10 Reasons why Propellerhead Reason 9.5 is an Amazing DAW!

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Reason 9.5 is here, with VST Support. And like anything in life, it is not perfect. But it sure it amazing. And I’m going to share my top 10 reasons, why Reason is my favorite DAW of them all.

Let me start by saying that I used so many DAWs during my years of making music since 1998. Reason, Cubase, Logic Pro X, Reaper and Studio One. Every DAW has its strengths, and different vibe and workflow. But for me personally I have always felt most creative and inspired to make music, when I open up Reason, compared to other DAWs. I am now going to share my top 10 list of things that make Reason so amazing in my personal opinion. Please add your favorite things about Reason in a comment below.

Alright, 10 things that make Reason 9.5 a super amazing DAW that inspires to make music.

1. The Beautiful Hardware Look
I don’t know if it’s because I grew up with hardware music production tools like synthesizers, grooveboxes and effect units. But I simply find the hardware look of the user interface so beautiful and inspiring. It also helps that everything is so visual, because you actually get a birds eye overview of everything that goes on in your project.

2. The Massive Mixing Console
Since Reason introduced the SSL mixing console with all the channel strip features, it is so much fun to mix music. There’s an input gain for each mix channel which makes gain staging super easy, and you even have control of the internal routing in the individual channel strips. Then of course the sections for compression, gating, filtering, eq, insert effects and send effects are laid out perfectly. It’s even super easy to make mix channel busses and parallel mix channels for creative mixing. All in all, this mixing console is a joy to use.

3. The Great Visual Overview
Reason is divided into several main sections: The sequencer, the rack, The browser, and the mixer. It is super easy to switch between these sections using the function keys on your keyboard, and you can even have several sections opened at the same time. Basically you have a great visual overview of your complete project, and it’s super easy to switch focus whenever you need to.

4. Propellerhead sure took their time to add VST support to Reason, but to be fair this is the best implementation of VST plug-ins in any DAW, period. For starters, undo actually works! This might not sound like a big thing, but if you have used other DAWs you know it is. And also, you can use devices and effects in Reason to control automation of the VST plugins. That is huge! And finally, I love that I am able to add VST instruments into the incredible combinator.

5.  The fancy color themes
This might sound like a gimmick, but I actually really enjoyed being able to switch between color themes. I decided to go with the dark color theme for now. The only thing I wish is perhaps to be able to choose from a couple of more themes. But hey, that’s perhaps just me being greedy now.

Awesome! Before I continue the top 10 list I just want to say that I share my story and journey as a music composer and sound designer to motivate and inspire creative people you. So click that subscribe button to gain music superpowers.

6. The outstanding browser
Being able to access all patches for instruments as well as effects in the browser, clearly structured and organized, is heaven. Just by clicking on the preset button in any recent device will open up the specific preset folder in the browser. It is also a great place to store your favorites.

7. The incredible combinator
This device is often under rated. But let me tell you that I personally find the combinator to be the single most powerful device in Reason. And the possibilities of it extends any other device I have tried in all the DAWs I personally worked with. In its most simple form, it works as a layering and stacking Device, to build massive patches with. But the true power comes when you start to program the knobs and buttons to control different things inside of the combinator. Another great feature of the combinator is that you can create your own graphic design for it. I use this feature to get more separation and clarity in the rack, plus I find it very creative and fun too.

8. The Easy function keys
The function keys of your computer keyboard are often overlooked in many other DAWs. In Reason however, they are put to good use, and help you control the most important elements of the user interface superfast, and super easy. Actually, I don’t think I have used the function keys as much as I do in Reason, for any other software at all.

9. The practical blocks
Not many Reason users actually use the blocks feature, but let me tell you that it is powerful indeed. You can use it in so many ways, for example: separating the sections of the track, with the chorus, verse etc. each having their own block. Saving the different chord progressions you use in individual blocks. Using blocks for repeated elements of your track to clean up the sequencer. Writing the sketch of your track and dividing the sections into blocks, and so on.

10. The helpful player devices
The player devices, or basically comparable to midi effects in other DAW’s. But in my opinion these devices in Reason or both more beautifully designed, as well as more practical. Especially if you think about that you can use one player device to control several instruments at the same time. Or that you can connect several player devices in series to really create unlimited possibilities. Or, if you use the incredible combinator, you can combine player devices and instruments, both in parallel and in series, to go really crazy with your creative sound design capabilities. That is not only helpful, it is mighty powerful.

Alright! Now it’s your turn! Let me know what features or specific elements of Reason you love the most! Share it in a comment below.

I’m Mike, sharing my love for Reason…and you rock, my friends!


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Music Composer | Sound Designer | Video Creator