Reason Studios have a small update to Reason 12, some updates on their roadmap for the year (like when to expect M1 support) – plus an offer for anyone in the market for an upgrade or new license.

The full details are on their blog:

Being proud of Reason 12 while moving on with top priorities

This coincides with a maintenance update, Reason 12.2.5. Let’s parse what they’re saying here.

What I will say is great about Reason is the ability to support all those Rack Extensions at once – including new architectures and higher-res screen assets. I’ve literally been able to update Rack Extensions from developers that are now totally defunct. The downside has been, Reason is lagging most of its rivals when it comes to support for newer plug-in architectures and Apple Silicon.

Basically, here’s what you get:

Reason 12.2.5 release notes (the link is actually broken in the blog story, missing an ‘s’) – lots of fixes, “significantly improved graphics performance” and improved stability, right now.

Reason+ Companion app now has better search and pre-listen functionality. (I dream of a world where all these apps are better … maybe you don’t want to get me started.)

Upcoming plans / tentative:

April: New Effect

June (maybe?): New Device

2022: More Players (like the Bassline Generator)

TBD: VST3 support “our top priority initiative”

Maybe this year: Offline mode (yes, please)

2022, “later”: Native M1 support

And then some “under investigation” stuff:

Toward the end of this year: New Instrument

… plus workflow improvements for both the plugin and DAW, but with the understanding that they’re prioritizing stuff like M1 and VST3, which frankly is probably welcome.

I’m paraphrasing; see the blog for more details. It’s just useful to have in one place. I’m glad to hear they’re getting M1 and VST3 sorted out. I can also say that even in Rosetta 2 – like so much software – Reason still runs pretty reliably for me on the new Apple hardware. But having native support will still be welcome.

I’ve met David Eriksson, their Chief Product Officer. I know the kneejerk response would be to wonder about vague discussion of future plans. But to me this actually represents more folks with an engineering background working on communications, because having watched this business for the past couple of decades, communications people never like to talk about future products. Typically it’s the engineers who want to a) discuss what they’re doing in the future (including if you ever see them out in the open and away from their PR people), and b) are also honest about not really knowing exactly when things will get done.

So, I’m glad to see Reason Studios talking about this stuff. It remains a unique product with a singular community around it. I’ll keep tabs on it to see how it evolves.

Meanwhile for anyone who thought they would only be trying to sell subscriptions, they’re actually bundling in a bunch of free stuff now with upgrade and single-purchase licenses now. If you buy something now all the Players are free.

These are actually really great, and while they’re obviously nice for anyone who just has no idea how to come up with melodic or rhythmic patterns, they’re deceptively simple. There’s a ton of power-user stuff as you dig into them for those who want to get more advanced and creative, and hey, I do have a music theory degree. (Okay – they’re fairly useless. But I digress.)

My favorite remains the Pattern Mutator:

You get the usual built-in Players, as always:

  • Beat Map
  • Note Echo
  • Dual Arpeggio
  • Scales & Chords)

Plus for a limited time (not sure how long) also these:

  • Bassline Generator
  • Pattern Mutator
  • Drum Sequencer
  • Quad Note Generator
  • PolyStep Sequencer

These are also included in the Reason+ subscription, but so far at least, Reason Studios are making good on what they’ve told CDM at least and continuing to fully support people who prefer a la carte “owned” purchases.

Really, my complaint is not that, but just having to see a dialog updating my Rack Extensions licenses all the time. So yes, I look forward to them fixing offline mode – maybe even more than I particularly care about M1 or VST3, and I’m sure I’m not alone. We’ll keep an eye on that, plus how to get the most out of their tools.

The weather’s getting nice; I might just have to mutate in the park. Advantage: software. Try doing that with a big modular rig.