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  #1  
Old 2008-02-16, 12:43
jappe jappe is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 54
Reason Advanced Modeling GUI View

Hi fellows.

I'd like to share an idea that is probably not new in this forum, but for three reasons I'll happily take the risk of repeating the idea here:

1. It will unleash great Reason capacity which is currently constrained due to human limitations.

2. It is a natural step to take when the CPU's get stronger and the patches get more complex.

3. It hasn't been implemented yet.

BACKGROUND:

In the beginning, the Reason graphical user interface was excellent for simple patches.
Cpu's got more powerful and so did the reason racks - then we realized that the intuitive GUI was still sufficient - but only for simple patches. Making advanced patches was harder.
Often you had to make the complete design at once - rather than build it up incrementally - because it got so complex it was hard to overview the day after you started with it.

Suddenly the great Reason GUI felt insufficient.

Then came the Combinator - which does an excellent job in hiding away complexity. This allowed us to do more complex patches without having to expand our brains with 7 new dimensions.

Now, guess what, the CPU's are getting even more powerful. I don't know for sure, but I got the feeling that the patches could get increasingly more complex, and the only thing that would stop that is limitations of the human brain.

PROBLEM:

Making advanced patches is currently more difficult than it needs to be. We can do it, but it's hard because we have only one type of view where we see how the devices are connected - the Patch view.
We do the patching quickly, otherwise we forget the logical structure we want to make. Continuing with yesterdays rack requires us to spend time just in understanding how it's connected and where to continue.

Creativity and productivity suffers because of the badly presented complexity.

We feel we need to make advanced patches in "big-bang" solutions rather than building it up incrementally day by day. And this puts an unneccessary limitation of how complex a reason rack will be.

It doesn't have to be this way.

When the Prop's develop Reason, they use a number of different views of the application (class diagram, collaboration diagram etc) to get a good overview of the application.

If they had only one view to rely on I can guarantee Reason would either not be superior like it is today, or it would be much more buggy - and we would have to wait even longer between releases.


QUESTION: Name one good reason why the Reason users should have only one view to rely on when making patches?


SOLUTION:

Add a complementary "Reason Advanced Modeling View".
Hit a button and you'll see/build the rack in a CAD way rather than the instrument view.
In that CAD view, the devices looks the same, but they are spread out over the workspace and connected through lines easy to follow, logically grouped/collapsed so you get a good overview and still have the possibility to view chosen parts in detail.

You can add documentation to any part of the design, making it even easier to understand. (Actually, It's a mystery to me why context sensitive documentation hasn't yet been implemented. It IS an easy coding task and it IS necessary.)

In this view you can much easier see and understand how a patch is constructed. Because of that, it's much easier to make a complex design which you build incrementally rather than in one shot.


Think about this. I'm sure you can suggest many ways in which the Reason Advanced Modeling GUI Tool can be implemented...

...and...

...please list those implementation suggestions here!

Cheers,
RSB
  #2  
Old 2008-02-17, 00:41
ssilk ssilk is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 13
Re: Reason Advanced Modeling GUI View

See that link:
Reason 3D-Workbench
  #3  
Old 2008-02-17, 14:09
jappe jappe is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 54
great idea! And...

Great idea!And I agree it would be a logical direction. Thinking and navigating in 3-D is so much easier than 2-D.

In order to achieve what I was aiming for with the "advanced modeling view", the 3-D view you suggest would have to implement some innovative user interface idea(s) to visualize the cable patching in a way that the current user interface fails to do: clear and overviewable.

In my opinion, that is the single one greatest obstacle for being creative with Reason: the cables go up down left right and hides eachother, such a mess, which makes creativity suffer.
If this problem was solved, I'm convinced that more innovative rack designs would be the result. Creativity would be boosted since the racks would be built quicker, and time between the birth of an idea and the implementation is a key issue.

An example of what could be done in terms of improving visualization of cable patching is:

* DEVICE FILTER: Press a control button while clicking a Reason device in your rack, and you would apply a device filter removing all other devices (from the view) but the ones that are in the audio chain that the current device belongs to.
Most often the rack task you're currently working with only involves a fraction of the devices contained in the rack, why shouldn't you be able to temporarily hide those other devices then?

The Combinator is actually a big step towards solving the problem that the above idea addresses. But the more CPU power we get, the more likely it will be that we'll find a universe of devices inside the Combinators.

Another approach would be to allow Combinator within Combinator, allowing us to make rack designs in a top-down fashion. (or bottom-up!)
Imagine you have this really great Combinator idea, it consists of a great number of devices, that could be logically grouped. First you could create the topmost layer of a few empty sub-combinators. Then you go into one of the combinators and make a sub-sub layer of empty combinators. Now, each sub-sub combinator would be very much easier to start working with and to finish quickly, than if you'd have to build the main Combinator in a "big-bang"-way without sub-combinators. When you implement any sub-sub-combinator you would see only the reason devices that you're currently working with - no other unrelated devices and cables messing things up.

Actually the sub-combinators wouldn't be full-featured Combinators, but rather simple device containers with the only purpose to logically group a small number of related devices. I guess.
  #4  
Old 2008-02-18, 05:16
dloks dloks is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 0
Re: great idea! And...

Not to be a party pooper but the 3D thing doesn't sound good to me. Sure looks are inportant but from this talk I get a horror picture of gleaming bezel and fancy shadows like some kind of computer game. Sorry but the virtual studio sounds like a nightmare to me. Will the be a fishtank in the lounge?

The simplistic cad scenario sound very cool though. The simpler the better. I'd say that is the glory of Reason, a certain simplicity. Less is often more! I have a solution for those cables mucking things up in the back. How about a transparency setting? (Prefs/General/Cable Transparency) See, less is more!
  #5  
Old 2008-02-18, 21:58
jappe jappe is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 54
Re: great idea! And...

Transparent cables sounds like a simple and good feature.

Actually I'm thinking the big thing with 3-D GUI would be not the looks but the functionality. I tried to explain what I mean in the message


here
  #6  
Old 2008-02-18, 23:21
ssilk ssilk is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 13
Re: great idea! And...

I know, that the idea sounds futuristic.

But I'm sure, this is the future.

The 3D-view of the racks enable a new kind of scrolling through the rack. Perhaps someone knows the game "Supreme Commander". In this game, you do not scroll the map by Cursor or so. To scroll in this game effectively, you zoom out and in. This is also exactly how humans are working, if you observe yourself: You come into the studio and see some instruments laying arround. Then you go to a guitar, lock at it, then you play it and you hear, that it isn't rightly tuned, so you look at the strings and begin to tune it and so on...

So I think to a virtual studio in Reason:

You have a room (the virtual studio) and you can put some racks in it. In the left edge is the rythm-rack. In the right the base and in the center is the rest. Above, there is the mixer-rack, in the back is the mastering-rack and on the wall there is a big screen: That's the sequencer.

So you open Reason 6 (or so?) and you see a room with your wallpaper and 4 racks. With the mouse-wheel you can zoom into the room. No need to scroll, just center the mouse, where you want to zoom in.

All the ideas like "make a marker on a device" or "switch to the track, if I select the device" and so on are obsolete. No need to navigate. You *know* where the devices are, because you placed them in the room! Navigation is as simple as it can be. And the game I mentioned above proves, that it works very well.

You can open multiple views to the same room. By default, it should look exactly like the current view, when you open Reason.

You can load pre-defined racks. Ready configured for playing.

Many things can be done with this type of interface. Many more, than now. And it is creative and very cool.
  #7  
Old 2008-02-19, 23:17
jappe jappe is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 54
Re: great idea! And...

Yes, that sounds absolutely great, take me to the R6 future:-)
  #8  
Old 2008-02-20, 19:35
pfog pfog is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 136
Re: Reason Advanced Modeling GUI View

"Making advanced patches is currently more difficult than it needs to be."

for you maybe.. it's just a case of flipping the rack over and plugging in the wires. although I'd like to see something where when you right click on the actual connector and you get the option to patch it to the proper mixer etc (1 page up) etc..

try opening a 6 channel mixer.. anything after that is routed to that instead of the main mix (normally at the top)

I'd like to select a "clav" patch, say in NNXT.. play a bit of a sequence, then have Stevie wonder pop up and say .. "thats cool".. or "that bites"... and perhaps when i'm doing the mix down Sir George Martin can pop up in the corner of the mixer and say "hhmmm your hihats are 2 high in the mix etc".. Ringo or phil collins comment about my drum programming etc.. (will give them something to laugh about at their product meeting anyway ;-) )

seriously though, the GUI is built for speed of access, I'm sure they have done plenty of studies in relation to that and human interaction.
  #9  
Old 2008-02-21, 01:06
jappe jappe is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 54
A perfect subject for this forum

:
: seriously though, the GUI is built for speed of access, I'm sure they have done plenty of studies in relation to that and human interaction.
:

Of course they did their studies, and that's why Reason became so superior.
But an application has a lifecycle you know. What was optimal before may not be optimal today.
The CPU power we have today, not to speak of the CPU power we'll get tomorrow, allows us to do more complex racks than before. And it's not a personal opinion that the Reason cable mess is a...well...cable mess...it's obviously a fact.

The good thing is that there must be so many different great ways to solve that problem. A perfect subject for this forum.
  #10  
Old 2008-02-21, 20:07
pfog pfog is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 136
Re: A perfect subject for this forum

how about virtual cable ties ;-)
or that heat shrink stuff that you put cables into and apply heat to , to group them =)

I still think stevie and sir george need to make an appearence =)

: :
: : seriously though, the GUI is built for speed of access, I'm sure they have done plenty of studies in relation to that and human interaction.
: :
:
: Of course they did their studies, and that's why Reason became so superior.
: But an application has a lifecycle you know. What was optimal before may not be optimal today.
: The CPU power we have today, not to speak of the CPU power we'll get tomorrow, allows us to do more complex racks than before. And it's not a personal opinion that the Reason cable mess is a...well...cable mess...it's obviously a fact.
:
: The good thing is that there must be so many different great ways to solve that problem. A perfect subject for this forum.
 

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