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For me Propellerhead’s Reason is the absolute #1 when it comes to DAWs. I just love it. I tried others before, Logic Pro X of course, Bitwig Studio, Cubase, Reaper and Ableton Live. I stuck with Reason because of it’s endless possibilities to connect instruments and effects (even VSTs), also because of the absolute stunning virtual ssl mixing console. Not to forget the design, which lets look all other DAWs a bit poor. Ok, that’s my personal taste. All in all – I’m more than happy with my choice.

One thing I like on Ableton Live is the session view. Very nice. Very, very nice indeed. As for my special workflow this is something missing in Reason. Or, wait, can I do something like this in Reason too?

I came to the following solution, which works well for me.  I know that Ableton’s Session View suits especially the needs for live performances. Maybe that’s an advantage with Ableton Live (maybe it’s possible with Reason too, but this is not the subject here) – anyway, what I am interested in here is something else: How to use a collection of clips for building up ideas and a project in a handy and easy way? How to get something like an idea collector to come along with your Reason projects?

So, here is my solution. Just 3 simple steps.
Before you go there is one thing to mention. To make this work easy bounce all clips and snippets of sounds you collect to audio before. This is not for midi clips, since we’re using audio tracks in our template only.

STEP 1

Create a template for the session view. I call it „corn“ (because cornucopia is a bit too long). Anyway, you can name it as you like.
I got some lines for drums and percussion, bass, pads, leads, vocals and additional adds. Which suits my needs. You will find your own way.
Then I created some blocks in block mode. I do not put any clips inside here! To be as flexible as possible this will happen later in song mode only. The blocks are for a better overview in song mode.
Now switch to song mode and draw in your blocks.
Now you have your track lines and blocks. You’re done with the template. Save and place it in your templates folder on your system.

STEP 2

image: project file

Open your project. Then open the template created in step 1.
You now will have your project and your clip view file handy at the same time.

image: session template

Rename your session template according to your projects name, e.g. let’s say the project is „SONG 1“ the clip template could be „SONG 1 CORN“. Use “save as”. Now you’ve got both working files in one big frame of your project. Only one click away.

STEP 3

Click the “CORN” window to access your renamed template. Stay in song mode and onto the blocks you can put all the different clips collected for a project. If you want to listen to a set of them, go to the respective block, solo the chosen track lines, put your locators left and right to the block, click loop and listen. As easy as that. Switch from compilation to compilation by choosing the respective blocks and clips. Of course it’s possible to choose more clips from each section (drums, bass, leads etc.) by soloing them. This cannot be done in Ableton Live, where you only can choose one clip from each block. Not to mention, that it is easy to replace any clips to any block or any track line since all clips are bounced audio and all track lines are audio tracks.
If you like a compilation, just mark the chosen clips, copy, go to your project file (click the window tab above) and paste your coice. Bam! Now you started to build your project. Or just added some new ideas to it.

Just my 2 cents. Maybe this can work for you too. Or you have a better solution? Please let me know.

How I optimize my workflow in Reason more you can read here.

You can get Propellerhead’s Reason 9.5 here
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