Using Reason With Logic 6

Together at last!

You might think that Reason and Logic would naturally go together, but it turns out they really didn't play well together until Logic 6 finally brought ReWire 2 support to the table. Logic actually supported ReWire (v1) as of version 4.7, but it wasn't particularly good. ReWire 2 adds the ability to control Reason's devices with Logic's sequencer, and greatly improves the overall ReWire experience.

What's ReWire?

ReWire lets multiple audio programs work together on the same computer. It provides several services: it routes audio and MIDI data between programs, keeps them synchronized, and lets you use the transport controls in either program.

In this case, ReWire gives you up to 64 virtual audio cables to route audio from Reason into Logic, which allows you to do all of your mixing and automation in Logic. It also lets you send MIDI from Logic to Reason, so you can also do all of your arrangement and editing in Logic. When you press play or stop in either program, the two programs start and stop together, and while they're playing, they stay locked together in sample-accurate synchronization (this means the synchronization is accurate down to the single-sample level -- which is 1/44,100th of a second if you're working at a sample rate of 44.1 KHz).

Here's some more info about ReWire from Propellerhead.

How Do I Set Up Logic 6 & Reason For ReWire?

Propellerhead has posted a helpful guide here:
Using ReWire with Emagic Logic Audio

You can also download my Logic 'Autoload' song, which contains an environment that is already set up to be used with Reason. My environment contains three ReWire layers: ReWire Mono (16 mono channels), ReWire Stereo (16 stereo pairs), and ReWire MIDI (16 MIDI channels).

Note that my Autoload now comes in two flavors. If you have Ableton Live, you need to download the "Autoload Song For Ableton Live Users". See below for more info about how Ableton Live works with this new setup.


Logic 6 'Autoload' Song
Logic 6 'Autoload' Song
For Ableton Live Users

You can use my Autoload song in one of two ways:

  1. Replace your own Autoload song (in the Logic application folder). This will replace any customizations you've made.

  2. Open your existing Autoload song and import the ReWire Mono, ReWire Stereo, and ReWire MIDI layers from the environment in my Autoload song. This is what you probably want to do if you've already made extensive customizations to your own Autoload song. Note that my ReWire Stereo layer uses buses 17-32 and aux channels 1-16.


  • 16 Stereo Pairs
    ReWire audio channels 1-32 are available in Logic as 16 stereo pairs. Each set of two ReWire channels is routed through a bus to an aux object. This lets you use ReWire pairs as single stereo channels in Logic, which saves space in your mixer, makes it possible to use insert effects on stereo ReWire inputs, and eliminates the need to use Logic "groups" (which don't support the solo function -- only mute).

  • 16 Mono Channels
    ReWire audio channels 33-48 are monophonic channels from Reason to Logic.

  • 16 MIDI Channels
    There are 16 ReWire objects for sending MIDI from Logic to Reason. You can set up tracks in your Logic "Arrange" window for these objects, and then use the Cha(nnel) setting for that track to select which device in Reason it should control. These let you record and edit sequences for Reason devices in the Logic Arrange window, just like any other instrument.

  • Redrum Hyper Editor (Ableton Version Only!*)
    I have created a "Mapped Instrument" in the ReWire MIDI layer, which can connect to up to 3 Redrums. This lets you program up to three Redrums from a single Hyper Editor window.

    After you set up each Redrum in Reason, you must open your environment window, select one of the Redrum objects that is connected to the "Reason Drums" object, and choose your new Redrum in the parameter list on the left hand side, the same way you would for any other ReWire MIDI object.

    After doing this, you can create a sequence in the Arrange Window, on the "Reason Drums" track, and then open it with the Hyper Editor. Choose the "Reason Drums" item from the menu where you see "MIDI Controls", and you will get a list of lanes labelled "R1-1", "R1-2", and so on. The "R1" represents Redrum 1, and you'll also find R2 and R3, and for each one, you will see the 10 channels of that Redrum listed. You can rename each one after the sound you've loaded into that channel, using the parameter list on the left. You can also drag the tracks into any order, as well as change the editing grid for each one.

    I don't have time to explain it further right now, but I plan to write a guide on using the Hyper Editor & Mapped Instrument for drum programming in Logic, so stay tuned.

  • "Solo-Protected" Audio Preview & Metronome (Ableton Version Only!*)
    I have also included a new "Special" layer in my environment, which contains a channel for the Logic "Klopfgeist" metronome plugin, and a stereo audio track which has been set up to be used with the Audio Window and Sample Edit Window. Both of these have been "solo-protected" so they will not mute when you turn on solo mode for any tracks in your mixer. This will keep your metronome from disappearing when you engage solo mode, and also makes it so you can still preview audio files from the Audio Window, and hear what you're doing in the Sample Edit Window, even if solo is on for a different track.

* The Autoload For Ableton Live Users has a few new features that I've added over the past few months, which I haven't yet copied back over to the non-Ableton Autoload. I plan to do this very soon so stay tuned!

Important notes

ReWire modes in Logic

The "ReWire Behavior" option in Logic's "Audio Hardware & Drivers" preferences can be set to either "Playback mode" or "Live mode". In "Playback mode", less CPU is used, but it comes at the expense of added latency when playing Reason instruments in real time; in the latter scenario, "Live mode" should be used. When you're not working on any Reason-based parts, you should use "Playback mode" to have more CPU available for Logic's plugins. In both cases, everything remains in perfect sync.

Ableton Live Users

If Ableton Live is installed on your computer, all of the ReWire configurations in my regular Autoload file will be broken, because Ableton Live becomes the first set of ReWire MIDI and audio objects, bumping Reason down the list. I have painstakingly gone through my entire ReWire setup, reconfiguring every single ReWire MIDI and audio connection, so if you do have Ableton Live, make sure you download the appropriate version of my Autoload song.

In the future, I hope that Propellerhead and/or Apple (now that they have taken over Logic) will come up with a better way of handling this situation, so this sort of problem doesn't happen.

The Ableton Live version of my Autoload supports an additional 16 channels of audio from Live. There are no mixer objects for these, but they will be included in Logic's main stereo output. As long as you launch Logic first, you can run both Live and Reason at the same time and they will both connect to Logic. You can also set up MIDI connections from Logic to Live, if you can think of a reason for doing so. I plan to improve the Live support in my Autoload song in the near future.

Cycle mode problems

For some reason, if you engage cycle mode in Logic with the beginning of the cycle set to the start of your song, the song will "skip" every time the cycle point is reached. When using cycle mode, be sure the beginning of the loop is not set to the first bar of the song.

Additionally, the "Loop On/Off" switch in Reason doesn't quite work correctly in ReWire mode. If cycle mode is not enabled in Logic, Reason's loop switch will turn it on, but when cycle mode is on, Reason's switch cannot turn it off. The loop switch in Reason also doesn't correctly indicate whether cycle mode is on or off. It will always revert to looking like it's off, during playback. Your best bet is to just use the cycle switch in Logic and forget about the one in Reason.


This setup uses buses 17-32 and aux channels 1-16 in Logic. These buses don't exist as audio objects in the environment; they're being used as virtual nodes to route the ReWire pairs to aux channels. When audio objects don't exist for buses, they have no direct output, but just in case, I've set buses 17-32 to "No Output", which means even if you do create audio objects for them, they won't send anything directly to your audio outputs.

My configuration leaves the first 16 Logic buses available for other purposes (effects, routing, etc.) If you need more than 16 buses, enable the "64 buses" option in Logic's "Audio Hardware & Drivers" preferences; after doing this, you'll be able to use buses 33-64 as well. Be aware that enabling 64 buses will increase Logic's CPU load.

The finishing touch...

I've created ReWire and Reason icons that can be used in Logic. My Autoload song is set up to use the ReWire icon on all ReWire audio objects, and the Reason icon on all of the ReWire MIDI objects in my environment. Just follow these steps...

  1. Download my ReWire icon pack
  2. Open the icon pack file ("logic6_rewire_icons.sit") with Stuffit Expander
  3. Open the "ReWire Icons" folder and move both of the files inside it to:

    ~/Library/Application Support/Emagic/EmagicResources/Icons/

    (Note: ~ (tilde) means "your home folder" in OS X.)