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Old 2010-11-01, 00:28
lowlifebware lowlifebware is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,216
Smile The Official Combinator V4 wishlist


Hey folks,

Hope y'all are enjoying Halloween and looking forward to the inevitable deadly cold weather that it heralds.

Recently on the Reason 5 upgrade we saw the unveiling of Combinator V3.0, including some really cool new stuff such as hierarchical programming menus, direct CV inputs, and various "under the hood" improvements that not too many of us really understand but clap heartily for because of the differences in performance.

Anyway it's nice and early, so I thought the idea of a unified suggestion thread for the next version of the Combinator might get more focused thinking, and help get some community developed ideas in to the mix in time to have a chance of making it for the next upgrade.

Please have some respect for the forum rules here, and remember that this is a "feature suggestion" thread, not a "feature demand" or indeed a "bitch that this feature hasn't been there since 1975 when every other synth started having it" thread. Bear in mind that the nexy R+R upgrade is probably at least a year away, so don't be thinking that this is necessarily going to get anything in to the next update, but as it's nice and early there is a chance that some ideas get picked up as fair warning has been given. Obviously if this thread hangs around like the "MIDI-out" goliath, then any new ideas that come in a year from now will not have that same opportuniy, so get thinking and suggesting.

Also when adding suggestions, please remember that the more clearer the picture you paint, the easier it is for the Props themselves to get what you're talking about, so just picture some guy in an office in Sweden looking at the post and going "ooh, this guy needs a 'hyper-stratocastic-grain-smashing-reverb-tuner', fantastic, shame I haven't the slightest f**king clue what he's talking about, NEXT!".

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Ok, me to start then:

1) Multi-Combinator "PatchSets" - I'm very much interested in the idea of a new patch-type that doesn't need to affect backwards compatibility, so with regards to preserving the current structure and still progressing, I would like to see a "Patch-Set" feature that allows essentially for a full .rns if needs be, to be loaded from the browser.

To define a bit: This came to me as a way of making progressively more and more complex modular synths in Reason/Record. One of the issues that occurs is that if you wish to make a really complex synth that spans a few combinators and has external Matrix' and effects etc. then you come to a serious issue when you then wish to reimport that set-up into a new file. To simplify this idea, lets say you pick one Piano type combinator, then hook three fx combi's in series and one in parallel, with a mixer at the top to merge. Ok, this is simple enough to do, but when you get to the stage that you wish to use this set-up again, your options are kinda thin when it comes to redoing it. Best practice (that I know of) right now is to save the relevant devices into their own .rns file with a name that gives some clue to what it is, then save the file to a predesignated folder named "What if Moog and Frankenstein had started a band?" or some such sillyness.

This method has issues of course. For a start it's not a streamlined process to reintroduce it to a new file, you have to open an .rns, then copy/paste the devices over in to the new document. This takes more time of course but the larger issue to me is that each of these routing shenanigans comes with only one "patch", the one you imported it as, and it's then tweaky time for anyone who wants to alter this thing in any way. Think of it though, if you build a multi-combinator set-up, then the sound possibilities by tweaking it are mind-numbing, and lets say that over the course of your 5 Combi's there are 1 of each FX device, 1 Thor, 1 Sub, 1 Malstrom. Essentially this one synth set-up could be tweaked to have 1000 unique patches without having to really dig that deep. But to move around each set-up right now, you would have to save each patch for each individual device (the ones that allow patch-saving) into some very well prior-organised directory system, that would get a shafting everytime an upgrade comes along and wrecking-balls the directory structure.

So the Multi-Patch "PatchSet" would be a very simple and to my mind rather elegant solution. The implementation would be a reasonably simple design, the patch would contain all the routing info and settings for each device, and at the point of saving each patch, there would be an export wizard which allows you to govern which bit or bits get a sequencer track upon loading, and for the sake of sanity, this should have an "existing only" checkbox so that the original track specification is left untouched.

Ok, you got that/

2) More/Scrollable Routing Sources/destinations - I'll keep this one brief as it's already a much asked for feature, but I feel this is one that needs to be included in the discussion, although the fact that this is an old request that wasn't included in V3 suggests that there may be some technical limitation that's not obvious to the uninitiated. Quite simply, when programming a Combi, I have came across several instances where I run out of destinations on a single device, and then have to trim it down with various bits of corner-cutting. I agree with the limited tool-set philosophy, but I still feel that even just upping the limit per device from 10 to 15 or at most 20 would remove most peoples issues, others will still want it to be limitless but I think this would just lead to stagnation over making patches "perfect" and not actually get any work done.

Ok folks, now it's your turn to add some ideas and dig into mine for potential flaws.


Last edited by lowlifebware; 2010-11-01 at 00:36.

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