Propellerhead Reason Eight

Propellerhead Reason Eight

It’ll mean more to some customers than others, but Reason has had a makeover. In essence it’s now a lot ‘flatter’, shorn of the skeuomorphic shadows, reflections and 3D-like components which in recent times have been deemed Very Bad by Apple and Microsoft alike. So if you like the cool, clear really feel of Windows eight, OS X Yosemite and up to date releases of iOS, Reason eight must be proper up your street. Or rather, elements of it's going to be. Much of the sequencer and transport have been positively steam-ironed, and now have a light gray look that is simple on the eye. However there are nonetheless some shadows lurking, there are digital LED degree meters in sequencer tracks, and an uncommon 3D ‘paper fold’ motif used to separate out sections of the consumer interface. After which there’s the Mixer, the Rack, and all of the devices which go in it, which are as picture-realistic, wood-grained and knee-deep in 3D as they ever were. So Reason 8 is an odd mix, really, of chopping-edge and extra old-fashioned interface design.

The changes that have taken place aren't just for visible effect, though. The transport bar can dynamically resize and rearrange its contents to suit different window sizes. The three foremost window sections — Mixer, Rack and Sequencer — are actually simpler to open, shut and detach utilizing the mouse thanks to thicker, labelled header strips. And there’s clearly been some reassessment of how helpful numerous elements of the interface are. Some fiddly ‘overview’ panels in the sequencer and mixer have completely disappeared, and Quantise options have been promoted into the limelight of the transport bar, squeezing out extra niche controls (Blocks and ReGroove) to menus or smaller buttons. Total, issues really feel slicker and extra polished, and definitely not one of the adjustments hurt Reason’s long-standing means to work well on each tiny laptop computer screens or multi-monitor desktop setups.

Browsey Points

Half and parcel of the Reason eight facelift might be its most vital new function, the Browser. Now, Reason has in fact had a browser for as long as anyone can remember. It might come into play when loading songs, patches and samples, amongst other things. But the problem was that it took the type of a dialogue box that might temporarily obscure anything underneath it, hijacking keystrokes and blocking interaction with any part of the primary home windows that was nonetheless visible. It was functional, however unwieldy. In the meantime, purposes like Ableton Live and PreSonus Studio One had lengthy demonstrated how nice life could be when file and plug-in browsers have been built-in into the center of the graphical interface, letting users drag and drop to intuitively and swiftly create tracks, devices and effects, place audio and cargo samples or patches. Many different DAWs have since embraced this manner of working, and in version 8, it’s now Propellerhad reason 8 download (watch this video)’s turn.

The dialogue box is now consigned to historical past (aside from Save operations), and all its functions transferred to a brand-new panel that opens on the left side of the primary window, working full height. It can be collapsed, but will open when necessary. Its most straightforward role is as a file browser for finding and opening songs, audio and MIDI information, ReFills and patches in your drives. It’s additionally a device chooser, displaying all available devices, results and utilities in categorised and alphabetised lists. ReFills might be explored, and there’s shortcut entry to the factory sounds and patch collections. Consumer shortcuts and favorite gadgets can be added too, and there’s a file info panel with audio auditioning facilities.

To create an instrument, for instance, you’d begin by clicking on the Instruments shortcut merchandise, select one by name or by scoping the thumbnail previews, after which both double-click or drag the thumbnail to rack or sequencer. Browsed audio information will be dragged directly to an audio observe, to an empty a part of the sequencer (where new tracks are automatically created to obtain them), or to a rack system just like the Kong Drum Designer, to load them as samples. It’s a flexible, useful and intuitive system.

The browser additionally maintains a search facility which is claimed to be quicker than before. It works, for positive, but it surely’s one thing of a blunt instrument. Searches happen in the part of the file system you happen to be in, which is to say you get most success and quickest results if you’ve already guided the browser in the direction of the related folders or ReFill. It’s not so good for looking out complete drives. The other big disappointment is that you could solely search by name, and there’s nothing just like the tag-based mostly approach that's so efficient and useful in hub software like Native Devices’ Komplete Kontrol or Arturia’s Analog Lab. So there’s no simple strategy to pull together all vocal-kind patches, for instance, aside from those who happen to have the phrase ‘vocal’ in their filename or enclosing folder.

Protecting Things Simple

Hand in hand with visual adjustments come much less obvious purposeful enhancements. The primary Create menu, and its pop-up right-click contextual counterpart, is much better organised. Propellerhead now have just three classes of units — Instruments, Results and Utilities — and have finished away with the more and more arbitrary distinction between ‘studio’ and ‘artistic’ effects. What’s more, gadgets and Rack Extensions needs to be easier to find now that they’re categorised and grouped either as ‘Reason devices’ or by their developer’s name. And there’s a really good contact in the best way that Reason eight retains monitor of units you create and use lots, and dynamically assembles lists of them in the related submenus. That’s going to save a whole lot of mouse and trackpad zig-zagging.