Imagine if combinators could only be played and modulated via its basic combi interface ...

This forum is for discussing Reason. Questions, answers, ideas, and opinions... all apply.
User avatar
avasopht
Posts: 3451
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 30 Jul 2022

Imagine if we never had access to the internals of combinators?

Imagine if they were a black box where we only knew that it could make use of Reason devices, but never knew anything beyond that?

I was using Xpand!2 with my MPC. Its interface was mirrored on the screen and it got me thinking - kinda reminding me of the combinator ... I wonder if Reason users would have appreciated combinator patches more if we couldn't see inside of them?
---

User avatar
Timmy Crowne
Posts: 344
Joined: 06 Apr 2017
Location: California, United States

Post 30 Jul 2022

I’ve suggested it would be good to have the option to make black-box Combinators. With more stock internal logic modules and a few more front-panel features (e.g. meters, stepped knobs and switches, etc.) it could become a visual programming environment that would let non-programming users build and sell new Rack Extensions.

User avatar
Re8et
Posts: 1339
Joined: 14 Nov 2016

Post 30 Jul 2022

It would be cool to have it as an option, to increase cmb sell, and avoid copying... I'm all in for this proposal.!

Even if... it would take away the beauty of modifying... so not sure about sell points...
just my two cents...

Wtfm synth only has microtonal tuning is hard to make sound design... just calculating harmonics needs either a super-ear, or a super-calculator...
I have some patches for it and was considering sharing the combi... probably I'd be less hesitant... :puf_smile:

User avatar
joeyluck
Moderator
Posts: 10100
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 30 Jul 2022

Well there is already the Gorilla Engine to make REs. Doesn't that check all of the boxes? And with the work Yan of Pongasoft is doing, seems like creating REs will become even easier.

Users seem to appreciate Combinators as they are and like being to open them to make adjustments. Not really seeing the appeal or selling point of a locked Combinator. It's kind of like getting a car that has heated seats, but not having access to that feature.

Reminiscence
Posts: 203
Joined: 31 May 2016

Post 31 Jul 2022

I had the same idea, but some combis suck - so they need editing internally. :roll:

User avatar
avasopht
Posts: 3451
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 31 Jul 2022

Reminiscence wrote:
31 Jul 2022
I had the same idea, but some combis suck - so they need editing internally. :roll:
But that's only because we know we can edit them.

If they were uneditable from the start, I bet we'd be gobbling them all up.
---

User avatar
Jagwah
Posts: 2354
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 31 Jul 2022

joeyluck wrote:
30 Jul 2022
Users seem to appreciate Combinators as they are and like being to open them to make adjustments.
As Joey mentions users like opening the Combi to adjust things - I see this as essential. I need to make changes to patches so I can make that patch work / fit in the track I'm working on - usually some simple amp / filter envelope adjustments or something like that. If we had a sub type of Combi that had this feature I would avoid it all together, it's just not for me but if some people can use it then ask Props, they are usually pretty quick at implementing simple features like this :)

User avatar
avasopht
Posts: 3451
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 31 Jul 2022

Jagwah wrote:
31 Jul 2022
joeyluck wrote:
30 Jul 2022
Users seem to appreciate Combinators as they are and like being to open them to make adjustments.
As Joey mentions users like opening the Combi to adjust things - I see this as essential. I need to make changes to patches so I can make that patch work / fit in the track I'm working on - usually some simple amp / filter envelope adjustments or something like that. If we had a sub type of Combi that had this feature I would avoid it all together, it's just not for me but if some people can use it then ask Props, they are usually pretty quick at implementing simple features like this :)
Well, it wasn't a feature suggestion. More just thinking how it could have been if they were always black boxes from the beginning.
---

User avatar
Jagwah
Posts: 2354
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 31 Jul 2022

avasopht wrote:
31 Jul 2022
Well, it wasn't a feature suggestion. More just thinking how it could have been if they were always black boxes from the beginning.
Yeah that would have been something if they were like that the whole time! :puf_bigsmile:

User avatar
joeyluck
Moderator
Posts: 10100
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 31 Jul 2022

avasopht wrote:
31 Jul 2022
Reminiscence wrote:
31 Jul 2022
I had the same idea, but some combis suck - so they need editing internally. :roll:
But that's only because we know we can edit them.

If they were uneditable from the start, I bet we'd be gobbling them all up.
Are users not gobbling them up? 😂

Many of the combi 2 posts here have more downloads than comments. Users can't seem to get enough of them.

Users not on R+ want access to the packs. They start R+ trials just to download all of the packs.

I don't know if I've ever seen any users saying they'd be more inclined to use a combinator patch if it couldn't be edited.

AnotherMathias
Posts: 180
Joined: 29 Sep 2020

Post 31 Jul 2022

I’m not sure about this, but isn’t Audiomatic essentially a black box combinator?
I got the impression that all the presets inside are made with stock devices.

Personally I like the idea. Neat and tidy.
Combinators made by other people can easily feel a bit messy to me. Even if you don’t open them up to edit anything, you know that there’s a spaghetti of cables and devices in there, and you don’t exactly know what they do.
Last edited by AnotherMathias on 31 Jul 2022, edited 1 time in total.

djsmex
Posts: 244
Joined: 23 Aug 2016

Post 31 Jul 2022

I'm on the side of open combinators, kind of an open-source platform. Now if someone was able to write a combinator rack extension compiler that takes a combi patch and generates the build45 sdk source files, that may be something.
However, that said, there is already a visual editor for RE development.

User avatar
crimsonwarlock
Posts: 957
Joined: 06 Nov 2021
Location: Close to the Edge

Post 31 Jul 2022

djsmex wrote:
31 Jul 2022
However, that said, there is already a visual editor for RE development.
Are you talking about what pongasoft is building, or am I missing something?
----
The smart thing to do is using a DAW because of what the DAW does, not because of what the company behind the DAW does.

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10555
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 31 Jul 2022

AnotherMathias wrote:
31 Jul 2022
I’m not sure about this, but isn’t Audiomatic essentially a black box combinator?
I got the impression that all the presets inside are made with stock devices.

Personally I like the idea. Neat and tidy.
Combinators made by other people can easily feel a bit messy to me. Even if you don’t open them up to edit anything, you know that there’s a spaghetti of cables and devices in there, and you don’t exactly know what they do.
Was going to post that Audiomatic is basically a black box Combinator of sorts, but not as you suggest - it used a custom device (RE) that was actually super simple and very clunky to work with IMO. It was really just a bunch of knobs and a quirky routing system that was difficult to work with/trouble shoot! So maybe the algorithms were ‘stock’, but I never recognized any of them when working on designing presets.
Selig Audio, LLC

RobC
Posts: 1475
Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 01 Aug 2022

Seriously? When I suggested locked combinators, people shit their pants and commented a lot of -1's. - I just giggled to myself back then and thought "Cool, guys, then you won't get any of my effects/tools, etc. for free and that's it."

User avatar
Heigen5
Posts: 1372
Joined: 25 Sep 2018
Location: Finland / Suomi

Post 01 Aug 2022

I was thinking about this too already at least 12 years ago. And by now I still would like to get a feature and not let people know the content of my combis.
I had something similar, told in my previous forum post, whereas a subscription allows you to see stuff regarding REs, but I don't remember the details atm.
I was a complete solution for the Reason Studios, but also the RE devs + also the clients. Good luck Props!

User avatar
arnigretar
Posts: 316
Joined: 15 May 2020
Location: Iceland

Post 01 Aug 2022

Always when I use combinators other have made, I open them up and make my own edits -- since there are a lot of features that don't go with my workflow. And when you can open them up -- you learn a lot in the proccess. So it's a win win :) Also a GREAT feature is to delete the combi GUI. Because many are not good IMO and do not go well in the rack (for the eyes). So you can just add your own or have it original combinator style.

djsmex
Posts: 244
Joined: 23 Aug 2016

Post 01 Aug 2022

crimsonwarlock wrote:
31 Jul 2022
djsmex wrote:
31 Jul 2022
However, that said, there is already a visual editor for RE development.
Are you talking about what pongasoft is building, or am I missing something?
Yes and the gorilla engine by ujam. Although myself I find scripting easier than visual editors because of very limited sight. Screen readers work much better with text editors compared to graphical IDEs.

User avatar
crimsonwarlock
Posts: 957
Joined: 06 Nov 2021
Location: Close to the Edge

Post 01 Aug 2022

djsmex wrote:
01 Aug 2022
Yes and the gorilla engine by ujam.
I didn't know the gorilla engine was a graphical environment. But I never looked into it, to be honest. I'm doing pretty complex coding during my day job already, so I tend to stay away from DSP development in any form :puf_smile:
----
The smart thing to do is using a DAW because of what the DAW does, not because of what the company behind the DAW does.

djsmex
Posts: 244
Joined: 23 Aug 2016

Post 01 Aug 2022

crimsonwarlock wrote:
01 Aug 2022
djsmex wrote:
01 Aug 2022
Yes and the gorilla engine by ujam.
I didn't know the gorilla engine was a graphical environment. But I never looked into it, to be honest. I'm doing pretty complex coding during my day job already, so I tend to stay away from DSP development in any form :puf_smile:
I've not used the gorilla engine myself but did look into it a bit sometime ago. I've still quite a bit to learn when it comes to RE development and DSP can get very complex extreamly fast.

User avatar
joeyluck
Moderator
Posts: 10100
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 01 Aug 2022

Yeah using Gorilla Engine to build a RE is the way to go if you want to build something like this.

User avatar
mimidancer
Posts: 269
Joined: 30 Sep 2021

Post 02 Aug 2022

opening up other people's combinators has been quite educational for me. SO I hate this idea, but maybe one of you could convince them to put a lock on the interface that would only allow someone with a pass word inside. Still, I hate this idea.

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10555
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 02 Aug 2022

RobC wrote:
01 Aug 2022
Seriously? When I suggested locked combinators, people shit their pants and commented a lot of -1's. - I just giggled to myself back then and thought "Cool, guys, then you won't get any of my effects/tools, etc. for free and that's it."
I take a different approach, offering all but one of my combinator creations for free because they are great teaching tools. But even the Combinator I charged for (B3) was not able to be locked, and I never felt that was a bad thing. BTW, this has come up more than a few times over the years, mainly before REs were introduced.

The main problem I see is that they STILL are not robust enough feature wise to lock out the user. If they had better feedback (metering/displays) and enough controls to handle all basic tasks maybe it would be useful. As they are, you still need to look inside for additional feedback/features. Plus, they are excellent learning tools, if you’re interested in teaching/sharing with others. :)
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
avasopht
Posts: 3451
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 02 Aug 2022

selig wrote:
02 Aug 2022
I take a different approach, offering all but one of my combinator creations for free because they are great teaching tools. But even the Combinator I charged for (B3) was not able to be locked, and I never felt that was a bad thing. BTW, this has come up more than a few times over the years, mainly before REs were introduced.

The main problem I see is that they STILL are not robust enough feature wise to lock out the user. If they had better feedback (metering/displays) and enough controls to handle all basic tasks maybe it would be useful. As they are, you still need to look inside for additional feedback/features. Plus, they are excellent learning tools, if you’re interested in teaching/sharing with others. :)
That B3 should have been PH's posterchild for what was possible with mere combinators.

I brought over a church musician and that alone sold him on Reason. When I showed him how it's made from basic Reason devices I nearly blew a fuse in his brain.

But tbh I was really thinking of this as a "What if?" scenario rather than a feature suggestion. Like, what if this is how it had always been? Would we have treated them differently if their inner workings were obscured by magic? Would we have myths about the quality of Combinators vs stock devices? :D
---

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10555
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 02 Aug 2022

avasopht wrote:
02 Aug 2022
selig wrote:
02 Aug 2022
I take a different approach, offering all but one of my combinator creations for free because they are great teaching tools. But even the Combinator I charged for (B3) was not able to be locked, and I never felt that was a bad thing. BTW, this has come up more than a few times over the years, mainly before REs were introduced.

The main problem I see is that they STILL are not robust enough feature wise to lock out the user. If they had better feedback (metering/displays) and enough controls to handle all basic tasks maybe it would be useful. As they are, you still need to look inside for additional feedback/features. Plus, they are excellent learning tools, if you’re interested in teaching/sharing with others. :)
That B3 should have been PH's posterchild for what was possible with mere combinators.

I brought over a church musician and that alone sold him on Reason. When I showed him how it's made from basic Reason devices I nearly blew a fuse in his brain.

But tbh I was really thinking of this as a "What if?" scenario rather than a feature suggestion. Like, what if this is how it had always been? Would we have treated them differently if their inner workings were obscured by magic? Would we have myths about the quality of Combinators vs stock devices? :D
Well, I can tell you exactly what we would have had if I had black boxed the B3 - a drawbar organ where you could not adjust the drawbars… ;)
So I don’t think that ReFill would have been all that impressive in that form.

But I get the idea - Audiomatic is just a bunch of common modules strung together. It’s more about the sound design work that goes into the product IMO.
Selig Audio, LLC

  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 7 guests