Are you taking advantage of blocks?

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Eclipxe
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Post 09 Jan 2023

BeReasonable wrote:
09 Jan 2023
crimsonwarlock wrote:
09 Jan 2023


That is personal perception. I see something entirely different: clips in the sequencer are clearly laying on top of the underlying blocks information. I work constantly with blocks as my main composition tool, into arrangements and then with all kinds of stuff added on top in the sequencer. It works like a charm, and I wouldn't change absolutely anything. I really hope Reason Studio leaves Blocks as it is now, it is precisely how I think it should be, a pure genius implementation of a composing and arranging toolbox.
You may like it since you're used to it. But as a UI goes, combined with the reason "this is our way take it or leave it" philosophy, it puts people off. Giving users the ability to make it more friendly for them would harm you in no way.

If you gave a complete reason newb a sequencer window a regular view and one cluttered with blocks, most of them would say that the blocks version looks cluttered, because it simply does. Not a personal preference thing either, just basic facts - the more stuff you put in a space, the more cluttered it looks and feels. To get around it they have to give users the ability to lessen the clutter to meet their preferences.
No, I agree with crimsonwarlock - the UI is just fine for Blocks - its not cluttered at all and its very clear that blocks exist as a layer under your main arrangement.

The only change I'd ask for us a "duplicate block" feature (to move content from Block X to Block Y) and a way to pull an individual track's clips from a block into the arrangement (vs. all tracks).

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 09 Jan 2023

robussc wrote:
09 Jan 2023
I think having some markers would be cool. That way you could create different block arrangements on the sequencer timeline, mark the start points and then jump to them as you try different arrangements.
That is basically how it works in Cubase, Cakewalk, etc.
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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.

Eclipxe
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Post 09 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
09 Jan 2023
DaveyG wrote:
09 Jan 2023


Are you really describing Ableton's Session view as rigid? I get that you love Blocks but there is no need to talk bollocks about other DAWs
If RS could figure a way to get a version of Session view into Reason it would be an absolutely killer update.

(I've been trying to get a Blocks/Bollocks pun thing going on but I can't quite make it work... :D )
I got the pun :lol:

But I wasn't talking about session view, I was talking about the fact that you export the session to the arrangement view, and it becomes a static arrangement. If you want to change that, you have to go back to session view, make a new arrangement that exports to the arrangement view, replacing your previous arrangement. Yep, I call that rigid. In Bitwig (which works the same) they even call it 'burn down to arrangement', I mean, even their naming says it is rigid :puf_wink:

I don't need something like session view in Ableton, but I can see how people use that.
jam-s wrote:
09 Jan 2023
I think most people who have a problem with blocks to build up a track have not realised, that for it to get really good you should use the razor tool to cut the block in smaller parts after sketching out the basic track structure. Then you can use the mute tool to mute parts of the full arrangement from the block easily. Then just sprinkle some FX, automation and some modified clips on top of this in song mode and a track is arranged real quick.
THIS! :puf_bigsmile:
Yes! The fact that Session view in Ableton and Bitwig has no two-way connection to arrangement is a huge deal breaker. That's the magic and beauty of blocks. Its very weird to me how some of us "get it" and others see something like Session view as superior. Must be different perceptions or experiences I guess.

Also +100 to the razor tool with blocks. The fact that blocks have an offset (and the razor tool sets this offset properly) opens up so much functionality above and beyond what other tools can do.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 09 Jan 2023

Eclipxe wrote:
09 Jan 2023
The only change I'd ask for us a "duplicate block" feature (to move content from Block X to Block Y) and a way to pull an individual track's clips from a block into the arrangement (vs. all tracks).
Absolutely +1 on that :thumbup:
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jam-s
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Post 09 Jan 2023

The only thing I'd love to see would be the option to stack multiple blocks in the block lane of the sequencer and an increased number of available blocks. It should work like this:

The block lane can have multiple sub lanes (just like note lanes for an instrument) and the blocks are layered on top of each other according to the order they are placed on top of each other in the different sub lanes with parts of the block without a clip acting as "transparent".

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visheshl
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Post 09 Jan 2023

jam-s wrote:
09 Jan 2023
I think most people who have a problem with blocks to build up a track have not realised, that for it to get really good you should use the razor tool to cut the block in smaller parts after sketching out the basic track structure. Then you can use the mute tool to mute parts of the full arrangement from the block easily. Then just sprinkle some FX, automation and some modified clips on top of this in song mode and a track is arranged real quick.
Okay...im not on the desk right now, so i don't quite get what you're saying, I'll try this when im working on reason

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 09 Jan 2023

visheshl wrote:
09 Jan 2023
jam-s wrote:
09 Jan 2023
I think most people who have a problem with blocks to build up a track have not realised, that for it to get really good you should use the razor tool to cut the block in smaller parts after sketching out the basic track structure. Then you can use the mute tool to mute parts of the full arrangement from the block easily. Then just sprinkle some FX, automation and some modified clips on top of this in song mode and a track is arranged real quick.
Okay...im not on the desk right now, so i don't quite get what you're saying, I'll try this when im working on reason
What jam-s describes is basically the best workflow to get maximum results from using Blocks.

Take some time to watch an Adam Fielding livestream where he composes a track from scratch with a heavy Blocks-centric workflow. You will pick up a lot of additional production tips and techniques along the way :puf_wink:

His streams were around 2 hours each, and I binge-watched all. I learned an incredible amount of stuff from it.

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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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Joined: 03 May 2022

Post 09 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
09 Jan 2023
robussc wrote:
09 Jan 2023
I think having some markers would be cool. That way you could create different block arrangements on the sequencer timeline, mark the start points and then jump to them as you try different arrangements.
That is basically how it works in Cubase, Cakewalk, etc.
Ah cool, Cubase and I parted ways a long time ago. Incredible software, I remember seeing version 1.0 demoed on the Atari ST and pretty much crapped my pants as the track played and yet the UI was still interactive. (I was coming from Steinberg Pro-24).
Reason user since about version 2! Getting back into making music after too long a hiatus.

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Overtherainbow
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Post 10 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
09 Jan 2023


The moment you grasp what this can do, every other system becomes cumbersome.

By the way, the Bitwig/Ableton way is the most rigid way of arranging of all DAWs. The systems in Cubase, Cakewalk and even Tracktion are way more flexible.
Ah man. Sorry, but that's a hard "disagree".

In Bitwig you can have any amount of clips in the arranger AND in the constructor active at the same time, drag and drop/ record/ mute or manipulate them in either or both views at the same time - and it's all right there in front of you, no need to cut and paste or to go back and forth between the views. It's not rigid at all.

Still, Reason has a lot of other great stuff going for it and to me is winner as a total package.

It's like...I'll be missing some great features of the Tesla that I have experienced, but I still prefer my Rolls-Royce.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 10 Jan 2023

Overtherainbow wrote:
10 Jan 2023
In Bitwig you can have any amount of clips in the arranger AND in the constructor active at the same time, drag and drop/ record/ mute or manipulate them in either or both views at the same time - and it's all right there in front of you, no need to cut and paste or to go back and forth between the views. It's not rigid at all.
If you change a clip in session view, does it auto update in the arranger view? And if you make changes to a clip in arranger view, can you still make changes to that clip in session view without loosing the changes you made in arranger view?

I didn't try it myself in Bitwig. I have the demo installed, but it doesn't appeal to me at all. It looks too much like Ableton that I also don't like but have Lite installed. But I looked at some Bitwig arrange videos on YouTube.
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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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mcatalao
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Post 10 Jan 2023

I am, basicly in two ways:

1 - Music arrangement and instrumentation:
Blocks allow you to segment your song into parts, so I always start with a base song structure (intro, verse 1, verse 2, chorus, bridge and ending). The structure, helps one to expand from simple 8 bar loops, to complete songs. You have the base inspiration for the song parts, but how they are interconnected tells the song story.
Also, song building up is really easy with blocks, because you can mute or override block complete block parts, or a track section (with blocks enabled if you create a clip on top of a track that already has a block it plays whatever is on the clip and if the clip is empty, it plays nothing!). So making drops, adding elements, building one instrument variations and so on, are as easy as just adding it on the sequencer making use of block overriding.


2 - Project navigation (blocks as locators/song sections)
So reason has some pretty neat functions that allow you to navigate the project and it allows you to use any clip as a song section. So you can click select a clip, hit ctrl-p and reason will put locators l-r around it and start playing looped from L to R. You can use any clip from any track, of any type of track incluing a block clip (or multipe blocks for that matter). What matters is that you have a clip or multiple clip selections and once you hit ctrl-p reason does that automation (if you select all clips on a song it will loop the whole song).
Anyway from the first iteration of this I simply selected a block clip and hit ctrl-p, and it works.
However, since using the mouse that way for a locator is a bit tedious and removes focus from other stuff you're doing (if you're mixing, you want project navigation to be as unobtrusive as possible) I created an autohotkey script that automates the process of finding the clip, selecting it, and sending ctrl-p:



I have this script included in another mega script that takes care of a multitude of stuff reason half answers, mostly for gelling sequencer, mixer and rack behaviour with remotes.

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Aosta
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Post 10 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
09 Jan 2023


Take some time to watch an Adam Fielding livestream where he composes a track from scratch with a heavy Blocks-centric workflow. You will pick up a lot of additional production tips and techniques along the way :puf_wink:

His streams were around 2 hours each, and I binge-watched all. I learned an incredible amount of stuff from it.
I miss Adam's streams so much! They were fantastic to watch :clap: :thumbup:
Tend the flame

RobC
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Post 10 Jan 2023

I can't take advantage of blocks, since last time I used them, they were just no good for the amount of variation I do. I can't easily just jump into a clip and do edits.

And honestly, it's easier to just create my own "column" in the first bars, and then just copy-pasta from there.

It works if people just do traditional pop and alike - but completely counter-productive when you are taking your music to scientific levels.

That said, I have no clue if Blocks were updated lately. But I do know that many people produce in a more and more complex way.

All in all, Blocks would be great with more flexibility.

I'd prefer Nests : ) where I can just copy a column of my "loops" and clips, then modify them as I wish, and Reason would just adapt and rename a modified Nest automatically.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 10 Jan 2023

Aosta wrote:
10 Jan 2023
I miss Adam's streams so much! They were fantastic to watch :clap: :thumbup:
They are the stuff of legends :clap:

I'm currently binging all the Reason related streams from Moog_Lee. Very close to Adam's quality. Unfortunately, Moog_Lee doesn't use blocks, but he show a lot of production tips in his streams. Already picked up some things from him as well.
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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 10 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
09 Jan 2023
Take some time to watch an Adam Fielding livestream where he composes a track from scratch with a heavy Blocks-centric workflow. You will pick up a lot of additional production tips and techniques along the way :puf_wink:

His streams were around 2 hours each, and I binge-watched all. I learned an incredible amount of stuff from it.

Thanks, looking forward to watching this, though his attaching a maximizer between the master channel and the output right off the bat was bit shocking! :)
Reason user since about version 2! Getting back into making music after too long a hiatus.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 10 Jan 2023

robussc wrote:
10 Jan 2023
though his attaching a maximizer between the master channel and the output right off the bat was bit shocking! :)
He uses it only as a brickwall limiter, as he explains in the videos. Adam absolutely knows his stuff :puf_wink:
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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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Faastwalker
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Post 10 Jan 2023

I've never really used Blocks. Tried it initially when it launched. Kind of forgotten about since! I vaguely remember feeling like I was trying to use it for the sake of it and it wasn't really giving me much that copy/paste didn't. And because I was used to arranging in that way Blocks didn't seem to bring much to the table. But, probably I just didn't give it enough of a go.

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tobypearce
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Post 13 Jan 2023

I use blocks for a different purpose than intended. I don't use the full feature-set, but I do find this use invaluable to my everyday work. I set up blank blocks, named and coloured for different parts of the track. This provides two benefits:
* The blocks give their colour to the background of all tracks in the sequencer, which makes it easy.to see the arrangement at a glance.
* I set each block to 8 bars. This makes it easy to select a loop for playback; just select the loop and press P, the shortcut for set locators and play on loop.
Screenshot 2023-01-13 at 17.57.56.png
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sublunar
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Post 14 Jan 2023

tobypearce wrote:
13 Jan 2023
I use blocks for a different purpose than intended. I don't use the full feature-set, but I do find this use invaluable to my everyday work. I set up blank blocks, named and coloured for different parts of the track. This provides two benefits:
* The blocks give their colour to the background of all tracks in the sequencer, which makes it easy.to see the arrangement at a glance.
* I set each block to 8 bars. This makes it easy to select a loop for playback; just select the loop and press P, the shortcut for set locators and play on loop. Screenshot 2023-01-13 at 17.57.56.png
This is the only feature provided by blocks that ever made sense to me. But that use-case would become obsolete if Reason would just use this newfangled technology called "markers" and such. Alternatively, you can just color your clips to a similar scheme.

I *accidentally* use blocks all the time and it's frustrating as hell. It seems like at least once a day I'll accidentally enter blocks mode and have to back out. The only feature I dislike in Reason more than blocks is comp edit.

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DaveyG
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Post 14 Jan 2023

sublunar wrote:
14 Jan 2023
I *accidentally* use blocks all the time and it's frustrating as hell. It seems like at least once a day I'll accidentally enter blocks mode and have to back out.
Untick:
Options->Enable Blocks

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sublunar
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Post 14 Jan 2023

DaveyG wrote:
14 Jan 2023
sublunar wrote:
14 Jan 2023
I *accidentally* use blocks all the time and it's frustrating as hell. It seems like at least once a day I'll accidentally enter blocks mode and have to back out.
Untick:
Options->Enable Blocks
Will do, thanks!

rorystorm
Posts: 538
Joined: 06 Jul 2019

Post 14 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
09 Jan 2023
visheshl wrote:
09 Jan 2023

Okay...im not on the desk right now, so i don't quite get what you're saying, I'll try this when im working on reason
What jam-s describes is basically the best workflow to get maximum results from using Blocks.

Take some time to watch an Adam Fielding livestream where he composes a track from scratch with a heavy Blocks-centric workflow. You will pick up a lot of additional production tips and techniques along the way :puf_wink:

His streams were around 2 hours each, and I binge-watched all. I learned an incredible amount of stuff from it.

yeah, that video was incredibly helpful once he moved from block view to working on the arrangement in the song view. I would never have thought of drawing an empty second clip in song view over the block lane clip in order to mute it. (because I'm an idiot). Thanks!!!!!!!!!

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 15 Jan 2023

rorystorm wrote:
14 Jan 2023
yeah, that video was incredibly helpful once he moved from block view to working on the arrangement in the song view. I would never have thought of drawing an empty second clip in song view over the block lane clip in order to mute it. (because I'm an idiot). Thanks!!!!!!!!!
You're welcome. That is indeed an important trick when working with blocks. The other thing (for me) is to have parts in blocks but do the automation clips in song view, so you can have different automations for the same block across a 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.

rorystorm
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Post 15 Jan 2023

Yeah thats super helpful thsnk you!!

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selig
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Post 15 Jan 2023

rorystorm wrote:
14 Jan 2023
yeah, that video was incredibly helpful once he moved from block view to working on the arrangement in the song view. I would never have thought of drawing an empty second clip in song view over the block lane clip in order to mute it. (because I'm an idiot). Thanks!!!!!!!!!
Funny, I just covered this a few days ago in my live stream, and was struggling to remember who to give credit to for that trick. It’s been around almost as long as blocks, and helps make this workflow even more useful - but I don’t get the feeling this was the actual intention of RS when creating blocks (the “808 effect”).
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