Category Archives for "Reviews"

Propellerhead Software Reason 10.2 Review

Propellerhead Software’s Reason 10.2 Review

Here's my Reason 10.2 review for Propellerhead Software's recently released update to its flagship DAW. Long story short: this is the best version of Reason yet, but if you haven't upgraded yet, it's probably not worth it.

Long story long: read the rest of the Reason 10.2 review to see why the new features in Reason 10.2 are amazing. ​

I've also released a free sample pack to commemorate Reason 10.2's launch. You can get it here (it doesn't require Reason 10).

Reason 10.2 Review Video

For those of you who hate reading, here's the video. To watch my latest Youtube videos on Reason, click here.

Review of Reason 10.2's new features

Reason 10.2 adds a slew of long-requested interface updates that greatly streamline workflow. None of these features are game changers, but they go a long way to making Reason more user-friendly. 

The first major update is the ability to edit midi data from multiple lanes, simultaneously. This can be really helpful in arranging chords, bass and melody, in spreading notes across an orchestra, or for getting multi-lane drum channels to groove.

The second big feature is the ability to adjust multiple channels of the mixer simultaneously. This is a major time saver. You can also now mute/solo multiple channels, which is great for auditioning arrangement ideas.

The third new feature in Reason 10.2 is an icon with the ability to add tracks now present in every window. Additionally, if you click on an instruments icon in the sequencer, it will now take you to that rack extension. That might be the best thing about the update. 

There's also a slew of smaller changes, including bug fixes, and more midi connectivity improvements.

So should you upgrade to Reason 10.2?

Propellerheads have said that Reason 11 will not be released this year. I'd expect it to be released next fall, but that's just my guess. Furthermore, they've stated that they'll release a new free update to Reason by the end of the year that focuses on improved audio processing performance, especially with VSTs.

So as this review shows, Reason 10.2 is a step towards modernizing Reason, but it doesn't revolutionize it. If you haven't seen the need to upgrade yet, I don't think this will get you off the sidelines. But I also love the new features and think it's the best version of Reason.

Best Ear Plugs for Musicians

Best Earplugs for Musicians

Today I want to talk about the three best earplugs for musicians. It's important to pick the best earplugs to better protect your hearing and to make sure that you can have a long and healthy career making music and being able to hear things.

All of the best earplugs for musicians are affordable - under $30. And it's amazing how big a difference there is between $14 earplugs and $25. Note: I've included affiliate links down below if you want to purchase any of these - the commission the links generate really help support the this site, but do not influence  my recommendations.

So I've tried a lot of ear plugs I've played in a band over the past 20 years. During that time, I've mostly worn earplugs at practice and gigs. But even still, I have started to develop hearing issues already, and I'm 35. I usually play bass in a band, which means I'm sitting close to the drums and the transients from the snare and the cymbals really do a number on your ears.

So that's driven me to tried nearly all of the earplugs over the years to find the best earplugs for musicians. I've come to the conclusion that there are three pairs that you really should consider.

I'll tell you what my preferences are and also my bandmates' preferences are after having tried these out ​

So the three best sets of ear plugs for musicians are the dubz acoustic filters, the vibes earplugs and the eargasm ear plugs and I'll tell you what each of these does well and what they don't do so well. ​

Best Earplugs For Musicians: Dubz

The the dubz acoustic filters come in a nice case, though it's a little bigger than necessary. Still, it's clean and portable. They're very comfortable and they slide into your ear really easily. They have a little bit of a tab that you can hold onto (the filter). Which makes them so easy to insert, remove, and adjust. And yet they still look pretty discrete when you're wearing them.

I think in terms of comfort and ease of use these are probably the best of the bunch but in terms of sound they're the worst of the 3 - but still better than any other earplug I've tried. .

The Dubz ear plugs kind of just uniformly mute the sound or turn down the volume. First, it's not quite as much gain reduction as I would want for a multi-hour practice in a small room near a drummer. That's why I would mark them down a bit.

Best Earplugs For Musicians: Vibes 

The vibes earplugs come in a case that's not as nice as the others.  The vibes are very comfortable, although the they have just a little tiny handle which makes them a little hard to get out. It's not like complicated at all, but you've got to think about it for a second, as opposed to the Dubz which have the juicy filter.  ​

Nonetheless, the  vibes earplugs are really comfortable and these do a great job of attenuating the sound across the whole frequency range. They say it's a 15 decibel noise reduction. It feels like more than that to me.

Of the three headphones or earplugs, here I would say this is probably the best for musicians in terms of turning down the sound the most, but still doing it in a fairly musical fashion. And this is what I would recommend for rhythm guitarists bass players and drummers and rhythm guitarist. Maybe for keyboard players too.

They're the best earplugs for musicians that don't need as much definition on their sound - that don't need to hear the nuance of the texture. That because these just do a great job of cutting sound down to a more manageable level where you won't have a ringing in your ears after practice. Even if you're standing next to the drums or playing the drums. But it leaves everything still sounding good and musical

Best Earplugs for Musicians: Eargasm

Now the final one is the eargasm. Great name. They come in a big fancy box and they probably have the nicest holder of all (it's a twist off cylinder with a key chain attachment). Although to be honest, I would never put it on my key chain because I don't like to have big things in my pocket.​

With these you have to kind of open your ear a bit get them in and out, and they are definitely the hardest to earplugs of the patch to use. Though that's not saying too much. They're also the most discrete of the group.

 And they do a really good job. They claim to be reducing  the noise by 16 decibels. But what I found with these is that they don't seem to do this uniformly, which is for better and for worse. They allow a lovely amount of mid-range and high end material through, while throttling down on the lower frequencies. 

For example, neither the lead guitar player or the singer in my band ever wore earplugs because they couldn't hear the nuance of their playing that they wanted to hear. Until they tried these earplugs. Literally, the guitar player ordered at practice after trying mine.

And what these do is they let a lot of the higher frequencies in and don't reduce those as much as they do the lower frequencies so you can still really perceive the high fidelity content or the high frequency content. ​

Concluding Thoughts on the Best Earplugs For Musicians 

It turns out there isn't just one "best earplug" for all musicians. So I would say that if you're a singer or a lead guitar player or just a tone freak, the Eargasm earplugs are probably the best ear plugs for you. And if I was going to a concert to watch as an audience member I think the Eargasms are far and away the best earplugs in terms of retaining as much of the content that you want to hear and just lowering it to a safer volume

If you play another instrument it's probably better to go with the  vibes earplugs because the overall reduction in sound will protect your hearing best, but things still sound good. 

The Dubz get honorable mention for being really convenient to use, and would probably be best for the type of person that's constantly taking earplugs in and out. 

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ropellerhead Software Reason 10.1 Review (update adds new player and Europa features)

Propellerheads Reason 10.1 Review

Propellerhead's Reason 10.1 Review: More to Love, but the Old Shortcomings Remain

Propellerhead Software just released Reason 10.1 today, May 8, 2018, so naturally it's time for my Reason 10.1 Review. This Reason 10.1 review is going to cover some of the new features of Reason 10.1, then I'm going to discuss why more IS better this time.  

But to cut to the chase... here's my short Reason 10.1 review in a nutshell. If you weren't sold on Reason 10 before, there's probably not enough here to justify upgrading. If you've already bought Reason 10, then for sure grab the update.

If you've just been waiting to have enough cash for Reason 10, then buy it now, because the free drum sequencer offer expires May 31, 2018 (less than a month!). Here's how you can save about $20 on an upgrade to Reason 10.

Note: Reason 10.1 is a free upgrade for owners of Reason 10. 

Disclaimer: This video and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. This help support the channel and allows us to continue to make videos like this. Thank you for the support!

Reason 10.1 Review: New Features

Reason 10.1 includes a host of new features. All of which are positive steps in the right direction.

First, Reason 10.1 includes new feature in Europa: you can now use custom wavetables as your oscillator and as your filter. This sounds great in the new sounds included with the factory sound bank, but it will really shine once we get to experiment more with resampling bits and pieces from our songs!

The second big new feature in Reason 10.1 is the additional support for third party Reason players. Players are hugely important for controlling VST plugins, because many of them didn't play well with Reason's CV features. 

For a little more in depth look at why it's important, check out this video. 

Third, Reason 10.1 includes a host of minor bug fixes. But I can't omit mentioning the fact that the biggest bug fixes we nee are still missing from my Reason 10.1 review. It looks like Mac users still have no relief for the bug High Sierra introduced. And VST support is still sluggish and a little wonky. 

Finally, Reason 10.1 includes a free player, an awesome new drum sequencer. I've seriously been waiting for a multichannel drum sequencer like this forever. So that's a huge plus for Reason 10.1 Plus, it will be compatible with VSTs like Native Instrument's Battery since it's a player.

The only problem worth noting in this Reason 10.1 review is that the Drum Sequencer is only available for free through May 31, 2018. So you've got to get it now. 

however, it needs to be installed separately from the Reason 10.1 update process. Here's how to do that.

I imagine Propllerheads made this a limited time offer to spur more upgrades to Reason 10, but I don't know that a drum player (valued at $69, I believe) is enough to get you off the fence.

Reason 10.1 Review: In Conclusion

Reason 10.1 offers more of the things we love about Reason 10. More players, enhanced VST functions, Europa on speed.  It feels like more than I was expecting in a .1 update.

But you can't put lipstick on a pig. The Reason engine, the sequencer, and the legacy instruments and effects are really starting to show there age. And VST performance is still sluggish. These are legitimate issues in Reason that, hopefully, Propellerheads are tackling for Reason 11.