The Swedish company revolutionized the digital recording world many years ago with the first version of its Reason software. The virtual modular rack system and its ease of use drew in musicians and producers who for the first time could create entire productions in the box. The software would see many improvements and revisions over the years with each addition bringing more power and functionality to the system. With the additions of Rack Extensions and a recent focus on audio recording and mixing, Reason has formed into quite a capable DAW, while still maintaining its unique way of working.
Version 9 adds some exciting new functionality and improvements for both audio and midi enthusiasts. The headline feature thats seemingly getting a lot of early attention is the addition of of three devices called "Players". There is a Scales and Chords player that will no doubt speed up workflow for artists needing to create melodies and song structures quickly. Note Echo is a really cool echo device that adds functionality to its current delay and rhythmic devices. Dual Arpeggio is exactly as its name applies, an Arpeggiator device that allows for more complex patterns and will no doubt encourage more experimentation.
One feature that is garnering a lot of high praise is the built in pitch editor. Its simple enough to use and vocalists will be pleased to hear it sounds great. Propellerhead has built a reputation on delivering features at a slower pace than some of its rivals, but many would agree that when they do implement something new, its done right and doesn't sacrifice quality. Pitch editor is a prime example of this and Reason users will be pleased to hear the quality in its results. Version 9 also includes over a 1,000 new patches and sounds that will no doubt inspire producers needing something quick to build off of or tweak. One cant help but think a lot of work went into designing these sounds as they are highly customizable and sound great. Other features like in-place bounce to audio and the ability to bounce audio to midi are welcomed and will get a lot of use by many. There are two new themes introduced (dark and blue) that should satisfy those looking for maybe a different screen to stare at while recording long sessions. The dark theme in particular is easy on the eyes and gives Reason a fresh feel. There are other features not listed here, but overall Reason 9 feels like its come into its own and no doubt will satisfy those who were underwhelmed by version 8's release. Upgrading from earlier versions should be a no brainer for most but if your new to this DAW in general, now would be a great time to go take a look.