Another new instrument for Reason 5 is Dr. Octo Rex. This is an expansion on the original Dr. Rex player, and stands as one of those great little Propellerhead ideas that you don’t realise you need until you try it.
Dr. Rex has been dropped, but the new Dr. Octo Rex is completely backwards compatible, so any projects that use Dr. Rex will open seamlessly in the latest version.
What’s new, then? First and foremost, you can now load up to eight loops into one player. This offers some very interesting sequencing opportunities as it enables you to simultaneously run many variations of the same loop. Each of these can be triggered at the push of a button and thus sequenced as a set on the same track, rather than having to run multiple Rex players in sequence, or manually rearranging note data. Think of it as like pattern triggering in ReDrum and you’ll be pretty much on the mark.
There’s so much more to it than just that, though. For a start, whether using the Octo features or not, Slice Edit mode now enables you to apply a whole range of controls to each slice using a visual graph. So, you could draw a decay or pitch control slope running from maximum to minimum and back, over the course of the loop.
You can even reverse individual slices and automate the controls for each, opening up awesome potential when it comes to variations and arrangement edits. It’s a great system, and even those parameters that were already available are given a new lease of life by the ability to draw in controller modulation.
Overall, Dr. Octo Rex is looking like a fine upgrade to one of Reason’s most treasured devices.