There's a lot of great new sounds in Propellerhead Software's Reason 10. And most surprisingly, Reason 10 Klang may be one of my favorties, with Humana a close second. Pangea is also pretty cool, although I don't understand how to play all of the instruments in it.
This articles is going to give you an introduction to each of these new Soundiron instruments and show you how to get the most from them.
Klang in Reason 10 provides for tuned percussion. Originally I didn't really see much use for this, since I mostly make rock and sample based hip hop. But the more I dug into Klang, the more I realized how well these sounds worked as doubles to other melodies, as subtle support, and in some occasions as far out bass lines.
Basically, when I think about using Klang, I listen for preexisting melodies, and think if any might be better with some subtle doubling. If not, then I think, could this song use a bit more movement?
The sound of the initial attack is one of the unique aspects about tuned percussion verses other types of instruments (plucked instruments, reeds, synths). If you're having trouble getting an idea to cut through the mix, the attack of tuned percuassion may be exactly what you're looking for.
As for the interface of these 3 new instruments, they're all the same. This video gives you a good walk through of what everything does.
Humana in Reason 10 is an incredibly powerful choir pad. It can add a lot of realism to your tracks, as long as you use it correctly. You can also get some great artificial choir sounds (think Radiohead's OK Computer).
But it all comes down to layering the choirs correctly.
In this video I show you how to combine multiple Humana patches with Reason's amazing Scales and Chords player to quickly get realistic choral arrangements.
The secret is to recognize that each patch is really only supposed to do one thing, and then to use the correct patch. Sure, the female sopprano patch doesn't have a huge range - that's because sopranos aren't supposed to in choral arrangements. At some point it becomes the altos turn to sing.
Same goes with the use of the stacatto patches. They do short attacks well, but can't sustain. And don't you even think about layering Ohs and Ahs!
Finally, we have Pangea. I feel like Pangea is Reason 10's platypus. Neither fish nor fowl, so to speak. There's a lot of great instrument sounds hiding in there - I especially love both of the organs.
But there's also some weird sounds that I really don't understand how to approach - especially the the sitar. What are we supposed to do with that damn sitar?
When it comes to using Pangea, I think of it better as a way to start a song by experimenting with some of the interesting tones in Pangea, as opposed to having a song finished and think - oh yea, now what this song needs is a kinderklavier!
What do you think?
Propellerhead Software's Reason 10 is here! Long live Reason 10! This Reason 10 review is going to cover the following topics, and you can directly click on the links to jump to any of them, if that's your thing.
Reason 10 features five new instruments, plus a couple old favorites. Really, Reason 10 is mostly just new synths, so they are kind of the centerpiece of this Reason 10 review.
Note: this article may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase through them. Nonetheless, I bought Reason 10 with my own money and these are my real, unbiased thoughts on it.
The first new synth is Europa, an amazing modern sounding, huge club filling synthesizer. It sounds complex, is easy to use, and comes with loads of great presets. Plus, it looks super cool. If you're into any type of EDM, Europa will become your go-to synth.
The next major synth is Grain, which is one of the most interesting, rich sounding, fun instruments I've used in a long time. Grain is a grain sampler, which allows you to easily import samples, then manipulate tiny slices to come up with other-worldly sounds. The main point of my Reason 10 review is this: for Grain alone, Reason 10 is worth the upgrade.
Grain and Europa also include fantastic user interfaces, and I really hope these become standard for all of Reason going forward.
Reason 10 also includes 3 new sample based instruments: Klang (tune percussion), Pangea (world instruments), and Humana (vocal synth). These are all REALLY well done, and capture all the nuance of the underlying samples. I didn't think I'd use them too much (and I still haven't really found a use for Pangea), but Klang and Humana are going on almost everything. Humana just sounds amazing. I've been looking for great choir sounds for so long, and now they're finally here!
Reason 10 also adds two Rack Extensions that used to be sold separately, Radical Piano and Synchronous. It's kind of lame that people that purchased these already don't receive a discount or a voucher, but Radical Piano is a genuinely great sounding piano, and will probably become the only one you'll reach for. Synchronous... well I don't know what to do with.
Finally, Reason 10 adds a couple gigabytes of new drum loops and hits. These are all really good, and it's nice to add a modern update to the classic sound bank of Reason.
Reason 10 improves greatly on the performance of Reason 9.5. While I didn't run any detailed analytics for this Reason 10 review, anecdotally speaking, I've noticed a major performance boost with VSTs in two different ways.
First, when running lots of VST effects on multiple channels, like the incredible Waves NLS plugin, Reason 10 doesn't bog down at all.
Second, when running CPU-hungry major VSTs, I'd say performance has improved 30-40% compared to Reason 9.5. It is definitely noticable, but has a little ways to go, still.
If you haven't gotten that the gist of this Reason 10 review is that I like it a lot, let me re-iterate that Reason 10 is great.
But there are a lot of shortcomings built into the underlying Reason platform that Propellerheads has done nothing to address over the years.
I've made an extensive (yet partial) list of them in this video.
None of these are critical, but if you're like me, you've spent 1,000s of hours using Reason, and all these counter-intuitive workarounds start to add up.
I mean, I've literally spent DAYS of my life converting .Wav files to .Mp3s.
Come on. It's 2017.
Reason 10 is better than any version of Reason, and it's a great DAW in and of itself. But it's also as bad as every version of Reason.
I'd still recommend it without hesitation, but I'm definitely getting tired of working around features that should be standard.