Propellerhead just released Reason 9.5 update with VST support.
They have manage to implement VSTs in a very smart way - integrating it in the Reason rack like Reason native devices/rack extensions.
VST devices can have up to 8 parameters available on the front panel and modulated via CV - you can setup which parameters you want to see:
VSTs play well with all the native Reason devices - you can use Reason players, sequencers, LFOs and other modulators:
Just couple of Reason stock devices could bring new life to your favorite VST instruments.
VSTs can be included in the Combinator and when you save Combinator patch - everything is saved: all your CV mappings, VST preset, routing etc.
When added to the Combinator you can modulate/control all the VST parameters. So if you hit the limit of 8 modulations and need more just put VST inside the combinator to get more control and modulation options:
Does VST "X" work in Reason?
There were many questions like: will Waves/UAD/Native Instruments Maschine/MPC etc. VSTs work in Reason?
A general answer is - yes if it supports VST 2.4 standard 64 bit.
So all plugins even those that rely on hardware: UAD, Elektron Overbridge, Virus TI... work well - like in any other software.
Here's the patch of Elektron Analog Four sequenced by ABL3 and routed to to UAD Space Echo:
VSTs that don't work in Reason
Anything that is not VST 2.4 compatible is not working.
There are not so many plugins like that but still - there is no VST 2.4 version of Steinberg plugins (Halion, PadShop) and Roland (Roland cloud, AIRA-line) synths - at least for Mac OS, they provide only VST3 versions.
Workaround? Use any VST wrapper: Blue Cat Audio Patchwork, NI Maschine etc.
Same thing with AUs - you won't see them in the plugin list but you can use wrapper plugin.
If you still have some old 32-bit plugins you can try to use jBridge.
VSTs in Propellerhead Store
Another new thing introduced today is Propellerhead Store with VSTs. Though you don't get Rack Extension features like instant authorization, centralized download - it might be nice to see some good intro prices for Reason users. And yes, if you buy VST there - you can use it in any host, not just Reason. Check out some stuff from Waves, u-He, iZotope etc.
Propellerhead is committed to continuing developing Rack Extension format (and they promised to release some nice additions to the development platform soon).
Last month we've seen amazing new RE devices: ReSpire, Reasonans, Blamsoft VK2... Nothing can replace good CV tools.
Reason is a great modular environment so I'm sure we will see much more creative stuff in future.
In overall Reason 9.5 is the biggest update to the Reason platform because it adds to Reason users the unlimited number of features: you can finally run Kontakt and all those huge sampled instruments libraries with disk streaming features - right inside Reason. Running Maschine or MPC inside Reason? You get that. Looking for a nice Tape Machine, Compressor, Fabfilter Pro-Q 2 or Pro-MB? 100s of Reaktor ensembles? u-He synths? Valhalla Reverb? Serum? iZotope Ozone 7? You can now have everything inside the great modular environment!
If you don't have purchased Reason - it is time to jump in!