It’s hard to remember, but I’m pretty sure my first exposure to programming and DAWs was a very early version of Reason by Propellerheads, maybe version 1 or 2. I had no idea what I was doing, but I quickly became lost in the possibilities of the program — until my buddy cut me off from continuing with the horrible racket I was making. Even with my limited DAW experience, I was entranced by the interface, that imitated the look of rack mounted processors.
Reason has come a long way since then. In recent versions, Reason has taken steps from being one of the most unique programming utilities for electronic producers to being a legitimate DAW for any producer. It still lacks the power and flexibility of ProTools and Logic, but it gets closer with every version.
This video from Dubspot gives a thorough tour of the new features in Reason 7. Advances in the newest version include improvements to the mixer, like a new spectrum analyzer, more intuitive grouping features, and seamless parallel processing; Audio Slice features of Rebirth integrated into Reason; and external MIDI triggering from Reason. Not only does the video show some of these sweet new features, it also shows you how to use some of them. Just watching this video is a great way to gather ideas for production techniques, regardless of your DAW.
Lots of people continue to resist using Reason, for many reasons. Some folks want to see more comprehensive audio recording features, which is a fair complaint. I expect that Propellerheads will continue the evolution of every aspect of this DAW, and it will soon be a complete production environment, competing with ProTools. But with the incredible flexibility of synth sounds and processing, it represents possibilities that ProTools is far from accomplishing.
If you want a platform that supports unbridled creativity, check out Reason 7.