Music Software & Interface Design: Propellerhead’s Reason


I discovered Reason when I was in my early
20’s. It was great. Even though at first glance it looked a daunting hellscape of never
ending, incomprehensible controls, [Scrolling down the app] – ‘What the hell – flipping
it around… AHhhhh?’ it’s actually really intuitive: you drag audio units into a virtual
rack, you wire them together and hey presto! you now have the ability to construct incredibly
powerful synthesisers from the ground up. And it all works in real time, which allowed
the band I used to play in, [2wenty 2wo CD cover] to create our own sounds and use them
live without having to pay a fortune for high end hardware. However, in the mid 2000’s due to increasing
competition, technical growing pains and the some notably absent features, Reason began
to feel a little bit inferior. And noticing this, Propellerhead [VISUAL – the makers of
Reason] realised they needed to make some dangerous design decisions in order to get
Reason to be the all singing, all dancing Audio Workstation everyone wanted it to be.
Many people, myself included, were skeptical they could pull it off – and yet somehow,
they did. And in this video we’re going to look at that journey because it offers
a masterclass in design decision making. From high level strategic decisions, down to the
minute detail of how the interface of Reason looks and feels. Things other companies would
do well to take note of. And this is the first in a series that will touch on different audio
applications from a musical and design perspective. I’ll talk more about what’s next at the
end. In 2005, I moved to London to study music
composition and funding myself by working as a software designer. And from these two
new perspectives, I began to look at Reason in a different way. As a composer, I wanted
it to be a full blown digital audio workstation (or DAW), with audio recording and professional
mixing. But as a designer, I recognised that this wasn’t a simple thing to just go and
do. To grant this request, some very difficult design challenges needed to be overcome, which
we’re going to look at through a very specific lens: something that’s rarely discussed
in software design that I think needs to be called out more often: design idealism. — This is a blanket term I’m using for the
practice of strictly adhering to self-imposed design rules. The ideal is that by choosing
a perfect vision, you can get close to achieving a ‘perfect’ application. Something immensely
satisfying that requires zero learning curve to use. And even though we all know perfection
isn’t possible, it makes sense to try to achieve it – which is why when companies are
faced with unexpected roadblocks, there’s often an instinctive emotional reluctance
to deviate from the established vision. Because – if perfection is no longer the goal, then
surely we’re moving in the wrong direction, right? And when I say ‘design rules’ I’m referring
to everything: High-level strategic decisions, like defining your target audience. Company
matras stating broad principles like ‘We do it Differently’ or ‘Democratising ‘XYZ’
for Everyone’. Then t here are mid-level design rules that state how your software
is generally arranged all the way down to tiny visual rules dictating things like the
precise amount of pixels between controls. And you can add into the mix, a range external
design trends and ‘best practices’ which can also be quite influential. These also
serve a practical purpose: helping to set a common vision for designers, CEO’s and
investors alike, while avoiding the organisational chaos that can occur when people go off and
do their own thing. And as you probably guessed, this video is about the difficult moments
where you need to break these rules. Where you should be non-ideological. Simple in theory
but often fiendishly difficult in practice. Let’s start with a simple, small-scale example
of a general trend. If you work in design, you’ve most likely come across ‘Click
Counting’: the practise of setting a limit on the number of clicks (or presses) [Show
mobile phone / tablet] it takes to get from one place to another. The phrase ‘No more
than three clicks away’ is pretty common in the world of design and although the intention
is good, it nearly always results in up front clutter, like this: Ah! What am I looking at? There’s options
for my options! Home, My Page, Menu…
AhhhhHH! For sites like Amazon [1-click shopping visual],
this type of principle makes a lot of sense but in other cases, it doesn’t make sense.
So let’s apply it to something generally regarded as well designed, like the iphone
menu, we’d get in trouble pretty quickly. If I want to change some accessibility settings,
say. 1, 2, 3, uh oh, 3 clicks rule says this isn’t good design. We need all those options
in one gargantuan scrolling list. I hope your accessibility issue wasn’t carpal tunnel
syndrome! (Ahhhh) Another ideal designers worry about on a daily
basis is ‘consistency’. Obviously if an app behaves in a consistent way, then it’s
going to be easier for people to navigate it without getting confused. Imagine you were
making a website that used the colour Red to mean ‘No’ and green to mean ‘Yes’,
then it would be a pretty big mistake if your credit card details page that was styled like
this: [a visual with a ‘Red’ submit button above a green ‘Clear everything & start
again’ button]. However, at the structural level, the topic
of consistency gets a bit more complicated. Back to my earlier example of wanting to find
things quickly on the iphone – Apple eventually realised that their menu was slightly clunky
when it came to common tasks like turning on and off WiFi. And because they didn’t
want to break with the perfectly good system they’d already built, they instead took
a lesson from Android and Ubuntu Mobile by introducing the Control Centre with IOS 7:
a necessary half-way house that broke with both the look and logic of the rest of the
system. Usability before consistency. Good Apple. You get one point for that. And with this in mind, we can now start talking
about the massive design problems faced by Propellerhead. By the time we got to Reason
5, it had two major consistency rules – first: anything that produced sound was represented
as a physical pieces of hardware. This real-world representation made it easy to ‘get’ how
Reason worked. But this came with limitations: mimicking the real world in this way requires
that you observe the rules of physics – especially the idea that everything had to wired up in
order to work. So if I wanted to do something complex, like send an audio signal to multiple
different places, I’d have to first send it to this – a unique device that splits the
signal, giving me multiple outputs – each of which I then have to wire to the intended
device manually. Programs like Logic Pro use a more abstract system where you can send
an audio signal to multiple different places by selecting them from a disconnected dropdown.
The link between elements is implied – more in line with other musical creation apps.
And although this is faster, it’s not necessarily better. Apps that rely too much on abstract
connections can be difficult to learn, which can dissuade first time users from ever coming
back. So even though Reason’s literal system was sometimes clunky, it was easy to understand
and also kind of fun too. The other major consistency rule of Reason
was that all sound had to be triggered by midi, either written in manually [Visual of
piano roll] or recorded externally on a keyboard. If you wanted to use pre-recorded audio of
any kind, you had to import it into a sampler and then trigger it using a midi signal. You
couldn’t just record audio directly into Reason because… that wasn’t really what
it was originally built for. This meant that the controls for Reason were streamlined.
Everything worked the same way. But as programs like Cubase, Logic Pro and
FL Studio introduced features that directly competed with Reason, they began looking like
the better overall choice – great synths and the ability to record and mix live audio.
And there was definitely a point around 2005, where Reason looked in danger of becoming
obsolete. And so, Propellerhead began planning to offer
audio recording and proper mixing functionality. And here’s where they came up against a
giant design challenge. In order to offer any of this stuff, they needed to break not
one, but both of their core consistency rules. Let me explain. Up to Reason version 5 – you
first created your instrument and then hooked it up to a main mixer at the top of the rack.
If you didn’t do this, you didn’t hear anything. And since each mixer contained only
14 channels, you often needed to awkwardly chain multiple mixers together to get more
than that. This is why audio recording posed such a large
structural problem. Imagine how bad it would be if every time you wanted to record a new
take you had to manually wire the channel to a mixer? It would never fly. Audio recording
needed to be automatic and far more channels were needed too. And as I mentioned earlier, the danger in
breaking with these established rules is the potential it has to alienate existing users
while steepening the learning curve for newcomers. But regardless, Propellerhead took the brave
decision to make big changes that created multiple inconsistencies. First, they introduced
a virtual mixer that lived outside of the rack and which had no visible connection to
the devices. This meant that when you created a new audio track, it was represented by this
piece of imaginary hardware, which just popped into existence. It wasn’t wired in any visible
way back to the main mixer. You just had to learn that for every one of these you had
in your rack, a channel existed for it somewhere in your mixer. And by allowing audio to be recorded and played
back independant of midi, a whole bunch of new interface controls were needed, which
took away from the apps simplicity. This can’t have been an easy decision for Propellerhead
– breaking with the traditions that had put it on the map. And I’d love to know how
many arguments it caused in the design studio. But I think it was the right decision. Rather
than sticking to an ideal, they risked complicating their existing system and forged ahead – making
sure that everything new they created was as fun and ‘Reason like’ as possible.
The result is an app that’s infinitely better than before – albeit, with a slightly higher
learning curve. So now, let’s take a look at Reason from
a slightly different point of view. One of the problems of interface design is that things
go in and out of fashion relatively quickly and when journalists write about specific
examples of ‘bad practice’, say in web design, it can gain traction, often influencing
designers working on something completely different, like a game or operating system.
For example, I can’t count the amount of times I’ve seen mobile app controls ending
up on the desktop. Oh look! Pitchfork have this hamburger menu now… um, my whole screen
is taken over… so I can see the same options I have here…you ever heard of a rollover?
Oh Pitchfork. The best place to go for all the latest showbiz goss… “Ariana Grande
taps Nicki Minaj for New Song ‘The Light is Coming’ colon listen”. Cool! Oh look!
Pharell – dat’s tree names I know! So as an example, let’s look at an article
that came out in August 2017 titled ‘Why are there so many knobs in Garage Band?’
– which criticises a variety of music creation apps for their heavy use of something called
Skeuomorphism. For those who don’t know, Skeuomorphism is a tedious design buzzword
that refers to the practice of basing interactive elements on real physical objects, like a
slider which mimics the way a slider works, or… I know there’s another example…
it’s pretty common…what are they again?… oh yeah.. BUTTONS. And one thing to note about
skeuomorphic design is that just because it works like a real thing doesn’t mean it
has to it look like a real thing. [Example of abstract button] Skeuomorphism can be observed in the older
versions of Apple’s IOS (for some reason, the iphone just keeps popping up in this video).
For example iBooks used to look like an actual bookshelf until a few versions later when
Apple finally realised that it was pointless and awful looking. And due to the large amount
of commentary on this topic, skeuomorphism became a bit of a dirty word. Bad Apple. That’s
-1 point for you. And if we scroll down through the article
– past some admittedly bizarre looking plugins, [Waves Plugin] I mean – what a flagrantly
inefficient use of space – oh look! A little section on Reason! “…a digital audio workstation designed
to mimic the flexibility of a studio rack full of analog equipment. Unfortunately, it
also mimics the look of such a rack” …and why is that bad? Oh, that’s it? It’s
bad because skeuomorphism is bad. End of critique. I guess it’s just lost on the author that
one of the advantages of designing an interface in this way is that it helps complicated things
to be separated out into visually distinguishable parts. Or that the mimicking of real world
analog devices is very useful for young musicians because it actually teaches them about how
these things work in real life? But hold on, there’s more insight to be had! “It also features circular rotating knobs,
surely the most pervasive/least useful UI element in this type of software” What!? OK, let’s just put that statement
to the test. So in music software, knobs work like this: you click and drag upwards or downwards
to change the value. And most commonly if you hold shift, then the control is much finer
so you can hit precise values. In other apps, like After Effects or Premiere, you can drag
on these text values in exactly the same way. This is about as efficient as it gets and
knobs are just a different looking version of the same thing. But [Girl Headphones] you
might rightly ask, ‘can’t we just show text values instead of knobs then?’. Well,
let’s take a look: here’s a synth in Reason that has loads of knobs. But what if we replace
them with text values instead. Hmm. OK – so first off… unlike knobs, I have no idea
of what the maximum or minimum of any of these values are – meaning I’ve lost information.
And I can no longer quickly glance at any area to get a rough idea of how it’s arranged
– I have to read each value one by one to comprehend it. This is compounded by the fact
that midi parameters often range from -64 to 63, meaning that I’ve no common baseline:
‘0’ could mean either ‘nothing at all’ or ‘right in the middle’. Not to mention,
if I have an external keyboard and I turn one real knob, I can no longer see its equivalent
turning in the UI. So figuring out how things are connected is much more time consuming
too. Yep. You see why they chose knobs? ‘surely the most pervasive/least useful UI element…’
Yeah. Good work, I’m giving this article an E-. Congratulations! You didn’t get an
F. I gave you credit for not mentioning Hitler. Round of applause everyone! This is the sort
of criticism Reason has faced for years. A criticism they have rightly ignored because
they understand better than most the value of their unique mechanics. And one last point about this – if you think
these controls look a bit lame and you’d like to see something more modern, like the
Yofiel Synth seen here, then fine. But don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because
they look cheesy that they’re bad from an interaction point of view. Elements like this
are only bad when they’re being misused. If my dog gets sick and I choose to cure him
with a spanner, his death isn’t the fault of the spanner…. it’s his own god damn
fault for getting sick. Anyway the most recent improvement Propellerhead
made marks yet another big reversal for them – finally providing VST plugin support – something
they’d said they’d never do in the past – so much so that when their CEO made the
announcement he started with the words ‘When hell freezes over’. Instead of persisting
with the argument that VST’s reduce stability and performance, they instead allowed us to
decide on that trade-off for ourselves – and as a result gave us a massively improved range
of choice, allowing me to finally use my favourite synth of all time. (Serum) So before I talk about what software I’m
going to be looking at next, let’s give one last hurrah for Propellerhead for their
practical design decision making, both small and large-scale. They’ve had some bumps
along the way [Record visual] – but they’ve always rebounded to make the right choices
in the right order. Well done propellerhead, you get a point. And if you wouldn’t mind,
I’d also love a point. So what’s next? What other music software app can we look
at that can offer us unique insight… [SIBELIUS icon – horror music] Oh… SIBELIUS icon – Larger OH! [SIBELIUS – LARGEST] OH… JESUS… JESUS CHRIST!!!

100 thoughts on “Music Software & Interface Design: Propellerhead’s Reason

  1. Ah yes. The fascinating habit of certain 'experts' of saying something is 'bad design' while providing no actual justification for it whatsoever.
    Sometimes makes you wonder what, precisely these people are 'experts' in exactly…

  2. This is very exciting because I'm a long time reason user who's been off the horse for some time. Ever since v5.0 I'll have to buy a new copy because I really like what I see!!

  3. These music programs are way too complicated. How the hell is a normal person supposed to learn all that? I take 1 look at those and know I could never do it. Shouldn't any program be easy to use and understand? You can just skim over and tell where everything is and what everything does?

  4. I guess if you are used to the iShit apps, it looks truly incomprehensible at first. However, if you ever made music in a real studio, the wiring makes perfect sense. It gives you 100% control, in a visual way, how things are routed. And you can always let Reason wire it for you. Not always how you wanted it to be wired, but it works in 80% of the cases. I love the oldschool way of using CV e.g. but then again, you have to know what CV is to be able to utilise it.

  5. I've used Reason for a while now and I'd say my one, my ONLY complaint is the lack of automation on the NN-XT sampling device.

  6. One thing you didn't mention is how Reason doesn't seem to have any dialog boxes for anything.

    I tried using Reaper, which does everything but seems to suffer from Microsoft Word Syndrome. I found the constant interruption of dialog boxes and modal windows in Reaper to take me out of the music.

  7. at some point in the future they should add VR implementation so you don't have to scroll down for millenia to get to the bottom of your huge rack and can just look around your virtual control room.
    i love racks.

  8. just a personal thing, but reason is like a trainwreck for my executive functioning issues at first glance. looking at all of those in/out ports and the tiny text and the knobs etc. has the singular effect of immediately overwhelming me and making me never want to look at it again. also it doesn't help that there's no window scaling functionality.

    so I just use a different DAW.

  9. That video u did, that's a handy yoke der paddy! Loves me a bit of Reason. Interoperability. Functionality. Pragmatism. Utility.
    Boom!
    (As in Beastie Boys using them like 808. BOOM!)
    The Prodigy, when they went big, one of them said, 'I've got all the money I need now, gonna buy all the equipment and have a studio!'….
    A good while & no album later…
    Gets Reason. 1 laptop & a few days later. Album.
    Simples Sergei.

  10. First off. Fantastic video. Informative, accurate and entertaining! Your video showed up on my feed this morning. YouTube’s algorithm works!

    I’ve been a reason user since when it was called ReBirth ;-). Back then I was new to the whole music production scene and the UI and intuitiveness of the app was always what drew me in and kept me using it till today. Lately I’ve started to play around with Logic to experiment. It’s a very powerful DAW but by no means was I as productive with it right out of the gate as I was with Reason.

    Software is only as good as its usability. Reason is a masterpiece in UI design

  11. Really great video. Problem was Reason's changes were too much too late. It's now a dead DAW. I know a lot of people still use it, but it is not getting new users at a rate to sustain it. Reason is nowhere in the mindset of new DAW buyers and has not been for 5-8 years. https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=%2Fm%2F01x82b

  12. This video's sensemaking density is a couple orders of magnitude higher than an average "7 hidden lifehacks" revelation-style rant on youtube. Regardless the topic.

  13. I've not used Reason for years because of the "when hell freezes over" mentality towards VST.

    when they finally decided to include VST support I had moved on and learned new software.
    I still love the idea of Reason because of the patching on the back, not in spite of it (I've got a rack full of actual modular hardware so it's very appealing to me)

    I'm currently pondering giving it another go.

    this was a very well put together video.

  14. I tried using Reason. I didn't much like it mainly because I didn't know what I was doing. And add the fact I don't have a keyboard to hook in there and the special control thingy you need to make the effects work. So that probably added to the frustrations.

  15. What's the demand like for UI designers versed in pro audio software design? The industry for music audio software is growing and doesn't look like it's slowing down at the moment. Are we just unicorns just hiding out in caves somewhere?

  16. A huge oversight not mentioned is that Reason is getting smaller, smaller and smaller to the point it's unusable, even 1080P is pretty eye straining. The rack still hasn't evolved from the 800×600 / 1024×768 era, and has tiny instruments, particularly at 1440P and above. There is no Hi-DPI support. With modern AMD graphic cards like the Radeon RX 570, you can run 1440P resolutions on 1080P monitors. Presonus Studio One 4 for example provides Hi-DPI scaling. The problem for Propellerheads is that they didn't have the foresight to look towards the future in terms of GUI scaling. Even VST was on the table back in 2009 and intended for their side product Record. But no, it took another 8 years to try an implement VST or in fact 10 years now to even bring up to the level of performance that other DAWs have had for years.

    You didn't cover Rack extensions, which are based on VST's but contained in an API system which was more restricted than conventional straight VST support, and all this whilst the RE's which have been rendered at 754 pixels in width, and with no re-course in the future to even have the possibility to use any higher resolution in the future if and when Reason's API gets updated to upgrade. But with VST implementation, what would be the point in any RE developer even going back to RE in the first place ? I used Reason a my main DAW for 13 and a half years, and mastered everything that it was able to do, and as much as fun as it was using it. It really has one huge problem right now and one of the primary Reasons why I switched to Studio One , and that's because of it's antiquated GUI when it comes to resolution scaling.

  17. You didn't have to manually add wiring to connect the instrument with the mixer in Reason when while you created (e.g. from the menu) an instrument the mixer was active. It was connected automatically (in the case of the old mixer, I don't now how exactly the new works, more automatic as I guess).

  18. oh, THAT's how you're supposed to control software knobs? I thought you were supposed to move your mouse in a circle and I was always frustrated when they didn't work

  19. That "Too many knobs!" thing remember me that part in the Amadeus film when courtesans tell the king that Mozart's music is bad because it has "too many notes".

  20. I love the rack and creative possibilities in Reason but the workflow is horrible. I started with Reason, Cubase and Logic in the mid 90s I only use the rack in rewire now.

  21. The whole skeumorphism thing reminds me of when I was deciding what guitar amp sim software to use. I was mainly tossing up between Line 6 Helix, with it's clean, minimal abstract interface, and Peavey Revalver, with it's more concrete interface. While at first Helix looked so much nicer when I was just messing around, before long I found Revalver so much more useable because it conveys so much more information. If I want a tubescreamer-esque pedal, I can just look for the green one. If I forget what the different amps are like, I can tell by the colour scheme and number of knobs on an amp if it's a modern high gain 3-channel amp or a simpler vintage amp. Even more so when I'm selecting a cabinet or mic for the amp, where there's more options and the names are less descriptive.

  22. Coming from someone that's been with Reason since Reason 3 (over 10 years now I think), I love the software but I do agree that the interface still to this day will still confuse me if I don't have double monitors.

  23. Too many knobs on an interface are bad for accessability, because when they get too small, visually disabled people for example have a harder time making precise changes.

  24. too bad Reason fuckin sucks tho!! used it for 15+ years, switched to Studio One 4 and never looked back. Keep your shitty DAW

  25. sorry at about 9:39 i fell asleep and dreamed i used this equipment in a spacecraft that i crashed into the moon -craweld out and alein's were jamin on old abducted music equipment,as they telepathicaly communicated,-"it sounds cool earthling",thats why we use a circa 1997' tascam 8track-but only 7 tracks work man"-"far out earth dude"

  26. Interesting views, man! I'm a software developer myself for the last decade or two. Reason has its flaws when it comes to consistent user interface / interaction design though. Like separating the result you get when using loop recording audio vs. MIDI. With audio you get alternate lanes / tracks automatically, but using MIDI / Instruments you get… nothing. Manual creation of new alternate lanes are the only option. This is one of many small annoyances I experience when using Reason.

  27. I've always been a Reason user, and I do mostly live audio and very little synth stuff. I just love the interface.

  28. I've been a reason user since version 2.0. I never thought it lacked. Thanks to rewire, I could always rewire my Reason rack into my host DAW, and everything worked like a dream. If I had any point to criticize, it would be the way they implemented the Audio..which basically worked like a separate daw… however, the implementation use of input "channels" was very clunky..my feeling being that my rack could already become somewhat bloated, but it was manageable… with the addition of these separate input channel modules..suddenly there was even more stuff in the rack that was making things more bloated…why they didn't just have a master input module to the new console..that worked like the output module I route rewire signals to?? The fact is, I was already quite happy with my DAW, and reason side by side..I appreciated working within discreet environments..Now Reason wanted to put both types of environments in the dame application, and that made it too busy and extra bloated with all those silly channel modules that have cabling going to them and making an even bigger more confusing mess…BOOO!!! I continue to use my legacy version of reason and I cling to it.. I didn't want the Audio, and will never use it.. I felt they did this to win over newbies that wanted Audio in the DAW they were shopping for, but really stuck it to us folks who were their loyal fan base.
    I only wish Propellerheads would release an update "RACK ONLY" version of Reason that eliminated the audio features and the console, so we could have access to the new modules and rack extensions…with the original (somewhat) more economical workflow…. if anyone is listening…ahem

  29. Having recently purchased Reason 10, I thought I was going the right way since I liked making electronic music – I was afraid this would be a negative criticism video telling me I made a bad decision. Thank you so much for proving to me that I'm not going crazy for thinking this is great for beginners and for those more experienced as far as a DAW with IRL interface influences goes! Also I love the fact you used Eiffel 65's Europop at 8:18 – that band is just awesome! 😀

  30. I know this isn't a new video, but THANK YOU ENDLESSLY for, as a software designer, destroying the notion that skeuomorphism is bad by default. I studied a bit of HCI and usability testing a couple of years ago and I can't begin to describe my hatred for the notion that flat design is always better. UI designers must be getting high of their own supply of circle jerking. Not to mention how often things get flattened down to a degree where several of Donald Norman's principles get completely obliterated. Jesus, I'm getting an aneurysm just thinking about how often flat design is complete usability garbage . Anyway… my point wasn't to rant about flat design, but to simply say that in particular software where you're meant to be creative, a good skeuomorphic interface helps keeping my mind in a creative state. I get inspired by a studio-hardware-looking interface. It feels like I'm in a studio, and in a studio you're meant to be creative. All the knobs and faders (and cables, in the case of Reason) entice you, they want you to play with them, offering their services to you. "Play with me and see what happens!" A flat design doesn't convey that to me and the boring flatness makes my eyeballs and my creativity shrivel up and die due to a lack of visual stimuli. So thank you again for making your awesome arguments, and thank you to Propellerhead for not going flat.

  31. hahaha I dare you to try open modplug tracker man, if you do, you are in for a trip down crazy lane, and now that I have watched a lot of your videos I think it would be a laugh to see you give it a go… I will do a reply video on why you are an idiot if you fumble around like a fool, and we can both have fun XD
    JK, I would likely be a lot kinder to you than all that… tracking can be very difficult to get your head around, thus the beginning of my post.
    I dare you, I double dare you.

  32. Holy fucking shit, giving Propellerhead a point for introducing VST support like way too fucking late (plus you have CPU issues you don't get with other DAWs to this day :D) is so braindead, sorry but i couldnt hold it

  33. I use a MIDI controller with GarageBand, and oddly never noticed how nice it was that the knobs in the software turned like the knobs on my controller.

  34. ~1:30~ Tantacrul, are you a classicist composer?

    How do your design decisions in music deviate from your vision of the ideal software? (aside from accessibility, utility concerns etc. for software)

  35. The best ux in my opinion clearly goes to Discord. Their UX is just _perfect_. Intuitive, pretty, funny, and feature rich.

  36. I actually think the realistic skeumorphic look is pretty cool, it adds character to the UI and gives it more visual style than boring flat circles and squares.

  37. I've tried learning to use audio software for years, but always been daunted by its UI. Reason still remains the absolutely most daunting, because in spite of how it's pitched, nothing about it actually looks like something I'd use to make music… 🙁

  38. Honestly I don’t buy your argument about knobs. What you are describing with a linear motion is a slider, which would also show minimum and maximum values and make more sense to interact with.

  39. since I switched from 5 to 10, I just create new devices from the context menu of the main mixer. is that a stupid thing to do? just helps me with mixing and mastering to have the familiar interface of the 14:2 mixer.

  40. The only reason it's a knob in the first place is because it mimics the appearance of physical equipment, not because it's the best type of control for the job on a digital UI. A slider would be better as it's more intuitive, you don't pull a physical knob up to increase its value.

    But of course you might be designing for people who have a lot of previous experience with physical equipment, or for those who will be working with both interchangeably, in which case it's a trade-off worth making.

  41. I remember using this when I first went to Uni. Great stuff to just pick up and use. Was only annoyed that I couldn't put time signiature and tempo changes in the song. It was quite a number of years ago, they surely have to have that in there by now right?

  42. S̷̢̡̗̠̝̗̬̩̠͑́̉̑́̿̑̾͐̚i̶̢͕̳͔͖̔̇̍͋b̴̧̧̭͖̱̩̳̬̪̋̓̐͒̉̏̒͜e̷̩͇̟͍̟̎̈̎̕l̶̡̜̹̲͍͕̱̟͔̳̳͕͚͊į̶̻͈͓̠̤̤̇̓̇u̵̧̫͙̝͓̫̪͚͔̼̩̪̼̱̍̈́̐̄̿͑̋̏s̷̨͈̞̠̙̯̬̖͙̬͇̲̆̋ ̸͚͔̓̐͑͛͝͠c̷̢̢̲̟͈̫̜̀͋̏r̸̳̠͎̠̣̮̉́̔̓͒͆̊̈̇̕͜͝ͅã̴͓̒̋ş̶̊̉̾̐̒̍̔̈́̇̕͠h̴̻͈͛̀e̴͍̺̰͇̥̥͍̜̐d̸̲̩̜̫͚̿̂̈́̆͐̅̎͛̕͝

  43. Dear Tantacrul,

    Hi. I'm Connor. I'm a recent addition to your fan-list. I really enjoy your videos on music software design. Like Sibellius, ugh.

    As a fellow programmer and music creator, what you say resonates deeply within me. Pun intended.

    I'm gonna cut to the chase: please could you do a video about Caustic? It's a DAW that works well on both mobiles and computers. The mobile edition needs an "unlock key" to be able to save and export, but the pc version work fine without any external downloads. There, unfortunately, is no way to do plugins, but I'll let you find out some other things about it.

    Yours sincerely,
    – Connor (Magnogen)

  44. I'm sold, I had no idea that Reason had the cool virtual racks. That would be perfect for someone like me who is cutting their teeth on Logic Pro and finding it's probably more designed for someone who grew up using GarageBand (I didn't have access to a Mac until 2018 sooo…)

  45. As someone who is about as musical as a cut-in-half trombone I always kinda wanted a simple app to just make a bit of music with that I can claim my own and don't have to pay royalties to some dipshit, but they all seem insanely complicated. I tried a few going in without tutorials or anything, just purely trial and error to see whether their design and function would align with how I wanted to create music. I have not uploaded any music to my channel so that is the end of that journey. I really wish there were more simpler programs out there for this, maybe we'd get more music from folks that normally aren't as blessed with thousands of dollars of audio equipment. A music creation app for people who can't read notes essentially.

  46. "…and even though we all know that perfection isn't possible, it makes sense to try and achieve it." Up-voted for this sentiment alone. It's not the most elegant way to put it, but at this point I'll take anything remotely close. The failure to understand this simple and obvious notion has motivated so much relativist nonsense that it's even turned progressivism, an ideology built around striving for perfection, into an aimless ouroboros of stupidity.

  47. Knobs are a positive!
    On the physical device I get something physical. I can feel it turning, I don't have to look at it to know how far I've changed it. It's physical.
    Replicating that onscreen serves the same purpose: It's easy to spot how much a value is in total. When something is turned 1/3 up, you can see it.

  48. Have they fixed the Favorites issues in Reason 10 yet? I'm still in 9.5 and they still haven't fixed the damn favorites issue.

  49. im using reason since .. well way befor 1.0 basicly since they started and up to this day i sticked with reason. what i like to see tho are the following points
    – not just midi clock slave also as a master to have a video player playing a movie in sync for the moment alot of hoop jumps are needed especialy because the mtc of 64 bit aplication dont listen to those of a 32 bit aplication .. better yet .. impletment a video track already 🙂 we dont need a vegas video video editor with after effects on top .. just a video playback would totaly do the trick
    – have reason exist as a virtual soundcard within the system and have all system inputs and output beeing managed within reason (if the user choses) id like to replace every other software creating sound simply with a reason running 24/7 … not having to look for 20 different option menus to adjust the volume just because some youtube video happens to be recorded on a low volume or accidently IS WAY TOO LOUD AND TOO LATE TO QUICKLY SEARCH FOR the slider that turns down the volume of the webbrowser only .. managing that in reason would be preferably my choice until then i use voice meter banana to get around that but well .. reason is nicer 🙂
    – i still miss the original explorer .. at least put the path back in and enable copy paste – drag and drop from the windows explorer depends on weather you start the software as admin or not and some vst … well .. you dont wanna start reason with admin rights using those vsts lets put it that way 😀

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