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Here’s why every producer needs to try Reason, whether or not they have another DAW

Making music is supposed to be fun. Throw a computer into the mix, however, and things can start to get less fun. Your tools can break your creative flow and make you feel boxed in. But now you can avoid that, by using Reason inside your DAW.

Music software can be full of different windows, menus and sub-menus (maybe even sub-sub-menus), and laced with arcane terminology that makes it difficult to understand. Reason isn’t like that. Released in 2000, it immediately set tongues wagging and had jaws dropping; here was a complete rack of ‘hardware’ studio gear - synths, effects and more - sitting on a computer screen. And, if you flipped it round you could not only see the swinging patch cables, but also connect them up however you liked.

This spirit of creative adventure - and, yes, fun - has carried Reason through almost 20 years of development, and it’s still quite unlike any other music production software on the market. The rack remains - in fact, it’s grown substantially - but now not only can you use the devices to make music in Reason, but they’re also available in pretty much any DAW.

This is all thanks to the Reason Rack Plugin. Shipping as part of Reason 11, the latest version of the software, this lets you take all of those lovely rack devices and use them in any other VST3/AU/AAX-compatible DAW, just as you would with any other plugin. There’s no fiddly routing to worry about - just call up the Reason Rack Plugin and off you go.

Reason 11

(Image credit: Reason Studios)

You’re not restricted to the devices that come with Reason 11, either. You can add new synths, drum machines, effects and other devices as Reason Rack Extensions, all of which are available directly from the Reason Studios online shop. There’s a whole world of sounds just waiting to be discovered.

That said, even the entry-level Intro version of Reason 11 comes with 33 devices, including classics such as the Thor Polyphonic Synthesizer, Kong Drum Designer, NN-XT Advanced Sampler and MClass Compressor, EQ and Maximizer. That’s a whole lot of Reason goodness right there, and all for just $99/£69. That’s some serious value for money.

Trade-up to the full Reason 11 ($399/£309) and you get an even better experience, with 17 instruments, 29 effects and powerful utilities. If you can’t make your music with that lot, you might want to think about a different hobby.

So yeah, Reason is fun - a lot fun - but also seriously powerful, with two decades’ worth of development behind it and a new Rack plugin companion to take it into the future. Try it free for 30 days on PC or Mac via the Reason Studios website.

Reason 11

(Image credit: Reason Studios)