Reason 6 is the latest reincarnation of this very popular music production software, and comes with a host of new elements that edge it even closer to the big boys like Logic and Cubase. It has been a big favourite with the dance fraternity since its first release due to its “do-it-all nature”. Producers can use Reason to create tracks from start to finish and many a killer dance tune has been done solely on Reason alone. Now up to Version 6, the main software has even more new additions. These new additions not only make productions sound better, but really do move Reason into the pro arena, especially now that you can record in Reason 6! New modules include Pulveriser, which is a meaty compression unit that can go as far as adding industrial distortion and mangling to your sounds.
AEcho is reminiscent of Roland’s Space Echo unit, even down to its looks, and does exactly as the name suggests. Alligator is a triple-filtered gate unit that takes your beats and really mashes them up in fine style, cutting up the rhythmic feel of your drums or even whole tracks with filters and FX being added as well. Neptune is a pitch correction module that is perfect for vocal production, but is also great for all pitch-based correction. Whole tracks and audio can be re-pitched as well as audio being transposed into the right key, and the voice synthesiser is a full and creative tool for expanding vocal performances. And finally, the mixer section is a beast, modelling itself on big studio mixing desks with a whole heap of EQs, FX and mastering functions included. These are just a few things that really add to the Reason experience.
Part of the Reason 6 evolution is the all-new Reason Essentials, which is a slightly cut-down version of the full-blown Reason 6, focusing on instant music creation, but losing some of the new modules and having a less complex mixer section. But don’t let this put you off, as it’s still a great value for money way to get into Reason, especially for new up-and-coming producers.
Finally, Propellerhead’s new Balance Audio Interface. This is their first foray into the hardware market, and this nifty new audio interface should raise more than a few eyebrows among Reason and Record users. Balance is essentially a two-in, two-out audio interface housed in a very sexy black box designed to sit on a desk and act as a control centre for home and project studios.
It’s fully USB-powered and promises to cut down a lot of cable wrangling and set-up time when recording by having eight inputs, which means that mics, synths and other sources can remain plugged in permanently and selected with Balance's control panel as needed. Two large knobs take control of headphone and monitor levels, and pressing the monitor button on Balance will bring up a large meter in Reason to ensure recording levels are where they should be — nice.
For existing Reason or Record users, there is a free upgrade to Reason 6. As we said, more reasons to be happy.
|Ease of Use||8.0|
|Value for Money||10|
|Hype||Nice-looking sound card, ridiculously feature-rich producing environment and a great fun way of making tunes.|
|Gripe||Still no VST plug-in support.|
|Conclusion||Reason 6 and its associated elements are really pushing into the pro production arena. There is a lot to offer in this upgrade — it will keep devotees very happy and will be sure to find new fans as well.|