squint0r's Wish List for Reason
I love you and I love Reason, but... :) I have a private Wish List I've been working on (off and on) for a couple years (ever since Record 1.0) that I wish you would read and consider. I've been sitting on this a long time trying to find the time to post these individually but I've realized I'm never going to find that time. That would also not be very manageable for you if you do want to read my feedback, so I thought I would post them in a list in one thread, and your brilliant employees can read and prioritize or dismiss accordingly.
I also haven't added anything to this in a good 6 months or so. I spent a couple hours tonight re-wording things, though, and I removed several things that were fixed or added already after Record became Reason.
These are not in any kind of order so, again, please do read and consider all.
To anyone else reading: please feel free to chime in if one of my ideas gives you an idea or if you have ideas about how to make something better, or if you like a particular idea, or if what I'm asking for is actually possible and you want to tell me how to do it, or even if you want to say an idea sucks. :)
#1 - Add ability to quantize / play back hardware synths with Reason. Haha. J/k. (Well, not just kidding, but yes, it's been beaten to death.) :)
#2 - OK, this is the most forward-thinking and "out there" idea I have in this whole batch which I think would be the coolest and most useful if implemented, so I'm including it up top: what if Propellerhead dramatically changed the way we think about importing audio files into our Reason projects? The way it works now, you stop your song, choose where you want the audio file to be imported, then you open the Import Audio File dialog and start listening to sounds. When you've found one you like, you import it and it appears in the spot you pre-chose. Imagine if instead you could not only select where you want the audio to import, but after you open the Import Audio File dialog, you could even play the song (or, more likely, a certain portion/loop of the song you pre-chose) and audition the sounds right in the song before importing. How much easier would this make it to find that perfect sound? Much easier, I think. You'd almost be able to use the Import Audio File dialog as a drum machine! :) It'd be great. It never made sense to me why being in the Import Audio File dialog prevents you from hearing what you're working on. You already told Reason where you want the sound, you know? Why not let the musician hear it in the context of the song? This would blast open the doors for creativity and using samples.
#3 - Another idea for importing audio (closely related to but not conflicting with the one above): Say you're importing samples or loops from the Import Audio File dialog. Say you find one loop or sample you really like after auditioning it, and you want to import it. But you know you want more samples or loops too, you just don't know which ones yet. Currently, you can select multiple files and import them all at once and they import on different tracks, but you can't audition anything else after that first one you know you want to import (otherwise you lose your selection). So you pretty much have to import the one you know you want, then go back to the dialog and audition more samples/loops and find another one you like, import it, rinse and repeat. So, I was thinking it would be nice to be able to somehow "flag files for import" when you know you want to put them in the project. If you could do this, you'd be able to audition samples/loops, find one you like, flag it for import, then keep auditioning, then flag one or several more, and import them all at once. Would save a bunch of time. Of course, so as to not conflict with the idea above this one, only the first one would get imported at the spot you pre-chose. The rest would get imported on a new track each.
I notice getting the right sounds into the project ASAP and spending time working with them is really what makes good songs. So the quicker Reason can facilitate this process, the better songs will be that are made with it.
#4 - This is not a huge deal, but - When you move a bunch of notes at once, it would be better if only the first note played, rather than all of them, which sometimes results in a deafening discordant cacophony of notes. When you've selected several bars all consisting of various notes, playing all the notes is useless, and annoying. That might be useful for chords, but—and maybe it's just me—I'm usually trying to move a bunch of notes, by ear, based off the first note, but since Reason/Record plays all of them all the way up or down the scale (however far you go), I can't just hear the first one, and I have to basically move the first note, and then count how many notes I went up or down, and then transpose the rest manually (or drag them and get the blaring cacophony :).
#5 - I version and date my projects in the filename. When I make a big change to a project, I increase the version number. If it's a new day, I usually like to change the date. I don't keep all versions, if I'm confident about the changes I made. So sometimes I want to rename the project rather than save a new copy. It would be nice if in the File menu there was an option to Rename a project (the .reason filename). Another reason for this would be, when we rename the file in Finder, Reason doesn't let us open it from the Recent menu anymore because it can't find it. So, renaming from the File menu would update the name in the Recent menu too. It's also just annoying to have to go to Finder to do this, because you're not always in the right spot in Finder, and you have to waste time finding your project. I guess if Reason ever made use of the new file-saving functionality in OS X Lion, which I still don't really like that much, this wouldn't be necessary. But then the Windows version would behave differently and I'm sure that's not what Propellerhead wants. :)
#6 - Should the SOLO/MUTE buttons in the mixer be right above the SEQ / RACK buttons (which are above the track name), so that they are always visible? It kinda sucks having to scroll all the way up to adjust gain, and then scroll allll the way down the mixer to solo or mute a track. I realize the positioning of them now is based on an actual SSL console, but with a real console you can have one hand up high adjusting gain and the other down low muting and soloing. It'd also just be nice to be able to always see which tracks are soloed/muted while you're messing around in the mixer and be able to mute/solo whichever track(s). Ya know? :)
#7 - I wonder if there could be any way to improve the algorithm for slowing down audio so that those "squeaks" you tend to get are reduced? I notice they're usually at the beginning or end of sounds and can be removed with quick fadeouts/fadeins or slicing up a bit of the clip before the sound starts and muting it. I think this also happens when you change the tempo of a song. (Maybe just when you slow it down? Not sure.)
#8 - When you solo tracks in the mixer, it would be helpful if the other tracks' levels continued to animate (perhaps in a different color - maybe grey?)... When you solo something, you're instantly blind to what the rest of the tracks are doing, which makes it difficult to know what to solo next. When you mute a track, the level bar should still animate in the mixer too (in grey), so you can still see what it's doing even though it's not playing.
#9 - Shouldn't the sample rate be something that is more prominently displayed? Sometimes I spend days in a certain sample rate that I don't want to be in because it's buried in the menus. Maybe in the transport bar?
#10 - Should you be able to undo a zoom? Sometimes I zoom in accidentally (like with the Zoom tool) and then it's annoying to try to get back to the previous zoom level. This interrupts workflow. Undoing doesn't undo that zoom, it undos whatever you did last that is undoable. It wouldn't undo to each "tick" in the zoom, but just the ultimate destination.
#11 - Sometimes I wish Reason had 5 or so more Undo levels. I occasionally find myself undoing and being upset I can't go back 5 more times or so :), because I made some good changes before I made a bad one, and because I can't go back enough times, I'm kinda stuck with the bad change in order to keep the good ones. I realize this would probably be a performance hit and there's a reason why there's a certain number. I just need to save before doing stuff I'm not sure about I guess. :)
#12 - Say you're in Redrum and you've got the sample dialog open and you're trying various snare sounds. The drums are already sequenced, so you're just switching out the sound in the sample dialog while the sequence is playing. Sometimes, you wish you could change the volume of the sample so you can see if it really fits in the mix or not. There is no way to do this without closing the sample dialog and adjusting the volume. But then you have to load it back up if you want to continue changing sounds. Maybe the "audition" volume slider in the sample dialog should affect the volume of the current sample, at least while you're auditioning?
#13 - Should there be some indication when there are clips on top of each other? Sometimes there'll be 2-3 of the same clip, or just stacked clips, and I won't know it until I accidentally move a clip out of the way or something. Maybe overlapped clips can get some kind of pattern overlayed on them. If we could choose to have transparent clips (i.e. be able to adjust the alpha value), we would be able to see where clips are overlapped. Could be useful.
#14 - When a track's muted, it would be cool if it the entire thing was greyed out or something. That little red Mute button doesn't cut it sometimes. Sometimes you go a whole week or month or more wondering why a song sucks now and then you realize it's because you had a couple key tracks muted. And the reverse: sometimes you have something muted for days and don't realize it. Only happens in projects with tons of tracks of course.
#15 - When I hold down Option and click a clip, it's ALWAYS to copy it. I never, ever want to drag the level line up or down (adjust volume). So why even let me accidentally do that? When clips are small (i.e. you're zoomed out), it's often difficult to miss the little arrows on the bar for fading out and adjusting clip volume. Since holding down Option doesn't change the functionality of those, why would I be holding Option if I wanted to do that? I propose that when Reason detects the user is holding down Option, it makes adjusting levels and fade-ins/outs impossible. It should just assume the user is going to copy the clip somewhere and perform the copy. This would speed up workflow.
#16 - It would be nice to have a little Search box at the top of your tracks, and when you type in words, it filters out any tracks that don't have those words. Kinda like iTunes. :) This would be useful on many levels. As tracks grow and more tracks are added, sometimes even the artist forgets where things are. This would help them find the track they're looking for. Also, it would just help artists focus on certain groups of tracks, if they named tracks accordingly. It would also encourage keeping tracks organized and coming up with your own naming system.
#17 - I dislike how when you do a fade-in or fade-out, you can't tell Reason where to fade in or fade out from. It always has to be the bottom. I can understand maybe not allowing this from the main sequencer view, but when you double-click the clip, you should be able to get a bit more fine-tuned. Even the sample editor won't let you.
#18 - A lot of the time I'll have the sequencer open full-screen, and I'll have a track selected that I'm working on. When I press the Rack button to show the rack, it obviously makes the screen smaller. If the track that I had selected was in the lower half of the screen, it will get pushed out of view to where you have to scroll to it. This is probably just merely annoying to expert users, but I shudder to think of the headache it causes for new users. If Reason could be smart enough to scroll to the sequencer track I had selected when that new view is added, I think that would make working in Reason 6 much smoother and adding a second view to the screen a lot less irritating (especially for new users).
#19 - You should be able to copy a clip (instrument, audio, automation—whatever) from one track to another by clicking the clip you want to copy, copying it with the Copy hotkey combo or menu item, clicking the track (of the same type) that you want to paste the clip onto, and then pressing the hotkey combo for Paste (or clicking the menu item for Paste). (It should then paste onto that new track you selected where you have the locator positioned.) Currently, doing this will only paste the clip onto the same track it's already on (where the locator is positioned), even if you've selected the track you know you want to paste it onto. No other sequencer software I've tried works this way and I can't think of a reason why it should work this way. If we wanted to paste the clip onto that same track, we would've kept that track selected. When a user copies a clip and de-selects the track it was on and clicks another track, I assure you that they are trying to paste that clip onto the new track. Reason makes this impossible. If the clip cannot be played on that track, just do what you do when a clip is dragged to a track it can't be played on (put the red stripe pattern through it).
#20 - Let clip level lines be angled lines within clips, or curves, rather than just straight lines. Maybe let us "draw" straight level lines over multiple clips so that we don't have to go into each clip and manually set the level to match up with the one before it so there's not a jump in the audio. Of course, if we drew a straight line across multiple clips, the resulting level line would be angled accordingly. You end up seeing/hearing exactly what you draw.
#21 - I've noticed when I'm recording my Moog Voyager into an audio track, MIDI data is recorded too. Just wondering why that is and if Reason should be changed so that it doesn't record MIDI data if you're recording audio. I'm assuming there's a way to turn this off as it is, but maybe it's not apparent enough.
#22 - Once you select all of your tracks in the sequencer (or if you accidentally press ⌘A), there isn't an obvious way to unselect your tracks except by creating a new track and then deleting it. Just a minor annoyance, but still.
#23 - A way to turn off the "File too large to autoplay" safeguard would be nice. Some of us don't use the browser in a live setting. It slows down workflow not being able to quickly play a crash sample or a loop because it's too long.
I'm sure I'm leaving lots out, but oh well. It's a lot of work keeping a Wish List up to date :(
Last edited by squint0r; 2012-04-22 at 09:31.