Presteign Sound Labs releases Macro, a FREE rack instrument for Reason.
Macro is based on the ever-popular Plaits Eurorack module from Mutable Instruments.
Plaits came along as the successor to the best-selling Braids module a few years back. The idea behind Plaits was to condense the sonic palette of Braids into a more manageable interface. Plaits is one of those modules that can be ideal for a minimal setup but still find a home in a more complex arrangement.
Although Macro is a reimagining of Plaits, it stays true to the hardware’s character. Macro is intended to be a powerful standalone synth and a module that combines very well with others. Like Plaits, it offers fast access to a wide range of sound and great flexibility.
Plaits has a simple interface that sometimes packs multiple things into one space. For example, it took the three FM modes from Braids and made them available within a single mode with one knob control.
While that maximizes the functionality within a small 12Hp module, you will spend a little time learning where everything is.
Macro isn’t as restricted by space and provides somewhat hidden Plaits features, like the LPG dedicated controls. It’s also polyphonic up to sixteen voices with Retrig and Legato modes.
It starts with the Generator section, which creates a regular signal, and an AUX signal. The AUX signal can blend with the regular signal, direct output, or pan to create a stereo image.
The signal then passes through the Lowpass Gate (LPG/Envelope section). The dedicated controls mentioned above should let you work with more speed and precision to get the most out of the LPG sections Envelope/VCA/LPF combination.
A Master section and a pretty flexible back panel round up the intuitive GUI.
Macro is made for Reason because the developers didn’t think any other environment would support their vision so well. It functions inside The Rack, which is a significant part of Reason’s workflow.
When it comes to my DAW, I’m pretty set in my ways, which can be a bad thing. I started with Cubase, switched to Logic Pro early, and have stayed with it ever since.
I don’t love every detail about Logic, but it’s familiar and comfortable. I’ll mix in the MPC software or MPC Beats at times, but I’m maybe missing out by not experiencing more DAWs.
I’d like to hear what any of you think of Reason, especially if you combine it with another DAW.