Friday, February 13, 2015

BV512 Vocoder: The fix that "borked" a cool use case

BV512 Digital Vocoder

Reason's BV512 Digital Vocoder rack device always had a very useful behavior regarding its use as a MIDI-to-CV utility device.

Before the Kong Drum Designer rack device, which is typically the easiest and preferred device to convert a MIDI Note (i.e. Pad hit) into a CV Gate output (each pad has a CV out gate at the back) the BV512 Vocoder was the only rack device offering a similar behavior.

(RTFM ;)

The BV512 MIDI Implementation made it respond to a range of MIDI keyboard note input to control each of its 32 Vocoder Bands. This allows various cools tricks related with directly controlling specific and multiple bands while in Vocoder mode.

The 1st 16 of those Vocoder bands, when activated (either by audio modulation or MIDI note input) will have their respective value output as CV at the back of the device.

So, as you can see, prior to Kong, this was the perfect way to get at least 16 MIDI Note-to-CV Gate/Velocity output. ReDrum could be used but it only had 10 outs and only allowed Trigger CV out instead of Gate CV out (which is the only way to respect the Note duration).

BV512 did its CV tricks tirelessly, no matter if there was an audio cable connected to the modulator audio input or not. It even worked perfectly while the "Enabled" switch was Bypass or Off.

Well... guess what? Apparently, allowing Vocoder Band control through MIDI input when there's no cable connected to the modulator audio input was... "a bug" (kinda).

This "bug" was fixed in Reason 7, yeah, you guessed it: Any Song or Combinator patch relying on the good'ol BV512 original behavior changed from a state of "coolness" to "borkedness".

Yeah... there are some patches that worked fine up until Reason 6.5.3 that now stopped working in Reason 7.1.1, Reason 8.0 and Reason 8.1 (and so on...)

Is there a solution?


Either replace the BV512 acting as the "MIDI Input" device with a Kong, having then to deal with all the CV rewiring needed and Combinator modulation matrix (re)configuration or... simply connect a dummy cable to the modulator input

 ...and you're done! :D

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Administrivia: "The Blue Chapter" aka "let's try AdSense"

Not sure if anyone noticed, but my red'ish/orange themed blog changed to blue... which, coincidentally matched the color change on PH's Shop :]

This was the 1st of a few more changes to this blog.

I'm going to slowly "clean" it up of all the extra link sections, now temporarily pushed to the bottom.

Already added a "Spare Music Products on eBay" section because I finally went through my license collection and found a few unused spares that should really go to someone that will use them. I have more licenses waiting to be added to that list, but there are some limits to how many/much one can have on sale, so... there's actually a queue behind that section.

Next, will be experimenting with AdSense (configure your own Ad experience here**). Not sure how that works but that's something that I never bothered to try and I guess it's time to, so I'm waiting for the approval thingy. After that, don't be surprised to see some ads somewhere around here.

and... that's about it :)

Sorry for this "null content" administrivia post but I wanted to give some kind of heads-up about the future use of AdSense ads before actually adding them to the blog.

Well, guess all I need to do next is to (re)start posting something interesting and hopefully useful again soon, uh? ;)

Edit: **I'm slowly finding stuff about this Ad stuff.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library: Free musical sample/stems sharing done right!

 Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library


I'm extremely impressed with this initiative from Converse (yes, that sneakers company, no less!!!) through their Converse Rubber Tracks community-based professional recording studio in Brooklyn, NY.

The design of the site, the user experience and interface, the filtering and searching capabilities, proper metadata details (who did what, where and when, tempo(s), key(s), etc) and obviously the amount and the quality of content are totally amazing.

One-Shots, Loops, Stems on lots of genres, playing styles and instrument types.

I'll say it again: WOW!
...and my respect, admiration and inevitable thanks to...

footwear company for doing it right :)

Twitter results for #RubberTracks
Rubber Tracks @rubbertracksnyc

...and why am I posting this here?
NN19, NN-XT, ReDrum, Kong, Audio tracks, Dr.OctoRex, ReCycle... ring a bell? :)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Koshdukai's Slim 'PX7 200K Collection' V1b8

Beta 8 squashes all the various bank folder levels into just 1 level per folder mainly on "7 from the Web" and on most on the "8 Instruments", which I'll be working on a bit more before the final release  of V1.0 of this ReFill.
Koshdukai's Slim 'PX7 200K Collection' V1

I'm a bit worried with "Tim Garrett's TX7" folder though, which is now all flattened as a 7789 patches big folder. It's quite noticeable how Reason's browser takes its time to digest that folder before opening it, even packed inside a ReFill, which is kinda weird and not what I expected out of Reason 8.1's new browser... oh well :/

Still not sure if it's better now, without all of those bank folders with just a couple of patch files in there... guess I'll need feedback on this or else I'll keep doing how I think it's best :)

Beta 7 zip download access will be removed soon, btw.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ryan's "Manual Tempo-Mapping" tutorial

Could be an automatic process, right?

Well, but it isn't, so here's the next best solution:
Manually tempo-map a variable-tempo audio track with no embedded tempo information.

"Instead of playing to the click, let's click to the playing" ;)

...which Ryan Harlin explains perfectly.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

ScuzzyEye's "Save Space in Reason Files with Recorded Audio" instructional

Excellent quick tutorial explaining and demonstrating why and how to destructively trim unused/unwanted clips from audio tracks:

It also briefly explains those, sometimes intriguing, audio clip icons that show up at the bottom right corner of the clips, something I remember seeing a bunch of users asking about in the old forums.

For more, you can always check the usual main source of all this knowledge, the Operation Manual available locally on your computer but also online at the Reason Additional Documentation and Help Files page ;)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

'PX7 200K Collection' shrinked to 30K uniques

When I first heard of the original Korg Kronos oriented 'dx7_200k_collection' project I thought that it would be interesting to try and purge it from all the inevitable duplicate Banks and Patches included.

This happened a few weeks before the release of Propellerhead's own version, the PX7-200k-Collection ReFill for their PX7 FM Synthesizer.

After reaching a point where I already had all duplicate SysEx Bank files removed and was going through each bank sets, performing the conversion to .repatch format using the indispensable Propellerhead's DX7-PX7 Patch Converter, I realized that the hardest part of this dups removal project was going to be the surprisingly high amount of cases that I had to decide which bank should be considered the "original" so I could remove all the corresponding duplicates from all the others.

Well, once PH released their 200K ReFill version, I thought that it really wasn't worth my time to revisit the project and go through the very time consuming process of doing it properly even though still thinking that it would be nicer to browse a collection of unique PX7 patches, even if similar sounding,  at least free of exact copy duplicates. I let the project go to sleep, like so many that I have, waiting for better (longer) days :)


Recently, a sequence of (soon-to-be-deceased) PH Forum threads (mainly joeyluck) reignited my interest on this matter.

I decided to have a different approach and this time I would search the web for similar or at least sub-sets of this huge 200K collection, trying to identify the original sources of the included banks.

For this, the most useful resource was Bobby Blues DX7 pages which allowed me to better organize some of the more recognizable banks into some sort of historically meaningful folders.

While doing this, the same PH Forums (via Jamesville) referenced another project that achieved a unique Bank count (but not unique patch count), BlackWinny's DX7 collection.

These two allowed me to further break down the amount of unsorted banks that the 200K source provided.


Well, after some necessary iterations, here's beta 6 7 of what I like to call Version 1 of this Koshdukai's Slim 'PX7 200K Collection' ReFill project, with 30102 unique patches, obviously still including similar sounding ones:

"PX7 200K Collection (30102 Uniques) Koshdukai's Slim Version 1b6 ReFill"

(beta 7 changelog at the end of this post)

The final Version 1 release will happen once I'm sure there's no unwanted empty folders or anything weird with folder or file naming, etc.

So, Version 1 is basically my attempt to:
  1. remove duplicate Banks from the 200K: Achieved
  2. remove duplicate patches: Achieved
  3. provide an historical context of the Bank sources: Achieved where possible

Am I happy with it? Nope :) ...that's why I'm working on Version 2, keeping goals 1 and 2 but dropping the importance of the 3rd goal because it caused a lot of insignificantly small banks once removed of all the duplicates they had when compared with "higher hierarchy" sources (that's why the folders are numbered). Basically, in Version 2 I'm going to drop the "from the Web" folder completely and feed it into a better organized "Instruments" folder.

There's also a very critical issue that undermined Version 1 and will condition me working on Version 2: The DX7-PX7 Patch Converter has some bugs and limitations regarding particular chars used in the patch names which result in existing patches being skipped from the conversion process not being included in the final converted bank zip.
This is why there's some patches missing from known banks which I would like to see included in Version 2.

I'm going to wait for these issues to be fixed in the converter to start re-building that new project.
Until then, Version 1 will have to do :)

Needless to say, suggestions and comments pin-pointing issues with this beta are very welcome!


V1b7 changelog:
  • empty folders removed except the ones at "2 Other Cartridges\Bo Tomlyn\"
  • "7 from the Web\Atari\SYNTHESI\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Atari's SPECIAL\SPECIALS\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\103\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\138\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\176\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\228\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\245\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\298\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\from 200K\2003\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\from 200K\DX45\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\from 200K\DX55\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\from 200K\EBANK0\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\from 200K\FULLCRC3\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Jeff Saxe\BANKP1\16\Fluegel 2" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Jezreel's INCON\INCONI05\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Conrardy\ORCHESTR\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Conrardy\PERCUSSI\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-03\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-105B\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-106B\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-10C\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-20C\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-79B\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • small adjustments to the ReFill splash/icon image.

There are still A LOT of 1 or 2 patch folders in Beta 7 that I'm thinking of simply discard their original Bank folders and put them in the higher folder. Still deciding if I should do that in Version 1.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

PH Forums go "byebye" next week...

The Propellerhead Forums are not being brought along to the new website, which means this place is going to close next week.» Forums

I guess this blog might start getting more posts now :)

Why? Well, I don't get along with Facebook (and it doesn't get me either) so this blog is now basically my default place to publicly comment on what's going on in the world of Reason.

Along with that, the time I usually spend browsing forum threads for any issues that catch my eye to jump in and try to help will now be spent here.

My tendency to comment and provide feedback about Reason in PH own forums was, I see now, a natural act of keeping it in context, within a place where almost all cared about that specific subject, apart from my quick snippets of text on Twitter, trying to express my more immediate opinions on things as they happened (which I'll keep doing, because Twitter is natural to me, unlike Facebook).

btw, just noticed how I went 1 full year without posting here... hmmm... :)

PS: Be prepared to find a lot of dead-links around here since there are many pointing to PH Forum threads and posts. I fell into the dumb assumption that all that info would be "indefinitely" secure and available, at least as long as the had a presence on the web. How naïve of me.