Thinking of buying a new computer (Mac) for Reason, questions...

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Rothgarr
Posts: 49
Joined: 28 May 2017

Post 19 Nov 2020

Howdy. Been a Reason user since version 2 or 3. Now using version 11. I'm currently using it on an iMac that's got to be close to ten years old. I was thinking of picking up one of those new Mac Minis with the new M1 chip. But I have some questions...

1) My current iMac has a 1 TB hard drive. The new Mac minis only come with 256GB or 512 GB SSD. Is it possible to install just Reason on the internal SSD of the new computer, and then install all sounds, VSTs, etc on an external drive? (either another SSD or hard drive)

2) I want to start fresh with this new computer (I don't want to migrate using either time machine backup or migration tool). Do I need to "pack up" in-progress songs to move over to the new computer to include everything needed to continue working on that song? Or do I just copy over the Reason song file and it will tell me what VSTs I'm missing, etc.

Thanks!

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Billy
Posts: 533
Joined: 09 Dec 2016

Post 19 Nov 2020

Rothgarr wrote:
19 Nov 2020
Howdy. Been a Reason user since version 2 or 3. Now using version 11. I'm currently using it on an iMac that's got to be close to ten years old. I was thinking of picking up one of those new Mac Minis with the new M1 chip. But I have some questions...

1) My current iMac has a 1 TB hard drive. The new Mac minis only come with 256GB or 512 GB SSD. Is it possible to install just Reason on the internal SSD of the new computer, and then install all sounds, VSTs, etc on an external drive? (either another SSD or hard drive)

2) I want to start fresh with this new computer (I don't want to migrate using either time machine backup or migration tool). Do I need to "pack up" in-progress songs to move over to the new computer to include everything needed to continue working on that song? Or do I just copy over the Reason song file and it will tell me what VSTs I'm missing, etc.

Thanks!
You should have no problem putting your samples and or refills on any media, USB drive etc.

I'm not sure about getting placeholders for missing vst's like you would for missing RE's

I would personally hold off getting a new M1 Mac mini, they look to be quite low spec ATM.

What's the spec of your current system cpu ram gpu
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antic604
Posts: 298
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Post 19 Nov 2020

1) Yes

2) Yes, just make sure to tick that option in Settings to self-contain sample files in songs.

I'd personally wait for 2nd gen M* Mac, a) because they will be more powerful, b) more software - incl. Reason hepefully - will already be translated to universal apps.
MPC One // A4 Mk1 // OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

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antic604
Posts: 298
Joined: 02 Apr 2020

Post 19 Nov 2020

Billy wrote:
19 Nov 2020
I would personally hold off getting a new M1 Mac mini, they look to be quite low spec ATM.
They aren't, really. For optimised apps M1 beats and is comparable with i9 Macbook Pro for single- and multi-threaded workflows respectively. With a much better battery life and little to no noise fan. Imagine what M2 or M3 will be like with more cores, memory and proper cooling solution.

The key word here is "optimised" though, with most of the DAWs and plugins not being there probably for (many) months to come.
Last edited by antic604 on 19 Nov 2020, edited 2 times in total.
MPC One // A4 Mk1 // OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

Rothgarr
Posts: 49
Joined: 28 May 2017

Post 19 Nov 2020

Billy wrote:
19 Nov 2020

You should have no problem putting your samples and or refills on any media, USB drive etc.

I'm not sure about getting placeholders for missing vst's like you would for missing RE's

I would personally hold off getting a new M1 Mac mini, they look to be quite low spec ATM.

What's the spec of your current system cpu ram gpu
The specs of my current iMac are:
- 27"
- 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5
- 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
- NVIDIA GTX 675MX 1GB
- 1 TB drive

benjified
Posts: 38
Joined: 15 Sep 2015

Post 19 Nov 2020

Specs seem good on your current Mac, are you able to upgrade to 16GB ram or put in a SSD a? Switching to a SSD alone would improve performance a great deal. Opening up an iMac isn’t for everyone though. I boot from an external USB3 SSD with improved performance. Not the same as having an internal and the drives cost more.

Steedus
Posts: 395
Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Location: Melbourne, AU

Post 19 Nov 2020

Reason is currently not compatible with the new Apple silicon macs

https://help.reasonstudios.com/hc/en-us ... -statement

Rothgarr
Posts: 49
Joined: 28 May 2017

Post 19 Nov 2020

Steedus wrote:
19 Nov 2020
Reason is currently not compatible with the new Apple silicon macs

https://help.reasonstudios.com/hc/en-us ... -statement
Well there ya go!

Thanks!

MadGadget
Posts: 5
Joined: 17 Aug 2020

Post 19 Nov 2020

You are right, Reason is not compatible with the Apple M1 chip, but I thought I would have a play with one.

My own machine is an iMac Pro running Big Sur and Reason Suite 11.3.4d28, with a bunch of RE's and VST collections, such as Arturia's V Collection 7 and Korg's Legacy Collection.

A friend of mine has just asked me to configure their brand new Apple Macbook Air running an M1 chip, but said I could have a good look around it first.

So, I went straight in and installed Reason Suite 11. The first thing is did was say that it needed to download Rosetta, the translation layer for non Apple Silicon optimised apps, so that installed and then Reason Suite 11 installed perfectly.

I then ran it up, using the login method and decided to put it through it's paces.

Now, ok, it's a MacBook Air, the basic one, ie. 8Gb of ram, 256Gb SSD and the basic M1 chip. But, it ran really, really well.

Genuinely, I am amazed at how Reason ran, through a translation layer to the M1 chip and absolutely hammered an Intel MacBook Pro and another Intel MacBook Air that I have here.

Fortunately, it didn't match the iMac Pro, which I am glad of, but still, it was very impressive.

Ran a load of different demo songs and all worked absolutely perfectly.

Then I used the two stress test songs found here:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7501402&hilit=reaso ... +test+song

And the COMPLEX one went to bar 15, before it started to wobble. OK, that might not seem that great, but this is the most basic of MacBook Air's running the M1 and it thrashed another Intel MacBook Air I have here which only got to bar 3 before breakups.

I will do some more testing, such as things like the VST's - not sure they will do well, just to see if it is possible to do it on all on Big Sur and the rosetta interface until Reason is converted to run natively.

But, just wanted to throw it out there that it is mightily impressive and yet it is still running through a software translation layer.

Would I buy one for usage, hmmmm, not yet, can't replace my current iMac Pro, but I will definitely get one soon, to get to understand it in more detail.

Given that Reason was running through a software translation layer (I must stop saying that!!!), and the performance was impressive, imagine what it would be like if you get native software running, I think it will definitely give the Intel version some very stiff competition.

Right now, there are still many unknowns, so buying one for specific music usage is a big risk, but theoretically, you should be able to run any Intel based software via Rosetta, but it will only be verified via testing....

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fieldframe
Posts: 831
Joined: 19 Apr 2016

Post 19 Nov 2020

Thanks for sharing this! Almost everything I’ve been seeing so far are GeekBench and other benchmark reports, so it’s great to see a test of Rosetta 2 not only using real-world DSP but with Reason.
MadGadget wrote:
19 Nov 2020
I will do some more testing, such as things like the VST's - not sure they will do well, just to see if it is possible to do it on all on Big Sur and the rosetta interface until Reason is converted to run natively.
I’ve been really curious about plugins on Rosetta too, so I’m looking forward to this!
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sinusfiction
Posts: 61
Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Location: Netherlands

Post 20 Nov 2020

Thanks for testing this! Also curious about VST suppport and if Reason will run as an VST in Logic Pro... Hope someone can test this
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Billy
Posts: 533
Joined: 09 Dec 2016

Post 20 Nov 2020

Rothgarr wrote:
19 Nov 2020

The specs of my current iMac are:
- 27"
- 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5
- 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
- NVIDIA GTX 675MX 1GB
- 1 TB drive
Very interesting and good to see you managed to do some real word testes with an M1.

Try getting a RAM upgrade for your current iMac not sure if that's easy or not but worth checking,
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MadGadget
Posts: 5
Joined: 17 Aug 2020

Post 20 Nov 2020

Just to follow up with a few more tests.

I had no problems installing all the Arturia VST's and the Korg Legacy Collection VST's, I had already installed Rosetta for Reason Suite 11, and the installations all went through as normal.

And so far, when running things up inside Reason, everything seems to work. I tried each VST instrument and they all work fine, the screens are responsive and react as expected.

I tried ever demo song I could find and they all worked fine.

And a bit more detail on the two stress test songs, from the previous link I put up.

The key factor on performance is the buffer size in the audio settings, using the internal audio hardware. I did switch around with the 'Use multicore audio rendering', 'use hyper threading' and 'render audio using audio card buffer', and found that 'multi core audio rendering' and 'render audio using audio card buffer size' were the best options.

Song: COMPLEX RE benchmark song v2
128 samples: starts breaking up immediately
512 samples: starts breaking up at bar 11
1024 samples: starts breaking up at bar 14
2048 samples: starts breaking up at bar 15
4096 samples: starts breaking up at bar 7 - which was a surprise

Song: SIMPLE FX chain benchmark song v0
128 samples: starts breaking up around bar 9
512 samples: starts breaking up at bar 22 but keeps going until bar 44
1024 samples: starts breaking up at bar 46 but keeps going until bar 49
2048 samples: starts breaking up at bar 46 but keeps going until bar 51
4096 samples: starts breaking up at bar 56 -and stopped at bar 65

So not bad really.

Oh and battery life is absolutely amazing, all testing was done on battery and it was 50% after about 7-8 hours off testing various things.

Would I buy one as my main music machine now, probably not, because we still have apps which are written for the Intel architect which run better at the moment.

Yes, it is possible to use it under Rosetta, but once we have M1 native apps running, it's going to fly, then I will be looking for a replacement iMac Pro with Apple silicon.

But it is certainly as good as Apple made out in terms of many things, fast, efficient, great battery life etc, so it will be interesting to see how this progresses.

Hope you find that useful :)

Rothgarr
Posts: 49
Joined: 28 May 2017

Post 20 Nov 2020

Cool, thanks for the advice so far, everyone.

Maybe I just need to do some cleanup on my current iMac. It says my 1 TB drive is almost full but honestly I have no idea what's taking up all the space. This is what's preventing me from getting new VSTs/libraries, etc. I guess I need to learn how to find/delete large/old files, delete old user account profiles on the computer, etc. Then maybe add some more RAM (I've upgraded RAM to a different iMac many years ago)

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buddard
RE Developer
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Location: Stockholm

Post 20 Nov 2020

sinusfiction wrote:
20 Nov 2020
Thanks for testing this! Also curious about VST suppport and if Reason will run as an VST in Logic Pro... Hope someone can test this
Probably yes, but you might have to run Logic in "Rosetta mode" to be able to run a non-native version of the RRP, since you probably won't be able to mix & match ARM and x86 code in the same process. From Apple's site:
Important

The system prevents you from mixing arm64 code and x86_64 code in the same process. Rosetta translation applies to an entire process, including all code modules that the process loads dynamically.
So either all or none of your plugins will have to be native for Apple Silicon.
Fortunately, most updated plugins will probably be delivered as universal binaries that can run both versions of the code.

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sinusfiction
Posts: 61
Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Location: Netherlands

Post 21 Nov 2020

buddard wrote:
20 Nov 2020
Probably yes, but you might have to run Logic in "Rosetta mode" to be able to run a non-native version of the RRP, since you probably won't be able to mix & match ARM and x86 code in the same process.
Yeah, that makes sense. Hopefully Reason will be rolled out as a M1 native version soon...
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tumar
Posts: 377
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post Yesterday

Rothgarr wrote:
19 Nov 2020

1) My current iMac has a 1 TB hard drive. The new Mac minis only come with 256GB or 512 GB SSD. Is it possible to install just Reason on the internal SSD of the new computer, and then install all sounds, VSTs, etc on an external drive? (either another SSD or hard drive)
Yes, You can even move factory soundbanks but You'll have to create symbolic link:
https://www.howtogeek.com/297721/how-to ... -on-a-mac/

Heater
Posts: 370
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post Yesterday

If the Props did a native version of Reason for M1 then there is no reason why they couldn't have a full iPad version.

Rothgarr
Posts: 49
Joined: 28 May 2017

Post Today

Quick update on my situation. I cleared out some files, but the biggest gain came from deleting an old login account which freed up almost 500GB of drive space. Loading programs is still particularly slow (especially Chrome), but Reason has always performed well, so I think I'm OK for at least a couple more years. By then, I assume everything will be M1-compatible/optimized and cheaper, too.

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