Propellerhead Reason demo

This was followed in version 2.0 by a second drum machine - an emulated Roland TR-909. These instruments were picked due to the influence they had on mid-1980s and early 1990s electronic music and explains, in part, why Rebirth became so popular with professional musicians and bedroom tweakers alike.

As computing power has increased and computer prices have become more affordable, the market for software-based, or virtual, instruments has gone through the roof. The popularity of Cubase VST instruments (various emulations of older hardware) is one such example. More recent releases include virtual studios such as Studio 9000 (, Orion ( and Storm (

Propellerhead's final shipping CD-ROM will contain Reason for Windows 98/Me, Windows NT/2000 and Mac OS. Reason takes the form of a studio rack. You are able to chose which pieces of equipment you would like to include into your rack for the particular track or song on which you are working. Samplers, analog modelled synthesisers, mixers, step drum machines, effects such as delay and reverb, an input machine for connecting Rebirth and even a real-time multi-track sequencer are all at your disposal. The number of times you use any device only depends on your imagination and CPU muscle. Reason has 16 individual devices that all look like classic instruments, with controls ready to be pressed, tweaked and turned either via the mouse or by external MIDI instruments and controllers. Reason can also link with the popular software sequencers Cubase and Logic Audio via Propellerhead's ReWire MIDI software.

Pressing turns the rack around, and you are confronted with what would expect to see if the rack was physically in front of you - a lot of sound and effect routing options amongst which CV, gate and audio connectors all make an appearance. The cables used to make the changes even swing - a nice touch. Whether you want to control a synth with a drum beat or the effects of one machine with the output of another, it can all be done, and conveniently saved into that song's setup. Although I couldn't test a menu option called "Publish Song" in the time-limited and save-disabled demo, the shipped version of Reason features this choice. It allows created music to be shared via the Web in virtual communities. Using this feature the file size of a track can be reduced, ready for uploading, by removing any sound data that other users will have by default, and compressing other samples.

The final product should be shipping by the time you read this, though the demo version is available on the Propellerhead Web site. Reason is expected to be priced at approximately $899 but we could not confirm this. The suggested US price is $399.


Reason demo

Price: $TBA

Supplier: Musiclink

Phone: (03) 9765 6530


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Danny Allen

PC World
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