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Old 2011-11-17, 03:22
fieldframe's Avatar
fieldframe fieldframe is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 490
Lightbulb Look-behind presustain/predecay (hear pads when you start from the middle of a note)

This is one of those crazy ideas I'm sure other people have had before but never quite put into words (I'm one of those people). I think when it first occurred to me, there was obviously no way it could work, because I was using hardware at the time. With Reason, though...

The idea here is a look-behind sequencer playhead. Wherever you are in the sequencer, it looks behind before you start playing, and checks with each sound generator to see if any voices would still be playing at that point in the sequence (a note's amp envelope is calculated as long enough to spill into the start time). If it finds any, it renders that voice starting at the offset of however far back its note is.

The benefits are obvious: You get audio-like playback from MIDI, anywhere in the sequencer. Ambient producers probably stand to reap the biggest benefit, but anything from a long dubstep wobble bass note to an IDM arp chord would always sound right without having to make sure you start playing before the sequencer note.

Of course, this would have to be a switch (probably in the transport panel). The drawback would be lag before you start playing, maybe a couple hundred ms, maybe a few seconds. But it would be great tool to make composing and producing a little more seamless!

Last edited by fieldframe; 2011-11-18 at 19:14. Reason: Clarifying
Old 2011-11-18, 19:23
fieldframe's Avatar
fieldframe fieldframe is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 490
So... Did I explain this right?

I'm probably concentrating too much on the technical side of it. In practice, it just means this:

1. You have a four-bar song.
2. You have one four-bar chord at the beginning.
3. You want to add a lead melody halfway through, so to hear the backing chord, you currently have to back up and play the song from the beginning, so that the chord plays, then wait for the first two bars to finish before you play your lead.
4. With look-behind, you could just start at bar 2. When you hit play/record, you hear that backing chord, sounding just as if it had been played two bars ago.
Old 2011-11-18, 20:40
Exowildebeest Exowildebeest is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,777
In the days Reason didn't have audio tracks, this was really annoying for me. I loaded very long samples/loops in the NN19 and ran into this problem back then.

Nowadays, I don't really care. I agree it would be cool, but it would probably be a massive technical challenge and might use a lot of CPU. I'd rather have other new features added.
Old 2011-11-18, 22:15
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stratatonic stratatonic is offline
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I'm not sure how difficult it is to implement, but it's been done with the newest version of Reaper.

In the meantime, you can just bounce the track (long one midi note section) to audio.
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Old 2011-11-19, 00:49
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fieldframe fieldframe is offline
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Ah, really, it's in Reaper right now? Very interesting. I'm guessing it probably doesn't work with VSTs, so is it restricted to the built-in instruments?
Old 2011-11-19, 02:40
markbt markbt is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 70
Most other sequencers have this option now (and they work with vst's) but the limitation is that that it just simply triggers the instrument to play the sound from the start. It's still useful if you are writing a melody over longer playing chords and keep stopping and starting the playback. But for longer evolving sounds its better to render to an audio track.
Old 2011-11-22, 03:44
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decco decco is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 40
this is called CHASE EVENTS in EVERY OTHER DAW out there.
I have been begging for this since version 1
Sadly the props just ignore this.
Old 2011-11-23, 03:05
djangotsp djangotsp is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12
Pro Tools and Reaper do this, kinda, and it's a wonderful feature. They just trigger all the MIDI notes under the playhead whether they started earlier or not, so it won't resume mid-sustain or anything (which it sounds like you're suggesting), but it's still more helpful than not playing the notes at all.

Yes please!

Edit: whoops, forgot how this forum works and only saw the top thread. I'm sure they'll do it eventually. It's been amazing seeing my wishlist get smaller and smaller since v2.

Last edited by djangotsp; 2011-11-23 at 03:10.
Old 2011-11-23, 04:38
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fieldframe fieldframe is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 490
It makes sense that other DAWs can just trigger notes that are under the playhead, but Reason is in a unique position here in that the sequencer is part of the same app that contains all the sound generators and processors. If there's any app that could actually do "chase events" with full envelope compensation, it's Reason!
Old 2011-11-23, 05:56
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SteveDiverse SteveDiverse is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,628
This request gets my "YES vote".

It's like listening to a CD, hitting rewind, and all you hear is the notes that START from after where you hit 'play'.

Hearing everything that should be playing at the time would be: intuitive.

if note is on at play head location, play it.

of course, if the note on "pre dates" the replay location, then you skip the 'attack'/'decay' and play 'sustain'

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Last edited by SteveDiverse; 2011-11-23 at 05:58.

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