Propellerhead Forum

Propellerhead Forum (https://www.propellerheads.se/forum/index.php)
-   General Forum (read only) (https://www.propellerheads.se/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=3)
-   -   RFC: Sweet's Usability Wishlist - comments plz (long) (https://www.propellerheads.se/forum/showthread.php?t=55196)

supersweeet 2002-11-11 02:43

RFC: Sweet's Usability Wishlist - comments plz (long)
 
Hi all

I'm seeking comments on my proposed enhancements for Reason version x.x. I will submit this through their official feature request email after taking into account comments. Pretty much all of these are usability enhancements. Some are easy, some aren't. The major requests are the effects and instrument boxes. In theory these are "just" a front end to existing devices. (No doubt in practice they will be harder to implement. :)

Peace - and happy Remembrance Day

Sweet -
supersweet


General:

Device and Track names
Space for longer names for every damn thing in the program. More characters don't need to be displayed (that is, to see the whole name, the user could be required to click on the text, with default display limited to 20 characters). The current arbitrary (and extremely short) length of device and track names is unduly limiting. Names can be used as a place to store notes about how the device is intended to be used or a shortlist of patches that are being auditioned. This is also a collaborative tool (see below).

Notes memo for every device.
Like to have the ability to add text to every device in the rack/each track in the sequencer to describe a little bit about it and what it's intended for. Notes would be available through clicking a button. This is also a collaborative tool (see below).

The death of refills.
They're a white elephant which reduces useability. Please get rid of them, or create a refill extractor so no one has to work with refills ever again (viva la revolution!).


Sequencer:

Ability to name groups.
Non destructive stacking of groups. Two groups should remain as separate groups when overlapped.
Ability to name tracks with meaningful names (the 20 odd characters at the moment is too short).


Device rack:

"Effects boxes":
These would be a rack unit the height of an effects device, but taking the full width of the rack. It would have ?4? mono ins and ?4? mono outs (ie 2 stereo pairs) and 4 CV ins + 4 CV outs. A user would be able to drop any number of effects devices into the box and hook up the box in/out jacks to those of the devices in the box without the box taking up any more room on the rack. (The user would have the option to explode the box to show all effects devices in the rack). The box would have a bypass/on/off switch that is applied to all effects in the box and ?4-6? controller knobs, each of which could be assigned to one controller of one of the effects in the box (another solution would be to be able to add controller knobs at the user's option). Each effect should remain individually tweakable. Effects boxes (or patches for them) should be able to be saved separately. The effects box would serve a number of purposes: (a) saves space on the rack; (b) allows a series of effects to be A/B ed easily; (c) allows favourite series of effects to be loaded instantly rather than being re-wired each time/cut and paste from another song; (d) allows people to trade their favourite effects (and is therefore a collaborative tool); (e) allows de facto effects presets. Effects boxes would permit box nesting - ie an effects box could be put inside another effects box. Don't know about this bit: ?Devices inside a box would only be able to be wired to other devices in the box/to the boxes in/out ports?


Instrument boxes:
These would be similar to the effects boxes, except that they would allow a collection of instruments and effects to be packaged together into a single box, full width, half height. The instrument box would have 4 mono outs and ?4? controllers on the front panel (or controller boxes could be wired into/dockable with the instrument box). Each of the controllers could be mapped to a separate controller on any of the devices inside the box. As with the effects box, the instrument box could be exploded. For example, if a subtractor bass patch sounds great when EQed in a certain way, with some reverb and separate delays on each channel, then you should be able to put that whole set up into a single box and save it for future work/ distribute it (this would function as a collaborative tool). As with the effects box, this would also save space on the rack.

Presets for each effects device:
Ability to capture the state of each effects device and save it as part of that device. Presets would be available via a drop down menu. Presets would be more useful for the effects and instrument boxes.

New effects devices: Audio + CV + LFO Splitters.
These would be boxes with 2 mono ins + a CV input [+ LFO input?] and which would split that signal into 8 mono outs (stereo pairs) + 8 CV outs [+ 4 LFO outs]. May have controls at front of box eg amp? cutoff? quantize?

New Effects Device: Controller box
This would be exactly like a hardware controller box, with x knobs - either make the number of knobs user assignable, or do it in modules of 4/6/8 knobs. Each knob can be routed to any controller on any device on the rack. Like audio wiring, but for controller (ie midi) information.

New Effects Device: Controller splitter
A separate splitter device could be created for the new controller box effect with 4 sets of: one controller in 2 controllers out (or 2 sets of one in 4 out).

EQ Device to have a bias knob
This would allow the user to turn the baseline for all frequencies up or down. This way, the sweet frequencies for a sound can be found, peaked, then baised so that the peaks are at +0db and all other frequencies are (eg) at -18db. This would preserve the relative effect on the frequencies, but make it easier to avoid distorting the enhanced frequencies.

Back of rack: Better wiring view
There should be an option to show only wires to+from selected device (other wires heavily ghosted or absent).

Sampler (XT and 19) - better automap
The sampler can be used for sound effects or vocals rather than for an "instrument". When so doing what is important is to map a collection of samples to a set number of keys and have the root note placed at the middle (or one end) of that range. The actual root note of the sample is irrelevant to this mapping. There should be a mapping option which maps a given number of samples across a given range of keys, with an even spread of keys per sample, and the root note automatically assigned to the middle of the range of keys.


Collaborative tools:

Reason's growth will be multiplied by facilitating the exchange of information between its users. At the moment that exchange is facilitiated on a refill, song and patch level. However, there are improvements to be made in each, and the addition of effects and instrument boxes will allow better exchange between users of useful devices which don't fall into any of these levels (ie collections of devices).

Ability to save creation details and some notes for each patch within the patch. If a patch has a couple of sweet spots that users might like to try, it should be possible to tell them about it in the patch (eg "try osc 2 at +5 semitones"). If a patch has a history, then multiple contributors and notes should be permitted.

In addition, effects and instrument boxes, presets, notes and longer names for everything are also collaborative tools, especially if instrument and effects boxes can be saved separately with presets included in the file.
Super Sweet - Supremely Usable, Completely Sweet

philmeans 2002-11-11 03:21

Re: RFC: Sweet's Usability Wishlist - comments plz (long)
 
I can't disagree with anything you said - it's just a matter of how much the changes would cost. Personally I would gladly pay an extra $100 to have a MIDI out so I could get rid of my stoopid hardware sequencer.
MIDI OUT!

disruptor 2002-11-11 04:09

Re: RFC: Sweet's Usability Wishlist - comments plz (long)
 
All in all a very decent and well-contained wishlist.

Though, I have to disagree with the Refill thing. Yes, it does get frustrating at times, but It is very useful, specially due to its compression method.

To this list I would like to add more aesthetic things:

1) Ability to creat folders in sequencer. And in these folders place stuff in its respective groups. e.g. A folder Called drums, and within say for example, there is a Redrum and a Dr. Rex (with a drumloop); and so on.

2) A suggestion that blank pointed up earlier: Little pics next to the name of device in menu.

3) More Dynamic control over Redrum. Thus skipping the old timestretching work on Soundforge.

4) And last but not least, the Lucky 20 list that fred (blank) gave to the Props, from survey of us users (not all, just Beta testers of Re2).

thx.

chiisu 2002-11-11 05:01

Re: RFC: Sweet's Usability Wishlist - comments plz (long)
 
i agree with alot of what you suggested. however i really like the refill format. i only have a few refills, but all of them have given me quality presets and samples, esp. for the redrum module. i think it's a good thing. MIDI out would be nice, but that's not the purpose of Reason.

= chiisu

dalcun 2002-11-11 13:51

Re: RFC: Sweet's Usability Wishlist - comments plz (long)
 
:i agree with alot of what you suggested. however i really like the refill format. i only have a few refills, but all of them have given me quality presets and samples, esp. for the redrum module.

But you can still have those presets without having to use refills.

arothman 2002-11-11 18:42

Re: RFC: Sweet's Usability Wishlist - comments plz (long)
 
http://www.arothman.com/mp3banners/lunchbanner.gif
Some excellent ideas.

I don't think ReFills should go away... rather there should be better tools available for locating sounds within them. Perhaps a 'search all ReFills for sound X' type of thing?

Also, time signature and tempo control in the sequencer is a must.

Drew
Free Lunch - Wednesdays @ 1 & Thursdays @ 9 pm EST

supersweeet 2002-11-11 23:22

Ok I'll lay off refills (a bit), what about the rest? :) nt
 

bgold 2002-11-11 23:34

Re: RFC: Sweet's Usability Wishlist - comments plz (long)
 
:"Effects boxes":
:Instrument boxes:

Yes! I've been thinking about this too. It would be very nice to have a logical unit for groups of rack devices rather than have to deal with individual units or a whole rns file. As it stands currently, if I have a favorite way of wiring up several mixers and a bunch of reverbs, for instance, I have to keep that in a separate file and copy/paste... this works but seems awkward. Rack devices should be able to be 'grouped' and saved as a group (preserving all internal connections), and possibly even have the option of designating a pair of audio in/out as the defaults for autowiring. Having the group take up less space on the rack is icing, IMO. That said, some more ways of spacing devices could be conceptually useful... maybe more rack 'columns'?

:Presets for each effects device:
:Ability to capture the state of each effects device and save it as part of that device. Presets would be available via a drop down menu. Presets would be more useful for the effects and instrument boxes.

This I think can be absorbed into the 'device group' idea. If you can save a group of devices, their settings should be saved (and you can always have a group of one device).

:New effects devices: Audio + CV + LFO Splitters.
:These would be boxes with 2 mono ins + a CV input [+ LFO input?] and which would split that signal into 8 mono outs (stereo pairs) + 8 CV outs [+ 4 LFO outs]. May have controls at front of box eg amp? cutoff? quantize?

I'd love to see this, and I'd also like to see something like a CV 'mixer', so you could (for example) use two LFOs together to control a filter. There are ways to simulate this already, but it's awkward. I also dream of an Audio - CV converter, so you could use an arbitrary audio signal to modulate all sorts of things, but this may be impossible (I doubt Reason can handle all its knobs being twiddled 20,000 times per second).

:EQ Device to have a bias knob
:This would allow the user to turn the baseline for all frequencies up or down. This way, the sweet frequencies for a sound can be found, peaked, then baised so that the peaks are at +0db and all other frequencies are (eg) at -18db. This would preserve the relative effect on the frequencies, but make it easier to avoid distorting the enhanced frequencies.

One could argue that this is what mixer channel level sliders are for, but I still like this idea.

:Back of rack: Better wiring view
:There should be an option to show only wires to+from selected device (other wires heavily ghosted or absent).

Brilliant! I can't believe I hadn't thought of it.

An idea of my own is since you can have multiple sequencer tracks for a single device, why not control multiple devices from a single sequencer track? Sure, you can just copy/paste, but...

And I agree with the general comments about collaborative tools. I think the most important thing on this list the device grouping concept.


- bgold

supersweeet 2002-11-12 00:41

Re: RFC: Sweet's Usability Wishlist - comments plz (long)
 
:::Presets for each effects device:

:This I think can be absorbed into the 'device group' idea. If you can save a group of devices, their settings should be saved (and you can always have a group of one device).

Do you mean that you'd have to drop a device into a group in order for it to have a preset?

::New effects devices: Audio + CV + LFO Splitters.

:I'd love to see this, and I'd also like to see something like a CV 'mixer', so you could (for example) use two LFOs together to control a filter. There are ways to simulate this already, but it's awkward. I also dream of an Audio - CV converter, so you could use an arbitrary audio signal to modulate all sorts of things, but this may be impossible (I doubt Reason can handle all its knobs being twiddled 20,000 times per second).

[smile]

::EQ Device to have a bias knob
[snip]

:: avoid distorting the enhanced frequencies.
:
:One could argue that this is what mixer channel level sliders are for, but I still like this idea.

This would only work with EQ as a send? I was thinking about where it's in the signal path on the way to the mixer.

:An idea of my own is since you can have multiple sequencer tracks for a single device, why not control multiple devices from a single sequencer track? Sure, you can just copy/paste, but...

What would you use this for? Do you mean for like controller automation?

Sweet
Sweet Stuff.

DJAltEgo 2002-11-12 07:16

DOWN WITH REFILLS
 
http://www.gbv.de/graphics/general/f_en.gif
[on soapbox]
ok, can I just say that I LOATHE the damned things? Of course they are a convenient delivery and storage package due to their excellent compression, but .. really!

I dislike immensely how Refills dictate to me how I organize my sounds. Oh sure, you can save patches that point to refills source files in an organized way, but it's messy and quickly breaks down if you MOVE anything - ugh.

It is a bad design for the workflow of the synthesist/electronic musician. How would you like it if you could only save, for example, a certain viola sample for your Akai on one very full CD labeled "orchestra". Sure, you could make copies of the CD, but the point is that the sound is NOT PORTABLE, and comes along with other crap. If you want the viola sound, U gotta have the WHOLE CD. Fortunately, the rest of the sampling world has a sane approach to this.

It's sort of like how they push bills through congress with all kinds of provisions etc attached to the central issue.

Most Reason nuts I know or work with feel the same. Refills are evil. Give 'em the line-item veto!

Ty
[/off soapbox]
Always outspoken


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 03:13.