RE IDEA: an insert module

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DJMaytag
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Post 11 Sep 2020

Problem: I am routing audio from VSTi/RE’s out of Reason to process through my modular synth, and need a device I could use to create a mono or stereo insert in the audio path, so I could bypass the external routing when needed.

Current solution: routing the mix channel output to a secondary mix channel, using that secondary channel’s inserts and it’s “bypass all insert FX” button.

It’s a messy solution I’m using, and a pretty simple routing device with not much more than a bypass button on the front could solve the problem (the button doesn’t even need to be automated). Anyone interested in creating such a RE? I’m willing to pay for this!

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Loque
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Post 12 Sep 2020

There are several Gain control RE available.

Also maybe this can help:
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/bund ... ch-bundle/
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

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selig
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Post 12 Sep 2020

You could easily do this with a Line Mixer and assign a button to the insert section in the mixer. Use the "PRE" switch on the back of the mixer and plug the "To Devices" into channel 1 with the send set to 100. The send output feeds the Eurorack, and the returns from the Eurorack go into line mixer channel 2 input. The output of the mixer goes to "From Devices".
Then simply assign a button to control the level of channel 1 and channel 2 in an inverted manner: when channel one's volume is 100, channel two's volume is zero and vise versa.
This could be better than your current solution because you could assign the "bypass" button to the mixer channel's insert section so you wouldn't even need to leave the mixer to use the function.
Simply create this channel in your startup song and it will always be there ready to go in every song!
Selig Audio, LLC

DJMaytag
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Post 12 Sep 2020

These solutions aren’t any less messy than what I’m currently doing, routing out of an insert chain or Combinator path, into the input of a Mix Channel, and routing the Mix Channel direct out back into the original signal path. The insert I/O of external Mix Channel is used to connect to the audio output and return for processing with external hardware.

This works, but it’s messy and can’t be saved in a Mix Channel preset not a Combinator. I’ve contacted someone who has previous made another simple RE for me, so... crossing my fingers this idea will make it to their range of devices.

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selig
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Post 12 Sep 2020

DJMaytag wrote:
12 Sep 2020
These solutions aren’t any less messy than what I’m currently doing, routing out of an insert chain or Combinator path, into the input of a Mix Channel, and routing the Mix Channel direct out back into the original signal path. The insert I/O of external Mix Channel is used to connect to the audio output and return for processing with external hardware.

This works, but it’s messy and can’t be saved in a Mix Channel preset not a Combinator. I’ve contacted someone who has previous made another simple RE for me, so... crossing my fingers this idea will make it to their range of devices.
While the RE solution is the simplest, personally I'd just use the insert of the original channel and keep it super simple. Or I'd go for the simpler single channel solution (as I described previously) over increasing channel count and spreading things out over multiple channels where possible (until you get your RE built). You don't really need a preset either, just include this channel in your startup song and it's always right there ready to go!
Selig Audio, LLC

DJMaytag
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Location: Madison, WI

Post 13 Sep 2020

selig wrote:
12 Sep 2020
While the RE solution is the simplest, personally I'd just use the insert of the original channel and keep it super simple. Or I'd go for the simpler single channel solution (as I described previously) over increasing channel count and spreading things out over multiple channels where possible (until you get your RE built). You don't really need a preset either, just include this channel in your startup song and it's always right there ready to go!
When there is a chain of FX, you can't use the original channel's inserts & bypass button because the bypass button bypasses ALL the FX. Having something to do what I'm after would allow for placing the device anywhere in the middle of the chain, so I can do some processing in Reason, then thru the modular, and finish the processing chain in Reason. Having an actual RE would (hopefully) allow me to shift-drop move the insert device anywhere in the chain without having to mess with changing all the I/O routings.

The biggest motivator for wanting an actual RE that could be saved in a Combinator or Channel settings is that I'm often saving the states of the Combinators and/or Audio/Mix Channels so I can roll back settings if a tweak (or twenty) aren't to my liking. I used to habitually save the project as a new version for every major revision, but when working with a lot of audio files, that leads to multiple 1 Gb project files clogging up my SSD. Saving individual Channel/Combinator settings is far easier to manage and cuts down on the project revisions to an extent.

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mcatalao
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Post 13 Sep 2020

Your idea is good, but while there isn't a Re or reason device for that, I have an idea that might be easier to do than your process.

What i like about Reason's Mixer is that the way you add groups on "top of" groups, on "top of" parallels and obviously on "top of" channels, allows you to create intricate chains even without having to go to the rack. When I'm processing externally (wich i almost never do today) I prefer to commit the processed channel to audio, mostly because of in and out latency (it's a lot and if you're working with some stuff like dynamics, it induces phasing and other desynchronization that are bad when you use parallels and stuff).

That being said, you can put your outboard processing on a group over your main channel, have your pre-chain in the main channel inserts and your post chain in the group inserts, you can even use 2 groups (first inserts, outboard process, post outboard process). Every one of these positions will have a bypass that won't affect the rest of them.

Of course this doesn't solve your insert "order" issue, but at least not only it's faster to use the groups (in reality the "chaining" is similar to your manual routing) and you have a faster bypass and you will never leave reason mixer.

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selig
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Post 13 Sep 2020

DJMaytag wrote:
13 Sep 2020
selig wrote:
12 Sep 2020
While the RE solution is the simplest, personally I'd just use the insert of the original channel and keep it super simple. Or I'd go for the simpler single channel solution (as I described previously) over increasing channel count and spreading things out over multiple channels where possible (until you get your RE built). You don't really need a preset either, just include this channel in your startup song and it's always right there ready to go!
When there is a chain of FX, you can't use the original channel's inserts & bypass button because the bypass button bypasses ALL the FX. Having something to do what I'm after would allow for placing the device anywhere in the middle of the chain, so I can do some processing in Reason, then thru the modular, and finish the processing chain in Reason. Having an actual RE would (hopefully) allow me to shift-drop move the insert device anywhere in the chain without having to mess with changing all the I/O routings.

The biggest motivator for wanting an actual RE that could be saved in a Combinator or Channel settings is that I'm often saving the states of the Combinators and/or Audio/Mix Channels so I can roll back settings if a tweak (or twenty) aren't to my liking. I used to habitually save the project as a new version for every major revision, but when working with a lot of audio files, that leads to multiple 1 Gb project files clogging up my SSD. Saving individual Channel/Combinator settings is far easier to manage and cuts down on the project revisions to an extent.
One problem might be that every RE that passes audio must have an On/Off/Bypass switch, and that switch will then respond to the Bypass of the insert just like every other device in the insert.But it's worse - even if you could work around the bypass issue for the RE, when you bypass the inserts what happens is that ALL audio is muted through the insert chain - and how can you allow ONE device in the chain receive audio when all the rest do not? Meaning, no DAW could work the way you want. :(

BTW, I found an existing device does what you want, but of course you still the "bypass" issue I describe above because it's how the routing works.
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... io-router/
One oddity with this device is you cannot directly drag it from position to position to re-route it, possibly because of it's age? But fear not, instead you simply drag the other devices around the RE and everything works otherwise exactly as you describe wanting things to work.

Hope this helps - maybe there's still yet another way to accomplish more what you're wanting?
Selig Audio, LLC

DJMaytag
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Post 13 Sep 2020

selig wrote:
13 Sep 2020
One problem might be that every RE that passes audio must have an On/Off/Bypass switch, and that switch will then respond to the Bypass of the insert just like every other device in the insert.But it's worse - even if you could work around the bypass issue for the RE, when you bypass the inserts what happens is that ALL audio is muted through the insert chain - and how can you allow ONE device in the chain receive audio when all the rest do not? Meaning, no DAW could work the way you want. :(
I appreciate the thought you’ve put into this, but I think maybe I’ve explained my idea poorly. The things you’re suggesting as problems are the exactly opposite of what I’m trying to do. I don’t think those concerns would be problems, at all.

The device would indeed respond to the “bypass all” button on the Combinator or Mix/Audio Channel. I wouldn’t expect it to not respond to that, and I don’t see any issue with it doing so.


Here’s an example of a typical situation where I’d want to put some external processing in the signal path, and how I’m “solving” it with an external Mix Channel.

MIX CHANNEL INSERT PATH:
——————————————————
EQ
COMP
MODULATION
*EXTERNAL MIX CHANNEL IN
*EXTERNAL MIX CHANNEL DIRECT OUT
DELAY
GAIN PLUGIN
——————————————————

Replace the *EXTERNAL MIX CHANNEL with an RE that has insert on the back, and then I’d be able to bypass THAT device, meaning the signal would flow from modulation to delay, skipping the RE I’m hoping someone can create. The inserts on that device would be connected to the external gear, so when it’s bypassed... it’s as if there’s no external gear is even there (and that’s what I would want).

Hopefully this is a bit clearer now?

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QVprod
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Post 13 Sep 2020

Sounds like you essentially want what Pipeline XT is in Studio One. The question would be whether it's doable. Whether Reason Studios allows developers direct access to the physical i/o without the user having to route cables. if not, then anything made would not offer much of a better experience than what you're doing now.

DJMaytag
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Post 14 Sep 2020

QVprod wrote:
13 Sep 2020
Sounds like you essentially want what Pipeline XT is in Studio One. The question would be whether it's doable. Whether Reason Studios allows developers direct access to the physical i/o without the user having to route cables. if not, then anything made would not offer much of a better experience than what you're doing now.
I’ve never heard of Pipeline XT, and the device I want would definitely have jacks for routing to and from whatever destination(s) it would need to go to. My primary case for this would be to have inserts to route to and from Reason’s Hardware Interface. I could see a potential for routing this to other RE’s or VST’s.

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selig
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Post 14 Sep 2020

DJMaytag wrote:
13 Sep 2020
Here’s an example of a typical situation where I’d want to put some external processing in the signal path, and how I’m “solving” it with an external Mix Channel.

MIX CHANNEL INSERT PATH:
——————————————————
EQ
COMP
MODULATION
*EXTERNAL MIX CHANNEL IN
*EXTERNAL MIX CHANNEL DIRECT OUT
DELAY
GAIN PLUGIN
——————————————————

Replace the *EXTERNAL MIX CHANNEL with an RE that has insert on the back, and then I’d be able to bypass THAT device, meaning the signal would flow from modulation to delay, skipping the RE I’m hoping someone can create. The inserts on that device would be connected to the external gear, so when it’s bypassed... it’s as if there’s no external gear is even there (and that’s what I would want).

Hopefully this is a bit clearer now?
OK, but now we're back to using a combinator or my original solution. The only reason I went on my "bypass" tangent was because of what you said: "you can't use the original channel's inserts & bypass button", right? Now you're saying you don't need to bypass the insert FX but you DO need to bypass the external path, so problem solved?

Every solution I've mentioned allows doing what you ask above: bypass "THAT" device to bypass the external processing!
The Director suggestion I gave you does exactly this. Not sure what else you need it to do that it cannot do?

If not I apologize for confusing things.
Selig Audio, LLC

DJMaytag
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Location: Madison, WI

Post 14 Sep 2020

selig wrote:
14 Sep 2020
OK, but now we're back to using a combinator or my original solution. The only reason I went on my "bypass" tangent was because of what you said: "you can't use the original channel's inserts & bypass button", right? Now you're saying you don't need to bypass the insert FX but you DO need to bypass the external path, so problem solved?

Every solution I've mentioned allows doing what you ask above: bypass "THAT" device to bypass the external processing!
The Director suggestion I gave you does exactly this. Not sure what else you need it to do that it cannot do?

If not I apologize for confusing things.
I thought I spelled it out pretty clear with my last example. I guess I should have clarified that the chain I previously mentioned applies to the inserts path of Mix Channels, Audio Channels, and Combinators. The insert bypass button on those three things bypasses ALL the devices in the chain, and that’s not want I want.

The device would have an input and an output, with an insert send/return loop. It would pass the audio straight thru if nothing were connected to it’s insert loop, or if the bypass button (or the switch for ON/BYPASS/OFF were set to bypass).

The device would route the input to the insert out (to device) if anything was connected to the insert out. I suppose it could function as a parallel out if nothing was connected to the insert return, meaning the input signal would be the same on the devices main out and the insert out.

If something would be plugged into then insert return (from device), then it would break the signal flow from the input straight to the output, meaning the audio path would be MAIN INPUT —> INSERT OUT —> [whatever devices need to be connected] —> INSERT IN —> MAIN OUTPUT. The flow on the back of the programmer of Kong might be a good example. If the bypass ON THIS DEVICE was engaged, it would bypass the inserts ON THIS DEVICE, such that no external processing would happen, be it processing routes outside of Reason or to anything else inside the rack (but not necessarily inside the Mix Channel/Audio Channel/Combinator insert path).

The device could be placed anywhere in a chain of FX, freely re-routable (via shift-click moving) of the inputs and outputs, such that THAT ONE DEVICE could be bypassed of any processing connected to ITS inserts.

I’m not sure I can explain it any more clearly than what I’ve done so far.

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QVprod
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Post 14 Sep 2020

Like selig, mentioned, use Directre. You can just use it for a single insert. It does exactly what you’re asking.

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jam-s
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Post 17 Sep 2020

Doesn't any of those devices give you the functionality you seek?

https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... le-drywet/
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... cts-mixer/
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... -selector/ (in combination with a spider to split the audio first)
If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace.

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selig
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Post 18 Sep 2020

DJMaytag wrote:
14 Sep 2020
I’m not sure I can explain it any more clearly than what I’ve done so far.
Same here - as I've tried to explain, an RE cannot do this in Reason. It's not because REs can't do this but because that's not how inserts work in Reason. What you're asking for requires a totally different approach from the core Reason audio flow concept.

Again, an RE already exists that does exactly what you ask - you can already use Director to do this as long as you NEVER bypass all inserts at any point.

The reason it can't work as you ask is because when you use the BYPASS button in Reason, all audio is cut from the insert path. So it doesn't matter how an RE works because if you hit bypass on the inserts/combinator there's no longer an audio signal to route.

Bottom line: Try Director, it's exactly what you're asking for from an RE - but also understand you cannot use it (or any RE) in the way you want because of how Reason works. Apologies if I'm repeating myself unnecessarily! :)
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DJMaytag
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Post 18 Sep 2020

selig wrote:
18 Sep 2020
Same here - as I've tried to explain, an RE cannot do this in Reason. It's not because REs can't do this but because that's not how inserts work in Reason. What you're asking for requires a totally different approach from the core Reason audio flow concept.
I’ve been provided a beta version of an RE that works exactly as I imagined. That’s all I will say about it until it’s approved in the shop.

DJMaytag
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Post 18 Sep 2020

jam-s wrote:
17 Sep 2020
Doesn't any of those devices give you the functionality you seek?

https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... le-drywet/
This is by far the closest device to doing what I want to do.

DJMaytag
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Post 19 Sep 2020

selig wrote:
18 Sep 2020
The reason it can't work as you ask is because when you use the BYPASS button in Reason, all audio is cut from the insert path. So it doesn't matter how an RE works because if you hit bypass on the inserts/combinator there's no longer an audio signal to route.
The RE that's in the works has its own inserts, and a dedicated bypass button to bypass the RE's own insert loop. I think that's the part you're missing. I never intended for the RE to be bypassed via the button on the Mix/Audio Channel or the Combinator, because that obviously bypasses EVERYTING in the chain.

It's coming along quite nicely so far.

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selig
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Post 19 Sep 2020

DJMaytag wrote:
19 Sep 2020
selig wrote:
18 Sep 2020
The reason it can't work as you ask is because when you use the BYPASS button in Reason, all audio is cut from the insert path. So it doesn't matter how an RE works because if you hit bypass on the inserts/combinator there's no longer an audio signal to route.
The RE that's in the works has its own inserts, and a dedicated bypass button to bypass the RE's own insert loop. I think that's the part you're missing. I never intended for the RE to be bypassed via the button on the Mix/Audio Channel or the Combinator, because that obviously bypasses EVERYTING in the chain.

It's coming along quite nicely so far.
Again, the suggestions made here already do all that and more - not sure how we keep talking past each other here… have to ask again whether or not you tried Director?
Selig Audio, LLC

DJMaytag
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Post 19 Sep 2020

selig wrote:
19 Sep 2020
Again, the suggestions made here already do all that and more - not sure how we keep talking past each other here… have to ask again whether or not you tried Director?
If I had seen Double Dry/Wet before starting this thread, I might not have started this topic. It's the only thing that comes close to doing what I am trying to achieve, as simply as possible.

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