After months of testing concepts, designing and implementing, we’ve finally released the first major upgrade to of Reason Compact. We’ve added two new instruments—a drum machine called Rytmik and a bass synthesizer called Monotone.

As you might remember, the first version of Compact was released last year in August. We were happy to see it was picked up by so many and thrilled to hear lots of great tunes made with the app.

We always wanted to have more of a compact version of Reason with more than one synth. However, when we first moved Europa onto iOS, we felt it was too good to not share and made it available right away rather than wait for the other stuff.

As you might guess, reactions were strong and varied. Some Reason users were disappointed that it contained only one synth. New people to Propellerhead and the Reason world gave us lots of love for putting such a great sounding instrument and sketch pad into their hands.

A few of the many design iterations that led up to the new drum machine – Rytmik.

Many users asked for drums. We wanted to build the best drums for iPhone while also enabling users to easily continue in Reason. Unfortunately, due to technical reasons, existing drum machines in Reason couldn’t be used. We contemplated using Umpf but thought it should to be free for those jumping between platforms. So ultimately, we decided to build a completely new drum machine. Our Product Designer Johannes worked hard to make a drum machine that is fun and easy to use for new music makers as well for more seasoned. Try it. I think he got it right.

Now we had Europa synth and Rytmik drum machine. We needed a great bass synth to complement those two instruments—a synth easier to use than Europa, consuming little CPU and of above all great sounding for basslines. We gave Pelle, one of our founders and a downright DSP and sound genius, free reign to concoct such an instrument. Monotone was born. Monotone has quickly become one of our absolute favorite synths for basslines around the office.

Both Monotone and Rytmik are new Rack Extension for Reason Desktop come included free in the Reason 10.4 upgrade release.
Our app should work whenever and wherever you want to create music, so therefore iPhone has always been a priority for us—on the device you always have in your pocket. However, we’ve been surprised by how many iPad users have adopted Reason Compact. Today around 25% of our users use Compact on iPads. We’ have many enhancements in this release to improve their iPad users’ workflow—examples are easier access to more synth parameters and that the sequencer is rotated in landscape mode.

Our dream is that everyone who feels like making music should be able to pick up Compact and just get going.

Happy music making!

Product Manager