Well, it seems that ResidentAdvisor.Net is very happy with the new release of Reason 6, calling Reason 6 a very strong comeback after what some users considered to be a slight letdown with Reason 5. According to them, “The new devices, the more efficient workflow and the integrated functionality culled from Record have all beefed up the Reason environment considerably.” And we certainly agree. If you’re a long-time user of Reason, you will immediately notice that the huge changes that they’ve made, primarily the integration of the Record features into Reason. And I think that even if you’re not a loyal fan of Reason, then these new features have at least turned Reason 6 into a must-try for any serious musician. Meaning you should at least try it out before finally settling into your current Digital Audio Workstation.
One thing that you’ll immediately notice the very moment that you open Reason 6 is the new mixer view, which is positioned just on top of the standard reason view. This is where you’ll find the various components of Record. It might look a little overwhelming at first, since you now have more channels and sliders on your screen, but the navigational aids make the interface rather intuitive, and it before you know it, it’s already second nature. Not only that, but the whole set-up requires relatively little work for your CPU. Reason has been known to be light on the computer, and Reason 6 is no exception.
There is a convenience when it comes to recording, since you can record audio in practically the same was as you record MIDI. There is also a kind of “back-up” feature, since Reason records more than one take in a live recording, meaning at the end of it all you can choose the best take, or still salvage the take if something goes wrong. This is a significant feature which I believe isn’t present in other DAW’s like Ableton. Another feature is that the content of your audio tracks are automatically time stretched, with three different time stretching algorithms, ensuring that you get the most perfect transpositions.
Of course, we don’t need to say much about the “meat” of Reason 6, which is the effects. Resident Advisor points out the disappointment that fans had with Reason 5, since after waiting for four years, Reason 5 was only equipped with two new devices: the Dr. Octo Rex loop player and the Kong drum designer. Reason 6 in contrast has three new devices. The first is the Echo, which is a space delay modeled after Roland Space Echo. Then second is the Pulveriser, which does exactly what is sounds like. Resident Advisor calls it a “Swiss Army knife bent on destruction, with a compressor, distortion, filter, modulation, envelope follower and configurable signal routing all wrapped up in a trendy steampunk interface.” Finally there’s the Alligator, which is a three-band gater that contains drive, phaser, delay, volume and pan controls for each band. It would really be interesting to see how people put this device to creative use.
Of course, Resident Advisor doesn’t call Reason 6 absolutely perfect. There are still some points for improvement. For example, they point out the lack of a MIDI out, which prevents you from controlling external hardware from Reason. They also expressed a little annoyance with the Ignition Key, which is required to authorize Reason each time you start the program.
However, despite this slight nuisances, Reason 6 really sets the standard, and has completely redeemed the Reason franchise from the slight dip that it had with Reason 5. The best way to know how good Reason 6 is, of course, to simply try it out for yourself. I think that it will surprise both long-time Reason users as well as other DAW loyalists.