STREAM DECK XL – Control Reason with Keyboard Maestro

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wendylou
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Post 25 Sep 2023

I'm starting this thread to separate from LabOne's thread, as this is focused on controlling everything in Reason using Keyboard Maestro macros with Stream Deck XL using the KM Link plugin.

I'm slowly building a series of nested pages. Since KM can control any menu item in Reason, I put the Reason Menu across the top, added a transport, etc.

Stream Deck XL Reason - KM Edition = home page.jpg
As such a design may not suit everyone, when I publish it, you can always edit, delete, rearrange, or copy/paste it into your own control page layout.

More important are the actual Keyboard Maestro macros of which there are 700+ to date. I'm finding that KM might throw a popup error periodically, and I suspect that it may be related to timing. It's well known that KM works so fast that delays of a few hundredths of seconds will help execution not outpace the program or computer. So I added 2 hundredth sec. delays after the Reason window is activated to all macros to see if that may help. Further adjustments may be needed as the macros are tested. For the most part, things work well, but I have experienced popup warnings if I toggle rapidly. It's not uncommon for any macros to require some fine-tuning to get them operating smoothly. Nevertheless, most are working so far. I'm including a new Reason macro zip that has delays inserted into all macros. If you find some are not working consistently, please post and we'll see about resolving.

Reason Macros.kmmacros.zip
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wendylou
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Post 26 Sep 2023

updated profile page
Stream Deck XL Reason - KM Edition-main page.jpg
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wendylou
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Post 26 Sep 2023

Less busy looking :thumbs_up:

Stream Deck XL Reason - KM Edition.jpg
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selig
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Post 26 Sep 2023

Quick tip I just learned about pages - you have a limit of 10 pages per Profile (as it would appear you have discovered), which would normally be just fine. But once you start adding devices and colors etc, you may run out at some point.

The solution is to use more Profiles, since you can link from any Profile to any other Profile/page with a single “Switch Profile” command/button because the page number is a part of the instruction.

So let’s say in addition to the main Reason Profile, you created a Profile for all of the Reason REs and all of your VSTs. From your main Reason Profile, it will look exactly like any other page/switch from within the same Profile. All you “need” is to put any sort of “return button” so you can get back to the main Profile and Page of your choosing.

Can’t wait to get started, still running the KM demo, so probably a good time to get the full version…

Thanks for posting this, plus all the work you’ve already put in with the KM side of things.
Selig Audio, LLC

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wendylou
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Post 26 Sep 2023

Good advice as always, as I had been thinking about this 10-page limit. I agree that linking to more Profiles opens up any limitations imposed by Folders. Folders may have the advantage of being included in a single Profile (for ease of distribution) but branching to Profiles removes the limits. Considering there are currently 713 commands, profile-linking resolves any limitations!
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wendylou
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Post 27 Sep 2023

OK, I changed all those Reason Menu folder buttons to links to profiles for greater expansion. I also added a "My Favorites" button linked to a Reason Favorites Profile so that users can copy/paste their most favorite or often-used actions.

Reason KM Edition - new home profile.jpg

Stream Deck Profiles.jpg
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selig
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Post 27 Sep 2023

I’m working on my “Devices” Profile, which is likely the only additional Profile I will require. Makes sense to organize this way IMO.
I’m thinking my first page will include all of my most common favorites, plus additional links to Instruments/Effects/Utilities/Players where the rest of the plugins I use will be available. That way in most cases there is only two button presses to load the most commonly used devices.

Another quick tip - check your Reason “Create” menu under each heading to see your top 9 most used devices, and DEFINITELY include these in your favorites Profile! They are literally your most used devices according to how you work (but only include Reason devices/REs, not VSTs).
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wendylou
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Post 28 Sep 2023

I started entering Menu Profiles. Here's "Reason" and "File" with submenu "New from Templates"::

Screenshot 2023-09-28 at 3.58.37 AM.png
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selig
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Post 28 Sep 2023

Now that you've figured out how to get every command on a button (and have created a master "library"), the 'real' fun begins - how to arrange the buttons to avoid too much menu diving such that the end experience is an overall INCREASE in flow/productivity. For most of us I'm guessing we don't want/need every single control available, at least not at the highest level. For me, this will be an on-going process I'm sure!

One thing I learned about myself and new controllers, is I need about 30 days of more 'forced' use of a system before I can determine if it's working well or not. I have to build up my muscle memory before I can make a fair comparison.
I'm still getting to know the current setup, so still need some time to work on the layout.

It's nice you can so easily tweak the layout it as you go, noticing the need for a button when doing a specific task and grabbing it from the "library". or finding you need two specific buttons right next to each other for optimal workflow and just moving them there.

As for plotting out your initial layout/links/etc, I made this simple template - repeat for each Page/Profile in type in the names of buttons I(using any basic graphic/layout/presentation app) so you can get a sense for how to group things initially.
Screen Shot 2023-09-28 at 2.41.22 PM.png
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wendylou
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Post 28 Sep 2023

I do plan to complete as many items accessible from the Reason Menu (top row), as it would be a shame to not offer such complete control since we now have it. The Menu may come in handy, although I do not envision that to be the primary use case with Stream Deck. What it does is provide access to every Keyboard Maestro macro for Reason, which can be useful for copy/paste when crafting your own layout.

Instead, the real power will be offering consolidated, oft-used features on the remaining pages beginning with Page 2. The "My Favorites" button is also linked to a blank, user-customizable profile and will provide an area to be populated with one's favorite actions.

As each of us has a different take on what is essential to our workflow, after providing some universal, essential, and core buttons – beginning on Page 2 – (similar to how you began laying out your most useful buttons), perhaps the remaining pages can be left blank for users to craft their dream control layout.

I will bundle all the Stream Deck profile pages, KM macros, directions, etc. in a ZIP when ready, hopefully yet this week.
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Lov2sing
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Post 29 Sep 2023

Where do you get this device? I seems very useful. My question is can it control mute in multiples so one could automate within the mixer?
We make music for a reason

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wendylou
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Post 30 Sep 2023

Here are the Profile layouts so far. I still need to populate "Create" (Instruments/Effects/Utilies/Players, "Options", "Window", and "Help". I'm only putting in stock Reason devices, leaving it up to the user to add their own RE and VSTs.

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wendylou
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Post 30 Sep 2023

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wendylou
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Post 30 Sep 2023

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wendylou
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Post 30 Sep 2023

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wendylou
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Post 30 Sep 2023

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wendylou
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Post 30 Sep 2023

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East Island
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Post 05 Oct 2023

Thanks, I think this is cool to see. I have installed Keyboard Maestro. You can do a lot with it together with stream deck.
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Post 05 Oct 2023

wendylou wrote:
26 Sep 2023
Good advice as always, as I had been thinking about this 10-page limit. I agree that linking to more Profiles opens up any limitations imposed by Folders. Folders may have the advantage of being included in a single Profile (for ease of distribution) but branching to Profiles removes the limits. Considering there are currently 713 commands, profile-linking resolves any limitations!
You can also use the map folder structure! Instead of profiles
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East Island
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Post 05 Oct 2023

A question, can "KM" also open presets/patches?
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LABONERECORDINGS
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Post 05 Oct 2023

looking good! and cool a new thread has started to make it clear between Mac and PC options. Similar method with the colours on Autohotkey by the look of it when Keyboard Maestro does it thing too. And @Selig cool to know about the multipage limit per profile - nice pointer.

Still got to develop the PC version more, we're still waiting on RS to sort out the menu listing to have more than 100 items (yes, Waves, we're looking at you with your 8-modes-per-plugin listing addition, which is a true true PITA). Would be cool to allow us users to define our own menus (alike the Favourites in the browser) so we can do more background-menu-driven functions to make the StreamDeck a goto dashboard editor. We can do some funky hotkey tracking so you use the browser dropdown, press a key to get to that manufacturer, right arrow open etc.... looong... but doable. Stock devices are pretty straightforward though

Keep up the good work Wendy :D

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wendylou
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Post 07 Oct 2023

Reason KM Edition – Package Release

Sorry for the delay – I had an abdominal injury and have been wiped out for several weeks. Tonight, I completed adding all Reason menu item macros. I also merged the Reason Menus into Stream Deck Folders, which frees up using Profiles for where they are really needed. This helps self-contain the Reason Menu's inro the maim Profile.

There is plenty of space available for you to customize many of the empty profile pages.

I started to add all Reason stock Devices, Effects, Utilities, and Players but have run out of steam. If someone can pick up the ball and continue adding macros buttons for stock items, that will complete the overall system.

What remains to be done:
  • add your own RE and VSTs
  • add functions to the Mixer, Rack, and Sequencer profiles
Giles had constructed several previous profiles for those areas – I just am exhausted and not sure when I can do it myself. All the macros have been created, so we need to add the tools and editor functions, etc.

Files in following post...
Last edited by wendylou on 07 Oct 2023, edited 1 time in total.
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wendylou
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Post 07 Oct 2023

Here's the final Main Profile:

The HOME icon links to your Home Profile. But once you navigate anywhere, Home becomes the Reason symbol, and it will always take you back to page 1 of this Reason Profile, even if you branched to another Profile in the Reason KM Edition project. The Mixer, Rack, and Sequencer Buttons take you to separate Profiles, each with 10 pages, while concurrently activating those windows in Reason. They are as yet unpopulated with controls other than the core ones seen here. More work to do! Help wanted! :puf_smile: These would need controls specific to each area, such as pointer, blade, eraser, zooms, navigation, or other specific controls and tools. The left side number in 3rd row is the page #. Above that, I try to title the area you are in so you always know where you are in the navigation.

Screenshot 2023-10-07 at 10.19.48 PM.png

Here's a sample Reason Menu "Window" folder page. The return symbol in the upper left means you've drilled into a folder, and that is how you return back where you came from. The lower right arrow means there are one or more pages to explore.

Screenshot 2023-10-07 at 10.20.44 PM.png

This is the Reason Stock Instrument's page. If someone could complete the Effects, Utilities, and Players, the macros are all there to link to from Stream Deck to continue the "core" portion of this project. Otherwise, when I'm up to it, I'll get back to this. I did save screenshots of the devices to use here but have begun with text entries to get started linking the macros to the buttons. Probably need to replace with images at some point.

Screenshot 2023-10-07 at 10.20.31 PM.png
There is a lot of real estate in the pages and Profiles for the user to add more macros.
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wendylou
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Post 08 Oct 2023

FILES
(updated 08-OCT-2023 5:49 AM)

I deleted all older zips that were posted above. This is the latest version of KM Macros and Stream Deck XL Profiles.

Google Drive Reason Folder:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

I have now completed adding all Reason stock Effects, Utilities, and Players. The final step would be to add images of the devices.

Users would then continue adding their own RE and VSTs, plus we need to build out the controls for Mixer, Rack, and Sequencer. @Selig was doing a lot of this good work – I just haven't gotten to it yet, as I needed to get the hundreds of macros created and this multi-Profile Stream Deck Profile made. We are getting very close! Even then, there is tons of room for personal customization!

Here's a pic from the Create menu showing the 4 Profile buttons for Create Instruments, Effects, Utilities, and Players!

Screenshot 2023-10-08 at 5.59.03 AM.png

I have played with this in Reason by adding every single Instrument, Effect, Utility, and Player via button presses. It's totally insane how quickly you can now do things in Reason! :puf_smile: :reason: :puf_smile: THIS is what it's all about! World Control – bwah hah hah hah ha!
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wendylou
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Post 10 Oct 2023

UPDATE – I updated the KM Macros and Stream Deck Profile (the previous link above works because it always goes to the folder containing the zip):

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing
  • Added Reason Companion button
  • Updated Mixer, Rack, and Sequencer button graphics
  • In Menu "Window", page 2, I updated Tutorial and ReGroove as Show/Hide actions and added graphics.
I've noticed that when Keyboard Maestro displays an error pop-up alert, it seems to be due to a window focus issue, as there are multiple focus zones in Reason. We'll need to discover the best way to code the macros to prevent this issue. It is correctable. In the meantime, repeatedly pressing the button with pauses in between eventually seems to trigger the desired action. So try a few more times knowing that this is a window focus issue and that eventually, the action should execute once it discovers the correct window focus. If someone wants to tackle the window focus issue and proper KM coding to prevent this, feel free and let us know! They have a terrific forum where many issues get resolved by asking experts, of which there are many who create amazing macros for all sorts of situations and programs.

On a similar note, should some macro fail to operate at all, no matter how many button pushes, then that does indicate a spelling error in the macro, as the path and menu names must exactly match what one finds in the program menus. I've been correcting these as I find them, so feel free to report any you find.

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