Recently I bought a Behringer X-Touch to use with Propellerheads Reason (10).

I have downloaded the awesome Jäexx  mapping / codec to make it work (better) with Reason. http://www.Jaexx.com/blog/reason-custom-behringer-x-touch-remote-map-layout/

As I am on a Windows machine, my experiences will be based on that system.
I made a short video to show how I’m using the X-Touch with Reason.
It is rather quiet (on purpose) so you can hear how the noises from the X-Touch are sounding!

It was a little hassle to update the X-Touch, but maybe I will make a separate video about that in the future.
I did also write a walkthrough about installing the Jäexx codec here : http://www.tricks-and-tips.nl/music-production/installing-the-behringer-x-touch-in-propellerheads-reason

Connecting the X Touch to Reason

I found out (the hard way) it is best to completely re install Reason if you have any mappings to other hardware controllers.
Otherwise the existing mappings might interfere with your X-Touch. (at least the Jäexx mapping) and stuff won’t work as he planned.
If you don’t re install Reason, at least delete the X-touch (if it is already added in Reason)

Installing the custom mapping

I first downloaded the files from Jäexx.
Next I went to the Reason folder where these files are located (C:\ProgramData\Propellerhead Software\Remote)
I made a copy of the original files and put the new ones in the same folders.
I started Reason to add a control surface.

Next I added a Mackie control manually via the Control Surfaces under Preferences.

I named it ‘X Touch’ (but any name will do).

You probably want to lock the surface to the Master Section, so you have to do that under Options.
(It might be a good idea to save this as your default song, so you don’t have to do this every time)

After this, Reason should work with the X-Touch and the buttons should be mapped as shown. (Image from Jäexx)

Jäexx did a great job showing the mappings on top of the X-Touch!

General opinion about the X-Touch so far

The X Touch sitting on my desk

Overall I’m happy with the X-Touch. It really makes mixing more natural and quicker compared to using a mouse and being able to solo or mute a channel is really fast and easy.

The X-Touch is especially handy with a large amount of tracks you have mix

The device feels like it is well built, except for the jog wheel. I do use that wheel, but it feels a bit plastic.

The jog dial feels a bit plastic

Jäexx did a great job mapping a lot of the buttons and it will take me some time to get accustomed to using them. Right now I’m mainly using the faders and solo / mute + the jog dial, but this might expand in the future.

The scribble script displays are super handy so you know where you are

You can make other track changes with the X-Touch like eq, inserts, pans etc. etc. but so far I have not really used it. The mouse + a big screen is still more easy for me at the moment.
I will add my experiences if this opinion changes.

Some minor things about the X-Touch

  • The faders sometimes have a bit of resistance. It seems like this is caused by me not properly touching it with skin. (just with a nail) so the channel is not selected and the fader tries work to stay in the same place. Not a big deal for me, just remember to touch the fader properly.
  • With slow (automated) changes the faders moves are not very smooth. (see video above), also no big deal for me.
  • The scribble script displays are hard to read if you have the X-Touch flat on the desk. (simple solution is to elevate the back of the X-Touch)
Notice that I elevated the back of the X-Touch to make the displays more readable.

And one thing I did not realize : If you want to automate your volume changes, you have to create a sequencer track for the tracks you want to automate (ALT + click on the fader in the mixer window) AND you have to make sure they are armed in the sequencer (record automation button).
This is not the X-Touch his fault, but it is how Reason records automation.
I’m not sure yet if this is the most easy way, so if I find a better way, I will share that too!

Make sure your tracks are available and ready to record automation

There is (to my best knowledge) no good alternative for controlling the SSL mixer in Reason than with this kind of controller.
The motorized faders are super important because you don’t want to start at the wrong (other than the current) value when making volume changes.
I did try the BCR2000, which also works. BUT the faders feel much more natural!
Getting it set up is a bit of a hassle, but once you have. It really rocks!
I feel like the X-Touch is well worth the money for me and if you have any questions, let me know!

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