Reason software was originally a set of virtual instruments with a built-in sequencer for quickly creating electronic type compositions. With the release of Reason 7 from Propellerhead, the software has firmly stepped into DAW territory. Users can record to an unlimited number of audio tracks, and record-ready channels can be created in an instant. A comp editor assists in building the perfect track simply by selecting the parts that work and muting the ones that don't. Non-destructive time stretching allows for recording first and picking a tempo later, while non-destructive pitch change is done with a mouse click.
The software now comes with MIDI Out support to bring the sound of hardware synthesizers and beat boxes to the Reason rack. MIDI is handled by an External MIDI Instrument device, which is fully integrated into the Reason environment. Automating MIDI equipment from Reason's sequencer or even from control voltages in the Reason rack is very simple to set up. Additionally, the software can automatically slice audio recording into single notes or hits for further creative control; to quantize a take, tweak timing to perfection, or to drastically change the recording using time stretching. The sliced up audio can also be converted to REX files for playback and further treatment in Reason's Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player, Reason's samplers, or the Kong Drum Designer.
A fast and flexible sequencer comes with vector and tempo automation, count-in, multiple lane tracks and Blocks mode. The floating window provides fast access to those detailed editing functions used all the time: quantize, transpose, note velocity, note length and legato. When creating songs, many musicians tend to think of music in terms of intro, verse, chorus, breakdown, buildup, etc. With Blocks mode, the sequencer does too, allowing the sequencing of songs using a more pattern-based approach, with the segments of the song laid out in an arrangement as individual building blocks.
The ReGroove Mixer is a real-time, non-destructive groove management device that can lock all the tracks together into one unified feel, or different settings can be applied to up to thirty-two musical elements in a song. Rack Extensions open up the Reason rack to third-party developers. While not a new plug-in format, they function in a similar manner in that they "plug-in" to the rack, but retain the same hierarchy as any other Reason component. Load them into Combinators, route cables on the back, automate all parameters, and experiment with the safety of undo.