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Old 2006-01-27, 21:14
doctec's Avatar
doctec doctec is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 54
Simple Audio Idea: RePlay

I'm not sure if this has been proposed in a prior thread so forgive me if this has already been proposed.

Unlike some people here, I agree with the Props' decision not to incorporate VST/VSTi and audio recording support in Reason. Adding these features would overly complicate the simple and elegant design of the Reason rack. Using Reason in conjunction with a ReWire host works just fine for me in situations where these features are needed.

That said, I know I'm not alone when I say that incorporating long samples into a sequence that spans multiple bars of the track is a major pain in the derriere. If using Reason as a stand alone application is your only real option then the hassle of hacking long samples into bar-length chunks, dropping them into a sampler and creating a sequencer track to trigger each one is tedious, cumbersome and prone to error.

It is with this thought in mind that I propose a new, very simple device be added to the Reason rack:


This simple little device is designed to do only one thing: play a sample (usually a long one) starting at a given bar. The wrinkle: if sequencer playback starts at a bar *beyond* the start bar, the device starts playback at the appropriate point past the start point. No pitch interpolation and no fancy audio processing features - just a stereo output on the back. If you need to process the audio further, there are plenty of Reason effects devices and wiring options to choose from.

Example: let's say you have a vocal recording of an 8 bar verse you want to drop into a Reason song starting at bar 24. Sure you could use an NN19 to do this but everyone knows that if you start the sequencer playback at bar 26 - 2 bars past the start of the verse in your sequencer tracks - the NN19 is silent. To hear the vocals, you have to start playback at or before bar 24 for the NN19 to play the vocal.

With the RePlay device, you would be able to start playback at bar 26 and the player would simply skip 2 bars ahead in the vocal and start playing the sample as if the first 2 bars of the sample didn't exist - you'd only hear the remaining 6 bars of the verse vocal sample, not the whole thing. If you started playback at bar 31, 7 bars into the verse, RePlay would only play the last bar of the verse vocal.

I would imaging that the math required to determine the sample at which to start playing a WAV based on the sequencer bar pointer relative to some arbitrary starting bar is pretty simple and straightforward. There are obviously some details to work out with regard to this device - it might be better for example to allow the setting of both a bar and a fractional amount of a bar as the sample's start point - but I think the basic concept is sound.

Given the nature of a device like this, I don't see it needing any sequencer support per se. Routing a sequencer track to this device would be pointless inasmuch as there are no front panel controls that benefit from sequencer control in the first place. If a track is routed to RePlay, I would expect that sending note triggers and cc info to RePlay would have no effect on the device at all.

A simple device like this would make it *so much simpler* to incorporate recorded audio in Reason without violating the simplicity and elegance of the Reason design paradigm.

Heck, the device probably doesn't even need a volume knob - just wire it into a mixer and adjust from there.

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