Propellerhead Balance with Reason Essentials Reviews5.0/5.0 based on 2 customer reviews
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from Providence, RI
September 12, 2012
The Truth!This is my first review ever! I felt compelled to write it. I am really impressed with this interface! It looks sweet and is very functional. Integration in Reason is Butter Smooth. But what impressed me most is the sound quality! I have had a few of audio interfaces (focusrite, motu, tascam, lexicon, m-audio, and I just came from an Apogee One) and I have to say that sonically...this one sounds the best to me. Granted there are certainly pricier options. But, if you only need two channels at a time this one is hard to beat. And, if you use Reason, the clip safe and tuner options make this a must buy!
March 30, 2012Music Background:
Hip Hop Producer
AmazingI purchased this a little over two weeks ago and I am satisfied with this purchase, I recently had a rack interface but needed to upgrade to a smaller interface for my home studio and this is the choice I went with and glad I did. The clip safe feature is a really nice feature to have and the installation was a breeze, it works great with Reason 6.2 as expected but also works great with Cubase 6.5 as I am running both. The knobs are great compared to the knobs on some other interfaces I have used in the past and the overall quality of Balance is great and suits my recording needs.
With Reason 6, the Software turned their super-popular music creation software into a full-featured DAW with integrated multitrack recording capabilities and a powerful built-in mixer that emulates a million-dollar big-studio mixing console. With all of its included synthesizers, samplers, audio processors, mixers, routing capabilities, and more, Reason is the soup-to-nuts music production program of choice for many musicians and composers.
But even with all the major additions to the software, Reason still lacked one thing: it was closed to third-party plug-ins. The only way for new features to be added to the program was for the Prop-heads themselves to put them there. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing. With a closed program such as Reason, the company could maintain tight control, which resulted in a very robust, stable system.
But now, with , the Propellerheads have opened up Reason with Rack Extensions -- and they've done it without compromising stability! Similar in concept to plug-ins, Rack Extensions can be created by third-party developers and can be either instruments or audio processors. The advantage is that the Propellerheads tightly control the Rack Extension technology, which eliminates many of the inconsistencies and instabilities of traditional plug-ins. Plus, when you purchase and download a Rack Extension from the online Propellerhead store, it downloads and installs automatically, with no authorization, no registration, and no complex installation process required -- the authorization is placed on your Reason Ignition key, seamlessly. Nice!
Rack Extensions are a huge addition to Reason. Not only is the program now a full DAW, but it also has its own "plug-in" format. Reason 6.5 is an amazing solution for just about any music production application.
Up until recently, the Propellerheads have stayed firmly in the software camp. But it was inevitable, with their success there, that they would want to create hardware. And that's just what they've done with Balance, a new USB interface for Mac and Windows -- but, of course, it's the Prop-heads, so it's not just any interface. lets you hook all your gear up and then switch what's feeding into the interface via front-panel switches. There are two XLR mic inputs, two guitar inputs, and two stereo line inputs. And two inputs can be used simultaneously. There are also two outputs that can be routed to your monitors as well as headphone outputs; the monitors and headphones each have their own volume control.
The beautiful thing about Balance? You plug it in, and it just works! It may be the simplest interface I've ever had the pleasure to use -- and I mean that in a good way. Plus, by using Balance with Reason, you get an amazing extra: Clip Safe, which protects you from clipping tracks when you're recording. Clip Safe invisibly records a backup track at a lower level, along with the track that you're recording. It's a cool feature that you'll appreciate the first time you're able to save a once-in-a-lifetime take that otherwise would have been ruined by clipping.
Balance isn't limited to use with Reason. It supports any Core Audio, WDM, or ASIO software. It comes bundled with Reason Essentials to get you started. Balance is flexible enough to be the hub for a studio rig, and it's portable enough to take on the go. It sounds great, and it's easy to use. And that's a winning combination.