Are you taking advantage of blocks?

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 15 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
15 Jan 2023
... but I don’t get the feeling this was the actual intention of RS when creating blocks (the “808 effect”).
I think you are right about that. It seems clear to me that it was intended that you can replace a part of a block-pattern with an overlaid pattern in song mode, but as you can use the mute tool in song mode to mute block-patterns, it seems muting block-patterns with an empty pattern was not intended.

We could say they actually 'forgot' to make the slice-tool work on block-patterns the same way the mute-tool does because then you could simply slice a block-pattern in song mode to mute a part of the pattern.
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jam-s
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Post 15 Jan 2023

I regularly use the razor tool to cut a block in smaller parts so that I can then use the mute tool to mute only parts of a block. Together with the block offset setting and longer blocks you can also have different variations all in one block and then select which one to use with the offset and how long you let the block play in the sequencer.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 15 Jan 2023

jam-s wrote:
15 Jan 2023
I regularly use the razor tool to cut a block in smaller parts so that I can then use the mute tool to mute only parts of a block. Together with the block offset setting and longer blocks you can also have different variations all in one block and then select which one to use with the offset and how long you let the block play in the sequencer.
I do that too, but you must do the cutting before, in block-edit. So, that means you have to anticipate what you are going to do during arrangement in song-mode. Which basically negates the use of blocks in the first place and makes you jump back and forth between blocks and song-mode. That's why using empty blocks instead in song-mode to mute block-parts is more convenient.
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Most users think the reason their requests aren't being met, is because some developer somewhere in a cubical refuses to waive its magic wand.

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jam-s
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Post 15 Jan 2023

I've not needed to plan this in advance so far, I simply cut the blocks at the top in the block lane and then mute the different parts as can be seen here for example at the beginning of the 2nd green section:
Image

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 15 Jan 2023

jam-s wrote:
15 Jan 2023
I've not needed to plan this in advance so far, I simply cut the blocks at the top in the block lane and then mute the different parts as can be seen here for example at the beginning of the 2nd green section
Yes, you are right :thumbup: I'm so used to putting empty clips in, that I forgot this works :puf_bigsmile:
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Most users think the reason their requests aren't being met, is because some developer somewhere in a cubical refuses to waive its magic wand.

robussc
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Post 15 Jan 2023

I like using the empty clips to mute block level hi-hats during song level drum fills.
Reason user since about version 2! Getting back into making music after too long a hiatus.

Eclipxe
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Post 16 Jan 2023

Yeah I love using the Razor to cut blocks in the main Song view and just muting parts, or using the overlaid clip. The fact that blocks have start offsets == so many use cases!

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EnochLight
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Post 16 Jan 2023

Very cool to see this thread get some attention again - Blocks are definitely useful in more ways than one! I will add that since I am an Akai Force/Ableton Live user, I do tend to produce in what's traditionally known as the Session View (Clip Matrix on Akai Force), so a "block" style grid is more my wheelhouse. It's weird to think that at one time Reason didn't even have any other way to arrange songs - it was only a linear timeline for like... the first decade of its existence... :lol:
Win 10 | Ableton Live 11 Suite |  Reason 12 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | RME Babyface Pro | Akai MPC Live 2 & Akai Force | Roland System 8, MX1, TB3 | Dreadbox Typhon | Korg Minilogue XD

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visheshl
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Post 16 Jan 2023

Now i want blocks like workflow in Ableton...why do you do this man @crimson
I now feel there should be something similar in Ableton.
But i don't think I'll be shifting to Reason standalone from Ableton+ RRP workflow...i even tried to, but i really don't want to now.
Ableton+ RRP works for me, even though there may be a few limitations...but iits ok.

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QVprod
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Post 16 Jan 2023

Gotta agree using Maschine (Scenes) gave me more of an appreciation for blocks. It’s easy to miss that you can override portions of a block so they’re not as inflexible as they seem. I used not like blocks either.

A way to duplicate besides the current copy all and paste option is the primary thing missing. It’s part of what makes using Scenes in Machine so quick.

The idea is to use it for basic song structure. Do the intricate stuff on top of it. Even Maschine’s sequencer is not as bad once you understand this workflow.

MuttReason
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Post 16 Jan 2023

I’m still in the Reason RRP + Ableton Live + Push2 + Live Session view on this one. Every couple of years or so I force myself to try Blocks again but for some reason it never feels quite as fast and straightforward as Live Session view with RRP. TBF I think Push2 has a lot to do with the difference, playing in clips from the Push is so intuitive.

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QVprod
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Post 16 Jan 2023

MuttReason wrote:
16 Jan 2023
I’m still in the Reason RRP + Ableton Live + Push2 + Live Session view on this one. Every couple of years or so I force myself to try Blocks again but for some reason it never feels quite as fast and straightforward as Live Session view with RRP. TBF I think Push2 has a lot to do with the difference, playing in clips from the Push is so intuitive.
It’s the Push for sure. Well integrated hardware control makes a huge difference. Sadly nothing like this exists for Reason to this degree. Panorama stuff is cool, but not the same.

MuttReason
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Post 16 Jan 2023

QVprod wrote:
16 Jan 2023
MuttReason wrote:
16 Jan 2023
I’m still in the Reason RRP + Ableton Live + Push2 + Live Session view on this one. Every couple of years or so I force myself to try Blocks again but for some reason it never feels quite as fast and straightforward as Live Session view with RRP. TBF I think Push2 has a lot to do with the difference, playing in clips from the Push is so intuitive.
It’s the Push for sure. Well integrated hardware control makes a huge difference. Sadly nothing like this exists for Reason to this degree. Panorama stuff is cool, but not the same.
Yep. If there was anything ever like the level of integration between Reason and a hardware controller that got to the level of Live + Push2, it would be a game changer. Nektar gear tries to get close but it’s not really comparable. Although TBF I prefer working in Reason’s sequencer to working in Live’s Arrangement view, I have never got on with the way Live presents track information on the right of the screen in (IMO) a really ass-backwards way. Live is all about Session view for me, with Push 2 turning the whole DAW into something closer to hardware. Plus RRP device controls mapped to Push2 macro pots, drum pads colour coded for Kong, and the Push 2 step sequencer driving Redrum (or any other device but Redrum is especially good)… well, it’s all transformational really, such a pleasure controlling Reason devices this way.

robussc
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Post 16 Jan 2023

Just had another look and yes there is no direct way to copy/paste one block to another, however when in blocks mode it's very easy to select all and copy from a source block, then from the block popup menu on the left, choose a destination block and then paste. It's just one extra step really. I think the block selection popup is easily missed there, but it makes working with blocks much faster when you're building up a variety.
Reason user since about version 2! Getting back into making music after too long a hiatus.

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pushedbutton
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Post 16 Jan 2023


just fill in the words an you've got a cheesy dance cover. enjoy!
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Using Reason since version 3 and still never finished a song.

RandomSkratch
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Post 18 Jan 2023

I don't use Blocks but would welcome clip level blocks (aka looping clips). What is frustrating to me (and what might help change my use) is having the ability to pull a clip from a block to the sequencer quickly like on the right click menu or something. When I want to make changes to the arrangement with blocks, yeah you can razor but that's the whole block. Most time I just want to razor a few parts or mute out or add a few new notes to a clip. Drawing blank clips over top works but it's cumbersome and you can't see through them like you can with a muted clip.

BlueEddie
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Post 20 Jan 2023

Blocks could be amazing for music arrangement but I don't get why you can just draw in Blocks in the regular sequencer e.g. blocks for intro, verse, chorus etc or different versions of intro, verse, chorus etc and not have to go into Block mode. If you could just draw them in a the top of the sequencer and move them around (like you can columns in Excel) it would be so easy to experiment with where sections of your music go, try different arrangements, versions etc.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 20 Jan 2023

BlueEddie wrote:
20 Jan 2023
I don't get why you can just draw in Blocks in the regular sequencer...
I explained it earlier in this thread: viewtopic.php?p=628987#p628987

Here's what I wrote:
crimsonwarlock wrote:
09 Jan 2023
The best way to understand the power of Blocks is to think of it as a combination of an arrangement system and ghost clips. Most people that don't like Blocks point to the fact that if you start in a sequencer track, you then have to copy/move your clips into a block. But herein lies the actual power of the system. The Blocks arrangement and the normal tracks in the sequencer are active at the same time, acting as two layers of track information (that's why you need to move/copy information). You can continuously edit both the arrangement clips (the blocks) AND the clips that are in the sequencer tracks, on top of the blocks. You can make changes to the arrangement clips without altering stuff that is in the tracks, and the other way around.
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Most users think the reason their requests aren't being met, is because some developer somewhere in a cubical refuses to waive its magic wand.

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selig
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Post 20 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
09 Jan 2023
The best way to understand the power of Blocks is to think of it as a combination of an arrangement system and ghost clips. Most people that don't like Blocks point to the fact that if you start in a sequencer track, you then have to copy/move your clips into a block. But herein lies the actual power of the system. The Blocks arrangement and the normal tracks in the sequencer are active at the same time, acting as two layers of track information (that's why you need to move/copy information). You can continuously edit both the arrangement clips (the blocks) AND the clips that are in the sequencer tracks, on top of the blocks. You can make changes to the arrangement clips without altering stuff that is in the tracks, and the other way around.
As for having to move/copy information into Blocks, that's why many like myself are so amazed there isn't a "Convert Clips to Blocks" command (which I need all the time), but there IS a "Convert Blocks tracks to Song Clips" command (which I've never once needed). This implies you are expected to start your songs in Blocks mode, which can work but sometimes (many times for me) you don't know you need/want Blocks at the start of the process.
All to say, my complaint is more about the lack of a simple/obvious workflow both out of AND in to Block mode, especially when I can see more use for the latter than the former.
Selig Audio, LLC

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 20 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
20 Jan 2023
As for having to move/copy information into Blocks, that's why many like myself are so amazed there isn't a "Convert Clips to Blocks" command (which I need all the time), but there IS a "Convert Blocks tracks to Song Clips" command (which I've never once needed). This implies you are expected to start your songs in Blocks mode, which can work but sometimes (many times for me) you don't know you need/want Blocks at the start of the process.
All to say, my complaint is more about the lack of a simple/obvious workflow both out of AND in to Block mode, especially when I can see more use for the latter than the former.
I've worked extensively with computers for close to 40 years now (in software development), so the copy-paste shortcuts are natural to me. Any other function/option to move stuff between blocks and tracks would also mean several mouse-clicks or just another key-combination (or even several). From my perspective, there isn't much of a difference. I have the copy and paste shortcuts as buttons on my Touch Portal template, but I never use them, hitting the key combination on my keyboard is much faster.

However, having said that, I also like to streamline workflows. Hence my use of Touch Portal, same as you are doing with your Streamdeck now. But thinking of how something for Blocks should/could work, I'm running quickly into pretty complex scenarios that would become rather convoluted fast. Think about where you want the clip to go into Blocks. To which block should it go, and on which measure should it land. Should it replace a clip that is already there, or should it go after it… or before if there is room. Trying to design a workflow that would work for most users might actually be hard to solve.
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Most users think the reason their requests aren't being met, is because some developer somewhere in a cubical refuses to waive its magic wand.

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selig
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Post 20 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
20 Jan 2023
selig wrote:
20 Jan 2023
As for having to move/copy information into Blocks, that's why many like myself are so amazed there isn't a "Convert Clips to Blocks" command (which I need all the time), but there IS a "Convert Blocks tracks to Song Clips" command (which I've never once needed). This implies you are expected to start your songs in Blocks mode, which can work but sometimes (many times for me) you don't know you need/want Blocks at the start of the process.
All to say, my complaint is more about the lack of a simple/obvious workflow both out of AND in to Block mode, especially when I can see more use for the latter than the former.
I've worked extensively with computers for close to 40 years now (in software development), so the copy-paste shortcuts are natural to me. Any other function/option to move stuff between blocks and tracks would also mean several mouse-clicks or just another key-combination (or even several). From my perspective, there isn't much of a difference. I have the copy and paste shortcuts as buttons on my Touch Portal template, but I never use them, hitting the key combination on my keyboard is much faster.

However, having said that, I also like to streamline workflows. Hence my use of Touch Portal, same as you are doing with your Streamdeck now. But thinking of how something for Blocks should/could work, I'm running quickly into pretty complex scenarios that would become rather convoluted fast. Think about where you want the clip to go into Blocks. To which block should it go, and on which measure should it land. Should it replace a clip that is already there, or should it go after it… or before if there is room. Trying to design a workflow that would work for most users might actually be hard to solve.
Without overcomplicating things, it should work like this: anything in the copy/paste buffer should be turned into the first free/empty block, Done, simples right? Or am I missing something obvious here?
Ideally it would also take you into block mode and present you with the dialog to name the new block.
Selig Audio, LLC

RandomSkratch
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Post 20 Jan 2023

Being able to send sequencer clips to block or pull clip (move/copy) from block to sequencer would really speed up workflow.

Say you had a block that has 4 sequencer clips on screen. You paint that into the sequencer and it's greyed out showing the data. But then you want to modify the last bar on one of the tracks. If you could just right click on the clip while not in block view and say "copy to sequencer" and then directly edit it to make the change. That's much faster than going to blocks view, finding the block, finding the sequencer clip, copying, going back to sequencer mode, pasting, then editing...

Same with pushing changes to the block. Say that change you made above was something you wanted to put back into the block. If the clip was currently in the sequencer ontop of a block you could right click and move to block (the one underneath) and it would be placed exactly where you wanted it.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 20 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
20 Jan 2023

Without overcomplicating things, it should work like this: anything in the copy/paste buffer should be turned into the first free/empty block, Done, simples right? Or am I missing something obvious here?
Ideally it would also take you into block mode and present you with the dialog to name the new block.
Yep, that would work… and it's the exact scenario where I don't have a problem doing it with copy-paste and switching to blocks (I also have a button on my Touch Portal for that one). Doing it that way will take seconds, hardly a workflow killer. Its also something I could probably script outside of Reason, as most needed steps are available as keystroke commands.

Where I see a seriously better workflow, would be where I have built an arrangement with blocks, am now working in track-mode on top of the arrangement, and decide that a track-clip I just added should descent down to the underlying block. But I think that is a lot more work to implement.
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crimsonwarlock
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Post 20 Jan 2023

RandomSkratch wrote:
20 Jan 2023
Say you had a block that has 4 sequencer clips on screen. You paint that into the sequencer and it's greyed out showing the data. But then you want to modify the last bar on one of the tracks. If you could just right click on the clip while not in block view and say "copy to sequencer" and then directly edit it to make the change. That's much faster than going to blocks view, finding the block, finding the sequencer clip, copying, going back to sequencer mode, pasting, then editing...
Why copy the whole clip into track-view when you want to edit just a part of it. You can put a small clip in track-view (on top of the block) for just the part you want to edit. This is one of the things I think is awesome in how blocks interact with the track.
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Most users think the reason their requests aren't being met, is because some developer somewhere in a cubical refuses to waive its magic wand.

RandomSkratch
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Post 20 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
20 Jan 2023
RandomSkratch wrote:
20 Jan 2023
Say you had a block that has 4 sequencer clips on screen. You paint that into the sequencer and it's greyed out showing the data. But then you want to modify the last bar on one of the tracks. If you could just right click on the clip while not in block view and say "copy to sequencer" and then directly edit it to make the change. That's much faster than going to blocks view, finding the block, finding the sequencer clip, copying, going back to sequencer mode, pasting, then editing...
Why copy the whole clip into track-view when you want to edit just a part of it. You can put a small clip in track-view (on top of the block) for just the part you want to edit. This is one of the things I think is awesome in how blocks interact with the track.
I realize that but typically I want to modify one clip FROM the existing. I don't want to create a whole new one. I understand how it works, I want a change to workflow to make my methods easier to do. Because as it stands, I don't use them because of these things.

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