Propellerhead announces Reason 11 with Reason Rack as VST

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
  • DDMF Metaplugin
  • Maschine (sounds a bit weird but you can run Maschine inside Logic and open VST plugins inside Maschine)

Conclusion

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.

MaschineR Jam – Control Reason from Maschine Jam

Retouch Control has introduced MaschineR Jam – software package to provide full control of Propellerhead Reason and Reason devices via Native Instruments Maschine Jam controller. 

Retouch Control already released software that allows controlling Reason from Ableton Push, NI and Maschine Studio, iPad. Today they’ve introduced ultimate for Maschine Jam – which takes features you would expect from Maschine Jam: (Kong and Redrum) controller and sequencer, mixer controller, devices parameter controller etc. and pushes the concept further with some innovative ways to play with instruments like Animoog-like keyboard – you can play notes with touch strips of Jam controller and use Y-position on the as a Mod-wheel. Though it might work well only in mode as Reason doesn’t have proper MPE support. 

Reveal Sound released Spire Rack Extension for Reason

Reveal Sound has just released Rack Extension version of Spire synth and it has incredible launch price of just $59.

Obviously they were working hard to release it before Reason 9.5 version comes in. And they even called it Preview Edition.  It is really weird – it doesn’t have any CV inputs/outputs except CV/GATE in. User interface works really weird at menus (choosing filter type for example). Matrix is not visual at all – they would better put it on the back of the rack unit… So it feels more like a beta rather than finished product. And if you have access to Reason 9.5 you can have much more fun with Spire VST – at least it has 8 CV inputs so you can modulate some of its parameters. 

Download free trial from Propellerhead Rack Extension store 

Product details

VERSATILE OSCILLATORS 4x multimode polymorphing oscillators Classic, Noise, FM, AMSync, SawPWM

UNIQUE UNISON ENGINE 9x unison voices on each oscillator Spread unison voices by chords and octaves Capable of imitate different types of unisons like supersaw, hypersaw

SUPERB SOUNDING FILTERS 2x multimode filters with analogue and digital types of filtering Perfecto, Infecto, Acido, Scorpio, Combo

HIGH QUALITY BUILT IN FX PROCESSOR Shaper/Decimator, Phaser/Vowel, Chorus/Flanger, Delay, Reverb

INCREDIBLY FLEXIBLE MODULATION ARCHITECTURE 4x Macroses, 4x Envelopes, 4x LFOs with morphing shapes, 15x Matrix slots each of equipped with 2x sources and 4x targets

2x STEPPERS, ARPEGGIATOR

MAKE YOUR SOUNDS FATTER with X­-Comp (Multiband Up/Down Compressor) and 3-band EQ

STUNNING PRESETS Over 800 factory presets including complex arpeggios and bass sequences, a versatile assortment of leads, exhilarating pads, plucks, drums and FXs

Please note: Please install and test ReSpire demo Before purchase. Some presets may consume a lot of CPU. We are working on optimized version. Thanks for your support!

Zvork updates RE synth Oberon to v2

Zvork – Rack Extension for Propellerhead Reason developer has released Oberon 2 – second version of his powerful synth. The unique features of Oberon are flexible screens where you can draw waveforms, envelope curves etc. 

With the recent update of Reason 9.2 and their SDK – Rack Extension developers were able to import samples. And the major feature of a new update is abiltity to import samples (to replace oscillators waveform). With Position and Motion control you can get truly unique granular/timestretched effects – try loading there various samples – strings, synth lines, 808 kick or a drum loop. The combination of a powerful synth with Reason 9.2 sample import feature opens a truly new world for sound designers and brings new life to a Oberon synth by Zvork. 

Product details

The Oberon synthesizer has two oscillator sections and two filters. Each oscillator can be fed to one of the two filters or to both, in serial or parallel mode. These filters enable you to alter the timbre of your sound but are not the only mean to do so. Each oscillator can generate a number of different waves, from simple sawtooth and square to more complex metallic or robotic sounds. Each of these waves is in reality a wave sequence that can be played at different speeds.

Oberon 2

This major update adds new features such as sample loading, wave modifiers, LFO rise and delay parameters, but also GUI enhancements and 100+ new patches. Please note that this update is only available for Reason 9.2+ owners.

Download Oberon from Propellerhead store

Blamsoft eXpanse 2 Review

When first version of Expanse came out it was already one of the most advanced synthesizers available in Reason. Expanse synth is developed by Blamsoft – company that brought lots of Rack Extensions including two best-selling RE synths – Viking and Zero. Based on their great experience and understanding of Reason environment and workflows – Expanse 1 was more advanced then any other wavetable synth – combining wavetable, additive and subtractive synthesis in one powerful unit.

With Propellerhead’s introduction of Reason 9.2 and new Rack Extension SDK – Blamsoft updated Expanse to the version 2 and made it free update for existing users (though I’m sure most of them would be happy to pay a fee to get the ability to import their own waveforms).

Sample import was one of the most expected features for REs SDK. And apparently Propellerhead team was quietly working with Blamsoft to make Expanse 2 ready on the Reason 9.2 launch day.

Wavetables:

Expanse comes with nice selection of waveforms made by renowned sound designer eXode.
Even without importing your own waveforms you already have large collection to play with. Each osciallator has 4 modifiers – each can be setup as FM, Phase Distortion, Ring Modulation, Wrap, Decimate, Invert etc. BTW, Serum has only one modifier per OSC – and here we got 4 which makes sound shaping capabilities literally unlimited.
With the newest version (requires Reason 9.2) you can load up wavetables. Blamsoft says that all Serum wavetables are compatible with eXpanse. But also you can take wavetables from everywhere: free wavetables banks that you can find on the forums (if you search you can easilty find collection of Virus TI wavetables and other synths), wavetables packs from other synths – it is not just Serum but also Waves Codex, iOS-synth Animoog etc.
And of course you can just import any wav-file as a wavetable (just make sure it is pretty short), play with position modulation and modifiers – and you instantly get unique sound.

If you compare Expanse to Serum – Serum has better control on the waveforms (with its waveform editor) but it has 2 wavetable oscillators (+one noise OSC that can play files and sub-osc) and only one modifier control (warp, sync etc) while eXpanse has 4 wavetable oscillators and 4 modifiers per each osc.

Filters and Amps:
eXpanse has 2 filters that can run in serial or parallel mode and 2 independent AMPs!!! – that something that can make really interesting patches – from cool stereo effects to nice evolving sounds.

Modulation:

eXpanse is probably the most advanced synth in terms of the modulation: 5 envelopes with adjustable slopes, 3 LFOs, Random and Noise as Modulation sources, really nice Step Sequencer with two CCs that can modulate any parameter.

Modulation matrix with 6 modulation slots with 3 destinations per modulation, drag’n’drop modulation destination assignments, lots of CV ins etc.

Effects:
Effects section has pretty much everything you would expect from top-synth this days: Compressor, EQ, Distortion, Phaser, Delay, Reverb. We don’t stop here much because Reason is cool modular environment with great amount of various FX devices – you can easily add other REs for effects and combine it into single Combinator patch.

Overall:
If you’re already using Reason to make music – eXpanse is a must have Rack Extension. Just the ability to import your own samples as wavetables is worth buying it. It is well thought-out interface that looks very natural in the Reason rack (particularly with the dark-color scheme).

Propellerhead brings sample import to Rack Extension format in Reason 9.2

Propellerhead has updated Reason to 9.2 bringing long waited and much requested feature of sample loading for Rack Extension format. Now we can expect to see many new Rack Extension plugins with sample loading features – samples, drum machines, granular synths, convolution reverbs and other sample-manipulation devices. Another great addition to new Rack Extension SDK is an ability to create “more user friendly interfaces with hideable widgets and panels, improved displays and more”

With update of Reason 9.2 there are two new Rack Extensions of third party developers available:
– Blamsoft Expanse 2.0 (free upgrade for existing users) – powerful wavetable synth now with wavetables import feature and support of Serum-compatible wavetables
– Proton by LoveOne/Selig Audio – first granular synth for Reason

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