Propellerhead Releases Free Reason 9.2 Update, New Tools Rack Extension Developer Tools

Propellerhead Software today released Reason 9.2, a free update that supports further development for the Rack Extension plug-in platform, and introduces Software Development Kit 2.5 to developers.

The Software Development Kit (SDK) is designed to let third-party developers create instrument and effect Rack Extensions to be used inside Reason.

The Rack Extension SDK has evolved significantly since its inception, and now offers many new features, including:

  • User sample loading and sampling in Rack Extensions
  • Customizable and switchable panels, widgets and tabs
  • Numerous other improvements including display pop-up menus, modifier keys in displays and new ways to visualize audio and data
  • Improved development, testing and debugging tools

“The Rack Extension SDK allows us to focus on the DSP and user interface design while taking care of all of the other details,” said Andrew Best, CEO of Blamsoft. “The new sample loading feature in SDK 2.5 allows for an entirely new breed of instruments and effects not yet seen in the platform.”

Pricing and availability

Reason 9.2 is a free downloadable update for Reason 9 owners. Existing users can download today using the auto-update feature in Reason 9.

Reason is available for purchase as a direct download from Propellerhead’s website, or from authorized dealers worldwide at the following suggested retail pricing:

  • Reason —USD $449 / EUR €405
  • Reason Essentials —USD $129 / EUR €120
  • Reason Upgrade (from any previous Reason version) — USD $129 / EUR €129

See the Propellerhead site for details.

13 thoughts on “Propellerhead Releases Free Reason 9.2 Update, New Tools Rack Extension Developer Tools

  1. I wonder how many potential customers they could have if Reason would allow VST/AU support?

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      1. what is the entire concept of reason…a self contained music production environment built around a virtual rack system? if that is the entire concept then i guess i understand the rob papen RE’s of the same vst/au’s. so maybe an RE wrapper for vst/au is an answer to that sandbox.

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      2. You’re probably right – I can’t imagine Propellerheads killing off Rack Extensions that might cost more than VSTs but can only be used in Reason. Then again, audio recording and MIDI were anathema to Reason for years but they eventually relented.

        Traditionally the primary ostensible advantage of using Reason’s built-in modules was rock solid reliability, quality, and performance. Even to this day I like Subtractor for its high quality-to-CPU load ratio. Reason modules also tend to offer more flexible inter-module patching and routing than VSTs or AUs.

        The secondary potential advantage is the improved creativity and focus that results from the constraints imposed by a limited but nicely integrated set of tools. With a limited set of tools, there is more of an incentive to master what you have and to use it creatively rather than constantly seeking new tools. I think an integrated, streamlined and distraction-free workflow is also part of the appeal of devices like the OP-1.

        I doubt that Propellerheads will open their walled garden any time soon, but you never know. It’s possible that better sandboxing provided in modern OS releases could help to protect against buggy VSTs/AUs.

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  2. I wonder if some genius programmer can use the SDK to create a Rack Extension that could handle plugins (VSTi). I would love to have Sylenth1, u-he Hive, or Predator 2 in the Reason work environment.

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    1. I really dislike these rack extensions that require a large investment that cannot be used in any other DAW.
      We really need a new Matrix, new ReDrum and updates to the core of Reason.

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  3. I have had reason since version 4 and though i like that now you can pretty much have most types of re’s you want, in the past the new instruments are what I enjoyed most about updates…. but now they are using that update time to change the GUI which was as important…, some POD amp effects they don’t even sopport anymore, add advanced midi “creativity”functions , make room for some online file sharing thing that nobody really wants, I really hope the next update isn’t some play on mastering or or editing. The convolution reverb and ability to edit audio recordings is awesome, but I’m looking for something that for once “sounds cool” where you can”build” sounds… heck a vocal/adlib generator would be awesome, or maybe the vocoder and autotune get stacked together within a vocal effect unit. A synth block builder like they have in reactor would be awesome, something with a sub oscillator. I feel like anything technical including a synthesizer has gone to the way side for updates and they are trying to cater to dummy wanna be’s who don’t have the attention span to try and figure out how a synthesizer or highly customizable effect works. The generative music midi tools prooved that to me when I made a song my pressing 2 white keys and a song was born….too easy…. for those of us who aren’t making music for a living… it’s become boring. Propellorhead if you read this, please make something interesting for reason 10 and don’t just leave it to us to create or buy separately. Why does FL studio get an additive synth included in their new updates when there are obviously cat’s that people can buy anyway? Because they know it’s exciting and people are gonna want it. am I the only one that thinks this? Or am I just a lesser important demographic?

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    1. It is about choices. I believe people are afraid to be different and use different tools to create. There is no limitation in a violin, or a piano. The only limitation is yourself, not the tool. Asking why a tool becomes easier and easier for others, years after years. Maybe the question is why it becomes harder harder to become creative, years after years.

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    2. I do wish Reason would decide to include more synth modules, be they additive/wavetable/fm/vector/physical modeling/resonator/modular/hybrid/circuit modeling/chiptune/morphing/resynthesis/whatever, with Reason proper rather than leaving them primarily up to rack extensions. It feels like rack extensions killed off innovation in terms of new core synth modules.

      That being said, there is still a lot you can do with the basic modules, combinator, and some creative routing and patching, and Thor is pretty flexible as well. So I guess Reason 4 and an old Mac from 2007-2008 (since Reason 4 doesn’t work on new Macs with macOS Sierra) are all you’ll ever need.

      Or you can just load your iPad with reBirth and party like it’s 1998. 😀

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  4. Do the module GUIs in Reason 9 support HiDPI/retina displays or not? I just fired up Reason 8.x for fun and I realized

    1) I hate Propellerheads’ DRM and registration; we need to lock them in a room with Apple so they can sort out Apple’s addiction to 30% royalties and lack of upgrade pricing vs. Propellerheads’ addiction to overpriced rack extensions

    2) I hate using Reason because the modules look like eyeball-scarring pixelated blobs (or they’re tiny on my old regular DPI screens)

    3) Thor looks so much better on an iPad (HiDPI) and it also works better (multitouch, audiobus)

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    1. I also realized that I might actually prefer routing the iPad version of Thor into Live vs. messing with ReWire. 😮

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