Reason goes modular with the Complex-1 synth


Propellerhead has developed a fully patchable virtual modular synthesizer plug-in for its popular DAW, Reason. In a sense it was only a matter of time before the Prop-team would jump on the modular band-wagon. The modular hype has pushed every synthmaker in the industry to consider modular setups in their arsenal. Every band in the electronic music scene appears to invest in Euroracks or similar to deliver those unheard sounds that sometimes sparks out of randomness when tweaking those nobs or patching in new ways.

It is of little surprise that the Prop-team takes to the masters when they created their new beast. On paper it is a skeuomorphic software modular design, based on classic Moog and Buchla hardware modules. The Props say that, “Everything you learn here will translate when you find yourself patching a hardware rack in the real world.”

Buchla’s work is represented by modules such as the Complex Oscillator, Low Pass Gates and Shaper modules, while Moog’s sound design philosophy can be seen in Complex -1’s regular oscillator and ladder filter.

The selection of modules in Complex-1 brings a mix of modular synth ideologies to the Reason Rack. The Complex Oscillator, Low Pass Gates and Shaper modules build on the works on Don Buchla (or West Coast style) and the regular Oscillator and ladder design Filter module, which derive more from the Bob Moog school of synth design.

“Complex-1 is one of the most ambitious synths we’ve ever made,” says Mattias Häggström Gerdt, Product Manager. “Complex-1 offers a whole new palette of sounds to Reason for endless sonic possibilities.”

But as with all modular systems creating that unique sound can be far more complex then working a traditional machine, thus the learning curve may be steep, and this is why it has been loaded with some 150+ pre-made patches for you to get started with.

Propellerhead has made a lot of design decisions that allow you to easily patch anything to anything, which is great for happy mistakes and unusual sounds – for beginners or advanced users alike. The three oscillators each have ranges large enough to act as modulation sources, and to tune paraphonic setups if you so wish. The selection of modules in Complex-1 brings a mix of modular synth ideologies to the Reason Rack. The Complex Oscillator, Low Pass Gates and Shaper modules build on the works on Don Buchla (or West Coast style) and the regular Oscillator and ladder design Filter module, which derive more from the Bob Moog school of synth design. Combine them any way you like and craft your very own unique synth sounds.

Most people associate modular synths with lab coats and glitchy noise soundscapes, but if all you want is a beefy bass – let Complex-1 surprise you. Its modular madness aside, it’s also a really awesome-sounding synthesizer, capable of perfectly playable instrument sounds and yes, beefy basses too.

The synth, which is described by Propellerhead as “one of the most ambitious synths” it’s ever made, is available now from the Propellerhead store for $99/£89, though you’ll need Reason 10.1 or higher to use it.

Features:

  • Fully-featured modular synthesizer
  • 4X oversampled
  • ‘Best-of-class’ assortment of modules, including oscillators, filters, modulation and sequencing devices.
  • Can produce anything from esoteric sonic experiments to pristine synth instrument tones
  • Comes with 150+ patches
  • Connects ‘really well’ to the rest of the Reason rack with CV