If you haven’t already heard, Propellerhead has released a brand new recording application called, Record. Though Propellerhead doesn’t advertise it as a DAW software program, this is indeed what it is. There’s been a lot of buzz about Record, so chances are you already know something about it. But, even though Propellerhead’s promotional video is informative, and very entertaining, there’s nothing like actually using the program to hear how it sounds and feel how it handles. Over the past couple of months this is exactly what I’ve been doing, putting Record through it’s paces. Now, after spending some quality time with this new DAW, I feel comfortable commenting on Record and answering the questions I keep hearing from students, “Should I buy Record? Is it a good DAW and can it take the place of other DAW programs like Pro Tools and Logic?”
If you’re a registered user of Reason (any version, from 1.0 to 4.0), it’s hard to pass up the deal that Propellerhead is offering. For only $149 USD you can pick up a copy of Record. Plus, if you haven’t yet upgraded your last version of Reason, you’ll get the upgrade to Reason 4.0 in the package. So, if you’re a registered user of Reason, picking up a copy of Record is a no brainer.
Considering that this is only version 1.0 of Record, it’s a fantasy to think that it could replace a time tested DAW program like Pro Tools or Logic. But, Record does indeed sound impressive, and if you’re already comfortable using Reason, transitioning to working in Record is a piece of cake. Indeed, as I was composing and mixing in Record I couldn’t help but feel like I was using Reason on steroids, with a side of audio tracks. It’s really much more than this, but the user interface and general operations very closely mirror Reason’s interface and operations. For example, there’s a rack of virtual hardware devices, complete with a backside view and a jumble of cables, just like in Reason. And, the sequencer window in Record looks pretty much identical to the sequencer window in Reason. It’s the improvements that make me feel like Reason has been pumping up on steroids, such as the ability to have racks side by side, the virtual SSL mixer, and the Line 6 guitar and bass POD effect devices.
There’s a ton of great features in Record, far more than I can cover in a single blog. For example, its real-time audio time stretching algorithm that allows the audio tracks in your song to follow tempo changes. And, this is after you’ve recorded your audio to track. This feature is similar to Warp in Live and Elastic Audio in Pro Tools, and sounds just as good. It’s also easy to find fault with Record. For example, it doesn’t support third party plug-ins and there isn’t a bussing function on the mixer. But, these shortcomings are more than made up for in the fact that Record supports rewire. That’s right, it will operate as a rewire slave. This means that you could compose entirely in Record and then rewire your tracks into a Pro Tools HD system for a killer TDM mix down! Don’t try this with another DAW program. I’ve always said that the rewire slave mode is one of the coolest features about Reason, and I’m happy to see it lives on in Record.
To summarize, Record is an awesome program. And, it didn’t crash once on me while using it these past couple of months. If you use Reason and want to get into recording audio, Record is an excellent choice for your first DAW program. But, don’t expect it to replace a tried and true DAW program like Logic or Pro Tools. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if someday it has features that rival today’s most popular DAW programs.
Keep up the great work Propellerhead!