Reason real life limitations.

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Jac459
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Post 27 Jul 2022

As a disclaimer of this post and before talking about limitations, I want to precise that reason is for me an amazingly creative product that I love and plan to use as Rack for the foreseeable future. I don't find any ecosystem which is as sexy, as creative and as great sounding than reason.
That being said, frustrated by the poor vst support, I decided recently to move to bitwig and use reason as a rack.
This as been a great experience for me (but mileage may vary) but my point is not to compare efficiency of this or that workflow.

My point is to share some real life creative capabilities that I don't think exist in Reason as a DAW (or are at least very difficult to implement) after using biwig for a while.

EQ sidechaining.
Problem: I have a nap with low end interfering with my kick but I don't want to have a ducking or pumping effect on my nap by implementing side chain compression.
Solution in bitwig:
Add an envelop follower attached to an EQ high passing the nap (minimal Q). Attach the cut-off to the envelop of the drum. As a result, when the drum kick the cut-off will raise and eliminate the low end frequencies of the nap with surgical accuracy.
Solution in reason: a part from multiband compression, which would not have exactly the same result and is not that easy to implement in reason I don't know if it is doable.

Responsive events:
Problem: I want a track to react to another track in order to creatively glue the 2 track together. For example I have a snare in a track which when hit, will generate a slight opening of the cut-off on my bass, either at the same time or with short delay.
Solution in bitwig:
Add a note or audio receiver on the bass receiving the snare impulse and attach a modulator to modulate the cut-off of the bass. Add a delay if necessary.
Solution in reason:
Not sure it exists.

Advanced pitch bending.
This one is direct impact of MPE support.
Problem : I wan to transition from a chord to another chord by individually pitch bending each note (and not a global pitchbend that would not respect intervals).
Solution in bitwig:
... Pitchbend each note using mpe...
Solution in reason:
Create a note per instrument??

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deeplink
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Post 28 Jul 2022

EQ Sidechaining is definitely possible in Reason. Even better, once you've done it you can save it as a combinator and going forward get the work done in less steps.

Responsive events can be achieve either by simply placing elements in the same combinator, or via CV, or via Envelope Following.

MPE support is not available in Reason. So yes, perhaps having a duplicate instrument per note is required.
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Jac459
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Post 28 Jul 2022

deeplink wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
EQ Sidechaining is definitely possible in Reason. Even better, once you've done it you can save it as a combinator and going forward get the work done in less steps.

Responsive events can be achieve either by simply placing elements in the same combinator, or via CV, or via Envelope Following.

MPE support is not available in Reason. So yes, perhaps having a duplicate instrument per note is required.
Oh yes, CV for responsive events would be the way to go. Is there envelop following in reason? I missed that.

For sidechain eq, can you precise how you would do?

Jac459
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Post 28 Jul 2022

Okay, I read the Mclass Compressor can be used as envelop follower. Even if it lacks visual feedback, I guess it would do the trick.

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QVprod
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Post 28 Jul 2022

Jac459 wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
Okay, I read the Mclass Compressor can be used as envelop follower. Even if it lacks visual feedback, I guess it would do the trick.
Pulverizer also has a built in follower.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 28 Jul 2022

Jac459 wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
Okay, I read the Mclass Compressor can be used as envelop follower. Even if it lacks visual feedback, I guess it would do the trick.
This one gets overlooked a lot, and it's free: https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... generator/

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deeplink
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Post 28 Jul 2022

Best envelope follower in my opinion is Sweeper.
I also love that is a Swiss army knife in the Rack.

Besides env following it's got Audio Triggering, Lfos, custom envelopes, spreaders, filters, phasers, all pass Filter, flanger

I probably use the most of that quick pseudo side chain (pump) effect
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Jac459
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Post 28 Jul 2022

Sweet, thanks for these...

PhillipOrdonez
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Post 28 Jul 2022

For dynamic eq, the easiest free solution is using TDR Nova gentleman's edition. Cable a parallel kick output to the input of Nova and have it react to the frequency band of the kick.
The latest release:

Jac459
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Post 28 Jul 2022

PhillipOrdonez wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
For dynamic eq, the easiest free solution is using TDR Nova gentleman's edition. Cable a parallel kick output to the input of Nova and have it react to the frequency band of the kick.
Oh yes, that would do πŸ˜….
Good think is you can indeed select the band. That can be important.

PhillipOrdonez
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Post 28 Jul 2022

It is, and by selecting the sidechain input to be shown in the plugin spectrum, you can see exactly where the kick lives while setting up your frequency and q on the eq. πŸ‘
The latest release:

Jac459
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Post 28 Jul 2022

PhillipOrdonez wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
It is, and by selecting the sidechain input to be shown in the plugin spectrum, you can see exactly where the kick lives while setting up your frequency and q on the eq. πŸ‘
Ah yes... Not being a champion of mastering and mixing, I am very fond of having visual feedbacks like for example in umpf compressor.

RobC
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Post 28 Jul 2022

crimsonwarlock wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
Jac459 wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
Okay, I read the Mclass Compressor can be used as envelop follower. Even if it lacks visual feedback, I guess it would do the trick.
This one gets overlooked a lot, and it's free: https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... generator/
Lol, I overlooked it, too, sadly, because it's called envelope generator and not envelope follower.

But does it beat MClass Compressor and Pulverizer's envelope follower then?

If I understand correctly, an envelope follower takes audio, smoothens/simplifies it (both with attack and release and maybe a knee shaping), then turns it to CV data?

RobC
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Post 28 Jul 2022

PhillipOrdonez wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
For dynamic eq, the easiest free solution is using TDR Nova gentleman's edition. Cable a parallel kick output to the input of Nova and have it react to the frequency band of the kick.
It says, GE is 60 EUR. But might be possible with the free version.

But basically, what you recommend, is like EQ carving, right?
Some engineers show cutting out specific frequencies from one-other (such as kick and bass), but IMO that breaks the original sounds' tonality. Carving seems more transparent and even better sounding. Then again, a static EQ, is something we get used to from the first second, too ~ but it still makes a kick and bass sound lacking.

I'm not necessarily against mix EQ-ing, to bring something out. For example, I found a fitting frequency on a bass synth to boost, which didn't really get in the way of anything else. With an on/off, solo comparison though, at first I was like, "Christ, what on earth am I doing?!" ~ being shocked at the difference. But later I realized that it added a cool character to the bass, actually, while my original flat sounding tonality of my bass was nice and full and all, but kind of boring.

Jac459
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Post 28 Jul 2022

RobC wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022


I'm not necessarily against mix EQ-ing, to bring something out. For example, I found a fitting frequency on a bass synth to boost, which didn't really get in the way of anything else. With an on/off, solo comparison though, at first I was like, "Christ, what on earth am I doing?!" ~ being shocked at the difference. But later I realized that it added a cool character to the bass, actually, while my original flat sounding tonality of my bass was nice and full and all, but kind of boring.
Hello RobC, not sure you got the beginning of the discussion but here the idea is just to carvout the frequency when the kick is hitting and return back as the kick envelop reduces. For me it is less invasive than compression (sometimes I prefere compression when I want a nice pumping effect).

PhillipOrdonez
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Post 28 Jul 2022

RobC wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
PhillipOrdonez wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
For dynamic eq, the easiest free solution is using TDR Nova gentleman's edition. Cable a parallel kick output to the input of Nova and have it react to the frequency band of the kick.
It says, GE is 60 EUR. But might be possible with the free version.

But basically, what you recommend, is like EQ carving, right?
Some engineers show cutting out specific frequencies from one-other (such as kick and bass), but IMO that breaks the original sounds' tonality. Carving seems more transparent and even better sounding. Then again, a static EQ, is something we get used to from the first second, too ~ but it still makes a kick and bass sound lacking.

I'm not necessarily against mix EQ-ing, to bring something out. For example, I found a fitting frequency on a bass synth to boost, which didn't really get in the way of anything else. With an on/off, solo comparison though, at first I was like, "Christ, what on earth am I doing?!" ~ being shocked at the difference. But later I realized that it added a cool character to the bass, actually, while my original flat sounding tonality of my bass was nice and full and all, but kind of boring.
Sorry, i meant whatever the free edition is called. You can do this with the free version, no need to buy the GE πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ

It is dynamic, not static. πŸ‘
The latest release:

RobC
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Post 28 Jul 2022

Jac459 wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
Hello RobC, not sure you got the beginning of the discussion but here the idea is just to carvout the frequency when the kick is hitting and return back as the kick envelop reduces. For me it is less invasive than compression (sometimes I prefere compression when I want a nice pumping effect).
Hi! Yes, then I was thinking of the same thing (even if it inspired other thoughts, which got me going). While it's up to people how they make their mix work, I agree that the pumping should be used as an effect, rather than mix engineering solution.
That said, I recommend trying to automate the pumping yourself, especially with curved automation being available. It's fun to add some variation. The pumping doesn't just have to go up, like an inverted/curved sawtooth shape, but you can mess around with occasionally using a regular curved sawtooth shape (yes, it will sound like a bang with the kick), or drawing a square shape (silence on the kick, then full volume ~ or the opposite). It's a lot more fun, and you can decide to only add what sounds cool to you.
PhillipOrdonez wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
Sorry, i meant whatever the free edition is called. You can do this with the free version, no need to buy the GE πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ
It is dynamic, not static. πŸ‘
Awesome! I might try to control the EQ amount then when mixing. Things can be dynamically boosted, when the mix gets busy/loud; and when it's calm, the tonality can get back to what it originally was. For that, I think, the ideal sidechain trigger might be the eq boost/curve subtracted from the whole mix (aka the original mix with inverted polarity, added with a duplicate of the mix with the static EQ boost applied).

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selig
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Post 28 Jul 2022

Came to point out Reason could do all of this (except MPE support of course) since BEFORE Bitwig even EXISTED.
As a side note, Reason could also do the chord pitch bend thing, though not at all elegantly BUT DOABLE, long before MPE was available. :)
Selig Audio, LLC

Jac459
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Post 28 Jul 2022

RobC wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022


Hi! Yes, then I was thinking of the same thing (even if it inspired other thoughts, which got me going). While it's up to people how they make their mix work, I agree that the pumping should be used as an effect, rather than mix engineering solution.
That said, I recommend trying to automate the pumping yourself, especially with curved automation being available. It's fun to add some variation. The pumping doesn't just have to go up, like an inverted/curved sawtooth shape, but you can mess around with occasionally using a regular curved sawtooth shape (yes, it will sound like a bang with the kick), or drawing a square shape (silence on the kick, then full volume ~ or the opposite). It's a lot more fun, and you can decide to only add what sounds cool to you.
Pretty good ideas here. I will definitely test.
All these compression, parallel processing, side chaining are very new for me as I stopped music for a long time at a time' record' was not part of reason.Good thing is I am like a kid right now with all this creative power.

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selig
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Post 28 Jul 2022

Jac459 wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
RobC wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022


Hi! Yes, then I was thinking of the same thing (even if it inspired other thoughts, which got me going). While it's up to people how they make their mix work, I agree that the pumping should be used as an effect, rather than mix engineering solution.
That said, I recommend trying to automate the pumping yourself, especially with curved automation being available. It's fun to add some variation. The pumping doesn't just have to go up, like an inverted/curved sawtooth shape, but you can mess around with occasionally using a regular curved sawtooth shape (yes, it will sound like a bang with the kick), or drawing a square shape (silence on the kick, then full volume ~ or the opposite). It's a lot more fun, and you can decide to only add what sounds cool to you.
Pretty good ideas here. I will definitely test.
All these compression, parallel processing, side chaining are very new for me as I stopped music for a long time at a time' record' was not part of reason.Good thing is I am like a kid right now with all this creative power.
Not sure when you last saw Reason, but even before Record/audio was introduced you could do all of the things you asked about…
Selig Audio, LLC

Jac459
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Post 28 Jul 2022

selig wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022

Not sure when you last saw Reason, but even before Record/audio was introduced you could do all of the things you asked about…
Hello Selig, thanks for popping by in this post as I know you are very knowledgeable on all these topics 😊.

Well I was very (very) active in music from a bit before the 1990s to a bit after the 2000s (my student years).
I learned by using trackers on atari/amiga, was part of a group of demomaker and doing the music for them. Then I moved to buying a yamaha CS1x, using cakewalk, discovering Propellerheads through 303/808/909 emulation and spend so much time on rebirth until they released reason.
I think if I remember well I used reason until 2.5, I remember the release of Malstrom (the serum of this time lol).

As per mastering and mixing, while I was spending maybe 30-40 hours per week doing music (joice of being student in France) I don't remember much doing that except volumes, panning and some send effects.

So you are certainly right but I think it was either beyond my capacity or beyond the capacity of my computer (I remember that resource mgt was key at this time).

A side note on learning, I remember that at this time I printed the whole reason doc and read it from start to finish which is immensely less productive than watching all the excellent content you can find on YouTube now.

Jac459
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Post 28 Jul 2022

selig wrote: ↑
28 Jul 2022
Came to point out Reason could do all of this (except MPE support of course) since BEFORE Bitwig even EXISTED.
As a side note, Reason could also do the chord pitch bend thing, though not at all elegantly BUT DOABLE, long before MPE was available. :)
I am curious on the pitch bend for chord, would you mind sharing the trick?

Reason is indeed an awesome product with an awesome ecosystem (on which you actively contribute and thanks for that). And even now I still discover new features (including with this post).
I am just thinking that it can also be a great combo with other products like bitwig which are somehow less rich but also more agile on new standard market features.

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Arrant
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Post 29 Jul 2022

Actual Reason real life limitations:
- No VST3
- No VST MIDI out
- No track folders
- No markers
- No video support

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tomm
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Post 29 Jul 2022

There are none, really. Most of the limitations are set in our minds. We love to project all around that our choices are the only reasonable ones, but in reality everyone works differently and everyone have different requirements for music making tools.

In my opinion, if VST3, M1, MPE is something that stops you to create music in Reason, then I would suggest to rethink your process and DAW of choice.
I work on old Intel MacBook and I use Reason and Maschine. It would be stupid for me to buy new M1 and Roland Cloud VST3 plugs, being aware that both of my music making environments have no support for it.
Of course RS does need to deliver (and will) but not right now and not because I say so. I believe they are fully aware of "all changing tech", probably better than all we are here.

For me Reason is one of those software systems which seems bottomless if you completely know the system.

Jac459
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Post 29 Jul 2022

tomm wrote: ↑
29 Jul 2022
There are none, really. Most of the limitations are set in our minds. We love to project all around that our choices are the only reasonable ones, but in reality everyone works differently and everyone have different requirements for music making tools.

In my opinion, if VST3, M1, MPE is something that stops you to create music in Reason, then I would suggest to rethink your process and DAW of choice.
I work on old Intel MacBook and I use Reason and Maschine. It would be stupid for me to buy new M1 and Roland Cloud VST3 plugs, being aware that both of my music making environments have no support for it.
Of course RS does need to deliver (and will) but not right now and not because I say so. I believe they are fully aware of "all changing tech", probably better than all we are here.

For me Reason is one of those software systems which seems bottomless if you completely know the system.
Hello Tomm,
I couldn't agree more with what you are saying but I am not sure it is relevant for this post.
To be clear, I am pretty sure that reason is one million times a better tool than I am a good musician.
I also agree with you that the sum of all that can be done with reason is crazy.

My Intent was to see what creation techniques are both useful in general and difficult to do with reason. It is not at all a critic of reason.

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