Are you using Blocks mode in Sequencer

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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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Faastwalker
Posts: 1092
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

11 Dec 2017

I never really got into Blocks. It always looked like a very useful feature that I couldn't find a useful way to use!!

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Flavolous
Posts: 270
Joined: 17 Aug 2016
Location: ZW | GB

11 Dec 2017

tobypearce wrote:
11 Dec 2017
Like others, I essentially use it as an organising tool, to map arrangements. I don't put any actual music in blocks, so to speak; but I do use the blocks lane to colour code the rest of the arrangement. I find this a fantastic feature.

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 08.56.33.png
I also had the idea to organise myself with blocks....sadly I'm not very organised upstairs :D

This a typical session using blocks to audition arrangements and figure out what works quickly
Screenshot 2017-12-12 00.08.06.png
Screenshot 2017-12-12 00.08.06.png (195.22 KiB) Viewed 421 times
And this is an alternative version of the song I made fairly quickly from the very same reason file, after I got an idea whilst listening
Screenshot 2017-12-12 00.08.32.png
Screenshot 2017-12-12 00.08.32.png (163.97 KiB) Viewed 421 times

calebbrennan
Posts: 154
Joined: 16 Aug 2016

12 Dec 2017

I deinitly Use Blocks for two reasons

Simply used As Markers :I want to see my intro- verse- chrs -bridge-outro- arrangment at the top of my sequencer!

I also have used blocks when a song arrangment is in question a
copy and pasting each section to a BLOCK and playing around with the blocks

It has helped me realise a better arrangementsfor songs that were a problem child

That said, it is clunky and old.

My dream for blocks:

I want to razor a 16 bar vrse section and select" Bounce to Block"

And when using it as just a visual indicator of my arrangement I just want to draw a block and name it within SONG mode.

Bouncing between block and song mode throws me off my work flow.

Valuable feature but clunky

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antic604
Posts: 460
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Contact:

12 Dec 2017

calebbrennan wrote:
12 Dec 2017
My dream for blocks:

I want to razor a 16 bar vrse section and select" Bounce to Block"
Yeah, this is suspiciously absent :(

You can convert unmuted Block clips to Song clips, but not the other way around. Obviously you can always put your L & R markers around the area, copy it and paste in Blocks, but a shortcut to automatically do that would be sweet.
Reason 10 / Bitwig 2 / Live 10
My music: https://soundcloud.com/antic604

calebbrennan
Posts: 154
Joined: 16 Aug 2016

13 Dec 2017

Question
Due to this thread I created some blocks for a current song.

What is differant is that I don't see the midi or audio events greyed out like I've been used to.

The block arrangement plays correctly but the sequencer events are not visible. Just the blocks on the top but all lanes are blank.

I know I must be doing something wrong as Flavolous posted screen shots above that show a block arrangment with the events visible.

User avatar
Electric-Metal
Posts: 431
Joined: 10 Dec 2015
Location: Landstuhl, Germany

14 Dec 2017

calebbrennan wrote:
13 Dec 2017
Question
Due to this thread I created some blocks for a current song.

What is differant is that I don't see the midi or audio events greyed out like I've been used to.

The block arrangement plays correctly but the sequencer events are not visible. Just the blocks on the top but all lanes are blank.

I know I must be doing something wrong as Flavolous posted screen shots above that show a block arrangment with the events visible.
The events you see in the screen shots are are overlays, created in song mode. You can add overlays to any lane in song mode to create some variation. In that case, midi notes will be played from the overlaying clip instead of the notes in the block. Same goes for automation.
:?: The question is - Who cares :?:

wils
Posts: 37
Joined: 04 Dec 2017

14 Dec 2017

What blocks need:

(already mentioned) Ability to convert whilst in song mode (i.e. "convert area between L and R markers to BLOCK")

Ability to program into the sequencer "Play Block 1 four times, then Block 2 twice..." and then change that on the fly WITHOUT changing the blocks in the sequencer. This feature can already be found in Nuendo/Cubase and it's very useful but I can't remember what it's called. Once you're happy with the structure you can then convert it to a traditional track.

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vondersulzburg
Posts: 44
Joined: 24 May 2016
Location: Stuttgart

14 Dec 2017

Hi it was used very intensively in Steinberg Sequel. There you could create a kind of blocks and the record the song using a kind of pads The trigger was down to tick . Was a very nice idea but I think they will stopp Sequel.
MacBook Air MID 2016 256GB SSD 8GB RAM, Reason 10, Ableton Live 9 Suite, LogicProX, Cubase 9.5

wils
Posts: 37
Joined: 04 Dec 2017

15 Dec 2017

vondersulzburg wrote:
14 Dec 2017
Hi it was used very intensively in Steinberg Sequel. There you could create a kind of blocks and the record the song using a kind of pads The trigger was down to tick . Was a very nice idea but I think they will stopp Sequel.
Just found the info I was after - it's called the "Arranger Track." As far as I know it's in all current versions of Cubase and Nuendo. You don't have a separate "window" as you do when you work on either the song or the block in Reason. I guess the equivalent in Reason would be working in the main song window, and adding the arranger blocks in a dedicated lane at the top. You'd then be able to play the song as a function of "block 1 four times, then block two five times etc" and when you were happy, you could turn it into a regular song timeline.

What I like about the Steinberg take on this is that you can have blocks within blocks (so for example you could have a verse block, and then if you wanted the last couple of bars repeated for a bit of variation, you could create another block within the first). Just run a Google image search for "arranger track" and you'll see what I mean. Steinberg's and Prop's implementations of the same idea come at it from different angles. Steinberg use the song view to create the blocks, whereas Props use the block to create the song.

Does this make Steinberg's take better? Maybe, maybe not. I've never owned either Cubase or Nuendo cos I don't want to spend £xxxx on a DAW just to have to spend another £xxxxx on plugins to make it sound good.

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antic604
Posts: 460
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Contact:

15 Dec 2017

wils wrote:
15 Dec 2017
Steinberg's and Prop's implementations of the same idea come at it from different angles. Steinberg use the song view to create the blocks, whereas Props use the block to create the song.
Yes, that's the biggest 'oversight' here and it should be pretty easy to fix, because - obviously - one can select a vertical slice, cut (razor) the clips sticking outside of it, copy & paste it into a Block then put that Block back in Song. What Props need to do is automate that to a single menu entry / keyboard shortcut.
Reason 10 / Bitwig 2 / Live 10
My music: https://soundcloud.com/antic604

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chimp_spanner
Posts: 1571
Joined: 06 Mar 2015

15 Dec 2017

I feel like blocks could be taken further but it is useful! I was messing around the other night with basically laying out blocks before I've even written any music (especially when you're writing to a formula, like a trailer cue where the layout is predictable, ambient/intro/motif/drop/tension/drop/reprise/end/drop) and it's really useful in guiding me and giving me an idea of what still needs to be worked on. You can really quickly get the basic essence of the song nailed and have some kinda flow knowing that you can just drop back into a section later and make changes. Another thing I find really useful in conjunction with that is just using a single instrument like a sketch pad. So like a piano or something. And I just make a few lanes, one for bass notes, another for chords, another for melody. Get it all arranged in blocks then go through and do sound replacement. Super useful.

As for where it could go next...I'd love note clips. Being able to make changes to an individual phrase or pattern throughout an entire song would be great (and it'd open up the possibility of clip launching). How it'd be represented, I'm not sure. Maybe you would create a new track block and it'd open up an editor *just* for that device. Problematic with automating connected devices though. That's for someone way smarter than me to figure out.
Enjoy!

http://www.paulortizmusic.com

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ilikestargazing
Posts: 72
Joined: 22 Jun 2016
Location: Copenhagen
Contact:

15 Dec 2017

calebbrennan wrote:
12 Dec 2017

Valuable feature but clunky
I feel like this exactly describes my feeling about it. The idea is great but it just doesn't work for my personal workflow. I'm sure everyone has different uses for it, but the word "clunky" really hit the nail on the head imho.

For sure sequencers can get messy, especially with automation lanes seemingly scattered around. I'd be just as happy if I could just group all types of tracks and devices freely.

One example that comes to mind is Compound Clips in Final Cut Pro X, where you can essentially select anything in the editing timeline and group into a new clip which will then behave like a single normal video clip. You can open the clip at any time and edit the full timeline, and even further compound clips which will update any changes made along the chain up to the final output - Totally priceless for organising and time saving. If I ever saw that feature in Reason I may just fall to my knees and cry with joy. :D

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antic604
Posts: 460
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Contact:

15 Dec 2017

chimp_spanner wrote:
15 Dec 2017
As for where it could go next...I'd love note clips. Being able to make changes to an individual phrase or pattern throughout an entire song would be great (and it'd open up the possibility of clip launching).
Just making sure you're aware this is how blocks work? If you put clip(s) in block and use that block accross your tune, then if you change the clip(s) inside the block they'll get updated everywhere.
Reason 10 / Bitwig 2 / Live 10
My music: https://soundcloud.com/antic604

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