Propellerhead Announces Reason 6, Reason Essentials

| Product News

Propellerhead announced Tuesday Reason 6 and a new, more focused version of the product line called Reason Essentials. The biggest change in Reason 6 is the addition of the recording features previously offered as a standalone product called Record, while Reason Essentials is a slimmed down version offering fewer instruments and effects.

Reason 6: Record was Propellerhead’s entry into the digital audio workstation market, and it was previously offered as a standalone product, but one designed to work with Reason’s sequencing powers. Reason 6 officially integrates the two products, and it also adds a new mixing console.

Other new features include a compressor called Pulveriser, an echo effect called The Echo, a triple filtered gate called Alligator, and a pitch correction and voice synthesizer called Neptune. The later is intended to compete with Auto-Tune and Melodyne. In the promo video below, you can find more information on these new effects.

Reason 6 also includes previous features like Line 6’s amp and effects modelling and all the sequencing tools that Reason was originally built on.

Pulverizer, a new effect in Reason 6

Pulverizer, a new effect in Reason 6

Reason Essentials: This product is intended to meet the needs of users who are less interested in controlling every aspect of their recordings. Racks build themselves, for instance, and there are fewer things to tweak (and control). To use the words of the company, it has, “the feel of a million dollar recording studio with the streamlined simplicity of a tape deck.”

It has the full range of Reason 6 features (recording, sequencing, mixing, effects, instruments), but includes fewer line items in each category. There’s a handy-dandy comparison chart for seeing exactly what each version has for those trying to decide between the two.

The company said that Reason 6 and Reason Essentials are in limited beta testing now, and that they are scheduled to ship in September of 2011. Reason 6 will be priced at €405/US$449, while Reason Essentials is priced at €279/$299. Upgrade pricing to Reason 6 from previous versions of Reason is €149/$169.

Better yet, if you purchase(d) Reason Duo or Record for Reason between July 1st and October 31st, Propellerhead will let you upgrade to Reason 6 for free (as a Web download). If you purchase Reason 5 alone between those same dates, you can upgrade to Reason 6 for €99/$99.

Reason 6 promo video from Propellerhead



Reason (along with Live) is one of my favorite Mac music programs, and I’ve spent hundreds of dollars upgrading it over the years.

That being said, I think we’re in a new era of music software pricing; consider that GarageBand for iOS is…. 5 dollars.  Most high-quality music apps (e.g. iMS-20, iElectribe, NanoStudio, Horizon, MorphWiz, even Propellerhead’s own ReBirth) are in the $5-$15 range. While they don’t (yet) offer the full power of Reason or Live, the handwriting is on the wall.

Regardless, I would gladly pay MORE than the $99 upgrade price (Reason+Record -> Reason 6) if it meant that the Record functionality no longer required internet login and/or a useless USB-port-occupying dongle. Unfortunately, Propellerhead still seems to be addicted to dongles and user-hostile, proprietary DRM schemes.

Maybe someone should tell them about that newfangled “Mac App Store.”

Bryan Chaffin

The link to the handy-dandy chart above has been corrected.

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