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How-To: Rewire Reason in ProTools

1) Open ProTools and start a new session (Make sure Reason is not running when you launch ProTools)

2) Create a stereo audio track (a stereo auxilliary track will work here too, beware auxilliary tracks load with negative-infinity volume so make sure you turn it up to 0 as a starting place before you start wondering why you don't get any sound)

3) Switch to the Mix window (Window > Mix) if you're in the Edit window

4) You'll see the vertical channel strip for the new track you created, you might want to go ahead and name it to avoid confusion later (2x-click on track name at bottom of strip)

5) At the top of the channel strip you will see a light grey area with room for 5 inserts. Hit the little arrow button on the top insert there. (Make sure you're looking at the inserts at the very top, not the sends that are under it with a darker shade of grey.)

6) Browse the fly-out menu and select Reason (Stereo) when you find it. Reason will start to launch.

7) In the plug-in box that opens in ProTools, make sure the output is set to "Mix L-R" or something similiar instead of "no output." You can close that window.

8) Now you're routed correctly and you can work in Reason while it outputs audio through the ProTools track you created.

*** To use ProTools' MIDI sequencing instead of Reason's sequencer:

1) Follow all the steps listed above

2) Create an instrument in Reason and name it

3) In ProTools, create a MIDI track and name it to match the instrument track in Reason

4) In ProTools, route the output of your new MIDI track to the instrument track in Reason. To do this make sure you are able to see the in/out section of the MIDI track in Protools (in the mix window the i/o always shows, in the edit window you may need to click on View > Edit Window > Show i/o). Click on the Output (input is on top, output just under it) and you will see a list of all the tracks available in your open Reason file. Select the instrument you just created in #1 above.

5) In Reason, there is a led at the bottom marked as "play." Turn it off. Now Reason will not play, only ProTools will. Reason will only be used as if it were a hardware rack instrument.

6) You can plot your MIDI sequencing/melodies/automation parameters onto the MIDI track in ProTools and it will send the info to the instrument rack in Reason... Reason will then send the actual audio out to the stereo audio track that you created in step #2 on the first section of this blog.

7) You can create many MIDI tracks in ProTools, one for each instrument rack you load into Reason. You do not, however, need to create additional audio tracks in ProTools for each instrument, they will all output audio from the original stereo audio track with Reason plugged-in as an insert.


matt's picture

Great stuff Amittai - this sort of helpful guide will help a bunch of people now and well into the future, no doubt about it. Thanks a lot man

MarCoast Beats.'s picture

Now These Blogs Are Being Put To Good Use

Amittai's picture

You're welcome Matt. And thanks both of you.

I figure I'll to do things like this when a question comes up and put the link to my blog as the answer... I think it was Illusive that inspired the idea a while ago when he did something similiar.

Amittai's picture

These steps apply to DAWs other than ProTools, but the specific descriptions within the ProTools platform will vary with other DAWs like FL Studio or Cubase... Routing for this will be just about the same exact steps though.

littleboots's picture

When I try to Rewire Reason 3.0 through ProTools 6.7 Reason cannot recognize my keyboard (microKorg) and thinks the MIDI port is already in use. However if I work in Reason alone (not Rewired through ProTools) it recognizes the keyboard just fine. Any ideas? By the way I'm working in Windows XP. I'd really appreciate some advice.

Amittai's picture

How have you set up your rewire? In my directions in the post above there are two parts, did you do the first half only or did you do both parts of the directions? Either way will work, but I'd have to know which it is to help you.

littleboots's picture

Amittai, I performed steps 1-8 from your directions (the first part of your two parts). As soon as Reason opens it reports the problem. Thanks for your help.

Amittai's picture

Okay... So the keyboard should be recognized by Reason then... Are you using it for anything in Protools at the same time? If the keyboard is a dedicated input for a midi track in protools, that might be what happens.

In Reason, when you go to preferences > MIDI and check your MIDI controller configurations, does your keyboard still show up on the list with a green check mark?

littleboots's picture

I've never used the keyboard for a MIDI track in ProTools nor have I used MIDI ever in ProTools. I have used the keyboard (a microKorg synth) only as a direct input instrument into my Mbox. I'm at work right now so I can't check but I'd feel really stupid if I left it plugged into the Mbox! I'll check when I go home.

In Reason Preferences the MIDI configuration shows the keyboard with the red "X" instead of the green check mark. Whenever I run Reason alone (not in Rewire slave mode) however it comes up with the green check mark.

Amittai's picture

Yeah, check the hook up on it, maybe you just still have it plugged in for a direct instrument instead of a midi controller. If I get the red "x" it's usually because I don't have it connected correctly. Also, make sure the keyboard is powered up as well as connected before you launch protools or reason. Is it a usb connection?

littleboots's picture

I fixed it! I had to re-install the MIDI-to-USB interface in a new USB port. I don't know why it didn't install properly the first time but it recognizes the keyboard now. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate.

Amittai's picture

Shoot, I didn't do anything! You figured it out yourself, good job.

Fern514's picture

Hi! When I browse the fly-out menu (multi-channel plug-in) in Pro Tools, "reason" doesn't appear. Can someone help me please? I have Pro Tools 7.4.2 (leopard) & Reason 4. I don't understand, it should be there via rewire. Thanks a mill! Fern

Amittai's picture

Make sure Reason is working properly. Does Reason start up and operate when you use it on its own (without Protools open)?

Also, you have to make sure Reason is not running when you launch Protools. If Reason is already running when you launch Protools it will not run as a slave, and therefore will not show up on the list as a plug-in.

bcw's picture

I am running pro tools 6.4 on a powermac G5 1.8 single processor. I can rewire with my reason 3.0.5 software fine until i try to record in pro tools. It crashes. I followed every step above. Can you help?

Amittai's picture

It crashes?

Is there an error message?

I don't think I've ever had Protools crash before. It may be your playback engine having problems keeping up while running Reason and recording to your disc in Pro Tols at the same time. When that happens to me though, it gives me an error, but it never crashes...

How much memory/RAM do you have?

Can you record when Reason isn't open?

Kronic's picture

Rewire doesn't work very well.

I've tried using it for multiple purposes before but i always find points where it doesn't work well. In FL Studio I like to bring hip hop beats in but not only is it annoying to use reason like this when none of the controls work is ultimately it crashes or completely messes up the audio when exporting a project to wav or other audio format.

I'd just export the reason audio to wav and put it into pro tools during the recording process. When you're in post production is when you should add it back in. This would at least be a cheap work around.

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Kronic's picture

wow nevermind this was already fixed and there are some spam posts in here...

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soundnation's picture


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Aiwa's picture

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