Propellerhead Software
Old 2009-04-16, 21:41
Reason1O1's Avatar
Reason1O1 Reason1O1 is offline
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Dockable Tool Window

Putting a little thought into the way in which the Tool Window works, I propose a few small enhancements.

I've never been a huge fan of the Tool Window to begin with. I love the idea of moving a lot of features and functions into palettes (or tabs) inside a window. But the problem is that now I have three windows I have to constantly be battling with, moving from one to the other. I'm continually using the F8 key to open/close the Tool Window. And when it's open, it obscures my sequencer (I have a small monitor and so would rather have my sequencer fully maximized). So here are my suggestions:

The "Devices" tab: How about doing away with this tab altogether, and instead creating a thin row of icons (a toolbar) that sits docked to the top or bottom of the Rack? One icon for each of the devices. Click it, and poof, there's your device. Much more immediate than the way it is now (and less scrolling to get to the required device).

The "Groove" tab: This should somehow be consolidated with the "Re-Groove" in a similar way. So these tools would only be visible on "Re-Groove" when that big "Re-Groove" button is clicked. More intuitive no?

And the "Tools" tab: I think this would be most usefully docked to the sequencer along either the right or left sides as independant palettes. If the user wants, they can undock these palettes and move them as separate windows. Or, they can leave them docked as tabs along the right or left side of the sequencer. All the user should see are a single strip of tabs rotated 90 degrees (think the way the mixer label strip looks when it is expanded in the rack). Then, when one of those tools is required, you click the tab name, and it magically expands from the edge of the screen.

Also, when it expands from the edge, the rest of the screen should move aside to make room for it. For example, in Internet Explorer 7.0, when you open up your history list, it opens on the left side of the screen, but becomes part of the screen. The main browser window shifts to incorporate it into the main window. Overlapping windows just cause more confusion. In this dream world that I've built, there should never be any overlap between the tools window and the sequencer. The sequencer should step aside to make way for each of the tools palettes. Then, when you're done with them, you can click the title bar of each palette, and it moves back into the tab strip.

I think these enhancements would make Reason much more elegant and easy to work with.

Working with the Rack and sequencer separated is also a bit of a pain if you only have one monitor (constant switching between windows), but it's the only way I can work with the sequencer at full screen size at the moment. Figuring out how to maximize the rack window would be the cherry on the cake of my day as well.

Don't take any of this to be product bashing. Reason 4 is still my favorite software, and is truly awesome. All of the above are just small little annoyances for me.
Old 2009-04-19, 02:54
lowlifebware lowlifebware is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,216

I recently upgraded to a 17" monitor so this no longer affects me, but I do think these are good ideas, although what I'd like for the tools tab is for it to be attached to the right side of the window as a foldable sidebar, with all the little tabs in there. The idea of docking each bit of it starts to grate with Me, basically My biggest bitch with Cubase is that it has just so many windows to get lost in and where possible I would like to see Reason's minimalism conserved.

Old 2009-04-20, 18:25
Reason1O1's Avatar
Reason1O1 Reason1O1 is offline
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Ok. maybe not separate fly-out palettes, and instead one "Tools" flyout along the right side of the sequencer. I just don't like the idea of throwing all the tools listed on the 3 current tabs together in a window. It feels like it was a little hurried in its conception (ie: take all the remaining stuff that didn't fit anywhere else and put it in a new "third" window).
Old 2009-04-20, 21:00
lowlifebware lowlifebware is offline
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Posts: 4,216

I'm really just thinking in terms of the "tools" section itself, I think the "Groove" and "Device" integrations are great ideas.

I have to say though that the idea of the device thing bemuses me a little, in the first place, I've never used it myself and don't really see the point, other than the fact that looking at it makes me feel all warm and gooey inside. But from a practical point of view, I've never used it, and can't think for the life of Me what scenario would make it handier than using the menu's, visual stimulation maybe?

Old 2009-04-22, 16:51
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Reason1O1 Reason1O1 is offline
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I'm in complete agreement.

I think one benefit to having the icons for each of the devices in a toolbar, as opposed to accessing them from the context-menu is that it saves you one click. If you access them from the menu, you have to perform two clicks. Yes, I know it's pety, but the object is to save time and make life easier.

One other idea to further this efficiency is to allow users the ability to create their own shortcut keys/keyboard commands and assign them to any function that can be found in the context-menus. Yes, this would be a huge undertaking (think all the parameters found in thor's context menus). But you could start out with all the major ones. For example, if you've ever used photoshop, you know you can assign or change the keyboard shortcuts and replace them with your own. It would be nice if in reason you could do the same. So here are a few more proposals:

1. Better keyboard command assignment. I don't think right now there is any shortcut keys for adding any of the devices. So first thing is to assign a logical set of key commands for those menu commands that don't already have any assigned (ie: Alt+S to add a scream device, for example).

2. Next, build a way for users to assign their own key commands or switch them with commands of their choice (the way Photoshop currently does).

3. If you use a control surface, it would be nice to add the ability to add devices to a button on your control surface. Click a button, add a scream. Click a different button, and add a thor, etc. etc. And any other functions that you can't currently map to the control surface. In other words, get to the point where you don't have to touch your keyboard at all to use reason. You have a control surface, and 100% of reason can be manipulated with it. Crazy idea? maybe. But boy would that be great!

Last edited by Reason1O1; 2009-04-22 at 16:56.
Old 2011-11-28, 07:50
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decco decco is offline
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totally agree
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