Percussa micro super signal processor
Reason 7 works better with the outside world, thanks to mix groups, much-welcome external MIDI support, and audio slicing, among other improvements. Image courtesy Propellerhead.

Reason 7 works better with the outside world, thanks to mix groups, much-welcome external MIDI support, and audio slicing, among other improvements. Image courtesy Propellerhead.

Reason 7 is available now, in the full version, upgrades, and entry-level Essentials editions. You can download the new release right away – including, intelligently enough, as a torrent for downloads even if Reason users get overexcited. (Cough, Ableton. Hope you’re paying attention.)

There are lots of improvements, but the banner features are clearly integrated slicing and external MIDI sequencing.

Those features have been a long time coming. The ability to sequence external MIDI gear seems a no-brainer for a tool with so many great sequencing tools and robust MIDI input control support. And integrated audio slicing is, oddly enough, something Propellerhead was instrumental in advancing through their REX format and ReCycle product. What you get in Reason 7, though, in exchange for the wait, is an implementation that only Propellerhead could pull off.

Reason 7’s external MIDI support, for instance, has extensive integration with the slick modular capabilities integrated in Reason. We covered that in depth with Propellerhead in a preview:
When Reason Met MIDI Out: How MIDI, Virtual CV Work in the New Reason 7 [Pictures, Details]

I’m covering the slicing workflow today:
Reason 7′s New Tools for Slicing, Stretching, Retiming Audio: Q&A, Tutorial Vid

The other good news is that Reason 7 works with any Rack Extensions you’re adding. After all, Propellerhead promised that Rack Extensions would provide deep integration but forwards compatibility – so when you update Reason, all the extras you’ve added work, too. Propellerhead tells CDM that all currently-available Rack Extensions do indeed work with the new release.

Third-party developers are saying the same thing. Producer and developer Peff posted via his Facebook page that he’s happy with compatibility with the new release:

Buffre and Directre are both running stable in Reason 7. No code updates required = Propellerheads are awesome!

Rack Extension forward compatibility appears to deliver, as you'd hope. Superstar developer Peff posts visual proof of Buffre and Directre working in the new release.

Rack Extension forward compatibility appears to deliver, as you’d hope. Legendary developer Peff posts visual proof of Buffre and Directre working in the new release.

What else is new:

  • Mixing with a spectrum analyzer, visual EQ tools (something becoming almost expected in software EQs these days)
  • One-click group and parallel mix channels – meaning Props are happily not being too slavish as they emulate big, traditional consoles
  • Automatic Retro Transformer has settings like vinyl and VHS tape (interestingly, also available as €39/$49 purchase if you don’t want the other new features in 7 and want it as an extension instead)
  • MP3, AAC, WMA import, etc.
New visual EQ.

New visual EQ.

Pricing:
$449/€405 for the full Reason 7 release; $129/€120 for Essentials. Essentials owners get the new release free. Reason users can upgrade to 7 for $129/€120.

Obligatory videos.