Reason 5 & Record 1.5 Review :: Live Sampling, Kong Drum Designer & Neptune Pitch Adjuster

Propellerheads Software from Sweden pioneered the concept and vision of the self contained virtual music production studio just about 10 years ago. They have now recently leaked some of the new features, functions, and devices that will be included in the next major revisions of Reason and Record. As many of you know, Propellerheads don’t release updates that often, so when they do, they really try to make them count. Reason 5 and Record 1.5 look as if they will live up to this expectation… and then some.

These updates are major, and they address many issues and requests that I had as a Reason/Record user and have even included some things that I, along with other users, surely couldn’t have imagined.

Propellerheads say that the updates will be out later this summer.

Live Sampling – Reason 5 and Record 1.5

This is an interesting concept; software samplers that actually record and sample audio. Live sampling is a new feature that places a Live Sampling button on every location where a .WAV or .AIF file can be loaded in on each of the sample playback devices (i.e. Redrum, NN-19, NN-XT, Kong, etc.) Live sampling will allow for two main functions:

1. To sample external audio through your audio interface in realtime (i.e. mic input)
2. To resample any piece, part or section of your tune

When live sampling is engaged, a waveform editor that has now been built into the program appears, and allows you to trim, crop, normalize, reverse, crossfade-loop the sample, thus making this whole process self-contained inside the program.

Kong Drum Designer – Reason 5 and Record 1.5

Kong is a multifunctional drum design unit that allows for 16 different drum parts for each of the 16 different pads on its GUI. Sounds can be edited and shaped all-day. Kong also posses an arsenal of Support generators and FX processors geared towards shaping your drum sounds. Support generators will add additional body and tone to your drum sounds.

Drum generation methods are:
1. NN-Nano – Sample playback – multisampling/layering
2. Nurse REX – REX Loop playback – plays back as individual slices, or chunks
3. Analog Bass Drum Synth – think 808, 909, etc. analog kicks
4. Analog Snare Drum Synth – think 808, 909, etc. analog kicks
5. Analog Hi-Hat Drum Synth
6. Analog Tom Drum Synth – think 808, 909, etc. analog kicks
7. Physical Modelled Bass Drum
8. Physical Modelled Snare Drum
9. Physical Modelled Tom Drum

The Support generators are:

1. Noise
2. Tone

Kong’s internal structure allows for 2 Insert FX for each part; 1 Send Effect and 1 Master Effect.  Kong also allows for flexible output routing (16 outs.)
The FX are:

1. Compressor
2. Filter
3. Overdrive/Resonator
4. Parametric EQ
5. Rattler
6. Ring Modulator
7. Room Reverb
8. Tape Echo
9. Transient Shaper

Propellerhead – Reason 5 and Record 1.5 – Neptune

How clever? Nep-tune… ;-) … I get it.

Neptune is a pitch device for audio in Record 1.5. It’s also an FX processor that you would add to an audio track as an insert effect. Overall, Neptune has three key functions:

1. Real-time Audio Transposer – This is pretty cut and dry; you have controls for the semitone shift and fine tune.
2. Real-time Pitch Correction – This function is a very welcome addition, as it detects notes in monophonic audio signals and/or tracks (e.g. vocals) that are off and corrects their pitch. It looks as though it will also allow for incoming MIDI notes to pull the pitches away from their root and correct it in a sliding and gliding real-time fashion. Hmm… feels like I’ve seen something like this before in a certain plug-in.
3. Voice Synth – This functionality allows for incoming MIDI chords to make duplicates of the audio to create what sounds like harmonies and backing parts. I was a big fan of a piece of hardware that did this years ago.


  • Darrell
  • 6/9/2010

So, Chris… Overall, what’cha think? Do these additions help to turn up the heat a bit on the luke warm Record product? Think we can expect to see Recycle slicing built in soon?

  • bassermann
  • 6/9/2010

nice piece Chris! One thing I noticed playing with Neptune last night is what a cool INSTRUMENT it is – use a didgeridu or sax or vocal or whatever track and use that as an oscillator that you play on the controller keys with PB and MOD – map a knob or fader to the formant control and it’s a pretty fun jam – definitely sounds different than anything else… gb

  • Naughty Piz
  • 6/9/2010

OOh, get your pan pipes on (lol)

  • Reason5-Record1.5 owner
  • 6/9/2010

Kong is knock-off of BFD 2 and the biggest problem is the liscensing requirements.

Do you seriously want to pull your audio interface or other gear just to plug in a piece of hardware to take Record out of demo mode everytime you use it?

Do you feel when you paid for Reason 4 and Record 1.0 that you should have to re-activate it on the ignition key everytime you switch to one or the other software? It doesn’t hold all the keys for all the apps so essentually you paid for 4 but you can ‘t use Reason 4 once you add Reason 5 same with Record 1.0 and 1.5 – did you pay for one ore the other app? I didn’t – I paid for both and except the keys for both – but they don’t tell you that at Proppellerhead.

No more than they tell you you need a dedicated usb port – not jsut an open one. Imagine if every peiece of software required you to re-input the liscense key everytimne you opened up… that’s how theirs works currently,.

Imagine you are recording and someone hits the igniton key – it disloges or breaks – the app revertws back and you can’t save the file.

and at $50 bucks to repalce it or loss the app – that bites

  • Matt Shadetek
  • 6/9/2010

@Reason5-Record1.5 owner Interesting points there, I agree that these kind of security devices can have the effect of penalizing the paying customer in an attempt to stop piracy. I think that’s why we’re seeing more and more companies moving away from them.

  • Record 1.5 – Educational Editon – 5 Pack – CD-ROM |
  • 6/9/2010

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