Reason on Windows with Touchscreen
So I've got a Surface Pro, and i just installed my old copy of Reason 4 on it.
It runs absolutely fine, but trying to use it _just_ with the Touchscreen brings up a few challenges:
- its hard to slide sliders or turn knobs with my finger for some reason, its like I have to tap first and then slide (it works much better with the wacom pen, I can just slide and it reacts)
- theres no easy way to flip the rack round - because there's no tab key. There is a menu option but its two clicks
- there's no easy way to 'undo' because CTRL-Z is not so easy to do
So my question is - if I upgrade to the latest (Reason 7?) will it have better touchscreen support?
It's OK, I'll wait...
OK, now that you have upgraded:
I have a touch screen as well as a tablet PC with a stylus. Overall I give Reason a C minus when it comes to touchscreen-ability. That may seem like a low score but most programs don't even get a passing grade (don't even get me started on Native Instruments software). In order to get onto my A or B list the program must natively support actual touchscreen features. Reason does not. You are stuck pretending to use a mouse and the experience is... well, its 'OK'.
You are correct about all of the things that don't work so well like undo, switching screens, flipping the rack. Propellerheads have simply not thought through workflow as much as we users need them too and it really is reflected when you take away the keyboard and mouse. They have been busy adding RE's and other cool features but they leave us in the ditch when it comes to little niceties. Sorry if that sounds harsh. They could fix it in version 7.5 by December if they just applied themselves to thinking like a user.
The main thing I find to be an OK experience is sitting in front of my midi keyboard with the touchscreen directly behind it and browsing/tweaking patches and doing lightweight mixing. Depending on your screen resolution the buttons, knobs and sliders may be impossibly small or you may just get used to hitting them most of the time. In particular you should try "long'clicking' a control to get the 'Edit Remote Override Mapping...' menu to come up. Now move a slider on you controller keyboard and take control. That is fun!
One of the biggest complaints I have about Reason 7 and a feature I request over and over is big buttons in the transport bar ON EACH SCREEN to switch to Rack, Mixer and Sequencer views. Adding a 'Flip Rack' button would make sense too. If Reason had this I would upgrade the touch screen grade to a B minus without batting an eye. If they really wanted to improve their score they would give you an option in Preferences to tell Reason that you are using a touchscreen and allow you to define a number of pixels to create as a perimeter around all buttons, knobs and sliders so touching close to the control was good enough. Currently you have to nail it and with a fine screen resolution it can be maddening to try to click one of those tiny square buttons. And if they wanted to get on the 'A' list they would re engineer their controls so they fully supported native touch screen API features so you could do stuff like twisting knobs with actual multitouch gestures.
Some people around here make noise about wanting Propellerheads to make Reason available for iPad. I have been pretty vocal about this NOT being a priority for me. But if it meant that they actually addressed the notion of touchscreen from the ground up I could easily get on board so long as those features were ported to the Windows version.
Anyway, upgrade to Reason 7 NOW. Just do it. And try out the touchscreen. I predict you'll use it sometimes and other times you wont want to bother... but you'll still enjoy yourself.
I agree, you should try 7... can't you at least do a DEMO download of it to try?
Also, contact Propellerhead support... they would be able to address that question directly.
Thanks braveness23, a very comprehensive reply!
Glad I could help. It is a subject that is near and dear to me and a place where some tiny improvements in Reason could really make it shine above the DAW if the Props just contemplated it and spend even as little as a few hours making it a priority.
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