Propellerhead Software dropped big news this week with the announcement of Reason 7, scheduled for release in Q2 of 2013. This latest version of Reason brings MIDI output, parallel channels, retro effects, and ReCycle to the already powerful music production and sound design software.
Propellerhead Software Announces Reason 7
Just when we thought we had a handle on the major upcoming music software updates (and just after the release of Ableton’s Live 9 and the announcement of NI’s Komplete 9), Propellerhead dropped a bomb this week with the announcement of a new version of Reason. After years of development the company is ready to release Reason version 7, which brings many exciting new updates to the GUI and audio functionality of the popular music production software. Most notably the company has added MIDI out functionality, taking Reason outside the box for the first time since its inception. ReCycle has also been integrated into Reason 7 (following the trend of Record becoming part of Reason with version 6) and the audio waveform functions have improved accordingly with built-in audio slicing and audio quantize. Add to this an enhanced factory sound bank, new retro effects, a spectrum analyzer, parallel channels, and you’ve got a package that looks well worth the asking price of $129 to upgrade ($449 for new users).
Reason 7 is a big release, so we reached out to Propellerhead product specialist and Reason guru Matt Piper to sum up this landmark update:
“With Reason 7, Propellerhead is really coming through for their core users and delivering several of the biggest features they have been asking for. When I started beta testing Reason 7, it wasn’t only the new features that impressed me, but how smartly the features have been implemented. The way MIDI Out integrates your hardware instruments into the Reason rack and sequencer, the way audio is automatically sliced and can be instantly converted to REX files, the way the spectrum analyzer is integrated with the excellent EQ section of Reason’s mixer, the intuitive way audio mix busing and one-click parallel channels are implemented: all of these new features are made even more powerful by their ease of operation. Reason 7 is a major upgrade that will significantly expand and speed up music creation for Reason users.”
Reason MIDI Out
The most surprising update to Reason is the addition of MIDI output. For the first time ever, Reason is able to communicate with hardware MIDI instruments. Given the rise in popularity of music hardware (and especially modular synthesizers) over the last few years, it makes sense that Propellerhead would go in this direction. With this update, all Reason devices can now be sent to MIDI out and you’ll also be able to use the CV connections in Reason with a MIDI connection. All MIDI connections are implemented through the new External MIDI Instrument device (above), which allows you to control external instruments via MIDI and CV.
New Audio Functionality + ReCycle Inside
To compliment the new MIDI out feature, Reason 7 also expands the software’s recording capabilities by including Propellerhead” powerful ReCycle software directly in the Reason interface. This means you can sequence a synth or drum machine from Reason, record it into the software, and immediately chop the waveform by transients for use in Reason’s Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player, Reason’s samplers, or the Kong Drum Designer. From here you can quantize audio (another of Reason’s new features) or you can use the .rex file in a sampler. Dubspot curriculum director Chris Petti gives his take on the new audio features: “It’s like Live, but Propellerhead did it their way, it’s a very elegant implementation of time stretching technology.
Another new feature that Propellerhead has slipped into this update is support for .mp3 and .m4a files. This tip comes from Dubspot instructor and Reason product specialist James Bernard who told us that “you can now import more audio file types (including .mp3/m4a) as well as drag and drop any audio from a folder to the sequencer and Reason 7 will create a new sequencer track with the audio.”
Mixer + Spectrum Analyzer
Rounding out Reason 7′s new features are some new retro effects, an updated mixer, mixer controls (such as level and pan) in the rack, the ability to use parallel channels for effects, and bus channels for grouping tracks. There’s also a new Spectrum Analyzer which combines a powerful spectrum analyzer with a graphic EQ overlay controlling the Reason mixer’s EQ.
Reason 7 launches sometime in Q2 of 2013. Upgrades will be available for $129 for registered Reason owners and if you purchase Reason 6.5 between now and the launch date, you get a free upgrade to Reason 7. For more information stay tuned to Propellerhead’s website for announcements on this landmark release.