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Review: PARSEC 2 Reason Rack Synthesizer by Propellerhead

Parsec 2 Propellerhead

“… the futuristic sound of additive synthesis”

Today we’ll review a fantastic piece of software synth created by Propellerhead called Parsec 2, a new extension for Reason, the music software (DAW). It’s so great that I instantly want to have it as a VST plugin. Reason library is really full of great extensions and refills now, and this new synth is reborn in V2 with Parsec 2, a very advanced synth.


Propellerhead Parsec 2 features two Sound Engines. Each Sound Engine can generate up to 512 sine wave signals. The sine wave signals of each Generator can be modified via two Modifier sections, Mod 1 and Mod 2, and their dynamic X and Y controls. This synthesis power allows you to generate mind-blowing sounds and top audio waves as output for your tracks.

A lot of new generators are added to Parsec 1 original generators: here is a quick list of what you can set as generators/oscillators, in spectral synthesis, which is different from the classic subtractive (PCM, WAV, or short cycle samples) synthesis:

Parsec 2 Synthesizer for Reason

From 12 sets of generators in Parsec 1, Parsec 2 has now 48 different generators available. About the modulation matrix, here is a short part is taken from the 46 pages PDF manual, which is very well done :

” The Modulation Bus section is used for routing a modulation Source to one or two modulation Destinations each. This creates a very flexible routing system that complements the pre-wired routing in Parsec 2.

The Modulation Bus section in Parsec 2 is derived from the one in the Reason Thor Polysonic Synthesizer device, so if you are familiar with Thor, you will quickly find your way around in Parsec 2’s modulation bus.

There are eight “Source –> Destination 1 –> Destination 2 –> Scale” busses, of which the first four have preassigned sources. However, these four pre-assigned sources can be easily changed if you like.

A Source parameter can modulate two different Destination parameters per bus (with variable Amount settings). Each bus also has a Scale parameter that affects the relative modulation Amount for both Destinations. “

This allows complex rendering on real-time audio, the sound designer dream is reached with all these magic settings available in a single synth window.

A lot of classic subtractive synths have a modulation matrix part too, as it enables more alive and complex instruments and sounds…

I’m thinking of Z3TA+ synth and Rapture synth by Cakewalk, very interesting too, and having mind-blowing presets, like the new big synth of Propellerhead we’re talking about: Parsec 2!

About the presets already given in the factory library, you can see that well-known producers did a great job again. Chris Griffin had already done top demo tracks for older versions of Reason.


Parsec 2 Reason Synth

The Parsec 2 front panel contains the following sections:

  • Patch Selector (for browsing, loading, and saving patches).
  • MIDI Note On LED.
  • Sound Engine A (Generator A, Filter A, and Modifier A sections): Each sound engine has two modifiers and each of them can be set to any of 22 algorithms!
  • Sound Engine A/B Balance, Link Engines, Gain, and Pan controls.
  • Sound Engine B (Generator B, Filter B, and Modifier B sections).
  • Modulation controls (common for both Sound Engines): to tweak and modify the output mix.
  • Stereo Spread controls. Global performance and “play” controls.
  • Modulation Bus section.
  • Reverb and Delay sections.
Parsec 2 Back Panel
View in Reason 8.3: the back of the Parsec 2 rack, with some wires to connect to/from other Reason modules.


Check the current upgrade for owners of Parsec 1: Parsec 2 adds a lot of features at an incredible price.

This is a must-have for sound designers and electronic tracks producers… We have in Parsec 2 an unlimited fuel for new sounds: 48 types of generators, 22 types of modifiers, up to 1024 sine oscillators per voice (512 A + 512 B) in a stunning spectral synthesizer!

I didn’t have the time to check a lot of parts on Propellerheads Parsec 2, but I listened to some presets and started experimenting with this masterpiece. There are already tutorials on the Propellerhead YouTube channel, showing how to build presets and showing some tricks to get good results…

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