Reason 5 and Record 1.5 are now here, and I have tested it for a while. This is Propellerhead's biggest upgrade ever, and it brings a multitude of new instruments and effects, improved sequencing and more.
So what is Reason? Reason is a music software program developed by Propellerhead Software from Sweden. I am a bit proud of this, since I am Swedish myself! It is a powerful tool which emulates a rack of hardware synthesizers, samplers, signal processors, sequencers, drum machines and mixers. These can all be freely interconnected in an many different ways. You can use Reason as a complete virtual music studio, but you can also use it as a collection of virtual instruments.
And what is Record? Record is software for recording songs and ideas easily. It was created with musicians in mind. With Record, there are few steps between idea and your actual recording. You focus on creating music and worry less about menus. Simply plug in, breathe out and you're ready to go!
Version 5 adds plenty of powerful new features and instruments: the mighty Kong Drum Designer, the versatile Dr. Octo Rex loop player, a live sampling input, a pattern-based sequencing mode, and more.
New features in Reason 5
Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player
The upgraded Dr. Octo Rex loop player loads eight REX loops into one player and lets you switch between them on the fly. This makes arranging a breeze — load the drum loops into one player, the guitars into another and use the sequencer to select what loop to play in a pattern-like fashion.
Blocks lets you sequence your songs using a more pattern-based approach: intro, verse, chorus, breakdown, buildup, and so on. It's a fast and intuitive way of creating your song structure. With the basic arrangement laid out you can create variations, mute individual parts, and even switch to Song mode to add or remove musical elements in each section.
Remember the time when a sampler was a machine that could record samples, not just play them back? In the era of software samples the art of spur-of-the-moment creative sampling is pretty much lost. Reason 5 is bringing it back. All sample players in Reason are now samplers. Just hook up a sound source to the rack's sampling input and you are ready to start sampling. Use a mic, a turntable, an instrument or the entire Reason mix!
Kong Drum Designer
Analog synthesis, physical modeling, sampling, REX loops, support sound generators, effects, flexible routing, multiple hit types and more – the Kong Drum Designer is not your regular drum module! It's the drum module focused on letting you get exactly that drum sound you're after.
Record gives you unlimited audio tracks, as well as world-class effects and mixing gear. The intuitive, straightforward interface makes it easy and effective to get tracks down. Record was designed for musicians, which is what I love about this program. It doesn't stand in the way of creativity.
Here comes the cool part! Line 6 integration!
This is what I love the most! Record already has virtual POD and Bass POD units from Line 6. This means you always have bass and guitar amps available for every single track! All these great Line 6 counds are there anytime, so you are never short of interesting tones and timbres. Tthe Line 6 amps are "insert effects", which means they don't affect the original instrument signal. If you decide you want a different cabinet and amp on a track, you can just change to some other amp/cab combination in the interface and boom - you have a new sound - even after laying down your track! This is completely awesome and has changed how I approach recording.
Record also comes with multi-instrument tool called ID-8, a songwriter's toolbox. This tool comes with many great sounds, including pianos, drums, bass, strings. This is of course nothing but great to have handy, as you are building your tracks.
Most of the Line 6 hardware units can be used with Record. More specifically, I believe these are the ones that you can use - POD Studio, GuitarPort XT, TonePort, POD XT, POD X3, and iLok,
Reason and Record together
So why use both programs? Well, keep in mind that Record is your tool for recording tracks, and Reason is your tool for creating creative sounds. However, these two tools can be tightly integrated. For example, you can record a guitar track, and then send it through the Reason's synthesizers to create some incredible sounds.
Reason also has the wicked Kong Drum Designer, which you will definitely want. The Dr. OctoRex loop player is definitely major fun!