Goriila Texas wrote: ↑
21 May 2023
The writing has been on the wall for years RS is going back to focusing on being an instrument in a DAW instead of improving as a DAW. They end game is to create so many unique instruments that competes with Native Instruments Komplete price point $599. RRP is the future.
The reality is that most people do not get Komplete at MSRP, which is increasingly an inaccurate way of valuing products. Additionally, people who buy into the NI Hardware ecosystem often get Komplete at a pretty huge discount due to Komplete Select being bundled with hardware like Komplete Kontrol S Series, Maschine MK3 and Maschine+.
Due to the cyclical nature of sales, most people are going to just wait and get it at a discount. That's how most people are buying DAWs, Plug-ins, Virtual Instruments, etc. The market has conditioned them to act in this way, and increasingly more products are launched with promotional pricing, as well (UVI, Arturia, etc.).
How many people actually paid $999 for East West HOOPUS? Instead of $350-375'ish? I feel like it's on sale 8/12 months in a year. BBC SO has multiple sales a year. Sample Library developers like 8DIO and Soundiron have multiple deep sales throughout the year. UJAM, Output?
One of the biggest issues with Rack Extensions is that many are also available as standalone VST Plug-ins, and those often are on sale far more often than the actual Rack Extensions! SO, the vendors themselves undercut the Reason ecosystem even when they have equivalent products there.
Beyond that, it's risky to buy RE's only, because it forces you to invest in Reason even when you may not want to continue using it - simply to retain access to the rack extensions? New OS broke Reason 12? Well, Reason 13 or 14 Upgrade can fix the problem!!! It's like a self-induced trap, so most people are going to play it safe. THey will use Reason for whatever is exclusive to its ecosystem, while opting for "portable" product types in all other cases.
The intelligent thing for anyone entering into this market to do is plan their purchases. If you know you want a KK S-Series Keyboard or Maschine Controller, then you always plan to get the hardware before the software because it discounts the bundle pretty substantially.
In any case, Komplete has a better bundle of Instruments and Samples than Reason 12, so it's actually a superior "chest" from which to "start ideas." So does Logic Pro and Ableton Live Suite. Not only do you have discrete synths in Komplete (Massive X, FM8, etc.), but you also have the Reaktor Ensembles which are fairly analogous to Reason Rack Extensions. They are many, and they are quite underrated, IMO. The Players in Reason are the biggest selling point, but most of those are not included with the perpetual product, and while the base Reason 12 product includes four (?) of them, half are fairly redundant with base DAW features in several other DAWs and the Dual Arpeggio is fairly easy to recreate in other DAWs that have MIDI FX; where you can basically rebuild it as an FX Chain and use that in a similar manner. That's ignoring fairly cheap third party products out there.
At the end of the day, the only way to get something even hoping to be as good as Komplete 14 Standard is to subscribe to Reason+, which will eventually overrun the cost of Komplete. This will happen in less time than a Komplete Update Cycle if you get a Discounted Kontakt Crossgrade from a freebie (e.g. Embertone Arcane) + Discounted Upgrade to Komplete - it's like $340 doing that all in the same shopping cart. This is how I brought Komplete 13 [Standard].
Unless you subscribe, you will be paying for all the extra Instruments, Synths and Players a la carte. This will have you paying Komplete Ultimate [and up to Komplete Collector's] prices for less content - and in the case of acoustic instruments, acoustic instruments aren't aren't as good or as deeply sampled.
Komplete is basically the de facto for people getting into music production who want a decent stable of staple acoustic instruments and some decent synths, along with access to fairly industry standard ecosystems (that require the Full Versions of those platforms). The culture of promotional pricing in the synth/virtual instrument/plug-in markets these days also make it hard to consider paying $399-499 for the RRP because of how little development actually goes into what is there, and what you can get elsewhere (with far better ongoing support/development) for fairly low prices.
As it currently stands, they cannot compete with KOMPLETE in that pricing segment. Even ignoring promotional pricing and basically "free cross grade onboarding," KOMPLETE is simply worth more than the disparity in price vs. Reason 12. This is why, despite all of the expected anti-leader complaints aimed at NI, they continue to sell those bundles ... to such an extent that their servers basically crash whenever they have a sale/promotion.
I like the idea of the Reason Rack, but it doesn't feel good to use with M&KB for me - especially considering how esoteric the mapping for MIDI Controllers tends to be. I actually think it would be kind of amazing if it were optimized for Windows Touch/Surface Dial on something like a Surface Studio, though. IMO, that is where "looking and functioning like hardware" makes the most sense. For M&KB use, that actually becomes a negative. I am not that nostalgic.
The only thing we have close to this is the ProChannel strip in Cakewalk by BandLab [SONAR]. Probably the only DAW on the market that has gone out of its way to support this stuff on Windows OS.
Also, I don't see a reason why Cakewalk would bring back the LA2A for Reason when they could bring it back for ProChannel and use it to push their own DAW.
Can't really take the developers' words seriously. I mean, some of the stuff people have been begging for years for doesn't even tough the realm of "market segment specific" functionality... like Track Folders to help organize sessions. Windows [Low Latency] Audio Support? ARA2? I don't think basic video sync and playback is a feature exclusive to film composers, either. What users are they actually trying to market to? People who use GarageBand for iPad or Cubasis 3 as ideas scratchpads? I understand what he's saying, but it seems inherently oxymoronic at the same time.
I can see them not wanting to make Reason as good as Cubase for Composition or Samplitude Pro X for Mastering... but there are other long ignored feature requests that don't come close to edging into that area that they have failed to deliver on. And frankly, they move so slow that - for most users - it is hardly worth staying to wait for them. I'd say that is the primary reason why the RRP has been such a success. People have largely given up on them improving the standalone DAW to the point that they have conceded that it is better to use Komplete Kontrol 3.0 over asking Reason Studios to improve the software. Not exactly a healthy thing for product development and improvement.
The rack, in isolation, is not high value enough to carry the product for anyone but legacy users, and those who reside in a certain niche of users. I can appreciate them having realistic aspirations, though. At least we can feel assured that they won't overreach.......
But there is nothing about Reason 12 that makes it better for "starting ideas" than Cakewalk and a Komplete Standard bundle... and you can still Mix and Master your content and put in feature requests that the developers will actually action upon (historically, at least).