Propellerhead is a Swedish company founded in 1994 by three people. The first product they released was called ReCycle, which allowed users to change the tempo of a loop without affecting the pitch. In the years following that, they released several products which were marketed to be used together with Cubase. But in the year 2000 they released their own DAW called Reason, which had many pro’s when compared to the competition. In 2009 they released Record, which has won several awards. So most people would agree that they make quality software, but can the same be said about their shot at hardware?
In comes the Balance, equipped with a crazy amount of inputs and outputs. With the standard outputs for headphones and speakers, two mic inputs, two guitar inputs and two keyboard inputs (I think that should do it). Both volumes are adjustable by the two big knobs on the bottom of the device, and turning them feels very smooth.
If there are any devices connected, the ones that are currently active are indicated by a small light. The knobs to the left decide the volume and feel sturdy and lock in place. Even better is that everything can be recorded with a 96kHz sound quality.
In terms of looks, it’s definitely not an ugly duckling. The black finish feels almost like rubber and is soothingly soft to the touch. In my opinion the angle of the device makes it look good on any desk and a quick glance at the device provides an overview of everything you need to know. When all the inputs and outputs are taken, it can be a bit of a cable clutter at the back, but I guess that’s unavoidable in any studio.
Good news and bad news for everyone who has become interested in Propellerheads after this review. It seemed that they thought that hardware was out of their league and is therefore offering major discounts off bundles with Reason Essentials. Mine even came with a free upgrade to Reason 7 and free Rack Extensions, so I advice you to look around for the best possible deal!
– High quality sampling up to 96kHZ
– Many different inputs and outputs
– Good design
– They don’t make them anymore