Well, I certainly didn't see that coming.
I've been promising to post my thoughts about the Reason 6 upgrade for a couple of months now, but for some reason, haven't been able to find the time I've needed to sit down and articulate my opinion. I think it boils down to a confusing mix of excitement and disappointment.
On the one hand, I've been wanting an advanced delay unit in Reason for a few years now. The DDL-1 is probably the most used effect unit in my own tracks, but having access to others delay plug-ins via VSTs or AUs in Logic or Renoise, I've found the trusty, half-rack device wanting at times. Of course, with Reasons rack wiring, you should be able to create any sort of delay you want, but I'll still be welcoming The Echo with wide-open arms come September 30th.
The Alligator Triple Filtered Gate looks interesting and profoundly powerful, but looking at the video, I'm confident that I won't truly "get it" until I have it in my rack and I've twisted a few virtual knobs.
The Pulveriser Demolution Unit looks like a lot of fun, so it should be an interesting upgrade, as well.
Still, there are aspects of the upgrade that make me shake my head a little, specifically the merging of Record with Reason, a product that I've enjoyed quite a bit and I feel wasn't really given time to prove itself.
Its a smart decision, of course. The field of music production software is already confusing, so selling two programs that in many ways feel identical probably wasn't the best tactic for increasing brand awareness or possibly even brand loyalty. Many people felt that Record's biggest feature, the ability to record and edit audio, should have just been included in Reason and with Reason 6 they're getting their wish. But, for those of us who bought into Record and its aluminum dongle, it does feel a little bit like I paid money to be a beta tester.
That probably sounds a little more melodramatic than I intend, but in this case, those skeptical few who didn't purchase Record are actually being rewarded for their patience. The upgrade to Reason 6 for non-Record users, while a bit more expensive than the upgrade path for Reason/Record, saves them money over the path I took, which was to purchase Record (for Reason Users) when it was released. Of course, its not a huge amount, but principal often gets stuck in the throat worse than specifics.
I know, I know, I've had more time to enjoy the Record devices, so maybe that was worth the extra few dollars I paid to the folks at Propellerheads. I've paid them money for things I didn't need in the past (the Electro-Mechanical Refill disc is a great example, considering I already downloaded it for free when I purchased it), so I guess this shouldn't be any different, but I'm still somewhat disappointed in the death of Record.
Maybe that's why the recent announcement put a smile on my face. Don't get me wrong, I'll likely pay at least as much as I would have for the physical upgrade, but having the option to change that, to get back those few dollars I lost in chasing them down the tangled path of unsupported software, is a profound act of goodwill on the part of our fearless, Swedish software leaders. It feels a little like an apology, but even more, feels like a thank you, which is why I applaud Propellerheads' Pay What You Want scheme.
I suppose my only real conflict now stems from whether or not I want the box. If I'm going to pay the same price for a download as I would for yet another box, do I actually want the box on my shelf? Given that I have all of my other Reason boxes, volumes 1 through 5, on the shelf, along with Record and Recycle, it almost seems like a shame not to get a box for the latest release, even if it is a little less eco-friendly.