Leave it to Propellerhead Software to come up with a big announcement when no one was really expecting it. It is coming; beta tests are going to start soon: Reason 7 has officially been announced.
As always announcements such as these also mean another uprise of people who feel that they’ve somehow been treated unfairly. Because well; if you’re somehow interested in Reason you can purchase the current version (6.5) now, after which you’re entitled to a free upgrade to the upcoming version 7.
Personally I can understand such motivations, but don’t really agree.
For example; Reason upgrades (so between major versions) have always sat around E 150,-. With the previous upgrade (5 to 6) Propellerhead went “rogue” and combined Reason and Record into one heck of a program. Yet that also meant that the upgrade fee’s were slightly higher than before.
So this time existing users of Reason have to pay less for an upgrade. The upgrade fee for Reason 7 has been set to $ 129,- and E 129,-. I think that’s fair. So, what can we expect from Reason 7?
As funny as this outtake might be, I think it’s honestly not that far from the truth. Reason has grown considerably ever since version 4 came out. So what could they possibly be adding next, and for a much lower upgrade fee at that ?
Exactly what the community wanted for a long time..
There are several features which the Reason community have been requesting for years, sometimes almost even begging for them. Well, worry no more since the Props have listened and abided by our wishes:
- MIDI Out. A new rack device has been added to allow you to control other devices through MIDI. This device should even be capable of using Reason’s own CV (Control Voltage) signals.
- Audio recording quantization.
- Slice to REX loops. If you’ve been using REX loops you may be thrilled to know that we can soon make those for ourselves. And without the need for ReCycle.
- Adding audio controls (like volume and pan) to the rack channel devices (only the Master device has been shown, but perhaps this will also include the Audio track & Mix channel devices).
- Bus (‘group’) channels added in the Mixer section.
- A spectrum analyzer window has been added.
- The mysterious Audiomatic Retro Transformer device has been announced. A new sound effect for the rack.
- Also the sound banks will be extended with more drumloops.
- And finally Reason will support more sound formats. Adding (importing) mp3, wma and aac files should become a lot easier.
Now, I can imagine that from an outside perspective these updates seem to be somewhat minor, especially in comparison to other DAWs such as Ableton Live. After all; MIDI out has been supported for years by Live, and the same can be said about aspects like track grouping, creating loops and MP3 support.
But that is in my opinion the beauty of Reason; the Props are quite peculiar and specific when it comes to (not) adding features to Reason. And in all honesty its that aspect (in my opinion of course) which has made Reason the speciality it still is today.
A Live user with a Reason (7)
Sorry, I can’t help using this phrase from time to time because not only do I think it sounds funny, but also manages to touch the whole essence a bit. Although I really believe that Reason 6.5 can easily rival Live 9, it can do even better in enhancing its workflow.
And for me the upcoming Reason 7 only builds heavily on top of that.
Ok; how’s this for an example… You have this cool music take which you want to use in a (re)mix of some sort. But you just can’t manage to find the right keys and melody.
For starters you got Live 9’s MIDI conversion tools. As of Live 9 you can easily get it to extract Melody, Harmony or Percussion (‘Drums’) from any take you want.
It doesn’t always manage to give you an exact copy, but it will by far provide a quicker start then trying to get all the keys and chords on your own.
Extract in Live, process in Reason
So now you have some base material and eventually managed to build a loop which you’re going to use as background.
Why not bounce that loop, import it into Reason 7 and then slice it into a REX loop? Although both Live and Reason are very good when it comes to loops; the Dr. OctoRex instrument simply makes it much easier to build in changes and dynamics to those loops.
You know; by allowing you to change just about everything on a per-slice basis. Pitch, volume, playback direction? Almost anything you can think of can be done in Dr. OctoRex.
And that audio can then be easily sent right back into Live by using the well known ReWire channels.
THAT is the kind of cooperation I’m talking about.
And there you have it… If you want to know more I’d advice you to take a peek at the official Reason 7 product page. Its also the place from which I shamelessly “stole” all the cool pictures which appeared in this blogpost.
Or, if you’re now way too tired for more reading, then you may like to check out the official introduction movie right here: