Propellerhead Reason controller?

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
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Faastwalker
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Post 12 Jul 2016

I know Propellerhead's first & only foray into hardware didn't go too well. But how bloody good would it be if they made a dedicated Reason controller? There are obviously no shortage of controllers out there already. It was the same story with Balance - no shortage of interfaces. But most of what is out there feels half baked when it comes to controlling Reason. The Nektar Panorama series is probably best. But these controllers seem to have gone off the boil judging from people's comments. And I'm sick to death of x8 knobs / x8 sliders / x8 button MIDI controllers. Everything is the same. Yes, there are exceptions. But will they work well with Reason? Or should I just get a Panorama? I should I try & build my own? Or should I beg existing manufacturers to realise my dream?! My kingdom (and my horse) for a really good Reason MIDI controller!!

OverneathTheSkyBridg
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Post 13 Jul 2016

I think that Nektar is your best bet, I'm running with a P6 but I also kept my Korg padKontrol cause the P6's pads aren't that great. I think what could be cool would be an iPad or Android app by PH that allows a tablet to act as your rack and mixer. This way you can do all your patching and knob tweaking from a touch screen. Either that or a specialized device that has physical knobs but also a touchscreen and the ability to fast map the physical knobs to knobs you touch on the screen.

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Faastwalker
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Post 13 Jul 2016

OverneathTheSkyBridg wrote:I think that Nektar is your best bet.
It's got to be one of the best options out there I think. I'm definitely going to investigate the P1 some more.
I think what could be cool would be an iPad or Android app by PH that allows a tablet to act as your rack and mixer. Either that or a specialized device that has physical knobs but also a touchscreen and the ability to fast map the physical knobs to knobs you touch on the screen.
What I was thinking was a simple bank of 32 endless rotary encoders with LEDs to indicate the position of whatever each encoder was controlling. All programming would be done from a software interface running on PC or Mac or an iOS / Android mobile App. Rather that than a small display on the device & not having a display at all would reduce cost & I think be better for the aesthetics of the device ......... now I just need to figure out how to build it!! :o

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Olivier
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Post 13 Jul 2016

Faastwalker wrote: What I was thinking was a simple bank of 32 endless rotary encoders with LEDs to indicate the position of whatever each encoder was controlling. All programming would be done from a software interface running on PC or Mac or an iOS / Android mobile App. Rather that than a small display on the device & not having a display at all would reduce cost & I think be better for the aesthetics of the device ......... now I just need to figure out how to build it!! :o
What you are talking about exists, its a Behringer BCR2000. What it lacks is a software interface to program it. But you need to make reason maps which is not done in a software interface most of the time anyway ;) And the aesthetics are outdated. Other then that, its the most versatile reason controller i have. I have the layout of he dials mimic the layout on the devices. So it just works pretty good.
:reason: V9 | i7 5930 | Motu 828 MK3 | Win 10

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Faastwalker
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Post 13 Jul 2016

eauhm wrote:
Faastwalker wrote: What I was thinking was a simple bank of 32 endless rotary encoders with LEDs to indicate the position of whatever each encoder was controlling. All programming would be done from a software interface running on PC or Mac or an iOS / Android mobile App. Rather that than a small display on the device & not having a display at all would reduce cost & I think be better for the aesthetics of the device ......... now I just need to figure out how to build it!! :o
What you are talking about exists, its a Behringer BCR2000. What it lacks is a software interface to program it. But you need to make reason maps which is not done in a software interface most of the time anyway ;) And the aesthetics are outdated. Other then that, its the most versatile reason controller i have. I have the layout of he dials mimic the layout on the devices. So it just works pretty good.
Another decent option. Quite cheap as well. I've been close to buying one of these a few times. Didn't they do a ltd edition in white? It also has Remote support so definitely a good option. Ugly looking thing though. What's the build quality like? Should I pull the trigger on this or the P1?! Decisions, decisions.

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Olivier
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Post 13 Jul 2016

Faastwalker wrote:
eauhm wrote:
Faastwalker wrote: What I was thinking was a simple bank of 32 endless rotary encoders with LEDs to indicate the position of whatever each encoder was controlling. All programming would be done from a software interface running on PC or Mac or an iOS / Android mobile App. Rather that than a small display on the device & not having a display at all would reduce cost & I think be better for the aesthetics of the device ......... now I just need to figure out how to build it!! :o
What you are talking about exists, its a Behringer BCR2000. What it lacks is a software interface to program it. But you need to make reason maps which is not done in a software interface most of the time anyway ;) And the aesthetics are outdated. Other then that, its the most versatile reason controller i have. I have the layout of he dials mimic the layout on the devices. So it just works pretty good.
Another decent option. Quite cheap as well. I've been close to buying one of these a few times. Didn't they do a ltd edition in white? It also has Remote support so definitely a good option. Ugly looking thing though. What's the build quality like? Should I pull the trigger on this or the P1?! Decisions, decisions.
The case itself is quite sturdy. The rotaries however can sometimes fail. They are not easily replaceable but i've found posts describing the process. When one fails the rotary doesn't neccesairily stop responding but it will not respond correctly to fast turns (in my experience). My BCR i bought 2nd hand 4 years ago, its now around 8 years old and only 1 rotary sofar fails in this way. So i i'm going to buy a brand new one. They aren't that expensive at 135€. And I'll keep the old one for spare parts.
I think they are quite trusted devices though. At some point i think Daft Punk's setup had about 6 of them. i'm thinking of going DIY on 2 BCF's one day and build a 16 track mixing controller.
:reason: V9 | i7 5930 | Motu 828 MK3 | Win 10

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jonheal
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Post 13 Jul 2016

I love my BCR2000. But quality control might be an issue here and there. My first one went wacky after about a month of very light use. But the vendor I bought it from (Sweetwater) happily and immediately replaced it. The replacement has been working fine since. Using "groups" in the remote map files makes its assignment to a device's controls pretty much limitless. Even for something like Thor, which has a million controls. Although you will probably need cheat sheets to remember which knob controls what, and I am making those for myself.

I don't think anything comes close to it in sheer versatility. Definitely not at its price. Some folks prefer regular pots to endless encoders. Personally, I prefer (the BCR2000's) encoders. But that's a subjective decision.

One very slight con: Theoretically, you can set the encoders to have 16000+ different values as opposed to the 128 limit imposed by the MIDI protocol. However to do so requires programming the BCR2000 with SysEx, By default, Reason wipes the BCR2000 with a SysEx dump every time it starts which deletes any custom programming. So as far as I can tell, you're limited to the standard MIDI 128 steps with the encoders using Reason. Doing live tweaking, this can mean occasionally you might hear some "stepping." But this is going to be the case with almost every controller out there.
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ejanuska
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Post 14 Jul 2016

I had a Nektar P1, sold it. Didn't like it.

Buy a used MASCHINE MK 1 without a license for the same price as a Nektar P1, maybe less, spend a couple bucks on MaschineR software ($36) to use the Maschine as a MIDI controller. MaschineR does the mapping for between Maschine and Reason. The Maschine software and license is not needed for MIDI controller mode. I ended up with a fully licensed Maschine MK1 for $150 and its cool.
I also tried Livid Base II but you never know what fader is doing what without looking through a pile of maps.

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Ahornberg
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Post 14 Jul 2016

Softube Console 1 is my MIDI controller for the mixer.

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dioxide
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Post 14 Jul 2016

Ahornberg wrote:Softube Console 1 is my MIDI controller for the mixer.
How well does that work for the mixer?

I've been buying and selling various controllers for the past few years in order to find what works. The stuff I have at the moment is a Roland System 1 for instrument control, a Vestax VCM600 for the mixer and an Arturia SparkLE for programming Redrum, all with custom Remote maps. My main problem with MIDI controllers is that most of them are physically wrong for the task; you really need a synth type controller for a synth not a generic 8 fader, 8 button controller. As amazing as Nektar's products are, at best you get a menu diving workstation type experience, they are a little too generic for my use.

I strongly believe that multiple MIDI controllers is the way to go. One for each of the types of tasks you regularly do. For synths I think a custom map with an actual instrument is better. The JD-XA would probably be pretty good also:
http://www.roland.com/products/jd-xa/

Have been looking at the Behringer X-Touch series also but people are suggesting that the mapping doesn't work properly. My experience with the Behringer BCF2000 was that you couldn't customise the MIDI maps as Reason writes over it every time you launch the app.
http://www.reasontalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=7495774

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Ahornberg
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Post 15 Jul 2016

dioxide wrote:
Ahornberg wrote:Softube Console 1 is my MIDI controller for the mixer.
How well does that work for the mixer?
Console 1 is similar to an SSL4000 channel strip and the Reason mixer is similar to an SSL9000. So there is little difference.

I wrote a Remotemap for Console 1 and after half a year I'm fine with that solution.
Here is the thread about my Remotemap http://www.reasontalk.com/viewtopic.php ... +1#p242431

Compared to the Console 1 software for VST-DAWs, the Remotemap only has a resolution from 0 to 127 (MIDI standard for CC messages) whereas the VST is more fine-graded. Once Console 1 is set up on a song in a VST-DAW, it is more integrated but the setup takes some time, depending on the number of tracks and groups in a particular song. In Reason there is not setup nessecary.

In Reason I use the mouse in the rack or in the sequencer to switch between tracks. Maybe there are better solutions possible for switching tracks and maybe someday I will extend the Remotemap.

I don't have any experiences with the Behringer BCR 2000 but with its 32 knobs and 20 buttons it could do the same job as Console 1 for the mixer.

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dioxide
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Post 15 Jul 2016

Ahornberg wrote:
dioxide wrote:
Ahornberg wrote:Softube Console 1 is my MIDI controller for the mixer.
How well does that work for the mixer?
Console 1 is similar to an SSL4000 channel strip and the Reason mixer is similar to an SSL9000. So there is little difference.

I wrote a Remotemap for Console 1 and after half a year I'm fine with that solution.
Here is the thread about my Remotemap http://www.reasontalk.com/viewtopic.php ... +1#p242431

Compared to the Console 1 software for VST-DAWs, the Remotemap only has a resolution from 0 to 127 (MIDI standard for CC messages) whereas the VST is more fine-graded. Once Console 1 is set up on a song in a VST-DAW, it is more integrated but the setup takes some time, depending on the number of tracks and groups in a particular song. In Reason there is not setup nessecary.

In Reason I use the mouse in the rack or in the sequencer to switch between tracks. Maybe there are better solutions possible for switching tracks and maybe someday I will extend the Remotemap.

I don't have any experiences with the Behringer BCR 2000 but with its 32 knobs and 20 buttons it could do the same job as Console 1 for the mixer.
Thanks for the reply, I will check out the thread :thumbs_up:

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normen
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Post 15 Jul 2016

I don't think the props will do any more hardware any time soon. BUT how about us ReasonTalk users get together to design a Reason controller? There should be enough design, electronics and software knowledge around here to pull this off. And with 3d printing services like shapeways, inexpensive PCB manufacturing, hardware platforms like the Raspberry, Arduino etc. it SHOULD be possible to create this with a reasonable price.

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jam-s
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Post 15 Jul 2016

Don't underestimate the ammount of skill and cost needed for some decent hardware design, normen. I think a hardware modding project for some existing (cheap) controller might be a better way.
If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace.

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orthodox
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Post 15 Jul 2016

jam-s wrote:I think a hardware modding project for some existing (cheap) controller might be a better way.
Yes I agree. In order to make any controller a "dedicated Reason" one, we would need to develop only two things: the new firmware of the controller and Remote support for it.
There's a problem with firmware part, though. Nobody is giving away their documentation on controller processor and other schematics, which are necessary for the task.
Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise. -- L.Carroll

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jam-s
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Post 15 Jul 2016

There's also the possibility to reverse engineer the peripherals and put a custom micro+board in there.
If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace.

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normen
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Post 15 Jul 2016

jam-s wrote:Don't underestimate the ammount of skill and cost needed for some decent hardware design, normen. I think a hardware modding project for some existing (cheap) controller might be a better way.
Design? Thats what I suggested could be done in a community effort, hence not costing a cent but "only" time. As for skill, I see a lot of that around here. But hey, I don't want to force anything here. I did create a few hardware controllers in my life, like this one, its basically emulating the upper part of a mackie control:

Image

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O1B
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Post 15 Jul 2016

Just read about the lack of DVS/HID control for Serato/Traktor on new Pioneer Gear:
http://djtechtools.com/2016/06/14/trakt ... m-900nxs2/
Such is the competition amongst companies. It does hurt the audio consumer.

Either we
(1) wait,
(2) go the an all-in-some DAW/controller combo/interface route- outside of Reason,
(3) mouse and keyboard in protest, or
(4) Work Around as best we can with a bunch of different/specific controllers for the task(s)

I dig the Midi Fighter Twister. I don't see that on a controller.... Maybe in modular form.
But, I can't wait for the perfect controller to make music...

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Raveshaper
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Post 15 Jul 2016

Faastwalker wrote:What I was thinking was a simple bank of 32 endless rotary encoders with LEDs to indicate the position of whatever each encoder was controlling.
You mean...this?
Image
http://lividinstruments.com/news/code-version-2/
:reason: :ignition: :re: :refillpacker: Enhanced by DataBridge v5

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jonheal
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Post 15 Jul 2016

Is Livid still in business? Their web site has some broken links.

This device looks cooler, but it has less buttons than the BCR2000 and it costs three times as much.

I will continue to evangelize for the BCR2000 as being the most versatile controller for the price by far. Yes, it's a little ugly, and yes, you'll need cheat sheets unless you have a photographic memory, but for all you cheapo and/or poor folks out there ...
Jon Heal:reason: :re: :refill:Do not click this link!

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dioxide
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Post 15 Jul 2016

Inspired by this thread to rework my VCM into something more useable. With the right map it can control a fair amount of the Main Mixer functions.
Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 21.17.01.png
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jonheal
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Post 15 Jul 2016

dioxide wrote:Inspired by this thread to rework my VCM into something more useable. With the right map it can control a fair amount of the Main Mixer functions.
Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 21.17.01.png
Purty. :)
Jon Heal:reason: :re: :refill:Do not click this link!

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jonheal
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Post 15 Jul 2016

Here is a pie in the sky idea ...

First, you have a big panel, maybe 12 x 18 inches or so. On the surface of the panel is a grid of square indentations with contact points. Then you plop an assortment of control types into these indentations. Maybe they are held in place magnetically. The control types can be rotating encoders, switches, etc. and maybe faders that span a few indentations on the panel.

You are free to arrange these "control units" however you want on the panel to mimic the layout of the knobs and whatnot on your virtual devices.

And then, of course, the magical software to make the whole thing work.
Last edited by jonheal on 15 Jul 2016, edited 2 times in total.
Jon Heal:reason: :re: :refill:Do not click this link!

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mreese80
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Post 15 Jul 2016

Novation Impulse 49 works great with Reason. That's what i use and i have no complaints.
Reason 10.4 :refill: :re: :ignition: | :recycle: 2.2.4 | Ableton Live Suite 10.1| MPC Software 1.9.6 | Photoshop CC 2019 | Novation Impulse 49 | Nektar Impact LX 49

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O1B
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Post 15 Jul 2016

MFTwiter
https://store.djtechtools.com/products/ ... er-twister
$219... Sale usually $1-150.


Nice. Got it Black fri for 1/2 price I believe. I'll get the other one on the next sale.

It's not the end-all controller by any means.
but it sure help one to think outside the Box.

16 rotaries that double as switches, with TFPro-likeColor Control, four banks and side buttons/switches as well.
It's Quite the transport/mixer/sequencer/instrument parameter controller.

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