Reason Studios has announced that its long-standing Reason DAW, now up to version 12.6, is finally able to support Apple’s M1 and M2 Silicon processors natively, rather than running in emulation mode. This is purported to offer a 50% performance boost and improve reliability on Apple’s latest generation of machines.
It would be tempting to roll the eye and matter “finally”, as Apple’s first Silicon processors were installed on Mac computers in 2020. However, with such a monumental shift in machine architecture, it is clear that a lot of redevelopment work was required to ensure things worked smoothly. After all, there’s not much more frustrating in music production when you’re right in the zone with a composition or mixing and the whole DAW freezes up, lags, glitches or crashes.
The developers admit a lot of the underlying architecture in Reason is now fairly ancient, and this ties in with another announcement, that users no longer are required to have an active Internet connection at all times when using the DAW.
They have acknowledged the problems many users have had with this requirement, which has been in place to help authenticate the software and protect against illicit copies.
The most recent version upgrade now only requires the software to “phone home” every so often — as infrequently as once per year if necessary — meaning the DAW can now be used when offline or with an intermittent Internet connection. This takes away the stress of getting a stable connection wherever a user wishes to use the software, and when it comes to travelling around various venues is one less headache.
This is also the case even for Reason+ users, who pay a monthly subscription in order to have access to additional materials and to use the software. Of course it’s still worth checking in to the servers regularly in order to obtain the latest patches, updates and resources.
They’ve also done some significant work in ensuring that all extensions will run natively in Silicon mode, even if the original was never updated by the third-party creator. This should also remove some of the niggles when a plugin suddenly stops working because the OS or DAW has been updated to a newer version.
Version 12.6 of Reason is available as a free download to anyone already on version 12.