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Sounds and Presets: Give Me The Reason!

Reason 13: New workflow, new browser, new devices  · 


Yesterday saw the launch of Reason 13, the latest iteration of the famous Swedish DAW. These Reason Refill packs contain sounds and presets that every Reason user should own.

Reason 13 launched yesterday. Some love it, some loath it but say what you like, Reason has been around for nearly a quarter of a century. That’s some staying power. I’ve been a big fan for most of that time and still use it today.

To see it reach its 13th version is quite something, especially as for quite some time it was its own little, locked up little playground. But things changed and now Reason can kick it with the best of them. It hosts 3rd party plugins but still retains its “in a box” work ethic.

Reason 13: New workflow, new browser, new devices
Reason 13: New workflow, new browser, new devices · Source: Gearnews

In recent years, Reason Studios, formerly known as Propellerhead, have been nurturing an environment whereby users can grab sounds in small, bite-size packs. Using the Reason Companion, you can access a huge library of patch banks and sample packs. Check out these amazing Sound packs by Michael Oakley!

But back in the day, before plugin support happened, the only way to get outside sounds into Reason was via Refills. These were sample libraries packaged up in a Reason NN-XT format mostly and the Refill business boomed. They can still be bought and used today and so I’ve picked three essential libraries for new and old Reason users alike.

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Don’t forget that Reason has been available as a plugin itself for a few years now. This means that if you own it, you can use it as a plugin within any DAW that supports VST3/AU, so these sounds can work in those places too!

Sounds and Presets: Retrospective by Jiggery-Pokery Sound

Jiggery-Pokery Sound is Matt Black. No, not THAT Matt Black, but a super talented guy based in London who has been producing sounds and instruments for Reason for a good number of years. For example, at the time of going to press, he is the only person to have created a software version of the legendary RMI Harmonic Synthesizer! Just as Jean Michel-Jarre fans if you don’t know what that is.

However, it is another piece of his work that I am highlighting for you all here. This one has a special place in my heart (and my sample library). In conjunction with the late, great Steve Howell, Matt took the extensive Hollow Sun Library and made it Reason-compatible.

Sounds and Presets - Jiggery Pokery Retrospective
Jiggery-Pokery Retrospective

The Hollow Sun library was very well known back in the day, and I’m talking turn of the millennium here. Steve was already legendary in the sampling business and his free-to-download library of vintage synths was many people’s go-to collection for classic sounds. Initially built for the Akai S5000/6000, Matt took the collection and fashioned it into a Refill.

The vast array of synths includes sounds from such synths as the Fairlight CMI, Emulator II, Yamaha FS1R, Oberheim M1000, PPG Wave, Roland SH101, Eminent 310U, Roland VP330, Moog microMoog, Mellotron, Elka Synthex, Delicia Melodic, Yamaha CP70, RMI Electrapiano, and Crumar Performer to name but a few.

Sounds and Presets: E-MU Proteus 1 2 3 by Digital Sound Factory

Digital Sound Factory are another name that has been around for a long time. Headed up by Timothy Swartz, formerly of E-MU Systems himself, most of their libraries deliver those iconic E-MU sounds with inside Reason.

And if you’re as seasoned as me, you will know that the E-MU Proteus modules were absolutely everywhere in the 1990s. Sourcing their sounds from the already extensive E-MU sample libraries, built up for their Emulator range, the Proteus modules were packed to the gills with superb sounds.

Digital Sound Factory – E-MU Proteus 1 2 3

Such was the popularity of these modules that E-MU released different versions, each with a specific musical focus. Building on the success of the first module, they released an Orchestral unit and one focusing on World sounds. And its these modules that Digital Sound Factory have replicated for Reason.

Whilst the sounds might not be revolutionary or ground-breaking, they are eminently useable. Remember, these were go-to sounds for many film composers and producers, such was their quality. And Digital Sound Factory have worked their magic on many other E-MU, Ensoniq and other top quality libraries.

Sounds and Presets: Flatpack 3 by Flatpack Productions Ltd.

Flatpack is another British sound design house that has made a name for itself with its Flatpack Refills for Reason. Their Refills are much more than just sample libraries. They include a ton of patches for Reason’s own synths and deliver a broad and deep sound palette.

Using many of Reason’s custom tools and instruments, they have fashioned some truly unique content that you will struggle to find the likes of anywhere else. There’s a lot of custom work going on here and Flatpack 3 carries on a well respected legacy.

And if you want to buy all three Flatpacks, they do a great deal over at their own website. There’s also a free Daniel Miller sound pack available to you just for registering on their website.

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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