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Drulian 2012-08-17 14:28

Video Rack Extension?
I do a lot of music to video. I have to do this 3-way dance between Reason, Garageband and Final Cut Express. The other way of doing it is through Logic instead of Garageband... which doesn't reduce the CPU overhead of STILL requiring another RAM-hogging app open to sync video to Reason thru ReWire.

Does anyone know a developer that has the cajones to develop a RE that can take on a video and sync ReWire to SMPTE? I figure it would work like this:

1) The RE is loaded in Reason.
2) The RE allows you to import a video in some popular format through drag n' drop or Import dialog.
3) The RE would process the import, analysing the video's frames per second and/or making an optimised, low-res version of it for in-app playback.
4) As the position in the timeline changes, so the relevant video frame is displayed in the RE.

Possible 'features':

Lock SMPTE 00:00:00:00 to any Reason time position.
Track/Don't Track Tempo.
Display Time Code/Song Position/Frame number.
Back of the RE has Audio Out and Time Code Audio Out with CV and Gate inputs for audio.

Mate 2012-08-17 14:40

I don't think that we'll see this kind of RE in the nearest future coz we don't have even a simple frequency analyzer yet!

Drulian 2012-08-18 01:33

It's a specialist RE, I know :)

But all it takes is a view from one person who knows a little about video sync and this could start a conversation about it.

Frequency analysers are already around – many are free. But frequency analysers and this video RE implementation suggestion share the same problem: they go in the rack. It's the worst place for them. If you have say 5 devices in a Combinator, and you're using a frequency analyser to monitor the effects of your tweaks, you're forever scrolling up and down in the rack.

Visual analysis tools need to be either in a floating window (like many of the Function Key tools) or in that blank spot at the top right of the mixer, or in a partition in the left of the mixer space that has no channels. That way you can split between Mixer/Rack and keep the visual tool up top while you tweak all over the rack.

omshanti20 2012-08-18 01:46


Drulian 2012-08-18 16:36

It's not like we need to edit video in Reason either.

In the video industry, music is the last thing to be added to the mix. So the video's already cut. All we need as composers is a small, lo-fi version of that cut, say:

360 x 180 px (16:9), or
360 x 288 px (SD PAL), or
360 x 240 px (SD NTSC).

Up to 30 fps. Ideally with at least 44k1 16-bit sound that would come into Reason as a separate audio track. These sorts of specs aren't that taxing on CPU performance.

The biggest hurdle will be getting the movie in the correct codec format for Reason, whatever that will be. Fortunately the MP4 container and the H.264 codec are both popular and royalty free. Also, there are several freeware apps that will import all kinds of video formats and export out to MP4/H.264. So programmers don't have to deal with keeping different formats up-to-date. The onus is on the Reason operator to get the file in the right format before use, just as they have to when importing audio files.

Jagwah 2012-08-19 04:14


Couldn't imagine much better right now than being able to sync video right inside Reason.

Drulian 2012-08-19 07:08

I wonder if I should start putting together a pre-viz of what a video RE might look like... as well as a floating window version :D

Seriously: video playing technology is ubiquitous and in many cases, free. I'm not saying that people are allowed to pinch free apps (in fact many free apps aren't allowed to go commercial, under the GU public license) and adapt them for commercial purposes, but that doesn't prohibit people developing commercial players. The research and practicality studies have been done. You just can't steal code. Which is pretty fair :)

Prices in media production apps have collapsed. An app like Reason 6.5 would've cost thousands just 8 years ago. Likewise, software like MPEG Streamclip (a robust standby for cutting and converting movies to a huge variety of formats, highly recommended, ) was black magic only the studios had.

The key here is sync. ReWire isn't time code, but both ReWire and SMPTE Time Code technologies (and MIDI) use a clock. Hell, if Garageband, an audio-only DAW, can do both ReWire and Time Code, I don't see why Reason can't.

illCarl 2012-08-21 14:13

I want CV in! :D

OMOMs 2012-08-21 15:36

I believe I've heard that the present SDK doesn't allow for the programming of floats or even that kind of graphic display.

kgbrolic 2012-08-22 13:59

Have you looked at Resync? Not sure if it does what you need as it only loads Quicktime videos but...

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