Reason Compact puts a free music synthesizer on your phone

You won't build full masterpieces, but it won't cost anything to try.

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While Propellerhead's Reason is a staple editing tool among many musicians, you've never really had access to it on the phone -- just narrowly-focused apps. The company is giving you something a little more powerful this time around, though. It's launching a Reason Compact app for iOS that promises music creation on the move. This isn't the whole of Reason smushed into your iPhone or iPad, unfortunately, but you do get the software's "flagship" Europa synth, a smart keyboard that makes composition mobile-friendly and a note grid to fine-tune your performance.

The company isn't so optimistic as to assume that you'll create club bangers entirely on your phone. This is a "slice" of Reason, it said. Instead, you're encouraged to work on rough projects and send them to Reason 10 or Europa VST for some proper polish. It also offers support for Ableton Link, Inter-app Audio and Allihoopa if you're eager to team up with other music makers.

Even if you're not a fan of the stripped-down feature set, you probably won't complain about the price -- it's free. Unlike many synth apps, you won't have to pay $20 or more just to experiment. Propellerhead clearly sees this as a gateway app that might either get you to splurge on Reason for the desktop or stick with it if you've been considering alternatives.

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