Propellerhead Forum

Propellerhead Forum (
-   Feature Suggestion Forum (
-   -   Look-behind presustain/predecay (hear pads when you start from the middle of a note) (

fieldframe 2011-11-17 03:22

Look-behind presustain/predecay (hear pads when you start from the middle of a note)
This is one of those crazy ideas I'm sure other people have had before but never quite put into words (I'm one of those people). I think when it first occurred to me, there was obviously no way it could work, because I was using hardware at the time. With Reason, though...

The idea here is a look-behind sequencer playhead. Wherever you are in the sequencer, it looks behind before you start playing, and checks with each sound generator to see if any voices would still be playing at that point in the sequence (a note's amp envelope is calculated as long enough to spill into the start time). If it finds any, it renders that voice starting at the offset of however far back its note is.

The benefits are obvious: You get audio-like playback from MIDI, anywhere in the sequencer. Ambient producers probably stand to reap the biggest benefit, but anything from a long dubstep wobble bass note to an IDM arp chord would always sound right without having to make sure you start playing before the sequencer note.

Of course, this would have to be a switch (probably in the transport panel). The drawback would be lag before you start playing, maybe a couple hundred ms, maybe a few seconds. But it would be great tool to make composing and producing a little more seamless!

fieldframe 2011-11-18 19:23

So... Did I explain this right? :D

I'm probably concentrating too much on the technical side of it. In practice, it just means this:

1. You have a four-bar song.
2. You have one four-bar chord at the beginning.
3. You want to add a lead melody halfway through, so to hear the backing chord, you currently have to back up and play the song from the beginning, so that the chord plays, then wait for the first two bars to finish before you play your lead.
4. With look-behind, you could just start at bar 2. When you hit play/record, you hear that backing chord, sounding just as if it had been played two bars ago.

Exowildebeest 2011-11-18 20:40

In the days Reason didn't have audio tracks, this was really annoying for me. I loaded very long samples/loops in the NN19 and ran into this problem back then.

Nowadays, I don't really care. I agree it would be cool, but it would probably be a massive technical challenge and might use a lot of CPU. I'd rather have other new features added.

stratatonic 2011-11-18 22:15

I'm not sure how difficult it is to implement, but it's been done with the newest version of Reaper.

In the meantime, you can just bounce the track (long one midi note section) to audio.

fieldframe 2011-11-19 00:49

Ah, really, it's in Reaper right now? Very interesting. I'm guessing it probably doesn't work with VSTs, so is it restricted to the built-in instruments?

markbt 2011-11-19 02:40

Most other sequencers have this option now (and they work with vst's) but the limitation is that that it just simply triggers the instrument to play the sound from the start. It's still useful if you are writing a melody over longer playing chords and keep stopping and starting the playback. But for longer evolving sounds its better to render to an audio track.

fieldframe 2011-11-21 19:53

That makes sense; that would be vastly easier to program. It's not really a look-behind, though; it's just checking to see if a note's sustain intersects with the current playhead time, right?

A true look-behind would fit in with Reason's emphasis on minimizing the need to render things to audio, though. It would definitely be a workflow improvement.

decco 2011-11-22 03:44

this is called CHASE EVENTS in EVERY OTHER DAW out there.
I have been begging for this since version 1
Sadly the props just ignore this.

djangotsp 2011-11-23 03:05

Pro Tools and Reaper do this, kinda, and it's a wonderful feature. They just trigger all the MIDI notes under the playhead whether they started earlier or not, so it won't resume mid-sustain or anything (which it sounds like you're suggesting), but it's still more helpful than not playing the notes at all.

Yes please!

Edit: whoops, forgot how this forum works and only saw the top thread. I'm sure they'll do it eventually. It's been amazing seeing my wishlist get smaller and smaller since v2.

fieldframe 2011-11-23 04:38

It makes sense that other DAWs can just trigger notes that are under the playhead, but Reason is in a unique position here in that the sequencer is part of the same app that contains all the sound generators and processors. If there's any app that could actually do "chase events" with full envelope compensation, it's Reason!

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 03:01.