Anyone uses Reason to play live?

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siriussounds
Posts: 25
Joined: 22 Mar 2019
Location: Sweden

Post 11 May 2019

Hi,

I was wondering if any of you guys have experience from performing live with Reason. I would like to do that, but I don't feel all comfortable with going out there, because every now and then there will be a lag or something. As opposed to Ableton Live that seems to be running smoothly more or less all the time.

tanni
Posts: 95
Joined: 19 Jul 2015

Post 12 May 2019

I use Reason live. What do you mean with lag ?

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Jackjackdaw
Posts: 159
Joined: 12 Jan 2019

Post 12 May 2019

I think your hardware is the main consideration. If you have a decent laptop and a banging audio interface there shouldn't be a problem.

I wouldn't take my shonky rig to a show though no matter what software was on it.

siriussounds
Posts: 25
Joined: 22 Mar 2019
Location: Sweden

Post 12 May 2019

Jackjackdaw wrote:
12 May 2019
I think your hardware is the main consideration. If you have a decent laptop and a banging audio interface there shouldn't be a problem.

I wouldn't take my shonky rig to a show though no matter what software was on it.
My hardware should be good enough, it's a Macbook Pro, 2,2 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, but some reason or other it happens every so often that when I play a song, there are small pauses, e.g. when a new channel is introduced the first time in a song. I've asked about this problem elsewhere, and it has gotten better since I changed to low resolution. Haven't seen it for a while, actually, so maybe that's it. But still, I don't trust it 100%.

Do you play live as in making music while you go, or do you basically play the premade music?

Thanks

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Bloma
Posts: 522
Joined: 06 Sep 2015
Location: Melbourne

Post 13 May 2019

You might know this one already, but one thing that improved my Macbook Pro's performance was to turn off 'Automatic Graphics Switching' in the Energy Saver settings in System Preferences.

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Jackjackdaw
Posts: 159
Joined: 12 Jan 2019

Post 13 May 2019

All my gigging has been as a guitarist where making music as I go has been kind of the point . If I was to do electronic live I would be inclined to have a lot of manual input I suppose. But i see kids on YouTube with an sp404 hitting play and twiddling the fx knob and it seems to go down fine. I guess that's more of a DJ philosophy. Do want feels right for you and see what works.

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splangie
Posts: 203
Joined: 21 Dec 2017
Location: Park County, Colorado

Post 13 May 2019

Best to have a backup or fail-safe or something. I have been in bands that used PCs. It worked most of the time, but when it went south it went hard.

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dioxide
Posts: 1105
Joined: 15 Jul 2015

Post 13 May 2019

Yes, I do. I perform a DJ like set using two laptops, although I've also done stuff with one. Reason is pretty stable but a lot depends on which devices are in your song and how powerful your PC is. I did my last gig with 10.2 but I've since upgraded to 10.3, which helps to keep the CPU usage manageable as there are times where I've had audio glitches.

There are many ways to use Reason live. If you can describe how you plan to play live, maybe people can give you some tips?

siriussounds
Posts: 25
Joined: 22 Mar 2019
Location: Sweden

Post 13 May 2019

Bloma wrote:
13 May 2019
You might know this one already, but one thing that improved my Macbook Pro's performance was to turn off 'Automatic Graphics Switching' in the Energy Saver settings in System Preferences.
Thanks! I'm still running on High Sierre, and there doesn't seem to be any Automatic Graphics Switching, but I'll keep it in mind for if/when I upgrade -- by the way, is this an upgrade recommended for Reason 9.5? I can see a lot of info about High Sierra, so I waited with that one until things seemed ok.

siriussounds
Posts: 25
Joined: 22 Mar 2019
Location: Sweden

Post 13 May 2019

dioxide wrote:
13 May 2019
Yes, I do. I perform a DJ like set using two laptops, although I've also done stuff with one. Reason is pretty stable but a lot depends on which devices are in your song and how powerful your PC is. I did my last gig with 10.2 but I've since upgraded to 10.3, which helps to keep the CPU usage manageable as there are times where I've had audio glitches.

There are many ways to use Reason live. If you can describe how you plan to play live, maybe people can give you some tips?
Thanks!

Yeah, that makes sense. I want to do a few different things:
1. To play electronic dance music for a live audience -- which means that any audio glitches are unacceptable, basically. This one could be combined with live instruments, e.g. guitar, cello etc, with some live effects.
2. To play accoustic sets with effects through Reason. Maybe also a backing track to support -- which could either be rendered live or bounced before-hand, I suppose.

Could you please say something more about the different ways to use Reason live?

I'm running on 9.5 with High Sierra at the moment.

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dioxide
Posts: 1105
Joined: 15 Jul 2015

Post 16 May 2019

siriussounds wrote:
13 May 2019
Could you please say something more about the different ways to use Reason live?
Well you could put everything into a single Reason hour long Song file and play it this way. This way your MIDI controllers stay locked to the same Song and you don't have to worry about opening and closing files and the confusion that goes with that. To minimise how many devices you are using, you could use automation to morph between sounds. This method limits what you can do though, but it is very similar to working with a hardware setup where your options are also limited.

One way of working in a single Song file would be to paste each song into a Block. This makes it very easy to rearrange Songs in the timeline, moving them back and forward. If you want smooth transitions you'll also need a Block for the transition between two Songs.

Other things to consider: if you will be touching the QWERTY keyboard there are a couple of things to watch. The B button will put you into Block edit mode. The C button will activate the metronome – so I always turn the volume down. In the past I have used Keyboard Edit Mode to map the B and C keys to something harmless.

If you will syncing two computers, or attempting to mix into a CDJ or turntable, you will need to look at the Delay Compensation in Reason. Some devices have a lot of delay (eg Ozone Maximizer), so will need to be removed or replaced with low latency alternatives.

My favourite method of working at the moment is having empty automation lanes in the Song (alt click on the parameter to create the lane) and I can then use my MIDI controller to rework the sound entirely, mute drums, repitch things. Then when I want to snap back to the original, I have mapped the Reset Automation Override to my MIDI controller, so I press this button and everything snaps back to how it was originally. There is always some amount of autopilot in the original Song, but this allows me to completely change the track but then snap back to something that I know works, while I do something else, like cueing up the next track or using the DJ mixer.

As I say I use two laptops at the moment, synced via Ableton Link (using a cable with Wifi disabled just to be safe). I work with a Song on each laptop, and mix on a DJ mixer. When starting a Song in Reason using Link, the tempo takes a couple of bars to stabilise, so you need to have the volume on the new Song turned down until the tempo is in the sync.

If you have two laptops and want to work in a different way, or perhaps one is older and slower than the other, you could split it into drums and music. So one laptop could run drum sequencing and all the music could come from the faster laptop.

There's always a certain amount of planning to try and minimise what could go wrong. Every link in the chain could potentially fail. An advantage to having two laptops is that if one crashes, the other keeps going buying you time to fix things. Reason is very stable generally but computers can act strange when you put them in a club environment or flood them with MIDI CCs.

Hopefully this would have got you thinking. If you've got any questions, just ask.

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dioxide
Posts: 1105
Joined: 15 Jul 2015

Post 16 May 2019

siriussounds wrote:
13 May 2019
1. To play electronic dance music for a live audience -- which means that any audio glitches are unacceptable, basically. This one could be combined with live instruments, e.g. guitar, cello etc, with some live effects.
Latency might be an issue if you are running the instrument through Reason, as the player will want to have little or no delay. You'll have to try this out. Alternatively you could run the audio from the live instruments into a mixer and use Reason as a Send effect. That way if there is any latency, it won't matter.
siriussounds wrote:
13 May 2019
2. To play accoustic sets with effects through Reason. Maybe also a backing track to support -- which could either be rendered live or bounced before-hand, I suppose.
Again Blocks should help you with this. At the moment I have everything as a MIDI track with live effects, but in the past I have also bounced parts down to audio, keeping only the synths I want to manipulate as MIDI. There are a lot of options, but testing is important too, as if you have too much audio the CPU goes into overdrives when the Song first opens. If you have your whole set in a single Song, this isn't a problem, but if you are opening and closing Reason Songs throughout your set, you might experience problems.

siriussounds
Posts: 25
Joined: 22 Mar 2019
Location: Sweden

Post 20 May 2019

dioxide wrote:
16 May 2019
siriussounds wrote:
13 May 2019
1. To play electronic dance music for a live audience -- which means that any audio glitches are unacceptable, basically. This one could be combined with live instruments, e.g. guitar, cello etc, with some live effects.
Latency might be an issue if you are running the instrument through Reason, as the player will want to have little or no delay. You'll have to try this out. Alternatively you could run the audio from the live instruments into a mixer and use Reason as a Send effect. That way if there is any latency, it won't matter.
Yeah, that could work, using Reason as a send effect. Hadn't thought of that.
However, I am thinking more and more that I will want to limit how I use Reason live, so as not to depend on stability, and to go more analogue with the live instruments.
dioxide wrote:
16 May 2019
siriussounds wrote:
13 May 2019
2. To play accoustic sets with effects through Reason. Maybe also a backing track to support -- which could either be rendered live or bounced before-hand, I suppose.
Again Blocks should help you with this. At the moment I have everything as a MIDI track with live effects, but in the past I have also bounced parts down to audio, keeping only the synths I want to manipulate as MIDI. There are a lot of options, but testing is important too, as if you have too much audio the CPU goes into overdrives when the Song first opens. If you have your whole set in a single Song, this isn't a problem, but if you are opening and closing Reason Songs throughout your set, you might experience problems.
Ah, that's something that I've noticed. But not only when I first open the song, but also throughout the first playthrough of the song. It is as if it is "loading the song into its memory" as on the Commodre 64... ;-)

siriussounds
Posts: 25
Joined: 22 Mar 2019
Location: Sweden

Post 20 May 2019

dioxide wrote:
16 May 2019
siriussounds wrote:
13 May 2019
Could you please say something more about the different ways to use Reason live?
Well you could put everything into a single Reason hour long Song file and play it this way. This way your MIDI controllers stay locked to the same Song and you don't have to worry about opening and closing files and the confusion that goes with that. To minimise how many devices you are using, you could use automation to morph between sounds. This method limits what you can do though, but it is very similar to working with a hardware setup where your options are also limited.

One way of working in a single Song file would be to paste each song into a Block. This makes it very easy to rearrange Songs in the timeline, moving them back and forward. If you want smooth transitions you'll also need a Block for the transition between two Songs.

Other things to consider: if you will be touching the QWERTY keyboard there are a couple of things to watch. The B button will put you into Block edit mode. The C button will activate the metronome – so I always turn the volume down. In the past I have used Keyboard Edit Mode to map the B and C keys to something harmless.

If you will syncing two computers, or attempting to mix into a CDJ or turntable, you will need to look at the Delay Compensation in Reason. Some devices have a lot of delay (eg Ozone Maximizer), so will need to be removed or replaced with low latency alternatives.

My favourite method of working at the moment is having empty automation lanes in the Song (alt click on the parameter to create the lane) and I can then use my MIDI controller to rework the sound entirely, mute drums, repitch things. Then when I want to snap back to the original, I have mapped the Reset Automation Override to my MIDI controller, so I press this button and everything snaps back to how it was originally. There is always some amount of autopilot in the original Song, but this allows me to completely change the track but then snap back to something that I know works, while I do something else, like cueing up the next track or using the DJ mixer.

As I say I use two laptops at the moment, synced via Ableton Link (using a cable with Wifi disabled just to be safe). I work with a Song on each laptop, and mix on a DJ mixer. When starting a Song in Reason using Link, the tempo takes a couple of bars to stabilise, so you need to have the volume on the new Song turned down until the tempo is in the sync.

If you have two laptops and want to work in a different way, or perhaps one is older and slower than the other, you could split it into drums and music. So one laptop could run drum sequencing and all the music could come from the faster laptop.

There's always a certain amount of planning to try and minimise what could go wrong. Every link in the chain could potentially fail. An advantage to having two laptops is that if one crashes, the other keeps going buying you time to fix things. Reason is very stable generally but computers can act strange when you put them in a club environment or flood them with MIDI CCs.

Hopefully this would have got you thinking. If you've got any questions, just ask.
Thanks so much for all your helpful hints and tips. There was a lot there. I will check out a few of these things, and probably return with more questions. But for now, I have a few things to try out. Thanks again!

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Oquasec
Posts: 2366
Joined: 05 Mar 2017

Post 20 May 2019

Rewire should make that much easier.
Producer/Sound Designer.
Currently checking out peff & hydlide's archives

siriussounds
Posts: 25
Joined: 22 Mar 2019
Location: Sweden

Post 21 May 2019

Oquasec wrote:
20 May 2019
Rewire should make that much easier.
ReWire would make what easier, more specifically? How would you recommend using ReWire while playing live?

Thanks,

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Oquasec
Posts: 2366
Joined: 05 Mar 2017

Post 21 May 2019

Some tools would allow you to do what you want to do muuuuuch simpler.
Or if you feel like it you can just trigger everything with Octo rex & Kong CV.
Producer/Sound Designer.
Currently checking out peff & hydlide's archives

siriussounds
Posts: 25
Joined: 22 Mar 2019
Location: Sweden

Post 22 May 2019

Oquasec wrote:
21 May 2019
Some tools would allow you to do what you want to do muuuuuch simpler.
Or if you feel like it you can just trigger everything with Octo rex & Kong CV.
Cool. Would you care to explain some more?

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Oquasec
Posts: 2366
Joined: 05 Mar 2017

Post 22 May 2019

You can live perform with redrum & stuff but in order to do anything else you need rewire or CV to route Redrum/kong to something else that loads up stuff you wouldn't be able to load like midi clips.

So in short CV routing or Ableton/FLStudio/Bitwig clip launching.
Producer/Sound Designer.
Currently checking out peff & hydlide's archives

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