Freak am I lovin’ this mobile setup I’ve created for Reason (Reason Studios). It’s based around an Apple MacBook Pro M1, Apple iPad Pro 11”, Apple 11” Magic Keyboard and Novation Launchpad X.
I use my iPad Pro as a wireless second display using macOS’s Sidecar feature. I use the iPad Pro’s Magic Keyboard to prop the iPad up as it floats the iPad above the Launchpad X. This makes it as if the two were designed together. Thankfully Novation made the Launchpad X thin enough to do this.
Reason+ has its pros and cons. Nearly all of the issues people have with Reason+ would be negated if Reason Studios did one of three things:
Lower the price of Reason + Devices + Sound Packs
Lowered the price by offering only Reason + Sound Packs (no devices)
Include a rent-to-own option.
It’s very important to note that you’re basically renting (subscribing) to Reason, the rack extensions and the sound packs. Although if you download the sound packs, you can keep using them with a standard Reason license. But access to the subscription version of Reason and those rack extensions are cut when you decide to stop paying. Any existing Reason and rack extension licenses you own will still work. And Reason Studios states they currently are still selling Reason, upgrades and rack extensions outside of the subscription. But, at Reason+’s debut, you cannot access Reason+ offline like you can with standard Reason. Reason Studios intends to implement this soon.
[10/07/2020 Version 1.1] Hey, I’m Jaëxx. This is the 100% free MJ X-Touch Trinity; the world’s first fully controllable 24 channel mixer interface for Reason Studios. (The MJ Enhanced Combo Extender is the 16 channel version and the MJ Enhanced Universal Control is the 8 channel version.) The MJ X-Touch Trinity is a remote map and Lua codecs that run on Mackie MCU Pro, Behringer X-Touch and iCon Qcon mixers (mixers that run off of Mackie’s Universal Control protocol).
Using a base mixer (Mackie MCU Pro, Behringer X-Touch and iCon Qcon) and two extender mixers (Mackie XT Pro, X-Touch Extender or iCon Qcon EX), the MJ X-Touch Trinity interface in Reason Studios (regular and suite) allows you to connect all three mixers in a single native remote map with no additional man-in-the-middle software to run. Every aspect of Reason’s virtual SSL 9000k mixer is fully controllable for all 24 channels. The MJ X-Touch Trinity controls Reason natively without messing with creating special sequencer tracks or tedious mouse clicking. This is the largest remote map code for a single Reason virtual device ever created (5,931 lines of code to control the virtual SSL mixer alone). Best of all, I’m sharing it for free.
Some of my Ableton Push encoder knobs started registering random jitter movement in Reason (I use PusheR by Retouch Control). I fixed this by spraying the rotary encoders with a $5 can of QD Electric Cleaner by CRC with no tools required.
A lot of updates have been happening to my music studio setup. Hardware’s been rearranged and devices have changed. One of the things I haven’t covered yet here is how I built my studio desk. So in this article, I’ll be talking about how I set the desk up, installed or removed music studio hardware and keep everything working together.
I’ve held off sharing my impressions of the Mackie MCU Pro line of mixers because I didn’t wanna’ alienate anyone. Also because I wanted to be sure I had a solid understanding of the differences between the Mackie MCU Pro line and the Behringer X-Touch line (the X-Touch and X-Touch Extender exclusively). But after designing the remote maps needed to use both brands with Reason, I feel I would be letting people down by not discussing in detail why the Mackie MCU Pro line is inferior to the Behringer X-Touch line.
Getting the obvious outta’ the way
There’s some benefits of the Behringer X-Touch line over the Mackie MCU Pro line that aren’t really the focus of this article. So let’s briefly go over those benefits.
The X-Touch line (X-Touch and X-Touch Extender) has VU meters, is cheaper by nearly half ($449 vs. $1,099) and has better looks (once you take off the tacky, plastic sides). While those points help, the part that makes the Mackie MCU Pro line inferior is down to…
[10/07/2020 Version 4.1] Hey, I’m Jaëxx. This is the 100% free MJ Enhnaced Combo Extender 16 channel mixer interface for Reason Studios. (The MJ Enhanced Universal Control is the 8 channel version and the MJ X-Touch Trinity is the world’s first 24 channel version.) This is a remote map and Lua codecs that run on Mackie MCU Pro, Behringer X-Touch and iCon Qcon mixers (mixers that run off Mackie’s Universal Control protocol). I’ve created a custom Propellerhead Reason remote map for Mackie Universal Control + Extender (Combo, Extender Left) mixers, like the one used by my Behringer X-Touch + Extender mixers or the MCU Pro + XT Pro.
Using a base mixer (Mackie MCU Pro, Behringer X-Touch or iCon Qcon) and one extender mixer (Mackie XT Pro, X-Touch Extender or iCon Qcon Ex), the MJ Enhanced Combo Extender mixer interface in Reason Studios (regular and suite) allows you to connect two mixers in a single native remote map with no additional man-in-the-middle software to run. Every aspect of Reason’s virtual SSL 9000k mixer is fully controllable for all 16 channels. The MJ Enhanced Combo Extender controls Reason natively without messing with creating special sequencer tracks or tedious mouse clicking.
The MJ Enhanced Combo Extender map fixes a fatal flaw that would cause the mixer to stop working in Reason. It also fixes problems like buttons being mapped in the wrong areas, eliminates clip LEDs getting triggered on X-Touch’s, functions missing entirely (like the EQ Q knobs) while adding enhancements and new features, like comp and gate LED meters, redesigned encoder LED display modes, time displayed by default, global solo and mute off functions, FX send and return encoder LED meters, completely new “alternative text” mode for displaying additional information, illuminated select buttons, completely new “alternative text” mode for displaying additional information and added encoder ring master VU out meters. This remote map enables you to control the entire virtual SSL mixer and channel strip settings between two mixers as one fader-bank controllable 16 channel mixer.
This article also serves as a guide / general commentary.
I’ve only owned two keyboards my entire time working with music; a Midiman Keystation 49 (8 years use) and an M-Audio Oxygen49 (6 years use). I end up using keyboards for years, so when I’m about to buy a new one, I research for one that’ll also last just as many years. After researching what felt like 100 keyboards, I decided on the Roland A-49.
Every current and discontinued keyboard was considered
I looked at what felt like almost 100 models of keyboards for consideration. I looked at every model from Akai, Alesis, Korg, M-Audio, Nektar, Novation and Samson to name a few. Every single keyboard controller from Sweetwater was considered. I also looked at models discontinued. Some of the top list of keyboards was the Akai Max49, with its sexy red color and even more impressive LED touch faders, the Nektar Panorama P4 for its dedication to being a universal controller for Reason and the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 for its unique white on wood trim.