Propellerhead’s Reason 6 Preview w/ Chris Petti

Earlier this year Propellerhead Software announced that they were creating a new version of the already legendary Reason and Record music production packages that would combine Record and Reason into one software package with many upgrades.

Propellerhead product specialist James Bernard and Line 6′s Matt Piper will join Dubspot’s own Chris Petti (also a sound designer who worked on Reason 6) to discuss the exciting new updates in Reason 6. As a sound designer working on this update Chris Petti has some unique insights that he has provided below.

A background on Propellerhead Software’s Reason and Record – Chris Petti, Dubspot Instructor and Reason 6 Sound Designer

Propellerhead Software has announced the forthcoming Reason 6 and it will hit the streets by the end of the month. It feels like Reason 5 and Record 1.5 were just released. They actually were just updated last September. Those of us keeping track with our calendars usually expect an update after 2 years. So, for most of us this is a very pleasant surprise.

For this update Propellerhead has now consolidated all of the features of Record and Reason together for Reason 6. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the timeline, Reason came about in 2000 and has been one of the most popular desktop music production software programs and synthesis studios. Reason was designed as a replacement for your hardware instruments, ie, synths, samplers, drum machines, fx, etc. Reason along with most of the major DAW’s incorporated the Rewire spec to allow for integration with Reason and your DAW to take advantage of the digital audio capabilities that Reason lacked. Still, Reason users begged and pleaded for Propellerheads to incorporate digital audio recording and editing features like what you would find in a DAW to complete it.

In 2009 Propellerheads responded to this request (sort of) with Record. To many Record made total sense and I couldn’t fathom using the Reason devices without Record’s audio capabilities. Record sported a 64bit mix engine as opposed to Reason’s 32bit one as well as a component modeled SSL inspired mixer that features compressor, gate and EQ on each channel. Record features a sophisticated export function, one of the highest quality time-stretch algorithms IMHO, the Neptune pitch corrector, transposer and harmonizer, and rock-solid performance and stability.

Still, Record didn’t light the world on fire and its advantages weren’t as obvious as it should have been. Many Reason users were already using it in conjunction with a DAW and didn’t see the point in upgrading to Record just to get digital audio functionality. Being that Record possessed many DAW-like features, it was compared by many to full featured DAWs and with lack of VST/AU plug-in support fell short. Propellerheads issued the statement early on that Record was not a DAW. I can say that I agree with that statement whole-heartedly, but, Record did offer enough improvements and additional features and still allowed for full integration with your DAW of choice that I immediately said, “who would ever use Reason by itself again?”

Unfortunately, a number of people didn’t get it and still continued to use Reason by itself, missing out on the other side of the fence. My feeling all along was that it should just be called Reason Pro or Reason Studio to keep with the branding that PH had built up over the years. Well, Reason 6 eats all of Record’s features and streamlines the total environment into one program.

Upgrades for Reason users include:

- Digital audio recording/editing capabilities are finally in Reason.
- a very impressive time-stretch algorithm is on board
- SSL inspired mixer drastically improves sound quality and adds Dynamics and EQ sections to every channel.
- A sophisticated bounce mixer channels function
- Neptune pitch corrector and harmonizer
- Line 6 Guitar and Bass am and cabinet Modelers for use in the traditional or not so traditional way(run your drums through a marshall amp and cabinet)
- 64Bit compliance
-A new higher quality Vocal algorithm for time-stretching vocals
-A new large record meter
-The Factory Sound Bank has been revamped and loaded with thousands of new patches

Exploring some of the new effects in Reason 6:

Pulveriser – Analog Modeling Compressor

- a compressor modeled after a very expensive, high-end analog compressor
- a distortion modeled after the ProCo Rat guitar distortion pedal,
- the filter section from Subtractor and the comb filter from Malstrom,
- a tremolo with sync’able rate and spread function
- an Envelope follower for controlling the filter
- And last but not least, a blend knob for balancing the processed and dry signal (parallel processing!)

Alligator – Multiband Gate with FX

- Multiband Gate device splits the signal into high/mid/low bands
- 64 gate patterns that can be overridden by CV control on back(ie you can create your own patterns)
- Ducking
- Dry Volume control(Parallel Processing again)
- individual outs for each band for further processing of each band
- each band has a filter controllable by Envelope+/- and LFO
- each band has Overdrive, Phaser, Delay, Panning, Volume

The Echo – a powerful new delay device

- a retro/modern design(We can see reference to the amazing Roland RE-201Space Echo in the GUI)
- ping pong
- retain or not retain pitch while delay times are altered(awesome for doing tape and dub-style delays
- feedback control with Diffusion(similar to adding a slight bit of reverb to place a little more dimension on the signal) with stereo spread and amount
- Color for adding Limiting, Overdrive, Distortion, and Tube to dirty up the delayed signal
- A bandpass filter for filtering the regenerated signals. this is great for midrange bass/lead sounds where you only want the bright parts of the sound affected by the delay
- an envelope to make the pitch wander up or down
- a wobble control to emulate tape speed wobbling and changing the pitch of the signal
- an LFO to control stereo spreading
- Breakout Jack on the back for creating a feedback loop with different effects on only the delayed signal
- ducking to prevent muddying up the delayed and dry signal
- Three modes of use
a. Normal-functions just like you would expect. Dry/Wet controls the balance between the dry and delayed signal
b. Trigger-set the Dry/Wet to a value to 50% or less and use the Trigger button to engage the delay. Cool thing about this is that the regenerations continue after the button is released
c. Roll-Use the roll slider to engage the delay. Works best with Dry/Wet set to 100%. Can be used to create beat repeat and stutter type delay effects
-Trigger and Roll  and Delay Time even possess CV inputs on the back that could be connected to Matrix pattern sequencers to create pattern based beat repeating and stuttering

Reason & Record Producer Certificate Program

Six levels / 48 sessions
Online and NYC classes coming soon!

Master Reason & Record with our complete program of courses culminating in a four track EP ready for release.  In addition to achieving a complete overview of the composition process in Reason & Record you’ll also earn the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Reason & Record. After completing this program, you will leave with a new EP, a remix entered in an active remix contest, a Refill ready to share, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Reason & Record.

Check out this video interview with Dubspot instructor, Chris Petti on using Reason in  the classroom:

Learn to use Reason & Record at Dubspot with our 6-level Reason & Record Certificate Program featuring courses that include:

  • Reason & Record  Level 1: Sketches, Beats, and Remixes
  • Reason & Record  Level 2: Dissect and Reconstruct
  • Reason & Record  Level 3: Sound Design
  • Reason & Record  Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
  • Reason & Record  Level 5: Recording and Mixing
  • Reason & Record  Level 6: Beyond the Rack
  • 9/21/2011

!aahhh! que suerte los que estan en esa escuela de Dj; mientras que yo sigo quedandome hasta atras por falta de apoyo, que suerte la mia……

  • Dan
  • 9/21/2011

Tanks Chris!

  • Jonas
  • 9/21/2011

Will we be able to download or stream this later..

  • dan
  • 9/21/2011

Hi Jonas. We will be posting a video recap soon – thanks for asking.

  • Jonas
  • 9/21/2011

Have you guys posted it can’t seem to find it..

  • meik
  • 9/21/2011

i urgently demand some decent spectrum analyzer within reason….can’t wait until friday,,,,


  • Jonas
  • 9/21/2011

Did you guys forget to upload it??-