Propellerhead Rack Extensions Open Reason To Third-Party Developers

At Musikmesse 2012, Propellerhead introduced Rack Extensions: a new technology that opens up the Reason rack to third-party developers, letting them create instruments and effects for Reason.

Through this new technology, which is built into the next version of Reason and Reason Essentials, you’ll be able to expand your rack of Reason devices.

Rack Extensions As A New Format

Available to third parties as a software development toolkit, the Rack Extension technology is not just another plug-in format.

Rack Extensions are full Reason rack citizens, giving users the same experience with third party extensions as with any other Reason device. This includes the ability to load them in Reason’s Combinator, route audio and CV cables on the back, automation of all parameters, copy/paste devices and signal chains, and experimentation with the safety of unlimited undo.

“With Rack Extensions we rocket it into another dimension,” says Ernst Nathorst-Böös, Propellerhead CEO, “by inviting a world of creative and talented developers to bring their designs to the Reason rack. Rack Extensions have everything you love about Reason, from the cables on the back and integrated patch browser to its world-renowned stability and ease of use”.

Propellerhead Rack Extension Store

Propellerhead also announced the Rack Extension Store, an online store where Rack Extensions from all developers can be purchased and downloaded directly into the Reason rack, as many times as needed.

All Rack Extensions are Mac and Windows compatible, and can be tried with users’ own song files in Reason before purchase.

Third Party Rack Extensions

Here’s an example of a third party rack extension, Bitspeek, already under development:

The video captures a quick demo of Bitspeek running as a Rack Extension inside Propellerhead Software Reason. This is an early version of the extension, so some features are missing or are incomplete (like the backplate).

Pricing And Availability

The Rack Extension technology will be introduced in version 6.5 of Reason and version 1.5 of Reason Essentials, to be released in Q2, 2012.

The upgrades will be available for free download for all owners of Reason 6 and Reason Essentials. Users of previous versions of Reason can upgrade to Reason 6 today and download the upgrade for free once it becomes available.

8 thoughts on “Propellerhead Rack Extensions Open Reason To Third-Party Developers

  1. Very sceptical about this. They’re launching a proprietary “format” in which they sell the “apps” and even take 30% on the sell. Will they allow for free “Re”s?

    I’ll wait to see if there’s any difference in price between a VST ou AU version and the Re version. I would not be surprised if they rise 30%.

    On one hand it is nice to be able to access some “VSTs”, but I feel sad they still have not implemented MIDI out.

    1. The Devs won’t be 30% worse off selling through Re if you take into account third party online shop and credit card charges. Selling through an App Store is less Labour intensive as Propellerhead’s manage the transaction so you don’t have to always be available to email License files or manage support problems.

    2. Except since the REs will be protected by the Reason dongle so they won’t be subject to high level of piracy like every other plugin on the PC so they will easily make the money back. Second they take a cut because Reason is doing quality control to make sure people don’t release cheap ports in a cash grab that end up crashing Reason or resulting in poor performance.

  2. This is great news for Reason fans, not so much for anyone else. Still, the advantages of RE plugins over VST/AU are clever.

  3. I have massive respect for the sonic power found in Reason. I still have serious issues with the sequencer that Reason’s tools are built on – it’s a baby sequencer compared to what you can do with Live, Logic Pro or a host of other sequencing environments that have a more robust parameter set for editing “MIDI” data. I understand Propellerheads went this way – it’s still a controlled sandbox with their name on top of everything that comes out….. However, if the Props boys wanted to get serious and play with the big boys, they would also include their synth and effect plug-ins in AU and VST format in a “Reason Pro” version. I’d pay serious money to have their sonic tools in the sequencing environment of my choice vs being forced to use a sequencer I have little respect for. Having Thor in an instrument rack in Live is something I dream about on a regular basis…..

  4. I think this is a great move by Properllerhead. It really stays true to their whole ethos – they introduced plug-ins, like what many people have always griped about, but have done it on their terms. You hear alot of people saying stuff like ‘about time’ but seriously would this solution (especially the way they are intending on trying/selling through the Rack Extension store) have even been possible a couple of years ago? I think the way the RE stuff will be integrated into the rack is just a masterstroke. Being able to use CV input on different plugins is such a great idea. I really hope this will attract alot of third party developers – I mean imagine Maschine inside of Reason……………………

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