Reason 2.5

What an awesome instrument (yes, I call it an instrument). I have tried various software based synths, as well as many hardware synths (I used to sell the stuff for a living). Of all of the instruments I have had the pleasure (or displeasure) of using, I have found that Reason, by far, allows me to be the most creative and spontaneous. That is a bold claim. Here are my reasons (heh..):

1. Intuitive interface for us old-time hardware guys. Since I grew up in the "hardware age", I am quite familiar with how to route signals with real cables to mixers, effects units, synths, etc. Reason uses virtual cables to route signals from the various rack units. This is very intuiative to me. I can come up with tons of combinations that would have cost me thousands to emulate in real life.

2. Options for generating sound. Reason comes with a variety of sound sources: A sample-playback drum module, two samplers (the NN-XT rivals most hardware and software samplers), a great analog-modelled synth, a unique grain-table synth, and a loop player using REX based loops.

3. Effects, effects... oh yea, effects. A studio quality reverb, delay, phaser, distortion unit, chorus, Vocoder (which can do more than just make robot sounds). Everything you need to color your sound for a killer mix.

4. Low CPU overhead. I can use my work laptop (1 Ghz Dell) to write tunes wherever I go!)

5. Matrix sequencer - This is great to get something going in a hurry. Some people use the Matrix exclusively! This emulates the analog sequencers of old.

Now, I know I probably sounded like a sales rep from Propellerheads, there are some things I do not like:

1. Sequencer is adequate but not what I am used to (I used Cakewalk based sequencers for years). I would LOVE to be able to control tempo, time signature, etc. However, for most music I do, it is the only thing I use and it does fine. You can use Rewire to connect it to most professional sequencers. However, I found it to be buggy (which may be the fault of the sequencers I tried).

2. Lack of VST support. I just want to be able to use some of the cool technology available today to try something new. I would like to try the Audity and MTron plugins in this puppy.

3. No audio recording capability. This is really outside of the scope of Reason really. And I post it here as a "nice-to-have." I don't do many vocals so I am not out much (if at all.. I find that vocals are the hardest thing to record and get right).

In conclusion, I think Reason is worth every single cent that it cost. It is all I use along with a midi controller (I am a keyboard player and I MUST have a keyboard!!!)




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