My dream Music Production application... done by Propellerhead Software :]
Now that Record will help Reason make the jump I was waiting for some time (and now that I finally got enough cash) I finally decided to buy it :)
Bought it yesterday, let's see if it arrives this week, in time for my birthday :D
So even though Record 1.0 + Reason 4.0 starts to look like the perfect environment for me, it's still not "perfect" ;) ...that's why I started this thread, so I'll add those features I wished someday to see in Record+Reason.
Assuming no 3rd product arrives to deal with VST's and MIDI-OUT, like Record did it for Audio Recording "with Reason", these are the things I would love to see in either of the existing products:
in Reason 5.0: A Combinator-like truly modular Synth, with all basic "building blocks" snappable in horizontal rows of a vertically expandable internal rack.
Exactly like a combinator, but capable of using smaller multiple Thor-like modules in free form, all kept together automatically (but swappable and possible to rearrange) both horizontally and vertically, like in a traditional modular hardware synth, but with all the cable patching at the back.
(example of vertical racks with horizontal rows of modules or vertical strips of modules)
If possible, it would also accept any other Reason device, besides the ones only possible to use inside it.
A perfect example of such a free form modular synth would be KarmaFX VST, but all modules would snap together like mentioned above, and every CV and Audio routing would be done at the back, as usual in Reason.
PSOFT's VOID is also a good example of modules snapping together like their hardware counterparts, although I would hope that all the wiring could stay at the back, in a Reason-like way:
(VOID mentioned by eXode as an example of Modular Synth)
BTW, VOID's modules could also be a good inspiration on top of KarmaFX ones, especially the Pitch Shifter and Dynamic Pitch Shifter, the Scope, the various OSC's and a Beat Detector that could set the global tempo would be nice.
AAS's Tassman is also a good inspiration for the available modules. If it only had KarmaFX's OSC's and the GUI supported drag'n'drop in Player mode with rack flipping for module wiring at the back... it would be a very good alternative to what I'm asking for Reason.
Now, I see 2 possible scenarios to expose the controlling parameters (knobs, buttons).
1) A rigid, fixed solution, like Combinator, but with at least 4 to 8 sets or "pages" of 6 to 8 knobs, because knobs can emulate 2 state buttons but not the opposite. The "pages" of knobs would serve as a controlled way of breaking a small limit of available knobs. (Combinator could benefit from such a solution, btw). So a "page selection" button pair would be available to select the active "page" of 8 knobs.
This solution would keep the Remote implementation to control such device, simple: 8 knobs + Next/Previous/Absolute/Delta active page.
2) A completely free form solution of Controls (CV generators) exactly like the rest of the internal rack, maybe keeping 2 racks available, 1 closeable (to hide all the complexity of the device body) and one always open/shown, a bit like what I already suggested for a Combinator II
Besides Audio IN/OUTs, it should also care for CV IN/OUTs, also with the possible scenarios described above.
If possible, this modular device could be inserted inside normal Combinators, if at all needed, because right now, it's a mess to "Combine" Combinator-made devices.
So, WHY would anyone need yet another modular synth inside Reason ?
Thor has some limitations when one wants to source it with external sound generation, like the way its possible to overcome the lack of sample-player, wave-designer or granular OSC. This is already possible through the 4 INs and the Programmer matrix, but there's a problem with the polyphonic Envelope Generation.
Also, the available EG's in Thor are not enough for some sound generation, for example, complex FM patchs, 4 EG's are not enough, and although it's possible to add 4 more external EG's through the 4 CV INs, it still suffers from the same polyphonic control problem. It's a great solution for monophonic sounds, though.
Such a versatile truly modular device would help to overcome the VST problem (not 100% but close), because with such a device, one could truly emulate (besides creating, of course) lots of Instruments and Effects already available in VST/AU/... format.
Sure, some patches would become CPU hogs but hey, that's a problem already people have to deal with Reason "limitlessly" expandable Combinator or even Rack.
This device would open the way for 3rd party ReFills with emulations of known VST FX and VSTi's, if the available building blocks were well thought out (like I think the ones in KarmaFX are).
This would also be a good opportunity to introduce a powerful CV processing unit/module with conditional logic and math possibilities.
in Record 2.0: Melodyne-like presentation of audio-tracks, with the expected time-stretch and pitch-shifting capabilities.
Sure, polyphonic DirectNoteAccess-like features would be a dream come true, but at least, monophonic would help a lot and keep things within what's possible to do today.
Of course, if pitch analysis is an integral part of this, Audio-to-MIDI would be a natural thing, making it possible for MIDI extraction out of audio tracks.
in Record 2.0: MIDI-OUT :)
People like Record/Reason sequencer (I do). It would be great to use it to control hardware devices along side Record/Reason devices.
This would also allow control of VSTi's through virtual MIDI routing inside the PC.
Not a perfect solution, but a possible one.
in Record 2.0: If by any chance, VST support becomes a reality, I hope it'll come in the form of a wrapper Combinator-like device, with all the VST parameters at the back as CV INs, Audio OUTs and in the case of the Effects, Audio INs and the usual MIDI output as PolyCV OUT (like RPG-8 when Off).
Like the Combinator, it would be expected to have controls assignable to the VST parameters. (if interested, please read the multi-paged knobs sugestion, already posted above)
The VST GUI, if at all technically possible, should appear inside this device, like a touch-screen. Centered if smaller than the available width of the device, or with horizontal scroll-bars. So, "opening" this device would translate in expanding it, showing a virtual touch-screen with the VST GUI inside :)
If wanted/needed, because of the size of the VST GUI, one could pop-it out to an external window.
In Record 2.0: ReCycle being detected as installed, it would allow to "recycle" audio clips/tracks in an expanded view of the selected audio track (like MIDI edit mode of a MIDI track).
Any "recycled" audio clip would then be available for options like "Export selection as REX file", "Copy selection as REX" to paste it in a existing Dr.REX device, or "Make selection a Dr.REX device" to automatically create a Dr.REX device already with the selected audio clip loaded.
This would make the music production framework even more integrated, avoiding the need for audio export to the file system, loading ReCycle, doing the recycling work, then saving, then loading the REX in a Dr.REX device.
Those without ReCycle, would be limited to use the other feature request :)
Yes, that was the idea. If that's the path PropSW chose, one might as well try to suggest more things that would fit that way of doing things (although in case of the Record+Reason, they're simply using the Reason installation as a device library)
in Reason 5.0: NN-XT would support the SFZ Sound Library file format.
in Reason 5.0: All sample-playing devices (NN-XT, NN-19, ReDrum and Dr.REX) or at least NN-XT would support options for fixed-time pitch-shifting as well as fixed-pitch time-stretching.
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