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I use Propellerhead Reason and my processing power isn't working well since I upgraded to Reason 10 (incredible lag). It looks like high-end gaming computers are needed and this is very pricey (Intel i9)- and I don't need that level of graphics, just audio production. People talk about AMD processors- they are cheaper but there seems to be problems. The i7 is considerably cheaper but can't be upgraded to the power of the i9.
 

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I use Propellerhead Reason and my processing power isn't working well since I upgraded to Reason 10 (incredible lag). It looks like high-end gaming computers are needed and this is very pricey (Intel i9)- and I don't need that level of graphics, just audio production. People talk about ADM processors- they are cheaper but there seems to be problems. The i7 is considerably cheaper but can't be upgraded to the power of the i9.
You don't mention your soundcard or interfaces.My experience is that you need a pro sound card and associated ASIO drivers to really usee Reason as a real-time tone production program to anywhere near it's full potential .This is not really too expensive. In fact I am pretty positive you can still find older cards with ASIO on the second hand market for peanuts
 

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Look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjyKVVRFhOI . This guy is very knowledgeable, and I would suggest building your own as well. He has a part 2, and presumably a part 3 will be coming soon, showing the actual build. If you build your own you can pick and choose which components to spend money on and where to be cheap (like the graphics card). If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, ask around you'll find someone to help you for not too much money. Or some stores will let you specify components and put them together for you.

Two suggestions - do not use a mechanical hard drive, but use SSDs; and put as much RAM as you can into the system. The processor is important, but not as important as those two things these days - I7, I9, who cares? For audio, any current, relatively high-end processor is fast enough. But stay away from AMD - they are fine for server machines (that's their target market) but there have been some weird issues with some instructions that are used heavily by audio processing. Maybe they're fixed, maybe not. But you will only buy one processor, so a few bucks difference is not worth the risk in my opinion.

(Of course, having done this myself for many years, you could do what I ultimately did - buy a Mac! Things "just work" on a Mac...)

Either way you will need a good audio interface. Unless you already have a good one, do not skimp on it. I've listened to some of your recordings, so I expect you know what you are doing here.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
cliveyX- Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 and yes, ASIO- still having terrible lagging problems

skeller- Yes, if I could have a machine without the fancy graphics card would be great- I wonder why they cater so much to gamers and not to people doing audio? I wish AMD was an option- so much cheaper, but the forums on that say beware --and yes SSD is what I use. I know enough about desktop recording to get me into trouble! Everything was fine until I upgraded Reason and am helping my 16 y.o. daughter with some stuff she's writing (kind of Celtic/techno/depressing teenage girl stuff- everything very...minor...). We're using all these cool synths and orchestral/organic sounds and grooves- no fun if there's all this lag. Maybe I should look at Mac.
 

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The computer you need isn't going to be cheap. If you are able to build it yourself, you're looking in the neighborhood of $3k to $4k to get something that won't be obsolete the second you hit the power button for the first time. Core i9 is the minimum processor. A 12 core i9 processor will run you about $1100 but it will give you a much better platform for what you want to do with it. Memory is another thing you don't want to skimp on. 64GB minimum and 128GB if you can afford it. Those, coupled with an M3 solid state drive (M3 drives have a special port on the motherboard and don't use a traditional SATA connection making them much faster that even SSD drives) will allow the software to process and render very quickly. I use high end computers in my work and also build my own. If you want specific recommendations for parts, send me a private message.

As far as Mac goes, you're looking at about the same cost and probably more to get a computer that will be equivalent to the Windows system I described. You'll also need to factor in the costs of all new software as Windows software won't run on a Mac (and vice versa.)
 

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I use Propellerhead Reason and my processing power isn't working well since I upgraded to Reason 10 (incredible lag). It looks like high-end gaming computers are needed and this is very pricey (Intel i9)- and I don't need that level of graphics, just audio production. People talk about AMD processors- they are cheaper but there seems to be problems. The i7 is considerably cheaper but can't be upgraded to the power of the i9.
I am sceptical about the advice that you need to go as far as an i9, although the advice regarding sys req from the Reason website is a bit sketchy:

These are the minimum system requirements for running Reason 10. Please have a look here for recommended system specifications.
Fast, stable internet connection for installation and registration required!
Intel or AMD multi-core processor
4 GB RAM (8 GB or more recommended for large ReFills or Rack Extensions)
4 GB free system disk space required, plus 8 GB for optional content. Additionally, the program may use up to 20 GB scratch disk space
Windows 7 or later (64-bit)
Monitor with at least 1280 x 768 resolution
Audio Interface with ASIO driver
MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard recommended


The reason (ha!) I am sceptical is that any software designer who writes a program that won't run on at least the last generation i5 would be really mad. Although I do not personally use Reason at the moment, I'm going to download an evaluation copy to my i5 machine and test it for you. I'll get back here in a day or so.

Obviously, the more you spend now, especially if you self-build, the better the machine will run and the longer it will last. But I have to say that most users don't really look after their machines - or they buy garbage to start with and wonder why they are having to upgrade every couple of years. I run a 10 year old Core-Duo system as my 'office' computer; it's a little slower that my i5, but it will still run pretty much anything I want to if I'm patient. The 2 year old i5 zips through anything.
 

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Roundmidnite,
maybe there is a problem on the driver side (full compatibility) installed on your operating system? Did you install the newest drivers with the new Reason (10)? I read that people (not everyone) had driver issues with Focusrite-Reason setup. But you was OK with earlier version, so maybe Propellerhead support could be helpful?
By the way, if you plan to change audio interface in the future, I recommend very pro working, very highly technically evaluated RME interface, one of the cheapest (but in genarall not so cheap) and home/mobile useful is Babyface or newer Babyface Pro.
 

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Roundmidnite,
maybe there is a problem on the driver side (full compatibility) installed on your operating system? Did you install the newest drivers with the new Reason (10)? I read that people (not everyone) had driver issues with Focusrite-Reason setup. But you was OK with earlier version, so maybe Propellerhead support could be helpful?
By the way, if you plan to change audio interface in the future, I recommend very pro working, very highly technically evaluated RME interface, one of the cheapest (but in genarall not so cheap) and home/mobile useful is Babyface or newer Babyface Pro.
OK, so I hagve downloaded and tested Reason and it works perfectly well with an i5, 8GB RAM and an SSD. I use the PreSonus 2|6 interface. Plays the demos no problem.
I would suggest that the issues are with your current installation as mentioned above by @KeyPi. Clean up your system, uninstall everything related to your sound set-up, reinstall the latest with versions and drivers which are always available from the manufacturers. If that doesn't work, you need to research the Focusrite-Reason problems mentioned. Good luck, but don't spend your money on a new computer yet unless it's really ancient.
It might help if you posted your system's specs i.e. processor, ram, disk etc etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dave- Thank you for testing- are you using Reason 10? The problems started with the upgrade and additional synths and VSTs. The new technology (such as the Europa which uses wavetable synthesis- so much processing power needed

MKel- Yes, switching to a new OS seems very intimidating, but so many people seems to suggest this.

Keypi- Since the recommended requirements listed on the Propellerhead website seems so off, it seems like they're not helpful, but maybe talking directly to them might get me more info.
 

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I dont run that program but I have to side with Dave just for simple comon business sense. If you are going to write a program younwant to be able to sell it. A lot of things can go wrong during an update or update. For instance, when I upgrade my video driver it frequently blows out my sound driver and I have to reinstall it. This of course is easy tomdiagnose since the sound goes away....but your problem could be more subtle and difficult to find. I build my own systems so Im used tomchipset drivers, bios settings, and all that crap but if you are not it can be even more of a hassle. My guess is your software update pissed something off.
 

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Dave- Thank you for testing- are you using Reason 10? The problems started with the upgrade and additional synths and VSTs. The new technology (such as the Europa which uses wavetable synthesis- so much processing power needed
No problems. Yes it's the latest version 10.4d4. I had a moment to record some alto into it this afternoon and I haven't had any problems. However, if you can trace the start of the issues to an upgrade, roll it back and add the new stuff one at a time and test as you go.

MKel- Yes, switching to a new OS seems very intimidating, but so many people seems to suggest this.
I know, it's tempting to go Mac, but I use both and in the end Windows 10 is ultra-stable for me.

Keypi- Since the recommended requirements listed on the Propellerhead website seems so off, it seems like they're not helpful, but maybe talking directly to them might get me more info.
Good suggestion.

@Roundmidnite, let us know what your computer's specs are
Processor
RAM
Disk size (and how much free space you have)
at least

I'm quite resistant to getting into a different DAW having used Cakewalk (!) for years, but Reason I'm rather liking.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No problems. Yes it's the latest version 10.4d4. I had a moment to record some alto into it this afternoon and I haven't had any problems. However, if you can trace the start of the issues to an upgrade, roll it back and add the new stuff one at a time and test as you go.

I know, it's tempting to go Mac, but I use both and in the end Windows 10 is ultra-stable for me.

Good suggestion.

@Roundmidnite, let us know what your computer's specs are
Processor
RAM
Disk size (and how much free space you have)
at least

I'm quite resistant to getting into a different DAW having used Cakewalk (!) for years, but Reason I'm rather liking.
Did you load any synths or later versions of verb that use a lot of processing power? Here's all devices in the project I'm working on--

View attachment 239176

View attachment 239178
 

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The choice of processor architecture needed for a computer to run a particular piece of software really has nothing to do with business sense of the software author. A piece of software can be written to take advantage of a processor's ability to multi-thread or it can be written to take advantage of available memory. Each method is unique and is approached by the software author in different ways. Core i5 and Core i7 processors are ancient in computer terms; both were initially released in the 2008-2009 time frame. The only reason they are even still around is their initial popularity has them in use in quite a number of machines. Core i9, on the other hand, is a youngster in relative terms, first released in 2017. Manufacturing processes have changed considerably in that time and the number of available cores has quadrupled or more. If a program is multi-threaded - as it sounds as though Reason is, a processor with more available cores will run the program faster without a doubt. You're not likely to see the effect of this unless you're trying to render a complicated piece which sounds like the OP's issue.

Minimum system requirements are something software manufactures publish to get the largest number of people to buy their software. Minimum requirements are not necessarily the recommended system requirements and are usually vastly different specs. Will the software run at with the minimum system set up? Yes. Will it run optimally? Very likely not. Modern video games are a perfect example of the difference between minimum and recommended system setups.

I've built many systems over the years and the components can be expensive. I've skimped on some components on occasion and regretted it as soon as I hit the power button on a new system the first time. If you're making the decision to buy or build a system, the most important decision you can make is to set a budget and then stick with it and be happy with the end result (whether you truly are or not.)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
... Core i5 and Core i7 processors are ancient in computer terms; both were initially released in the 2008-2009 time frame. The only reason they are even still around is their initial popularity has them in use in quite a number of machines. Core i9, on the other hand, is a youngster in relative terms, first released in 2017. Manufacturing processes have changed considerably in that time and the number of available cores has quadrupled or more. If a program is multi-threaded - as it sounds as though Reason is, a processor with more available cores will run the program faster without a doubt. You're not likely to see the effect of this unless you're trying to render a complicated piece which sounds like the OP's issue.

Minimum system requirements are something software manufactures publish to get the largest number of people to buy their software. Minimum requirements are not necessarily the recommended system requirements and are usually vastly different specs. Will the software run at with the minimum system set up? Yes. Will it run optimally? Very likely not.

... the most important decision you can make is to set a budget and then stick with it and be happy with the end result (whether you truly are or not.)
...Core i9, on the other hand, is a youngster in relative terms, first released in 2017. Manufacturing processes have changed considerably in that time and the number of available cores has quadrupled or more. If a program is multi-threaded - as it sounds as though Reason is, a processor with more available cores will run the program faster without a doubt. You're not likely to see the effect of this unless you're trying to render a complicated piece which sounds like the OP's issue.

Minimum system requirements are something software manufactures publish to get the largest number of people to buy their software. Minimum requirements are not necessarily the recommended system requirements and are usually vastly different specs. Will the software run at with the minimum system set up? Yes. Will it run optimally?... the most important decision you can make is to set a budget and then stick with it and be happy with the end result (whether you truly are or not.)
Since Reason 10 came out the same year as the i9, so it seems it would have been designed for i7. i7 has 5 cores which is an improvement on i5. i7 8550 has 6 cores and is significantly cheaper than i9. The Reason website has minimum requirements and recommended listed, but the recommended requirements don't seem to work if you use the hardly any of the new synths and other devices at all that need more power.
 

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Did you load any synths or later versions of verb that use a lot of processing power? Here's all devices in the project I'm working on--
I've only had a couple of hours with Reason (quite friendly to use, but still a steep-ish learning curve), but I have run some audio with rudimentary synths and kits with each track using a separate effect. The processor (i5 6600K) shows no higher than 16% usage when playing back, and I haven't quit all the background stuff I would if I were seriously recording.

It really would be helpful if you at least told us what processor you have. Or right click the task bar and start the Task Manager and check out the processor usage when you run Reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've only had a couple of hours with Reason (quite friendly to use, but still a steep-ish learning curve), but I have run some audio with rudimentary synths and kits with each track using a separate effect. The processor (i5 6600K) shows no higher than 16% usage when playing back, and I haven't quit all the background stuff I would if I were seriously recording.

It really would be helpful if you at least told us what processor you have. Or right click the task bar and start the Task Manager and check out the processor usage when you run Reason.
Yes- it's a learning curve for sure- I've been using it for years and even took a class on it and feel like I barely scratch the surface- then they add all the new stuff- Reason 10 is a HUGE advancement.

CPU usage hovers around 20%, as high as 28%. It's Intel (R) Core(TM) i5-8250u [email protected] 1.60 GHz 1800 Mhz 4 cores 8 logical processors. The clockspeed seems to be the issue- I appreciate the help!! :)
 

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Yes- it's a learning curve for sure- I've been using it for years and even took a class on it and feel like I barely scratch the surface- then they add all the new stuff- Reason 10 is a HUGE advancement.

CPU usage hovers around 20%, as high as 28%. It's Intel (R) Core(TM) i5-8250u [email protected] 1.60 GHz 1800 Mhz 4 cores 8 logical processors. The clockspeed seems to be the issue- I appreciate the help!! :)
Ahha, you're using a laptop. I presumed you'd be on a desktop. Well, in that case you probably do need to get something with more muscle. The mobile processors, despite having loads of logical processors are nowhere near as powerful as the mid range desktop processors. But perhaps you need the laptop for convenience?
I have an HP laptop with an i5-4200U CPU here that I recently overhauled - a weaker processor than yours but same clock speed. When I have a moment I'll install Reason and see how far I get with it!
 

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The clockspeed seems to be the issue- I appreciate the help!! :)
Well, processor speed turns out not to be the whole story.
I had a lot of problems playing back the demo tracks with Reason and my Presonus interface plugged into the old HP laptop I mentioned (i5-4200U @ 1.60Ghz, which was unsurprising.
But surprisingly, also a few issues with a very powerful Lenovo 17" laptop (i7-7700HQ @ 2.8GHz) and the PreSonus.
However, the demo tracks played back fine through the built-in soundcards of both.
I have no issues when running complex tracks with Cakewalk and the PreSonus interface on the Lenovo.
So with Reason 10, it seems to be the way the data is transferred over the USB bus that is the bottle neck in some way. More detective work to be done!

I quite like Reason, but it's missing a few very important things for me, like staff view!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, processor speed turns out not to be the whole story.
I had a lot of problems playing back the demo tracks with Reason and my Presonus interface plugged into the old HP laptop I mentioned (i5-4200U @ 1.60Ghz, which was unsurprising.
But surprisingly, also a few issues with a very powerful Lenovo 17" laptop (i7-7700HQ @ 2.8GHz) and the PreSonus.
However, the demo tracks played back fine through the built-in soundcards of both.
I have no issues when running complex tracks with Cakewalk and the PreSonus interface on the Lenovo.
So with Reason 10, it seems to be the way the data is transferred over the USB bus that is the bottle neck in some way. More detective work to be done!

I quite like Reason, but it's missing a few very important things for me, like staff view!
Reason is really the only DAW I've ever really used, and it's great for my purposes- just a hobby for me. The only audio tracks I ever do are saxophone, flute and vocals, so I don't record entire drum kits or anything like that. I don't really do sound design except to tweak a little. I use a lot of drum loops (samples of real players mostly- from loop loft) and then build off of them to produce original music and arrangments. The organic sounds they added are really fun and the synths sound HUGE.

My daughter writes music and I was working hard on some really cool arrangments for her and then all this lag started. Yes- I agree that it looks like the way the data is transferred is the bottleneck. I'm not a computer person, so it's incredibly frustrating for me! There's such a skill set to do this- you have to know how to play keyboard, write, arrange, have some ability to perform the vocals and horn parts, understand the sequencer, effects and all that- and then mix and master- then I'm supposed to be a computer geek too- maybe it's a little ambitious!
 

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Reason is really the only DAW I've ever really used, and it's great for my purposes- just a hobby for me. The only audio tracks I ever do are saxophone, flute and vocals, so I don't record entire drum kits or anything like that. I don't really do sound design except to tweak a little. I use a lot of drum loops (samples of real players mostly- from loop loft) and then build off of them to produce original music and arrangments. The organic sounds they added are really fun and the synths sound HUGE.

My daughter writes music and I was working hard on some really cool arrangments for her and then all this lag started. Yes- I agree that it looks like the way the data is transferred is the bottleneck. I'm not a computer person, so it's incredibly frustrating for me! There's such a skill set to do this- you have to know how to play keyboard, write, arrange, have some ability to perform the vocals and horn parts, understand the sequencer, effects and all that- and then mix and master- then I'm supposed to be a computer geek too- maybe it's a little ambitious!
Well, the software should work, so don't beat yourself up! Reason is interesting and it can produce quick, great sounding modern results, and it is complex for sure, but it lacks some more conventional musical aspects.

But, have a look at this page from the Support section of the Propellerheads website: https://help.propellerheads.com/hc/...t-of-sync-in-Reason-10-3-and-later-what-s-up-
It's very interesting, and it explains that it's the 'buffer' size (in relation to your computers processing capabilities) that actually controls the playback sync (so it's nothing to do with the USB bus).

I have sorted my particular issues of choppy playback on the Lenovo laptop by simply telling Reason to defer to my PreSonus soundcard in terms of the buffer size. I did it as follows:

1) In Reason go to Edit>Preferences>Audio tab and check the box on "Render audio using audio card buffer size setting".

2) Then access your soundcard's settings by clicking the 'Control panel...' button on the middle of that page, or open the control panel for your sound card as you would normally (I don't have experience of the Focusrite boxes but their help says "On Windows 7/8,8.1/9/10; open the dedicated ASIO Control Panel by going 'Start' > search for 'ASIO Control Panel' > open this." The sample rate, and in our case, the buffer rate can be changed here.).

3)The default buffer setting seems to be 512 samples (YMMV), so try taking it down a bit at a time, 256, 128, 64 etc and so on. Unlike me, choppy playback is not your issue. Your issue is the sync, so if you lower your buffer sample rate you should get a better sync'd recording/playback. The caveat in your case is that if you set the buffer sample rate too low, you will get choppy playback issues.

4) Close the ASIO Control panel and Reason's Peferences window.

Have a play with this and try different buffer sizes until you find the optimum for your computer. And let us know if you get it sorted.
 
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