Reason/Record feature suggestions bonanza!
Since Reason 4 is already 2 years old, if past releases are anything to go by, Reason 5 is probably due out in a year or less. If anything, to take more advantage of multicore machines, like Record supposedly does.
Record 1.0 just came out, but I'm sure there are some things that could not be finished on time, so I expect a 1.5 style release sometime in 2010.
Now, on to the suggestions for Reason/Record.
1) A revamped Redrum, or a higher end drum machine would be great. (You can always use one of the samplers for drums, off course, but a specialized device always allows for a better workflow). Multiple velocity levels, reverse effect, more controls. I would also like to see some synthesizing drum machine (like Waldorf Attack, Microtonic --by Maelstrom developer-- or Ultrabeat).
2) A multi-fx unit. Combinators can go a long way, but combining 4-10 units to get a particular effect is neither user friendly or as cpu-friendly as a dedicated optimized multi-effects unit. Think tape and multi-tap delays, tremolo, ring-modulators, phase effects, etc etc.
3) Some Tube/Tape Saturation plugin (one that is gentler, with better fidelity and warmer than Scream) for use on the overall mix to give some 'analog' feel. It could be another MClass machine.
4) Better integration with Line 6 units. Not having control over the non-amp effects on Pod Farm et al is not very productive.
5) A revamped basic library. Although Reason is used by a lot of Europeans and electronic musicians, the built-in refills (and most premium reffils) are geared towards american-style dance and rock/pop sounds. This is in contrast with most of the artists featured on the "Substance" pages. Even the Propellerhead videos are geared towards the american music tastes (as are the four Record demo songs). How about some emphasis on electronica?
6) More editing options for audio. Reverse, Normalize, strip/insert silence et at least.
7) A better sampler. How about some Direct-From-Disk streaming to offload main memory from huge sounds?
8) Better Rewire integration. How about an "Out" bus on every mixel channel on Reason and Record, that can be send to the Hardware Interface? That way you could, if you so choose, send to the other host not just the output of a Reason instrument but the whole Reason/Record channel, with EQ, dynamics etc. And how about this happening automatically? I don't want to unplug my mixer inputs and connect the instruments to Hardware Interface channels manually. For one, this makes it difficult to seamlessly switch between working solo in Reason and rewired to an external host.
I want to be able to mix a track with 15 channels in Reason alone on my laptop, then bring it home and work on it rewired with Logic, then go back on the road and work on the Reason track some more, without constant plugging unplugging to the HW interface. Workflow means people not having to do what a computer can. And Propellerhead want all about how Record is all about easy and quick workflow from idea to implementation. Patching cables is not that.
9) Better Reason/Record integration. When you open a Reason song in Record you get just a stereo mix out send to Record's mixer. How about an option to intelligently send each separate track from Reasons main mixer to Record mixer channels? Workflow means people not having to do what a computer can.
10) MIDI out in Record.
11) Two-way Rewire support in Record. Guys, you designed the protocol! You surely CAN implement it in your own product.
12) Folder tracks for organization.
13) A killer, high-end filterbank unit. Enough said for electronic musicians. Yeah, I know you can route through Thor, use a combinator etc. I'm talking higher quality, purpose built.
14) Something like Cubase's Play Order Track? This could be used live for making new arrangements, or for exploring different song possibilities.
15) An updated Recycle --with proper Universal Binary support for OS X. As a matter of fact, Recycle is way overpriced for a standalone program of its type. For the money we pay, we need a Recycle unit *inside* Reason and/or Record. Alternatively, if the Props would like to keep the Recycle revenue anyway, than have it appear as a unit inside Reason/Record when you register it.
16) Essential: the ability to change the tempo of an imported (non-Rex) loop in Record without the silly "stop/start the tempo tracking for whole project". Just add a BMP meter or something and some simple command. Same goes for changing pitch.
17) Group buses?
18) Closing with a crazy idea. How about some PLUGINS? Yep, I know how people believe plugins can introduce instability Actually that is not correct. It's not plugins as a technology that introduces instability. It's the multitude of plugins that are made to be used in every host and have varying quality and CPU needs. And one cannot test every one of the to see if the work OK with Reason/Record.
So, it's the varying quality and unpredictability that makes using VSTs and AUs unstable. But plugins, as a technology, does not have to be unstable. In fact, Reasons own instruments (Subtractor, Maelstrom, NNXT) are developed as plugins too (i.e. loadable modules). They just don't use the VST or AU protocol, but an internal Propellerhead API. Other hosts do this too: Logic has ES1, Ultrabeat, Space Designer etc that are essentialy plugins but are not available for use outside Logic. This enables the company to fine-tune them for use with Logic without having to adhere to an overly generic plugin interface standard such as VST or AU.
So, how about a compromise: Propellerhead could collaborate with third party developers and enable them to make plugin instruments/fx for Reason using their internal API (programming interface) and then TEST the plugins and only allow them if the pass Propellerheads quality/stability standards. So we would not have a generic VST, but a "Made For Reason" plugin series.
Or, Propellerhead themselves could make some plugins for Reason and sell them seperately from the main application (but have them integrate seamlessly with the rest).
PS 1Disclaimer: I am a university trained computer programmer with many years of experience --although not in DSP. I can make a guesstimate about the difficulty of implementing some of the features, but I'm not, however, familiar with Reason/Record codebase, so I might be out of line on some of those.
PS 2 If you are only gonna reply something like "you can already do that with Combinator" a) you don't understand workflow, b) you don't undestand the importance of DSP algorithms. Combining several units to get an FX is not the same as having a dedicated algorithm for said effect, not from a CPU-efficiency, not from a quality and not from a fidelity standpoint.
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