again, this fact is not obvious--one must dig a little bit.
All those crazy synthesizers, and Propellerhead's emphasis on dials might scare some folks. Please let me be the first to say: please don't let Propellerhead's crazy machines scare you! The program isn't all about synths, electronica, and crazy tweaking--it just looks that way. In this sense, Propellerhead shoots themselves in the foot. In my opinion they have not effectively communicated the simple power of their software to the masses. This is why I am writing this review. You don't have to use any crazy software instruments unless you want to! My suggestion is to hide everything you don't want to look at, and fully break apart the Reason interface into three windows over dual monitors. It's more fun with the whole mixer always showing, without the need to click for it. Right now I have a 22" monitor positioned directly above the laptop monitor, and adjusted the Windows display for that orientation. I've been keeping the sequencer window at the bottom with the mixer above, but this may change.
With Reason 6.5 you can just launch the software, plug-in a mic or a guitar, and just play. Building from scratch is nearly as easy as using Legos. I find myself dropping in proxy tracks to help me get stuff down, then muting them or replacing them with better sounds. While one's workflow can vary, it truly is like using a sketch pad. You can devise a production system that is tailored to your workflow. This is perhaps the most critical lesson! Save yourself a template! Launching Reason from a completely empty state requires a few more clicks than starting with a song that has some instruments already loaded. Propellerhead also offers pre-done templates that can be downloaded from their website. I feel this concept is somewhat buried and needs to be made more obvious to users. Propellerhead does not seem to realize that there is an entire population of potential Reason users who have no interest in their crazy software machines. Attracting this crowd is all about workflows, templates, and tutorials that show completely organic ways of producing a wide variety of musical styles. At this time it is up to the user to dig around Youtube and Propellerhead's website to make these discoveries. With any luck these concepts will be made more obvious in the future.
One issue I find myself running into is a factor I call "too much fun!". If you approach the workstation with a musical idea you might find yourself going off on a technical tangent. There are so many tools under the hood here that it is easy to get distracted. I'm sure each user will have a different level of concentration, but I am here to advise everyone to stay focused. It truly takes two brains running effectively side by side to stay focused on a musical idea and not let the user interface distract you. Fortunately I have found that Reason really does facilitate staying focused on that musical idea, and rewards you for doing so. So, minimize those instruments, close your eyes when needed, listen to that great music in your head, and get it down! (This is me talking to myself!)
Finally, to close this review, I have to say a few words about the Rack Extensions in Reason 6.5. At first I thought this was just a way for Propellerhead to nickle-and-dime people for additional tools. After trying out Radical Piano I am beside myself. Speechless! Neither I or Propellerhead can put into words what they've done here. This might be an over-statement, but they should be calling Radical Piano the greatest software piano ever built. I challenge any reader here to disagree, and look forward to hearing conflicting opinions about this, as I have a long-term goal to find the greatest software piano ever. If you previously thought Abbey Roads Keyboards was your life changing piano sound you are in for a treat! These Radical Pianos are some truly amazing dynamic, sensitive, touching instruments. For me it is an honor and a gift to own Reason 6.5. I am humbled by the power of this software, and left trembling with all this power at my fingertips, under the bright spotlight, on a giant dark stage, empty, quiet, except for a wooden chair, a laptop, a small desk, and a pair of studio monitors.
The real plus is Propellerhead's support. Constant update on tutorial videos, very responsive forums, and tons of easy ways to learn. They have a huge video archive (free) for everything you'd ever want to know about using Reason. They also randomly release ReFills (beats) for free, which saves you money.
Give it a try, they let you use a full featured demo for free.
In order to use their product, you must have an active internet connection, or have a USB key plugged into your computer. If you have an active internet connection, you are forced to log on each time you start the program. There is a third option, where you can use the software for recording, but you cannot open existing files.
I have no problem with registering software, or using a USB key to activate it (once), but requiring a login each time you start the program is intrusive and annoying. If you want to work with their product on a laptop, you had better make sure that you are near a wifi hotspot or you don't lose your USB key. Personally, I have enough crap to pack around that I don't need more to lose/break/get stolen, regardless of the size. Hardware dongles were an out of date annoyance ten years ago, but that hasn't stopped propeller head.
I would love to give this five stars, but I would have never purchased this program if I had known about this beforehand. This seems like a massive liability on an otherwise stellar product.