Rack Extensions Rule, VST Sucks

This forum is for discussing Rack Extensions. Devs are all welcome to show off their goods.
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Proboscis
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Joined: 28 Aug 2019

Post 24 Sep 2019

No doubt it was a long asked-for feature request for Reason to include VST, but since it happened I have picked up a number of on-sale VSTs, and managing them is a pain in the butt. I have mostly kept my purchases to the one seller (plugin boutique) but also picked up others here and there. And dealing with multiple authorizers, then juggling file structures to make some sense... not to mention that some of them crash suddenly... and the hassle of getting automation working. well it makes me appreciate Rack Extensions all the more.

I also can't stand the floating windows. There's something very practical about having everything fixed in a virtual rack.

The Reason Authorizer may be lacking in some features, such as was mentioned in another active post, but the process of simply booting it up whenever there's a need to do an OS reinstall is a very painless process.

I think I'm going to delete most of my VSTs, and stick to only two... One being the free Kontakt suite since there are so many more interesting instrument samples for that platform that are not otherwise available for Reason, and also the GVST Tuner plugin, which is immeasurably superior to Reason's native tuner.

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miscend
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Post 24 Sep 2019

Personally I would welcome an option to edit rack devices in a resizable floating window like we can do with VSTs. It will save on all the constant scrolling I do since you can pin the floating windows to any part of the screen.

But yeah you're right that VSTs have nothing on Rack Extensions.

fretshot7
Posts: 331
Joined: 02 Apr 2018

Post 24 Sep 2019

proboscis - i completely agree with you.

Also changing presets in VSTs is a pain in the butt, compared to REs.

I luv REs 🤘🏼

Also that thread about how many REs you have bought and how many you don't use, I bet its far worse for VSTs

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raymondh
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Post 25 Sep 2019

I really like having the best of both worlds.

The superior workflow and integration of RE's, plus access to the incredible VSTi's not available as Rack Extensions (such as u-he's Diva and Re-pro-5 )

And for Reason users on a tight budget, access to amazing free VSTi's too eg. PG-8X, OPX-D.
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diminished
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Post 25 Sep 2019

Things more moderner than before. Bigger, and yet, smaller. It's computers... SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!

Sorry ;)
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Karim
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Post 25 Sep 2019

I E COMPLETELY CAN'T STAND FLOATING WINDOWS TOO.

Automations don't works ( not all parameters I mean)
Millions of different authorizers / serial / file response to manage.

I'd like to see VST forced inside the rack to better manage them like
other rack extensions without me noticing If I'm using racks or VSTs :x
Proboscis wrote:
24 Sep 2019
No doubt it was a long asked-for feature request for Reason to include VST, but since it happened I have picked up a number of on-sale VSTs, and managing them is a pain in the butt. I have mostly kept my purchases to the one seller (plugin boutique) but also picked up others here and there. And dealing with multiple authorizers, then juggling file structures to make some sense... not to mention that some of them crash suddenly... and the hassle of getting automation working. well it makes me appreciate Rack Extensions all the more.

I also can't stand the floating windows. There's something very practical about having everything fixed in a virtual rack.

The Reason Authorizer may be lacking in some features, such as was mentioned in another active post, but the process of simply booting it up whenever there's a need to do an OS reinstall is a very painless process.

I think I'm going to delete most of my VSTs, and stick to only two... One being the free Kontakt suite since there are so many more interesting instrument samples for that platform that are not otherwise available for Reason, and also the GVST Tuner plugin, which is immeasurably superior to Reason's native tuner.
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Proboscis
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Post 25 Sep 2019

raymondh wrote:
25 Sep 2019
I really like having the best of both worlds.

The superior workflow and integration of RE's, plus access to the incredible VSTi's not available as Rack Extensions (such as u-he's Diva and Re-pro-5 )

And for Reason users on a tight budget, access to amazing free VSTi's too eg. PG-8X, OPX-D.
Well, you raise some very good points. 'The Best of Both Worlds' is a good business decision. It please those who wanted VST, and makes not one bit of difference to those who don't. And I guess I too am benefiting as well, despite being anti VST, since I now have access to a properly featured Tuner that I can use on multiple tracks simultaneously.

And there's no shortage of free or very cheap VST out there, but in my recent experiences, most of them are CRAP :lol:

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Proboscis
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Post 25 Sep 2019

fretshot7 wrote:
24 Sep 2019
Also changing presets in VSTs is a pain in the butt, compared to REs.
Oh god yes, that's a nightmare, since all VSTs seem to have their own design, whereas in Reason there's a feeling of standardization. It's a shame Propellerhead had to f**k it up a few years ago with the current stupid browser style and operation. I've never warmed to it. Still.. it's not a VST menu ! Small mercy.

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Proboscis
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Post 25 Sep 2019

Karim wrote:
25 Sep 2019
I'd like to see VST forced inside the rack to better manage them
Doubt that would be possible since there is no standardized width for VST as far as I can tell. To horizontally squeeze some of them down to 754px@1080p would render them unreadable.

All said though, I'm increasingly finding Reason rack units unreadable too, especially the old ones like the mixer. :geek:

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MrFigg
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Post 25 Sep 2019

As regards VSTs. I've downloaded a looooooooot of free ones but only used like 2 or 3 of those....sometimes. Dexed saved me from buying PX7 for example.
I've bought a few very cheap on sale, noteably Glitchmachines, but only play about with them for fun. Nothing productive.
I bought Stutter Edit and BreakTweaker in a sale I couldn't pass up with a number of expansions included. I have plans for those ones.
Echobode I had to have and decided upon the VST as it had extra functionality and also the possibility of updates. Really glad I've got it. Brilliant.
Otherwise it's REs all the way.

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JiggeryPokery
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Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 25 Sep 2019

Proboscis wrote:
24 Sep 2019
And dealing with multiple authorizers, then juggling file structures to make some sense... not to mention that some of them crash suddenly... and the hassle of getting automation working. well it makes me appreciate Rack Extensions all the more.

I also can't stand the floating windows. There's something very practical about having everything fixed in a virtual rack.

The Reason Authorizer may be lacking in some features, such as was mentioned in another active post, but the process of simply booting it up whenever there's a need to do an OS reinstall is a very painless process.

I think I'm going to delete most of my VSTs, and stick to only two... One being the free Kontakt suite since there are so many more interesting instrument samples for that platform that are not otherwise available for Reason, and also the GVST Tuner plugin, which is immeasurably superior to Reason's native tuner.
The multi-authorizer thing is a rabbit-hole of tedium, there's no getting away from it, but in principle it's not fundamentally different to RS's, it's just that unlike 2012 (and goddamn Line6 Monkey!) , all the top tier plugins makers have their own management software. It's just the way things are now.

If Arturia V was the only plugin suite you have, for example, then I'd argue that it's no different to a Reason user just having Authorizer. It's only because many now need multiple installers it's kind of become a problem. But choice is a nice problem to have. Having about 4 of the things myself now, I can't honstly say I think reinstalling via these systems is that bad. Each has the equivalent of "Sync All", so you start the installer, press Sync All (unticking the ones you don't want) then go have lunch. It's reinstalling lots of invididual plugins that used to be a pain; personally, that's something I've opted to avoid, the endless trials of thousands of free plugins: I agree with you one should stick to a handful of things you really like ;)

And I stand by comments regarding the spectacularly dated behaviour of RS's offering in 2019/2020 compared to the competition. It could be deeply problematic and a failure in both product management and marketing not to update Authorizer before launching R11 and focusin on fourth-rate content again. I might be wrong but it's a real cause for concern, and may really bite RS in the arse this failing to provide synergy between the management software and the Shop, or at least the ability to provide and handle upgrade information and syncing locally rather than forcing it through the website, where they intentionally made it harder to download individual items if one wanted to avoid the drama of "Sync All".

All the competitors have vastly superior licensing programs in terms of slickness and usability in a number of respects (not all, as I pointed out, and also I'm not suggesting the competition are more "secure" than Codemeter, but we're talking usability, not security).

I'd don't entirely get your issue with file structures, in that I always install to the same VST2 directory, but I accept patch browsing might be erratic in some plugins, yet I can't think of a product I'm regularly using I've had an issue, as typically presets are mostly loaded from within the plugin rather than the Reason browser.

While I used to be in the "oh VSTs are buggy camp", even as recently as 6 years ago, I was well out of loop, and in Reason I've only had one VST crash on me (a Zeitklung 2 license I got via Focusrite), and one fav of mine that doesn't entirely operate 100% correctly because of Reason sequencer issues, but it's still quite usable and I use it a lot. That's not to undermine you or anyone else having more issues, there's a lot of VST out there and there are bound to still be some disasters too, just pointing out I suspect your experience is nowhere near as universal as even I might have expected it to be a couple of years ago, and in any event some REs do crash too: A-List guitars always seemed to stop doing anything and required deleting and reloading so often that I gave up on them. Radical Piano used to crash a lot too.

Floating Windows: Yeah, I feel you, but again in practice I generally find I mind it less in Reason than I did elsewhere as it's not often I find I need more than one window open at time, and unlike my days in Cubase when it was a constant battle of moving the transport and sequencer and mixer and VST plugin windows around like some fucking Maypole dance, in Reason it's still just the plugin that floats, not every little function (aside from occasionally the F8 box). I concur one's view will be more awkward with, say, a single monitor/laptop setup, but a dual-screen desktop (especially with a portrait monitor for the mixer, where I also have the F8 box), this isn't the issue it was. (And probably I'd be ok with Cubase in a dual-screen setup, but I missed the June deal so I won't know until 2049 :lol: )

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Proboscis
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Post 25 Sep 2019

Oh Hi, I LOVE your plugins JiggeryPokery. It dawned on me the other day that I think I own more of your gear than that of any other single developer. I've long hoped you might consider an electric clav !

As to your comments:

If Arturia V was the only plugin suite you have, for example, then I'd argue that it's no different to a Reason user just having Authorizer.

Most other companies with their own authorizers don't have the wide range of products though, so it's inevitable in the VST world that one would need a range of licencing apps. Arturia V has.. what sees to be 24 instruments ? A better example might be Kontakt, which has tons of libraries available, but they are very very expensive, plus there's the outlay of Kontakt itself, plus you still need a DAW to run it in, right ? For me, having a thousand (at a guess) Rack Extension options all under the one roof holds value for me, since it's an easy licence management process.

For what it's worth, I agree with most of what you say in the other thread. Reason's Authorizer seems like going into a time machine back to 2000. And damn, the Refill Packer which I downloaded recently, feels like being transported back to Windows 95.

It could be deeply problematic and a failure in both product management and marketing not to update Authorizer before launching R11 and focusin on fourth-rate content again.

It seems Reason is a whole lot of cobbled-together ideas that have not been very well thought out. Such as the color-schema changes being omitted from the SSL. Or the transport bar redesign made to look nice, but at the expense of making some element so tiny that it's ridiculous (such as tempo tap). And how about the Combinator rotary tags not showing in the sequencer. What the F ! . The behavior of the fixed browser is quite stupid, as are the seemingly random suggested plugins in the right click menu. I could go on forever about the shortcomings, but that's for another thread, and I try and focus on the positive aspects of Reason, which to me are many. I'm at a point these days where I don't expect much from the developers any more. And to that they never fail to deliver on my low expectations.

Having worked with enough businesses to know where the problems lie, I suspect those who are managing product development have been there forever, and it's become the accepted norm for them to keep plodding along without accountability, rather than bring in a new team with a fresh and vibrant direction. 'Longevity Syndrome' in staff never amounts to progress as a company grows. And the products & services suffer for it. That's the only explanation I can muster up for the incredibly slow feature updates - and all the seemingly obvious operational oversights - in Reason.

just pointing out I suspect your experience is nowhere near as universal as even I might have expected it to be a couple of years ago, and in any event some REs do crash too: A-List guitars always seemed to stop doing anything and required deleting and reloading so often that I gave up on them. Radical Piano used to crash a lot too.

I have been using Reason about 12 years. Typically I am working in Reason around 20 hours a week, so... damn.. I've likely clocked up over 10,000 hours. That's a little disheartening to calculate, since I've never completed a song to my satisfaction. In that time I've had two major crashes that ended up corrupting the projects, and maybe 20 instances of Rack Extensions dying. It's actually only in the past two weeks that I've been working with the A-List drummers (since the uJam announcement) and have had them throw error messages five times and stop working. However, in the past 12 months I have had just as many VST crashes - admittedly it's the same few culprits. Owing to my limited exposure to VSTs, it's probably unfair for me to use a blanket statement of "VST sucks because they crash all the time"

I'd don't entirely get your issue with file structures, in that I always install to the same VST2 directory,

From memory, I wasn't happy with the way some plugins would install to C/VST>plugin, others would create their own VST2 folder, and others still would create their own company named folder, then a subfolder for each plugin. I haven't revisited it, but I felt it was a clunky user experience to manage. Again, this is coming from a guy who is right in to the Reason ecosystem, and has never had to worry about any of this stuff.

Floating Windows: Yeah, I feel you, but again in practice I generally find I mind it less in Reason than I did elsewhere as it's not often I find I need more than one window open at time,

Since VST, I have taken advantage of being able to use multiple tuners. One example scenario might be if I have a MIDI bassline, and am playing guitar along with it, I can see both. However there is also some bad behavior with that - despite choosing 'keep open', the windows sometime disappear from view, which is so annoying. I think it has something to do with where it's placed in my two-screen setup (usually I have the rack on one monitor and the sequencer on the other. I put that down to another poorly executed implementation

Anyway, apart from my beloved tuner and perhaps Kontakt, I'm done with VST ;)

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dvdrtldg
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Post 25 Sep 2019

I agree VST is a bit clunky in Reason. But the clunkiness is a small price to pay imo for being able to use Soundtoys, iZotope, Klanghelm, Audio Thing, Sonible, Unfiltered Audio, Softube, Waves, Oeksound, Kontakt, Reaktor etc etc etc etc etc etc in my favourite DAW

fretshot7
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Joined: 02 Apr 2018

Post 25 Sep 2019

Someone mentioned the standard way undo and redo works with REs, was it this thread? or another one. Anyway a very good point.

superpop
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Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 25 Sep 2019

No more VST here, that's why Reason Suite.

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EnochLight
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Post 25 Sep 2019

Jesus.. managing multiple VST's from multiple devs is a goddamn cluster fuck at its worst, and an exercise in patience at best. Don't let anyone tell you any different!

Reinstalling all of my VST plugins after a catastrophic hardware failure or just building a new computer made me appreciate Rack Extensions, Authorizer, and most definitely "Sync All" almost immediately. :thumbs_up:
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Proboscis
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Post 25 Sep 2019

EnochLight wrote:
25 Sep 2019
Jesus.. managing multiple VST's from multiple devs is a goddamn cluster fuck at its worst, and an exercise in patience at best. Don't let anyone tell you any different!
Yep, it sure is a brilliant system for ease of use. I'm happy enough with what I have, to never install another VST again.

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challism
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Post 30 Sep 2019

The ironic thing is..... Reason itself is now a VST.

MIND.BLOWN!
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Mataya
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Post 30 Sep 2019

dvdrtldg wrote:
25 Sep 2019
I agree VST is a bit clunky in Reason. But the clunkiness is a small price to pay imo for being able to use Soundtoys, iZotope, Klanghelm, Audio Thing, Sonible, Unfiltered Audio, Softube, Waves, Oeksound, Kontakt, Reaktor etc etc etc etc etc etc in my favourite DAW
I agree 100%.

Everybody on this planet are using and enjoying vst's except a few reason users telling us how how bad it is to manage vst's. It sounds so insane reading this here. I'm usually done within the hour with all that managing. And I'm not doing this that often even. How often you do reinstall all your vst library?
VST sucks!! ??? Oh my God, this is the weirdest forum board I've ever been registered to.

m

chaosroyale
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Joined: 05 Sep 2017

Post 30 Sep 2019

Yeah this thread is nuts (seems to be a trend).

Most REs are hopelessly outclassed by similar VSTs in performance and cost. There are notable exceptions (Selig leveler instantly comes to mind, Jiggerypokery, you all know the various awesome devs) but for the most part VSTs win by a mile.

Even when there is both a VST and an RE version of the same product, the VST usually has more advanced features.

Of course, REs at their best integrate seamlessly into the rack, with excellent UI design, tons of CV inputs and so on, but that is the minority.

Mataya wrote:
30 Sep 2019
dvdrtldg wrote:
25 Sep 2019
I agree VST is a bit clunky in Reason. But the clunkiness is a small price to pay imo for being able to use Soundtoys, iZotope, Klanghelm, Audio Thing, Sonible, Unfiltered Audio, Softube, Waves, Oeksound, Kontakt, Reaktor etc etc etc etc etc etc in my favourite DAW
I agree 100%.

Everybody on this planet are using and enjoying vst's except a few reason users telling us how how bad it is to manage vst's. It sounds so insane reading this here. I'm usually done within the hour with all that managing. And I'm not doing this that often even. How often you do reinstall all your vst library?
VST sucks!! ??? Oh my God, this is the weirdest forum board I've ever been registered to.

m

dezma
Posts: 140
Joined: 02 Jun 2015

Post 30 Sep 2019

I can see one huge advantage of RE, that's mass update / install. Then there's some minor things such as universal preset browsing but that's about it I guess. Furthermore, rack extensions seem to be more heavy on the CPU than their VST counterparts as we checked over here

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Oquasec
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Post 30 Sep 2019

I think they are mostly the same minus the organization.
They should just make a vst website with a sync button or something.
Producer/Sound Designer.

mcatalao
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Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 30 Sep 2019

And you forget when a VST evolves managing older vs new version in older projects is a drag. You have to mantain old versions of the vst evolve the project to the new version and only then disable the vst... :/ Crappers.

I've never had this issue before. Reason just loads an Re with a new version, and every single Re till now as been backards compatible. Well done stuff!

Mataya
Posts: 25
Joined: 03 May 2019

Post 30 Sep 2019

Ok...but the fact you can't sell RE's, that there's a lot of abandoned Re's, that props RE's never get updated, that most of them are not resizable in any way and hard to read weird small fonts and that you can't disable or select RE's you don't want to sync or download is also something important to consider. So you have, as always, good and bad things in both worlds, but screaming VST SUCK is such bullshit I just get annoyed.

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boingy
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Joined: 01 Feb 2019

Post 30 Sep 2019

Hehe claiming that VSTs suck is right up there with joining the Flat Earth Society. If those folks want to believe that Reason and REs are the only game in town then there is not much we can do to help them. Let's just hope that Reason Studios never turn off their server....

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