Propellerheads have unveiled the newest version of Reason, entering beta now and shipping in fall. “Eagerly anticipated” genuinely applies here — I’ve heard various chatter about the new version for over a year. Anyone expecting audio recording or plug-in support, it’s still not here, but the upgrade does have some major enhancements that appear to stay true to its roots.


Thor “polysonic” synth: Continuing the industry-wide trend of combining different synth methods, Thor features six different envelopes, four filter types, wave shaping, and unique “analog-style” modulation routing. From anyone else, that description might be a non-starter, but the Props have a long history of really terrific synth design, and they promise Thor, like its predecessors, will be light on CPU usage — definitely bucking a separate industry-wide trend.

A mixer for quantization? Here’s where things get really interesting. The ReGroove mixer isn’t a mixer. It’s a groove/swing quantization tool. Quantization is real-time and adjustable, and can be applied to a full 32 groove channels independently. For anyone ready to break out of the mechanical sound of sequencing, this could be a powerful tool. I find it especially intriguing given the ridiculously simplistic quantization tools in Ableton Live; for some fine-tuned grooves, the combination of Live and Reason might again become popular. Oh, and yes, 32 independent grooves could well prove to be absurd overkill — we’ll have to figure out just how to use this. Or you could just apply one of the included groove presets, including (Props’ words, not mine) “vinyl funk gems of the 70s.” Sweet.


Ceci n’est pas une … mixer. It’s actually a groove quantize tool. Really. 32-tracks of groove … quantize. You could accurately simulate the way my high school jazz class sounded. (Or make things sound really good, but where’s the fun in that?)

New sequencer: Yes, the original Reason sequencer was downright awful. This one sounds like one you might actually use:

…make global edits using “clips,” assign notes and controller events to different “lanes,” manage multiple takes, and edit events numerically—to name but a few of the hundreds of enhancements. Controller data now uses vector automaton for the smoothest of transitions. Users can manage tempo and time signature changes through a transport track. The inclusion of a floating tool window makes getting to frequently used tasks a snap.

In other words, Reason’s sequencer is a real sequencer now, at long last.

Also tasty-sounding: a new monophonic arpeggiator.

Despite its fantastic, CPU-light synths and effects, Reason had clearly fallen behind in terms of workflow. Beefing up quantization and sequencing and adding a new killer synth may be modest changes, but they sound like the right direction to me. I think the big question for a lot of users will be whether Reason fits in with another tool that handles audio, like Live, FL Studio, or a DAW. (And, for you hard-core sequencer types, maybe no audio at all but Reason inside an insane tracker.) I look forward to testing it.

The New Reason

And now, the obligatory giant rack shot:


  • I am retardedly excited for this. Mostly because I just started a more electronic music project with my friend and do plan on getting myself a macbook pro by the end of the year.

  • I'll be excited when Reasons sound quality enters the realm of other softsynths available. But that groove mixer does look tasty…

  • bliss

    "And now, the obligatory giant rack shot" — Thanks for the fanservice, Peter! 😉

  • robbneu

    Wow… that's going to be really nice. I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on this update (and maybe the beta)!

  • dead_red_eyes

    I'm pretty excited for this, although I am still pissed that there's no audio input support … oh well. I can still take a track and throw it into the NNXT, that way I can use some of the effects and whatnot … but man it's a pain in the butt.

    I use Reason 3 and Digital Performer 5 together, and they work like a charm. I guess that's the closest thing to FL Studio on a Macbook Pro, or Logic …

    Fruity Loops 3 (I think) was the first program I ever played with to make "electronic" music. I remember going over to a friends house and playing with Reason 2 … which he seemed to be getting better results out of … so that's where I started, and I'm still using Reason today. A lot of people talk a lot of crap about it … but you can really make some amazing tracks with Reason 3. The MClass mastering stuff helps out TONS. I use them on all sorts of stuff really … to me, it was worth the upgrade from 2.5 to 3 just for the MClass stuff.

    I've built some pretty cool stuff with the Combinator as well.

    I'm really looking forward to the Thor, and this new groove quantize tool.

    As a side note, great to see that Steven Drozd uses Reason now. Sounds just like me in his interview, as he was a noob to computer based music stuffs, and immediately jumped at Reason because of some friends who used it, like Dave Fridmann.

  • FINALLY. i've been waiting for a reason update forever. I use the sequencer a ton for drum programming and sample playback, so i'm excited to see some new functionality on that front. I really wish they had created some simple plug-ins though. I asked them ages ago to create a simple half-rack LFO that was bpm sync'd and have a ton of outputs that had invert and multiply functions on the output. Currently I have to create a Rex player, use it's LFO out to a splitter to do this one simple thing. oh well, maybe reason 5. The new Thor synth sounds interesting, can't wait to try it out. I used Reason 3 all over the upcoming freezepop album and really cant wait for version 4!

  • regarding sound quality in reason.

    there is a reason people think that reasons sound quality isn't as good as other software synths. the reason is legacy.

    reason has two synths. one is subtractor – a design that shipped in 2000. it's old, it alises in very wierd ways. it doesn't compare to softsynths that are being produced in 2007. The other synth is malstorm which shipped in 2003 (IIRC). it was pretty good for it's time, today its a bit lacking. but it's pretty cool.

    it has two samplers aswell. the NNXT is as good, as the samples you feed it.

    reason is a lot like a real studio in that you have cirtain tools that are older then others.

    the thing is..

    reason REALLY blows anything out of the water, IMHO. becoase of the modular pardigm behind it's design.

    the ballance between customization/manipulation and ease of use (routing possibilities, stacking, effect processing, etc) using the combinator, is unlike anything out there.

    the fact that it's rock solid is also a good point to think about.

    about thor – peter, take into account that, like the malstrom, each module in it is acceble in the signal path of other devices in the rack (you can use it's filters with the NNXT, for example) save that as a combi and you have a sampler with format filters (and I won't miss my Emu hardware sampler as much).

    I'm looking forward to check it out, when I can.

  • I still find Malstrom capable of some sounds not possible in other instruments. So I still think "sound quality" can be a matter of programming. Subtractor definitely hasn't held up because of the zillion other similar instruments that followed, though its design is very nice and elegant.

    I agree that the modular paradigm, stability, and CPU efficiency are really a big deal. It's not a host, so part of what I'm curious about is whether we'll see more Live + Reason setups … back in Live 1-3 these were especially popular, but it'll be interesting to see if they show up again. Okay, let me translate: I'll be interested to see if *I* go back to using it in Live again.

  • Dan

    I'm waiting for the day when you can load Reason's synths into a DAW like an AU/VSTi.

    …I can dream.

  • Beerian

    Am I the only one here that would like to see a true synth-based drum module similar to micro-tonic in the new reason. I'm not a big a fan of using other people's beats or samples, nor do I enjoy working with Subtractor and Maelstom to make my own drum patches, because lets face it; they are not drum-friendly. Redrum is like all sample-based drum machines, (see stagnant, stationary). This is the major reason (no pun intended) that I've stopped using Reason for the most part. I find it too limiting and too tedious to setup when you just what to play around for ideas. I just want to be able to sculpt beats like you can sculpt synths in Reason without having to get another program involved.

    (not to be a stickler, as I'm sure you've probably heard this before) Why didn't propellerheads just include the old rebirth modules into Reason. Seems like a bit of a waste of effort on their part considering the time they put into perfecting the design.

    Oh and I second the comment about Reason needing some kind of audio input. What's the flipping point of a proper vocoder if you can't plug-in a keyboard and mic and muck about on it. Who wants to sample a vocal phrase then drop it into NNXT then patch the output to the vocoder then patch a spare subtractor to the….see what I mean. This supposed to be fun too, right? One stop shop please?

    Here ends my life story. Sorry to vent.

  • blueshifter

    huh, im the only one going negative on this, i guess. i don't WANT a big bloated sequencer in Reason – i got enough of those already! to me, the magic of propellerheads is the ridiculously intuitive UI – you can go from idea to fully fledged loop in a handful of minutes – and it's because of the simple, minimal design. Each new release has been moving away from that. I guess i'll just shut up and stick to what i've been doing, which is keep using 2.5.

    and YEAH!! Get Rebirth in there!!! man….

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  • Beerian — drum synths like the ones you describe are a wonderful thing. I'm sure any of the readers here could spout off various plug-ins, though it would have been nice to see these in Reason. You could use the Combinator, though, to make a pretty powerful monster drum synth of your own creation, using the very capable synths already built in.

    @blueshifter — impossible to say until we test it, but from what I can see I wouldn't describe this sequencer as "bloated." Looks like the old sequencer, but with the basic editing features and decent automation lanes we wanted for Reason 1 and didn't get. The only problem I see is that since 1.0, people have gotten a lot more choice in sequencers, so I don't know if using Reason as an all-in-one tool will have the same appeal … we'll see.

  • uh, you guys asking for rebirth?

    You do know about the RB-338 right?

  • te2rx

    The thing that bugs me about Reason's softsynths (subtractor, maelstrom) is how thin and weak they sound no matter what you program on it. Every time I made a patch, I had to dress it up with Reason's effect modules to get it to sound any decent, and I'd always end up with overblown songs and absurd amounts of layers/tracks/effects/etc because the synths never sound good just by themselves. (And on a side note it sucks you can't use your own WAVs in Maelstrom's oscillators.)

    Since I've moved to VST softsynths, the best of which sound rich and full no matter what you do with them, I've been able to drastically simplify my songs. Anyway the reason I mentioned all this is because the new Thor synth still sounds thin and weak — check out the sound samples on the site. I was excited at first over an NI Massive that probably won't eat up 40% of my CPU in one instance, but I probably won't be using Thor after all :/

    It's nice they updated the NNXT though since I love that thing to death. If you're dissatisfied with the highly limited (even by modern drum machine standards) ReDrum synth, try the NNXT for sampled percussion.

    "The NN-XT has been given new features to edit multiple samples simultaneously, to chromatically auto-map samples and a new Group Mono function to let samples play polyphonically, but still be silenced by other samples in the same sample group"

    Dan: it's called ReWire. It's not exactly what you describe, but in practice it's the same thing. MIDI goes out of your DAW into Reason (or you can use the Reason sequencer), and multichannel audio from Reason goes back into your DAW, and from there you can slap on your VSTs and do all your mixing and so on

  • thesimplicity

    Screw audio in and plug-in support. Does anyone actually use Reason as a DAW? I can't even recall the last time I've used it in stand-alone mode, and I was an early adopter. I can't even think of the last time I used the sequencer instead of sending MIDI from Live. I use Reason for what it is: a sound module that doesn't tax the CPU and is capable of a lot of interesting and unique stuff. I'm just praying that these new updates don't bloat the program. That's been my fear from day one… that they'll load the program full of unnecessary shit and it'll just be an unnecessary drain on processing power. I've always figured the sequencer was just there for beginners who weren't familiar with Rewire, so they could get a taste of the program without any additional software needed… but this update makes me worry…

  • Well, there have always been people who love the modular environment in Reason enough that they don't want to leave, even for something like ReWiring into Live. So I think that's the idea of the sequencer. Obviously not for everyone, but not just for beginners, either.

    I think Thor is basically their answer to people complaining about some of the now-dated synths in there, so we'll have to see if it delivers. It is disappointing in a way that they can't find some way to put some of what people liked about ReBirth directly into Reason — they see the latter as the successor to the former, but I still know some ReBirth lovers.

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  • Dan

    te2rx – I'm well aware of Rewire. I've completely set up my Logic Autoload for Rewire Audio and MIDI so I can get going with it immediately.

    It's just that I don't trust it.

    When I used it with Cubase it always seemed hokey. Even today with Logic there's still a looping bug and notes don't get turned off when accessing a menu or something. What was even worse in Logic was that if you added a new Rewire capable program, like Live, all the assigned Rewire channels would SHIFT and you'd have to fix the Autoload again.

    Things are better now, and maybe these problems can just be attributed to Logic bugs, but I just don't like the idea of having to run another application when all I really want is one Malström sound.

    I want something like this: Reason synths loaded like a plugin.

    For as much as Propellerheads charges for licenses now ($500) I don't understand why anyone would buy Reason when they could get started with entry-level versions of any DAW that have more capabilities than you could get out of Reason.

  • The problems you are experiencing with Rewire are definitely a Logic problem.

    It's always worked 100% for me in Sonar, whether sending the whole mix or individual channels, and whether using Sonar or Reason's sequencer.

    And having Reason's instruments plugin-style would be silly. Reason is a *modular environment* so you'd be silly not to take advantage of it. Same goes for the people complaining about synths without FX – they're *designed* to have FX on them!

    So I definitely do NOT want VST or audio input with Reason.

    But yes, I agree about Subtractor. I use PSYN II (bundled with Sonar) for analog synthesis; hopefully Thor will go some way to remedy that.

  • 9th Element

    Finally…you can adjust the tempo in the sequencer…and I thought I had to dust off my Yamaha RY30

  • I agree with some of the other posters here … the only way to get me back into Reason is for the props to make the whole package a VST/AU plugin (not just the individual synths). I've owned Reason since the day 1.0 was released but I haven't used it at all since I upgraded to version 3.

    ReWire just seems like a total hassle these days even though I was blown away by it when it was first introduced. This may be laziness on my part but when I open up an existing Live project I don't want to have to go looking for the associated Reason project. Nor do I ever feel inclined to open Reason in the middle of a Live session when I have so many VSTis at hand.

    Just my 2c.

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  • f.e

    Really working with Reason is a pain in the ass.

    1 – The GUI is awfully small and locked/rigid.

    2 – ReWire is a good linking solution (very stable, low latency), but it will never replace VST integration in a workspace, NEVER. For example, i spent hours to – build templates for Nuendo and FL Studio to get acceptable access to Reason : define the Midi tracks, the key range for the ReDrum, connect all the ReDrum outputs to the so-called hardware interface which cannot let you choose how many mono or stereo tracks you need. Which means, you have to connect each RedRum channel to a mono output that you'll have to group in Nuendo in order to apply effects on it. In FL Studio, mono channels from Rewire are treated as stereo, which means using two stereo channels panned for one bloody kick line. And you cannot link them in order to apply effect to both.

    There's absolutely no reason for not building a Reason VSTi. So why do they don't ?

    3 – The Reason sequencer is a joke for anyone really sequencing, and as i said above, Rewire is far to be handy at all. But it's a general computer music problem, when you want too much things together. Patterns and sequences in Cubase/Nuendo are a nightmare, while it's wonderfull in FL Studio. But FL Studio sounds so horribly bad i have to sketch things in it, then export the midi tracks, then rebuild the project in Nuendo, redo the grouping stuff, and so on…

    God, i wonder why i'm still using Reason nowerdays. I guess a Hardware setup with real boxes wouldn't be more messy to work with, and it'll always sounds better…

  • Kyran

    For anyone who loves the modular thing of reason, but doesn't like rewire, why don't you try energyXT?

    It's a modular host that works as a vst or vsti and was like 40 dollar (it's 75 now). It basically allows you to make a rack out of vst(i) plugins. It's fully modular.

    I always thought people liked reason because it works like a rack of hardware, including the cables. It works like they're used to work. For beginners I think it's a lot more complicated that some of the newer hosts out there.

  • Dan

    I don't think Reason's initial appeal has very much to do with the rack approach, especially for beginners. I think it has more to do with the idea that it's everything you need – until you want to record something.

    I would rather see Reason become a VST/AU suite for use with other (better) sequencers rather than simply add support for plugins. And even as a plugin suite I don't see how it would lose any of the modular capabilities it currently has.

  • llorca

    I love this software for the gui, and as said before, for the very instinctive way you can work song/ pattern / beat / ideas… IMHO, reason is and will be unbeatable on this.

    But i wont give it another try unless propellerheads change the audio engine. I'm a reason 2.5 (ex-)user, and i'm not even talking about subtractor or maelstrom : insert a kick drum in the redrum and play it. Push level as high as you can without clippin. Now, try doin the same in cubase and ableton live : the sound has obviously more "dynamic". Try doin the same mixing a hihat and a snaredrum with the kick… Reason tends to give you this "blurry"-"fluffy" sound i hate. I sometimes used to put 3/4 different bassdrums to have a good sounding kick, while in cubase or ableton live, you instantly have this "big" sound you expect…

    … and come on propellerheads, give us some VST in reason – personally i dont give a damn about THOR…

  • emile

    When i head reason 4 was coming out i said "WOW, so now we get some vst support or at least it has created a soft syth plugin within reason that can play Native Instruments and some other BIG Brand named patches." I was heart broken to hear all them could come up with was Thor. Thor GUI looks great but if it can use NI and other big brand name patches i'll give it credit. Rewire is a hazzle when i am producing. Honestly, the only thing that reason has me with is the awesome refills they have. If other programs find their way to be able to use refills like they already do with rex (.rx2) files its bye bye reason. The combinator is an awesome design too. If reason really wants to make a good set of money jus release their next version as a standalone app and as a vst. Making reason a more flexible app. I am sure if they experimented with vsts the would be surprised of the results they would get. It does not have to have audio input as some people want because it would jus be an inferior cubase or logic. Reason should jus be a flexible producing app.

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  • I still love the Sub and Malstrom. Have been programming that for years, day in day out. Some of my best sounds are included in Reason 3. But stay sharp for 4 🙂

  • Marco

    It seems that the Props are giving us what we do not need and the Others are not giving us what we need….

    Now if money was not the big issue and you had the chance to start from zero point what would be your real choice? Reason? I seriously doubt it.

  • Marco

    By the way, energyXT2 is a nice app. but try REAPER and it will blow you away. Just see what you can do with the Sends in REAPER.

    Yes it can Rewire Reason too but again once you have a DAW what's in Reason, the Synths? Please!

  • DT

    i totally agree with you Blueshifter, i think they are going in the wrong direction, though what they are doing is really good, and the thor sounds MASSIVE! (i got the beta and im currently testing it, lookin for them bugs man)

    But i prefer working with Reason 2.5, rather than Reason 3, i dont know why, there's something about it that keeps me wanting to use it even though the new one would support VST

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  • Jonathan

    Beta is for owners only… even if the website says "If you've never used Reason, there has never been a better time to start", you still need to buy Reason 3 to be able to betatest Reason 4… look like i'll wait until this fall 🙁

  • mehdo1

    R3 is a good program but the sequencer was jacked up and the transport needed to updated.

    now that they added a time clock, they still need to add ff and rw not just hold those buttons and watch it ff or rw it needs to instantly. The NNXT updates are welcome, but it still does not allow one to sample its not a sampler if it don't sample, (sample player)I say integrate Recycle with the NNXT, and Dr. Rex loop player, and add a new drummachine to Reason kind of like an mpc style and inegrate recycle features and display and call it redrumsynth were you could slice and dice drumloops or use synthtype parameters to make your drumsounds and auto map these to the pads.

  • mehdo1

    from what I heard R4 does not support VST or audio in and from what I read on props website they will never allow audio tracking in Reason.

    I did mention in the future update forum that they should make reason a vst client. I still want to see the new Emu Emulator X platinum

  • I have my opinion about Reason versions up at 2.5 to 3.04 (Update), I can't say nothing about upcoming 4.0 version it's look like amazing dub but really I can't think nothing at the time I'll see and find out newest things in it ! But for sure I can say that Reason is infinite sounds combination as in side of Arranging both in side of Master Sound set up. I think it's the only magic thing you can create, change, modify by your hands anything you want ! So let's wait for new magic 4.0 version 🙂 …

  • sticky

    Its amazing…people are so spoiled and lazy…with a little time and effort you can pull off almost anything with reason3. I see everyone complaining about thin sounding audio capabilities..not being able to build decent drum patches…i f you are serious about making music should at least have a recording program like cubase or something, and then recycle. that way you can get your audio into reason through dr rex.

    Or the nnxt which takes wav. files. Also learn how to use the CV routing capabilities. With CV routing you can use the filters, modulaters and oscilators on the subtractor or maelstrom to shape any other module. Sure these things take some time to set up but thats what the combinator is for…build it then save it. And why is everyone asking for vst plug ins? A. reasons synths with some creative CV routing are capable of anything out there. B. nnxt can take any samples in wav. format (i.e. Native Intruments) Also as for using Reason synths in other applications….ever hear of rewire? Sure these things take some creative routing and maybe bouncing audio between programs and reformating but c'mon. Reason as it stands today is an incredibly powerful amazingly simple tool to help you create great music. Notice the word "TOOL". In other words you need to know how to use the tool in order for it to create works of beauty. There's a saying azmong musicians…it goes "It aint the's the player" That means that for those of you complaining that you cant get good sounds out of reason3…Id bet you wont be able to get them out of reason4 either.

  • Du'Myth

    I'm using Reason for almost 3 years… Because of it, i got to do music. Music that other programs didn't offer in that particular time. I "grew" up as an artist, as a mixing engineer, as whatever i am today, alongside Reason. But as baby birds have to leave the nest, so do i need to leave Reason…

    The program is intended for novice to intermediate users. That's the target public. The Props could never compete with bigger audio software houses. Reason is for the ones that like to make music for pleasure, not for money. Understand that folks, and everybody will get along just nicely.

    Don't compare a Smart with a Ferrari. It's wrong!

  • I'm giddy with excitement. All ready and waiting for the upgrade to become available!

  • i'm exited about the new features, especially thor (other than it's cheesy name) but what about improvements on the old? like bieng able to automate different key features in an NN-XT istead of only being able to rely on filter, res, attack, decay etc. More rotaries on a combinator would be nice. Being able to assign more than four features of one component to a single nob would be nice. What about adding more Oscs and LFOs to the Maelstrom and Subtractor? FX?

  • Ern P

    I just got reason 4. its good but not great. They still have alot to do in order for me to feel i got my moneys worth. i mean they just added a recording precount, r u kidding me, that should have been there from the getgo. Its about time they updated the sequencer. propellerhead has got to get thier act together. Fl Studio gives you tons of stuff with each new edition and not to metion free updates. and there vst's, sytrus, morphine, and toxic III run laps around reason. Give me more is all i'm saying! and how long will it take them to break away from the rack idea? cool at first , now its just anoying and cumbersome. its a computer, take advantage of the free work flow. all in all, good but still needs work. try Fl studio, or Ableton if you want to know how a DAW should work.

  • cal

    i agree i feal that wehn i use reason im some how missing out on some of the possiblitys you have with ableton now days i dont even use reason unless rewired through ableton (witch has a fucking sexy sequencer) 🙂

  • juiceman

    I really dont like reason 4. It sucks if you ask me. Nothing new. Just a new appearence, and thor. Which I dont really care for. They made things way more complicated on this one (especially if your used to Reason 3). It is really frustrating. I do not suggest anyone get it unless your just some die hard Reason fan, but u will be dissapointed. Save your money.

    Oh…Fuck FL Studio. That shit is garbage… But honestly I like it more than Reason 4. For the time being

  • i agree i think reason 3 is much better ,like bieng able to automate different key features in an NN-XT istead of only being able to rely on filter, res, attack, decay etc. More rotaries on a combinator would be nice on reason 4

  • Maybach

    i have reason 4 also. i must say that i am disappointed. the editing & arranging windows were better in reason 3. thor is nice, but is not the "BE ALL..END ALL" to me. i can do without. so far as to recording audio, i record my audio in PTLE and bounce down to wav., then i will insert the audio in NNXT and process the vocals with the MCLASS tools. (big fan of the stereo imager & compressor)

  • Matthew

    Can someone help please.

    I have lots of WAV samples that i have been using with an Akai mpc1000, and im looking to move onto Reason 4 as i find the MPC long winded and fidely and i want more options.

    Does someone know if you can use WAVs with out transfering them into other files for Reason to read or does it read WAVs strait of.

    And what would i need to sample my own sounds in to reason?ie sound card what type ect?



  • Libra!!!

    Yeah…I rushed home and put Reason 4 on my system…and…and ????? I could learn this sequencer, but why, WHY don't my Reason 3 files play in Reason 4 properly? They're a pure mixed up mess in Reason 4. I thought that maybe I had to do a little nudging to the files, but hell no – they are beyond repair! I had to uninstall Reason 4 and reinstall Reason 3 to continue working (I almost gave R3 away!!!)…what's with that?

  • SimplyPut

    Reason here, Reason there…

    Very good indeed but not amazing. If you want something AMAZING you've got to build it yourself. Propellerheads are offering their product AS IS and charge AS IT IS. If you buy after testing the demo and you do not like it then shame on you. If along the way you change your mind, good, move on and do not look back, it will hurt your liver.

    I own Reason 4 and I can do whatever I can with it until I decide not to use it anymore. I hardly believe that I will go to such an extreme but you never know.

    I also got a wonderful copy of EnergyXT2 and some outstanding Synths and I love it. Get your act together, stop the criticism, move on and create your reality.

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    It's like a whole rack of synths!

    At least, that's what the newbies who know nothing about computer music say, when they see the wonder that is 'Reason' for the first time, having never even heard of VSTs before…

    How many more iterations of this pile of horsecrap are we going to see? Why is anybody still buying it?

    I almost spat out my orange juice when somebody actually said "the fact that it’s rock solid is also a good point to think about." – Yeah, I guess so, if you're desperately trying to justify buying it…

    For the ridiculous price of £289 you could have bought Sonik Synth 2 for £100 from esoundz and also Miroslave Philmaronik AND Sampletank 2.5XL for £150, AND Renoise…

    Slightly better than crappy old Reason, n'est ce pas?

    But hey, you've bought it, so you've got to justify it…

    At least with VSTs, you know that in ten years' time, they will sound and play back EXACTLY the same as you laid them down in the first place… And you don't have to keep buying the 'latest' version…

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    And re the comments about FL Studio – yes, it does run rings around the shit that is 'Reason'.

    Where are all the 'great' sounds that Reason can produce, that normal, cheap, or FREE, VSTis CANNOT?

    I've yet to hear a single example of this.

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    And if you want to hear how 'wonderful' Thor sounds, watch and listen to some of the videos here:

    (If you can stand it… What Bill Holland calls 'music' sounds more like hideous, repetitive bullshit to my ears, as I'm sure you'll find as you hear that wretched arpeggio over and over in half of his videos…)

    The Thor sounds like any other analogue synth. Well, any other BAD analogue synth… And Bill Holland's music is exactly what I've come to expect from Reason users…

    Can anybody point me in the direction of some audio examples of Thor that sound NEW or even GOOD?

    Seriously – do we need ANY more soft synths now? Hasn't just about every possible synthetic sound been created by now? There is a finite limit, you know, to the number of DIFFERENT sounds the human ear can hear, and the human mind can recognise. And I think we passed that finite limit many years ago.

    Bill Holland even says "Reason is designed to be used as a Rewire device", and what a bloody stupid waste of time THAT is… Why not just use VSTs in your host, and cut out the crap?

    Half the time I think Reason users LIKE having to jump through hoops just to get their DAW to work with Reason…

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    And to all the people who think Reason 4 is actually worth £289, have a look at Yellow Tools' Independence Pro, £260ish. 70GB sample library, 3,000 sounds, 40 premium filters and effects, Independence Live, etc.etc.

    I'm still waiting to hear any sounds in Reason 4 that are 'amazing', or that would even be particularly outstanding in a mix, compared to any bog standard analogue synth VST…

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    And you can also now buy Orion Platinum 7.1, over the Christmas period, for only $149, which comes with a whole set of inbuilt soft synths, and is VST compatible too. That's £75. Compared to £289 for Reason 4. So why are all the magazines and forums continually talking about Reason 4?

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    I wonder why SoundonSound hasn't reviewed Orion Platinum 7, or 6, or 5, or 4…

    Their last review of Orion Platinum was in 2003…

    But they're only too happy to review Reason's never ending incarnations… And you can bet that Reason 4 will be reviewed in the near future, but not Orion Platinum…

    I wonder why. Surely they don't have agenda to push?

    Oh, and look… they haven't reviewed FLStudio since – oh yes – 2003…

    I suppose if Orion Platinum and FLStudio were both £299, SOS would be all over them… Then they'd be 'professional', wouldn't they…

    I had to laugh at this line from the FLStudio review:

    "On the other hand, many users will find the user interface of Reason more palatable than the rather dark environment offered by FL Studio."

    "For potential new users, FL Studio is up against the likes of Orion, Making Waves and Reason. In my own view, and at this price, it stands up well against all of these."

    It stands up well against Reason no matter what the price – if it were £299 it would still be better than Reason, because it supports VSTs and audio recording…

  • SimplyPut


    you may speak that way about Reason for two or three reasons:

    1 You do not have it, so please stay out of it.

    2 You have it but can't manage to get past the beginning stage. Give yourself a Gift and Really get to know it because, trust me, you can do some amazing stuff with it. Again Routing is one of the things you want to master.

    3 You just not like it for personal reason. So then stick with what you have then. Peace my friends.

    Find me a Pro out there that speaks low about it, they can't. Yours is armature speak.

    Go make some good music. All these products out there are great in they own right.

  • So, I know this is an old thread, but I figure I might as well answer for my videos to the guy up a few posts.

    Those were made right when we got Reason 4, so there was a huge learning curve with Thor. I've spent some time since then in the forums and with Propellerheads reps learning the ins and outs of programming the beast that is Thor.

    As for the repetitive nature of my "basic programming" you like to call "music", isn't this a site dedicated to digital music? Isn't most digital music in some way based off of repetition (techno, anyone?).

    Anyway, I'll defend Reason as a unique tool that has no real comparison in the software world. Plus, it's used by Liam Howlett, which in my book puts all arguments to rest on the subject.

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    "Go make some good music. All these products out there are great in they own right."

    In other words, shut up about it…

    Reason 4 is a joke, the idiots who are STILL buying this never ending gravy train should wake up and start living in the real music world – that of VSTs…

    As to Bill from Gearwire… your 'music' was atrocious. Go listen to some 4 channel mods made on an Amiga from 20 years ago… Jogeir Liljedahl, etc. Infinitely more MUSICAL than your lame attempt. Liam Howlett? Who he?

    As usual, we have no substantive rebuttals from the Reason crowd. (And what a bloody stupid name that is, for a piece of software). They can't rebutt anything I've said, because reality isn't on their side. Reason 4 is massively overpriced. Why are none of you bothered that Sound on Sound have ignored FLStudio for four years, and Orion Platinum for four years? What's so great about Reason that it gets special treatment? I'll tell you what – the PRICE. It's EXPENSIVE.

    So let me see: Reason 4 costs more than twice as much as Orion Platinum or FLStudio (and don't even get me started on Renoise).

    It's WORSE by orders of magnitude, than those three programs. It doesn't allow you to use VSTs. Need I go on? For the price of Reason 4, I've bought Renoise, Sonik Synth 2, Sampletank 2, and Miroslav Orchestra. If I want to make any more synth sounds (presuming Sonik Synth 2's 5,000 sounds aren't enough for me) then I'll just use some of the scores of FREE VSTs out there…

    Perhaps some of you can point me in the direction of any 'amazing' sounds coming out of Reason 4… And while you're at it, show me a song produced entirely in Reason 4 (or 3, or 2) that is anything like as good as Hunz's 'Sarah's Song', 'Your still here', 'Oceans from rain', etc. all produced entirely in Buzz…

  • SimplyPut

    I can see you really barking too much and that means you are not a real musician.

    Go and buy the last Computer Music Mag and listen Reason against ProTool in the DVD special and then… you Shut up my friend.

    You have no idea how to be a good driver unless they give you a Ferrari.

    BTW I own among the best VST on the market and I do not have time for barking…I am too busy sounding GOOD:-)

  • to: VSTsarewaybetter

    Liam Howlett? He revolutionized dance music as the producer of The Prodigy with albums such as Experience and Music For the Jilted Generation.

    As for my "music", I used quotes for a reason. That was a basic arpeggiator loop that's only purpose was to serve as a demo. Next time, I'll write Concerto for you.

  • SimplyPut

    Don't waste your time with the Concerto. This guy is into quantity. Today everybody is a Musician…

    He's busy pointing fingers.


    *Reason is a >>>JOKE,

    *the >>>IDIOTS,

    *should >>>WAKE UP,

    *your(YOUR)‘music’was (IS) >>>atrocious,

    well…there it is.

  • True that. That negative energy could be spent writing music. Thanks SimplyPut.

  • SimplyPut

    You are very welcome Bill.

    I have never listen to your music, but just because he describes it that way, then, it must be GOOD! 🙂

    You know what I mean?

    Have a great rest of you music life,


  • oxymoron

    Just digested this whole thread… yikes!

    I've spent ten years of trying almost *everything* (except pro tools) on multiple platforms. My rig is now a core2duo mac mini (it's silent!) running Live 7, Reason 4, a free sound editor, and some free smartelectronix AudioUnit plugs for mangling. This minimal setup has already helped me focus on writing and recording, rather than evaluating the latest VSTs/AUs or spending my precious after-my-paying-job time on sound design, fun as that may be.

    Look, I acknowledge that VST and competition and the talent & generosity of countless of programmers has helped make this the greatest time to be a composer (paid or not); but for me, the shakedown had to happen and I'm glad to be down to these tools. They mights seem meagre to some, but they're trust me, they're a sci-fi wet dream compared to what we had.

    p.s. Hey Peter, bought your book a few weeks ago. I hadn't known about it (d'oh, sorry), but I recognized your name. I thought is that Peter Kirn of CDM… sold!


    hi i've been using reason but i would like to record voice over the songs i've created

    coul you tell me if there's a way to do it???


  • SimplyPut

    Hi CARLOS,

    I am not into vocals in Reason but there is a video (not free) "Music Production with Reason 4 by Kurt Kurasaki and Josh Mobley" at that shows a great deal of advanced stuff including Vocals in Reason and how much it can be done with it. The rest of the tutorials are really great but they are not Free. I know a good deal of Reason material but Josh Mobley shows you really powerful stuff and Kurt expands on it and some.

    It would take years to discover it on your own.

    Save some money on "Latte Grande" and put them in this tutorial.

    BTW there is a similar amount of info on the net about Vocals in Reason for free but the video takes you on a different level in the Context of Music Production and that's unique and priceless. There are some short videos Before You Buy deal, look at them.

    Enjoy you music!

  • jim

    reason 4 is the mother of disappointment!!!

    i've waited more than a year for this update just to see poor enchantments and sequencer frustration!

    the "mighty" thor as props proclaim is not so "mighty" at all if you compare it with various vsti's that are on market today! also to get a rich sound in thor you have to graduate from MIT!

    the simplicity of sequencer which was the "reason" why many users adored reason, is history!

    the simplicity has been replaced by complexity who overall kills the workflow.

    reason is missing several descent devices to sound right which can overtake only by adding vst support to his arsenal.

    reason 4 doesnt worth the update, in general you'll find the same features as version 3 with some enchantments and some disappointments!

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    Hunz – Your still here

    Produced entirely in Buzz…

    I'm still waiting for any Reason 4 users to post up a single Thor patch that sounds any better than something done with Helix (free VST), or any of umpteen other free VSTs…

    Does Thor sound 'better' because you WANT it to? I think so…

    Orion Platinum is now known as just Orion, and it's now at version 7.5, and is now only $149.

    How does Reason 4 compare to that? How do I use Sonik Synth 2 and Miroslav in Reason 4?

    Oh, I keep forgetting… I can't.

  • SimplyPut

    Orion what?

    Do you still light the fire with Stones?

    Get a life….

  • audiopro

    reason sux

  • jonathan

    my biggest mistake was that i've update to R4 without trying the demo first.

    although i'm working with it the last 6 months, still i find myself missing R3.

    basically i detest the sequencer! i think they've designed it very quick because it feels and looks like crap!!

    actually i'm thinking to go back to R3 but i regret that i've spend my money for the upgrade!


  • VSTsarewaybetter

    Well said Jim:

    "the “mighty” thor as props proclaim is not so “mighty” at all if you compare it with various vsti’s that are on market today! also to get a rich sound in thor you have to graduate from MIT!"

    Yet Reason 4 fanboys are going on and on and on about how 'Polysonic' it is, how 'amazing' it is… It's nothing special.

    "reason is missing several descent devices to sound right which can overtake only by adding vst support to his arsenal."

    Exactly. What if you don't like the internal effects? What if you want to use some different sort of VST effect? You can't! You're stuffed!

    But, lest we forget:

    "It's like a whole rack of synths", and

    "It's rock solid".

    I'm sick of seeing idiot newbies buying Reason X, then going on about how 'amazing' it is all over the place, when they know sod all about computer music, and then OTHER newbies read what they have written, and then THEY go and bloody buy it too, and THEY go on about how 'amazing' it is, and so the miserable cycle of gullibility and stupidity continues…

  • SimplyPut

    Graduate from MIT?

    I think you have an undetectable IQ my friend.

    This shows how much you really know about programming and using anything: VST or TSV.

    You must be so frustrated and repressed with your skills that is not funny.

    You must be one of those free-gear broke musician that instead of being humble and grateful for such free gems out there among VST's programmers, you are going around barking like a homeless dog about a program which you do not own or know in depth at all, trying to be trilled that you have found someone else that, unlike you, had the balls to use Reason for a while and who, for some personal reason, can not connect to an improved/modified feature.

    It is so sad that the world of music has attracted people like you. It's really really sad. You see; music is a form of art and all these tools that are available to us are just that: TOOLS.

    I like this, he likes that and you something else.

    How old are you?

    Maybe you should wait a little bit longer to speak among musicians.

    Sorry my friend, it is not your fault, maybe you are born this way.

  • cgwaz


    Here's what I hate about Reason 4:

    1)They remeoved the ability to delete a device and leave the sequencer tracl

    2)They removed the ability to route a sequencer track to any device

    3)They changed the sequencer to be CLIP based, which makes life miserable if your music is not strictly loop based (or, like me, you just like copy/paste

    4) They STILL don't allow you to display ONE fullscreen window. The horizontal rack size is STILL LOCKED! WHY!?!?!??

  • SimplyPut

    Hey… cgwaz

    How about the thing you like about it…


    Show me something PERFECT out there.

    Don't forget to focus on what you like and enjoy what you do.

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    SimplyPut – how laughable that your only response was a pathetic attempt at character assassination… I see you had nothing FACTUAL to say to negate anything I've written.

    Reason 4 sucks. It isn't VST compatible. Idiots like you keep defending it, because YOU wasted your money on it. Get over it.

    Buzz is far more powerful – ANY VST compatible program is far more powerful.

    I can use any VST I like in Buzz, any VST effects I like. And Buzz is free.

    I'm still waiting for ONE person on the ENTIRE internet to post up some of the 'amazing' sounds of Thor, which are BETTER than the patches Synth1 has, all 6,000+ of them.

    Would you care to oblige me? I thought not.

    Do you have anything to say about CGWaz's post, apart from your laughable responses?

    You are like a religious fanatic who can't face any criticism of his 'god'.

    Too bad your 'god' is flawed…

  • SimplyPut

    Hello??? VSTsareWhatBetter…

    You must be out of your forbidden mind.

    Of course I own Reason 4 but also z3ta+, Zebra2, Sylenth1, Albino, Blue, FL Studio, EnergyXT1 and XT2, Live 7, Oatmeal, Reaper, Pianoteq and tons of other free stuff. All good tools my friend.

    Reason is among my good tools to make music.Check your liver, RELAX baby. Maybe you should BUZZ-off a little 🙂

    Do you really think that someone is going to send YOU a Thor patch just because you need a proof? What's wrong with you. What's that saying… Do no throw pearls to ….?


  • VSTsarewaybetter

    SimplyPut, I see that you still cannot produce a single 'amazing' Thor patch. And neither can any other Reason 4 owner. I looked on Youtube – nothing there. All lame.

    What a nice let out your post was – nothing but excuses, and no substance.

    I repeat – Buzz is FAR more powerful than Reason 4. Any program that supports VSTs is more powerful than Reason 4.

    But the Reason 4 meme keeps spreading itself because of fools like you… and then other fools end up buying Reason 4, and then spread THEIR memes about how 'amazing' Thor 4 sounds, when all along it doesn't sound amazing at all. And the sequencer sucks too.

    I'm having a great time going through the 6,000+ FREE patches for the FREE Synth1. Still waiting for anything on Thor to beat that.

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    And as for this dumbass comment, Simplyput (what a misnomer):

    "Orion what?

    Do you still light the fire with Stones?

    Get a life…."

    Brilliant argument. Orion is now only $99 until Christmas, and is, of course, VST COMPATIBLE, and also comes with its own large range of high quality synths, just as good as the 'amazing' synths in Reason 4…

    But how much does Reason 4 cost? Of course – if it costs more, it MUST be 'better', right?

  • just for fun

    Each to there own…..

    Bad workmen and all that…….

    Any one heard of NUTONE? He’s one of the best drum and bass producers of recent years. Heard of hospital record? One of the best drum and base labels of all time.

    Anyway NUTONE’s one most talented people to release tunes on hospital records (check out some tunes if you like the music), and what does he use, not taking sides here or anything but I think he may use reason, rewired yes but it still very much there

  • SimplyPut

    6000+FREE patches….That's what you're good for…wasting time instead of play/create….

    Anyhow you begin to sound like a good entertainment for places like this one.

    Yes "just for fun" you are right; lot of Reason there and other top notch artist are using it more and more.

    6000+? Man I think you need a girlfriend :-).

  • SimplyPut

    VSTsarewaybetter Listen! I got a good tip for you and for many others that are looking for good stuff and free.

    It is called MuLab from Mutools. It's a little monster DAW that has evolved into something quite great and comes in two flavors: FREE and Unlimited for $79. The Free version has a 5 tracks limit BUT!!! a track can have as many Clips (called Squencers in MuLab language)as you want and each Clip can Target any VST you wish and they can be mixed on the same track. So 5 tracks is no longer a problem. You can even use Audio with Midi Clips on the same Track and you can target Mixer Racks anywhere you want. Clips have their own internal Loops independent from the Main Loop.

    AND it comes with top notch Sampler, Synth, Effects and something called MuSynth which in my opinion is in some cases is better than a Reason Combinator. This alone is worth the full price. The support is bar none: He answers every single post at the KVR forum. It is now at v2.04 and the 2.4 beta has ReWire (Yes for Reason user too:-).Get the 2.04, the beta 2.4 has only 4 free tracks.

    Watch also for Energy-XT 2.5 by January 15th, another Great-Work-Flow DAW (I think one of the best MIDI editor out there in terms of Work Flow).

    Here you go, happy new year and enjoy your music.

  • SimplyPut

    A minor correction:

    in MuLab the Combinator equivalent is the Effect called MUX and not the MuSynth.

  • dajay


    just my 2 cents on this topic. I'm a reason user since 2.5. I started working with Ataris and Notator, then Cubase, then Logic with VSTs, also tried Ableton and the other stuff. And I have to say I love Reason 4. most people are suprised what one can get out of that software. and yes, my tracks are released and yes I do earn money with it.

    now to my point: i really hate it when people argue about what method of producing music is better. there is no best method. if you have the right skills and a good ear, you can get a killer track out of an old casio keyboard. people bitching about the right hard- or software are 99% NOT very good producers/musicians. why? because they waste their time arguing instead of spending that time to be creative with their tools. I can tell if someone is serious about the music just by the way he is NOT bragging about his latest VST-Plugin. that's what distinguishes a pro from an amateur, guys.

    oh and btw: if you are not able to get a really good analog sound out of THOR .. maybe you should change your profession. 😉

  • SimplyPut

    Well said dajay,
    I use Reason 4 for a very basic reason: It works for me.
    I was doing 100% with it until I discovered Pianoteq, then I had to go rewire in order to keep R4 with me. One thing after another my collection of synths got somehow established around a very specific sound spectrum not available in Reason alone.
    So today I use a total of 6 outstanding VST’s and Reason 4 and, let me tell you, when you mix them the right way you’ve got a real Risotto!

    So, I’m not in love with any of my instruments, these are just great TOOLS, I am in love with my music.
    You can’t ask anything better.


  • VSTsarewaybetter

    Dajay, absolute rubbish. According to your 'logic', there should be no music magazines, and NO discussion at all, anywhere, at any time, about the merits of one piece of music software over another…

    Funnily enough, millions of people disagree with you, and are constantly reading about music software, and other people's opinions of it.

    As for my 6,000 patches on Synth1 – how does that prevent me from making music?

    Reason 4 is crippled, overpriced rubbish. Even the idiots who have bought it are admitting that it has major faults, and wishing for better things from it.

    "then I had to go rewire in order to keep R4 with me."

    That's because you're an idiot. Why not just use a DAW that supports VSTs in the first place?

    I repeat my statement:

    "SimplyPut, I see that you still cannot produce a single ‘amazing’ Thor patch."

    You've had MONTHS to produce an 'amazing' Thor patch, and we're all still waiting…

    Hell, even Buzz is more powerful than Reason.

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    "One thing after another my collection of synths got somehow established around a very specific sound spectrum not available in Reason alone."

    I rest my case – you fool.

    I can use Buzz, and ANY VSTs I want. I can use Renoise and ANY VSTs I want. No need to fart about with a SECOND program just to run bloody VSTs in the first place. That's the Reason-tards answer to everything "Just Rewire it".

    You spread your stupidity to other people, who then fall for it and buy Reason, and then THEY have to defend their stupid purchase to the hilt, and THEY start saying how 'wonderful' it is, and so the whole miserable cycle continues.

  • VSTsarewaybetter

    What makes me laugh most of all is that idiots who love Reason come on here to defend it from the likes of me, trying to make out that it's just great, and then when they are faced with the barrage of negative points above, which tell you the huge PROBLEMS in Reason, they say "A 'real' musician can make good music with anything, it doesn't matter what you use!"

    HAHAHA. How pathetic. In that case, let's all pack up and go home, and get out our VL-Tones.

    Seriously, Reason zealots will do anything to convince themselves that they haven't bought a pup – just go back through this entire page and read all of the PROBLEMS that people have written about Reason. They aren't going away. I can't even believe that anybody bought Reason 2, let alone 3 or 4. Look at how the VST world has advanced since Reason 1. Which would you rather have? Reason 4, or Buzz and Omnisphere? Which has the best sound, and the most power?

  • SimplyPut

    VSTsarewaybetter you are really something.

    I am beginning to like you, nothing deep but when someone is so lost, you begin to feel compassion and forgiveness and then even if there is nothing left (as in your case),

    I smile….

    Farewell. Don't waste your time to respond,

    this is my last visit, and 4 a good REASON 🙂

  • Critical Bliss

    I'm tired of these idiotic statements by Reason haters. I use Cubase along with Reason and ReWire is easy to use. Reason is WELL worth the investment. If you think otherwise, then you truly do not understand how to use the program. I simply can get ANY sound I hear in my head much more intuitively and easily (with LOW cpu usage) via Reason. Quite frankly, VST's don't sound as good in my opinion; the other programs aren't nearly as flexible. I get a much stronger sound from Reason, and then I use Cubase for added effects or "tube" amps if I'm so inclined during the mixing process. We need more Reason users to step up here and tell the whole truth. Instead we have VST sycophants (and this is from a Cubase fan). Grow up.

  • @Critical Bliss: Totally with you until the VSTs "don't sound as good" bit. So, we can't just agree that both Reason and VSTs – as with any software DSP – have the ability to sound good, and that this has far more to do with how things get used?

  • Julio

    Reason "haters" and "defenders" both sound like tools to me. Reason is good at some things and it sucks at others… Fl Studio is good at some things and it sucks at others… To each his own. I PERSONALLY like Reason, but I always find myself going back to Fruity because of MY workflow (VSTs anyone?, Nexus is the shit), and yes Synth1 is an absolute beast!

  • VSTsAreWayBetter

    Ah well… Reason 5 will soon be out, and Computer Music will give it the usual 10/10 treatment, and a whole new generation of newbies will buy it, tell us all how 'wonderful' it is, how it's "like a whole rack of synths", and generally reveal their complete and utter ignorance about the rest of the computer music world…

    Reason sucks ass, it always has, right from the very beginning.

    Hypersonic 2, anyone?