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Reason's New High-Resolution GUI

Reason Tips & Techniques By Simon Sherbourne
Published September 2021

Screen 1: Reason now looks crisp and detailed on Ultra High Def (retina) displays. You can also scale the size of the whole Reason app or Reason Rack Plug‑in.Screen 1: Reason now looks crisp and detailed on Ultra High Def (retina) displays. You can also scale the size of the whole Reason app or Reason Rack Plug‑in.

We check out Reason’s high‑res new look.

Reason has been in need of a fresh lick of paint for a while now. The Reason Rack was by far the most visually appealing place to make music on a computer, but it has long been constrained within a graphical framework built when a high‑end laptop might have a 1024x768 display. The fixed size, and the lack of support for high pixel density (UHD or ‘retina’) displays, has left the Rack looking a bit on the fuzzy or small side compared with newer plug‑ins sporting high‑resolution, scalable UIs.

It was welcome news then when Reason Studios revealed that they were working on Reason 12, and that high‑resolution graphics would be one of the key new features. The full Reason 12 launch is scheduled for September 2021, but Reason+ subscribers have just been granted an early release (mid‑June as I write) with the updated graphics. It’s oft‑cited by software companies that subscription allows for more frequent releases, without the traditional need to save up a bunch of features to justify an upgrade price. This is the first time I’ve seen a developer split releases, with subscribers getting an incremental update while license owners wait for a multi‑feature upgrade. It will be interesting to see how it’s received.

Fix Up Look Sharp

To get the update you’ll need a current Reason+ subscription and the latest version of Reason Companion. Go to ‘Install Reason’ in the left‑hand column (Screen 1) and click to download Reason 12. You’ll need to run the installer manually from the Downloads folder. When you’re done, restart Companion and select ‘Devices’. Choose ‘Sync All’ from the top of your Reason and Third Party Rack Extension lists. Finally, click the link next to this that says ‘Upgrade Installed Devices to hi‑res’.

Reason 12’s graphics overhaul actually comprises two complimentary features: something that’s caused a certain amount of confusion, which we can tackle here. First there’s higher‑resolution graphics, which makes Reason and its Rack devices much sharper and more detailed on high pixel density displays. Then there’s Application Zoom, which lets you scale Reason as a whole, so you can optimise its size on‑screen independently from the current display resolution.

If you’re on a Mac with its own ‘retina’ display, for...

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