Are you using Blocks mode in Sequencer

This forum is for discussing Propellerhead's music software. Questions, answers, ideas, and opinions... all apply.

Are you using Blocks mode in Sequencer?

There are Blocks in Sequencer?
5
5%
No, I don't like / find the idea very useful
29
27%
I like the idea, but the implementation is flaved
39
37%
Yes, I use it all the time - it's incredibly helpful
33
31%
 
Total votes: 106
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antic604
Posts: 192
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Warsaw, Poland
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27 Oct 2017

So, I came into Reason without ever realising that it has this Block mode in it's sequencer, that - functionally - is like a mix between Live / Bitwig's "scenes" in their session / clip views and Studio One's "scratch pads", allowing you to first create some ideas for your tune and them mix, match and adjust them on a traditional timeline. The huge advantage Blocks have over the abovemntioned functionalities in other DAWs is the fact, that updates to any of Blocks' components carries over to the timeline, which - to certain extent - nullifies the need for ghost / alias clips in Reason.

Short video on Blocks, from Propellerheads' micro-tutorial series:



I'm really surprised because this powerful - and quite unique, actually! - tool is very rarely mentioned (I couldn't find any topic on this on the forum, it was just mentioned in some random posts), so I wonder who's using it and if not, then why?

Please answer the poll and maybe comment. Thanks!

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motuscott
Posts: 800
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: the new york

27 Oct 2017

Use it often. Yes, it could be improved
#expose your pig

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antic604
Posts: 192
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Warsaw, Poland
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27 Oct 2017

motuscott wrote:
27 Oct 2017
Use it often. Yes, it could be improved
Could you elaborate on that, please? The only thing that I've noticed - and it's in no way a big deal - is that I can't seem to create a block in song mode, by simply selecting a vertical slice of my track (e.g. by placing the loop markers) and choosing "convert to block" or something along those lines. I can obviously select slice, copy it and paste into block, but it would be much more elegant and quicker to do as I described.

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Reasonable man
Posts: 86
Joined: 14 Jul 2016

27 Oct 2017

antic604 wrote:
27 Oct 2017
motuscott wrote:
27 Oct 2017
Use it often. Yes, it could be improved
I can't seem to create a block in song mode, by simply selecting a vertical slice of my track (e.g. by placing the loop markers) and choosing "convert to block" or something along those lines. I can obviously select slice, copy it and paste into block, but it would be much more elegant and quicker to do as I described.
This^

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antic604
Posts: 192
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Warsaw, Poland
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27 Oct 2017

I really wish the 3 people that chose "No, I don't like / find the idea very useful" also commented. Maybe there are some constraints or limitations to it that I don't see?

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Loque
Posts: 2340
Joined: 28 Dec 2015

27 Oct 2017

I always promised myself to try out this feature, but till now i could not see any big benefit compared to copy&paste. Maybe i should give it another try...
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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antic604
Posts: 192
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Warsaw, Poland
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27 Oct 2017

Loque wrote:
27 Oct 2017
I always promised myself to try out this feature, but till now i could not see any big benefit compared to copy&paste. Maybe i should give it another try...
As far as I can tell, there are - at least - 3:
- if you reuse the same block several times in Song and then decide you want to change something (e.g. add few more hits in percussion, change a chord, add accent, a fill, etc.), you just do it once in Blocks and it carries over to the Song, to each instance of the block,
- visual benefit, i.e. you can see the block being repeated, cut, sections of it muted and Song layers added on top, which makes it much easier to localise variations that you've introduced to the original block,
- you can name segments of your song, i.e. intro, verse, chorus, break, etc. :)

I'll definitely start my 1st project in Reason using Blocks, just have to finish that other tune I got going on in Bitwig :)

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Jagwah
Posts: 1092
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

27 Oct 2017

I have been meaning to embrace blocks mode, hope to very soon!
My mind is glowing

*Soundcloud

Goodbye
Posts: 156
Joined: 21 May 2017

27 Oct 2017

I think it's overcomplicated. Just being able to turn a clip into a symbol so you could copy paste instances of it and edit one to edit all would be a massive timesaver. If you are making very formulaic electronica (formulaic not meant as an insult) then I think they are useful, but what I really need is a similar thing but on a smaller scale.

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KirkMarkarian
Posts: 121
Joined: 13 Dec 2015
Location: Tucson, AZ
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27 Oct 2017

I chose the "I don't like it" option because I don't need more than what is already provided. Copy/paste suits me fine. I know where I have added and deleted parts, I don't need to make mass changes, and if I did, it's very easy to do already. I would say that blocks are useful for people to use if they are younger/new to Reason or make very repetitive, formulaic music, all the time. This block style of composition reminds me of Sony's Acid software or Ableton Live. I never liked those, either.

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antic604
Posts: 192
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Warsaw, Poland
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27 Oct 2017

Goodbye wrote:
27 Oct 2017
very formulaic electronica (formulaic not meant as an insult)
KirkMarkarian wrote:
27 Oct 2017
repetitive, formulaic music, all the time.
Now I'm curious to hear your music :D

jlgrimes
Posts: 111
Joined: 06 Jun 2017

27 Oct 2017

I’m starting to use it now. It has its benefits but I think Props dropped the ball in certain areas by not creating a block triggering device. Where you could trigger your arrangement in realtime based off of quantized settings for live arranging.

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KirkMarkarian
Posts: 121
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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27 Oct 2017

antic604 wrote:
27 Oct 2017
Goodbye wrote:
27 Oct 2017
very formulaic electronica (formulaic not meant as an insult)
KirkMarkarian wrote:
27 Oct 2017
repetitive, formulaic music, all the time.
Now I'm curious to hear your music :D
It really depends on my mood or the client's request, but for less repetitive stuff:







Love it/hate it - I don't care :D

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Oquasec
Posts: 1575
Joined: 05 Mar 2017

27 Oct 2017

Yes, whenever.
Reason for Electronic music, Reaper for Acoustic/Metal music.
Windows, Linux & Qube OS user.

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antic604
Posts: 192
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Warsaw, Poland
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27 Oct 2017

KirkMarkarian wrote:
27 Oct 2017
It really depends on my mood or the client's request, but for less repetitive stuff:
Thanks, found it in your signature earlier - really great stuff! :)

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KirkMarkarian
Posts: 121
Joined: 13 Dec 2015
Location: Tucson, AZ
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27 Oct 2017

antic604 wrote:
27 Oct 2017
KirkMarkarian wrote:
27 Oct 2017
It really depends on my mood or the client's request, but for less repetitive stuff:
Thanks, found it in your signature earlier - really great stuff! :)
Thank you for listening!

TritoneAddiction
Posts: 1155
Joined: 29 Aug 2015
Location: Sweden

27 Oct 2017

I've never used it. I've watched a couple of videos about it just to see what it does. Using blocks just wouldn't do much for my particular workflow. It just doesn't appeal to me to work with two different layers.
I always work in song mode. What's there is there. So much simpler that way. I always figure out the song structure at the end of a project anyway. Copy and paste works just fine.

Also at this point I'm so used to working in a particular way. Why change a workflow that already works?

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EnochLight
Posts: 3687
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

27 Oct 2017

I like Blocks, because they are essentially a visual representation of the old Ensoniq workstation sequencer approach of the late1980's/early/mid 1990's, so it clicks with me. I don't use them all of the time, but I do use them probably half of the time.
Windows 10 64-bit | Reason 10 |  Studio One 3.5| Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 4.2 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro

groggy1
Posts: 189
Joined: 10 Jun 2015

27 Oct 2017

Goodbye wrote:
27 Oct 2017
I think it's overcomplicated. Just being able to turn a clip into a symbol so you could copy paste instances of it and edit one to edit all would be a massive timesaver. If you are making very formulaic electronica (formulaic not meant as an insult) then I think they are useful, but what I really need is a similar thing but on a smaller scale.
+1

I feel like the implementation in Sonar (linked clips) is much more intuitive, and doesn't pull me out of my workflow: As I'm editing my song, I can create linked "copies" of a clip: Edit one, and they're all updated. Super-useful way to "reuse" a clip that I created.

I'm sure Blocks is useful for some people, but just not for me.

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esselfortium
Posts: 772
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
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27 Oct 2017

There's no poll option that fits for me, and I imagine I'm not alone: I don't use blocks "often", but they lend themselves very well to certain types of compositions, and heck yeah I use them in those situations. The songs on PC LOVE LETTER use them pretty heavily, but my current project hasn't been using them at all so far.
Sarah Mancuso
New EP「PC LOVE LETTER」is out now!

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OldSchoolSkunk
Posts: 44
Joined: 20 Jan 2015

27 Oct 2017

I use it all the time... If it has lyrics I tend to break it into verse chorus.. hook..(if its hip hop :) but its most powerful when you can compose using only one block yes one block..! I do that alot I write all the parts that i'll use in Song mode then copy all the tracks into one block and "Grid compose" muting and unmuting tracks. There's a tutorial vid in the Props YouTube channel that shows an example of that. Only thing about when using blocks in song mode they lose the color of the track so they all look the same color but you can still tell with the gradient shading which tracks are muted and so forth. So i use song mode to add variation because you can chop your entire song like a big Rex loop clip. The fundamental of the sequencer is the Clip.. you see this concept on shown on any the "Pattern devices" in Reason. But Blocks is Reason's method of Song Pattern mode... found on most Hardware sequencers of old..and midi music programs... its not really a new concept except for people who've been on Reason prior to it being added (ver 4 or 5 or 6? can't remember I came to Reason on 6) so it either fits their composing style or maybe not. But its definatley not just erm... formulaic or whatever the others said. Just another tool you'll either use and appreciate or function you know that there but never use... experiment sometimes. :)

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sublunar
Posts: 226
Joined: 27 Apr 2017

27 Oct 2017

KirkMarkarian wrote:
27 Oct 2017
I chose the "I don't like it" option because I don't need more than what is already provided. Copy/paste suits me fine. I know where I have added and deleted parts, I don't need to make mass changes, and if I did, it's very easy to do already. I would say that blocks are useful for people to use if they are younger/new to Reason or make very repetitive, formulaic music, all the time. This block style of composition reminds me of Sony's Acid software or Ableton Live. I never liked those, either.
What he said. Copy + Paste does the job, but I always then go and make changes here and there for the subsequent portion. Involving blocks just seems like unnecessary work without real benefit for me. Doesn't at all suit my song style or workflow. If it did, I'd probably use it.

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raccoonboy
Posts: 396
Joined: 22 Oct 2015

27 Oct 2017

The main thing I like to use it for is often I have a 2 bar loop of drum triggers which pretty much just repeats (for a hiphop song). These are placed on the grid manually with no snap to match a drum loop or whatever. I can then extend this over the entire song. Now if I need to go back and make a small adjustment to the position of the triggers then it changes everything at once. This can be necessary if I'm changing the kick or snare sound, I may need to slightly nudge one or two elements for them to fit in correctly or just for fine tuning later on without having to re-copy&paste every time.

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dioxide
Posts: 818
Joined: 15 Jul 2015

27 Oct 2017

Block are good but they need MIDI switching.

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syncanonymous
Posts: 264
Joined: 16 Mar 2015
Location: UK and France

28 Oct 2017

I chose option 1

Sometimes I accidentally press the B key
then I immediately press the B key again to return to vanilla
The single most wanted feature for me would be to be able to view more than one midi note lane in edit mode; that would speed up my workflow exponentially.

I suppose I oughta take a day and understand the B key functionality
I am poised to spend a couple weeks composing in Reason
I’ll give ‘er a go :-)

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