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Old 2010-08-03, 14:44
grindst0ne
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Using browser tabs instead of having one huge rack

I would like to suggest a feature that will greatly enhance the control one has over wiring properly, grouping instruments properly, and maintaining order in a random rack setup. I do not think this feature will be hard to implement, and can even be accomodated with a turn on/off button in preferences.

The problem is the following: When I want to do serious sound modelling, mixing and tweaking in Reason, I often end up with huge and very complicated racks of layered fx and mixing/mastering components, for each instrument and for each output channel associated with an instrument. This is annoying because if I do not look at the file for a few weeks (say I have a different project, or want to let this one rest a bit to get some new ideas), I find myself looking over the wiring and everything again, which is a redundant and boring activity. This has lead me to at least give up on one piece of music that I wanted to redo the mix for entirely, but ended up getting lost in the wiring. Furthermore, it's often just not really clear to what instruments some fx belong and what not, unless you really neatly organise everything, and even then it's sometimes a pain.

Several workarounds for this are 1) naming everything, which helps a bit. 2) Creating detached combinators that I just use as a "frame" to put everything beloning to one instrument in (eg. if I have a synth with extra modulation, going through a spider with three different outputs on a line mixer that each are slightly tweaked, I'd stick everything in an empty combinator to keep track of what it belongs to). 3) Clicking the appropriate instrument in the sequencer, which automatically takes you to the instrument section in the rack (quite convenient).

Now, this got me thinking. An easy proposition would be to introduce tabs! Enable an option that allows the creation of tabs, much like in modern browsers such as google chrome, that you can drag around and such. These tabs function much like a combinator (actually now that I think about it they could just be combinators), and could start for example with a default line mixer in them (or whatever you set up in the options). Have one main tab contain a mixer and mastering fx, leading up to the hardware unit, then hook up the separate tabs to this mixer. This way, you can easily go from instrument to instrument without having to resort to workarounds or scrolling! It seems like a really good way to maintain control over what you're doing in the mixing process.

This will also help a ton when doing collaborations. I often find myself explaining the way I organize files even though this could be made so much more easy by using tabs.

Another small nuisance I found was that, when using an NNXT, it seems to be impossible (unless I am missing something, which could ofcourse be the case), to set the keyboard key range for multiple samples simultaneously. Eg. it is possible to load up ten samples at once, then select all of them. But it is impossible to move the key range for all of them to the right at once, and then to the left, so that for example only a key range of 1 remains for all of them (whereafter each key can be shifted to a novel non-overlapping position). Enabling this would save me a lot of trouble. I know it's easier to use the drRex when you have a lot of samples that you glitch up or what not, but I enjoy using the advanced features that the NNXT gives me and the way it integrates with a keyboard, I haven't really found a workaround for this yet.

Let me know what you think.
 

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