Rewire Reason – Using Reason with Pro Tools, Cubase, Live

Rewire is a technology developed by Propellerhead Software that allows music production programs to be connected (rewired) together so that they operate in tandem, with both timelines synchronised and locked to one another. As Reason doesn’t have any native audio sequencing facility, it makes a lot of sense to link it to your favourite sequencer package, whether that be Pro Tools, Cubase, Ableton Live, or any other program that supports the Rewire protocol…
(from Music Technology)

How To Rewire Reason

As with everything Propellerhead Software does, Rewire is extremely easy to set up and usually works with a minimum of fuss. However, as with everything anyone does, things can sometimes go wrong and it helps to have a few points of reference to make sure no steps have been missed along the way.

The most important thing to remember when using Rewire is that you must always start your Master sequencer program first. Ableton Live works extremely well with Reason, particularly for, of course, live performance. So, to use Ableton Live with Reason, you first open Live, and then open Reason. If you’re using Cubase, you open Cubase first, and then Reason…and so on.

Reason, Rewire and Pro Tools

For this explanation, I will go through the process of rewiring Reason with Pro Tools, but the procedure is essentially the same for all programs. All versions of Pro Tools from 6.1 up support the Rewire protocol.

When Reason starts up, it automatically check to see if any Rewire-enabled sequencer is already open – in this case, Pro Tools. When it detects Pro Tools, Reason will then put itself into Rewire Slave mode and connect to the Pro Tools sequencer. You may see a couple of alert boxes such as ‘Reason could not set up the control surfaces properly’, but you can ignore these – this just means that the configuration settings for all hardware and external controllers are now managed by Pro Tools.

Once the two programs are running, you then need to configure your Reason Rewire inputs within Pro Tools. To do this, create a standard audio track (or aux input track). You can then select Reason from the RTAS plug-ins menu on this track, just as you would select a Delay, Reverb or any other plug-in.

The standard rack for Reason comes with a 14:2 mixer built-in. However, when using Rewire it makes more sense to remove this mixer and route the outputs of your devices directly into the hardware interface instead. This means that all your mixing can be done in the Pro Tools mixer.

If you route each new Reason device to its own output channels in the Reason hardware interface (press alt to flip the rack around, then connect the device outputs to the channel inputs), then you can assign each Reason device its own channel in the Pro Tools mixer. First create a new device, such as an NN-XT sampler, then create a track in Pro Tools. Once you’ve set this up correctly, if you go to the plug-ins menu for that track in Pro Tools, the NN-XT will show up as an option. Now you’re ready to start working with Rewire…


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