Reason’s unreasonable plays

Almost every new Rack Extension that Propellerheads releases for Reason–my DAW of choice–makes me wonder what the hell they are thinking.

Today, I tried out PolyStep Sequencer.

It is okay. It’s all right. It’s a chord sequencer that doesn’t even tell you the name of the chords you’re writing. It’s meant as a crutch for people who don’t know a damn about theory (like me) and a toy for people who love to automate byzantine setups where simple inputs turn into electric symphonies (like me).

Screenshot of Polystep

I can think of many ways to reproduce its functionality with a variety of rack devices I already own: Scale & Chords, Kompulsion, Drum Sequencer, Dual Arpeggio, Matrix, RPG-8, AutoTheory, Mercury 4.

€69.00. That’s what they imagine you’d pay for this. Who’s gonna drop this kinda money? Not the hobbyist who’s struggling with theory and could use some help. Not the tinkerer who already has a bunch of combinator patches saved up doing the exact same thing.

You’re not actually meant to buy at this price. You’re meant to wait and see how they will pretend you’re getting a great deal on this.
Maybe it will be bundled with Reason 11, the next version, for FREE (a €69.00 value!!)
Maybe it will go on sale for -75% (You won’t see a deal like that again) when they run their sales week, which is like six times a year.

Meanwhile, as new players are added at introductory sucker prices, the decade-old main sequencer grows more and more neglected. It is entirely ignorant of the harmonic structure, despite being the best place to provide automated theory help. The older rack devices never get updated to support the new Rack Extension tech, giving beginners way too many devices with overlapping feature sets to learn to use.

I guess I should dust off my Renoise license, still valid after 8 years, and try it out as a main sequencer for Reason. —Aria Salvatrice2019-06-24