Reason Rack Extensions Revealed: iZotope, Korg, Audio Damage, Sonic Charge, Peff

Have you been waiting patiently for third-party instruments and effects for Reason? The wait is finally up as Propellerhead launches Reason 6.5 with Extension Racks

Reason 6.5 – Now With Rack Extensions

This month Propellerhead Software has released Reason 6.5, a free update to their music production software that now includes Reason Extension Racks – a platform for outside developers to create instruments and effects that run inside of Reason. This is a massive change to Reason and one that users have been hoping for since the release of the software in 2001. Reason has never supported VST or AU plug-ins but Propellerhead have recognized the demand for third-party instruments / effects and developed Rack Extensions to go above and beyond the standard plug-in formats.

The company explains, “Rack Extensions are full Reason rack citizens, giving users the same great experience with third party extensions as with any other Reason device – including the ability to load them in Reason’s Combinator, route audio and CV cables on the back, automation of all parameters, copy/paste devices and signal chains, and experimentation with the safety of unlimited undo. The Rack Extension technology enables 3rd-party developers to bring their expertise, sounds, and inspiring workflow into Reason by merging some of the best elements of typical plug-in expandability with the best elements of Reason’s ongoing commitment to stability, efficiency, and musicality.”

Third-Party Support

There are currently 13 companies who have signed on to support the new format, most of whom have devices currently for sale in the Propellerhead Shop. Heavyweights such as Korg, Rob Papen, Sonic Charge, Audio Damage, and iZotope are supporting the format, which leads us to believe that Rack Extensions are here to stay. “The reaction from developers since we introduced Rack Extensions has been astonishing. We’re opening the Propellerhead Shop today with some amazing creations available for immediate download into the Reason rack,” says Mats Karlöf, Rack Extension Product Manager. “And best of all is that users can try them all free in their music for thirty days, to discover the instruments and effects they’ll love.”

Currently Available Rack Extensions

Audio Damage – Rough Rider

The Rough Rider Rack Extension is a direct port of the popular Rough Rider VST/AU, in daily use by tens of thousands of producers and engineers the world over. It is a modern compressor with a “vintage” and uniquely warm sound. Perfect for adding compression effects to your drum bus, it also sounds great with synth bass, clean guitar, and backing vocals. Simple in operation, Rough Rider’s front panel is immediately accessible to anyone familiar with hardware compressors. With a mix control on the front panel for parallel (“New York Style”) compression, a scaled ratio knob, and gain reduction CV out the back panel, Rough Rider will drop right into any Reason project.

Audio Realism – ALB2

The legendary silver box that has been a hallmark of so much electronic dance music lives again with the AudioRealism Bass Line 2 (ABL2). Analog modeling techniques have been employed to create a DSP algorithm that accurately emulates every aspect of the original 303, from growling basses to hollow middles and beeping highs with metallic rattling accents.

FXpansion – Etch Red

FXpansion Etch Red: an exciting filtering effect with a great sound, based on DCAM circuit-modelled technology and now available as a Reason Rack Extension. Etch Red features dual filters with 38 available filter responses, realistic audio-rate FM, flexible routing, additional drive and compression stages, and our unique TransMod modulation system with 2 LFOs, envelopes and more.

iZotope – Ozone Maximizer

The Ozone Maximizer is an essential mastering tool for adding fullness and polish to your music. The original Ozone Maximizer has been used on countless recordings in a variety of genres, including rock, hip hop, electronic, classical and more. iZotope has now adapted this acclaimed technology for Reason, extending your Reason Rack with a versatile tool trusted by professional musicians and engineers worldwide.

“Many of us at iZotope have longed for the day that we could use more of our favorite production tools, like Ozone’s Maximizer, right inside of Reason. That day has come!” says Nick Dika, Senior Product Manager, iZotope. “Rack Extensions are a great solution for opening up the Reason rack to more world-class audio effects and instruments, and we are excited to be part of the launch with one of our flagship technologies.”

Korg – Poly 6

The Polysix analog synthesizer was introduced in 1981. With a full-sounding voice structure, chorus/phase/ensemble effects, and performance functions such as an arpeggiator, the Polysix became a world-wide hit. Its distinctive string and pad sounds are often heard to this day. Polysix for Reason uses Korg’s proprietary Component Modeling Technology to precisely model the electronic circuitry of the original analog instrument, capturing the exact sound and parameter response of the original. In addition, Polysix for Reason also adds enhancements such as 32-voice max polyphony, 16-voice unison with a detune/spread function, flexible external modulation settings, MIDI clock synchronization, and another spread function that adjusts the spaciousness of the effects.  This neoteric functionality brings the classic Polysix up to date for use in modern music production.

Peff – Buffre Beat Repeater

Peff’s Buffre Beat Repeater is an audio looping device that repeats and scrubs audio in sync with song tempo. Buffre is a performance effect, playable from a MIDI keyboard or control surface, and supports Reason control voltage routings for automated looping, stutter and glitch effects.

Propellerhead – Polar, Pulsar

Polar: An old school harmonizing and pitch-shifter effect with a host of modern tricks up its dual sleeves. Use it for classic harmonizing, stereo-widening, and real-time pitch-shifting, or experiment with freezing and looping for otherworldly effects.

Pulsar LGM-1: a dual-channel modulation powerhouse for the Reason rack. Use it to introduce variation to your sounds, create entirely new ones using its advanced and flexible modulation, or load up any of the masterfully crafted presets for instant inspiration.

Softube – Saturation Knob, FET Compressor, TSAR-1 Reverb, Trident A-Range

Saturation Knob: One-knob distortion to fatten up bass lines, add some shimmer to vocals or squash drum loops.

TSAR-1 Reverb: The TSAR-1 Reverb is not an emulation. It’s not a stock design. It’s not a static snapshot of a space. The TSAR-1 is a powerful, sophisticated, detailed and modern reverb algorithm. It’s alive and vibrant, gentle and dreamy, and above all – natural and believable.

FET Compressor: An extremely versatile compressor, modeled after the most famous solid-state compressor. The added features, such as a continuous ratio control, parallel compression, lookahead and detector filters, together with the super-fast attack time and trademark sound, makes the FET the go-to compressor for everything from vocal shimmer to drum bus compression.

Trident A-Range: This is a legendary piece of equipment. As only thirteen Trident A-Range consoles were ever made, it remains a holy grail for sound engineers and producers around the world. The A-Range channel features four bands of equalization and high and low pass filters, with an extremely colorful and musical sound. The original distortion is included, and is easily controlled with a saturation knob.

Sonic Charge – Bitspeek

Bitspeek is a pitch-excited linear prediction codec effect. It takes audio input, breaks it down into synthesizer parameters and reproduces the sound using an oscillator, noise and a formant filter. Despite having only a few simple controls, this box can produce a broad range of sounds from cheap speaking toys to high-end vocoder and talkbox effects. Bitspeek was created by Magnus Lidström, the man behind Malström.

Sugar Bytes – Slice Arranger, Filter Pattern, Pitch Delay

Slice Arranger: This effect slices the incoming audio signal and then puts the slices into new order. Pure broken beats, controlled by just a knob. Let the Slice Arranger re-arrange your drum beats, guitar licks or even the master bus! Change the patterns at any time and have millions of possible beat variations by just turning one knob!

Filter Pattern: The Filter Pattern is an animated filter effect that provides a lot of preset patterns with awesome filter movements. Filters types can be switched and filter controls modulated, while patterns can be varied at any time. Save some cables with this effect while creating stunning sound mutations with just a few knobs!

Pitch Delay: This effect combines delay, pitch shifting and filtering! Here you create terrific delay lines with CV-modulated filters. Create the most spacy delay effects and try some CV modulation on all the knobs!

Synapse Audio – RM-1 Ring Modulator, DC-2 Dual Chorus, AF-4 Analog Filter

RM-1: The RM-1 is a virtual-analog ring modulator with a unique soft-saturation characteristic. An internal oscillator as well as mono and stereo sidechains are available as modulation sources. Full CV control for all knobs is available on the backside of this rack extension.

DC-2: The DC-2 dual chorus offers a warm, sweeping stereo chorus effect based on a two-stage design with well-matched delay times.

AF-4: The AF-4 is a virtual-analog low-pass filter module, based on the well-known transistor ladder design. For highest quality sound, this low-pass filter employs a topology-preserving, zero-delay feedback network with 4x oversampling, yielding results comparable to an industrial circuit simulator.


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