Reason Studios Reason 12 Software

Get creative with Reason 12's rack of inspiring instruments and vast library of loops and samples -- in standalone mode, or as a plug-in within your DAW.


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Propellerhead Reason (Mac and Windows)

No longer available at zZounds
Propellerhead's Reason 5 upgrade has been reimagined with a new vocoder, updated synths, gigs of drum machines and effects, and much more.

Known for its capabilities to utilize all the gear you could possibly need: samplers, analog synths, graintable synth, vocoder, mixer, drum machines, arpeggiator, compressors, EQ and effects; Propellerhead Reason 5 adds even more rack pieces to further create music as simply and imaginatively as ever. Adding the mighty Kong Drum Designer, the versatile Dr. Octo Rex loop player, live sampling input, Blocks pattern based sequencing mode and more, Reason 5 helps you along in your creative process, and never gets in your way.

New Modules in Reason 5

- Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player - Loads eight REX loops for you to switch between
- Blocks - Arranges music easily by verse, chorus, breakdown, buildup and so on
- Live Sampling - Brings back spur-of-the-moment creative sampling
- Kong Drum Designer - Build your kit and trigger it with 16 assignable pads

About Reason

Reason's heart is its virtual rack of instruments and effects. As you create your track, Reason automatically patches and cables your rack. If you want to get deep, simply flip the rack around and route the cables any way you like.


- Gigabytes of synths, samples, drum kits, and effects
- Simple virtual rack setup with rear connection view to make adjustments
- Expandable Sound-bank with Reason ReFill libraries (sold separately)
- Edit each virtual rack module from its own on-screen front panel
- Record and automate each effect and adjustment with the built-in sequencer
- Creative, intuitive layout read more keeps you focused on the music

Finding your sound is an important part of the musical process. With Gigabytes of synths, samples, drum kits, and effects, Reason's sound bank is packed with everything you'll need from the start. Want more? Expand your palette with a world of ReFill libraries. The thing that strikes new Propellerhead Reason users most is how much they get done in a short amount of time. Reason's legendary creative flow keeps you focused on the music, and the fun. At all times.

Need more gear? No problem. Choose a synth, a drum machine, a loop player or any device from the Create menu and it will instantly appear in your rack, logically patched into the signal chain. And because Reason is designed to go easy on your computer, you can repeat the process until you're more than happy.

Each unit in Reason's virtual rack is edited from its own on-screen front panel. All the sliders, knobs, buttons and functions are right in front of you, ready to be tweaked, turned and twisted in absolute real-time. And all your front panel actions; filter adjustments, pitch bending, gain riding or panning; can be recorded and automated in the Reason sequencer.

A single key press will turn Reason's rack around, and there you are, in patch cord heaven. Most audio connections are made automatically. When a new device is created, it appears immediately below the currently selected device, and Reason patches it into the system in the most logical way. Repatch by dragging the patch cord plug to the desired connector to build your own sounds or tweak the included presets.

Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player

The upgraded Dr. Octo Rex loop player loads eight REX loops into one player and lets you switch between them on the fly. This makes arranging a breeze -- load the drum loops into one player, the guitars into another and use the sequencer to select what loop to play in a pattern-like fashion.

With eight loops to switch between, the new loop player also comes ready for the experimental minded. Set the player to retrig the loops on the beat, on the bar or on the 16th note. Or program the loops manually like in the original rex player.

For each of the eight loops, the new rex player also comes with an expanded set of per-slice settings. Set pan, pitch, filter frequency and level, reverse slices, use multiple outputs, create alternating groups of slices and much more.

The Reason 5 Factory Sound Bank comes complete with guitar and acoustic drums patches for Dr. Octo Rex and a huge selection of techno, house, club, hip hop and randb loops from signature sound designers.


Many musicians tend to think of music in terms like intro, verse, chorus, breakdown, buildup and so on. With the new Blocks mode in Reason 5 and Record 1.5, your sequencer does too.

Blocks lets you sequence your songs using a more pattern-based approach, with the segments of your song as individual building blocks to be laid out in your arrangement.
Start by creating the discrete parts of your song in blocks mode. When you are ready to start building your song, just switch back to song mode and draw in what blocks should play in the dedicated pattern lane. Use one block for the verse and one for the chorus or build your song around a single 8-bar loop.

Blocks provide a very fast way of creating a musical structure for your song. But the options don't end there. With the basic arrangement laid out, you can see the contents of the blocks and create variations and mute individual parts, or add further musical elements in song mode.

A typical use for Blocks is to create your backing track in blocks mode, and then use the song view to record vocals or instrumental performances. For music based around a single looped section, one repeated block with automation and mutes of individual tracks added in song mode makes arranging a breeze.

You never have to commit to using either mode -- you are free to move back and forth between Blocks and Song mode, and any changes you make in your Blocks will instantly be manifested in all instances of that Block. Need some tambourine on that chorus? Add it, and there will be tambourine whenever the chorus block is playing.

Live Sampling

Remember the time when samples were something you sampled and not loaded from your hard drive? When a sampler was a machine that could record samples, not just play them back.

As samplers became software instead of machines, they came to rely on external sample editing software for recording and editing the samples and the art of spur-of-the-moment creative sampling was pretty much lost. Now we are bringing it back to Reason 5 software with its live sampling input.

All sample players in Reason 5 are now samplers. Just hook up a sound source to the rack's sampling input and you are ready to start sampling. Use a mic, a turntable, an instrument or the entire Reason mix.

Sampling in Reason is simple and straightforward. Hit the sample button and Reason starts sampling. Reason will detect the sample start automatically. You can sample when Reason is running too if you like -- no need to stop the music.

If needed, bring up the built-in sample editor to set start and end points, loop points and more. This is possible for all loaded samples by the way -- not only the ones you have sampled.

As always, Reason lets you focus on music making -- and sampling in this case. All samples are neatly stored in our song file and accessible in the new samples pane in the tool window. Here you can easily see what samples are loaded into what machine and delete and export samples as you wish.

Live sampling together with pitch detection of root key and automatic zone mapping makes it dead easy to sample an instrument and map the samples across the keyboard. This way you'll create your own multi-sampled instruments for NN-XT and NN-19 in an instant.

Kong Drum Designer

Analog synthesis, physical modeling, sampling, REX loops, support sound generators, effects, flexible routing, multiple hit types and more. The Kong Drum Designer is not your regular drum module. It's the drum module focused on letting you get exactly that drum sound you're after.

Kong has 16 pads and 16 drums. Build your drum sounds based on any of the nine different drum modules. Flavor the sound with 11 support generators and effects. Program automation, create alternating groups and let Reason's powerful sequencer control the beat.

Reason 5 ships with a sound bank with a generous supply of kits for Kong across a wide variety of styles.

Virtual Rack Modules Include

- Kong Drum Designer
- Thor polysonic synthesizer
- NN19 sampler
- NN-XT advanced sampler
- Malstroem graintable synthesizer
- Dr. Octo Rex loop player
- Redrum pattern-based drum machine
- Subtractor analog subtractive synthesizer
- Combinator sequences instruments, effects and patterns

- RV-7 digital reverb
- DDL-1 digital delay line
- D-11 foldback distortion
- ECF-42 envelope-controlled filter
- DF-101 chorus/flanger
- PH-90 phaser
- COMP-01 compressor
- PEQ2 2-band EQ
- RV7000 advanced reverb
- Scream 4 Sound Destruction Unit
- BV512 vocoder with 4 to 512 bands and equalization
- UN16 unison
- 4-band mastering EQ
- Dual band stereo imager
- Stereo compressor with sidechain input, soft-knee mode and CV out
- Maximizer with look-ahead and soft clip

Other Devices
- RPG-8 Monophonic Arpeggiator
- ReGroove Mixer real-time groove console
- Matrix pattern-based sequencer
- Fully featured high-precision multitrack sequencer with new Blocks mode
- 14 x 2 mixer w/ EQ and effects send/return
- 6:2 channel stereo line mixer
- Spider Audio Merger and Splitter
- Spider Control Voltage Merger and Splitter
- Remote mapping to external MIDI controllers and hardware control surfaces
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Windows System Requirements
- Operating System: Windows XP SP3, Vista or Windows 7
- Processor: Intel Pentium 4/AMD Athlon or better (multiple cores highly recommended)
- Memory: 1GB RAM
- Storage: 2 GB free hard disk space
- Display: Monitor with 1024x768 resolution or larger
- DVD drive
- A MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard recommended
- Interface: A 16 bit Windows compatible audio card, preferably with an ASIO driver

Mac System Requirements
- Operating System: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
- Processor: Intel Mac (multiple cores highly recommended)
- Memory: 1 GB RAM or more
- Storage: 2 GB free hard disk space
- Display: Monitor with 1024x768 resolution or larger
- DVD drive
- A MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard recommended
- Interface: CoreAudio compliant audio interface or built-in audio hardware

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars. (976 ratings)
Submitted February 14, 2008 by a customer from

"Reason is a winner."

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I'm thinking about getting Ableton Live also, to combine the power of sound of Reason with the live tweakability of... Live. Other than that, I can't think of anything else I'd ever need.

The possibilities of sound creation with this program are literally infinite. When I got it, it was hard to get past the strictly techno feel, but once you learn your way around the program you can do anything.

Reason is a one-stop-shop solution for music making. once you get a good midi controller, you never have to use anything else. With top-class synths and effects, and a beautiful sequencer, it almost seems too easy to make good music, even for people that aren't any good, like me. Especially with the addition of the Combinator device in version 3.0, even user-created instruments and effects are available for download en mass online.

Ease of Use
This product is too easy to use. It can be intimidating at first, if you don't know anything about electronic music synthesis (like I didn't). When you look at comb filters, HP and LP filters, oscillators, waveforms, modulators, and you don't know what to do with them, its difficult. However, it doesn't take a long time to learn.

The interface is wonderful, I run it on mac and it has crashed on me twice, both after very long sessions, but they've recently addressed that in a patch (points for support read more too). Nothing is left out by the GUI.

For $400, this is a steal. You could buy a crappy hardware synth for that much.

Manufacturer Support
I've emailed them once about issues with installing without a disc drive, since my laptop's drive is shot. While they weren't able to help with the issue, they did respond within a day. I'm pleased.

The Wow Factor
I already own it, but if I didn't... I'd buy it all over again.

Musical Background:

Musical Style:
ambient, down-tempo electronic
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