Grain & Europa - why as REs, why such limited "backside"

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antic604
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14 Dec 2017

joeyluck wrote:
14 Dec 2017
fotizimo wrote:
14 Dec 2017



I wonder what the Props team thinks about the backside of VK-2? Maybe Props is trying to simplify Reason, and move away from the back-of-rack strategies used to date.
Or maybe the limitation is to allow some differentiation and give a particular edge to some REs in which they may directly compete?
Yes, that's my impression as well - they're both very good "workhorse" synths, just like Wavetable in Live 10 is, but they're not a competition for e.g. Serum or eXpanse. Which I guess is fair.
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Catblack
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14 Dec 2017

i was a little critical at first about Grain after the initial announcement livestream. I still wish it (and Europa) had 8 CV in and out, but I hadn't noticed that the 8 slot mod matrix has two destinations for each thing. I haven't maxed out the CV or Mod matrix for either yet, but mostly because I haven't tried.

Anyhow the clear solution to running out of slots/CV is to throw it into a combi with a duplicate of the patch and get your extra in or outputs from there.

RandomSkratch
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14 Dec 2017

Exowildebeest wrote:
14 Dec 2017
I suspect it's because the release of Reason 10 was rushed. Why it had to be rushed, I don't know. But both Grain and Europa feel unfinished as a result. I really hope they get updates, currently their backsides are shameful.
Curious as to what you're looking for on the back panel that's not currently available?

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Exowildebeest
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14 Dec 2017

RandomSkratch wrote:
14 Dec 2017
Exowildebeest wrote:
14 Dec 2017
I suspect it's because the release of Reason 10 was rushed. Why it had to be rushed, I don't know. But both Grain and Europa feel unfinished as a result. I really hope they get updates, currently their backsides are shameful.
Curious as to what you're looking for on the back panel that's not currently available?
CV ins and outs for a bunch of things. Filter cutoff, LFO's, etc.

The modmatrix (which doesn't have many slots, another issue) isn't an alternative, you'd have to reprogram every time you switch patches.

RandomSkratch
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14 Dec 2017

Exowildebeest wrote:
RandomSkratch wrote:
14 Dec 2017
Curious as to what you're looking for on the back panel that's not currently available?
CV ins and outs for a bunch of things. Filter cutoff, LFO's, etc.

The modmatrix (which doesn't have many slots, another issue) isn't an alternative, you'd have to reprogram every time you switch patches.
Ah so direct connected CV inputs. I guess the props see the matrix as more versatile. A workaround for your scenario is using a Combinator. That way changing patches on Europa will not remove the routing from Combinator.

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Namyo85
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16 Dec 2017

It isn't only Europa and Grain that have the .repatch extension and file icon, I believe the Soundiron devices, Synchronous and Radical Piano are the same, correct me if I'm wrong. Here's something else I find odd: Pulsars default presets are in Combinators (which is to be expected), however they have a .repatch extension, although if you were to edit and save one of these Pulsar / Combinator patches it would take a .cmb extension (which one would expect), so how do they initially have .repatch extensions? Apologies if that's confusing. ) B.t.w: The 3 Player devices also have .repatch extensions and icons!

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QVprod
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16 Dec 2017

Biolumin3sc3nt wrote:
14 Dec 2017
joeyluck wrote:
14 Dec 2017


Or maybe the limitation is to allow some differentiation and give a particular edge to some REs in which they may directly compete?

Hmmm, that's another way of looking at it! Good call!
This would be my thought as well. Remember Props profit from Expanse sales too.

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Psuper
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16 Dec 2017

QVprod wrote:
16 Dec 2017
Biolumin3sc3nt wrote:
14 Dec 2017



Hmmm, that's another way of looking at it! Good call!
This would be my thought as well. Remember Props profit from Expanse sales too.
No way. 100% certain a propellerhead conversation similar to: "Lets build an Expanse-type synth but cripple the back so as to not compete" never happened.

R10 was entirely pure competition to their own RE developers, not just the "Grain and Europa" but also the crippled add-in 3rd party packs. If anything, it was a cheap-ass shortcut.

As I mentioned, leave the RE stuff to RE devs, give them the playground to create and develop. Propellerhead should only make core devices/tech that RE devs are unable to develop. RE devs can then utilize those new back-end options in their own RE offerings.

Reason needs to DAW -- support the engine, which in turn supports all users and developers. Take a modular approach if you will...
Reason needs to DAW.viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7504985

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aeox
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16 Dec 2017

EdGrip wrote:
14 Dec 2017
It was argued that maybe some of the most typical things - envelope out, filter cutoff in - could have dedicated CV to speed things up. "Okay, but where do you stop?" was the counter-argument.
Right about here :)

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Faastwalker
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16 Dec 2017

Jagwah wrote:
14 Dec 2017
Can't help but think they are heading away from back panel connections in an effort to kill the stigma that Reason is a difficult DAW.
Possibly but I hope this is not the case. It’s one of Reason’s most unique and interesting features. It’s always been the case that you didn’t have to concern yourself with this feature, unless you wanted to, thanks to auto routing. But I was concerned when the Player devices were introduced (with no CV connectivity) and how these functioned in the rack seemed a complete deviation from how Reason devices had worked since year dot. The Players are great but I’m still confused why Propellerhead designed them to work the way they do.

Anyway, as for Europa and Grain’s back sides - it seems the norm these days to have multiple CV i/o that is routable in a mod matrix, if the device has one. There is a huge number of sources / destinations available for the CV inputs and outputs. Makes more sense to me to do things this way as opposed to try to cover specific parameters with a dedicated CV i/o point. Sure it would be quicker to have dedicated points. But where DO you draw the line? There are some obvious candidates on Europa for example. But I still think the CV i/o mod matrix makes more sense.

What would be cool if there were more CV i/o, maybe 8 each with the Block Diagram sidelined, that had little ‘screens’ on the back side that showed what was assigned in the mod matrix. Then you could just set-up, save your configuration as a patch and your good to go as soon as you fire up your Europa patch. Powerful and flexible.

EDIT: I will concede that the VK-2 rear panel, posted in the post before this one, is amazingly comprehensive and powerful. This is the other way to do things ;) Just WOW to VK-2 rear end! Amazing.

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QVprod
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16 Dec 2017

Psuper wrote:
16 Dec 2017
QVprod wrote:
16 Dec 2017


This would be my thought as well. Remember Props profit from Expanse sales too.
No way. 100% certain a propellerhead conversation similar to: "Lets build an Expanse-type synth but cripple the back so as to not compete" never happened.

R10 was entirely pure competition to their own RE developers, not just the "Grain and Europa" but also the crippled add-in 3rd party packs. If anything, it was a cheap-ass shortcut.

As I mentioned, leave the RE stuff to RE devs, give them the playground to create and develop. Propellerhead should only make core devices/tech that RE devs are unable to develop. RE devs can then utilize those new back-end options in their own RE offerings.

Reason needs to DAW -- support the engine, which in turn supports all users and developers. Take a modular approach if you will...
Probably not specifically "lets leave out CV" but certainly the intent was clearly not to out class Expanse. Expanse clearly has plenty of advantages over Europa for sound designers, CV inputs being one of them. I'm confused as to what the other 3 devices are competing with exactly. There isn't a single RE that centers around choirs or world instruments to my knowledge and JP' Republik RE has more than just tuned percussion.

As far as them not making REs... There's a higher chance of them actually developing the RE format if they are using it themselves. There are no back end options available to developers from the core program if it's not put into the SDK, otherwise sample loading for RE would have been possible from the start. Don't get me wrong, I agree there are plenty of DAW improvements Reason would benefit from, but I think the main reason Reason 10 gets the flack it does from a few here is because of the "biggest upgrade ever" marketing. Had they not said that, perception would be a lot different. I'd say it's a considerably better upgrade that what Reason 8 was prior to 8.4.

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Psuper
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16 Dec 2017

QVprod wrote:
16 Dec 2017
Psuper wrote:
16 Dec 2017


No way. 100% certain a propellerhead conversation similar to: "Lets build an Expanse-type synth but cripple the back so as to not compete" never happened.

R10 was entirely pure competition to their own RE developers, not just the "Grain and Europa" but also the crippled add-in 3rd party packs. If anything, it was a cheap-ass shortcut.

As I mentioned, leave the RE stuff to RE devs, give them the playground to create and develop. Propellerhead should only make core devices/tech that RE devs are unable to develop. RE devs can then utilize those new back-end options in their own RE offerings.

Reason needs to DAW -- support the engine, which in turn supports all users and developers. Take a modular approach if you will...
Probably not specifically "lets leave out CV" but certainly the intent was clearly not to out class Expanse. Expanse clearly has plenty of advantages over Europa for sound designers, CV inputs being one of them. I'm confused as to what the other 3 devices are competing with exactly. There isn't a single RE that centers around choirs or world instruments to my knowledge and JP' Republik RE has more than just tuned percussion.

As far as them not making REs... There's a higher chance of them actually developing the RE format if they are using it themselves. There are no back end options available to developers from the core program if it's not put into the SDK, otherwise sample loading for RE would have been possible from the start. Don't get me wrong, I agree there are plenty of DAW improvements Reason would benefit from, but I think the main reason Reason 10 gets the flack it does from a few here is because of the "biggest upgrade ever" marketing. Had they not said that, perception would be a lot different. I'd say it's a considerably better upgrade that what Reason 8 was prior to 8.4.
I don't think Propellerhead cared much about what synths they'd compete against, who it would impact negatively, or how it would play out - whole thing was shady you ask me, regardless of what was said in hindsight.

The 3rd party packs.. I want to repeat all I've said about these however I'll refrain and simply state they should have gone in-house to RE devs instead of monetizing crippled soundiron paks. I certainly wouldn't have made many of the decisions finalized for R10. Obviously they thought it was the right move, I think the opposite, time will tell. As for sounds, there's no Fart Machine device either, and that would be something 'd likely use, unlike the crippled packs.

Propellerhead, RE devs and us peons would have greatly benefited from seeing work on that SDK which is a part of the backend options. The R10 update is something I'd never purchase based on it's merit alone. Though I do believe the marketing was laughable, and frankly quite novice.

I make no secret what I feel Propellerhead should be focusing on and why, however also a longterm user and fan who can be critical yet wholeheartedly recommend it without pause.
Reason needs to DAW.viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7504985

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QVprod
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16 Dec 2017

Psuper wrote:
16 Dec 2017

I don't think Propellerhead cared much about what synths they'd compete against, who it would impact negatively, or how it would play out - whole thing was shady you ask me, regardless of what was said in hindsight.

The 3rd party packs.. I want to repeat all I've said about these however I'll refrain and simply state they should have gone in-house to RE devs instead of monetizing crippled soundiron paks. I certainly wouldn't have made many of the decisions finalized for R10. Obviously they thought it was the right move, I think the opposite, time will tell. As for sounds, there's no Fart Machine device either, and that would be something 'd likely use, unlike the crippled packs.
So your issue with Grain and Europa is that they were't sold in the shop then? Considering Serum is being sold in the shop as well, I don't really see it as shady. People buy basic subtractive synth REs despite having both Subtractor and Thor, what stops them from buying another wavetable synth? As far as going in-house to RE Devs, technically they did. Soundiron Is a RE developer with a RE in the shop. Nothing stopped them from doing those REs themselves other than choosing not to.

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Psuper
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16 Dec 2017

QVprod wrote:
16 Dec 2017
Psuper wrote:
16 Dec 2017

I don't think Propellerhead cared much about what synths they'd compete against, who it would impact negatively, or how it would play out - whole thing was shady you ask me, regardless of what was said in hindsight.

The 3rd party packs.. I want to repeat all I've said about these however I'll refrain and simply state they should have gone in-house to RE devs instead of monetizing crippled soundiron paks. I certainly wouldn't have made many of the decisions finalized for R10. Obviously they thought it was the right move, I think the opposite, time will tell. As for sounds, there's no Fart Machine device either, and that would be something 'd likely use, unlike the crippled packs.
So your issue with Grain and Europa is that they were't sold in the shop then? Considering Serum is being sold in the shop as well, I don't really see it as shady. People buy basic subtractive synth REs despite having both Subtractor and Thor, what stops them from buying another wavetable synth? As far as going in-house to RE Devs, technically they did. Soundiron Is a RE developer with a RE in the shop. Nothing stopped them from doing those REs themselves other than choosing not to.
Not sure how you figured I have an issue with those or how they were procured, far from the points I've made. I stated often before both are useful. Grain is very nice - almost upgraded only for Grain. Rest of your point was based off that assumption, however I think we all know the difference between an Izotope or Soundiron "RE Developer" than the ones we vehemently support because of their genuine investment developing specifically for Reason.

More to the point I've said in other threads, I didn't think Propellerhead should be wasting their time making more synths in-house at all. There's plenty of RE devs to do the cool synths and devices we want and more, and typically do a better job than Props based on R10. Only Propellerhead can work on 'Reason the DAW'. Work on the the performance, back-end, gui, options. Form the playground for the RE devs who form a playground for us who choose which devices are necessary.
Reason needs to DAW.viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7504985

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esselfortium
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16 Dec 2017

I don't think it's really disputable that Reason was long overdue for new stock synths. Thor is great but it's been showing its age for a while now, and expecting new users to keep hearing "spend 400 dollars on Reason itself and then also if you want any synths from this decade you'll need to spend X amount more in the shop" is shortsighted for the future of Reason itself as a platform.

Propellerhead absolutely needs to be doing a lot more for third-party devs, but accomplishing that in the short term by leaving their base offerings to rot wouldn't be helping anyone at all in the long run.

And yes, I agree that a lot of other parts of the base software like the sequencer still need to be improved, I'm right with you there. Europa and Grain are great additions IMO and should last another long while before Reason is due for another synth refresh, and like most everyone else, I want to see a lot of other refinements made in the meantime.
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Psuper
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16 Dec 2017

esselfortium wrote:
16 Dec 2017
I don't think it's really disputable that Reason was long overdue for new stock synths. Thor is great but it's been showing its age for a while now, and expecting new users to keep hearing "spend 400 dollars on Reason itself and then also if you want any synths from this decade you'll need to spend X amount more in the shop" is shortsighted for the future of Reason itself as a platform.

Propellerhead absolutely needs to be doing a lot more for third-party devs, but accomplishing that in the short term by leaving their base offerings to rot wouldn't be helping anyone at all in the long run. (And yes, I agree that a lot of other parts of the base software like the sequencer still need to be improved, I'm right with you there)
Absolutely. Could have included just Grain and added some of the needed features (performance, gui, back-end, options) I wouldda bought it.

To requote myself from the other day: No one who uses Reason in any meaningful way would have balked had Reason 10 been "Many of the DAW features you've been wanting, a few select REs from the RE pool, with Grain and Europa as optional RE purchases" Insta buy for me. Hell I could pick 10 from that list of things most people want every "upgrade" and I'd pull out my money every. single. time.
Reason needs to DAW.viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7504985

chaosroyale
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17 Dec 2017

I'm with Psuper on this one. I bought eXpanse and some VSTs instead of Reason10, because I like the Reason rack style.

I actually get more CV control on VSTs than on Grain or Europa!! That's mental.

Blamsoft now make more "Reason-like" synths than the native Reason synths. I agree having native synths is great and Thor is getting a bit old, so an updated synth in R10 or 11 was a great idea. However, if Props are happy to license a bunch of cut-down sound packs why not license one really great synth from Blamsoft -who already make fantastic Reason synths- and then work on the key features of the software itself?

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esselfortium
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17 Dec 2017

chaosroyale wrote:
17 Dec 2017
I'm with Psuper on this one. I bought eXpanse and some VSTs instead of Reason10, because I like the Reason rack style.

I actually get more CV control on VSTs than on Grain or Europa!! That's mental.

Blamsoft now make more "Reason-like" synths than the native Reason synths. I agree having native synths is great and Thor is getting a bit old, so an updated synth in R10 or 11 was a great idea. However, if Props are happy to license a bunch of cut-down sound packs why not license one really great synth from Blamsoft -who already make fantastic Reason synths- and then work on the key features of the software itself?
Before R10 was announced, I used to feel similarly that Propellerhead should just license Expanse and make it a stock synth, because it's so well-loved around here. But after spending more time with it, I found that I don't get along well with Expanse's cramped layout or its vast expanse of options (a zillion different unison types and none of them ever seem to sound the way I want). Europa on the other hand is easy to learn and absolutely fun to program, but still powerful as heck, so I'm glad they didn't take the easier route.
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Jagwah
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17 Dec 2017

Faastwalker wrote:
16 Dec 2017
Jagwah wrote:
14 Dec 2017
Can't help but think they are heading away from back panel connections in an effort to kill the stigma that Reason is a difficult DAW.
Possibly but I hope this is not the case. It’s one of Reason’s most unique and interesting features. It’s always been the case that you didn’t have to concern yourself with this feature, unless you wanted to, thanks to auto routing. But I was concerned when the Player devices were introduced (with no CV connectivity) and how these functioned in the rack seemed a complete deviation from how Reason devices had worked since year dot. The Players are great but I’m still confused why Propellerhead designed them to work the way they do.

Anyway, as for Europa and Grain’s back sides - it seems the norm these days to have multiple CV i/o that is routable in a mod matrix, if the device has one. There is a huge number of sources / destinations available for the CV inputs and outputs. Makes more sense to me to do things this way as opposed to try to cover specific parameters with a dedicated CV i/o point. Sure it would be quicker to have dedicated points. But where DO you draw the line? There are some obvious candidates on Europa for example. But I still think the CV i/o mod matrix makes more sense.

What would be cool if there were more CV i/o, maybe 8 each with the Block Diagram sidelined, that had little ‘screens’ on the back side that showed what was assigned in the mod matrix. Then you could just set-up, save your configuration as a patch and your good to go as soon as you fire up your Europa patch. Powerful and flexible.

EDIT: I will concede that the VK-2 rear panel, posted in the post before this one, is amazingly comprehensive and powerful. This is the other way to do things ;) Just WOW to VK-2 rear end! Amazing.
I also hope it's not the case, I find it extremely disappointing. There was no need to not include CV connections for the players, it would have opened up huge experimental potential for us, while keeping it 'user friendly' for whatever reason that seems to be necessary. I do worry though, that this was the start of a new trend. :think:

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Ahornberg
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17 Dec 2017

Jagwah wrote:
17 Dec 2017
Faastwalker wrote:
16 Dec 2017

Possibly but I hope this is not the case. It’s one of Reason’s most unique and interesting features. It’s always been the case that you didn’t have to concern yourself with this feature, unless you wanted to, thanks to auto routing. But I was concerned when the Player devices were introduced (with no CV connectivity) and how these functioned in the rack seemed a complete deviation from how Reason devices had worked since year dot. The Players are great but I’m still confused why Propellerhead designed them to work the way they do.

Anyway, as for Europa and Grain’s back sides - it seems the norm these days to have multiple CV i/o that is routable in a mod matrix, if the device has one. There is a huge number of sources / destinations available for the CV inputs and outputs. Makes more sense to me to do things this way as opposed to try to cover specific parameters with a dedicated CV i/o point. Sure it would be quicker to have dedicated points. But where DO you draw the line? There are some obvious candidates on Europa for example. But I still think the CV i/o mod matrix makes more sense.

What would be cool if there were more CV i/o, maybe 8 each with the Block Diagram sidelined, that had little ‘screens’ on the back side that showed what was assigned in the mod matrix. Then you could just set-up, save your configuration as a patch and your good to go as soon as you fire up your Europa patch. Powerful and flexible.

EDIT: I will concede that the VK-2 rear panel, posted in the post before this one, is amazingly comprehensive and powerful. This is the other way to do things ;) Just WOW to VK-2 rear end! Amazing.
I also hope it's not the case, I find it extremely disappointing. There was no need to not include CV connections for the players, it would have opened up huge experimental potential for us, while keeping it 'user friendly' for whatever reason that seems to be necessary. I do worry though, that this was the start of a new trend. :think:
the only workaround for controlling players by CV is using a combinator...

dana
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17 Dec 2017

Yes, you can have an additional 8 cv controls on a device by using a combinator. (10 if you include the pitch bend and mod wheel)

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selig
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17 Dec 2017

dana wrote:Yes, you can have an additional 8 cv controls on a device by using a combinator. (10 if you include the pitch bend and mod wheel)
But it’s not quite the same thing - you are controlling the knobs with a Combinator, and that limits things compared to using a CV input and accessing the modulation matrix, or accessing an internal parameter directly.

For one, you can only have one source for each destination at a time, so for example you can’t simultaneously use an LFO and Envelope to control a filter. For another, you cannot control things like oscillator pitch since there’s no front panel knob called “pitch” (you can only control the knobs that are available, such as octave, semitone, or fine tune). Also, there’s no “scale” parameter in the Combinator programmer, so that’s out as well. And finally, you cannot automate any parameter that’s being controlled by the Combinator approach, for the same reason you can only have one source per destination.

But otherwise, it’s a decent workaround if you understand the limits and work within them.
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Ahornberg
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17 Dec 2017

I think Propellerhead is actually focusing more on new customers and having tons of audio and CV ins and outs can be overwhelming for people who are new to Reason. I was disappointed the first time I saw the video about Europa because I know Expanse but then Live 10 was announced with a new wavetable synth too and my thoughts were "ok, wavetables are trendy now". But back to limited ins and outs on the back side and a rather limited modulation matrix: this can also be seen as a challenge to get the most out of that "beast" called Europe.

chaosroyale
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17 Dec 2017

I wasn't suggesting a direct license of eXpanse for Reason 10: that's an already existing synth and including old extensions in a new update would be bad manners ;)

I was thinking more along the lines of Props working with Blamsoft to create something that was friendly enough for a general audience while keeping the amazing back panel that Reason -used to be- famous for. That would have been better than the 3GB or however much it was of filler content. Hell, Europa plus a Blamsoft back panel would be a much stronger selling point than Europa as it is now. If you don't believe me, use Serum for a while. That's the standard now. That's what people are used to. If you haven't got something extra to make you stand out, you're always going to be second place.

The people who ask "why would you even need direct CV ins when you can use a matrix?" - I hope Seligs answer and the earlier picture of the Viking back panel have explained it. The "virtual rack" is is the feature of Reason. The one thing that made it stand out.

To put it another way - if you don't need the "virtual rack", then Reason is an underpowered DAW with the burden of the Rack & CV causing you nothing but performance bottlenecks and disadvantages. You'd be better off using Ableton or Bitwig. That's why I cannot understand the 2 new "flagship" synths having such terrible CV implementation.

As it is you have people saying Europa is "imitating instead of innovating", "late to the party" - not what you want from the flagship Reason synth after the early years of being such a synth innovator.

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avasopht
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17 Dec 2017

Psuper wrote:
16 Dec 2017

Not sure how you figured I have an issue with those or how they were procured, far from the points I've made. I stated often before both are useful. Grain is very nice - almost upgraded only for Grain. Rest of your point was based off that assumption, however I think we all know the difference between an Izotope or Soundiron "RE Developer" than the ones we vehemently support because of their genuine investment developing specifically for Reason.

More to the point I've said in other threads, I didn't think Propellerhead should be wasting their time making more synths in-house at all. There's plenty of RE devs to do the cool synths and devices we want and more, and typically do a better job than Props based on R10. Only Propellerhead can work on 'Reason the DAW'. Work on the the performance, back-end, gui, options. Form the playground for the RE devs who form a playground for us who choose which devices are necessary.
Psuper, it's a complete waste of resources to have developers who specialize in DSP working on other stuff like GUI and SDK, especially if there are other developers working on that. Doubling numbers of people working on a single feature can actually reduce productivity.

In any case, Propellerhead have a better idea of what their development resources are and how best to manage them.

I think we should leave it for them to decide.
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