It’s been quite a while since I wrote about this project and the reason should be obvious; a combination of time (lack of) and sitting in a deadlock. I wanted my patch to be universal; it should be able to control both Thor as well as a combinator but couldn’t get a grip onto how… Fortunately it really helps sometimes to leave a problem alone for a while, and then pick it up a few weeks later. Same here… But first a quick recap as to what Reasonable actually is.
Live and Reason
Only half a year after I had chosen to concentrate my work and experiments on Live did I finally decide to expand on my by-then current gear and included Reason into the setup. Reason had always been a love / hate relationship for me but ironically enough the announcement of Reason 5 convinced me to pick up 4.
It didn’t take long before I also started some more serious sound designs in Reason (Thor and Malström, combined with the Reason workflow, is excellent for that) and that started my desire to have some way to control Reason using my APC40.
I’m someone who actually reads manuals, so it didn’t take me long to discover that the Propellerheads (company behind Reason) included detailed charts which can show you which MIDI control messages are picked up by Reason and its devices.
In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about let me give you a quick example… Setup Live and Reason so that they work together in Rewire mode (start Live first, then Reason; Reason’s hardware device should indicate ‘Rewire slave mode’).
Now pull in a 14:2 mixer in Reason and setup an external instrument in Live. Point the external instrument to the 14:2 (most likely called “Mixer 1”). Arm the MIDI track if it wasn’t already armed, go to Reason and play a few notes.
If you start with C3 and play upwards you’ll notice some Eq. indicators lighting up (the Eq. on/off switches on the 14:2). That’s what I’m talking about!
I quickly knew what I was after; all devices obviously use the same range of MIDI signals so I needed to find a way to implement all of them into one patch and then switch between interfaces. For example; the same keys which turned the Eq. section in the 14:2 on and off will mute drum tracks when used on the Redrum.
Well, here is where I got into a deadlock. I knew what signals I needed to create but couldn’t get my fingers behind a good way to setup the interface. Fortunately that has changed now that I had some time to forget all about my work and re-start a few months later.
Reasonable will be setup in a modular fashion; actually consisting of several patches which will be “frozen together”. At the time of writing I have a crude setup ready and I hope to be able to ship out a first working beta within 2 weeks. The beta will allow you to control a combinator, Thor and Subtractor straight from within Live, using the APC40.
More to come soon!