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In-depth Feature:  Propellerheads Reason 2.5
Bruno writes: .

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Mixer 14:2
System Requirements
Intel Pentium 2 or better + 233 MHz or faster + 64 Megabytes of RAM + CD-ROM drive, Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP (or later) + 256 color monitor (or better), 800x600 or larger + A 16 bit Windows compatible audio card, preferably with an ASIO or DirectX driver + Microsoft DirectX (if supported by the card) + A MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard (or similar).

Mac OS
For Mac OS X: Any computer that runs Mac OS X version 10.1 or later. For Mac OS 9: A Power Macintosh with 604, 604e, G3 or G4 processor or better + 166 MHz or faster + 128 Megabytes of RAM + Mac OS 9.0 or later. CD-ROM drive + 256 color monitor (or better), 800x600 or larger + A MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard (or similar).

The final changes in Reason are on the mixer, a pre/post switch has been added to aux send 4, and all sends are now stereo to make use of the new effects. Lastly, the mixer EQ has been tweaked, the basic LF and HF shelving has been enhanced, although a switch is available on the back to swap between compatible (old style) and improved.

There are a couple of other things worth mentioning, for those of you running Reason on either Mac OS X or Windows XP, a new utility called Reload is available free to all registered Reason owners. This converts AKAI format sample Cds into Refills. You will need to have Refill Packer version 2.4 or above installed, but this is also a free download. This is another great utility, and although reasonably slow, it took around 45 minutes to rip a CD that EXS sample convert managed in 12 minutes, is a useful tool that shows Propellerheads attention to the needs of its users.

Those of you that have been using Reason along side programs such as Cubase or Logic will be well aware of Propellerheads Rewire technology; this links audio sequencer controls together, including tempo, transport and upto 64 tracks of audio.

Up until now we Protools users have had to make do with a 3rd party program called Refuse, which integrates the Rewire protocol with Digidesigns own Direct Connect. All this has now changed, Digidesign have finally seen that Reason is here to stay and so have included Rewire support in Protools version 6.1, although I have only used this on Protools LE with an Mbox it is fantastic for mixing with Protools plug-ins or simply tracking your entire mix for further overdubbing.

Another mention should also go to Ableton for their Rewire setup, this is one of the most instant ways of producing and arranging loop based music, and the addition of audio input for vocals or other track laying is exceptional.

Demo Sounds
Reggae-ish sound with lots of echo
Another reggae-ish sound, this time with tons of spring reverb
Vocoder sound with automated decay-length
The same sound ran through 4, 8, 16, 32 and 512 bands.
Vocoder sound with automated Shift
Subtractor sound demonstrating Unisons abilities.
Room, Hall, Arena and Plate settings on the RV7000 applied to drums.
Room, Hall, Arena and Plate settings on the RV7000 applied to strings.
Scream 4 with "autowah"-effect on Body. Goes through 5 different algorithms.
Scream 4 with automated P1 and P2. Drums. Goes through 10 different algorithms.

The new release of Reason goes a long way to creating a package that you really can compose and mix in, the new effects should be taken seriously, and the extra routing possibilities are a great addition. Sure, there is always room for more, but it is only version 2.5 and Logic and Protools are both up to version 6!

There are only two drawbacks for me, the first is the obvious lack of an audio track, although you can connect to another sequencer, it would be great to just jam out ideas without having to use up a lot of processing power starting another application. The other, and I can’t see why this isn’t available, is the lack of midi out. Sure it’s an all in one package, but most of us have some midi gear lying around, and Reason is such a breeze to program in, it seems senseless not to be able to plug in!

So, is it the ultimate software studio? Well, not just yet, but I feel that it fully intends to be. See you for round 3.0!

Reason 2.5 ships on a 3 CD-rom set with Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows versions plus more than a gigabyte of samples. The same CDs work on both platforms

Reason 2.5 $449 US/Euro £299 UK
Upgrade from 1.0 $99 US/Euro £59 UK

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Reason 2.5 pages at Propellerheads
  • Buy Reason from @ discount
  • Read Bruno’s Reason 2.0 Review

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