Presteign Sound Labs Macro Is A FREE Eurorack Module For Reason

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Presteign Sound Labs releases Macro, a FREE rack instrument for Reason.

Macro is based on the ever-popular Plaits Eurorack module from Mutable Instruments.

Plaits came along as the successor to the best-selling Braids module a few years back. The idea behind Plaits was to condense the sonic palette of Braids into a more manageable interface. Plaits is one of those modules that can be ideal for a minimal setup but still find a home in a more complex arrangement.

Although Macro is a reimagining of Plaits, it stays true to the hardware’s character. Macro is intended to be a powerful standalone synth and a module that combines very well with others. Like Plaits, it offers fast access to a wide range of sound and great flexibility.

Plaits has a simple interface that sometimes packs multiple things into one space. For example, it took the three FM modes from Braids and made them available within a single mode with one knob control.

While that maximizes the functionality within a small 12Hp module, you will spend a little time learning where everything is.

Macro isn’t as restricted by space and provides somewhat hidden Plaits features, like the LPG dedicated controls. It’s also polyphonic up to sixteen voices with Retrig and Legato modes.

It starts with the Generator section, which creates a regular signal, and an AUX signal. The AUX signal can blend with the regular signal, direct output, or pan to create a stereo image.

The signal then passes through the Lowpass Gate (LPG/Envelope section). The dedicated controls mentioned above should let you work with more speed and precision to get the most out of the LPG sections Envelope/VCA/LPF combination.

A Master section and a pretty flexible back panel round up the intuitive GUI.

Macro is made for Reason because the developers didn’t think any other environment would support their vision so well. It functions inside The Rack, which is a significant part of Reason’s workflow.

Reason Rack is also available as a VST/AU/AAX plugin that you can open in any DAW.

When it comes to my DAW, I’m pretty set in my ways, which can be a bad thing. I started with Cubase, switched to Logic Pro early, and have stayed with it ever since.

I don’t love every detail about Logic, but it’s familiar and comfortable. I’ll mix in the MPC software or MPC Beats at times, but I’m maybe missing out by not experiencing more DAWs.

I’d like to hear what any of you think of Reason, especially if you combine it with another DAW.

Download: Macro

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About Author

James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.

7 Comments

  1. i loved using reason around 2006 or 2007.
    nowadays i am using pro tools and ableton live, but i am constantly thinking about getting reason again.
    ableton for sure is a nice piece of software, but somehow it is just not made for me personally. actually i just decided to go for it because most of my friends and people around me use it, so it is easy to work together on projects.
    one day i will get reason again for the things i do in ableton at the moment, i am still convinced about it.

    • Thanks for sharing. I’ve considered Ableton for similar reasons, but never made the leap. I should also point out I mean a mix in MPC software, as in I use it at times, not that I mix projects in MPC Beats haha.

  2. According to the guide Reason Rack should be able to load inside FL Studio. But I gave up on it, FL Studio would not recognize the Rack as an instrument, only an effect. This new synth looks interesting, but I will be too much hassle reinstalling Reason Rack to find out it still doesn’t work in relation to FL Studio.

  3. Love Reason… been with it since v.3, and nothing gets me making music faster. Yeah, the sequencer is outdated, but the instruments are amazing and it’s ease of use is unparalleled. Thanks for this.

  4. I’ve been using Reason since 1995. I was thrilled with the release of Record as companion tracking software and even more thrilled when they combined. I write mainly electronic music with vocals being the main acoustic addition. I learned in Pro Tools and used it for a number of years professionally. I’ve used Cubase and Logic which I found disappointing. Currently using Reason 10.5 in my home studio solely and it’s great. With the addition of VST ability in reason, I can’t see how everyone isn’t using it. One of the only draw backs was the lack of a good DAW control surface. I’ve just added the Icon Qcon Pro G2. Finally a control surface that has mapped capability and even a reason skin so the buttons match the function. I am considering using Ableton live for the ability to incorporate time signature changes and tempo following for live drum recording.

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