Propellerhead Balance audio interface

Propellerhead Software today announced Reason 6, a major update to the award winning music software, Balance, its first audio interface and foray into hardware, and Reason Essentials, the successor to Record that packs all the recording, editing, effects, instruments, mixing and mastering necessary to sound great in a streamlined package. Now all Reason products have complete audio recording and editing.

Combining all the features from Record, Reason 6 adds audio recording and editing, along with Propellerhead’s acclaimed mixing console with masterfully modeled EQ and dynamics on every channel, multiple parallel racks, Line 6 amp models, new effect devices plus additional features. New creative effects designed for inserting directly into instruments and tracks include: Pulveriser, sound crushing effect with crunchy compression, dirty distortion and flexible modulation; The Echo, advanced stereo echo with modern delay and analog tape echo emulation: and Alligator, a three band pattern gate for complex rhythmic texturing. Interface enhancements, high definition audio transpose and true 64-bit compatibility highlight other new feature improvements.

Balance, a two-in by two-out audio interface, is designed for the single person operated home/project studio. Fully USB 2 powered with separate volume controls for monitors and headphones, it contains 8 input connections to keep all instruments, mics and devices connected and ready to record with the press of a button–without software pop-ups or control panels. The included Reason Essentials packs in all the recording, editing, effects, instruments and mixing tools needed to create great sounding tracks.

“We looked at recording from our musician users’ perspective. They were spending time concerned with issues other than music making–riddled in installing software, managing cables, setting up control panels, setting gain levels, tweaking recording parameters, and more. It frankly wasn’t as easy and straightforward and it should be,” says Ernst Nathorst-Böös, CEO. “So, we were compelled to create Balance with Reason Essentials to let them focus on creativity and not on technology.”

Propellerhead Reason Essentials

Built for independent minded musicians, Reason Essentials has the feel of a million dollar recording studio with the streamlined simplicity of a tape deck. Distilled from the core of Reason, Reason Essentials contains a great selection of instruments and effects in a virtual rack that builds itself, or can be infinitely customized–drum machine, loop player, sampler, synths, reverb, delay, distortion, mastering effects and more. For guitar players, the built-in virtual guitar and bass PODs from Line 6 bring a wide range of top quality guitar amps, cabinets and effects. The intuitive audio and MIDI sequencer makes recording and arranging music a breeze. Users never have to worry about track counts, latency issues or adding that extra reverb or effect. With an easy to grasp interface, it won’t get in the way of ideas and will inspire users to make more music.

Balance’s class compliant drivers on the Mac ensure hassle free installation and compatibility with all applications from iTunes to Pro Tools. Integration with Propellerhead products goes further. Hardware buttons on Balance bring up a large meter/tuner in Reason and can also enable “Clip Safe,” Propellerhead’s new recording technology that with one click heals clipped recorded audio. Musicians no longer have to worry about losing a great recording because gain levels were too high, and can stay focused on creating that goose bump evoking performance.

On the Mac, Reason 6 will require OS X 10.5.8 or later, an Intel CPU (multiple cores highly recommended), 1 GB of RAM, a DVD drive, 3 GB of free hard disk space (program may use up to 20 GB scratch disk space), an Internet connection for registration, a free USB port for Ignition Key, and a CoreAudio compliant audio interface or built-in audio hardware. A MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard are also recommended. Balance has similar CPU, RAM and HD requirements, but Mac OS X 10.6.3 or later will be necessary.

Reason 6 and Reason Essentials begin limited public beta testing today and will be available for purchase worldwide on September 30, 2011 at the suggested retail pricing below. Propellerhead will also offer a special grace period for purchasers of Reason, Record and Reason-Record Duo this summer.

Reason 6 $449 / €405
Reason Essentials $299 / €279
Reason 6 Upgrade (from any Reason version and Reason Essentials) $169 / €149

Reason Essentials with Balance audio interface will also be available for purchase worldwide on September 30, 2011 at a suggested retail price of $499 / €499. Any current Reason and Record user who purchases Balance can receive the Reason 6 upgrade for free.