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Combines powerful new Reason units with faster, easier production for the ultimate music-making software experience.
Although you may already own Reason, and have enjoyed working in its environment, don't think the Reason 4 update contains only a simple tweak here and there. Stronger, swifter, and smoother to work with, Reason 4 software will alter the way you create your music. It comes in the familiar shape of a classic studio rack, packed with all the gear you could possibly need: samplers, analog synths, graintable synth, vocoder, mixer, step-time drum machine, arpeggiator, compressors, EQ, and effects. A realtime multitrack sequencer provides full control over every detail, letting you create and edit your music quickly and intuitively. There's also a massive sound bank full of sounds, loops, and patches for all possible styles of music. The devices and features added to Reason will not only inspire you to produce great tracks, they will provide you with new ways of doing so.
Dedicated to turning your ideas into great music, the sequencer in the Reason 4 upgrade is swifter, stronger, and more intuitive than ever with a whole new look, tons of fresh features and a completely new way of handling sequencer data. The key word here is workflow. A sequencer device or instrument now gets its own dedicated track, with separate lanes for note, performance, and automation data, opting for a better overview and less clutter. All sequencer data--notes, automation, the works--is now housed in clips, musical building blocks that can be opened, sliced, or moved. When a clip is moved to a new location, all its internal data follows right along with it, ending up exactly where you intended for safe, speedy sequencing. The Tool window is an ever-present floating window that provides lightning fast access to those detailed editing functions you use all the time; quantize, transpose, note velocity, note length, and legato.
Reason 4 ships with RPG-8, a unit dedicated to the art of arpeggiation. Some arpeggiators are quite content with simply transforming chords into wandering, rhythmic melody lines. The RPG-8 monophonic arpeggiator isn't. With a range of on-panel controls and mode selectors, a pattern section for muting selected notes in an arpeggio, and a large display showing values and positions, this device gives you full creative control over your arpeggios.
Although very hands-on and user friendly, the RPG-8 boasts some very advanced features under the surface that will change how you play Reason's instruments. The Single Note Repeat function engages the arpeggiator only when two or more simultaneous notes are held down--letting you add sudden bursts of arpeggio to your melody lines. The Manual mode will arpeggiate notes strictly in the order they were input, for realtime arpeggio control. Try arpeggiating your breakbeats, orchestra samples, or ReCycled vocals for more dramatic flair.
If you want your tracks to flow with a less rigid, less programmed feel, a regular shuffle control just doesn't cut it. The ReGroove mixer, Reason 4's real-time groove management device gives you more than just a set of sequencer swing parameters, you can apply its timing magic nondestructively, giving you freedom to adjust its settings and fine-tune your groove as your music is playing.
Lock all your tracks together into one unified feel, or apply different settings to up to 32 musical elements in your song for ultimate control. Each of the groove channels features controls for groove amount, slide, and shuffle, plus more detailed settings. The Reason 4 sound bank comes with a great selection of groove patches, many of them created from analyzed recordings of real musicians, as well as classic groovy tracks.
Thor Polysonic Synthesizer
Thor has the amazing ability to sound like every synthesizer imaginable and like none you've ever heard before too. Where other synths use one specific form of synthesis and one single filter, the Thor polysonic synthesizer features six different oscillator types and four unique filters. This gives you an unstoppable monster of a sound generator that utilizes synthesizer technology from the last 40 years.
Six open filter and oscillator slots let you load up three different synth filters and three separate oscillators simultaneously, allowing you to dial in synth sounds that are completely original. An all-powerful modulation matrix gives you complete control over your signal flow, letting you modulate anything within Thor with anything within Thor.
At the bottom of this synth sits an analog style step sequencer with more than one twist. Being every bit as modular as the rest of Thor's components, this step sequencer does more than just play melodies. It can be used as a modulation tool, to trigger phrases from specific keys, create intense arpeggios, and generate piercing percussion lines. With its unique selection of oscillator types and synth filters, the Thor polysonic synthesizer is a veritable synth museum. It may have one foot in history, but its sound is pure future.
When you install Reason 4 software, you can now choose between four different language versions: English, French, German, or Japanese. The entire application, from installer to menus and help files, will speak the chosen language.
Factory Sound Bank
Reason 4 wouldn't be a true Reason product without its huge Factory Sound Bank. The Sound Bank holds patches for all devices in Reason to help you get going instantly including Thor patches; more Combinator patches, including arpeggio-driven patches using the RPG-8 arpeggiator; groove files for ReGroove; new ReDrum drum patches; and song starters.
Having the best sounding synth on earth is a lot more fun if you have a set of great patches to play with. Propellerhead invited some of the world's leading synthesists and sound developers to add their own Thor patches to the Reason Sound Bank, including Daniel Wang, Morgan Geist, Pascal Gabriel, Plaid, Richard Barbieri, Richard Devine, Sonic Boom, Tipper, Two Lone Swordsmen, Gordon Reid, and Vengeance.
The Tools Window is a floating window containing all your most frequently used tools. With it, you can create new devices by choosing from a device palette, fine tune your sequencer data from the Tools pane, or set groove parameters using the groove pane. The device palette lets you drag and drop instruments and effects directly to the rack, placing them just where you want them. The Tools pane contains all of Reason's sequencer editing tools, allowing for quick access to everything from quantization to vector automation cleanup and legato adjustments. When you hit a channel's Edit button in the ReGroove mixer, the selected groove's parameters show up here for instant editing. It's also where you can save your own groove files.
Combinator and NN-XT updates
If you're into making your own sounds, the Combinator and NN-XT devices have both had minor revisions to make programming patches easier and more powerful.
The Combinator now has a function that transposes notes sent to a device which is very handy to create splits. Other additions include performance data filters to stop certain types of data from being sent to a device, more flexible choice of sources in the programmer, and a function to automate the receive notes option, making it possible to switch between instruments in a Combinator patch.
The NN-XT has been given features to edit multiple samples simultaneously, to chromatically auto-map samples, and a Group Mono function to let samples play polyphonically, but still be silenced by other samples in the same sample group.
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Reviewed by 1 customer
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Version 4 is much improved over version 3 where the sequencer is concerned. It is far more user friendly and has more options. The Thor synth is amazing! But beware, as it can burn some serious CPU clock cycles, especially if used with the new RPG-8 arpeggiator. There is a new Regroove Mixer. Its easy to use and you can now save your grooves to use on other songs. All in all, there is not a HUGE amount of new goodies in 4.0, but it is well worth the upgrade price.