Reason 12.5 introduces full support for and integration with VST3 plug‑ins.
The recent Reason 12.5 update introduced support for VST3 plug‑ins. Let’s go over what this means and take a fresh look at plug‑ins in Reason in general. Quick recap: VST plug‑ins can be used in the standalone Reason app, but not when you’re using the Rack as a plug‑in within another DAW. Plug‑ins are integrated into the Rack as modular devices, similar to the built‑in instruments and effects. They are hosted inside a special device with connection points for CV and audio.
Available VST plug‑ins appear in Reason’s browser, within the Instruments and Effects categories. They are listed after the built‑in devices and grouped by manufacturer. If you already had plug‑ins enabled, you’ll most likely now see more choices populating the list. I was delighted to see the (VST3‑only) Roland Cloud instrument collection appear in my list for the first time. I also noticed that two of each of the Arturia V‑Collection instruments were now being shown, because I have both the VST2 and VST3 versions installed on my machine.
There are a couple of ways you can tidy things up. One is to go to Preferences / Folders and disable either the VST2 or 3 option. If all your plug‑ins have VST3 versions it makes sense to disable the VST2 file paths altogether. This will save you quite a bit of manual sorting and also make Reason launch faster. However, if you have any plug‑ins that are VST2‑only, you need to go with plan B...
In the Windows menu select the Manage Plug‑ins option to open a list of all the VST plug‑ins that Reason has scanned (Screen 2). From here each plug‑in can be individually selected and disabled or enabled. In my case I went through this list and disabled every VST2 plug‑in that has a VST3 equivalent. Unfortunately, there’s no way to select multiple items at once: you have to laboriously select, disable and confirm for every plug‑in in turn. Get the kettle on first.
The other bit of housekeeping I’d recommend is to add pictures to each of your plug‑ins so that you get graphical devices in the browser instead of grey text boxes. To do this, the first time you load any...
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