Non rewire tips for R12+R13 for those who work with audio loops and want auto tempo preview and functionality

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Theo.M
Posts: 1229
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 26 Jun 2024

Rewire is getting harder and harder to use with every new DAW and OS version, especially on the Mac side.

BTW, I had no idea where to put this, as it involves other software, yet plugins as well, yet the tips are specifically for Reason. So I chose here. If I chose incorrectly, please accept my apologies and move the topic if that's ok :oops:

This post is for those who like to use any kind of audio loop that is a Wav or Aif file in Reason and are frustrated by the lack of any kind of auto tempo detection for said files.
I will present to you 3.5 solutions, 2 totally within Reason and 1.5 requiring an extra application (the .5 will make sense with the final entry).

(Disclaimer - Yes, to this day my drums are still poo, even though I am getting much better than I used to be. For over a decade I had a writing partner who did all the rhythms and I did all the chords and melodies, and he was just so good at it that I think I still feel intimidated even though I am a solo artist now LOL. It's something I am simply not gifted at like he was. He never even used a single loop or a step sequencer, he programmed drum sound by drum sound manually in Logic 4/5/6 and 7 (our then DAW of choice) by playing everything on a standard midi keyboard in realtime and recorded of course to midi track. He could quickly audition a drum sound and instantly knew what would fit and then created a rhythm, then moved on to the next part and so on and so on. Never once did he even insert notes on any kind of grid manually, absolutely everything was played by him on an AN1X master keyboard which to this day still has me green (hehe) with envy).

So yes, I do like to use drum loops, even if it's to get an idea of where the song's rhythm needs to be, and then I might program my own beats in that style.
But this works for any kind of audio loop including melodies, bass, chord progressions, etc.

The absolute best app to use for this, if one is willing to use a second app like the old rewire days, is Ableton Live via LINK.
There is no need to route anything (of course there are drawbacks vs rewire, like lack of bounce to target DAW, but quick setup is not one of those drawbacks).
Just click link in both DAWs and you are done. That's it.
The thing is that even the cheapest Ableton Live Intro works for this, and I know many musicians received this with their audio interface for free anyway. To buy it ($99 usd) is cheaper than many plugins, and cheaper again on the random sales, and cheaper again at a reseller.

The reason Ableton is my favourite is that LINK properly syncs transport between the two DAWs including loop points and Ableton's loop browser is so fast to audition.

Bitwig also does this, again even with the intro version, however although playback and stop transport is synced between the two DAWs with Bitwig and Reason, loop points are not.

The timing is impeccable, I activated both metronomes in an empty project, and they sound sample accurate or if not, very close to.

Live and Bitwig both have really easy to use browsers which is what makes this so pleasant to use. Navigate to your main loops directory, add it as a favourite, and then just auto audition anything with the up and down arrows in perfect time to your Reason project and tempo. Both apps are lightning fast at auto previewing and highly recommended.
(Yes, I know this needs to be added into Reason's own browser, but I have been asking for over a decade so at this point it seems very unlikely, as Reason can't even insert an audio file and auto stretch it to the project's tempo, let alone *audition* files to tempo, well that is, other than REX files which work perfectly in this regard).

Now, the thing is, Ableton intro has very good time stretch, Bitwig does not include Elastique in the intro version, and Reason's own TS algos are better than Bitwig's own. So with Bitwig, I'd be importing the raw files into Reason and adjusting file tempo there after you find the loops you want to use, but with Ableton, I'd actually export them ready to be imported into Reason's project at the correct tempo, which means Reason's automatically active stretch function will just work right off the bat if you decide to change project tempo later, do tempo ramps, etc.

If you already have Bitwig, I would suggest to use it of course, but if you don't have either and want the easiest way to preview ANY audio file to reason's project tempo during playback, then Live Intro is the one to get and it's cheaper as an added bonus!
Both apps make it very easy to export audio btw, so both equally good there.
The other excellent feature of these apps is their uncanny ability to guess tempo of the source file correctly almost 100% of the time. Even with longer files. To use an example, Cubase guesses incorrectly 80% of the time, by either guessing half or double the actual tempo, therefore previewing can be truly time consuming and sound awful in Cubase. It took me hours to manually type in the tempo for every loop in one of my loop library folders so I could easily preview it in future, and even though each loop had the numbered BPM in the title, Nuendo 12 and 13 guessed almost every one incorrectly. On a side note, PT is fantastic at this also, just like Ableton.

Now, if you want to keep everything inside Reason
and IF you, like me, use only use drum loops when it comes to loops, whether single parts or full loops, there IS a solution for 89 Euro:
https://www.newsonicarts.com/vice
This is an auto slicer with an automatic "to tempo" browser preview function and works exactly the same way as Live and Bitwig for this - HOWEVER, it is NOT doing a time stretch of any kind, it is a beat slicer and therefore sounds quite bad on melodic content. It has however sounded almost universally excellent on any drum loop I have tried, and of course, you can do more than just preview an audio file to project tempo. It's uber fast and again, "just works".
If there are no overlapping notes on beats/bars, then it CAN be fine for melodic content as well, but forget pads and the like, unless you want a very bizarre special effect LOL. But for drum loops? Because of its plugin integration in Reason's rack, it's a very good choice indeed.

Finally
Big Fish Audio Momentum, but not yet.
A totally free plugin that has excellent time stretching capabilities and can usually auto detect once a loop is loaded into it.
However, it is not doing any kind of browser preview at present nor even HAS a proper integrated browser.
Recently, I wrote this to Big Fish (3 months back):
"Hi there, What a shame there is no browser built in to the instrument for my own audio files and that I need to drag and drop. All I want to do is find my samples folder and preview them to tempo by going up and down in the browser - it looks like the functionality is there with the custom setting but it's not, and the auto sync to BPM is there once a loop is dropped in from the explorer or finder, so this functionality could be easily added with a simple browser update as everything needed to do so is already in the engine code itself. This would revolutionise DAWs like Reason that can't preview wav loops to tempo. Oh well. The search continues".

To which they replied:
"stay tuned".

Now of course, one should never count on future features, but it really does sound like Big Fish will eventually add this to their amazing free loop plugin.
This would even make the need for such a feature in Reason itself rather redundant, and would work with any DAW and any type of audio file, with excellent results, as what's already there once a loop is imported DOES sound excellent - even on long pads!
Honestly, if they add a good browser to this, I can see myself using it over a DAW's own loop system in many cases. Of course you can drag and drop audio back to DAW if you must have the audio files on the timeline rather than a VSTi track using midi triggers, or keep it all within the plugin. Up to you.
For me, mangling, reordering and the like is MUCH easier to do in a plugin like this vs a DAW's audio clip timeline, so for me it will be a no brainer. In fact, I am already often using it once I have found the loop I want to use via e.g. PT's browser and then dragging said loop into Momentum rather than using it as an audio file directly in the DAW!
So I can recommend this plugin as it stands *anyway*, for any soul who likes having fun with loops.

If there is anything I have missed, this would be an ideal topic to mention them, as that's all I really found with multiple searches over the past few years. For example, some say UVI player does it, but it does not, it only does it for REX loops and therefore is pointless for that function in Reason, where rex loops are already extremely well catered for (I love me my Dr OctoRex)!!

For anyone else that laments the fact that Reason is missing this feature, I hope this has been of some help. Now remember, if you know of any other plugins that "just work" with Reason and have this functionality, again, please do include the info in a reply! On a final note, technically any app with link functionality and a tempo loop browser will work, but I chose Live and Bitwig due to both price and because they *excel* at this particular function. But yes, even PT or Logic as the main loop browser can work with Reason like this if you happen to already have those apps. An extra initial drag and drop step is needed for your loop folders in Logic's browser, but that's a one and done and then it works like the others. BTW I just tested it with PT - I had a reason project at 110 bpm then opened a PT project at 140 bpm and enabled link in both DAWs, pressed play in PT, and Reason's tempo changed to 140 and it all synced up. Furthermore, I loaded a rex loop into dr octo rex in reason in auto "run" mode, and then opened PT's workspace browser and auditioned wave files and they all conformed to tempo and were in perfect time with Reason's Dr Octo Rex. So yes, any properly implemented link enabled DAW with this feature will work.

Cheers to all, and as always, happy loopy logarithms!
Mac Studio M2 Ultra/64Gb/Apollo T-Bolt 3/OS 14.5.0/PT 2024/Nuendo 13
MSI GT77/13980HX/RTX 4090m/64GB/Arturia Minifuse 2/Win 11 Pro/S1 V6/Bitwig 5/Low DPC latency tuned

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jam-s
Posts: 3128
Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 26 Jun 2024

Loopcloud up to version 5.3 was a really good sample browser. Sadly they went the enshittification route afterwards (feature creep, AI & subscription only), so I cannot really recommend it now. As an alternative the free ADSR Sample manager still seems to be a good alternative sample browser (for Reason).

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Theo.M
Posts: 1229
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 09 Jul 2024

jam-s wrote:
26 Jun 2024
Loopcloud up to version 5.3 was a really good sample browser. Sadly they went the enshittification route afterwards (feature creep, AI & subscription only), so I cannot really recommend it now. As an alternative the free ADSR Sample manager still seems to be a good alternative sample browser (for Reason).
Thanks so much for this. It looks truly excellent, is free, and claims to have the functionality required. Have to try it but yes that can be added to the OP list for sure.
Mac Studio M2 Ultra/64Gb/Apollo T-Bolt 3/OS 14.5.0/PT 2024/Nuendo 13
MSI GT77/13980HX/RTX 4090m/64GB/Arturia Minifuse 2/Win 11 Pro/S1 V6/Bitwig 5/Low DPC latency tuned

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Theo.M
Posts: 1229
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 09 Jul 2024

Wow, ADSR is *absolutely unbelievable* at this function.

Forget every other bit of advice I have offered, this is THE tool for Reason loop previewing.

Not only that, you can drag and drop from the plugin at the correct tempo as well, which bypasses Reason's Stretch and uses ADSR's which so far seems cleaner with drums IMO.

It's designed perfectly logically. You see your browser on left with all your subfolders and then your files on right, just click and it auto previews to tempo. Multiple stretch algorithms too and some other functions.

I can't believe this is free. What a great browser.

The only thing is that it's overbearingly dark and depressing and I am trying to find a way to change that as I also find it hurts my eyes a bit, and, I wish there was a way to stop the annoying ads - surely there must be a way to donate or something to stop the spam ads.

In any case, for audio files, this is already better than Reason 13's browser by a country mile, because even though it is also forced floating as it's a VST plugin, might as well have all these great functions rather than use the Reason browser for audio files. This has totally transformed Reason for me right now as it's no different to the app doing it natively, it's that good. Except the spam.
Mac Studio M2 Ultra/64Gb/Apollo T-Bolt 3/OS 14.5.0/PT 2024/Nuendo 13
MSI GT77/13980HX/RTX 4090m/64GB/Arturia Minifuse 2/Win 11 Pro/S1 V6/Bitwig 5/Low DPC latency tuned

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selig
RE Developer
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Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 10 Jul 2024

Hey Theo, I PM'ed you about your drum 'disclaimer' above!
Selig Audio, LLC

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Theo.M
Posts: 1229
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 11 Jul 2024

selig wrote:
10 Jul 2024
Hey Theo, I PM'ed you about your drum 'disclaimer' above!
I replied immediately, it's in outbox for half a day already :-)
Mac Studio M2 Ultra/64Gb/Apollo T-Bolt 3/OS 14.5.0/PT 2024/Nuendo 13
MSI GT77/13980HX/RTX 4090m/64GB/Arturia Minifuse 2/Win 11 Pro/S1 V6/Bitwig 5/Low DPC latency tuned

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