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Picking Your First DAW: Reason – by Dom McLennon

Picking Your First DAW - Reason

After fiddling with various other DAWs I stumbled upon Propellerhead Reason through a couple of close friends who recommend me the Recycle, Dr. Rex, and the quality of sound you could get out of Reason through experimental sound design.

Recently I went to the Recording Conservatory of Austin and meet an audio engineer. We entered the studio and saw a real patch bay for the first time, hooked up to hardware like the Apogee Symphony and these beautiful UA Pre-Amps. After this, we had a field day just routing mics to different sounds and seeing what we could get to make work. I was using the knowledge I gained years ago just fiddling around with Reason in a real studio with products I have never seen before.

Reason is intimidating at first look and a lot more difficult to get into without experience and it can be even more difficult without a MIDI controller. On the contrary though, if you do have some general experience in the world of Digital Audio Workstations and you haven’t taken the time to really get seriously into the sound design but you want to, Reason is a great entry point. The emulated patch bay built into all the Reason programs is genius and understanding it can create the foundations for working as a producer or engineer in professional studio environments.

Although Reason does have incredible positives, there are some glaring issues in the program that can be altered to create a more robust user system. For example, the lack of third-party VST support is a major letdown, so you’re kind of stuck with the sounds in the box unless you experiment with the new ‘Rack Extensions’ and the interface can be a bit cumbersome at times, especially if you aren’t operating with a MIDI device to record your production. Reason (without Record) has some slight time-stretching issues that may take some extra TLC to figure out for my sample heads, but all in all, it’s a great product.

1 thoughts on “Picking Your First DAW: Reason – by Dom McLennon

  1. Jake Wright says:

    I wanted to throw out there, Reason 7.1 is VST compatible using the new “External MIDI” rack device. There are tons of YouTube videos on how this works. Though routing is a bit complicated compared to DAWs like Cubase, Logic, Studio One, Ableton, etc. VSTs can be used within Reason. On a side note, Reason has some of the best digital samplers I have used in any DAW. Once you learn how to use them sound design becomes art and production moves quickly.

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