Reason 3.0 is released today, and the hype at Propellerhead
is turned up so loud you can't hear anyth– what? What did you say?
You're not excited by a mastering suite? Why is it this program still
can't record audio? What? Sorry, I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE BLASTING
YEAH! Boom! Boom! Boom! IT'S MARCH 10, BABY!!!!!

Okay, sorry, got lost in the Flash promotional energy. Here's what's actually new:

  • Combinator for creating complex, layered Reason patches and routing
  • Zero-configuration MIDI configuration with Remote
  • MClass mastering suite
  • New sound browser with instant text searching and (here's the
    brilliant bit) previewing of software instrument patches without having
    to load the instrument

Is the hype a little out of whack? Yes. But there's some incredibly
clever features here: basically, the ability to preview soft synths
without the instrument, and easier MIDI control and layering/routing
configuration than you're likely to find anywhere else. Routing was
always one of the ingenious features of Reason, so while this is an
evolutionary, not revolutionary release, it's not one to ignore,
either. And Reason has always been a great compliment to software like
Ableton Live. Oh, and you beta testers will get a deal on it, too.

We'll review the new version in full soon — March is the release date
for the long-awaited CDM reviews section, too. I'll try to work on a
rockin' Flash movie for it, okay? [ Info about Reason 3 | FAQ ]

  • Guest

    I'm a propellerheads fanboy!
    yes I am!

    and I've been testing the beta too.

    my view of 3.0 is that is reason comming of age. basicly what that new combinator does, and people have been slow to realise this, is that it turns reason into a modular synthesizer.

    sure, it doesn't do the exotic stuff packages like reaktor or tassman allow like granular synthesis, or spectral additive stuff – nor will it do physical modeling, and the method of opeperation of said modular system is using a (relativly) small amount of Big building blocks (subtractor, mastrom, nnxt, effects, at-all).



    It rings circles arround all the modular systems I've tried. it so simple and intuitive to understand.

    and to think that this modular power is compliomented by an intuitive composition envirement. and you might start to understand why reason 3.0 is a very big deal..

    it's a much bigger deal then 2.0 and 2.5 were. IMHO.

    and that flash is cool too! haha!

  • Guest

    Honestly, who cares? Live4 is just sooo much better.

    Until you can record audio or use VSTI's, this is a toy. Great for people new to making music on a puter but it's quiet useless for people who are serious.

    Fun but not good for anything. Not really.

    The problem is, unless you spend hours and hours, everything you make sounds like it was made in Reason.

    I guess I will wait for Reason 4?

  • admin

    Use any program 'x' without some time or energy or originality put into it, and it'll sound like 'x.' True of Max/MSP and CSound, even.

    What I don't understand is, Reason is a great ReWire client. If you're going to add mastering, then make it a host and add recording and plug-in hosting. If you're going to keep it as a great client, then what's this whole mastering thing about? Makes no sense. The rest, I get, and this is a terrific ReWire client, even better with the MIDI mapping and layering. But . . . otherwise, they have EVERYONE scratching their heads!

    Oh yeah, that and I think they should have ratcheted down the hype a bit. They're making Apple look tame. Though it is amusing . . . 😉

  • admin

    Live + Operator + Reason could be a nice combination. I'm sure a handful of people will make all their music in Reason, no VSTs, no recorded sound, and master it, but I have no idea who they are or why.

  • Guest

    >> Fun but not good for anything. Not really.

    Um, no?

    The Prodigy's Liam Howlett produced their latest release almost entirely in Reason, with final mastering done in Pro Tools.
    Here's the interview.

    Does this "sound like Reason" to you? (use the Amazon music sampler to hear snippets)

    It's not the tool, but how you use it…

  • Guest

    Looks like my links didn't come through.

    Here's the interview:

    And the Prodigy album at Amazon (with music samples):

  • Guest

    I've tried above to explain why I think reason 3.0 is a bigger deal then some may think. Aparantly I was not clear enough.

    I dare you to download the demo and play with it. then come back and say "it's a toy".

    UI agree that audio recording would be a nice addition, but I use live (which is made for that kind of stuff anyway) rewired with reason. Vsti support is totaly unnecassery within reason for a few good reasons, stability of the software, User interface consistancy and redundency.

  • Guest

    It's probably true that anything made with Reason PRESETS will be recognizable to the trained ear as having been made in Reason. But that would also be true of a plug-in host with a well-known collection of plug-ins, each of which comes with a set of presets. The trick is either to [1] get away from presets or at least mutate them with effects (which — horrors — does require effort), or [2] stop making music which is only interesting because it's comprised of "unique" sounds as opposed to being creatively applied music theory. Oh, and by the way, musicians attempting to be macho? Pathetic. Don't even try.

  • Guest

    Until I actually got in and started playing around with the Combinator. The Combinator actual represents a huge paradigm shift in how Reason will be used for me. It's now more like Reaktor where I can create tools for getting unique sounds. Try hooking up a pattern sequencer to several instruments and then hook up one of the Combinator knobs to control the patterns…awesome results.

    I think Propellerheads in trying to position Reason as much more of a live performance instrument (hence the mastering suite) than trying to compete with Live, DAWs, etc…

    …although another new synth or even a time streching loop player (a la Live) would have been nice.

  • Guest

    Novation Remote 25,a laptop, Ableton Live 4(+plug-ins) and Reason 3 rewired is the best liveset for every gig. They changed my life and now i'm happy with them!
    they aren't toys they are amazing technologies for
    everyone. Software is the
    future and Reason has got the sound of the future in its engine.

  • admin

    I agree – ReWire Reason into Live and you're a happy person. But then, what do you do with mastering plug-ins? And some of us can be perfectly happy with Live + other plugins, even the built-in Live instruments + Operator. So competition with Reason is tighter than ever.

    At least the Combinator and patch loading, along with other core improvements, still make this a good upgrade for current users. I think the hype is just a wee bit overblown.

  • Guest

    First off, I don't understand why people keep complaining that Reason doesn't support audio in or VSTs. That would lead to stability and CPU usage issues that they are not willing to accept. It's not what Reason is designed to do. Do you complain that your refrigerator doesn't toast your bread?

    And, as an owner of 3.0, I realize it might not be the most groundbreaking of upgrades from 2.5, but what's wrong with the hype? I never really saw it as ridiculous advertising. I imagine they decided to make the most badass Flash trailer they could and I totally enjoyed it. I'd bet the people who put that trailer together are pretty proud of it.

  • Guest

    The first thing i have to say is that it's a great program. The second is that people waited so long for this version and they didn't even take the time to fix the "keyboard control" which saves a lot of time. I've been trying all the good music tools, and even the most sucky ones have this feature. This truly deceived me. A program with this much class and a big hole in it.
    Anyways the company should've fixed the keyboard
    feature before this software was released. The company should at lest release a patch. Cause if not this program a real good waste of time…. Let me know what you thinK?

  • Guest



    REASON 3.0 is a great program. I make REGGAETON beats and REASON has some of the beast sonding drums i ever heard.

  • myspace/promnights

    Fruity loops still rocks, just like my nintendo. Approach is everything…plug ins don't hurt either. But the guys at propeller head should take a couple of lessons from Ableton…if you can make better, why not?! Reason,in my opinion, is the balance between Fruity Loops and Live 4, because the interface is very friendly, through and through, and it's powerful. If you can deal with the learning curves and some unconventional approaches, Live 4 is a BEAST, like the kinds that ascend from Mount Olympus with wings and…yeah!

    And your the artist, check them both out, read forums, go to YouTUBE(check out the Tutorials), these softwares in themselves have different approaches and functionality, not necessarily meant to compete with one another on every level, Ha! They probably have stocks in one another.

  • poorsod

    Now it's 2 years mature, it's easy to see how much of a leap Reason 3 was.

    While it didn't add much to the rack (Combinator, mastering) it represented a complete shift of focus. Reason is no longer a modular synthesizer best used with ReWire, it's a modular synthesizer best used standalone, live.

    Combinator means it's a pinch to play several instruments at a time across the keyboard (the assignable switches on the front are bloody useful too).

    Remote simplifies everything to do with control surfaces, distils it down to a single box.

    The browser is much better. Use your head and you can find all kinds of uses for it.

    Mastering is useful for tracks produced from start to finish in Reason, and if you set it up properly before your performance it gives new depth to your live sets.

    With this new live focus comes a different life for the pattern devices, too.

    Reason 4 in a couple of months. THOR looks cool – modular is good for garage bass – and here's hoping the jazz up the sequencer (tempo automation!).

    Audio and VST support is NEVER COMING. If they did that, they'd need audio quantise, yet more effects that weren't necessary with a MIDI approach, and it would become slower and less stable.

    That kind of lack of focus is what puts Fruity Loops below Reason in the synth market and below Cubase in the DAW market. (glassy-sounding synths, poor audio support – no quantise, advanced effects, pitch shifting, etc)

    The Props are keeping focused, and not submitting to the 'me too' mentality that plagues the software market.