Propellerheads Reason 2.0|
Reason 2.0 Good To Be True?
The original Reason sequencer was only as large as the rack, at best resolution it took up around two thirds of the available screen area, a little frustrating for those used to the major sequencer packages.
Despite this, the facilities offered made Reason a joy to program. The traditional piano roll window with velocity coloured notes was joined by a simple slice editing window for the Dr Rex recycled files, a drum sequencer a la Cubase and a whole host of controller editors for automation of every available parameter. All this and only a cursor and pencil to work with!
Now new tools have been added, an eraser, a magnifying glass, a line tool for easier editing of controllers and a hand tool for navigating around arrangements and most importantly, the Sequencer can be expanded to full screen size.
A button detaches the Sequencer from the Rack and shortcut keys select which screen is at the front, transport controls are duplicated, so no swapping back and forth needlessly.
Overall this screen is a vast improvement, having more space to work in and the new editing tools makes arranging a lot faster, although I would like to have seen the inclusion of a mute tool for trying out different arrangements without having to use delete and then undo.
The NN-XT is a polyphonic sampler which features velocity sensitive keygroups, each with their own filter, envelope and modulation settings, eight stereo output pairs and layered sound mapping for playing multiple sounds simultaneously with the same key.
It is possible to set crossfade times between various keygroups, and also to treat all keygroups with global filter and envelope controls.
On the whole this is a great module, it improves on the NN-19 without making its predecessor redundant, the included orchestral sounds are all well recorded and very useable, especially the wind instruments.
My only complaint is the lack of a function to create a chromatic keymap when importing samples; this is a feature I find invaluable on the Emagic EXS24. Failing this, the ability to set keyspans via midi, as on the Akai S3000 samplers, would be very useful – maybe the Props will take note...
Additionally, the lack of an Akai program import utility is a bit of an oversight, this has become such a standard option on software samplers that I feel it can’t be done without.