The hugely anticipated Reason 4 was announced by (the very secretive) Propellerhead Software … oh boy, this took me by surprise :O
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Now that you’ve just read the headline, you might ask yourself So, what is new? Here we go …
THOR – The Polysonic Synthesizer
As you already know Propellerheads presented Thor at 2007 Winter NAMM Show. Thor is a modular synthesizer and sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before by featuring six different oscillator types and four unique filters.
Mr. James Bernard presets us the THOR:
RPG-8 – Monophonic Arpeggiator
The RPG-8 is a brand new unit dedicated to the art of arpeggio and has some unique and advanced features too: a pattern section for muting selected notes in an arpeggio, a large display showing values and positions, Single Note Repeat can add sudden bursts of arpeggio etc. Only in Reason 4 you can arpeggiate your breakbeats, your orchestra samples, or your vocals with RPG-8! Very easy to use, yet deceptively powerful, the RPG-8 provides endless creative possibilities for each of Reason’s sound sources.
Learn how to RPG-8 with James Bernard:
RPG-8 audio demos:
Although it is very user friendly, the RPG-8 has some very advanced features like the Single Note Repeat. This new function starts the arpeggiator only when two or more simultaneous notes are held down, thus letting you add sudden bursts of arpeggio to your melody lines.
ReGroove Mixer – Real Time Groove Console
This unique tool is great if you want your music to sound less rigid, less programmed. ReGroove Mixer applies its timing magic non-destructively and in real-time, giving you freedom to adjust its settings – and fine-tune your groove – as your music is playing. This unique device will become the favorite tool for many Reason users, since the drums are a very important part of most songs. But this device is not only for drums, the ReGroove Mixer allows you to apply different settings to up to 32 musical elements in your song, for ultimate control like the groove amount, slide and shuffle and other detailed settings. Also in the new Reason sound-bank you’ll find a great selection of groove patches, many of them created from analyzed recordings of real musicians as well as classic groovy tracks.
Watch the ReGroove Mixer appetizer:
ReGrove preseted by NYC music producer Stoni
The new advanced sequencer is a long time request from Reason users. The work-flow is hugely improved by the new sequencer that is swifter, stronger and more intuitive than ever.
The new sequencer was recoded from scratch and brings a whole new look, a ton of fresh features and a completely new way of handling sequencer data. Now every device or instrument now gets its own dedicated track, with separate lanes for note, performance and automation data. New also is the fact that the sequencer data (notes, automation, the works) is now housed in clips, musical building blocks that can be opened, sliced or moved. When a clip is moved to a new location, all its internal data follows right along with it, always ending up exactly where you intended it to. Very nice!
Multiple Language flavors
Now, when you install Reason 4, you can choose between four different language versions: English, French, German or Japanese.
Factory Sound Bank Updated
The Factory Sound Bank contain presets for all devices in Reason 4. This is expected when new devices are available and the additions are: Thor patches, more Combinator patches, including arpeggio-driven patches using the RPG-8 arpeggiator, Groove files for ReGroove, new ReDrum drum patches, Song starters etc. Also, starting in this version, the FSB will contain Signature Patches of world’s leading synthesists and sound developers for Thor.
Ooh … nice one! This is a floating window containing all your most frequently used tools. Using it, you can create new devices by choosing from a device palette, fine tune your sequencer data from the Tools pane, or set groove parameters using the groove pane.
Combinator & NN-XT updates
The Combinator and NN-XT devices have both had minor revisions to make programming patches easier and more powerful.
The NN-XT has new features to edit multiple samples simultaneously, to chromatically auto-map samples.
The Combinator now has a transpose function that transposes notes sent to a device. Long awaited by me and many other reason users that also like to create their own Combinator instruments are the additions of more flexible choice of Sources in the programmer and a function to automate the receive notes option, making it possible to switch between instruments in a Combinator patch. That’s a very, very nice and welcomed addition!
Reason 4.0.1 Update
Propellerhead Reason 4 ships from now on with Reason 4.0.1 update. This is a maintenance update that resolves a some minor issues and, as a response to user feedback received for Reason 4 also brings some small work-flow features … Below you find the release notes regarding this update:
Reason 4.0.1 update features:
- More tolerant error handling when loading custom fonts.
- Selected installer language was not used when upgrading from 3.0, this is now fixed.
- We have improved the error handling when copying Remote maps and codecs during start up.
- All sample players (NN-XT, NN-19, Dr Rex and Redrum) – High Quality Interpolation is now enabled by default.
- Improved handling of mono/stereo connections while auto-routing.
- Dragging devices to the rack from the tool window only worked with the top-most window, now it works with any window.
- More robust error handling during startup, avoiding certain timing problems in Windows.
- Automation type for Dr Rex transpose parameter was continuous – changed this to stepped.
- In certain situations Command-A did not work properly on Mac OS X.
- Notes with same Start or End position could change the play/stop order randomly. This could only be noticed while playing chords on a monophonic device. This is now fixed.
- Fixed note trig queuing for extremely short notes. This was causing phased effects when doubling clips exactly on two layers.
- “Reset automation override” could default to wrong value.
- Pressing Stop the second time moves the song position locator to previous start position, it could sometime move to song start if the locator had been repositioned during playback.
- MIDI import of file with redundant note information is now filtered.
- Uncombining a Combinator deleted the Combinator’s sequencer track. This is now fixed.
- Reason could take a long time to respond when entering extreme numbers in position editors.
- Overriding parameter automation by loading a patch did not always indicate automation override. Now fixed.
Improved workflow in sequencer
- If a clip is selected in Arrange mode and you switch to Edit mode, the clip is automatically opened for editing. This only happens if the clip is on the current track.
- You can press [Esc] to close an open clip in Edit mode. If the clip was opened from Arrange mode, this will automatically switch the sequencer back to Arrange mode.
- Only one single clip is created in loop record mode. Before, a new clip was created for every new loop.
- Changed Zoom behavior: The program now zooms on the song position locator if it’s in view. If not, it zooms towards the left edge of the current view.
- Drag and drop now also works in left-handed mouse configurations.
- Text-entry of a tempo with a decimal in the transport panel or when editing the static value was counter-intuitive: Typing something like ‘120.5’ or ‘120.05’ delivered 120.005. This is now fixed.
- Added label to velocity and pattern lanes.
Remote – support added for:
- Akai MPD24
- Akai MPD32
- Akai MPK49
- Edirol PCR-300/500/800
- Frontier Design Group Alpha Track
- Line 6 KB37
- M-audio ProjectMix I/O
- M-audio Axiom 25/49/61
- M-audio Oxygen 8 v2
- Fixed a performance problem with the Remote Override “learn” feature.
- Performance problem when having many ReFills installed.
- Reason could crash when saving if there was more than 300 ReFills installed -fixed.
- Better error handling while file searching in browser.
- Broken search for missing sounds in songs created with OS hide extensions enabled – fixed.
- Changed wording of memory usage in patch browser to avoid confusion.
- Saving patches in Reason version 4 and ReFill packer had a backward compatibility issue – fixed.
- Sometime the static value was not imported correctly when loading old songs – fixed.
- If an opened patch or sample had been moved or deleted while Reason was running this could prevent the user from saving the song – fixed.
- Reason could in certain cases unexpectedly quit when saving on Mac OS X – fixed.
- If many devices in a Combinator were programmed to switch “Receive notes” on/off in the Combinator’s programmer, some devices responded slower than other devices. This is now fixed.
- Increased the buffer size of Malström’s Comb filter, this fixed problems with high sample rates.
- Fixed velocity CV and knob/automation lag when in random mode.
- Fixed broken velocity change of tied single note when in ON-mode.
- “Render Arpeggio To Track” was broken when pattern automation lane was enabled.
- New shortcuts: Shift pattern right: Ctrl + J (Win) or Cmd + J (Mac) Shift pattern left: Ctrl + K (Win) or Cmd + K (Mac) Random sequencer pattern: Ctrl +R (Win) or Cmd + R (Mac) Alter Pattern: Ctrl + T (Win) or Cmd + T (Mac)
Thor’s sequencer has now new shortcuts:
- Shift sequencer pattern right: Ctrl + J (Win) or Cmd + J (Mac)
- Shift sequencer pattern left: Ctrl + K (Win) or Cmd + K (Mac)
- Randomize pattern: Ctrl +R (Win) or Cmd + R (Mac)
- Reason could go silent if the sample rate was changed in Windows Vista or on an aggregated audio card driver in Mac OS X. This is now fixed.
- Fixed a ReWire problem with FL Studio, making it more robust.
- Made Ableton Live and Reason ReWire connection more robust.
As you know Propellerhead Software rarely released a second fix update for their products, because they test their application so extensively that one update includes a fix for all the unexpected problems. For this reason, Reason (nice words play) is a very stable and you might expect that Reason 4.0.1 is the only maintenance update fro Reason 4. Every company should program their software the way Propellerhead does!
Propellerhead Software assured us that although Reason 4 is full of new and advanced technology, it is still low on current CPUs, as always.
- Windows XP or Vista
- Processor: Intel P4 / AMD Athlon XP or better
- Memory: 512 MB RAM minimum, 1 GB recommended
- Screen resolution: 1024×768
- 2 GB free hard disk space
- DVD reader
- 16-bit windows compatible audio card, preferably with DirectX or ASIO drivers
- Mac OS X 10.4
- Processor: G4 1GHz and up or Intel Mac
- Memory: 512 MB RAM minimum, 1 GB recommended
- Screen resolution: 1024×768
- 2 GB free hard disk space
- DVD reader
Recommended: MIDI keyboard with built-in MIDI interface, or MIDI keyboard and MIDI interface;
This is one of the most substantial upgrade for a software ever … with all these great new features and Reason 4 is a major HIT!
1. There is no release date set for Reason 4. Reason 4 entered beta testing on 19 June 2007 and testing will continue until all bugs have been fixed. After all bugs are fixed Reason 4 will be released!
2. The price for the full version of Reason remains the same at EUR449 / USD 499. There is also a discounted upgrade available for owners of previous versions of Reason. The upgrade is only EUR 99 / USD 129!.
3. If you have purchased Reason new after June 1st 2007, hold on to your receipt and when Reason 4 is out you’ll get a free upgrade. How cool is that!
Propellerheads Reason 4 can be purchased from retailers worldwide and Propellerheads online store, the PropShop. MSRP pricing for Reason version 4 is EUR €449 / USD $499.
22 February 2011 – page revision + more info
5 February 2008 – new info about Reason 4.0.1 update
3 Octomber 2007 – update with more info and new videos