Has it ever been shared why they focused on just the rack vs. the full DAW?

This forum is for discussing the Reason Rack Plugin, the version of the Reason rack that runs as a VST3, AU, AAX in other DAWs.
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ShelLuser
Posts: 360
Joined: 25 Aug 2019

Post 25 Mar 2024

Hi gang!

I'm a Live user first and foremost, always have been, but soon after I picked up on Live 8 I wanted to 'expand' my setup a bit. Having already purchased Max for Live (which was a separate purchase back then, even for Suite users) I soon discovered Reason 4 and it was pretty much love at first sight, especially because I soon managed to 'master' ReWire which allowed me to use both DAW's side by side, which eventually got a major impact on my workflow. I've been using both DAW's like this for most of the past decade.

Well... I upgraded sporadically from 4 to 6, a version in between and eventually 10 and 11. I also got myself tons of rack extensions along the way; I've always been especially impressed with the players. Still am to this day btw... I nabbed all the official player devices from Reason Studios and still use some to this very day. They even inspired several M4l MIDI plugins on my end.

Anyway... Live 12 recently released and I am passionate about digital audio. Because such releases don't happen often they also often get me thinking....

And to this very day I just can't help wonder... does anyone know why they chose to focus on just the rack for their plugin instead of providing the full DAW? Or at the very least not having added a sequencer of some kind?

I've tried to dig into this many times but never found something conclusive.

And I'm genuinly curious because, well.... the drop of ReWire, which I heavily relied on, also had quite some impact on my workflow back in the day. One which the rack alone just couldn't solve. I managed to cope with Reason 10 for a while but eventually other DAW's also stopped supporting ReWire so I bailed and I focussed on 11, but as RRP.

Then I discovered FL Studio and their VSTi plugin (which they provided because of the ReWire drop (as far as I know)) and that was the end of it. Kinda silly if you think about it IMO: "A Live user who eventually moved from Reason to FL Studio" :P But even so, that's exactly what happened.

So now Live "caught up" with Reason where version numbers are concerned and yah, it made me wonder.

Because make no mistake about it: Reason is still very much special to me, especially its workflow. But at the same time... it's also hardly as prominently present in my home studio as it used to be. And that's mainly because Reason no longer provides a 'remote' sequencer for me to use anymore; not in combination with Live.

Yah, it may sound weird to some of you but 2 sequencers in parallel can honestly be much bettter than one. Reason taught me this trick to begin with and right now I continue to dive into this workflow with "FLS".

Know what? "Pictures, or it didn't happen", as some tend to say ;) And rightfully say so! ... so, here's a peek into my current home studio setup, and the trigger for me suddenly wondering and posting about all this:

Image

And thanks in advance for any possible feedback, I'd really appreciate it!
--- :reason:

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jam-s
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Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 25 Mar 2024

ShelLuser wrote:
25 Mar 2024
And to this very day I just can't help wonder... does anyone know why they chose to focus on just the rack for their plugin instead of providing the full DAW? Or at the very least not having added a sequencer of some kind?
I suppose it's just because it's much easier to do just the Rack than the whole DAW. Adding the sequencer to the VST would also bring unneeded complexity for the user and thus contradict the Reason mantra to keep things simple.

I and I think many others (perhaps also at RS) always thought of Rewire to be a somewhat clunky workflow where you had to manage two projects and keep them in sync. Now with the RRP things are much easier to understand (esp. for newcomers).

robussc
Posts: 543
Joined: 03 May 2022

Post 25 Mar 2024

It's simple, the market expands from a niche to the entire DAW space.
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QVprod
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Post 25 Mar 2024

Likely because the rack has always been the core of the product. Even in the Rewire days most skipped the sequencer in favor their DAW of choice as it’s never been the greatest part of the program.

But maybe also to give a reason to use the full DAW

songsmite
Posts: 25
Joined: 06 Dec 2017

Post 06 Apr 2024

I agree with the OP. I tried hard to import a bunch of my songs into Cubase using just the racks and it was not a good experience. To make a long story short, using a bunch of single RRP inside a DAW is not the same as using 'Reason' by any means.
I have a bunch of songs that include sequence pattern changes and automation that are waiting for this to hopefully come to fruition some day, I am sure there are many others like myself.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 06 Apr 2024

songsmite wrote:
06 Apr 2024
To make a long story short, using a bunch of single RRP inside a DAW is not the same as using 'Reason' by any means.
I totally agree. That's why we still have the option to use the Reason DAW :puf_wink:
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tomusurp
Posts: 322
Joined: 30 Jan 2022
Location: USA

Post 06 Apr 2024

Maybe I'm misinterpreting, but why would you need there to be a sequencer in the RRP when you can just keep the plugin window open and use your DAW sequencer?

But cool that you use multiple DAW's. I use Reason, FL, and Logic. Reason IMO is still the best DAW for a few very important workflow reasons that I think are too crucial in production efficiency. Logic is decent. FL is interesting and has some strengths, but I find they add too much unnecessary features and don't update the most important production tasks. It's a BIT of a jungle, for me it was more of a learning curve than Reason and Logic, but again it has this combination of cool elements and then some Frankenstein-like architecture, probably the worst method of manual pitch correction I've ever seen
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PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 3832
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Norway

Post 06 Apr 2024

Haven't tried this but, can you not run reason standalone at the same time as live, synced via Ableton link? That way you get the reason sequencer and live just like you did with rewire. Then the bounce menu to import the audio into live and keep rocking with it. 🤔 Should work, no?

jlgrimes
Posts: 669
Joined: 06 Jun 2017

Post 23 May 2024

ShelLuser wrote:
25 Mar 2024
Hi gang!

I'm a Live user first and foremost, always have been, but soon after I picked up on Live 8 I wanted to 'expand' my setup a bit. Having already purchased Max for Live (which was a separate purchase back then, even for Suite users) I soon discovered Reason 4 and it was pretty much love at first sight, especially because I soon managed to 'master' ReWire which allowed me to use both DAW's side by side, which eventually got a major impact on my workflow. I've been using both DAW's like this for most of the past decade.

Well... I upgraded sporadically from 4 to 6, a version in between and eventually 10 and 11. I also got myself tons of rack extensions along the way; I've always been especially impressed with the players. Still am to this day btw... I nabbed all the official player devices from Reason Studios and still use some to this very day. They even inspired several M4l MIDI plugins on my end.

Anyway... Live 12 recently released and I am passionate about digital audio. Because such releases don't happen often they also often get me thinking....

And to this very day I just can't help wonder... does anyone know why they chose to focus on just the rack for their plugin instead of providing the full DAW? Or at the very least not having added a sequencer of some kind?

I've tried to dig into this many times but never found something conclusive.

And I'm genuinly curious because, well.... the drop of ReWire, which I heavily relied on, also had quite some impact on my workflow back in the day. One which the rack alone just couldn't solve. I managed to cope with Reason 10 for a while but eventually other DAW's also stopped supporting ReWire so I bailed and I focussed on 11, but as RRP.

Then I discovered FL Studio and their VSTi plugin (which they provided because of the ReWire drop (as far as I know)) and that was the end of it. Kinda silly if you think about it IMO: "A Live user who eventually moved from Reason to FL Studio" :P But even so, that's exactly what happened.

So now Live "caught up" with Reason where version numbers are concerned and yah, it made me wonder.

Because make no mistake about it: Reason is still very much special to me, especially its workflow. But at the same time... it's also hardly as prominently present in my home studio as it used to be. And that's mainly because Reason no longer provides a 'remote' sequencer for me to use anymore; not in combination with Live.

Yah, it may sound weird to some of you but 2 sequencers in parallel can honestly be much bettter than one. Reason taught me this trick to begin with and right now I continue to dive into this workflow with "FLS".

Know what? "Pictures, or it didn't happen", as some tend to say ;) And rightfully say so! ... so, here's a peek into my current home studio setup, and the trigger for me suddenly wondering and posting about all this:

Image

And thanks in advance for any possible feedback, I'd really appreciate it!
I wondered about this as well. I think the simple answer though is that it is easier for them to support this limited subset environment. Also the way FL Studio implemented their VST version, isn't all that great IMO. Yes it is the full featured DAW but it is alot more clunky to work with if you just want to play FL instrument (In FL's case it probably would be better to just make the individual plugin a separate VST.).

With the Reason VST as the full version of Reason they would have to deal with the ability to host VSTs and AudioUnits, ability to edit audio and samples and what not. (In FL's case I don't think they host VSTs, but Maschine, Komplete Kontrol, and Akai VIP does). I think there must be some type of hidden secret of a VST that host VST plugins because everyone seems to have support issues. So I guess this must be pretty hard to do and fully support in practice.

That said I think carefully picking certain DAW features to implement in the plugin would help. For example if a user in Ableton needs to pitch correct some audio and don't want to spend $ on Melodyne, they would be inclined to try Reason. Or how many RRP users fail to use players or pattern devices because of the clunkiness of handling these in the host DAW. That would be an area I think sequencing in parallel would have a true advantage.

I see Reason RRP now as a Self contained Instrument/Audio Effects Rack (that only host its own instruments). Probably in certain DAWs it's ability as a Midi processor is probably also pretty good but in other DAWs this might be a bit more limited.

I would have at least enjoyed, VST hosting, Sample/Audio editing, and maybe a barebones pattern automation based version of the sequencer for Matrix/Redrum and players.

This would make the RRP alot more valuable and competitive. As of right now they have alot of competition (The more expensive NI Komplete's and Arturia Bundles, Cherry Audio, Free VSTs). Many DAWs such as Ableton have a built-in Rack system anyways for layering and such and is already pretty powerful, but having those extra features would give it a unique edge and create alot more use cases (Drum machine, audio editor, VST host/processor, a whole new library of synths/effects etc).


Also I have used Reason since 2003 and I never viewed the Rack as it's most powerful feature. Yes it is probably the most unique, but especially back in the 00s, Reason's most powerful feature was how everything (Rack and Sequencer) Integrated so nicely and worked well together (stably, and intuitively). Most VST hosts to this day still fail at this with included instruments that feel too much like a separate program (Ableton and Bitwig are exceptions to this rule). So separating the Rack from the sequencer makes it less powerful.

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