All the major music software developers I’ve talked to have begun testing Vista, but Propellerheads has decided to go out on a limb and be the first to declare it “Works with Vista”, slapping on Microsoft’s official “approved” label:

Propellerhead Software Vista Compatibility

The flagship Reason, the original loop splicer-dicer app ReCycle, and the sample loading utility Reload have all been certified as Vista-compatible. In fact, you don’t even need a special upgrade: the existing versions work as-is, with two minor caveats. You’ll need admin privileges to install, and you’ll have to reauthorize your machine. (Updated: I shot off my mouth here and said that ReCycle wasn’t Universal on Mac. In comments, it’s noted that, while there’s not an Intel-specific build for Mac, ReCycle runs just fine on Mac OS X in Rosetta — makes sense, as unlike Reason, it doesn’t have the same performance needs.)

Now, requiring admin privs to install an app is a good thing, not a bad thing; OS X users have been doing this for some time, and it’s a major security hole in XP. (If anyone tries to use the “Windows just has more spyware because it’s a larger target” argument, you might ask them what kind of OS would let any application install anything anywhere without any user intervention. This should absolutely make Vista more secure.)

This news does tell us a little more about what to expect from other music software, and even if you’re on Mac or XP and planning to stay there, I promise there’s some free modular goodness at the end of this story. Really. You should read on.

Music Apps on Vista

But what does this logo mean? And what does this mean for Vista app compatibility? Glad you asked. According to Microsoft’s “Works with Vista” certification requirements:

The purpose of the Works with Windows Vista logo is to highlight and promote Microsoft and third-party applications that are compatible with Windows Vista. The majority of applications that run on Windows XP also work on Windows Vista with no changes. Of applications that do not run on Windows Vista, the majority can run with the help of either a Compatibility Layer (a setting which provides some Windows XP functions to the application) or an Elevation Layer (a setting which runs the application with administrator privileges). Some applications will require code changes to run on Windows Vista.

The Works with Windows Vista logo is meant to be applied to applications in all three categories. Applications that need no change and those that need a Compatibility Layer or Elevation Layer may acquire the Works with Windows Vista logo with no product changes. An application that needs a product update to be compatible may also obtain the Works with Windows Vista logo after the necessary changes have been made and the product update is made available to customers.

Okay, so in other words, most things will work on Vista, even if Vista is doing some fancy compatibility footwork behind the scenes, and if they don’t, they don’t get the logo.


The bigger news is that REX and (more importantly) ReWire, which were broken in their current releases in Vista, now work thanks to a new installer:

Vista REX/ReWire installer

That should clear a major hurdle and mean we’ll be ReWiring music apps on Vista as of day one.

Of course, software is unlikely to be the issue on Vista so much as hardware driver support. Stay tuned.

Free Modular ReFill

Okay, let’s not end on that note. Compatibility updates are boring. Let’s end on a free modular ReFill by James Bernard, available for download from the Props site. “If you are looking for something to spice up the holiday season, download Modular Madness today and help yourself to a tweaked out Christmas. Your family will love it!”

I’m not sure if my family will love it if I’m tweaked out on Christmas, but — okay, I’m game!

  • There won't be a universal binary version of the current version of Recycle. It runs fine and there is no noticeable hit on performance using rosetta.

    Otherwise it would have been released already. 🙂



  • Hi Robert,

    Good point, and duly noted. We do appreciate you being on top of this; testing I know is no small matter.


  • anon

    what kind of OS would let any application install anything anywhere without any user intervention?

    Not windows mate! That is, not unless you allow it 🙂

  • DAniel

    I just got vista and i also use reason 3.0, but it dont work. it says that i need rewire the correct version… help!!!

  • Darnell

    i just installed reason and recycle on my vista computer reason works fine but when i open recycle i get this message "recycle can not run because of unexpected error"

  • Hi Darnell, I had the same problem cause I m currently running an AMD 64 and propellerhead assumes that Recylce can't run under a 64 bit system unless you download a patch on their website, section "support" =>

    "ReCycle 2.1 patch for Windows x64 and AMD64 users now available!

    In order to run ReCycle 2.1 on computers with Windows XP x64 (the 64-bit version of Windows XP), or an AMD64 processor, you need to install a patch."

  • complainer

    Does ReCycle 2.1 run on Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 / Rosetta on recent Intel hardware? When trying to do the first tutorial in the provided QuickStart, the application hangs after I open the provided audio file (Drum Loop 1.WAV) and it nails a CPU (core) to 100% and never comes back to life. Opening other audio files has the same result.

    Guess I will need to contact Propellerhead support; total bummer.

  • vanna

    Help me please, I have big problem with my new PC with 6GB of RAM. A problem are which version of sequencer or any music application is good for window Vista and how to setting to use more Ram that I have. Thank you before.

  • The-Duke

    Thanks for the Recycle patch, I was sweating bullets thinking something was wrong with my laptop, it was only the patch problem.

    Go to this link if you need the new patch!



  • Muditha

    hi i have a problem in runnin reason 4 on vista(32bit) ultimate.

    evry time i try to open reason 4 it says "the application cannot run because of an unexpected error"

    please help me out.


  • Yusef

    i just installed reason and recycle on my vista computer reason works fine but when i open recycle i get this message “recycle can not run because of unexpected error”

  • manu

    i have same problem with reason. i just installed it on my new computer and when i tried to open reason 4 it says unexpected error.

    anyone have solution please post it.thanks