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How do I use Reason and Digital Performer 4 together via Rewire?

In this description we assume you are using Digital Performer version 4 or later.

Launching and quitting

When using ReWire, the order in which you launch and quit the two programs is very important:

1. First launch Digital Performer.

2. Record Enable one or several audio channels set to use ReWire channels as the input source.
See “Activating ReWire channels” below for details.

3. Launch Reason.
It may take slightly longer for Reason to start when you are using ReWire.

When you are finished, you also need to quit the applications in a special order:

1. First quit Reason.

2. Then quit Digital Performer.

Routing Audio

Activating ReWire Channels in Digital Performer

ReWire2 supports streaming of up to 256 separate audio channels. The number of available ReWire audio channels in Reason is 64.

To activate the desired inputs from Reason in Digital Performer, proceed as follows:

1. Make sure you have the Tracks window up on screen.

2. Create as many audio tracks as you need ReWire inputs. For each one decide whether you want it to use a mono or stereo voice.
For example, you might want to set the track assigned to the Left/Right output in Reason to use a stereo voice and other tracks to use mono voices. Note that you can always add or remove channels later as will, the system is completely dynamic.

3. Pull down the Input menu for a track and select the desired ReWire input.

4. Click the record enable button for the track(s).

Here the Digital Performer Mixer is displayed with three Reason inputs selected, one stereo and two mono.

Configuring Input Monitoring in Digital Performer

To be able to monitor ReWire channels in Performer, the following settings must be made:

1. Pull down the Setup menu and select “Input Monitoring Mode” from the “Configure Audio System” submenu.
The Input Monitoring Mode dialog appears.

2. Set the Input Monitoring mode to “Always”.

3. Click “OK” to close the dialog.

4. Pull down the Studio menu and make sure “Audio Patch Thru” is selected (checked).
Now when you play back, the audio from Reason will appear on the corresponding voices in Digital Performer.

How the ReWire Channels are handled in Digital Performer

When you set up tracks to receive audio from ReWire, as described above, the corresponding tracks are added to the track list in the Mixing Board window.

* The tracks have generic names by default. To rename them, hold down [Option] and click on the name at the bottom of the channel strip.
* These channels are identical to regular audio channels. That is, they have all the fx, bussing and automation facilities provided for regular hard disk recording channels.

For information about how to set levels, panning, EQ, fx and bussing, etc., see the Digital Performer documentation.

Preparations for routing audio from Reason

When you route audio from Reason to Digital Performer, you make use of the Hardware Interface at the top of the rack. Basically, each output in the Hardware Interface is connected to a separate ReWire channel. Therefore:

* To take full advantage of the mixing features in Digital Performer you need to connect the different Reason devices directly to the Hardware Interface.

For example, if your Reason Song contains eight different instrument devices and you connect these to separate inputs on the Hardware Interface, they will appear on separate channels in Digital Performer. You can then use the mixing facilities in Digital Performer to adjust volume and pan, add effects and equalizing etc. – individually for each Reason device!
If you instead connect all your Reason devices via a Mixer to the stereo input pair on the Hardware Interface, all sounds will appear mixed on a single ReWire stereo channel pair. While this works perfectly fine, you won’t be able to mix and process the devices separately in Digital Performer.

Using the transport and tempo controls

When you run ReWire, the transports in the two programs are completely linked. It doesn’t matter in which program you Play, Stop, Fast Forward or Rewind. However, recording is still completely separate in the two applications.

Loop settings

The Loop in Reason will be completely linked to the Cycle in Digital Performer. This means that you can move the start and end point for the loop or turn the loop on or off in either program, and this will be reflected in the other.

Tempo settings

As far as tempo goes, Digital Performer is always the Master. This means that both programs will run in the tempo set in Digital Performer.

Routing MIDI via ReWire2

Reason will automatically appear on the MIDI Output pop-up menus for MIDI tracks in Digital Performer. Selecting a Reason device as the MIDI output for a track allows you to play the device via ReWire MIDI, using it as one or several separate MIDI sound sources.

An example – routing MIDI to Reason

The following description shows how to direct MIDI to devices in Reason using Sonar as the host application:

1. In Digital Performer, select a MIDI track that you want to route to a device in Reason.

2. Pull down the MIDI Output menu for the track, and select a device from the “Reason – bus 6” submenu.

The MIDI outputs for a Reason song. Here, each output goes directly to a device in the Reason rack.
The output of the MIDI track is now routed to that device. See below for more information about MIDI buses.

* If you now play back a MIDI part on the track, the MIDI notes will be sent to the Reason device – just as if the track were connected to any regular MIDI sound source.
The sound of the device will be sent back into Digital Performer via ReWire – which channel it will appear on depends on how you have routed the device to the Hardware Interface in Reason, as discussed earlier.

Digital Performer uses a concept of MIDI “buses”, with 16 MIDI channels per bus. By default, the first 16 devices in Reason (in the order created) are assigned to Bus 6. Thus, if you have more than 16 Reason devices in your Song, the devices created “after” the 16th device will appear on the Bus 7 submenu and so on.

Note for OS X users

When routing MIDI via ReWire under OS X it is possible to trigger more than one Reason device in the rack simultaneously if Reason and the host application are configured to use the same MIDI interface. If you select a Reason device to play via ReWire MIDI from the host application, and then (from within Reason) select MIDI input for a track connected to another device, both devices will be triggered when you play, one via ReWire and the other via the MIDI interface. This is due to how CoreMIDI, Apple’s own specification for handling MIDI under OS X, is implemented. If you want to control Reason via ReWire only, simply select “No MIDI Input” in Reason’s MIDI preferences.

Rendering Audio

Most often, there is no need to convert individual ReWire channels to regular audio tracks! The channels already appear in Digital Performer’s Mixer, and you can typically perform the same kind of real-time processing as with regular audio channels (effects, EQ, volume, pan and mute automation, etc.).

Still, you may need to convert the ReWire channels to audio tracks, for example if you want to continue working in Digital Performer only. Proceed as follows:

1. Make sure Reason plays back properly via ReWire.

2. Check that all ReWire channels that you wish to record are record-enabled, and that the “Multirecording always on for audio tracks” option is ticked in the Preferences dialog if you wish to record more than two channels.

3. Activate recording in Digital Performer.
Now the ReWire channels will be recorded on the corresponding audio tracks in Digital Performer.

4. Click Stop when done.

5. To play back the recorded tracks, first deactivate the record-enable switches for the tracks you just recorded.

* For information about how to set levels, panning, EQ, fx and bussing, and how to create automation, see the Digital Performer documentation.

Converting ReWire channels this way results in a number of audio files that can be very large (depending on the length of the song). Make sure you have enough disk space!

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