As you may expect, Reason 10 is by far the best version of Propellerhead’s legendary DAW! It solves some of the issues that flawed previous versions, while building on the strengths it already had. Reason was already one of the most capable DAWs on the market, so let’s take a closer look at this newest iteration…
We will start this review off by saying Reason 10 features the same user interface as its previous iteration – satisfactory, but room for improvement. As with the older versions, it is certainly not ugly, but it falls a little short of the cleanliness apparent in some of the other leading DAWs. Ultimately, Reason has always been a DAW that emphasized function over style, and version 10 is no different.
The biggest flaw is that Propellerhead uses a very basic theme, but their layout of choice leaves very little real estate to work with, so things tend to get a little crowded if you are working on a larger project. On larger monitors, this won’t be much of a problem, but if you have a smaller screen – or work from a laptop – you might find yourself shuffling through different windows more than you’d like.
Reason has always been a great tool for anyone wanting to mix and record, although it’s also becoming better for those who want to create music from scratch. While version 9.5 focused on structural changes, Reason 10’s focus is on new instruments and effects. Included are two brand new synthesizers (Europa and Grain), with a massive haul of synth sounds, loops and sampled instruments. There is a lot of flexibility here and it encourages serious experimentation.
On top of this there is a packed built-in sound bank – over 3GB of drum samples and loops, three sampled instrument collections, a versatile studio piano and a rhythmic modulation effect (additional content is available for purchase, should you need it). You can also easily expand your DAW’s power by adding VST or Rack Extension plugins. Aside from this, the old features we all love are still present – including unlimited audio and MIDI tracking and a powerful mixer, as well as audio slicing and stretching.
Reason 10 is a true powerhouse that promises to bring this DAW into the spotlight and compete with others like Logic Pro and Cubase Pro. It is user-friendly and accessible, and runs very well on all systems – an all-round stable DAW. The combination of features pretty much gives you everything you need to create and edit good music!
Ultimately, Reason 10 hasn’t reinvented the wheel when compared to 9.5, but they have improved the DAW enough to justify the upgrade. This new version is a full studio-grade mixing console with so much power and flexibility when it comes to recording, mixing and – now – creating music from scratch. Well worth considering if you are serious about your studio.