So, during this month at Musikmesse 2012, Propellerhead software made some pretty huge announcements about their existing products (which I will get to in a bit) as well as announcing a very interesting new one, ‘Propellerhead Figure’.
Figure is a mobile app that is available for the Iphone, Ipad and Ipod Touch devices. I should also mention that unfortunately at this point, there is no Android version planned for myself an my fellow Android users at this stage, more than likely down to the logistics of hardware optimization.
“What is Figure?” you ask. Figure is Propellerhead’s Reason audio engine running on your Apple mobile devices! It is probably easier for me to just link you to this short demonstration video so you can see and hear the quality for yourself.
The best part? This app is set to cost $1 in the app store! As far as I am aware they also plan to release refill style sample libraries as well, but the base app seems incredibly powerful. When that video went live the other week, the app had already been sent to Apple for certification, so it should be available really soon!
The second announcement is the one I am really excited about as a Reason 6 user. Rack Extensions! Reason is basically the most stable and intuitive DAW (digital audio workstation) that I have used. One of the Reasons for this is that it is a fairly closed system and doesn’t support 3rd party plugins.
The reason for this is that Propellerhead didn’t want to compromise their platform stability as a crashing 3rd party plugin will typically cause the host program itself to crash, which can be a nightmare.
Propellerheads solution to this? They have created a whole new audio plugin format from scratch as an alternative to Avid (RTAS), Apple (AU), and Steinberg (VST)! They claim that if the 3rd party plugin crashes, that’s all that will happen. The host program will be unaffected and at worst you will have to restart Reason.
Another awesome feature of Rack extensions is that each 3rd party plugin will feature all the automation and routing capabilities of Reason’s native instruments, as well as unlimited undo/redo!
The list of 3rd party developers who have announced that they are getting on-board is small at the moment, but very respectable: KORG, SonicCharge (of uTonic and Synplant fame), Peff (Kurt Kurasaki), Softube, and Urs Heckmann (u-he). iZotope was also seen in the crowd. It is pretty much a sure thing that a ton of others will follow.
Propellerheads are also creating an app store that will allow users to purchase new virtual Rack effects and instruments from within Reason itself.
Not only that, but they say that they will be releasing the SDK (software development kit) so that basically anyone with a registered business and the knowledge to code can create instruments to submit to the app store and potentially make uber-bucks!
Here is a pretty lengthy conference explaining their plans, including some demos:
Last but not least, Propllerhead have released ‘Balance’, which is their first (but apparently not last) venture out of the virtual realm and into the territory of physical hardware. It is currently winning all kinds of awards for design, function and intuitive use.
Here is a decent video review of that:
The full version of Reason 6 is available for £294.99 from dolphinmusic.co.uk, with the Balance hardware (which includes Reason Essentials) for £279. Reason Essentials on it’s own has now been reduced to £95!
All versions of Reason 6 will receive the 6.5 update in the coming months….Exciting times!
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Posted On: Fri, Mar. 30, 2012