Reason 5 Dr. Octo Rex

Here’s an evolution in music software I like: Dr. Octo Rex. The .rex format is an old format which allows you to auto splice a sample and therefore make it easy to rearrange the pieces. It also allowed some slowing down speeding up of the clip long before Ableton was born. Sampled sounds have a certain punch to them. I think they are number two in the pecking order for chest thumb behind pure analog and leaps and bounds over virtual instruments. I can sit and play for hours with the Rex loop player in Reason. I wasn’t ever expecting it to be updated but here it is.

“The upgraded Dr. Octo Rex loop player loads eight REX loops into one player and lets you switch between them on the fly. This makes arranging a breeze – load the drum loops into one player, the guitars into another and use the sequencer to select what loop to play in a pattern-like fashion. With eight loops to switch between, the new rex also comes ready for the experimental minded. Set the player to retrig the loops on the beat, on the bar or on the 16th note. Or program the loops manually like in the original rex player.” –

For more info:

Published by

Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to:

23 thoughts on “Reason 5 Dr. Octo Rex”

  1. This should be great news, but until they update Recycle or give us some other way to CREATE Rex files, it’s a bit pointless isn’t it? Recycle hasn’t been updated since, what, 2002? I’m not really interested in using loops from CDs so I haven’t used Dr. Rex in years.

    By the way, what is “chest thumb?” I’ve never heard that term used.

  2. it looks interesting but it’s not gonna make me go back to Reason. since i switched to Live i’m such a happy guy. i looked the video and i was like “i can do the same thing in Live.” maybe i’m wrong?

  3. You guys are right but playing with the Rex player what makes it nice… it’s fun and you end up with a different sound than you would other ways… hard to describe. I wouldn’t trade Live for Reason… using both is the way to go.

  4. dominic, yes you can do all this in Live. It would take multiple tracks and some combining of Macros, but overall it would be more versatile (control over every parameter using clip envelopes, for starters).
    Oliver, I agree it’s different and in fact I enjoy the “limitations” of a dedicated piece of equipment (even virtual equipment like this in Reason). But unless I’m okay just using downloaded or purchases Rex files, I’m out of luck until Propellorheads gives me a tool to make my own. I’d happily spring for a Recycle that works with Intel Macs if they made it. Basically, they’re encouraging me to use Live, since it’s such a breeze there to “slice to MIDI” and rearrange the sections for my pads. I don’t even need some extra application… It just seems like stuff like this shoot themseles in the foot. It would also be nice if Reason could send MIDI out so we could run our outboard gear with it.

  5. I didnt realise there was no update of Recycle for Intel Macs :o –

    I have to say it does look very nice, and if the leaked pics I saw ‘somewhere’ of the KONG drummachine are true, I’m really looking forward to getting Reason 5 and Record 1.5 (although I do hope Record 1.5 is a free update, not a paid 1.5 version).

    The Autotune type tool is interesting too, while I admit I’ve never bought an Autotune type plug before I have always been interested in messing around with one with sounds/synths (rather than vocals) – ditto for Melodyne which I intend to get someday…

  6. you are right on this Brian. Since the “slice to midi” features in Live who needs a Rex player? The main reason (hehe) why i switched to Live is because i can do everything in the same software. i believe the way you can work the rex files in Live is more powerfull than in Reason IMHO.

  7. Um.. not sure where you guys are getting your info.. but Recycle works just fine on my MacBook Pro 13″ Unibody running Snow Leopard 10.6.3

  8. James, it requires Rosetta. It’s the very last piece of software on my Mac that requires Rosetta. It’s been what, four years since Macs went Intel?
    So sure, I guess it works. But with Live slicing and dicing now why bother? My point is that if Props is updating Dr. Rex, I hope they find it important enough to step out of 2005 with Recycle, or else start licensing other apps to create Rex files. If I could save my sliced loops from Live into Rex, or if Recycle sliced them with as much control and as easily as Live, I’d probably even deal with Rosetta. I’d be using Reason a whole lot more, and I’d probably upgrade in a second.

    1. Not trying to start a “this is better than than” thread hijack here.. but personally I feel ReCycle is easier for creating .rx2 loops than Live. regardless of my being a PH employee, I have been using PH products for many years prior to being employed by them and still do. And yes, I use Live as well… love it for what it is good at doing.

      Since Recycle is really not a CPU intensive app, Rosetta is really not a problem for me.

      1. But Live can’t make .rx2 files! So of course.

        Every time I use Recycle I wish I could just slide these markers around in Dr.Rex, and I wonder why we need a whole nother app for this. Wouldn’t it be great to just open up an audio file in Dr.Rex, set the slice markers and go to town? Then if you you don’t love the results, you can just move the markers around. Then when it’s perfect, save that dude as an .rx2.
        Recycle does a fine job of slicing, but when you want to make changes you have to open it back up, load the file, resave the file, reimport the file into Dr.Rex, blah blah. Sure, with Live you still have to “slice to MIDI” again, but at least it’s all right there and there’s no file to open and resave.

        If Props allowed other apps (Live, Wave Editor, etc) to make .rx2 files, I’d be perfectly happy. The new OctaRex looks great. I just think relying on Recycle — old or new — is a goofy way to do such a cool thing.

  9. Have to agree with Brian here, the whole problem with rex is that PH hasn’t let other companies offer it as an export format. I think they are losing out there. And why have it as a seperate app, it would be so much more useful if it was inside Reason, if it was part of the OctoRex functionality. Anyways I still like Reason for certain things, been using it since v2, I’ll be upgrading for sure.

    1. It doesn’t “need” to be, but it should be. My post states that. It does what it is supposed to do.
      But Recycle is archaic in terms of software and it doesn’t do its job nearly as well as, say, Live does. I don’t use Reason nearly as much as I once did, and I’ve not upgraded in years. Why? Because the tool I like the most in Reason, Dr. Rex, is so ass-backwards. It’s bizarre that one can’t just move sliders around in Rex to change beats and slices and save Rex files. Bizarre.

      In the end, I like to chop up audio into slices and beats. So, looking at the tools I have to do that, am I going to choose Reason, which requires me to buy and use a second piece of software that is written for a non-existent processor and feels like the 1990s? Or am I gonna choose Ableton and its fantastic warps and built-in drum racks and far better transition recognition?

  10. I managed to use an old version of Recycle on my intel mac no problem, and then also to import them into Dr. Octo Rex to use. I have Reason 6 (which I absolutely love, by the way) My question is whether anyone knows how to import 8 .rx2 files into Dr. Octo Rex? I only seem to do one at a time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *