It’s been a mad few weeks for me in Reason land!! Firstly, I got my hands on Reason 5 and Record 1.5, which I have slowly been exploring and I hope to do a more in depth analysis of it for you from my perspective soon. The one thing it HAS done is show my ageing PC up for what it really is and forced my hand to set the wheels in motion towards a new system. This isn’t because Reason 5 is a resource hungry dog, far from it. Reason is famous for its efficient CPU usage, but my old PC (AMD Athlon 64 3000+ with 2GB RAM) is just not up to the task of much at all these days. I was actually trying to remember how old it was, and it has to be at least 7 or 8 years old now, so for it still to be reasonably capable of most things is a rarity in this fast progressing world of technology. But over the last year or two, the signs have been mounting and I don’t think there’s much else I can do in terms of squeezing out any more juice from it.
A N Y W A Y……
I’ve been dabbling in Reason, loving the new Kong drum plugin and other cool new features, when my online buddy Patrick Fridh, the man behind BITLEY™, hits me up with a remarkable piece of altruistic generosity. I’ve been awaiting his new ReFill, code named “Supersonic” for some time. He has been keeping us all updated on it’s contents and progress for a little while now. Well, Patrick very kindly sent me a copy of the finished article the other day and so the least I can do is spread the word about it here!
In essence, this new ReFill pulls together all of Patrick’s output in terms of Reason Refills from the last couple of years. It is not a “best of” compilation. Oh no, this beast contains EVERYTHING!! Every ReFill, in full, complete, warts and all!! Unsurprisingly, the uncompressed “weight” of this ReFill is in the region of 2.5GB!! Compressed into a ReFill, it still occupies 1.2GB!
To review this ReFill in its entirety would be a Herculean task, so if that’s what you were expecting, I apologise. Below are some audio demos of the various aspects of this ReFill, now renamed for its release as “Fairlight CMI Legacy MkII”. So, what constitutes this ReFill. Here are the main component parts:
Fairlight CMI Legacy MKII contains over 1,000 single NNXT patches, over 450 Combinator patches, more than 150 ReDrum drum kits. There are also a number of brand new signature patches from ThinkingMachine and Abstract Assasinator, two of Sweden’s best Reason programmers, in addition to a wide range of new patches from Patrick himself.
All of the Fairlight factory sounds have been included in this library, with kind permission from Fairlight in Australia. This library also features every factory preset from the Prophet 5 synthesizer and a lot of presets from other synthesizers too, such as Roland JX8P, Roland Jupiter 4, Roland JX10, Yamaha DX7 and much more.
The cost? Well, consider that if you were to buy all of Patrick’s ReFills that are included here, it would set you back just shy of $200. Buy them all in this package and it will cost you just $149! That’s a hefty saving. Owners of Patrick’s individual ReFills have already been mailed upgrade options.
So, how does it stack up? Very bloody well, is how! This is a massive palette of sounds. As usual, the samples are very well done. The sheer number of combinators and blends is overwhelming. And the seemingly endless array of patches for Thor, Subtractor and Maelstrom mean that every aspect of the Reason rack is fully explored. And don’t think that because there are a lot of 80′s synths included here that the library is in anyway dated. Far from it. This combines history and nostalgia with modern relevance.
So, should you get this ReFill? Well, if you don’t own any of the others already, then yes, without a doubt, this is an astounding library, and one could easily see this being the one and only ReFill many composers may use. It is that big, and covers so many bases that you will find yourself rarely looking elsewhere for inspirational sounds.
If you already own some Bitley stuff, then the upgrade is just as worth it. If you own ALL of the Bitley output, it’s still worth the upgrade price because there is SOOOOO much more in here!
When it comes to sound libraries, it’s easy to type pages of words, describing the content, but nothing does a library more justice than listening to some audio demos. And the great thing with Patrick, is that he includes all his demo tracks as Reason Song files so that you can easily find that patch that blew you away
Patrick is a former employee of Propellerhead and clearly loves Reason and it’s capability. In his libraries, he demonstrates are strong kinship with the tools and I have never come across such good libraries for Reason & Record as these.