Squint no more. Reason will finally deliver a version that looks right on high-density displays (Mac Retina and Windows high-DPI).

Yes, yes, we’ve been promised this for a long time. And on some displays – like my bog-standard 1080 screen – Reason still looks perfectly fine. But you lose detail on higher-definition displays, to the point of Reason being harder on the eyes.

Here’s what you need to know: the high-resolution graphics assets will arrive in Reason 12, but you can sign up to test the HD features right now, at:


Just sign in with your Reason account, choose the beta, and then wait – it’s invite-only. (I just did it but haven’t got a build yet.)

I’m sure that will trigger some grumbles for folks who have been waiting for a while about needing to pay for this when it ships, but I don’t yet have details on how Reason 12 upgrades will work for pay-to-own licenses. (Subscription users won’t have to worry.) Based on recent conversation with Reason Studios, the indication is that you’ll continue to have your normal upgrade path, however.

They also made this teaser, though they undercut their punchline since the banner and title tell you what will happen. (Oh yeah – spoiler alert?)

I get that they went with that video, whereas I would have used this animation to show what happens with me using Reason (hey, I see my eye doc tomorrow, true story):

It looks pretty, too – here’s a screenshot (click to embiggen) – just be ready for some serious skeuomorphism, down to scuff marks on the hardware:

But this being CDM, I suspect you want more detail.

There’s a lot more resolution – imagine that the old rack’s 1U height of a virtual 19″ was multiplied by five.

Rack Extensions will all support this right away, because RE was already part of the spec. And that spec reveals the particulars of the new asset format:

Requirement. The width of all panel images must be 3770 pixels. The Player panels are more narrow, but the images should still be 3770 pixels wide. The left and right margins are automatically cropped. The visible width of a Player device is 3590 pixels (front) or 3180 pixels (back).

Requirement. The height of the device must be an integer multiple of a rack unit (345 pixels). The height must not exceed 9U. The front panel and back panel must have the same height.

Requirement. The height of the folded front panel and the folded back panel must both be 150 pixels. (The width is the same as the non-folded panels.)


That requirement actually goes back to the start of the RE format, meaning even your old REs will be ready to update.

Oh yeah, that even includes long-lost developers who are out of the business – which is great, because Air Raid’s stuff are some of my favorite. It’s weird, I feel like I have some “collectors'” Rack Extensions in my account. So at least one very good thing about Reason is the future-proofing of the entire Rack, which is a lot more than I can say of my VST folder.

Anyway, better late than never, I always say. And maybe this will bring some lapsed Reason users back to the fold. Let us know what you think. (Uh, I probably don’t have to say that; you’ll do it anyway, won’t you?)