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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.