Reason 6: Recording Audio

The unthinkable has finally happened: Reason 6 users can now record audio! Yes, it's the real deal and one process you may not be all that familiar with. Hollin Jones is armed and ready to go.  

Reason 5 gained the ability to sample from your audo inputs directly into devices including the NN-19, NN-XT and ReDrum. In Reason 6, audio is taken to a whole new level: full audio track recording. So let's look at how you would go about setting this up. Don't worry, it's pretty straightforward. 

Step 1

With your audio interface connected and correctly set up, go into Reason's Preferences and locate the Audio section. Under the Audio Device drop-down menu, if your device isn't currently selected, choose it from the list. If it doesn't appear, check that it is installed and switched on. 

Audio device selection

Step 2

You will notice that Reason can send sound through your Mac's built-in soundcard and though this is fine in an emergency, you will want to use a dedicated audio interface for high quality, low latency audio recording. At its simplest this could even be a 2 in, 2 out USB device. 

Next, check the Buffer Size setting. A lower buffer size means lower latency but higher CPU load, and a higher buffer setting means more latency but less strain on your Mac. A setting of 256 samples usually offers a happy medium on a Mac of decent spec. 

[Latency could be described as the time (or delay) between the time you play a sound or trigger a note and when you hear it back through your software -Ed]

Latency settings

Step 3

If your interface has multiple input and output channels, click on the Active Channels buttons to choose which are activated. So if you have several audio inputs connected to your interface or mixer, and a few outputs, make sure that they are set up here so that Reason can see all your audio streams. If your device doesn't have specific control panel software, clicking the Control Panel button will open the Audio MIDI Setup application in the Finder. 

Active Channels

Step 4

Come out of the Preferences and go to the top of Reason's rack. Find the Big Meter module and play a sound through your mic or from your guitar, whatever you have connected. You should see a signal coming through on the level meters.  If you have multiple channels set up you can use the Channels dial on the Big Meter to switch between them and monitor that they are all coming through correctly. 

Channels dial

Step 5

Press the Tab key to spin the rack around and then at the top of the Rack, press the Audio I/O button and if you like also the More Audio button. This shows all of Reason's audio ins and outs, up to 64 of each. You can manually pick up and patch any cables from devices on the rack to manually route them to physical outputs on your interface. By default the mixer is routed from the Master Outs to your main physical outputs, and you can also set up a dedicated control room mix by routing those outputs from the Master Section module to a specific hardware output. 

Routing in the rack

Step 6

In the Rack, choose to Create an Audio Track and then expand it into full view. From the Audio Input menu on the Audio Track module you are able to assign the track to read from any available input and make it either mono or stereo. 

Assign the audio input

Step 7

From the Window menu, choose Show Recording Meter. This opens a large window that gives you a great view of your levels. Check that it's not too quiet or loud and make any necessary adjustments on your guitar or audio interface to correct any problems. Then hit record and you're good to capture an audio track!

Check the level and then record!

Learn more about audio and much, much more in these Reason 6 tutorial-videos!

Hollin Jones was classically trained as a piano player but found the lure of blues and jazz too much to resist. Graduating from bands to composition then production, he relishes the chance to play anything with keys. A sometime lecturer in videographics, music production and photography post production, Hollin has been a freelance w... Read More


Serafim Bernardo
Hi Hollin just to know if I can create audio track in reason 5 from external instrument

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