The addition of VST plugin support to Reason 9.5 was definitely a big deal, but things didn’t go quite as smoothly as Propellerhead had hoped. Users began to report “poor and erratic” performance when using third-party synths and effects, so some investigation was required.
It turns out that the problem wasn’t easily fixable; in fact, it required that a lot of Reason’s audio rendering code needed to be rewritten. However, this has now been done, and the result is Reason 10.3.
This promises to put VST performance “on a par with other DAWs”, with early testing indicating improvements ranging from 5% to 260% when using a buffer size of 512. Propellerhead is defining ‘bad performance’ as issues such as audible artifacts, and other things that stop you from making music. It’s not a case of simply making things look better in the CPU meter.
That said, the company also says that the code rewrite should improve performance even if you’re not running any VST plugins, with an uptick of up to 30% being reported.
Reason 10.3 will land in April as a free auto-update, but Reason users can sign up to test the beta now on the Propellerhead Software website.