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Running Reason Rack Extensions on the web

Posted May 20, 2019, 9:27 a.m.

Here at Propellerhead we are not just passionate about music-making, but also technology in itself. When we originally designed our Rack Extension architecture, we sought to build a plugin system that would decrease the need for maintenance of released software and instead enable companies to focus on better things, like adding features or building new cool products.

I remember literally being in an elevator pitching this technology to a potential Rack Extension developer, saying that if you build a plugin this way, it could potentially run in a web browser in the future without you having to do anything extra. Needless to say, he did not believe me. I admit it, it sounded crazy to outsiders at the time as this was 2012 and web standards and browsers were far from where they are today. But even then we knew there was a big overlap in philosophies between the web and what we were trying to achieve. 

Fast forward to today, and the web has caught up. Naturally, as the tech lovers we are, we couldn’t resist trying to prove we were right in our original assumptions.

Last week I talked at Google I/O, the big Google developer conference in Mountain View, about this. Watch the video above (jump to 33:50) to if you want to see Rack Extensions on the web in action.

One direct example of this technology in use is you being able to run the full Europa synth from our webpage by clicking the “Try it now in your browser” link. Not only can you try Europa before you buy, but if you are bored, you can do sound design from anywhere without having Reason installed and save the patches for later use. Technology at your service :-)
 

Magnus Berger
CTO