What would your ideal Combinator upgrade look like?

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chaosroyale
Posts: 652
Joined: 05 Sep 2017

Post 12 Apr 2021

As for an advanced combinator, I would be happy with the option to add macros in 1U segments. Groups of 4. Choice of min>max knobs, on/off buttons and a new "stepped" knob (3 positions) with a visual distinction from regular knobs to aid workflow.

No need to place a limit on how many macros, but 4x4 would be enough for most practical purposes, same as Ableton Live. The programmer should be infinite scrolling with no limits. This is 2021. Have 2 hierarchy modes for the programmer: sorted by macro and sorted by device. Finally, add proper copy & paste options for macro controls between identical devices. If you are going to ask users to stack 5 subtractors to get a fat sound, you should make it easy for them to set up the macros!!!!!!!!!
On that topic - also a text input mode, of course!!!! Literally 2 decades overdue.

An advanced option I would like would be with a corresponding upgrade to the programmer so that you could choose a "center" value as well as the min and max. For stepped knobs they would switch instantly between the 3 values, (allowing you to do things like select from 3 different filter types) but for rotary knobs this would give you the option to have more subtle response curves by inserting a center value that was higher or lower than the true center. No center value = just a linear response as usual.

Also the combinator should also include 4 cv generator outputs on the back that can output values directly generated by the macro controls and from MIDI coming into the combinator. (There is an RE that can do this, but that has its own disadvantages)

Related to automation - obviously the automation labeling is terrible at the moment, and really needs to be updated. That alone will make the combinator more powerful for users who y'know, actually have to USE Reason and don't want to spend all afternoon trying to figure out which of their 100 lines of automation is "acid LP filter" and which one is "solo reverb"

I'm not so persuaded by calls for things like a "master wet/dry mix" etc, at the combinator level. These kinds of controls are highly context-dependent. Users at the moment are free to make all kinds of weird routing, which is fine. Instead, I would much, much, much prefer the legacy effects to be updated with proper wet/dry controls (and phase alignment on the ones that need it). A mid-level mixer utility in the rack would probably help peoples modular rack design too. Something a bit more powerful than the 6:2 mini mixer, but not as big and clumsy as the 14 channel mixer. Say, a 2U rack with 8 channels, and 2 send/returns, with the option to place send2 in parallel like a usual mixer, or in series (after the return of send1) would be nice.

Mclass Stereo already works as a frequency splitter, but it would be very nice if they could upgrade it to 3 bands, also with send/return, like the beautifully designed but unnecessarily CPU heavy one that air-raid audio used to make.

And it would be nice to have an audio & cv switch utility in the rack with some functionality to improve over the simple spider splitters and combiners. Some 3rd party rack extensions do these things quite well, but native would be nice to have.

"Mix channel" combinators can be massively improved from a workflow point of view by following the suggestion of Joeyluck above. Make them look and behave more like a regular combinator, clean up the rack!!

chaosroyale
Posts: 652
Joined: 05 Sep 2017

Post 12 Apr 2021

My suggestions above make it pretty clear what I like about Reason: and also why it is frustrating, but why some of us think using Reason as the whole package can have big advantages over only using "the Reason Rack". For example - integrating the automation and the labeling correctly and adding text input seems like a tiny little thing, but it would make actually using the combinator much more powerful and faster.

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Billy+
Posts: 2117
Joined: 09 Dec 2016

Post 12 Apr 2021

So I figured it!

The ideal combinator would be RRP - simple !
ˁ˚ᴥ˚ˀ Time for a good long sleep ˁ˚ᴥ˚ˀ

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avasopht
Posts: 2338
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 13 Apr 2021

Billy+ wrote:
12 Apr 2021
So I figured it!

The ideal combinator would be RRP - simple !
Yes, but only if RRP could load RRP inside RRP.
---

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Billy+
Posts: 2117
Joined: 09 Dec 2016

Post 13 Apr 2021

avasopht wrote:
13 Apr 2021
Billy+ wrote:
12 Apr 2021
So I figured it!

The ideal combinator would be RRP - simple !
Yes, but only if RRP could load RRP inside RRP.
Exactly :o
ˁ˚ᴥ˚ˀ Time for a good long sleep ˁ˚ᴥ˚ˀ

rorystorm
Posts: 126
Joined: 06 Jul 2019

Post 24 Apr 2021

I'd like four things.

1 More knobs, sliders, cv ins and outs, like everyone. The main reason I don't use combinators much is because four is such a low number.
2 I would REALLY like to be able to automate the maximum and minimum parameters.
3 I'd like to add a scaling function. I've only come to scaling recently and the realisation how powerful it is for making things more dynamic.
4 However my real wish is to open up the sources. For eg constant and random functions would be great. But also I'd really like to have the same kinds of sources you see in the mod matrices in Thor or Europa, etc, and patch them across to other devices. By this I mean, take the output of an envelope generator or an LFO from one device, and apply it directly to a parameter in another device. Yes, I know devices with a mod matrix have the ability to send this kind of output to a cv out, and some (like Vkg2) have an envelope output cv out, which you can cable it to the cv input of the combinator and go from there. BUT (a) it would be nice to be able to do this in the box and (b) not every device does this. I use Ivoks quite a bit which has a really good looped envelope (like the loop mod and global envelopes in Thor) and I'd really like to apply other devices, but I can't.

So, that. It's nice to live in dreamland....

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Karim
Posts: 923
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Italy

Post 24 Apr 2021

A sequencer inside!! :lightbulb:
deeplink wrote:
06 Apr 2021
Just interested to hear other's opinions on this topic - hypothetically if RS decides to upgrade or a release a device.

I think the current limitations to the Combinator, are the following;
  • 1. Limited knobs and buttons
    2. Can't be contained in the Insert Section
    3. Limited feedback to value of the assign parameter - especially in cases of Stepped values
    4. Inconsistent and Incorrect value parameters in the programmer
    5. Limited programmable slots
    6. [How do you feel limited, that's not on this list?]
Some other common features and fixes;
  • 1. When combining effects, the combinator immediately gets a midi channel and midi focus - I hope this changes.
    2. Drag and Drop assignment / Right-click Add Assignment
    3. Dedicated dry/wet and volume knobs
    4. If more Programmer slots -> mouse-wheel Scrollable Programmer
    5. [Any other general improvements?]
Some more esoteric ideas;
  • 1. Add option to dedicate one device from within the combinator to be locked and displayed to the below the front panel. This could circumvent the need for more 'built in' macros and programmer slots, create some interesting looking combinators, and RE CV devices could act as Macro-Expanders.

    2. A utility or API change to allow for the stacking of all devices (incl. combinators and mix channels) in one unit. This can then be saved and recalled as a normal patch - therefore creating a way to save mix channel routings and settings. Could even be display as a Track Folder within the sequencer and Main Mixer.

    3. Ableton-like Macro Snapshots, a step further would be make the snapshots automatable and morphable

    4. [Any other out-the-box ideas?]

I think an upgrade to the existing combinator should and could tackle a few of the above points.
If RS came out with an entirely new device, I think it would make the existing .cmb patches redundant. Unless its compatible with the .cmb format.
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JunctionArsonist
Posts: 35
Joined: 23 Sep 2018

Post 24 Apr 2021

Not being able to use a combinator in an insert section boggles my mind because it is so unintuitive. Technical limitations aside, these quirks come off as arbitrary within the fantasy of a virtual rack.

Its even worse that many factory sound bank FX patches that are really suitable as inserts are CMBs and cannot be put into the insert as such.

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joeyluck
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Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 24 Apr 2021

JunctionArsonist wrote:
24 Apr 2021
Not being able to use a combinator in an insert section boggles my mind because it is so unintuitive. Technical limitations aside, these quirks come off as arbitrary within the fantasy of a virtual rack.

Its even worse that many factory sound bank FX patches that are really suitable as inserts are CMBs and cannot be put into the insert as such.
Which ones are you referring to? Do you know that the insert section of each channel is a combinator and can load cmb patches?

I had made a suggestion earlier in the thread to make it more clear and less hidden to users by presenting it with 'show insert fx' and made a mockup reorganizing it... viewtopic.php?p=551093#p551093

But you can find it currently when you click 'show programmer'. Is that what you mean?

Yonatan
Posts: 1379
Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 24 Apr 2021

With the ambition of weekly soundpacks, it seems that an upgraded or new more advanced combinator would be a natural step. It would also make the Rack plugin even more compelling.

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