Why are the reason users a minority?

This forum is for discussing Reason. Questions, answers, ideas, and opinions... all apply.
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EnochLight
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Post 15 Oct 2020

Billy wrote:
14 Oct 2020
We're not a minority
Yes... yes we are, actually. ;)
exxx wrote:
14 Oct 2020
Why are the reason users a minority?

There are so many daws, why can't I see any signs of increase?

Why don't modern YouTubers use reason?
Because Reason only "became a DAW" as of Reason 6.0**, and even then it couldn't host proprietary plugins (RE's) until 6.5 came out. That was 2012, just a paltry 7 years ago. Meanwhile, virtually every other DAW on the market had a 17-20+ year head start and could host ANY (VST) plugin. And we couldn't host VST in Reason until 9.5 in 2017, just 3 years ago (and we still cannot host VST 3 in Reason DAW proper despite Reason Rack Plugin being a freaking VST 3 - LMAO)!!! :lol:

So when you ask questions like this, I think it's important to understand just how far behind Propellerhead (and now Reason Studios) was from the beginning. The sequencer and DAW proper still lack many basic DAW functions that literally every other DAW on the market has had practically from the start. And now Reason Studios have went all in on making Reason a VST rack plugin, so... there's that.

Look, I'm one of Reason's greatest champions - it's still my DAW of choice, but even I can see that Reason DAW proper will never, EVER, gain the sort of usage and market saturation as DAW that have been on the market for 2 decades plus, just because it's not in Reason's design ethos for RS to throw every feature missing into the sequencer. Even if they did today, it's not going to make a huge amount of people jump ship, IMHO.

** Ignoring Record + Reason 5, because that was just a confusing mess IMHO.
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chaosroyale
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Post 15 Oct 2020

I agree 100%. This is why I am so harsh with my criticism of Reason Studios. They could have a top-class DAW if they cared about the user experience. "Quality of life" updates are absolutely essential, but Reason almost never does them. I've said it a million times, but the complainers are not asking for Reason to change its fundamental identity, they want it to be Reason, but without the stupid and unnecessary limitations. Making the authorizer / RE manager less of a pain in the ass does not change the identity of Reason. Adding track markers or auto-punch (like it should have had 20 years ago) does not change the identity of Reason. Removing limitations like not being able to zoom out to see the whole project at one time, in 2020 for gods sake, does not change the identity of Reason. All of these things (and more) would simply bring Reason up to a professional standard.
guitfnky wrote:
15 Oct 2020
totally agree, and it’s why I think Reason is in a unique position to make themselves a stand-out pro-level competitor in the DAW world.

all of the DAWs you mention (I’ve tried most) have the sort of best practice, industry-standard features I’m talking about—markers, auto-punch, track folders, etc, but most of them feel very bloated and unintuitive. Reason, on the other hand, is at the (far) other end of the spectrum—most of what is there is very intuitive, and not hidden behind confusing layers of abstraction or endless menu options, and it’s obviously feature-light by comparison. I think if they were to simply list the core features that most of these other DAWs had, circa 10-15 years ago, and add those, they’d have a list of maybe 20-30 small, but important quality-of-life improvements that would make Reason competitive in terms of basic functionality, without changing the fundamental ease of use, or making it feel bloated and difficult to use.

I mean think of it...if you use another DAW now with the RRP because it offers some of the features Reason lacks natively, but don’t find it particularly inspiring, wouldn’t you take a hard look at Reason if they finally filled some of the gaps? and for those just starting out, how much more comforting would it be to know that you can grab Reason, learn it fairly quickly, AND that it’s on par with the other major players, so you won’t have to think about switching to something else later on if you outgrow the current (too-)bare-bones feature set?

just seems like such a no-brainer to me. all the instruments, effects, and inspiration of Reason with all the same basic features as every other DAW should be a super-easy sell.

chaosroyale
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Post 15 Oct 2020

Even by that weird standard, Bitwig studio was released AFTER Reason 6 (!!), and in that short time has gone from literally nothing to being the standard example of a "modulation-focused" DAW, taking the crown from Reason. Hell, Studio One is only 10 years old and look how far they have come.
EnochLight wrote:
15 Oct 2020


Look, I'm one of Reason's greatest champions - it's still my DAW of choice, but even I can see that Reason DAW proper will never, EVER, gain the sort of usage and market saturation as DAW that have been on the market for 2 decades plus, just because it's not in Reason's design ethos for RS to throw every feature missing into the sequencer. Even if they did today, it's not going to make a huge amount of people jump ship, IMHO.

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EnochLight
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Post 15 Oct 2020

chaosroyale wrote:
15 Oct 2020
Even by that weird standard, Bitwig studio was released AFTER Reason 6 (!!), and in that short time has gone from literally nothing to being the standard example of a "modulation-focused" DAW, taking the crown from Reason. Hell, Studio One is only 10 years old and look how far they have come.
The problem with that comparison is that Bitwig was started by ex-Ableton devs who planned to write a DAW from the start (and had an axe to grind), and Studio One was made by a very large company that has practically bottomless pockets to throw cash at the dev team. But then there's 16 year old Reaper, which has like... 2 devs (and has a perpetual "try" mode that's essentially free)? :lol:
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Mike B
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Post 15 Oct 2020

miscend wrote:
14 Oct 2020
Reaper, Ableton and FL Studio are all highly pirated.
This
guitfnky wrote:
14 Oct 2020
because there are still too many industry standard quality of life features missing, that are available in every other DAW.
And this

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ShelLuser
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Post 15 Oct 2020

antic604 wrote:
15 Oct 2020
You know you can do it without any M4L devices, right? Just have Rack VST on one track generating MIDI from live input or clips and receive that MIDI on another track where Absynth sits.
The problem with that setup is that you can no longer have both VST windows displayed at the same time. Well, not without disabling the auto hide&show settings which I prefer to keep active so that my screen doesn't get cluttered.

And when I'm experimenting like this I want to have access to both Reason and Komplete (Absynth in the above example) but without clutter from other Komplete effects (GR, Raum, etc.).

SO.. I'm well aware but it's not an option for me, hence impossible.

(edit): you don't even need a rack for this, dunno what gave you that idea: Just set up the Reason rack as normal, add a new track and dump Absynth on it. Then check the I-O section: set "MIDI from" to grab the MIDI from the other track (with the rack plugin on it) and also pinpoint it to the rack plugin. Set monitoring to "In". Switch back to the "reason track" and you're done.
antic604 wrote:
15 Oct 2020
Oh, and in Bitwig you can do this on single track without workarounds like this, because it does not expect a set order of devices, like Live does. Just saying :)
Not a fan of Bitwig. But it'll never be a viable option for me for the simple reason that it doesn't have Max for Live. Once you get your hands behind that it's simply not possible to give up on it. (edit): Not to mention Push... can't work without it anymore.
Last edited by ShelLuser on 15 Oct 2020, edited 1 time in total.
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gullum
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Post 15 Oct 2020

What ? There are other DAW's out there?

PhillipOrdonez
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Post 15 Oct 2020

ShelLuser wrote:
15 Oct 2020
antic604 wrote:
15 Oct 2020
You know you can do it without any M4L devices, right? Just have Rack VST on one track generating MIDI from live input or clips and receive that MIDI on another track where Absynth sits.
The problem with that setup is that you can no longer have both VST windows displayed at the same time. Well, not without disabling the auto hide&show settings which I prefer to keep active so that my screen doesn't get cluttered.

And when I'm experimenting like this I want to have access to both Reason and Komplete (Absynth in the above example) but without clutter from other Komplete effects (GR, Raum, etc.).

SO.. I'm well aware but it's not an option for me, hence impossible.
antic604 wrote:
15 Oct 2020
Oh, and in Bitwig you can do this on single track without workarounds like this, because it does not expect a set order of devices, like Live does. Just saying :)
Not a fan of Bitwig. But it'll never be a viable option for me for the simple reason that it doesn't have Max for Live. Once you get your hands behind that it's simply not possible to give up on it.
I just open and close the plugin windows every time I need one.

I couldn't live with automatically hiding windows in live. There's a few plugins in the 2bus I need open to monitor when mixing. 🤷‍♂️

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miscend
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Post 16 Oct 2020

jlgrimes wrote:
14 Oct 2020
miscend wrote:
14 Oct 2020
You dont see many Cubase users either on Youtube. Logic, Reaper, Ableton and FL Studio are all highly pirated.
I wouldn't say all of those are highly pirated.


Reaper maybe, but it is dirt cheap, and the demo is fully usable.

FL Studio does the free upgrades for life

I would think most popular YouTubers are probably using paid versions.
There's a reason why the most popular DAWs are the ones which are either the easiest to pirate like Ableton or don't have any copy protection whatsoever like Logic Pro. The barrier to entry is just so low, and you have places like China and India where most software is pirated anyway even Windows. Definitely the more popular Youtubers aren't pirating software, but these people tend to be given free software anyway. Just look at the high number of Youtubers that had Maschine+ before it was even in the stores. These Youtubers are savvy and know their audiences well, so they will use the DAWs that are most popular in their videos.

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guitfnky
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Post 16 Oct 2020

most content creators work with software they already are familiar with/enjoy using. that’s usually how an established channel becomes successful. I very much doubt there are many Youtubers out there who are learning DAWs just to cater to Youtube.

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EnochLight
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Post 16 Oct 2020

It seems Reason is still popular with the MPC heads. I see it featured in MPC-centric videos often (even though the majority of the time it's Reason Rack Plugin)...
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DaveyG
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Post 16 Oct 2020

Reason users have always been in a minority and Reason has always been a bit of a niche product. When it launched it was a set of superb soft synths/instruments with a fairly rudimentary sequencer. Soft synths were rare and decent/reliable ones even more so. Fast forward a couple of decades and Reason has picked up a few sequencer features, added audio recording and other stuff but it is still mostly about the instruments. The only trouble is, the world of soft synths is now very crowded and there are some superb instruments for not much money out there.

Maybe the rack plugin can boost the popularity a bit but I think Reason is always going to be a bit niche.

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dioxide
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Post 16 Oct 2020

Short version: Reason had the attention of electronic music producers, but didn't allow audio input (despite having a vocoder) and to include a vocal you had to trigger it via a sampler as there was no other way to create an audio tracks. So everyone gravitated towards Ableton Live which had both. Everyone using Ableton then started using unstable VSTs, so eventually everyone went back to using Ableton plus hardware.

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avasopht
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Post 16 Oct 2020

I don't think there's much of a compelling explanation.

Only a few products can take centre stage. Reason just didn't manage to get there.

Music making is already a niche area. A subsection of another niche, which itself is a subset of another niche.

We're probably looking at a market that takes up 0.1% of the population. And only about a third of them are paying.

Add to that how late Reason was to the party with VST support, and how much extra work ReWire required, I think Reason could easily have been on par with Native Instruments.

Consider also how early they were to partnering to create Balance and integrate with Line-6. They were making great bets, but just never managed to gain or dominate the market space.

Besides, only a small percentage of the population has read a classic work from cover to cover through their own volition.
---

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miscend
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Post 18 Oct 2020

guitfnky wrote:
16 Oct 2020
most content creators work with software they already are familiar with/enjoy using. that’s usually how an established channel becomes successful. I very much doubt there are many Youtubers out there who are learning DAWs just to cater to Youtube.
A lot of the Youtubers that I followed a long time for Reason content have switched to other daws. I'm sure they watch the stats on their videos and a lot of them also sell content packs. It's not that they are learning DAWs just to cater to Youtube, but like alot of us they probably try different DAWs. NedRush for example, he was a hardcore Reason user before switching his channel to entirely Ableton content.

stuk71
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Post 18 Oct 2020

It's great when watching a 'how to' when Reason is being used as I get so many 'aha' and 'I never knew that' moments - huge shout out to Ryan, Adam Fielding and Paul Ortiz (recommendations welcome)

Most tutorials, as you know are in Ableton or Logic Pro - half the fun can be to produce the same effect/patch in Reason although can also be frustrating with the added learning curve involved. Its also shown me that there are ways to get things done in Reason quicker and more efficiently too.

I have a gripe with how much love Serum gets... as I refuse to get it when I have Expanse and Europa

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miyaru
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Post 18 Oct 2020

I have used a few DAW's in the last 25 years. From Pro Tools (used at the SAE during my course I followed), Cakewalk, Cubase, Ableton Live - hell even a hardware recorder: Roland VS-2480CD and Nuendo.

Where it comes down to for me using Reason is the ease of use. Most of the time it is self explaining how to do things. Maybe because I used a lot of DAW's and 25 years of expierence will help here, but I found Reason the least daunting of DAW's.

I could not care less what other people use, or celebraties use - one has to use whatever comes in handy I guess.

It is like guitar playing: buying a replica artist signature guitar does not make you play like the artist!!!! Practice and dedication makes you go there a long way!!!!!
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AnotherMathias
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Post 18 Oct 2020

One of the problems is that we tend to bundle Reason together with the general category of DAWs at all. This is to a large extent their own fault.

I'm of the unpopular opinion that Reason would have been better off if they hadn't opened the Pandora's Box of incorporating VST plugins at all. By doing that, they dove headfirst into the pool of competition that is Cubase, Reaper, Logic, Ableton, etc.
Before that happened, they lived happily in their own duck pond segment of the market. It was for the people who preferred going their own quirky way, unconcerned with what the big monsters outside of the pond were up to. It was very niche, and could have stayed that way. The RE market was chugging along, introducing some fun new additions here and there.

I liked that duckpond. Not every music creating software has to do everything that every other one does, and not everybody needs a software environment that competes directly with the million dollar hit making factories.

If Reason Studios (or Propellerheads, as they were back then) had taken the resources it took for VST integration, and instead put that towards making a better Reason (not a Reason DAW), they might be further along in the task of addressing its historical shortcomings. Same goes for the effort put towards creating the Reason Rack plugin.

On the other hand, perhaps the duckpond non-VST Reason scenario just wasn't financially viable, and a small niche user base wouldn't have been enough for them to survive? Running a business in Sweden, with good salaries, high taxes, vacation benefits, etc, takes a lot of money.
But at least they wouldn't have had to endure the constant pressure of adding every single feature every other normal DAW might offer.

Another Swedish company, Klevgränd, ironically IN the VST ecosystem, seems to do pretty well producing their quirky minimalist plugins, with nobody asking them to add features just because the big popular plugins like Massive (or whatever) has them.

jaeproduced
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Post 18 Oct 2020

AnotherMathias wrote:
18 Oct 2020
One of the problems is that we tend to bundle Reason together with the general category of DAWs at all. This is to a large extent their own fault.

I'm of the unpopular opinion that Reason would have been better off if they hadn't opened the Pandora's Box of incorporating VST plugins at all. By doing that, they dove headfirst into the pool of competition that is Cubase, Reaper, Logic, Ableton, etc.
Before that happened, they lived happily in their own duck pond segment of the market. It was for the people who preferred going their own quirky way, unconcerned with what the big monsters outside of the pond were up to. It was very niche, and could have stayed that way. The RE market was chugging along, introducing some fun new additions here and there.

I liked that duckpond. Not every music creating software has to do everything that every other one does, and not everybody needs a software environment that competes directly with the million dollar hit making factories.

If Reason Studios (or Propellerheads, as they were back then) had taken the resources it took for VST integration, and instead put that towards making a better Reason (not a Reason DAW), they might be further along in the task of addressing its historical shortcomings. Same goes for the effort put towards creating the Reason Rack plugin.

On the other hand, perhaps the duckpond non-VST Reason scenario just wasn't financially viable, and a small niche user base wouldn't have been enough for them to survive? Running a business in Sweden, with good salaries, high taxes, vacation benefits, etc, takes a lot of money.
But at least they wouldn't have had to endure the constant pressure of adding every single feature every other normal DAW might offer.

Another Swedish company, Klevgränd, ironically IN the VST ecosystem, seems to do pretty well producing their quirky minimalist plugins, with nobody asking them to add features just because the big popular plugins like Massive (or whatever) has them.
I get your point but the best feature Reason ever added was VST support without it Reason probably wouldn't exist anymore. REs are great but most can't compare to the VST's sound quality that you get from a Output, or Spitfire or Omniverse or Native Instruments, etc. And I recently switch to using Serato Sample just so I could know which key my samples or loops were in which there is NO device in Reason that give you the sample key. Recording Software is a competitive market just like any market and Reason is still one of the best DAWs and my personal favorite. With that being said software features and frequent updates are the new market standard and Reason can either play ball and keep up or fall behind & fade away...

AnotherMathias
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Post 19 Oct 2020

jaeproduced wrote:
18 Oct 2020
I get your point but the best feature Reason ever added was VST support without it Reason probably wouldn't exist anymore. REs are great but most can't compare to the VST's sound quality that you get from a Output, or Spitfire or Omniverse or Native Instruments, etc. And I recently switch to using Serato Sample just so I could know which key my samples or loops were in which there is NO device in Reason that give you the sample key. Recording Software is a competitive market just like any market and Reason is still one of the best DAWs and my personal favorite. With that being said software features and frequent updates are the new market standard and Reason can either play ball and keep up or fall behind & fade away...
Many would agree that Reason isn't exactly the ideal host for running things like Kontakt or Spitfire - that's clearly evident in the discussions on this forum. It just lacks the workflow and features expected from using that kind of plugin, which I suspect is a big reason why Reason users complain here so much.
And then people who are in the market for a DAW does a little research, looks at these complaints, and decides to stay away. I nearly did, when I was getting back into recording music, even though I've been an occasional Reason user since v1.

Reason just wasn't designed for VSTs. The self-contained proprietary format has been it's main distinguishing feature for most of it's life, until recently.
VSTs break the rack form factor. They don't follow the rear panel cable standard. They reduce the amazing stability. They reduce the impressive CPU friendliness. The dilute the Reason unique factor.

After coming back to using Reason after a few years, I've been repeatedly amazed at how good many of the new instruments and effects are, while also reminded of cleverness the original generation of instruments.
Clearly third party VSTs are often amazing as well, and in some cases do things native Reason instruments can't do. But, imo, they generally seem a lot happier hosted by a traditional DAW.

Sure, if diving into the turbulent waters of VST was a matter of life and death for Reason Studios, I understand. But if that meant that they now will be splashing about, gasping for air, and finally drown, I'm not sure it was worth it.
And now with the Reason Rack Plugin, some of us are worrying that the DAW functions will be neglected, or abandoned altogether.
Again, what's done is done, and I totally acknowledge that I'm in the minority with this opinion.

---

As for figuring out what key a loop is in, use your ears! Play the loop, and play some notes on your keyboard - there are only 12 notes it could be, and one of those notes will sound a lot more right than the others.

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bxbrkrz
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Post 19 Oct 2020

You belong to a big minority.

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EnochLight
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Post 19 Oct 2020

AnotherMathias wrote:
19 Oct 2020
Sure, if diving into the turbulent waters of VST [hosting?] was a matter of life and death for Reason Studios, I understand. But if that meant that they now will be splashing about, gasping for air, and finally drown, I'm not sure it was worth it.
Not sure why you would think that hosting VST in Reason DAW proper would cause RS to go splashing about, gasping for air, and finally drown. That's a curious perspective. In fact, one could easily argue that NOT hosting VST would have caused exactly what you describe.
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enossified
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Post 19 Oct 2020

miscend wrote:
14 Oct 2020
You dont see many Cubase users either on Youtube. Logic, Reaper, Ableton and FL Studio are all highly pirated.
Of those four DAWs, three of them are considerably cheaper than Reason, Cubase or Digital Performer. Logic doesn't offer upgrades like other DAWs, but buying it again at $199 it's cheaper than the upgrades for Cubase or Live. Reaper has low upgrade prices and FL has lifetime free upgrades which can't be beat. So the long term cost of ownership is pretty low for all three.

Ableton Live has apparently become the world's most popular DAW for electronic music since it keeps showing up in demos and tutorials of all sorts of gear. By now, I assume most of you have an idea how it works and to be honest I find it the easiest to use DAW, especially for electronic music (IMHO Reason is #2). It's also unmatched (except maybe by Bitwig) for use as a live performance instrument, sort of an MPC from the fourth dimension ;)

ProTools still rules in the overall professional recording market, with Nuendo probably coming in at #2. Nobody is doing soundtracks for Disney in Reason or Live ;)

Reason is stuck with the rep of not being "serious enough", only slowly catching up to features that have been in other DAWs forever like audio recording, VST support and MIDI out. Many users have no interest in using the Rack devices, preferring third party plugins, but the Rack devices are the main reason (sorry) to use Reason. Only Logic comes with plugins and a large sound library that can compete with Reason without having to turn to third party content.

That's my take on it anyway.

AnotherMathias
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Post 19 Oct 2020

EnochLight wrote:
19 Oct 2020
AnotherMathias wrote:
19 Oct 2020
Sure, if diving into the turbulent waters of VST [hosting?] was a matter of life and death for Reason Studios, I understand. But if that meant that they now will be splashing about, gasping for air, and finally drown, I'm not sure it was worth it.
Not sure why you would think that hosting VST in Reason DAW proper would cause RS to go splashing about, gasping for air, and finally drown. That's a curious perspective. In fact, one could easily argue that NOT hosting VST would have caused exactly what you describe.
Well, that was admittedly a tortured and overly dramatic metaphor for jumping them into the deep waters of VST-hosting DAWs!
When VST was implemented, Reason went overnight from being masters of their own little game, to joining the big boys in a game that they are, frankly, not always very good at.

Now that Reason competes directly with the full fledged DAWs, it gets tiresome to constantly hear that Reason has to catch up, when what we really should be concerned about is how it has to improve. Those two aren't necessarily always the same thing.

What would have happened, in terms of user experience as well as company health, if Reason had NOT implemented VSTs, is of course anyone's guess.

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EnochLight
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Post 19 Oct 2020

AnotherMathias wrote:
19 Oct 2020
Now that Reason competes directly with the full fledged DAWs, it gets tiresome to constantly hear that Reason has to catch up, when what we really should be concerned about is how it has to improve. Those two aren't necessarily always the same thing.
That's true. That said, strangely enough even before Reason became a DAW in the traditional sense (we're talking pre-9.5), people were complaining that it needed to catch up. Hell, I remember people saying that in Reason 4 and earlier - LOL! :o :shock: :lol: I think it's pretty clear that boat sailed a long time ago, though. I can't see them ever catching up, especially seeing as how they threw their cards on the table and made Reason itself a Rack Plugin VST. But I mean honestly, had Reason not became a proper DAW and started hosting VST, even the RE-only crowd who stayed in Reason would be screaming about it needing to catch up, so there's no way to win. And if Propellerhead (at the time) had kept Reason a walled garden, what else could they do aside from continue to release more RE's and just be a plugin maker only? It's a weird spot to be in, for sure.

I guess I'm happy we can have it both way, personally. But... I digress.. I don't even remember what my point was. LOL :lol:
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