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NEWS NOVEMBER 27 , 2000
Propellerhead Readies Reason
Virtual studio rack includes samplers, analog synths, mixers, step time drum machines, effects and a real-time multitrack sequencer

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

Propellerhead Software says it's gearing up for the first shipments of its Reason, a music system for Macintosh. Reason looks like a classic studio rack, packed with samplers, analog synths, mixers, step time drum machines, effects and a real-time multitrack sequencer. All of Reasonęs 16 devices have the look and feel of actual hardware, and users can access as many devices as the CPU will allow.

Reason hooks up to a MIDI keyboard, giving the user MIDI control of all devices, knobs, faders and parameters.

Devices include:

  • NN19: A sampler able to play standard WAV and AIFF audio samples. It includes five filter options (notch, highpass, bandpass, lowpass 12db, lowpass 24db) and resonance, two envelops, one LFO and portamento. NN19 comes with 294 sampler patches standard, including Grand Piano, Rhodes, Guitars, Strings, Bass, Choir, Woodwinds and Synth samples.
  • SubTractor: Polyphonic two-oscillator synth with 32 waveforms, noise generator, FM, ring & phase modulation, three envelope generators, two LFOs, portamento, five filter options (notch, highpass, bandpass, lowpass 12db, lowpass 24db) and an additional second lowpass filter with resonance. More than 400 patches are included standard.
  • ReDrum: A 10-channel drum machine that plays WAV or AIFF audio files. Each channel has control over pan, level, velocity, length and pitch, plus two effect sends. The programming interface has 32 patterns, three dynamic levels, flams and shuffle mode. Programmed patterns can be dumped to the Reason sequencer for further manipulation. A choice of 60 drum kits is included.
  • Dr Rex: Rex files automatically match the tempo of the sequencer. Users can choose from the 300 drum loops and 100 music loops included as part of Reason's sound library. The triggering of each audio slice can be dumped to a MIDI track. It also features pitch, pan, level and decay parameters for each individual slice, plus five filter options (notch, highpass, bandpass, lowpass 12db, lowpass 24db) and resonance, two envelops and one LFO.
  • Mixer: The Reason mixer features 14 stereo channels each with four aux sends, two-band EQ, panning, mute, solo and volume control. More channels can be added by adding another mixer to the rack.
  • REV-7: Digital reverb with 10 preset algorithms.
  • DDL: Digital delay line with settings by note value or milliseconds.
  • D-11: Foldback distortion.
  • ECF-42: Envelope controlled filter, a choice of Bandpass, Lowpass 12db, Lowpass 24db filter with resonance and ADSR.
  • CF-101: Chorus/flanger effect.
  • PH-90: Phaser.
  • Comp-01: Auto Makeup Gain Compressor.
  • PEQ-2: Two band parametric EQ with curve display Matrix Sequencer, analog and monophonic. A total of 32 patterns per song can be programmed complete with ties, CV and velocity curves. Users can also use the Matrix to generate complex LFO curves to control parameters such as filter, FM, panning, volume, etc. in other devices. Matrix patterns can finally be dumped to the sequencer for further manipulation.
  • ReBirth Input Machine: An interface allowing users of ReBirth to connect to any device within Reason.
  • Reason Sequencer: The sequencer offers the fundamentals of MIDI sequencing, including arrangement view, key-, velocity, rex-, drum-, controller and automation editors.

Propellerhead says it expects to start shipping Reason this week and is now accepting orders. Reason requires a Power Macintosh with 604 or better running at 166 MHz or faster, 64 MB of RAM, CD- ROM drive, Mac OS 8.6 or later, a MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard and OMS 2.x or later (included). A demo version of Reason is available. The full version costs $399. (A Windows version is also available.) For more information, visit http://www.propellerheads.se.

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