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Category Archives for "Propellerhead Reason"

Reason 11 Review

This Reason 11 review will help you figure out if Reason 11 is right for you. If you’re looking for a great DAW for hip hop and EDM, reason may be just for you. However, if you like to make more complex styles of music, the Reason 11 workflow will bog you down.

The Reason 11 update is the latest version of Propellerhead Software’s flagship DAW. Of course, Propellerhead has now changed its name to Reason Studios. Which makes sense, I guess, since that’s basically what they do.

Reason 11 was released on September 25, 2019. It added two totally new effects: the Quartet chorus and the Sweeper phaser as well as a half dozen minor workflow improvements. It also repackaged a few pre-existing effects. Still, I’m making the Reason 11 upgrade from 10 (here’s my Reason 10 review for reference).

The biggest new feature of Reason 11 is that it can now be used in other DAWs as a plugin (except logic, for the time being).

Should you buy Reason 11? Check out the video review.

Skip to your favorite part:
What’s new: 2:07
New User 5:26
Plugin User 7:58
Upgrading from Reason 9 – 11:56

Download the beginners Cheat Sheet.

The bottom line for my Reason 11 review – if you’ve got Reason 9 or below, it’s worth upgrading. If you’re using Reason 10, hold off. If you’re interested in getting started with Reason, there’s never been a better time! Even if you don’t love using Reason as a DAW, the ability to use it as a plugin in your favorite DAW makes it incredibly powerful!

Reason 11 Cheat Sheet

Learning Reason is hard! 

There's dozens and dozens of instruments, effects, players, and utilities. 

Figuring out where to start, or what to use when takes years of experience.

Thankfully, I've boiled it all down into just a few pages.

Introducing the Reason 11 Cheat Sheet.

It's a sentence or two describing each device its best uses. 

And if a device is old or outdated, well I tell you to just ignore it!

Let's get you learning to make music with reason - click below to download now!

Orbis Rack Extension Review

This Orbis Rack Extension Review digs into the new synthesizer by Skrok music. It is a great choice for musicians looking for a drifting 80s-style synthesizer. It works if you’re running Reason 7+. And it’s great in Reason 9 with the new scales + chords.

Click here to download 5 free Orbis Combinator patches.

However, it’s not perfect.

If you’d prefer to watch a review of the Orbis synthesizer, it’s right here. Otherwise, keep reading for more details.

Orbis Rack Extension Review of the Sounds

Orbis nails those analogue oscilators, and the filters just interact in beautiful, surprising ways. The aftertouch and expressiveness of the Orbis Rack Extension are great, too. It is a joy to play.

I really like the way the filter cutoff is set to control high pass, band pass, and low pass simultaneously. Orbis also includes a really cool “Hi Shelf” knob which adds or subtracts some nice sounding high end.

Here are some samples of the types of lush keys and pad sounds it excels at:

However, it doesn’t do a great job with leads, and the Orbis synthesizer also only does an average job with bass type sounds.

Thankfully, Skrok music makes a couple a companion rack extension, Solaris, which offers incredible 80s style analogue synth and analogue bass sounds.

Here are some demos of the lead instruments:

Orbis Rack Extension Reviews of the Intangibles

Like I said, the Orbis isn’t perfect. First, the interface is crowded, and I find that it discourages experimenting because there’s just too much to read, without enough intuitive design. Second, the buttons don’t easily reset to ‘zero’, so it can make dialing in your favorite settings difficult.

My biggest gripe, though, is that there are no CV inputs for anything other than note and gate. While you can always use a combinator to get access to all the features, I’d prefer to have the most common controls (filter, res, etc.) readily available for CV input.

Why I’m Upgrading to Propellerhead Reason 9 DAW

It’s (almost) here. The new Propellerhead Reason 9 DAW. (update: you can find my full Reason 9 review here)

I’ve been a longggggggggg time user of Propellerhead Software’s Reason DAW.

Reason is my favorite piece of music production software, because if find it so creative and intuitive.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I treat it like an instrument, and I sometimes get frustrated when I can’t use my real instruments the same way I use reason.

My Journey with Propellerhead to Reason 9


I got version 2.5 back in 2003. It came in a box and ran on Windows 2000.

I ran Propellerheads' Reason 2.5 on Windows 2000

I ran Propellerheads’ Reason 2.5 on Windows 2000


Fast-forward to today, and I run Reason 7.5. I never upgraded to Reason 8, because I didn’t think that the workflow improvements were enough, by themselves, to justify an upgrade.

Plus I was really comfortable with the design and layout that I’d gotten used to in the past few versions.

But Reason 9 changes all of that.

I made a video describing why I’m upgrading in detail.

But the short story is this:

  1. Workflow improvements. I think the browser in 7.5 is really old and tired.
  2. The new input features including an advanced dual arpeggio, scales and chords, and note echo. I use similar features in Maschine all the time, and there amazing.
  3. The ability to bounce audio to midi, and vice versa. This should open up some interesting possibilities.
  4. The RV-7000 MK II reverb with convolution (this was included in 8.0, but I never upgraded).
  5. The addition of over 1000 new patches to Propellerhead Reason 9. Who doesn’t love more sounds?
  6. Propellerheads has been a great company to their users, offering lots of free upgrades, rack extensions, and support over the years. Loyalty is earned, and they’ve put in the work.

For more information on Propellerhead Reason 9, check out their site.

It’s set to be released on June 21. It will cost $129 to upgrade and $399 to purchase new.

Stay tuned and sign up for the email list if you want to hear my review of Reason 9!

The bottom line: I can’t wait to make music on Reason 9!