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.
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.
[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.
This is gonna’ be the most detailed review / talking piece about using the Ableton Push with Reason you’ll ever find. So let’s start this by asking; what is a universal controller? A universal controller is a physical hardware device (“USB controller”) that allows you to control every aspect of a device. A universal controller typically won’t have as many buttons as the virtual device they’re controlling, they’ll have different “banks” of parameters and, if that isn’t enough, different “pages” of banks.
This is what the Ableton Push has. It can control eight things at a time per bank and has access to eight banks at a time, with additional (practically unlimited) pages of banks. So, using this method, a universal controller like the Push can control as many different buttons, knobs, sliders and whatever a device has.
In short, the purpose of a universal controller is to physically control every aspect of a device.
[Updated 04/29/2019] I created some custom virtual rack device remote map code for RetouchControl’s PusheR and PusheR2 software, which allows the Ableton Push (versions 1 and 2) to be used as a universal controller in Reason.
In order to control a virtual device in Reason (i.e. Synchronous) with PusheR and the Ableton Push universal USB hardware controller, the remote map of PusheR needs to have code written for that virtual device.
There’s some devices RetouchControl didn’t include remote maps for (originally or still currently). I ended up creating some myself (i.e. Hydronexious) or I fixed / improved existing devices (i.e Thor). This page exists for those who want improvements and tweaks using their Push hardware with Reason.
A while ago, I had bought two Behringer BCF2000 mixers with the intention of using them as a 16 channel mixer. I found they wouldn’t “cascade” like they do in other DAW’s, contacted both Behringer and Propellerhead and they both said it couldn’t be done. I even looked into it, saw even the remote map file didn’t support it and wrote a blog post titled “Using Multiple BCF2000’s Can’t Be Done”. Miguel Catalão then left a comment on how it could be done and recorded a video just for this post.
This isn’t an easy method and I can’t personally vouch for it as I no longer have multiple BCF2000’s. The secret apparently lies in Miguel’s ability to figure out how to make the BCF2000’s act independently from one another instead of mirroring the same fader bank currently in focus.