What would your ideal Combinator upgrade look like?

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deeplink
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Post 06 Apr 2021

Just interested to hear other's opinions on this topic - hypothetically if RS decides to upgrade or a release a device.

I think the current limitations to the Combinator, are the following;
  • 1. Limited knobs and buttons
    2. Can't be contained in the Insert Section
    3. Limited feedback to value of the assign parameter - especially in cases of Stepped values
    4. Inconsistent and Incorrect value parameters in the programmer
    5. Limited programmable slots
    6. [How do you feel limited, that's not on this list?]
Some other common features and fixes;
  • 1. When combining effects, the combinator immediately gets a midi channel and midi focus - I hope this changes.
    2. Drag and Drop assignment / Right-click Add Assignment
    3. Dedicated dry/wet and volume knobs
    4. If more Programmer slots -> mouse-wheel Scrollable Programmer
    5. [Any other general improvements?]
Some more esoteric ideas;
  • 1. Add option to dedicate one device from within the combinator to be locked and displayed to the below the front panel. This could circumvent the need for more 'built in' macros and programmer slots, create some interesting looking combinators, and RE CV devices could act as Macro-Expanders.

    2. A utility or API change to allow for the stacking of all devices (incl. combinators and mix channels) in one unit. This can then be saved and recalled as a normal patch - therefore creating a way to save mix channel routings and settings. Could even be display as a Track Folder within the sequencer and Main Mixer.

    3. Ableton-like Macro Snapshots, a step further would be make the snapshots automatable and morphable

    4. [Any other out-the-box ideas?]

I think an upgrade to the existing combinator should and could tackle a few of the above points.
If RS came out with an entirely new device, I think it would make the existing .cmb patches redundant. Unless its compatible with the .cmb format.
Last edited by deeplink on 06 Apr 2021, edited 1 time in total.

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zoidkirb
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Post 06 Apr 2021

That's a really good list and I wish they could implement it all.

- In addition to drag and drop assignment I'd really like "right click and add assignment"

- With more matrix slots (or even with the current limit of 12) I'd really like to be able to scroll them with the mouse wheel.

- I'd like RS to shamelessly steal Ableton Live's Macro Snapshots concept but take it a step further and make the snapshots automatable and morphable.

deeplink
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Post 06 Apr 2021

zoidkirb wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021
That's a really good list and I wish they could implement it all.

- In addition to drag and drop assignment I'd really like "right click and add assignment"

- With more matrix slots (or even with the current limit of 12) I'd really like to be able to scroll them with the mouse wheel.

- I'd like RS to shamelessly steal Ableton Live's Macro Snapshots concept but take it a step further and make the snapshots automatable and morphable.
Thanks! Added :)

Chi-Individual
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Post 06 Apr 2021

-Matrix pages is something I've always wanted. At least 4 with 12ea that way you can have more options for combinators made up of RE's that have many assignable parameters.

-Sliders added for slider parameters instead of using knobs

-Collapsible panels (e.g. Kong, Thor, Dr Octorext) so if more knobs, buttons or sliders are needed they can be hid to save screen real estate.

-Type in values for parameters(for combinator and Reason in general) on the knobs, hopefully future faders and the matrix screen. Sometimes using shift isn't exact enough. Typing in a setting would help a lot.


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avasopht
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Post 06 Apr 2021

---

deeplink
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Post 06 Apr 2021

avasopht wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021
Shouldn't they all be combined into one thread πŸ€”?
Well that's kind of the idea behind this one. I will go through these threads and try order and arrange them

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Loque
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Post 06 Apr 2021

avasopht wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021
Shouldn't they all be combined into one thread πŸ€”?
Yes, they should.

And in the end ppl would be quite happy if at least one of the limitations would be overcome.
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

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joeyluck
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Post 06 Apr 2021

avasopht wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021
Shouldn't they all be combined into one thread πŸ€”?
Some of them have been combined, but people still create their own

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joeyluck
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Post 06 Apr 2021

My request is to ditch everything about the Combinator because it does everything backwards.

You have to jump through the menu, go to each individual device, to then find the parameter to assign to a macro. That also makes it a huge pain to understand what is assigned to what macro...

Assignments should be from the macros, or at least there should just be a page per macro.

And then having to load a ton of utilities to to do basic stuff like route/mix more than one instrument, use an LFO, use an envelope, etc...

I would love for an updated Combinator to be inspired by Phaseplant/Snap Heap/Multipass! Those are much more fun, inspiring, and faster to program.

My requests:
  • A built-in mixer/audio I/O to auto-route individual instruments.
  • Built-in LFOs and envelopes
  • Easier/faster macro/matrix assignments.
  • Assignments made clear (see all assignments to a single macro at a glance) so I don't have to jump through individual devices in the programmer to see what is assigned to each macro.
  • Curve settings for macro assignments (aside from just setting min and max).
  • Radio button behavior option for buttons.
  • Stepped mode for knobs.
  • Options for values to display for macro knobs (1-127, 1-10, various stepped options like sync rates and ratios, and an option to just use the values from one of the parameters assigned).

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Loque
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Post 06 Apr 2021

joeyluck wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021
My request is to ditch everything about the Combinator because it does everything backwards.

You have to jump through the menu, go to each individual device, to then find the parameter to assign to a macro. That also makes it a huge pain to understand what is assigned to what macro...

Assignments should be from the macros, or at least there should just be a page per macro.
...
I think i once requested several views, because one time this view and another time the other view is better.

I really like how Phase Plant (or Kilohearts) in general did their modulations and stuff. I just miss some naming and grouping and maybe some more visual customizations here and there. And some more scaling options - dunno why they limited it. All this to the Combinator!

May the force be with us!
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Billy+
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Post 06 Apr 2021

Again..............


Bes
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Post 06 Apr 2021

i think i suggested in one of those older threads that the combinator is limited by only accessing whats inside of it and the version 2 should be turned inside-out and become a modular hub for automation, midi and cv routing that can access any device currently in the rack
there are a lot of good ideas here already about how to program that automation, personally i'm a fan of doing fun things with the modmatrix like having a stepped input or tempo mode which might almost resemble a tracker but from the future
reason studios should be considering MPE support and i don't know what new automation functionality is available in midi 2.0 yet bet i'm looking forward to finding out

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zoidkirb
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Post 06 Apr 2021

Whatever they end up doing with a 'Combinator 2' my ultimate request would be please don't leave it another 20 years for 'Combinator 3' and also, please at some point consider a Combinator 2.1 :D

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Creativemind
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Post 06 Apr 2021

Billy+ wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021
Again..............

:lol:

I wish I knew who it was did a drawing / sketch (a total reworking) of the Combinator and called it (if memory serves me correct) Supercombinator in the old Reason Forum. It was magnificent.
:reason:

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kuhliloach
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Post 06 Apr 2021

For those learning Reason there is a Combinator Elephant in the room here which you've all experienced, something confusing and un-intuitive at the most basic level of UI design: Combinators having inconsistent behavior and appearing unexpectedly within the workflow of Reason.

For example a Combinator cannot be placed into the effect insert area of a channel. It clumsily appears below with the insert area remaining empty as if some huge mistake has been made. People take the time to build combinator effects and save them only to have them not be usable as an effect in the normal way.

Next, combinators appear unexpectedly when browsing patches in Reason. This is so frustrating, disruptive, and annoying to me. You are going through the patches within an instrument and suddenly the user interface vanishes and is replaced with some weird Combinator.

Things like this scare people away from using and understanding what could be a fun and powerful DAW to them because of things like this just not making any sense.

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jam-s
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Post 06 Apr 2021

kuhliloach wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021
For those learning Reason there is a Combinator Elephant in the room here which you've all experienced, something confusing and un-intuitive at the most basic level of UI design: Combinators having inconsistent behavior and appearing unexpectedly within the workflow of Reason.

For example a Combinator cannot be placed into the effect insert area of a channel. It clumsily appears below with the insert area remaining empty as if some huge mistake has been made. People take the time to build combinator effects and save them only to have them not be usable as an effect in the normal way.
FYI: The insert FX area IS a combinator and you can simply load your combinator FX patches into it..
If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace. ... Pool's closed due to corona.

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kuhliloach
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Post 07 Apr 2021

jam-s wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021
kuhliloach wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021
For those learning Reason there is a Combinator Elephant in the room here which you've all experienced, something confusing and un-intuitive at the most basic level of UI design: Combinators having inconsistent behavior and appearing unexpectedly within the workflow of Reason.

For example a Combinator cannot be placed into the effect insert area of a channel. It clumsily appears below with the insert area remaining empty as if some huge mistake has been made. People take the time to build combinator effects and save them only to have them not be usable as an effect in the normal way.
FYI: The insert FX area IS a combinator and you can simply load your combinator FX patches into it..
Thank you for describing the UI problem better.

deeplink
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Post 07 Apr 2021

jam-s wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021

FYI: The insert FX area IS a combinator and you can simply load your combinator FX patches into it..
Correct. However;
Creating a Combinator effect unit is usually done to overcome the limitations of the devices, by utilizing the modular environment of Reason.
Only essentially allowing one Combinator WITHIN the insert rack, only serves to limit the modular environment.

The only work around is to externally route the combinators - which inevitably becomes clunky.

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jam-s
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Post 07 Apr 2021

deeplink wrote: ↑
07 Apr 2021
Correct. However;
Creating a Combinator effect unit is usually done to overcome the limitations of the devices, by utilizing the modular environment of Reason.
Only essentially allowing one Combinator WITHIN the insert rack, only serves to limit the modular environment.

The only work around is to externally route the combinators - which inevitably becomes clunky.
The other (imho better) workaround is to put the first combi-FX into your channel and then if you need another chained insert for that instrument to route it to a new bus and put the next insert there. Repeat this for all additional insertFX combis.

The upside to this is that you now also have the ability to EQ and gain match after each stage and you can still control all the knobs and buttons of the FX from the Mixer view without going to the Rack. Changing the order of FX combis in this setup takes a few more clicks than shift-dragging in the Rack though.
If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace. ... Pool's closed due to corona.

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kuhliloach
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Post 07 Apr 2021

*insert every #confused meme here*

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joeyluck
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Post 07 Apr 2021

kuhliloach wrote: ↑
07 Apr 2021
jam-s wrote: ↑
06 Apr 2021


FYI: The insert FX area IS a combinator and you can simply load your combinator FX patches into it..
Thank you for describing the UI problem better.
Yeah I do wish the workflow was better and it wasn't so hidden.

There's too many clicks. You have to first unfold the mix/audio channel...then you have to click to "show programmer" (that's where you will see the insert fx browse) and then you have to click "show insert fx" separately to then view those effects...

I wish there was an preference option for mix/audio channels to be unfolded by default...

Instead of this when a channel is created:
folded.png

I'd rather see this by default:
unfolded.png

Further, I'd much rather the insert fx browse and macros be presented when choosing to "show insert fx". This would make one less click and keep it from being so hidden. It would also make it more consistent with the Combinator, because you don't need to "view programmer" of the Combinator to access the macros.

show insert fx suggestion.png

That empty space on the right there could be used for more macros...maybe even more if you wanted to condense them...or maybe could be used for something else?

The "show programmer" would then only show the matrix (the "programmer"). Maybe two rows of slots or you would have room for something else as well...
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dioxide
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Post 07 Apr 2021

Multiple Inserts with .cmb browser capabilities are a must. As an addition, I'd like to see the Insert browser also be able to load single device effects units if they appear in the same browser list.

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zoidkirb
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Post 07 Apr 2021

Two more small ideas:
Being able to change the names of the devices from within the combinator programmer page.
And allowing your custom Rotary/Button names to appear in the sequencer when automated.

chaosroyale
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Post 12 Apr 2021

This, a million times this. The current "channel insert combinators" UI is so ugly and space-wasting and unintuitive.

The tiny little macros on the left plus the programmer on the right, and no way to show only the macros without the programmer.. ughh..

Your solution is much better, cleans up the rack, makes workflow easier, and fits with the combinator look and feel.
joeyluck wrote: ↑
07 Apr 2021



Further, I'd much rather the insert fx browse and macros be presented when choosing to "show insert fx". This would make one less click and keep it from being so hidden. It would also make it more consistent with the Combinator, because you don't need to "view programmer" of the Combinator to access the macros.


show insert fx suggestion.png


That empty space on the right there could be used for more macros...maybe even more if you wanted to condense them...or maybe could be used for something else?

The "show programmer" would then only show the matrix (the "programmer"). Maybe two rows of slots or you would have room for something else as well...

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