Prop's CTO Magnus Berger talks about building REs for desktop, mobile, web and hardware

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Yonatan
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Post 07 Dec 2018

The development lately with RE platform makes it less of a gamble to "buy" RE-versions instead of VSTs. RE not even necessarily being connected to Reason, although I can't see me stop using Reason, but just the fact that the RE format is designed so strict to open up the possibilities of the future, is so convincing that the RE format will continue to live on.
Reason for all Seasons

botnotbot
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Post 07 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
06 Dec 2018
rcbuse wrote:
06 Dec 2018
...The take away isn't "oh man, they haven't been doing high-res displays..."
That's an unnecessary jab at my comment, in particular because - paraphrasing your own words - they've secured the assets & vector data required to render Reason in 4K already 6 years ago, but to this day made no use of this.

It's rarely those that come up with some clever tech that succeed. It's those, who are able to implement & deploy it.
You realize that you have to do all three, right? As in, they had to come up with it, and implement it, and now are obviously entering the phase where they deploy it (in the sense of using the multi-target feature).

Your crusade to paint the decisions of Props devs as inefficient or misguided is even more bonkers in light of this video, which clearly shows that they think very carefully about how they design and implement software.

In fact, it made me want to move to Sweden so I could work under a sane software development regime, for once!

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challism
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Post 07 Dec 2018

rcbuse wrote:
06 Dec 2018
Great talk! Thanks for posting the link.
What do you guys want to bet that this talk has inspired Lectric Panda to run off and start working on the next amazing LP RElease? <3 your work, mate!

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Loque
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Post 07 Dec 2018

botnotbot wrote:
07 Dec 2018
...so I could work under a sane software development regime, for once!
*sigh*...
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

botnotbot
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Post 07 Dec 2018

Loque wrote:
07 Dec 2018
botnotbot wrote:
07 Dec 2018
...so I could work under a sane software development regime, for once!
*sigh*...
Sorry, but what do you know about where I work? And what information do you have that contradicts that Props engineers have long-range thinking tied to really carefully designed software architectures?

And no, just because the time hasn't come for your favorite thing to whine about does not contradict either of those things.

EDIT: To be clear, I meant move to Sweden to work for Propellerhead. Not implying that every software engineering effort in Sweden is perfect, don't know anything about that.

PhillipOrdonez
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Post 07 Dec 2018

botnotbot wrote:
07 Dec 2018
Loque wrote:
07 Dec 2018


*sigh*...
Sorry, but what do you know about where I work? And what information do you have that contradicts that Props engineers have long-range thinking tied to really carefully designed software architectures?

And no, just because the time hasn't come for your favorite thing to whine about does not contradict either of those things.

EDIT: To be clear, I meant move to Sweden to work for Propellerhead. Not implying that every software engineering effort in Sweden is perfect, don't know anything about that.
Perhaps it is me misunderstanding, but i think Loque means to express understanding to your sentiment of work environments in programming companies?

At least that's how I read it.
Kjempefint :)

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Loque
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Post 07 Dec 2018

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
07 Dec 2018
botnotbot wrote:
07 Dec 2018


Sorry, but what do you know about where I work? And what information do you have that contradicts that Props engineers have long-range thinking tied to really carefully designed software architectures?

And no, just because the time hasn't come for your favorite thing to whine about does not contradict either of those things.

EDIT: To be clear, I meant move to Sweden to work for Propellerhead. Not implying that every software engineering effort in Sweden is perfect, don't know anything about that.
Perhaps it is me misunderstanding, but i think Loque means to express understanding to your sentiment of work environments in programming companies?

At least that's how I read it.
Yep...Thanks Phillip for clarifying.
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

botnotbot
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Post 07 Dec 2018

Loque wrote:
07 Dec 2018
PhillipOrdonez wrote:
07 Dec 2018


Perhaps it is me misunderstanding, but i think Loque means to express understanding to your sentiment of work environments in programming companies?

At least that's how I read it.
Yep...Thanks Phillip for clarifying.
Sorry about that Loque. In that case, I feel your pain, buddy!

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Re8et
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Post 07 Dec 2018

Magnus: ELK=>>> Real Hardware
Me: like... PCIE??? X290 ELK Mobo??? And then We can run This ELK OS whith Reason on it??? or... A Reason Plugout Synth???

Oh, I didn't say anything about HW... we got this up and running on Atom based boards and Armcore A7.... :thumbs_up:

Here we have an ELK tiny box with two Korg rack extensions on it.... :shock:
Last edited by Re8et on 07 Dec 2018, edited 2 times in total.

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antic604
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Post 07 Dec 2018

botnotbot wrote:
07 Dec 2018
You realize that you have to do all three, right? As in, they had to come up with it, and implement it, and now are obviously entering the phase where they deploy it (in the sense of using the multi-target feature).

Your crusade to paint the decisions of Props devs as inefficient or misguided is even more bonkers in light of this video, which clearly shows that they think very carefully about how they design and implement software.

In fact, it made me want to move to Sweden so I could work under a sane software development regime, for once!
I'm not on a crusade. Reworking GUI and rendering pipeline is not a small feat and postponing it will only make it larger.

Also, most companies will present themselves that way to the outside world - they have great forward-looking ideas, brilliant strategy and capable resources to make all of that reality. But minority of them really try and even fewer of them succeed... And - believe me - I really keep my fingers crossed for Propellerheads and it looks like new owners & management turned the ship around. Better late than never, I guess?
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aeox
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Post 07 Dec 2018

Cool beans
whoahh

Last edited by aeox on 24 May 2018, edited too many times in total.

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challism
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Post 07 Dec 2018

aeox wrote:
07 Dec 2018
Cool beans
Are those cool beans robotic, by any chance?

botnotbot
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Post 07 Dec 2018

Re8et wrote:
07 Dec 2018
Magnus: ELK=>>> Real Hardware
Me: like... PCIE??? X290 ELK Mobo??? And then We can run This ELK OS whith Reason on it??? or... A Reason Plugout Synth???

Oh, I didn't say anything about HW... we got this up and running on Atom based boards and Armcore A7.... :thumbs_up:

Here we have an ELK tiny box with two Korg rack extensions on it.... :shock:
Which makes me even more excited for whatever Kong 2.0 turns out to be! And imagine a Novation SLmk3 style sequencing keyboard with CVs and multiple MIDI ports, but with multiple audio outs and a bunch of synths inside, and Players driving all manner of outboard gear.

No proof of future products, of course, but this video confirmed every suspicion I've had about their capabilities,* down to running Korg code on hardware. So I'm feeling fairly positive when predicting our chances of a stand-alone Reason production center arriving a bit sooner than later.

* When ELK was announced, I thought to myself "That's a perfect target for the RE SDK".

botnotbot
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Post 07 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
07 Dec 2018
Also, most companies will present themselves that way to the outside world - they have great forward-looking ideas, brilliant strategy and capable resources to make all of that reality. But minority of them really try and even fewer of them succeed... And - believe me - I really keep my fingers crossed for Propellerheads and it looks like new owners & management turned the ship around. Better late than never, I guess?
Yet Magnus repeatedly mentions that discussing anything that isn't already concrete goes deeply against the normal way that Props operates.

So already the idea of hyping future features is foreign to how they market Reason.

Maybe the number one priority for them was building the backend technology to the point where it was easy to convince a large investor to provide a huge amount of money to make the next stage possible?

And if I characterize your constant hammering of the hi-res issue as a crusade, it's because you somehow watched a video that demonstrates that they designed it so they can flip a switch and resolve your graphics issue across their entire ecosystem and came away with the conclusion that they aren't operating intelligently. Their RE SDK is forward-thinking by design, there is no other way to chop it!

Who knows what they want to be in place when that finally happens? I certainly don't, but this video is evidence of why giving them the benefit of the doubt makes sense, not the other way around.

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chimp_spanner
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Post 07 Dec 2018

Super interesting! I know nothing about coding but it was still a really fascinating insight into the technology. I followed maybe 60% of it :lol: Of course it’s hard to resist the temptation to speculate over what might be.

Imagine a plugout style synth like the Roland Boutiques running Reason devices! My crippling rack addiction would spill over into real life haha.

And of course knowing that all the REs are vector is really exciting for R11 (or beyond) in that we might get some kind of dynamic zooming for the rack. Fingers crossed eh?

Tbh what’s most exciting about this video is that it’s somewhat of a turning point for props in as much as being open about their tech and their ideas looking forward. They’ve always been incredibly tight lipped but I’ve noticed the last couple of years we’re getting more from them in the way of blog posts, community interaction and now tech talks. It’s nice knowing at least a little of what’s going on, especially when you’re as heavily invested in the platform as some of us are! Hopefully a lot of these other ventures will create revenue that can take Reason to new places.
Enjoy!

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JiggeryPokery
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Post 07 Dec 2018

EnochLight wrote:
06 Dec 2018
Take a moment and realize they have user data from Reason's stats that call home - they KNOW how many users have high-res/DPI displays. Have you considered that they weighed the necessity to bring everything up to high res/DPI and determined that maybe there were other things that were more important for the time being?
Competing against the many tier 1 VSTs that do now support it, including their own? No, actually I don't think they have weighed up the necessity, or at least not done so and reached the right conclusion at the appropriate time. It's like you're saying you like ice cream, and you want ice cream, and you know some us want ice cream, but you won't let any bugger have ice cream until you've first ensured there's a cure for diabetes so that everyone can just have whatever ice cream they want.

(That was a purple way for making a chicken/egg argument).

I'd suggest you're wilfully conflating hi-resolution and Hi-DPI in order to subtly make the implication that can only mean 2160/UHD/4K, which, it's still fair to say, few people do currently use.

But Resolution and DPI are two entirely different, if inter-related, attributes.

On a 13"/15" laptop screen, 1080/FHD has been standard on high end laptops for a few years (ignore still common low-end 1366×768, where Reason still looks OK), and while an individual's mileage in usability does vary, you need to remember age factors into this as well: after 45 eyesight starts failing real fast when it comes to reading, making it particuarly awkward for people who already wear glasses for myopia; there's plenty of compelling anecdotal evidence that Reason's rack is impractical for many people even at FHD resolution.

The DPI to achieve even that at 15" makes rack controls and labels very small. I never use the laptop anymore for music production, I find Reason truly terrible in FHD (1080) at 15", though I probably could in an emergency with a bit of a struggle. I can't even begin to imagine attempting to use it on a 4K laptop, though, and because they are bitmaps scaling can't possibly result in anything but it looking blocky like it's in VGA. It's 2018, Enoch, not 1992. Not everyone uses Grain or Europa, but everyone uses the Rack. If your twenty-year old graphics engine stops people interacting with your program because of display issues, then there's a strong case to be made that as a developer your No. 1 priority is to find a solution that makes your GUI accessible to everyone.

What still worked in 2010, does not work in 2018. If up to 2% of users on 4K, or 20% of users on FHD aren't buying REs because the VSTs they chose to buy do support high resolutions where they can clearly read the labels and use the controls, that, my friend, is a huge fucking problem. Because last year it was probably 1% of users had 4K. Next year it'll be 4% of users. And RE devs can't win those users back to the RE format—and this is true of VST performace enhancement too—if the VST format is demonstrably superior. Infinite undo is great and all, but ultimately what people most care about is usability and performance.
EnochLight wrote:
06 Dec 2018
it's not that big of a deal IMHO (and I'm saying this coming from using Reason on a 65" 4K panel this past weeked).
Now, steady on! Did you just say Reason looks big when on a big screen. Well, quelle surprise, mate :lol: !

Sorry, Enoch, you're bordering on outright fallacy there: being big on a big screen does not magically refute anyone else's equally true notion that it's too small to adequately use on a small screen. You've effectively resorted to the lazy old faithful "if I don't need it, then there's no way you do" reductive.

I can easily imagine it will look ok on a 65" panel at 4k. However, I think we can reasonably guess the usage jason* PH receive for that setup is just you, last weekend! :lol:

Most people asking for hiDPI support are not talking about that sort of pretty extreme scenario. In reality, there are a few people using cheap 4K TVs upwards of 40" as PC monitors now, but when people are talking about hi-res support in Reason they are not merely talking about a handful of people using large TV panels at 4K, Enoch, and you know this perfectly well.

At modern FHD DPIs on larger desktop monitors (24-30" say), I'd agree Reason's rack is still manageably OK, but failing to use arguably the biggest USP of the SDK (and one PH have regular proferred to be the case over the years), just means it's now catch-up. Yes, it may still be the first wall-to-wall adoption of a scalable format across every available plugin, and that would certainly be thing to be justifiably proud of, but the "wow" moment itself to do it has long since passed. Even for Propellerhead, their first use of high res art is in a VST, which has better resolution than their RE: what message does that send to users about their use of RE format? Demonstrably PH are saying it's important enough they wouldn't dare risk releasing a VST without high res support, but they're happy to still foist low res art on their RE users.

For most users having upgraded to FHD laptops or moderately-sized 4K screens since 2012, when it does happen it'll be "better late than never", rather than any active pre-empting the growing need of RE users for high resolution art.

So high resolution bitmap support is well overdue at this point. And the longer they take, the harder it's going to be to rerender 400+ devices and 80,000-odd users redownloading up to 800,000 devices at 3pm on a Friday afternoon ;) (That's intentional hyperbole, btw... but there are some genuine considerations about how to manage such rebuilds; unless they've already been secretly rendered and just left out of the current download packages, my guess is rebuilds would be staggered over several weeks and batch run during the quietest hours. Making updated product downloads available to users might well be staggered too to prevent server overload, as it often struggles in typical use now. Mass redownloading of rerendered devices definitely comes under "non-typical"!).

Based on what Magnus said in that talk, I have a half-cocked theory as to why it's not happened, and it's probably due to the original decision to do 3D. Berger's talk stated that the original intention was for a 3D rack, not simply a 3D design chain, and it was dumped because too many devs were scared of the 3D toolkit.

But that confession surprised me, and it confuses me because—apart from literally the first time I ever saw the SDK and the 3D viewer and went "wow!"—I and many others honestly never thought the actual Reason implementation itself would be a node-based scalable rack (and by that I mean even just as an ortho-3D view). As cool as that would certainly be the trouble may have been that the presentation quality of the bitmap was unlikely to be entirely consistent from highest zoom in to, say, a current-Rack level of zoom out. So my view, even from late 2012, was that any implementation was going to be fixed bitmaps at at least two zoom levels, generated from the high-res art: 754, as we already have, and a big image. (My recent opinion, based on latest shop requirements, probably that additional size would be 1650, rather than a massive 3850; whether 1650 would be big enough to solve the issues at FHD and UHD, I don't know... maybe it's a decent compromise and visually equivalent to the current rack at old resolutions to prevent having to download thousands of massive bitmaps. That could work, although in that case we'll all be back here in 20 years when everyone begins the inexorable march towards 8K screens :lol: /jk).

So if that statement in the video is indeed the case, there was some degree of time lost in two years of developing an actual 3D rack.

The notion of using the LLVM compiler for, say, phone/tablet devices, might be something of a red herring. I'd hazard a guess that most of our RE GUIs aren't all that viable for tablets, let alone phones. Europa was expressly redesigned for them, and even that still has issues regarding number of swipe actions to reach certain functions, and features had to be reduced or even cut (like, a whole oscillator!). Just because all REs can be recompiled for multiple targets, that's not the same as all existing REs necessarily being viable for those targets.

<columbo>
One more thing!
At no point in that talk is it mentioned there is any kind of magical RE to VST convertor: it's clearly stated Europa by Reason was a port (likely, it was JUCE-compiled), not an LLVM recompile of the RE to the VST format. (That's not me trying to preclude any future wrapper not being possible, mind, but as far as I know right now, there is no method to convert or host an RE as a VST). It was refreshing, though, to see an acknowledgement of likely reasons hardly any VST devs converted products to the RE format, that potentially the RE to VST direction is somewhat more straightforward for those coders.
</columbo>

_______
* I hate to back up an argument with actual facts, but Wikipedia, quoting Steam stats and http://gs.statcounter.com/screen-resolu ... 201808-bar, shows that for web users 27% are on 768 (HD), while 20% are on 1080 (FHD). Both figures are substantial and it's not a big gap: sure, 4K figures are between low to bugger all, but like I said, we're not just talking about rack resolutions being an issue at just 4K. I fail to see how anyone could reach the conclusion that one should not have already moved Reason to support up to UHD already thus provided the full gamut from HD to FHD to UHD. (And those stats are just for web browsers! For games, a massive 64% are on FHD. I'd imagine a higher than general pop. proportion of tech-savvy music producers have FHD screens too.)

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antic604
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Post 07 Dec 2018

JiggeryPokery wrote:
07 Dec 2018
I'd agree Reason's rack is still manageably OK, but failing to use arguably the biggest USP of the SDK (and one PH have regular proferred to be the case over the years), just means it's now catch-up.
Good post, happy to not be on the "crusade" all by myself ;) :lol:

What's "USP"?
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JiggeryPokery
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Post 07 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
07 Dec 2018
JiggeryPokery wrote:
07 Dec 2018
I'd agree Reason's rack is still manageably OK, but failing to use arguably the biggest USP of the SDK (and one PH have regular proferred to be the case over the years), just means it's now catch-up.
Good post, happy to not be on the "crusade" all by myself ;) :lol:

What's "USP"?
Unique Selling Point.

That special thing no-one else can do.

Or rather, that special thing you could do but don't, which no-one else did but pretty much everyone else that matters now does ;)

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EnochLight
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Post 07 Dec 2018

JiggeryPokery wrote:
07 Dec 2018
* triggered *
When I watched the video, I thought for a moment to myself.. "wow - this is pretty incredible. Maybe Matt will watch this and actually see the bigger picture.."

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I have hope for you still, brother! ;) Did you watch the video and come away with anything positive? Just curious..
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antic604
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Post 07 Dec 2018

EnochLight wrote:
07 Dec 2018
When I watched the video, I thought for a moment to myself.. "wow - this is pretty incredible. Maybe Matt will watch this and actually see the bigger picture.."
It's not black vs. white.

One can be impressed with the foresight, vision and future possibilities AND at the same time disappointed that part of that long-existing tech should've and could've been brought to life long time ago, but - for some reason - wasn't. That's all. I've been mentioning that I expect REs to be ported to multiple targets several times since Europa VST was announced, so there's really nothing groundbreakingly new in this presentation (OK, maybe the ELK and RE running on hardware - although personally I don't care about either).

Also, your constant dismissing of my high-DPI complaints with "but it works fine on my 40'' 4K screen" needed calling out, because you KNOW it's comparing apples to oranges.
Reason 10 // Bitwig 2 // Live 10 @ Surface Pro 4 i7 8/256GB
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selig
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Post 07 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote: Also, your constant dismissing of my high-DPI complaints with "but it works fine on my 40'' 4K screen" needed calling out, because you KNOW it's comparing apples to oranges.
I think it’s important to report whether you have an issue with the current situation.

I do not, others do. Only those doing market research know the opinions (and stats) of the user base.

For example, I have no problem with the current resolution. But WOULD I “like” to be able to zoom a device on occasion if it was done well/seamlessly? Maybe - I don’t often zoom the devices that I CAN zoom (VSTs on Reason/Logic/Pro Tools), so I’m necessarily not the target market). But those doing market research would be asking these sorts of questions to determine future action and direction of resources.

But I encourage users to report their opinions and needs, and discourage others from seeing it as some sort of personal attack. Some folks are OK as is and would prefer resources directly to other pressing issues, others see resolution related issues as THE most important issue - BOTH can be true!


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antic604
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Post 07 Dec 2018

selig wrote:
07 Dec 2018
I think it’s important to report whether you have an issue with the current situation.
Sure I do and at least 5% of my posts is about that ;) :D

This is the only way I can use Reason, because even if it's incredibly blocky (compare the "acid.reason" text up top with Reason's GUI) it's still sharp, as the pixels are 2x2. The problem is everything is just too big, so I can't have too many elements on screen:

(right-click, open in separate tab & click again to have 1:1 pixel zoom - at least this works on Windows)

Image

The alternative is this, where Windows is set to 150% scaling - the size is OK for me to work with (I've very good eyesight still), but it's BOTH blocky and blurry and I can't bare it for longer than an hour:

Image

For reference, this is how Bitwig 2.4 looks at those exact same settings - it's a night & day different in terms of sharpness & clarity. And it's the same with Live 10 and Studio One 4:

Image

So yeah, I have an issue with current situation :(



Can you post a full-res screenshot of how Reason looks for you? Ideally with a Logic Pro or even web browser open side-by-side for comparison. Because I'm afraid many that don't see the problem simply don't have a good reference to compare to?
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chimp_spanner
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Post 07 Dec 2018

I guess with the DPI thing I don't really have a horse in the race because I'm still on 1080. I don't even have a 4k TV! I'm sure at some point my feelings on the matter will change. Although to be clear it's something I'd love to see, even now. I just don't need it right this second. But I absolutely understand why others do!!
Enjoy!

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guitfnky
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Post 07 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
07 Dec 2018
botnotbot wrote:
07 Dec 2018
You realize that you have to do all three, right? As in, they had to come up with it, and implement it, and now are obviously entering the phase where they deploy it (in the sense of using the multi-target feature).

Your crusade to paint the decisions of Props devs as inefficient or misguided is even more bonkers in light of this video, which clearly shows that they think very carefully about how they design and implement software.

In fact, it made me want to move to Sweden so I could work under a sane software development regime, for once!
I'm not on a crusade. Reworking GUI and rendering pipeline is not a small feat and postponing it will only make it larger.

Also, most companies will present themselves that way to the outside world - they have great forward-looking ideas, brilliant strategy and capable resources to make all of that reality. But minority of them really try and even fewer of them succeed... And - believe me - I really keep my fingers crossed for Propellerheads and it looks like new owners & management turned the ship around. Better late than never, I guess?
I have to assume your day job is in some sort of high-level management position at a medium-large company...is that right?

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EnochLight
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Post 07 Dec 2018

antic604 wrote:
07 Dec 2018
EnochLight wrote:
07 Dec 2018
When I watched the video, I thought for a moment to myself.. "wow - this is pretty incredible. Maybe Matt will watch this and actually see the bigger picture.."
It's not black vs. white.

One can be impressed with the foresight, vision and future possibilities AND at the same time disappointed that part of that long-existing tech should've and could've been brought to life long time ago, but - for some reason - wasn't. That's all. I've been mentioning that I expect REs to be ported to multiple targets several times since Europa VST was announced, so there's really nothing groundbreakingly new in this presentation (OK, maybe the ELK and RE running on hardware - although personally I don't care about either).
My comment to Matt was tongue in cheek. You're not privy to conversations we've had in the past, so I can see how my post was lost on you.
antic604 wrote:
07 Dec 2018
Also, your constant dismissing of my high-DPI complaints with "but it works fine on my 40'' 4K screen" needed calling out, because you KNOW it's comparing apples to oranges.
Wait - what?

Where have I conducted "constant dismissing" of your request?!!! :shock: :o :? I'm actually in agreement with you! :lol:

I've been requesting 4K support for years - much longer than you yourself have been around here (unless you've been going by another screen name, in which case I apologize). Put your guns away, friend. I merely meant that Reason is still usable and other things clearly were more important to Props and their users (as evidenced by features such as VST-support, audio pitch editing, etc appearing before it's been addressed).

Trust me, I'll be right by your side on our holy crusade quest for proper 4K/high DPI support until we get it!
Windows 10 64-bit | Reason 10 |  Studio One 3.5 | Asus Sabertooth Z77 | Intel i7 3770k Quad-Core @ 4.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD | RME babyface Pro| Nektar Panorama P-4 | M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro

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