How cool is it that the Reason Rack plugin allows you to run Reason 11's instruments and effects inside of any DAW, from Ableton to Logic. But if you're new to Reason, you may be overwhelmed by all of the cables, synths, and options it provides.
I've got you covered! I've used Reason for nearly twenty years, and this blog post will show you exactly how to use the Reason Rack Plugin as both an instrument and an effect. I've also included a few videos showing exactly how to use the Reason plugin, for those of you that are visual learners.
And to help speed you along, I've also put together this free Reason cheatsheet that will teach you all of Reason's instruments, effects, and other devices at a glance. Download it here.
Note: some of the links below may be affiliate links, meaning that I receive a commission if you purchase through them.
What is the Reason Rack Plugin
In a nutshell, the Reason Rack Plugin is Reason stripped of its DAW features. So all of the synths, effects, players, and devices, all the beautiful CV routing, with none of the mixer channel or transport. So no recording in it. But that's what you're going to use your existing DAW for.
Instead, you're able to use the Reason Rack plugin inside your DAW to do all those wonderful, unique things for your projects that only Reason can do. You can buy Reason 11 here.
How to Use the Reason Rack Plugin in Your DAW
Every DAW is going to be slightly different with how it runs Reason, so it's up to you to know how your DAW works. For these examples, I'll be using Logic Pro X, but the principles are all the same.
Before you reach for the Reason Rack, you need to ask yourself one question: "What do I want this plugin to do?"
If you are using it as synth, sampler, or loop player, then you'll want to create a new track and insert the Reason Rack Plugin as the instrument.
If you want to use Reason as an effect, for example, for it's amazing Tape Echo, then you'll want to select an existing channel and add the Reason Rack Plugin Effect as an insert. Don't forget to download that free Reason device cheat sheet so you can quickly jump to the best instruments and effects.
And finally, if you want to use the Reason Rack Plugin as a midi effect, you'll need to insert it on the MIDI FX section of your DAW. If you want to record that midi data, you'll need to follow these steps.
Inserting the Reason Rack Plugin Instrument in Your DAW
I've already described the basics of using the Reason Rack Plugin as an instrument in your DAW, but if you want to really see the power and simplicity of adding the Reason Rack to your existing productions, check out the video below.
Using the Reason Rack Plugin as an Effect in Your DAW
Similarly, I've already described the basics of using the Reason Rack Effect Plugin as an effect in your DAW, but if you want to really see the power and simplicity of adding the Reason Rack to your existing productions, check out the video below.
Where to Learn Even More About the Reason Rack Plugin?
From there, you'll get to start adding devices and effects, moving them around, and setting up amazing modulations with CV. You can see some examples of that in the videos above.
This post has really only scratched the surface of everything the Reason Rack plugin can do. While you've just learned how to use the Reason Rack plugin as an instrument, a traditional effect, and even a midi effect in your DAW, there is so much more to Reason than that.
If you're serious about using Reason to make great music, check out Learn Reason in an Afternoon, the perfect beginner's course on Reason.
Or if you're still not sure if Reason is right for you, you can also check out this blog post on what you need to know to make great music in Reason.
Got a question about using the Reason Rack Plugin? Just leave a comment below!
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