Record: Groups Done Right
Groups in Record (EDIT: SHOULD be "Groups in REASON") ;-)
Here's my take (after much thought) on how best to add this much requested and often misunderstood feature to Record, and how to do it in the most 'PHead' way possible - simple on the surface, with the advanced features/options waiting just below the surface.
This one feature suggestions elegantly encompasses multiple feature requests including Fader Groups, Sub-Mixes (w/proper solo/mute logic), Edit Groups in the Sequencer, Extra routing busses, and a way to show/hide tracks in the Mixer and Sequencer.
This is accomplished by merging these related features/functions (Audio Sub-Mixes, Fader Groups, and Sequencer/Edit Groups) into a single new feature:
Record 2.0 [edit: Reason 7.0!]
New Feature: "Audio Groups"
New Mixer Channel: "Sub-Mix Channel"
To create a new Audio Group: Simply select one or more tracks (any combination of Audio Tracks and Mix Channels), and choose "Create Audio Group".
Three things will happen:
1-A new "Sub-Mix Channel" is created in the mixer to the right of the last selected channel, and all the selected tracks are automatically moved next to each other and routed into the Sub-Mix Channel (they are also moved to be together in the sequencer, with the Sub-Mix Track located below the last member of the group).
2-The Faders of the Grouped Channels are Grouped (but can always be disabled)
3-The Sequencer Tracks are Grouped for editing (and can also be disabled)
Additionally, there is some 'behind the scenes' routing that occurs, as well as some 'logic' control for the Solo and Mute buttons. Read on for details.
The new Sub-Mix Channel
It's similar to a Mix Channel, but it is only created with the "Create Audio Group" command and has no input jacks on the rear. When "Create Audio Group" is selected, all selected tracks are automatically routed and summed into this Sub-Mix Channel (behind the scenes). Channels can be always added or subtracted from the group at any time. All Inserts, Dynamics, Filters, EQs, and Sends on the Sub-Mix Channel work just like they do on Mix Channels and Audio Tracks, including side-chaining and CV control.
Soloing and muting work simply and intuitively: mute or solo a single track and it does just what you expect (it mutes or solos that track and it's FX!). Mute or solo a Sub-Mix Channel and it TOO reacts exactly as expected (mutes or solos the entire group including FX).
The Solos in an Audio Group work as follows: if you solo the Sub-Mix Channel, all the grouped tracks automatically solo as well - But if you solo one of the grouped tracks you will hear just that track, as you would expect. What happens in this case is that the grouped track AND the Sub-Mix Channel will both automatically be soloed when you solo any grouped track(s). This will also ensure that all FX sends on grouped channels work as expected, BTW.
Muting - mute any track in the group and it will mute as always. Mute the Sub-Mix Channel, and it will automatically also mute all the grouped tracks. This will prevent 'ghost' FX tracks from coming through.
Fader Grouping is simple - move one fader in the group and they all move together. Automate one and they all automate. A modifier key will temporarily disable the grouping, allowing you to adjust a single fader. Fader Grouping can be turned off for each individual Audio Group, or Globally.
Sequencer Grouping is necessary for multi-mic'ed instruments like drums or electric guitar or piano, and also to allow proper editing of "grouped fader" automation tracks. Sequencer Groups can be turned off per Audio Group or Globally, or temporarily disabled with a modifier key.
As if that's not enough
One more feature will set Record apart from other DAWs. In all other systems, if you pull down a Sub-Mix fader, any FX sends on the grouped channels are NOT trimmed, causing the dry signals to decrease relative to FX signals (result: a quieter but wetter signal). In Record 2.0, the "Audio Groups" feature will allow you to pull down the Sub-Mix Channel's fader, and the FX sends on the grouped channels will follow 'post-fader'. This issue has never been addressed before to my knowledge, and yet is simple to implement - would love to see Record take the lead here. :-)
Another bonus feature of "Audio Groups" is that they are 'collapsable', both in the SSL Mixer and in the Sequencer. This is a great organization feature for the mixer AND the sequencer, allowing you to 'hide' groups of tracks and just work with the Sub-Mix Channels/faders. This can be a great way to mix if you only have an 8 Fader mix controller - just collapse all the Audio Groups leaving only the Sub-Mix faders (and the master fader) on the controller and you can mix the entire song with just 8 faders or less!
The beauty of combining these related 'group' features into a single command is that they are usually thought of as a single concept anyway, plus this makes grouping a VERY simple process. And yet (in true PHeads fashion) it is flexible enough to accommodate many different workflows. For example, you can disable the fader groups or the sequencer groups (or both), allowing you to choose only the grouping features you need for each Audio Group.
For most folks, I imagine that they will just group their tracks and mix like they normally would. They'll probably never need to understand what's actually going on behind the scenes, as things will "just work" as you would expect them to work! At least that's the goal… ;-)
Last edited by selig; 2011-12-07 at 17:32.
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