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Propellerhead Software have announced Reason 4
which they say is â€œrebuilt from the ground up and equipped with a brand new sequencer, a revolutionary groove tool (ReGroove), a stunning arpeggiator (RPG-8) and a synth (Thor) to end all synths.â€�
In addition there have been plenty of updates to existing features; There are plenty of new patches in the Factory Sound Bank including signature patches from some of the world's leading synthesists and sound developers. The Combinator and NN-XT devices have both had minor revisions to make programming patches easier and more powerful and there is a new Tools Window - a floating window containing all your most frequently used tools. Using the Tools window, you can create new devices by choosing from a device palette, fine tune your sequencer data from the Tools pane, or set groove parameters using the groove pane.
There is no release date set yet. Propellerhead tell us that Reason 4 will be released when it is done. Reason 4 entered beta testing on 19 June 2007 and testing will continue until all bugs have been fixed. The company can't say for sure how long this will take, but in the past they have usually done this in 8 to 10 weeks. When the beta testing is over, it takes about 8 weeks for production and shipping before the new version becomes available.
The semi-open beta testing being used means that all Reason owners can apply to help with the beta testing. To learn more about the beta testing, go to www.propellerheads.se/betatest/
Hereâ€™s the lowdown on the new main features in Propellerhead's own words:
Thor sounds like no synthesizer you've ever heard before - and every single one of them. Where other synths use one specific form of synthesis and one single filter, the Thor polysonic synthesizer features six different oscillator types and four unique filters. What does this give you? Simply the most powerful synth ever created; an unstoppable monster of a sound generator that utilises synthesizer technology from the last 40 years.
Six open filter and oscillator slots let you load up three different synth filters and three separate oscillators simultaneously, allowing you to dial in synth sounds that are completely...new. An all-powerful modulation matrix gives you complete control over your signal flow, letting you modulate anything within Thor with anything within Thor. Sound deep enough for you? It gets deeper.
At the bottom of this synth sits an analog style step sequencer with more than one twist. Being every bit as modular as the rest of Thor's components, this step sequencer does more than just play melodies - use it as a modulation tool, trigger phrases from specific keys, create intense arpeggios, generate piercing percussion lines. With its unique selection of oscillator types and synth filters, the Thor polysonic synthesizer is a veritable synth museum. But believe it, there's nothing dusty about this instrument; Thor may have one foot in history, but its sound is pure future.
Reason 4 ships with RPG-8, a brand new unit dedicated to the art of arpeggiation. Some arpeggiators are quite content with simply transforming chords into wandering rhythmic melody lines. The RPG-8 monophonic arpeggiator is not. With a wide range of on-panel controls and mode selectors, a pattern section for muting selected notes in an arpeggio and a large display showing values and positions, this device gives you full creative control over your arpeggios.
Although very hands-on and user friendly, the RPG-8 boasts some very advanced features under the surface. Features that will change how you play Reason's instruments. The 'Single Note Repeat' function engages the arpeggiator only when two or more simultaneous notes are held down - letting you add sudden bursts of arpeggio to your melody lines. The 'Manual' mode will arpeggiate notes strictly in the order they were input, for realtime arpeggio control. The RPG-8 monophonic arpeggiator is a creative workhorse that can - and should - be used with all of Reason's sound sources; try arpeggiating your breakbeats, your orchestra samples, or your ReCycled vocals. Only in Reason 4.
Want your music to sound less rigid, less programmed? Need your drums to move and groove as if played live by actual musicians? If you want your tracks to flow with that loose, yet tight feel, a regular shuffle control just doesn't cut it. That's why we created the ReGroove mixer, Reason's own realtime groove management device.
The ReGroove mixer in Reason 4 gives you more than just a set of sequencer swing parameters - this is a unique device dedicated to one thing: the groove.
The ReGroove Mixer applies its timing magic non-destructively and in realtime, giving you freedom to adjust its settings - and fine-tune your groove - as your music is playing.
You can lock all your tracks together into one unified feel. Or you can apply different settings to up to 32 musical elements in your song, for ultimate control. Each of the groove channels feature controls for groove amount, slide and shuffle plus more detailed settings. The Reason soundbank comes with a great selection of groove patches, many of them created from analyzed recordings of real musicians as well as classic groovy tracks.
With a whole new look, a ton of fresh features and a completely new way of handling sequencer data, the Reason sequencer has matured. Dedicated to turning your ideas into great music, the new sequencer is swifter, stronger and more intuitive than ever. The key word here is workflow. A sequencer device or instrument now gets its own dedicated track, with separate lanes for note, performance and automation data, opting for a better overview and less clutter. All sequencer data - notes, automation, the works - is now housed in clips, musical building blocks that can be opened, sliced or moved. When a clip is moved to a new location, all its internal data follows right along with it, always ending up exactly where you intended it to. For safe, speedy sequencing.
The new features and functions added to the Reason 4 sequencer all strive toward making your Reason experience smoother and snappier. Like the new Tool window, an ever present floating window that provides lightning fast access to those detailed editing functions you use all the time; quantize, transpose, note velocity, note length and legato. Always in sync with your flow, forever adapting to you and your working methods, Reason's new sequencer simply gets you there faster.
Pricing and Availability:
The price for the full version of Reason remains the same at EUR449 / USD 499. There is also a discounted upgrade available for owners of previous versions of Reason. The upgrade is EUR99 / USD129.
If you own a previous version of Reason, you will be able to upgrade at a discounted upgrade price. Upgrade versions will be for sale at your local retailer and in the prop shop.
If you have purchased Reason new after June 1st 2007, hold on to your receipt and contact Propellerhead Software when Reason 4 is out and they will supply you with a free upgrade. Detailed info about this process will be published when the upgrade is available.