Having added VST plugin support by way of Reason 9.5 earlier this year, Propellerhead Software is back to focusing on first-party content as it announces Reason 10. This comes with two brand-new synths, three sampled instruments, and a couple of devices that were previously only available as optional Rack Extensions.
The synths are the headline act; Propellerhead has a pretty good track record in this department, so we’ve got high hopes. To things kick off, there’s the Europa ‘shapeshifting synthesizer’, a dynamically-generated wavetable instrument that enables you to apply a wide range of modulation to your waveform. This deep but supposedly accessible synth also offers spectral filtering, harmonics processing and the option to draw your own custom waveforms. Reason users will hope that this could be Propellerhead’s answer to the current wave of ‘supersynth’ plugins that’s doing the rounds.
The Grain ‘sample manipulator’, meanwhile, uses granular synthesis - drop a sample into it and you can then start working with its multiple algorithms, modulation features, routing options and effects.
Away from the two new synths, there are three sampled instrument collections that have been produced in collaboration with Soundiron. Klang Tuned Percussion features 10 melodic percussion instruments; Pangea World Instruments contains 11 - you guessed it - world instruments; and the Humana Vocal Ensemble is full of choirs and solo vocals.
Also coming into the Reason 10 fold are the Radical Piano and Synchronous Effect Modulator, which arrive from the Rack Extension store to form part of the standard rack. The former is a “flexible and bendable” piano instrument, while the latter enables you to create quick sidechain effects or draw your own LFO curves to control filter, delay, reverb, distortion and level.
Finally, there’s more than 3GB of new sample content in the Reason Drum Supply and Reason Loop supply ReFills.
"Great-sounding instruments and effects inspire musicians to create more and better music. With Reason 10, not only have we delivered some of the best-sounding instruments we’ve ever created, the result is the biggest upgrade we've ever done,” said Mattias Häggström Gerdt, Propellerhead Product Manager.
“I'm particularly fond of the new synths, Europa and Grain, that set a new standard for what's available in the box. With the two new synths, a plethora of sampled instruments, drums, loops and much more, we can't wait to hear what music makers are going to create with Reason 10."
In summary, then, Reason 10 is all about content. Propellerhead’s DAW might now support plugins, but it looks like the company is intent on reminding everyone that Reason is, first and foremost, a self-contained music production package that works right out of the box.
Reason 10 will be released on 25 October for PC and Mac priced at $449/€405, while the cutdown Reason Essentials 10 will go for $129/€120. You’ll be able to upgrade from any previous version of Reason for $129/€129; anyone who purchased Reason 9 on or after 1 September will be able to upgrade for free.
Find out more on the Propellerhead Software website.