As we had been predicting, Reason 11 was just announced and it features one of the most requested feature: Reason Rack as VST plugin.
On a release date Reason Rack will be available as VST3 plugin only. AU support will come later in 2019.
Reason Rack comes as Instrument VST3 plugin and Effects VST3 which allows processing your audio signals with Reason devices.
Within Reason Rack we can now use Rack Extensions but there’s no VST plugins support inside Rack. Which is a bit strange as some other mega-VSTs (like Maschine) allow hosting VST plugins inside VST plugin.
Rewire is now discontinued and is not supported by Reason 11.
With Reason 11 Propellerhead intros Reason 11 Suite which includes all the Propellerhead Rack Extensions: Scenic Hybrid Instrument (new one), Complex-1 Modular Synth, Umpf Club Drums, Umpf Retro Beats, Reason Electric Bass, Reason Drum Kits, Processed Pianos, Layers Wave Edition, Layers, Parsec Spectral Synthesizer, Radical Keys, Polar Dual Pitch Shifter, Rotor Rotary Speaker, PolyStep Sequencer, Quad Note Generator, Drum Sequencer.
Reason Rack as VST takes Propellerhead to a completely new route. One of the weakest parts of Reason was weak sequencer and no tracks freeze. Now with the ability to host multiple Rack plugins users can choose any favorite sequencer – Ableton Live, Studio One, Logic, Cubase, FL Studio or even Maschine (next software update of Maschine comes with VST3 support).
For some reasons Reason Rack doesn’t support AU from its first release which makes me hope they will make a universal AU – version for Mac and iOS.
There are still few open questions that might be answered after playing for some time with beta: how devices inside Rack can be automated, what parameters will be reported to the host? is Rack multi-output VST plugin? how is the performance of the new plugin? how good is plugin delay compensation reporting?
There also bunch of new devices that come with Reason 11:
Sweeper Modulation Effect – a flanger, phaser and filter device
Quartet Chorus Ensemble – Chorus/Ensemble effect
3 devices from SSL mixer: Channel EQ, Channel Dynamics and Bus Compressor (Bus compressor is a really cool one – I was waiting it as a RE for a long time)
How to use Reason Rack in Logic?
Logic supports only AU plugins and Reason Rack won’t support it in the first version.
There are multiple options on how to host VST plugins in Logic with plugin wrappers:
Kushview Element – free wrapper plugin
Maschine (sounds a bit weird but you can run Maschine inside Logic and open VST plugins inside Maschine)
It is a great revolutionary update. For me Reason Suite is a no-brainer deal – I’ll upgrade on day 1 and I can’t wait to have all my favorite synths and effects from Reason as separate instances of Reason Rack inside Ableton and Cubase.
As people would be able to use their favorite sequencers, they might be stop requesting Reson sequencer improvements but ask for other important features that Reason lacks, like better sampler (NNXT makes me feel like I’m in 1999, not in 2019), iOS support for Reason Rack and more rack extensions.
I hope that Reason Rack will bring much more people to Reason platform and more developers for Rack Extension platform.