How to Recover a Reason Project File

By Pat Smith

Reason is a digital audio workstation.
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Not being able to find the file you're looking for can be very frustrating, especially if you accidentally deleted it. Reason project files contain all the MIDI information and audio data from your music project. Computer stores often offer data recovery, but it can cost hundreds of dollars. Thankfully, there are open-source programs that help you recover your data for free. Once you've recovered your data, remember to back up your files the next time.

Open Reason on your computer by double-clicking on the icon for the program. Click on "File," "Open" on the top bar. A box will pop up for you to search for files. Look in the folder where you saved the project file previously. If it was an unsaved project because of a software or hardware crash, there should be a filed named "Untitled (recovered)" in your main Reason folder. A project file also saves multiple audio files simultaneously, so see whether the folder contains any audio or other files. If so, this is a good sign, because you'll only have to recover the project file.

Look in your computer's trash bin. There should be a trashcan icon either on your desktop or on your menu bar. Double-click to open the bin. Look through it for your Reason project files and any audio files you think may have been deleted. If the files are there, right-click on them and click "Remove From Trash." They will be returned to their original folder. To be on the safe side, remove from the trash any audio files you think may be related to your project, even if you're not sure. You can always delete them again later.

Download a file recovery program if the files were not in the trash. See Resources for a link to a completely free program for file recovery. When you've downloaded the program, double-click the icon and follow the instructions to install it.

Open the file recovery program by double-clicking on the icon in the folder where you installed it. Click on "File," then "Recover File." A box will pop up with various options. If the file was not in the trash, click "Recover Lost File." You will then need to type in the name of the file. If you don't remember it exactly, just type in the Reason project file extension, .rsn. Click "OK." The program will then search your hard drive for the file or remnants of the file. This could take up to an hour if it's a large file.

Open the file or files recovered by the program in Reason. If the program only recovered part of the file, you may still be able to work with the audio files in it. Save it under a new name to avoid any confusion.