The new GUI could be a make-or-break chance for Reason

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miscend
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Post 07 Dec 2020

chaosroyale wrote:
07 Dec 2020
My whole point is that the recent devices are not vintage skeuo, and we have several different types of GUI side-by-side in Reason now.

I want them to choose one. I would be very happy with the old "simplified skeuo" they used to do, but I think the bigger problem is that they simply do not have a design vision for Reason any more.
miscend wrote:
07 Dec 2020
They're sticking to the spirit of the original designs as we have already seen in the sneak preview. Nothing is going to change in the design language. The skeuomorphic vintage device look is now tradition, if you want something else go to Ableton or Bitwig.
Those are not stock devices so the rules are not as strict. Pattern Mutator wasn't made internally either. Look at recent stock devices like Grain, Sweeper and Europa.

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guitfnky
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Post 07 Dec 2020

Creativemind wrote:
07 Dec 2020
guitfnky wrote:
07 Dec 2020
not all real-world rackmount hardware looks the same. especially with stuff from different eras—that’s to be expected. why should Reason’s rack all look the same?

they do have a big opportunity to make some great, sweeping changes to the UI—mixer improvements, integrating the F8 and other floating windows, reworking the groove mixer, and any number of other ancillary areas—but the devices themselves are the very least of what needs updating.
Because you're talking about hardware from many many different companies not the whole paradigm of a daw being slick and act like they're part of the same thing.

And my guess is, everything in your last paragraph + the opportunity to add scalability and another theme or 2 (that also can be applied to the menu's / mixer and no restart required to apply) will all be ignored. They to me all tie in together as they're all visual / graphics based. They could also update the graphics on the midi editor piano and make it look really good like some vst ones look but doubt they will. It's like when it comes to slick and great functionality or innovation to the daw itself, they have either no a) intention, b) see any of this as an issue for some bizarre reason or c) have no vision functionality-wise.
I think a driving feature of Reason, from v1 on, has been the goal of a diverse rack. making all the stock devices look like they came from the same manufacturer is fundamentally at odds with that. it’s honestly kind of baffling to see people actively hoping for a more homogenous set of devices.

I’m not really sure what you’re saying with that second part.

DecafDreams
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Post 07 Dec 2020

chaosroyale wrote:
07 Dec 2020
They have the opportunity to re-make Reasons image as a much more attractive DAW.

They can unify the look and feel of the rack and DAW and main mixer, and fix all the mish-mash of different design styles that have accumulated over the years, making Reason look cheap, disunited, and out-of-date.

But I think they are going to fumble it. In fact I would bet they will do the following:

The addiction to conservatism and old-fashioned thinking that is the trademark of Reason, means they will keep all the old designs, regardless of how well they fit the GUI, instead of creating a coherent vision for the GUI. They will keep opposing design styles that conflict with each other.

"Original Reason" (Simplified Skeuo e.g. Subtractor. Europa actually went back to something like this style, which was nice.)
"Middle Reason" (overdone, gimmicky, "3D" Skeuo such as Audiomatic)
"Modern Reason 1" (semi-flat, colorful, "iphone App" style e.g. Players)
"Modern Reason 2 " (only partly flat, partly skeuo, oversized pastel panels with lots of dead space e.g. Quartet & Sweeper)

I know the old Grandpa's who wish Reason was frozen in time will complain if RS update anything, but the Reason Rack looks like a real cheesy mess now. It used to be so stylish and striking, with a unified aesthetic. Now it looks like a pile of mish-mashed plugins awkwardly attached to a flat DAW sequencer window.

They should choose a style and go with it. Maybe make everything super-sharp rendered skeuo style (for example like Ekssperimental Sounds with their Tape echo), OR make everything a semi-flat "app" style in gentle 21st century colors, or whatever. But choose a damn style, and carry it through the whole damn GUI. The previews we have seen so far suggest that nope, there will be no updating, just a 4k re-skin.
I really like that Reason has very unique looking GUIs for each device. I don't like the Ableton aesthetic, it's soulless and devoid of any humanistic personality.

I preferred the old Record/Reason 7 transport and DAW controls but have learned to accept the flat GUI from Reason 8 onward. It also sits better inside Windows 10 and OS X 10.10+ so fair enough. The transport has no design continuity with the rack now but I don't mind that, in some ways it makes more sense this way.

I think making the entire rack homogenous in look and feel, like you are proposing, is a really bad idea. They should bring everything into 4K yes, but remain as faithful as possible to each device's original identity. The old devices are classics and shouldn't be messed around with at all. If any of them do need updating, then they should keep it tasteful and respectful like they did with Dr Rex and RV7000. There isn't really any truly flat design in the rack, even in the Players. I think everything looks like a nice patchwork quilt; which suits the Reason modular feel quite nicely.

It seems like you're more worried about the marketability of Reason and how trendy it will look on the market place when pitted against the boring other characterless modern DAWs that exist. Reason has always forged its own path and I don't think Reason Studios are going to stop doing that now. Ultimately it's still their vision, we're just along for the ride. Perhaps sometimes we have the opportunity to nudge them a tiny amount in certain directions but that's about it! :)

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antic604
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Post 07 Dec 2020

guitfnky wrote:
07 Dec 2020
I think a driving feature of Reason, from v1 on, has been the goal of a diverse rack. making all the stock devices look like they came from the same manufacturer is fundamentally at odds with that. it’s honestly kind of baffling to see people actively hoping for a more homogenous set of devices.
I don't think the OP argues that! I think we all care & agree that what makes Reason strong is diversity & individual look of devices!

It's not about unifying the devices to have them look like from single manufacturer or from one time. It's to make them look like they could function in the same physical universe, with same materials, lighting, usage scenarios. RS's devices are mostly fine, with the exception of:
  • (some) Players - e.g. how are you suppose to operate *in real life* the rings around 2 main buttonsof Pattern Mutator? there's no handles, they don't animate?
  • Scenic - e.g. how are those waveforms displayed without any display? what's that "clock face" up front? a display? or a control you grab & drag?
  • Processed Pianos - what's happening on the upper half of the device - are those knobs? touch screens? holographic projections?
I don't know how well videogame analogy would work, but everyone know Uncharted or Gears of War don't go for realism but they're not cartoons either - they're "stylised reality" and putting in something photorealistic or cartoonish would look jarring.

I can't really put my finger on it, but Complex-1 or Europa fit perfectly with the style of "traditional" devices, Grain just barely, Scenic or Pettern Mutator are off. The worst offender are newer UJam devices, though.

I mean how are those 2 living in the same universe?

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PhillipOrdonez
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Post 07 Dec 2020

Hardware units and computer screens coexist in lots of studios. We all accept that some devices you can touch with your hands and others through a mouse. Nobody is complaining about they existing in the same studio at the same time 😂

Reason is a studio in the computer, and stay true to the studio experience, where some devices look physical and others don't. They can coexist, and when you think about it this way there is no need to question it. Some devices can exist in hardware, some cannot. Simple.

chaosroyale
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Post 07 Dec 2020

I agree that Ableton looks soulless. I really WISH I liked flat UIs because if I did, LIVE is such a good piece of software, I just hate looking at it.

As usual, I think everyone is misunderstanding me. I am not saying all the devices should be the same shape or color. I am saying that all the devices should be rendered in the same "space", following the same UI rules. Like I said, Subtractor and Europa are the same design style. I think they both have a strong "identity" don't you?

But I think you are right that I am worried about Reason's marketability. Because as it becomes less and less competitive, it will gradually go out of business. And I like Reason, so I don't want it to go out of business.I honestly think the Rack is looking more and more like a cheap joke compared to the competition now. And in the UI redesign, they have a chance to make Reason look like a premium product again.

I disagree that Reason is forging its own path now. 20 years ago, yes. But now, its a directionless mess. They even use LIVE instead of Reason to promote their own products, ffs!!!

I WISH that Reason would get back to being unique, and quirky, and full of character.

And there are 100% flat elements in the UI - Sweeper has a literal dropdown text menu that appears out of nowhere on a flat panel!! I hate that so much. Why not have a little display. There is more than enough wasted space to do it.
DecafDreams wrote:
07 Dec 2020

I really like that Reason has very unique looking GUIs for each device. I don't like the Ableton aesthetic, it's soulless and devoid of any humanistic personality.

I preferred the old Record/Reason 7 transport and DAW controls but have learned to accept the flat GUI from Reason 8 onward. It also sits better inside Windows 10 and OS X 10.10+ so fair enough. The transport has no design continuity with the rack now but I don't mind that, in some ways it makes more sense this way.

I think making the entire rack homogenous in look and feel, like you are proposing, is a really bad idea. They should bring everything into 4K yes, but remain as faithful as possible to each device's original identity. The old devices are classics and shouldn't be messed around with at all. If any of them do need updating, then they should keep it tasteful and respectful like they did with Dr Rex and RV7000. There isn't really any truly flat design in the rack, even in the Players. I think everything looks like a nice patchwork quilt; which suits the Reason modular feel quite nicely.

It seems like you're more worried about the marketability of Reason and how trendy it will look on the market place when pitted against the boring other characterless modern DAWs that exist. Reason has always forged its own path and I don't think Reason Studios are going to stop doing that now. Ultimately it's still their vision, we're just along for the ride. Perhaps sometimes we have the opportunity to nudge them a tiny amount in certain directions but that's about it! :)
Last edited by chaosroyale on 07 Dec 2020, edited 1 time in total.

chaosroyale
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Post 07 Dec 2020

Let's put it another way...

Wouldn't you like Reason to look more beautiful, more badass, than it does now?

Wouldn't that also attract new users?

I know some of you hate anything new. That's ok, you can post your Reason v.3 tracks to Myspace, nobody is stopping you. But it's 2020, and Reason is going to go out of business if they keep pretending it is 2005.

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guitfnky
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Post 07 Dec 2020

why add a fake display outline for no reason? just look at devices like that as if they’re displaying on a color e-reader. everything is always skeuomorphic, no matter how it’s displayed, or what it looks like.
🙃

chaosroyale
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Post 07 Dec 2020

...but it has 3d knobs.... why add THOSE??? it's a nonsensical mess. By your logic, "any random design is fine just because".

Look, ALL the devices are just CG, so of course they can look like anything.

The UI has to be a choice based on usablity, attractiveness, "mojo", workflow, etc. And I think they have lost their grip, and their latest UI designs suck, and the Rack is looking cheap. Thats it.

EDIT: sorry, I forgot to address your specific question. The reason "why" is because all UIs have an implicit logic. If the logic of a particular UI, like Reason, is that knobs and buttons are supposed to be like "real" knobs and buttons, then there is no reason for the user to think that a piece of flat text is something you can interact with. And even when you read the manual and realize you CAN interact, it subconsciously feels weird and "off".
guitfnky wrote:
07 Dec 2020
why add a fake display outline for no reason? just look at devices like that as if they’re displaying on a color e-reader. everything is always skeuomorphic, no matter how it’s displayed, or what it looks like.
🙃
Last edited by chaosroyale on 07 Dec 2020, edited 1 time in total.

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guitfnky
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Post 07 Dec 2020

chaosroyale wrote:
07 Dec 2020
Let's put it another way...

Wouldn't you like Reason to look more beautiful, more badass, than it does now?

Wouldn't that also attract new users?

I know some of you hate anything new. That's ok, you can post your Reason v.3 tracks to Myspace, nobody is stopping you. But it's 2020, and Reason is going to go out of business if they keep pretending it is 2005.
I think Reason looks plenty beautiful already*. and I suspect I'm not alone.

I’m not really getting that last paragraph though...the new devices look new. the old devices look old. all is as it should be*.

*aside from needing to be high-DPI compatible

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guitfnky
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Post 07 Dec 2020

chaosroyale wrote:
07 Dec 2020
By your logic, "any random design is fine just because".

Look, ALL the devices are just CG, so of course they can look like anything.
correct. 👍🏼

enossified
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Post 07 Dec 2020

It's easy to understand why the original GUI was what it was. It was designed to look like hardware of the time. Akai samplers (NN-19), Roland half-rack effects (the half rack devices), Mackie mixers (14:2) and so on. When I fired up the 2.5 demo 15 years ago, coming from a hardware background it immediately made sense, even the rear panel jacks.

To me the polar opposite GUI is Ableton Live which makes no effort to mimic the look of hardware at all. Everything else seems to fall in between the two.

Changing the GUI now means for some users it will be an improvement, for some a disaster and for others neither fish or fowl, just something different to deal with.

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guitfnky
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Post 07 Dec 2020

the point is, nobody is going to love the look of every device. I think Europa is ugly, and Thor is absolutely hideous. I still use them.

I think ART looks awesome, and I love most of the Players too. I still use them.

what do these have in common? they all sound great, or work very well, and are (mostly) easy to use—and when they’re not, they still serve a vital utilitarian purpose.

that means their UIs are overall pretty good, no matter what they look like.

Mataya
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Post 07 Dec 2020

I like the diversity in devices gui. I almost never use a sequencer and even a ssl style mixer. Just when I really need to.
It feels like I have a room with different stuff. For me, the whole Reason experience is like that. I open an app and and kaoss inside, just as a room I described.
It needs to look bigger and sharper on new monitors and that's about it I would like to see.
I understand you, I just don't see it be as better. I hate a bunch of things looking the same, even in a DAW.

Also, you keep writing those stupid remarks and with it, you are just showing that you've said it all about this topic. So thank you. I think I'll send my pigeon now, with my orchestration written on a wax to a king in a castle nearby.

Mataya

chaosroyale
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Post 07 Dec 2020

To borrow an example from Antic: if Reason wanted to push the "Realistic vintage racks" aesthetic, then they could learn a lot from EKSS. Some of their devices remind me of the first time I saw Reason V1!!! This stuff really makes you feel that you are tinkering with hardware in a studio. Personally, I think that this is a very strong image for Reason because most other DAWs don't really have that hardware feel. I'm not saying that is the best way forward for them, but it would be one way to consolidate a strong image and a soulful feel to the workflow.

I think devices like Sweeper and the new Rack Compressors (which look like placeholders designed by committee) feel much less like "Reason" than these EKSS devices.

HiRes_front_feugW7Z_KreHCN_7TM9UpW.png.10000x10000_q85.jpg
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BRIGGS
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Post 07 Dec 2020

Reason grandpa here...

Image
R11 Suite

chaosroyale
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Post 07 Dec 2020

Reason's UI as of V11.

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guitfnky
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Post 07 Dec 2020

BRIGGS wrote:
07 Dec 2020
Reason grandpa here...

Image
:lol: accurate. :lol:

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esselfortium
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Post 07 Dec 2020

Honestly I'd prefer a more consistently skeuomorphic look and feel in Reason's newer devices, too, though the Homer and the general tone of this thread are really exaggerating the issue IMO.

chaosroyale
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Post 07 Dec 2020

Yeah you're right, that "Homer's car" dig was a bit too far. My bad. Funny pic tho.
esselfortium wrote:
07 Dec 2020
Honestly I'd prefer a more consistently skeuomorphic look and feel in Reason's newer devices, too, though the Homer and the general tone of this thread are really exaggerating the issue IMO.

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antic604
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Post 07 Dec 2020

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
07 Dec 2020
Hardware units and computer screens coexist in lots of studios. We all accept that some devices you can touch with your hands and others through a mouse. Nobody is complaining about they existing in the same studio at the same time 😂

Reason is a studio in the computer, and stay true to the studio experience, where some devices look physical and others don't. They can coexist, and when you think about it this way there is no need to question it. Some devices can exist in hardware, some cannot. Simple.
How do you mount that UJam device in a "physical" rack? With a bit of string? A tube of glue? I actually wouldn't mind if those were added ;)

IMO it's either / or - either they keep the virtual physical rack paradigm, or they go haywire and everything goes. It seems they want the former, but are not committed enough themselves and don't impose strict guidelines on RE devs.
Music tech enthusiast. DAW, VST & hardware hoarder :D
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Creativemind
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Post 07 Dec 2020

chaosroyale wrote:
07 Dec 2020
Let's put it another way...

Wouldn't you like Reason to look more beautiful, more badass, than it does now?

Wouldn't that also attract new users?

I know some of you hate anything new. That's ok, you can post your Reason v.3 tracks to Myspace, nobody is stopping you. But it's 2020, and Reason is going to go out of business if they keep pretending it is 2005.
That's been my argument for years now on here. If people don't want Reason to be as feature rich or more like a 2020 daw, that's easy, stay on Reason 7, 8, 9 etc.
:reason:

Propellerhead Reason 11.3 / Cockos Reaper 6.19 / Cakewalk By Bandlab / Pro Tools First / Steinberg Cubase LE 5
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PhillipOrdonez
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Post 07 Dec 2020

antic604 wrote:
07 Dec 2020
PhillipOrdonez wrote:
07 Dec 2020
Hardware units and computer screens coexist in lots of studios. We all accept that some devices you can touch with your hands and others through a mouse. Nobody is complaining about they existing in the same studio at the same time 😂

Reason is a studio in the computer, and stay true to the studio experience, where some devices look physical and others don't. They can coexist, and when you think about it this way there is no need to question it. Some devices can exist in hardware, some cannot. Simple.
How do you mount that UJam device in a "physical" rack? With a bit of string? A tube of glue? I actually wouldn't mind if those were added ;)

IMO it's either / or - either they keep the virtual physical rack paradigm, or they go haywire and everything goes. It seems they want the former, but are not committed enough themselves and don't impose strict guidelines on RE devs.
That's the benefit of a virtual rack.

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antic604
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Post 07 Dec 2020

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
07 Dec 2020
That's the benefit of a virtual rack.
But then why have a rack in the first place, then? Just let the devices float in vacuum of space, replace cables on the back with wormholes, let's get rid of everything that makes Reason unique and special :(

It's virtual PHYSICAL rack. With wooden panels. And screws. Be committed to the paradigm. Or drop it.
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joeyluck
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Post 07 Dec 2020

chaosroyale wrote:
07 Dec 2020
Case in point: these 2 devices are from the same GUI... are you ferk kidding me?
I disagree about the Redrum and Pattern Mutator comparison. They are devices separated by 20 years.

Pattern Mutator looks much more modern—like something I would see produced in hardware today. So it makes sense to me. Also, you should compare the high res version of Redrum to Pattern Mutator. While it is different styles, I think you'll find it a bit more cohesive in the same resolution (and size).

I also agree with what Loque said. It's good to have things look different and unique.

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