Update on Reason and VST performance

Posted Dec. 14, 2018, 9:37 a.m.

The end of the year is nigh and you might be wondering how the VST performance improvements are going. The bad news is that it won't be done this year after all, but the good news is that we've entered alpha testing and we're getting great results!

To understand why this work is taking a while, we wanted to share some details on what we’re actually doing. Many VSTs use less CPU when run with larger audio buffers. Reason has always run all devices with 64 frame buffer, regardless of the user’s audio setting. Reason native devices and Rack Extensions are optimized for this so they show no difference in CPU usage when audio buffer setting changes. Other parts of Reason can still have improved performance with a larger buffer size, but this is the case with our devices. The challenge with this update is to keep existing Rack Extensions and native devices running with 64 frame buffers, as before, while allowing VSTs to run with larger buffers in the same Reason rack.

We made this technical choice because many of our users expect high performance while playing their instruments “live” and while patching, including feedback connections, which requires low latency for an optimal experience. By choosing a low fixed buffer size in Reason and Rack Extensions we were then able to optimize the whole system based on that condition, yielding high performance and a realistic result when patching audio and CV cables. The work now is to marry that world with the different paradigm of VST, providing maximum performance for all users in all situations.

As I mentioned, we're currently alpha testing our prototype with our trusted Test Pilots, a small group of seasoned Reason power users, and they're getting great results in the prototype. We also talked about and showed our prototype to Peter Kirn over at CDM, you can read his impressions in his article on CDM.

When we've gotten to a state where all parts of Reason are updated to work with these changes, we will begin a more public beta testing. With all this said, I personally want to apologize that I promised something we couldn't deliver on time. That's also why I don't want to promise a new date when this will be done, but we're working hard and it's getting closer! I hope you look forward to the improvements, they'll be worth the wait.

Mattias Häggström Gerdt
Reason Product Manager

Posted Dec. 14, 2018, 9:37 a.m.


#QuadNoteGenerator - Let's hear what you're generating

Posted Dec. 7, 2018, 1 p.m.

Quad Note Generator – our new Rack Extension Player has arrived. Quad Note Generator is the Player device that creates an endless stream of musical ideas. Melodies you wouldn’t have thought of, rhythms not yet heard and music about to be written.

We want to hear what you can do with Quad Note Generator!

If you don't already own Quad Note Generator, go get the free 30 day trial in our shop! Make some music with it, using any instrument you'd like, and share a video on your favorite social media channel, using the #QuadNoteGenerator hashtag so we can find it. We will repost our favorite pieces of music!


Here are some posts to get you inspired:


Happy generating!

Posted Dec. 7, 2018, 1 p.m.


Introducing Quad Note Generator

Posted Dec. 4, 2018, 9:41 a.m.

I'm very happy to announce that Quad Note Generator, our new Player Rack Extension, is now available in the Propellerhead Shop. Designed by Propellerhead and developed by our friend Lectric Panda, this device is all about generating ideas with more or less controlled unpredictability. In other words, we wanted it to feel like having a box of new ideas in the Reason rack.

If that sounds a bit geeky, it's because it is! We were inspired by interesting sequencing concepts in modular systems, but also tried and true algorithms like Euclidian rhythms. Things that let you give up some control of your music, and in return be pleasantly surprised at the result. Don't worry though, it's actually quite simple. If it's one thing that surprised us it's how easy it is to stumble upon an idea that works, even if you don't know what you're doing.

Within the first week of testing, PropellerHQ was filled with all kinds of generated music: funky clavinet lines, acid bass lines, abstract musique concréte, meandering piano harmonies, ambient soundscapes and bubbly synth lines. In fact, Stefan now has a habit of setting up a Reason rack with a few Quad Note Generators in the morning and then listening to the result while he works—that's 8 hours.

Ludvig, who designed the Player, found a great balance between control and happy accidents while Rob at Lectric Panda did a fantastic job putting it all together. I really think this is one of the most useful and inspiring devices we have ever made. I hope you'll agree!

Mattias Häggström Gerdt
Product Manager

Posted Dec. 4, 2018, 9:41 a.m.

Artist stories

Artist Feature: Gabriel Gassi

Posted Nov. 16, 2018, 9:29 a.m.

Gabriel kick-started his passion for urban/R&B and pop productions with a lego-like building music program at the age of 10, alongside playing drums to quench his other thirst as a youngster in rock and punk bands. A 'chameleon' is an apt description for this multi-skilled music maker, citing influences as diverse as Lil Durk, Justin Bieber and Tory Lanez. Gabriel spent years studying, shape shifting and translating the sounds from his vivid imagination, across a myriad of genres, to live instruments and remixes for outside successful Swedish performers, bringing out their inner artist and winning respected acclaim for his work.

Gabriel's new single Rosebud explores a seductive mix of minimalism, feel-good frequencies, hooky, monotone vocals and wistful lyrics. Here's Gabriel's thoughts on Rosebud:

"I wrote this song during a time when I didn't have a lot of money. I escaped into the world of video games, finding cheat codes to at least make my virtual life more extra."

With his armour of strong songs, production and live stage skill set, Gabriel Gassi is set to make waves on a whole new level in the future. We got a chance to talk to Gabriel before he's out making those waves, about his use of Reason and approach to music-making.

Congratulations on your new single release! Lots of Reason users have had the chance to dissect it already since it's included as a demo song in Reason Lite. Any big differences comparing the Reason demo song to the released single version?

Nothing major, the essential parts from the song are still there! A few adjustments in terms of, like, changing some drum sounds in the new version.

How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity?

To get started I click File > New in Reason and everything that happens after that is beyond my control! Just kidding – but seriously, getting started with a new song and what sparks my creativity vary a lot, for better or worse. It often depends on what state I’m in; if I’m happy or sad, if I have homework or if my cat wants to cuddle or not. When I’m happy, the source for inspiration can be literally anything from a movie soundtrack to a dog on the street happening to bark in a specific note that perfectly fits the chords I’m playing on my keyboard. When I’m low I tend to focus on, and thus get my inspiration from, self-lived events such as breakups or being broke. I wrote ’Rosebud’ during a time when I had literally no money.

What's the best music-making tip you ever got?

Work minimalistic, clean up unnessesary sounds and give extra love to the elements that really play important parts in your song!

How did you start out making music? How did it all begin?

It all began with an easter egg hunt. As every year in my and my little brother’s childhood, we searched high and low for candy-stuffed easter eggs, hid by our parents.

This year when I was ten, instead of candy in my easter egg I got this music program called Hip Hop eJay, where you built your own songs out of loops. It was a little bit like building with LEGO bricks. Few years later I got Reason, in which I could advance my beat making to a more unique level. To this day I still make my music in Reason. And I still use loops a lot.

What are your tips for new producers wanting to start out making music?

If you have never produced before and you want to start out making music, don’t be afraid to dive right into your music-making program on your own terms, rather than learning from tutorials made by others. I’m not saying tutorials aren’t the way to learn how to produce – they can be great for learning tricks that otherwise maybe wouldn’t have come to our attention – I’m just saying that if you are open to in your own way, in your own tempo and with your own preferences explore this music program you’re about to work with, I think the chances for you to really develop a unique producer ID will increase.

Favorite thing about Reason?

That it always moves forward without changing its past. When I started out with Reason it had no proper audio handling and was based on midi and sampling. Today Reason has both audio editing and VST plugin support– and my old favorite samplers NN–XT and Dr. Rex are still there! As an artist striving to create modern pop music with a feel of nostalgia to it – juggling between today’s and yesterday’s tools and sounds is just what I need in my music-making.

What’s happening next for you?

I’m finishing up some more demos – and maybe it’s time for an EP or a debut album? Don’t really wanna give away too much right now but will have some real bangers for you soon! Or maybe just a bunch of selfies.

Favorite music right now?

Everything from PC Music.

Follow Gabriel on Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud.

Listen to the new single Rosebud:

Posted Nov. 16, 2018, 9:29 a.m.


Watch: The Making of Jarren Benton's "Don't Need You"

Posted Oct. 30, 2018, 12:54 p.m.


With 1.8 million views on YouTube, it's safe to say that the music video for Jarren Benton's "Don't Need You" is a huge hit. We caught up with Reason powered producer Kato on the Track and he sent us this video where he breaks down how he came up with the beat for "Don't Need You" and how he produced it, all in Reason.


Start making beats in Reason - free trial

Posted Oct. 30, 2018, 12:54 p.m.