Given the passion of the debate, it’s easy to forget that Propellerheads’ Record has been firing up discussion from many people who haven’t actually seen it. Record is to audio recording, mixing, and mastering what Reason is to synthesized sound, and for Reason lovers, it finally delivers that holy grail – multiple racks. Record is a bit like Reason Studio, taking those instruments and giving them a full production context.

Since its release, Propellerhead has amplified polarized opinions about this tool. It doesn’t support plug-ins (though you can use other ReWire clients), it doesn’t do things like film scoring, and thus its singular focus on recording means I think it’s fair for Propellerhead to say it’s not a DAW. Of course, going so far as tell blogs they can’t label it as such is going a bit far, and it only made some people protest more. And the focus on those features hasn’t pleased users who want everything and a kitchen sink on their feature list. Users were divided over the Ignition Key and online authorization scheme (see full explanation), of course.

But it is something about which everyone seems to have an opinion, and for that alone, I love it. That’d be a little more fair if you’ve actually gotten to use it, however. So, now’s your chance to try Record for yourself:

The beta is a full-featured, open-and-save-capable version, through its expiration date on September 9.

If you’re impatient, we can get you the beta key right now. Just leave a comment, say something intelligent, say “+1 beta,” and be sure to leave your real email address. (Emails are not published on the site; I’ll just see them in my inbox.) If you’d like to be on the CDM Notes mailing list (no other marketing or spam), say “+1 email.”

All out! Thanks to everyone; hopefully we’ve gotten everyone a code who wanted one. Follow comments for some little glitches with their Website…

Once you’ve got a reply from me, download Record by entering your code at You’ll also get two codes to pass along to friends.

Update on registration: I talked to Propellerhead’s web developer – when you get the confirmation email for, go ahead and log in! You’ll be confirmed automatically. Some people saw this login page following the confirmation email and thought something was wrong. Don’t worry, log in, and everything will be fine.

We’ll give out keys until we run out. Propellerhead shared some with us, but then composer Josh Mobley, whose work is featured in Record and has been an advocate of the software from the beginning, reached out. Josh gave us half his stash of keys to share with CDM readers, because he’s devoted to Propellerhead’s stuff. How devoted? He has a Reason tattoo. And it’s nice to hear that Record is pleasing a Reason fan, as that to me remains the big test. Josh has done some significant commercial work, ranging from NBC’s The Office to Ford Motors to the US Department of Defense, with scoring, music, sound design, remix, and environmental projects.

And he’s a superfan in the best way. I asked him why Record matters in his work:

I love me some Reason. In fact, I love it so much, I got a tattoo on my wrist of the Reason logo. Most people thought I was out of my mind but I love it. Why? Things really didn’t start taking off for me until I started using Reason. I took one look at the program and thought, they made this for me. I started busting out tunes faster than I ever had before. And people were snatching them right up. It dawned on me right then and there that this self-contained environment had freed me up and allowed me to be creative without scrolling through a bunch of plug-ins and whatnot. The distractions of making music were gone. A limited tool set that can be routed and combined in an infinite number of ways. One needs only to look at the patches and music that [Reason user] peff is making to see that reason is the most powerful music instrument in the world.

And now, we have Record: Audio+Reason+SSL Mixer. Having used it since the early alphas, I can honestly say that Record is every bit as musical and easy to use as Reason. The time stretching is, frankly, jaw-dropping. The new mixer sounds like the SSL at my old studio. You can easily do a whole song in Record without any other software. However, Record+Reason is a lethal Combination.

I could go on and on, but at the end of the day, you really need to spend some time with this program and see what’s possible. I can almost certainly guarantee that you will be making music faster than you ever did.

Photo: Josh Mobley.

Now, a superfan is not a fanboy. Fanboys, as we know, are the folks who get defensive even in the face of some obvious shortcoming, who spend lots of their time talking down other people’s choices. The superfans I’m guessing are generally too busy actually using their software – in this case, making music.

And if you do find software you love enough to tattoo on your wrist (see also our friend Jo with Reaktor), you don’t need any reviewer or forum commenter or expert or anyone else to tell you what to think. You’ll know.

Do tell us what you think of Record as you use it, and good luck snagging a code.

Propellerhead Record In-Depth Preview: Recording, Reason-Style; Beta Test Now
Propellerhead Record: New Getting Started Video Tutorial, Blog
How Propellerhead’s New “Ignition Key” Authorization for Record Works