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SOFTWARE AND SOUNDWARE

In this section, we're predominantly if not stricktly focusing on the producer of (DUB) Reggae Music. You'll find in-depth reviews of buyable software and loops/samples necessary for the construction of (DUB) Reggae music in a digital environment. For reviews of free downloadable software and sounds, go to the Download page at Studio Dubroom.

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CONTENTS

PART ONE

PART TWO

PART THREE

PART FOUR

PART FIVE

FULL REVIEW

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Reason In Studio Dubroom
Studio Dubroom has a special section for owners of Reason. Find sounds, settings, stuff. It's there because the Dubroom shamelessly promotes the possibility of making Dub just with computers and Reason does the job very well!

FILES

Get Files!

Click on the picture above to download the three reason files created for this review. 

REASON 3.0

Read Review on Reason 3.0

Click on the picture above to read our -now rather dated- review of Reason 3.0. 

REBIRTH

Get Rebirth

In the Dubroom's September 2005 review of the Rebirth Museum, you can read all about Propellerhead's first DAW before there were such things as DAW's. Even better, you can download a full version free and legal.
REASON 8.0: A Review For The Dub Community (Part Two: First Steps)
DUBROOM SOFTWARE REVIEW

A First Impression

Closing off Reason 3.04 and opening Reason 8.0: obviously, that's an overwhelming experience. Even preparation in the form of checking tutorials and You Tube video's from the Swedish developers can not prevent the effects of this virtual time travel. This is like getting off a bicycle and stepping in a luxury car! 

Reason 3, you could say, is to Reason 8 what Rebirth was to Reason 3. Where you could hook up Propellerhead's first software seamlessly in Reason, Reason 8 has almost all the features of it's previous versions seamlessly integrated with the first new feature that draws the attention: the Master Mixing Console. In one word: wow! This is definitely the kind of console every DUB engineer has these specific dreams of.

Where the Reason known to us here in the Dubroom contained a sequencer and a device part, Reason added the Master Mixing Console as a third part of the program. You can have one window for your sequencer, one for your device rack and one for the extensive console. Unlike Reason 3, your rack is not limited to one vertical line of devices. You can build your rack as high and wide as you like to. Big improvement!

Before there were computers and programmable sequencers, there was DUB. In essence, DUB is the art of remixing an audio multi-track recording of a band playing a Reggae riddim. In a way, even using loops and drum computers are just a simulation of that. The best DUB is actually made from physical audio recordings. 

Guess what? Reason gives you this very possibility.

For example: you can create your own Drum sound, program a rhythm from start to stop and render the whole thing to an audio track. Do this with all your instrument sections and you have a de facto multi-track audio recording in just the right way for an authentic DUB session. Or simply load multi-track stems and off you go.

Sure, the console isn't a new feature in Reason 8. Neither are it's audio tracks. What is new, is the browser. That browser is quite an improvement indeed. It gives you context-sensitive options, while it remembers where you have stored your settings and files when you didn't do it in the default manner. It finds files much quicker, too, a thing that will please a lot of Reason users.

Overall, browsing and basically navigating through the different parts is pretty intuitive. After all, you know why you launch Reason. You'll need a sequencer, you'll need effects and you need a mixing board. You want to make music. DUB music. 

A Closer Look

Where versions prior to Reason 6 basically had the sequencer and the device rack, 2011 (when Reason 6 was announced) introduced a mixing console next to the device rack and the sequencer. Later on in this review we'll take an in-depth look at this console, but the mere fact it has been given it's own part rather than a place in the rack is very telling.

After all, for a Dub engineer the console is more than half the work. The console is the heart, the HQ from where all the music is processed and all the effects are driven. For a Dub engineer, the console is where most of the work is done. The better the console, the less you have to do things on the devices themselves. Well, this console does a lot.

The fact that Reason will accept Multi-Track audio recordings or stems should make it possible to set up the DAW for a first "quick" Dub session. Drums, Bass, Skanks and Horns. The console gives us no less than eight aux sends, so three different delays, two reverbs, a phaser, a filter and the Audiomatic effect just because it's new. That's a total of 12 channels: four audio, eight effects. The effects have their own channel rather than a mere plug in to the returns, but that's nothing new for the Dub producer.

Setting things up for a first Dub mix reveals the way the rack works with the console. Within the rack, audio and console tracks have their own little device. You link the output from your device into the input of the "mix track" and that's it. Again, reading it is more difficult than actually doing it. 

Take your time looking at the following screen shot (click to enlarge):

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

On the left you see the browser. It can be scaled and minimized. Dragging devices from the browser to the rack is easy. Just press the shift key while you do it, otherwise Reason will connect the device for you and a Dub engineer wants to make his own connections. At the bottom is the sequencer, the racks are in the middle and the console is at the top. All three, like the browser, completely scalable and they can even appear all three in their own window for maximum convenience. 

A First Session

Having just four audio tracks and a couple of effect devices connected to the main console should be good enough for a first Dub session. And it is, for the four audio tracks (channels 1-4). Reason makes an audio channel on the main console and automation goes smoothly. Things are a bit different for the effect channels (5 and beyond), since you have to make sequencer tracks for these channels and subsequently arm them for automation.

Without touching the effect devices, without regarding a proper sound balance, just testing the automation on the console and some of the EQ it features. The result can be seen and heard in this next video, while you can read some spontaneous first impression comments:

 

REASON 8.0 REVIEWED VIDEO 1: DISCOVERING CONSOLE AUTOMATION

Every DAW has their own specific ways of dealing with automation. Using them in your own way requires time, practice and study. In this first impression of Reason 8.0 at work, it was not really clear that audio channels are armed for automation automatically while other channels at the console are not. A minor issue that was solved very quickly after posting a question on the Propellerhead website's forum.

The console works friendly. When tracks are properly armed automation is recorded smoothly. Reason picks it up and everything works the way you connect it and the way you touch the buttons. This is really important for Dub mixing since most of the Dub action takes place on the console's channels. Dubs have some heavy (un)muting of different channels at the same time, while effects are layered on top of each other. This all needs to be recorded in automation without problems, while the console should do what is says it is doing.

The console needs to be examined first.

<<< PART ONE: INTRODUCTION <<< REASON 8.0: A REVIEW FOR THE DUB COMMUNITY >>> PART THREE: FEATURES >>>

Press "GET" to go to the product page at the Propellerhead Website. You'll have to register yourself and be logged in at PROPELLERHEAD.se in order to use the software the first time you run it. A free fully functional Demo is available too. 

CONTENTS

PART ONE
PART TWO
PART THREE
PART FOUR
PART FIVE
FULL REVIEW

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