Are you taking advantage of blocks?

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moofi
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Post 03 Oct 2021

Thats actually a pretty good use for blocks. :thumbs_up:
ColdBeast254 wrote:
03 Oct 2021
[...]You can master and album in Reason using blocks by putting a song in each block and trying different album arrangements with ease. [...]

elMisse
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Post 03 Oct 2021

One more problem with them also: Convert block clip to song clip and mute it. OK, now you can hear the original block clip under the muted song clip... So if you want to leave a pause on that tambourine on the first bar, you have to f.ex write an empty clip on top of the block clip, or maybe you want to copy the whole shebang, open block view, paste it in a new block, edit the first bar tambourine away, save it as a new block, name it, come back to the song view, delete the old block and the converted song clip, write in the new block etc etc.

I'm sure there is an idea behind this, but zzZZzz anyway.

So many producers operate by making, in LIVE-terms: "megascenes" and then f.ex. introduce pieces of it one by one to build up their music.

Blocks could be something greater.

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selig
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Post 03 Oct 2021

Ottostrom wrote:
02 Oct 2021
I recently started using blocks for the first time and for one specific purpose only, which is chorus vocals that get repeated multiple time in a song. This way I can make adjustments to them later on in production and they get updated throughout the whole project.
Ha! Just came here to say a similar thing. I used them recently to “group edit” drum tracks so I could “a fly” a few parts around without worrying about copy/pasting 11 tracks of audio without missing one. Makes moving (and trimming) much easier and ALMOST like having grouped edits in the timeline - but not quite… :(
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selig
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Post 03 Oct 2021

moofi wrote:
03 Oct 2021
Thats actually a pretty good use for blocks. :thumbs_up:
ColdBeast254 wrote:
03 Oct 2021
[...]You can master and album in Reason using blocks by putting a song in each block and trying different album arrangements with ease. [...]
Maybe still not enough coffee this morning, but how is this any different than using clips to do the same?
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adfielding
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Post 03 Oct 2021

"Are you taking advantage of blocks?"

Yes.

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guitfnky
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Post 03 Oct 2021

selig wrote:
03 Oct 2021
moofi wrote:
03 Oct 2021
Thats actually a pretty good use for blocks. :thumbs_up:

Maybe still not enough coffee this morning, but how is this any different than using clips to do the same?
personal preference, probably. that way you don’t need multiple tracks. if you tend to use the same mastering chain for all songs, and like just automating any different settings you need between songs, Blocks would make that super easy.

if you put each song on a different track with different mastering chains or don’t like automating, probably makes less sense to use Blocks.
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WarStar
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Post 03 Oct 2021

One thing that I always thought would be cool in Reason was a feature in Adobe Audition, which is the very first DAW I ever worked with, which is choosing multiple clips and locking them together with a simple right click and lock option.. you can lock any clip in any track and move them around very easily. So instead of using blocks that contain all elements of a portion of a song you can lock just certain aspects of a part of a song. I audition, once you lock said clips they all share a overlay color to differentiate them from other clips and other groups of locked clips.. I was really easy to use and super helpful at least for me..

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moofi
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Post 03 Oct 2021

Maybe I had too much coffee though I didn´t have any :-D
Yes, it´s basically the same like placing audioclips :-D
selig wrote:
03 Oct 2021
moofi wrote:
03 Oct 2021
Thats actually a pretty good use for blocks. :thumbs_up:

Maybe still not enough coffee this morning, but how is this any different than using clips to do the same?

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Greg Savage
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Post 03 Oct 2021

moofi wrote:
03 Oct 2021
Unless they changed, so you could edit moodifications into every block with instance + unique behaviour, saying, you can define what part of the block translates itself to other blocks when modified and what parts can be edited individually, I prefer standard sequencing.
I agree. Digital Performer had something like this (function/option wise) I want to say in version 3 or 4. It made all the difference back then.
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Ottostrom
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Post 04 Oct 2021

selig wrote:
03 Oct 2021
Ottostrom wrote:
02 Oct 2021
I recently started using blocks for the first time and for one specific purpose only, which is chorus vocals that get repeated multiple time in a song. This way I can make adjustments to them later on in production and they get updated throughout the whole project.
Ha! Just came here to say a similar thing. I used them recently to “group edit” drum tracks so I could “a fly” a few parts around without worrying about copy/pasting 11 tracks of audio without missing one. Makes moving (and trimming) much easier and ALMOST like having grouped edits in the timeline - but not quite… :(
Yeah I really don't like having to paste a slightly edited part around the project, making sure nothing gets misaligned or forgotten.
I guess the biggest limitation for using blocks as group edits is the fact you can't have multiple blocks sitting on top of each other in the sequencer. Instead you would have to use one block where both the guitar and the drums are present and one where it's only the guitar for example, which opens up the same chance for mistakes as just having them pasted in the sequencer.

So if we could stack blocks in the sequencer, have an option to solo them individually without going into a separate blocks window and more freedom for adding slight variations to the blocks which wouldn't affect every other version of them in the track then I think they could be a powerful workflow enhancer.

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sonicbyte
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Post 04 Oct 2021

I use it as a region markers (Intro, Verse, etc) to paint song's structure in the sequencer...but without any content inside each block.

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selig
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Post 04 Oct 2021

guitfnky wrote:
03 Oct 2021
selig wrote:
03 Oct 2021


Maybe still not enough coffee this morning, but how is this any different than using clips to do the same?
personal preference, probably. that way you don’t need multiple tracks. if you tend to use the same mastering chain for all songs, and like just automating any different settings you need between songs, Blocks would make that super easy.

if you put each song on a different track with different mastering chains or don’t like automating, probably makes less sense to use Blocks.
Still don’t understand the difference, but no worries. Without a Shuffle mode, sequencing an album isn’t easy in Reason. I do a hybrid approach anyway, EQ/levels on each channel, limiting on the master for all songs (because mastering an album is not making all songs as loud as possible). But I digress….

Interesting all the workarounds we use blocks for:
*Mirrored editing for MIDI/audio
*Grouped editing across multiple tracks
*Markers for song sections
But at the same time it cannot do clip launching, convert song clips to blocks, and other little things that are actually more in line with what Blocks should have been from the start IMO.
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guitfnky
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Post 04 Oct 2021

selig wrote:
04 Oct 2021
guitfnky wrote:
03 Oct 2021


personal preference, probably. that way you don’t need multiple tracks. if you tend to use the same mastering chain for all songs, and like just automating any different settings you need between songs, Blocks would make that super easy.

if you put each song on a different track with different mastering chains or don’t like automating, probably makes less sense to use Blocks.
Still don’t understand the difference, but no worries. Without a Shuffle mode, sequencing an album isn’t easy in Reason. I do a hybrid approach anyway, EQ/levels on each channel, limiting on the master for all songs (because mastering an album is not making all songs as loud as possible). But I digress….

Interesting all the workarounds we use blocks for:
*Mirrored editing for MIDI/audio
*Grouped editing across multiple tracks
*Markers for song sections
But at the same time it cannot do clip launching, convert song clips to blocks, and other little things that are actually more in line with what Blocks should have been from the start IMO.
yeah, I wouldn’t use Blocks to sequence an album, and after trying it for my last one, probably wouldn’t use Reason for it. was just speculating that one might use Blocks vs a traditional approach out of preference for the mechanical differences between the different methods. like preferring to make french press coffee instead of pour over, or something, if you’ll pardon the dumb analogy.
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elMisse
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Post 04 Jan 2023

Late for the Blockparty.

Maybe you guys have already thought/talked about this, but I use blocks only to test song structures. I feel that it's what it is made for. Works for most genres. Of course you have to have some imagination of the songs dynamics- and sounds evolving to be able to use this : )

Superfast adding/moving/deleting parts and this method actually helps you to finish songs too!


1. Create blocks with chords and maybe lead and bass.
2. Arrange them in sequencer mode, until songstructure is ok
3. When ready, convert all blocks to song clips
4. Delete blocks from sequencers blocktrack, and forget Blockmode. Your song has a complete f-ing structure!
5. Back in normal clipmode sequencing, start adjusting individual clips, automation, and adding stuff.
6. Profit?

BeReasonable
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Post 04 Jan 2023

I use blocks by making them proxies for each part of the song. It makes changing, stretching, and shortening different sections much easier than limiting myself to the regular sequencer view. When you do it without blocks and you want to extend a verse or add a break you have to drag everything around within reason's kind of painful contract / expand UI, which sometimes involves dragging multiple parts around, remember where they go and having to copy and paste them with sections still sitting in your timeline.

In my usage I make variations of blocks, not just having one verse and one chorus and repeat them forever. Make block 1 for a verse, get it most of the way there, copy it to block 2 for verse 2. Add some variation, keeping things that don't matter the same (unless I come up with some creative variation later on). Add other structural blocks the same way and then assemble into a song. And all I have to do when I want to stretch out a part is use the pencil or drag the block for another repeat.

Blocks could use some quality of life improvements like making it easier to copy and swap blocks and not using the whole "mask over your entire timeline" design when using them in the sequencer, but they are a nice time saver and a way to be able to be more creative in less time by swapping things around in a few seconds instead of a few minutes.

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dioxide
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Post 04 Jan 2023

I usually use Blocks for song structure containing notes etc but it's sometimes also useful for grouping automation eg. Reverb swells, filter sweeps etc.

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Vincent Vitellius
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Post 04 Jan 2023

I use blocks purely as markers.
I work in song mode, and add empty blocks in different colors to mark segments of the song in a logical way.
Makes it much easier to find the start of a chorus, verse, bridge or whatever.
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DaveyG
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Post 04 Jan 2023

Vincent Vitellius wrote:
04 Jan 2023
I use blocks purely as markers.
I only use blocks for markers too. The implementation of Blocks is one of those frustrating "close but no cigar" things for me. It shows the bad side of Props/RS thinking. Sometimes they are so desperate to do things differently that they ignore the rest of the DAW world and come up with something that is well intentioned but that doesn't quite make the grade. I know some are fans of blocks, and others who use them and grumble about their shortcomings, but they cause confusion to anyone who is expecting a more conventional arranger track type scheme. Sometimes it is not necessary to innovate. It's fine to take what other DAWs do and then add a few tweaks.

And, coming back to the first sentence, what have they got against adding markers to the sequencer? We already have the Left, Right and End markers. I can't imagine it would be a major undertaking to allow us to add more. At present we have to use blocks or empty MIDI clips with tiny labels on them to see the song arrangement. Modern DAWs have Markers, Arranger tracks, Chord tracks, Tempo tracks, and even Video tracks and Lyric tracks. Oops, I seem to have ended up on this soapbox again...

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chimp_spanner
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Post 04 Jan 2023

Love Blocks, although they can be frustrating.

A great use case for them was when, for reasons definitely not related to poor time management and procrastination, I found myself with about 2.5 weeks to crank out 22 tracks. I basically populated the arranger with blocks to map out how I wanted the song to go in my head (ambient intro, chorus, verse, chorus, middle build, chorus, end) and then rather than thinking "how tf am I gonna write 3-4 minutes of music) all I had to focus on was x bars of music, and then after like 30-40 minutes, I'd come out into arranger view and feel like a song was taking shape.

It's also really useful to use blocks to build a framework for an arrangement based on a song you like, and then just populate it with your own music in a similar style (very good for library work).

The process of turning a song section into a block could be smoother (convert time/selection to block would be a neat function). Also it'd be nice to be able to jump directly to the contents of a clip in a block by double clicking it in the arranger. I'm not at Reason right now but I'm 99% sure you can't do that.

I'd also love to see a blocks style system for per-track clips as well. Like a bank of patterns we can create and then draw into the arranger, so we can have fluid arrangements but make big changes across an entire song (like change all instances of the chorus drum beat, or a main melody, convert to/from unique clips to instances etc.).

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 04 Jan 2023

Blocks were one of the main reasons I moved to Reason. My guess about the frustration some people have with it, is that they try to use it to do something they see in other DAWs. My take on Blocks is that it is an entirely different beast, nothing like it exists in other DAWs. It is THE most powerful implementation of an arrangement system.

The big difference is that Blocks are an arrangement layer under the tracks, where you can have small changes on top of the blocks, while the blocks underneath remain editable and up to date. You can create a new block, replace another block in your arrangement, while your track-level edits and automation stay in place over the new block. I'm not aware of any other DAW that has this feature or anything that comes close to it. Most DAWs build an arrangement that is then written into the actual tracks, or the tracks have links to the arrangement blocks, but there are not two separate layers that you can still edit both, like Blocks do.
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robussc
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Post 04 Jan 2023

I use blocks, but I'm also in the frustrated camp. Moving from the song to block and back again always feels counterintuitive, and I second the call to easily convert a section of track content to a block.

However I'll reread the manual for that to make sure I'm not missing some convenient techniques.
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crimsonwarlock
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Post 04 Jan 2023

robussc wrote:
04 Jan 2023
I second the call to easily convert a section of track content to a block.
Cut/Copy-Paste is pretty easy for me. I wouldn't call that a workflow killer :puf_wink:

I picked up everything there is to know about locks by watching the archived livestreams of Adam Fielding (they are on YouTube). He had a very Blocks-centric workflow. Unfortunately, he uses another DAW now because of 'reasons' (pun intended) :puf_bigsmile:
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TritoneAddiction
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Post 04 Jan 2023

I never use it. I'm just a song mode guy I guess. Everytime (including this time) someone brings up blocks in a thread like this I watch a video or two about it. And then I just intuitively hate it.

Eclipxe
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Post 05 Jan 2023

I love blocks so much. Only reason I use Reason today. I use them for song arrangement and having mirrored changes across. Maschine has a similar system with scenes and clips now but Blocks are still great.

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kuhliloach
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Post 05 Jan 2023

I never understood why it's possible to NOT be in a block in Reason. When Reason is launched the user should already be in Block 1. I always found blocks to be a good idea but not properly implemented.

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