We show you how to use Reason as a plug-in within Ableton Live.
In SOS December 2019's column we took a high-level look at the new Reason Rack plug-in that comes with Reason 11 (see www.soundonsound.com/techniques/reason-plug-play). This month we'll dive into some specific tips for using the Rack inside Ableton Live, including how to route audio, how to use Live's automation with Rack devices, and how the plug-in's side‑chain feature works.
In case you missed it, the big news with Reason 11 is that Rewire is gone, and Reason is now a plug-in! That means that if, like me, you have worked with Reason alongside Live you'll need to make some adjustments. As a brief recap, the Reason plug-in features the Rack portion of Reason, without the Sequencer or Mixer. All your usual devices and Rack Extensions are available inside the plug-in. You can't route MIDI to individual devices, so rather than using one big Rack like you did with Rewire, the best approach is to use multiple instances of the plug-in: one for each sound source or effect chain you want to use in Live.
In Live's Browser the plug-in can be found in Plug-ins / VST3 / Reason Studios. You'll see two versions there. Reason Rack Plug-in is for instruments, so is the one to drop on MIDI tracks. Reason Rack Plug-in Effect is for signal processing and can be dropped on Audio tracks, Return tracks or after other devices on MIDI tracks.