I recently downloaded Record from Propellerhead for a trial to see if it was as amazing as all they hype makes it out to be.

I mean – Line6 Pod integration, Reason integration, pretty much ridiculously amazing timestretching… it sounds like it’s got it all, but in practice, what is there that it doesn’t do?   What stops it from being the next big thing?

There’s a few things, actually.   Let’s see what’s missing…

Now before I can list them, I need to state one thing – Propellerhead have said they don’t want VST support in order to make the package more stable.   Now fair enough – I am all for stability, but if they are going to do that then they need to provide replacements for all the Plug ins and Soft Synths that we’re ever going to use.

And those plug ins they’ve missed are…

What’s Missing: Autotune

I am ASTOUNDED that they haven’t included an autotune effects unit.   In today’s music world that’s pretty much a necessity.   It’s like building a boat and forgetting to put T-Pain on it.

I’m not just talking about obnoxious American pop music either; a subtle amount of autotune (Do you understand that concept, Kanye?) on any vocal line just makes it sound more professional, cleaner – better.   I don’t know any producer who doesn’t use at least that little bit of autotune any more.

How they could fix it:

A partnership with Melodyne or Antares in a similar vein to the partnership with Line6 would be perfect.   I reckon naming it the “T-P14N Autotune Unit” would be a nice dedication.

What’s Missing: Scratching

Yes, you can use some Rex Loops and yes, you could rip it to a CD and scratch it yourself, but it would be a LOT more convenient if there was some sort of device for scratching audio.

In fact, I’m surprised this isn’t in Reason yet.   I’ve found so few plug ins that do this – the only one that comes to mind is the “Fruity Scratcher” back in the day when I started out on Fruity Loops.

I think the technical name for it is a “Pitch Bend / Time Stretcher” Plug in.

How they could fix it:


Some sort of Dr-Rex-esque unit that had both Pitch bend and Time Stretching separately and linked together for scratching would be useful – The device would split the audio into segments, allowing you to play the sample loaded up from different points, then use automation to define what speed and what direction the sample should be scratched.   That would be a GIANT leap forward.

If they made some sort of partnership with Stanton’s “Final Scratch” or Serato’s “Scratch Live” (Serato also made the “Pitch ‘n’ Time” plug-in which I believe does scratching for Pro Tools studios, so they’d be brilliant) then they’d have the technology there and once again would have a powerful connection with another top-of-the-line company.

What’s Missing: Live Drum Emulation

The In-Built drums just don’t cut it.   They sound programmed.   What they need is a ridiculously well multisampled kit for different genres of music.   From Death Metal to Smooth Jazz.

How they could fix it:

E-Z Drummer is the best live drum emulator I’ve ever used.   The Drums From Hell pack make for the perfect metal drum tones.   Chuck that in a device and watch the metallers flock to Reason like flies to a bloodied, cannibalised corpse (appropriate simile much?)

What’s Missing: Decent Delay + Reverb

Not so much reverb, as the RV7000 does the job, but the DDL-1 doesn’t really cut it compared to even the most basic of delay units.   I’m talking about more control over delay times (Hell, the in-built Thor Delay Function is better than the DDL-1 unit), frequency filtering for the cheesy pop producer in all of us and stereo delay options.

How they could fix it:


Ever heard of CamelSpace?   A freakin’ awesome plug-in that manages reverb, delay and all kinds of incredible echoey, filtery sounds.   Team up with them, Propellerhead!   Get that and CamelPhat as devices for your rack and you’ll be on to a winner.

What’s Missing: A Wave Editor.

Another thing I’m shocked not to find in here – I know you want to keep it simple, but if people don’t want to use it they don’t have to – it would definitely be something that more advanced users would want to take advantage of.

How they could fix it:

Just a simple one would be useful – something we can easily change pitches of wave files in, cut things up more simply…

What’s Missing: Linked Clips

This is actually crippling for people working on Hip Hop.   So much time is wasted on clicking and dragging that you can lose your inspiration by the time you’ve put it throughout the track.

How they could fix it:

Uh… Add linked clips?

There are more things too, things that apply to the musician (presumably the target audience) rather than the producer as well.

It’s such a good start to the program, but with these crippling flaws, I don’t think it’s ready to take on the big boys like Pro Tools, Logic and Sonar who can flaunt their VST compatibility, even if they do crash and burn every other operation.

Have you given Record a go?   What do you think it needs?

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21 Responses to “Propellerhead Record – What’s missing?”

  1. Getting to use the beta without an internet connection would have been good, couldn’t give it a proper go unless I was hijacking my mates internet.

    Also if they came to my house and fixed my mic port. But yanno, can’t have everything :p

  2. On the reason website there’s a guide as to how to make-your-own custom delays using a combination of effects along with the DDL unit. And if you got a couple of hundred quid lying around, you could always do with buying Propellerhead’s multisampled refills.

    But definitely agree 100% with the tuner & linked clips, but no automatic for me, manual mode is the only way to go with AT.

  3. Oh, try loading a .rex file or two into the NN-XT, you can select samples to play backwards, specify start and end points. Pitches etc.

    OK, it’s REALLY fiddly and nowhere near as much fun as actually scratching, or even scrubbing a track like in PT. But there /is/ a workaround.

  4. Well I’m not really that experienced with Reason/Record in the effect department, but I think some 3rd party peoples have come up with some pretty cool combi delays, effects etc, but I do think you’re right, its rather thin when it comes to the basics in a recording program.

    Auto-tune is a toss up, but I’m not a fan, unless you’re going for that T Pain, Cher effect, it is over used. If a musician can’t sing in key that’s their problem lol, I guess I’m one of those organic type people when it comes to singing. I just think the bar is being raised far too high for musicians, music has become too processed. I realize context is key, but generally (vocally) speaking not a fan.

    Back on topic ;) I completely agree that they really, really need better options if they are not supporting VSTs…like what they did with POD, sick combo! Perhaps some genious can figure out how to manipulate 150 rack combo’s to get Record/Reason to dance for them, but for the average musician, creativity gets lost and bogged down in technicalities, one of the very Reasons (pardon overly abused pun) that Record was created in the first place.

    I really like some of your suggestions, a Drum editor, Wave processing and of course VST support. There’s no way one program can be suited to all, that’s why VST’s and plug-ins are widely used and accepted, you order a meal and add what you like to it, not everyone is gonna want just a burger to eat, some want steak, deep fried anything, salad etc. can you tell I’m hungry?
    Also, I have not purchased it yet, Recylce might be another sample/wave editor option?…

    Ok deep breath; “I like Record so far, it is nifty.” “It has some nifty concepts and powerful tools (love the comping editor thingy and timestretch), but it desperately needs such tools as a ‘Sound Replacer’, drum sample editing etc., wave editing, enchanced effects options, and 3rd party involvement”. “If they are seriously trying to compete against the likes of Pro Tools, Sonar etc. they need to step it up big time. However if they are trying to create another niche, a pre Pro Tools recording program, they can take their trophy home, its in the bank boys”.
    A thought just occured, what if you could encorporate the vocoder for pitch correction somehow?…And this is why I leave it up to you genious’ to figure it out lol. More presets please Propellerhead! Keep up the great work man :)

    As opinionated as always,

    Lochsloyca

  5. @Mizuki – Haha I know, right? Ah well, you can’t have everything I guess ^^

    @ThisisSka – I was just thinking about speed of workflow, I’d rather not have to make all my effects units from scratch… though I guess if I do then that’s a bunch more tutorials haha ^_^ Nice suggestion on the .Rex into NNXT, I’ll give it a try!

    @lochsloyca – Again, I’m more into what’s included and easily accessible, but I’ll see what kind of workarounds are available.

    Hah, I think the time for talent in music is long gone :P Or rather, by eliminating the autotune they’ve also alienated all the talentless vocalists out there from their software (i.e. me :P )

    I’ve never tried ReCycle, but again – it’s another thing to buy. I think that kinda thing should just be integrated.

    Maybe they are trying to just make their niche, but it’s so close to being *better* than the competitors (and more compact – No VSTs means less faffing about) that it’d be a shame not to include these features and take it over the top.

    Also, I’ll give that vocoder pitch correction a try, that sounds interesting… Not sure how it’d work, but I suppose that’s the fun part!

  6. I tried the demo version of Record, and found it lacking, with a less intuitive workflow than per example Logic or Ableton Live. So I’ll stick to Reason ReWired into Logic for now. And also, Record is in my view a sellout product, as you need a Line6 interface to get access to all the distortion models.

  7. I don’t think VST support is totally necessary – but I think there should be the option to ReWire things like Superior 2.0 into Record.
    As for the WAVE editor – having a “ReCycle-ish” type of editor seems like a good idea.
    AutoTune? Again – if ReCord would allow ReWire – you could use Antares or Melodyne (if they are ReWire capable) and your problem is solved.
    Funny thing is – as I am typing this I realize that with ReWire ability in ReCord, you could accomplish most of things that are considered to be lacking ….. hhmmmm

  8. Re: Autotune.
    It’s amateur’s statement “musician must sing in tune” … even different style needs different voice processing. Blues needs less then Disco but this tool is a must.

    Re: VST.
    I worked on Cubase with “Trilogy” basses, “spectrasonic” pads … and so on. I worked out my sounds and can do job fast knowing my sound tools so question is Why should I just drop it everything and start workaround? I do not have time for workingaround while I can do everything nice and fast using EVERY other then Record software. VST is a must.

    Re: Wave Editors and other stuff – same situation, it’s proven tools and they are must.

    How about LOOP BASED SEQUENCER? IS IT?

    Within 3 seconds I can drop to the track a drum loop (or bunch of them), create a bass riff with VSTsss, connect my guitar into POD USB interface to Ableton Live … how can I do it in EVERYTHING (not just connect a guitar) with Record? I’m not sure … is it at least loop-based machine??? Oh yeah, I can workaround again … no time for trying to find a (new) way, need expensive same second creative action!

    That’s why I’m (METAL MUSICIAN at the moment? even not electronics guy) sticking with Ableton Live.

  9. we need speed and efficiency with daws nowadays,thats whats important.Whether people want it on not,auto-tune is a very important plug-in in this modern day time of ours even if you dont use it,for us a producers the comes a time when someone needs to use that auto-tune.You wouldnt want to be ourtta faashion would you?An internal editor would pretty much help or they should do like what sonar does with soundforge or wavelab,sort of like a rewire of some sort.Always remember speed is of the essence….

  10. I have tried PT, CB, Logic, Sawstudio, Nuendo, Sonar, Reaper……

    I got Reason 4.0 a while back and love it. It is the best synth out, MHO. Redrum is awesome you can loud any sound you want into it, I loaded in EZDrummer samples and it sounds great plus you then have more control over the drum sound because Redrum has lots of editing capability on each of its 10 channels plus if you need more channels you just pull up another Redrum and another 10 channels.

    I decided to buy Record and found it to be incredible! The easy of use is unsurpassed and the mixer is …. well a mixer and this makes it so easy to mix and it sounds great.

    The whole VST thing is not really a problem because I can just use another DAW on rewire but for use in Record not the other way ;-) Propellerhead is doing it right there are all the rest that do it the same and then there is PH doing it their way and I think they are on to something.

    The sound you can get with Reason/Record is unbelievable and your PC will love it.

    Just my 2 cents :-)

  11. I think that the Record sequencer also needs lyric sequence type.

    Don’t forget that Record can also work in slave mode with cubase etc.

    Br. Matador

  12. i love record ……..the price is great the program is great…….buy why do you at propellerhead think you KNOW MORE about what we want then we do?..you do not use this program to make music .some of the people you get to show how to use how to use it, don’t use it they just tell us how they want us to use it..most of your demos are for people who want to save their meney and buy it in about five or six years. remember reason does not have a sampler only a slample PLAYER. plz get it right. youtuble show us better then propleerhead .some of your so….called pros do know some of what they teach on youtube .
    record is not as stable as you think .as a producer, guitar player and song writer i found out the hard way …vst and plugins are a part of life………so plz get on the ball……..i will buy if you will at least think about what we say……you need to get with people who have made the hits studio eng from motown, philly internatinal record, OLD TIMERS ENG……….THEY CAN SHOW YOU WHAT WE NEED AND WANT ………..STILL I LOVE PROPELLERHEADS PRODUCTS….NOT HATING JUST SAYING………JASPERB

  13. first off
    @jasper – your post makes my head bleed. say what?

    @Dave
    re:advanced delays – i often use the RV7000 for delays, it has tempo syncing multitap and echo thats quite useful. i just wish more of the parameters were automatable or cv controllable..
    some more delay modes would be useful too.
    and there are some interesting combis in the factory soundbank for record and reason.
    you can also make use of the thor built in effects with just some simple routing in the thor mod-matrix. eg audio input1 [100%] -> whatever
    i made a combi that uses the thor hipass filter in that way.
    (a little fiddly, but once you’ve made the combi, you can reuse it anytime with ease)
    but i agree, an advanced delay with fully automatable parameters would be awesome or an upgrade to rv7000.

    re:multisampled drums.
    forget redrum, NNXT is the way to go. find some decent drum refills or create your own patch from another sample set. eg. it maybe time consuming, but you could bounce down some of those EZdrummer samples and remap them.

    some third party sample packs come with patches in a range of formats eg Kontakt and NNXT. that would be a massive time saver if the samples are quality.

    i use redrum myself as i’m after synthetic sounds and enjoy the drum machine interface, but it is quite limited in comparison to NNXT if you’re after them realistic sounds.

    other fun tricks with NNXT are….
    loading up a Dr:Rex loop, bouncing midi to a track (NN-XT lacks this functionality)
    Load up an NNXT, load up the same loop in the NNXT patch browser (this works!)
    copy the Dr:Rex midi across, and delete the Dr:Rex device.
    it should now sound the same but now you have in-depth control over each slice.
    you can edit them to make them sound differently with standard shit like filters/envelopes etc.

    you can also do fun stuff like:
    *send groups of slices to different outputs of the NNXT and process them with their own crazy effects chains. or process the snares together etc

    *play with the loop modes of the samples (perhaps use command+a/ctrl+a to select all of them, set to something like FW-BW), and modify the loop END percentage
    =weird kaosspad like microloop glitchyness
    I ONLY WISH LOOP END WAS AUTOMATABLE! …it would be amazing. i digress.

    i wish there was a pitch correction rack instrument, ACID style transposing of audio clips with +/- keys and a midi out for when i want to fiddle with and record my hardware synths. however for the time being i can get these things with rewire… and with audio tracks, i can bounce that external sequencer shit down and reimport it without fiddling with samplers. (eg send some midi to my ms2000 or virus with an external sequencer, record it, then import the wav into record to join in with the rest of my song) currently i never do this, as its too damn painful.

    i find it essential to work with everything in the one sequencer when structuring an idea. i prefer the simple sequencer of reason over the other DAWs i’ve used, its automation integration is by far the best i’ve seen, so for me this is like the missing piece in the puzzle.

    so, as a Reason user, i can immediately see the benefits of this program.
    i want to buy record! just need cash lol

    i really enjoy your videos man! your synth tutorials are top notch!

  14. please give some of my NNXT tips a try….
    it could make a fun video i think.

    glitchy percussion with NNXT..
    rock drums with NNXT..

    thoughts?

  15. Hey, Dave I think your spot on with most of your recomendations for the future of Record but when it comes to the part you said about them not having real drum emulation there is a Refill called Reason Drumkits 2.0 which gives you 17 studio kits set up in combis with all the room mics and everything, and they sound incredible. They are hypersampled with many velocity layers and were processed in a high end studio with high end gear. Anyway thanks for your great info and videos its greatly appreciated.

  16. [...] of the new features in Reason 5 / Record 1.5 and it’s AMAZING. In fact, if you look back at this article I wrote last August about what Record was missing, it looks like they took my advice on several of [...]

  17. I have been titing around with many DAWs for nearly three years and not got very far with any because they all sucked one way or another. The other thing that I have wasted a lot of time doing is looking at hundreds of third-party plugins, and yes many of them are great but 10 years ago there was none of this and most of us would have had a couple of hardware synths and a drum machine, and we would still have been able to make great music by using what little we had creatively. Nowadays there are so many VST plugins out there that we are becoming lazy. Instead of creating a sound, we spend hours browsing for a plugin or a preset that sounds like what we want. Plugin companies know this and they are brainwashing us into buying more and more plugins, and upgrade packages. To be honest, this is a complete waste of time that detracts us from the task of making music. If I haveto restore my OS I then have to reinstall all the plugins, re-register them, download updates, etc. Today I had a massive realization: screw that. To date I have made more tracks using just Reason than using Cubase with other plugins simply becasue it was more convenient, and they sounded just fine. Reason encourages experimentation and fun, Cubase and most DAWs are designed to encourage suicide. I have spent money on a lot of NI plugs and Cubase but I don’t care, after checking out the demo of Record I am very sure I will ditch what I have and just use Propellerhead’s software because it just works. Since I launched Reason 3 a few years ago, I’ve not had a single complaint about it. Within hours of using Cubase 5 I already had loads of gripes about it.

    I reckon Propellerhead Software might set a new standard and gradually allow third party plugin devs to develop stuff for Record, much like VST and AU plugins. They might even release a cross-compiler to allow other standards to be easily ported for Record.

    Overall, I am deeply impressed by Record.

  18. i know reason 5 and record 1.5 are out now and they have a lot of solutions to the problems you stated in this article, for example, the Neptune pitch correction device, but think about it people… vst integration? it’s awesome. vst’s are amazing, and it’s safe to say that they’re quite necessary for electronic music, since the combination of them and other types of synthesis and techniques could make for a much better quality recording with a more wide range of sounds than a recording without vst’s. Some may counter that, though, but that’s just my opinion. So having said that, and also give that Record and Reason are ReWireable to a number of popular mother programs, vst integration is unnecessary. It’s clear that Propellerhead planned on not having VST integration. There’s logic and cubase and pro tools for that (using the fxpansion vst-rtas wrapper). So stop complaining, Propellerhead is a hell of a company. they are awesome. If you want the most out of your music, use several programs and learn them, and you will learn that every program has something good to offer and the combination of the right ones really do wonders. that’s why the functionality is made possible, so USE IT!!

  19. I love using reason 5 with record. But I agree with much of what has been said about missing features. One thing I haven’t see mentioned that I’ve long wished for is a spectrometer module. Something with multitrack functions that let you overlay the spectra of your different tracks and see where they might be interfering would make EQing so much easier. I’m thinking of something like GlissEQ.

  20. Let’s hear it for the Smooth Jazz Sound.
    I need the Drum Sound Please!!!!!

  21. Please give us the Smooth Jazz Drums and Sounds.
    It’s Missing. Also hookup with melodyne, TC Helicon, the
    Neptune needs Help.Any thought on a function to produce Sheet
    Charts for the songs that we can Print??

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