How St. Vincent Plays Live, ‘Through the Looking Glass’ [Video Behind-the-Scenes]

At the end of the day, what motivates extra technical preparation is the same thing that drives musicians to practice scales or work long hours in the studio: that extra discipline can pay off in real freedom of expression. So, it’s moving to hear St. Vincent talk about musicality as the end point for onstage computer-based coordination. In the behind-the-scenes video, you can see how the band combines Ableton Live, a loaded rack of instruments in Propellerhead Reason (presumably running via ReWire into Live), and a whole big mess of pedals. Interestingly, MIDI triggers for those pedals helped focus on …

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Propellerhead’s Figure for iPhone, No Longer an Island: Sync, AudioCopy, Free Scales

Reinventing music software for a handheld is no minor challenge. Make it too much like desktop software, and you wind up with something crammed with features that feels awkward and overly heavy in a mobile context. Pare down too much, and you’ve got something that behaves more like a toy and can’t hold up to extended usage. Under the hood, Propellerhead’s Figure is actually Reason. But that’s just the sound engine underneath. And while the Swedish development house was adventurous and creative in imagining an interface for handheld use, the first version wasn’t exactly greeted with thrilled reviews. Users found …

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Reason Rack Extensions: What’s Good for Developers Might Be Good for Users, Too

Reason remains one of those tools that a whole lot of people use. So, the decision by Propellerhead to allow developer access to the Rack, the virtual array of modules in which you make sound, has been one of the fastest-trending music making stories of 2012. But it’s also big news for a wider audience: music makers and developers alike frustrated with the limitations of existing plug-ins. (The video above is racking up views, but it might surprise you what the biggest referrer on YouTube has been so far – it’s the Native Instruments forum. So, interest goes beyond just …

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Propellerhead Rack Extensions, Figure for iPhone Video; Figure Q+A

We’ve got lots of other news from Messe to share soon – so don’t worry, this isn’t becoming the Propellerhead News Network. But since I’m starving and going to dinner, you can spend those 40 minutes watching the Propellerhead “keynote” press presentation I saw yesterday. This video is for the moment the only way to really see the new iPhone app Figure, powered by Reason under the hood. Speaking of which, I have some answers to questions readers asked during our live coverage from yesterday: Q. Will Figure be available on Android? A. No plans at this time, no. Q. …

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Reason Opens Its Rack To Developers: Q+A with Propellerhead, What This Means for Plug-ins

Reason’s Rack, a walled garden no more. Hmmm… “reason.” “Logic.” I’m calling my next musical creation “Inanity.” Sound good? Who’s in? Photo (CC-BY) Marco Raaphorst. He’s a fan. Users want more: that much is clear. But for years, Reason has famously (or infamously, depending on your point of view) resisted plug-in formats as a way of extending its production environment. At the moment, plug-ins have been dominate largely by Avid (RTAS), Apple (AU), and Steinberg (VST), as open source alternatives have failed to gain wide commercial traction. Those formats apparently didn’t make the cut with Reason. That changed officially tonight. …

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Pay-What-You-Want for Reason 6, Rewarding Record+Reason Early Adopters

They’re not doing this with Reason – don’t get too excited – but Propellerhead are at least adopting this approach for upgraders from Reason + Record. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Oli Shaw. You’ve seen “pay what you want” pricing for self-released albums on Bandcamp, and independent donationware software. But you certainly haven’t seen it in a major proprietary application like Reason 6. That’s what Swedish developer Propellerhead is doing with their Reason 6 upgrade, with name-your-own-price starting at EUR/USD 1.00, through the end of October. (One, not one hundred. Really. Apologies for embedding what’s essentially an advertisement below, but the video explains …

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Propellerhead Balance, in Video, Succeeds in Being Different From Other Audio Boxes

As an addendum to our first look at Propellerhead’s new Reason 6 announcements (including incorporating Record), Propellerhead points us to a promo video of their new Balance audio interface. We’ve seen efforts before to make software more appealing to newcomers by bundling an audio interface, so this is, on the face of it, hardly “stop-the-presses!” sort of news for digital musicians. But there’s some evidence the Propellerheads may have hit on a new formula. One, Balance doesn’t look exactly like every other audio interface on the market. The design is distinctive, and the wedge-shaped form would appear to make it …

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Reason 6 Combines Record Features, Adds Effects; New Bundles and First Props Hardware Interface

Propellerhead today unveils the new Reason, incorporating Record functionality in both the full-blown and “Essentials” versions, a new audio interface in their first-ever hardware, and a beta that will at last make ReCycle a modern Mac tool. Record added some wonderful stuff to Reason, including a terrific analog-style console, modeled EQ and dynamics, the ability (finally) to place racks side by side, and extra effects modules, including nice Line 6 modeled guitar kit. In other words, Record introduced a bunch of stuff you’d really want in Reason all along. Conversely, if you only bought Record, you were left out of …

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For Moog and Propellerhead, New Websites Focus on Videos, Music Making

May has brought two new Web projects from manufacturers – one a titan name from analog hardware, another the king of the software studio. In each, the product itself is downplayed to focus on artists actually making music. That means if you’re looking to kick off your summer music making with a little inspiration, you’ve got some video to watch, and not just the usual gear lust. I don’t think I can be an entirely objective judge of websites, since I do work for The Internet, but that seems like a good trend. (So, yes, I’m not only being partial …

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AudioCopy + ReBirth: For iOS Users, Music Making Goes from App to App

Mobile-based music can mean a chance to do more with less, but that hasn’t stopped lovers of production on the iPhone and iPad from wanting to move ideas between apps. So, you’ve got a great bassline … if you could just combine it with that vocal sample, and then finish a track… That presumably explains why we hear so many readers clamoring for AudioCopy. It’s a proprietary audio API developed by Sonoma WireWorks with an available SDK, and it’s gained some real traction among iOS music apps. Latest to the fold is ReBirth, the iPhone and iPad all-in-one music studio. …

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