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Old 03-12-2012, 04:40 AM   #1
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Default FX and Send Slot system - Pros and Cons


Pros

Effects and sends can line up both graphically and on control surfaces if organized that way. Now they can always be organized that way.

Instantiation of insert plugins across all (selected) tracks with a particular plugin in a particular location in the insert order now becomes possible. So does deletion of plugins across selected tracks, and substitution.

Send creation, deletion and substitution becomes (more) practical and perhaps more intuitive as well.


Cons

Now you do have to worry where your sends or fx go that you drag'n'drop. you could replace things by accident more easily. It's up to the user to organize him/herself better.

Complexity goes up.


Additional screen space might be consumed as sends and inserts are placed to line up.

Additional practical commands/actions
  • Move inserts up/down by one slot in selected tracks
    Make room. Organize.

  • Auto-Arrange send to line up (off by default)
    To line up sends with the same source/target channel configuration in the same slot. Could be a command. Could be a setting. Could be both.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:44 AM   #2
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I'm not really think its the cons if you know what you are doing

Im both hands up for this feauture!
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:47 AM   #3
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I always put limiter and some other processing FX to the end of the "insert" list. And it pisses me off when i need to insert another FX in the middle of the list reorganizing the whole chain. In my Logic days i always simply leave 3-4 empty slots in the middle. Or when i need to replace one type of plugin to another...same thing

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:01 AM   #4
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There are no cons worth considering in this case. This is another of those things that (along with area selection) the heavyweights expect to see in a DAW. The benefits from being able to insert/remove/replace and bypass a slot in all selected tracks is HUGE. It's great just plain visually as well. Being able to have an audio track next to a VI track and have the eq and vcc line up would make us very happy.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
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What is it even? Is there a picture somewhere? It's very hard for me to consider the pros and cons of something when I don't know what it what it actually is. Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:22 PM   #6
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It's fairly easy to picture, even with text.

Code:
=Track1==Track2==Track3==Track4==Track5==Track6==Track7=
[Slot A][Slot A][Slot A][Slot A][Slot A][Slot A][Slot A]
[Slot B][Slot B][Slot B][Slot B][Slot B][Slot B][Slot B]
[Slot C][Slot C][Slot C][Slot C][Slot C][Slot C][Slot C]
[Slot D][Slot D][Slot D][Slot D][Slot D][Slot D][Slot D]
[Slot E][Slot E][Slot E][Slot E][Slot E][Slot E][Slot E]
[Slot F][Slot F][Slot F][Slot F][Slot F][Slot F][Slot F]
[Slot G][Slot G][Slot G][Slot G][Slot G][Slot G][Slot G]
[Slot H][Slot H][Slot H][Slot H][Slot H][Slot H][Slot H]
It would pretty much look like it does now, except that you could do the following :

Select a bunch of tracks and insert a particlar plugin in the same slot on all selected tracks with either a context action or modifier+click. An example would be :

Code:
=Track1==Track2==Track3==Track4==Track5==Track6==Track7=
[Slot A][Slot A][Slot A][Slot A][Slot A][Slot A][Slot A]
[Slot B][Slot B][Slot B][Slot B][Slot B][Slot B][Slot B]
[ReaEQ ][ReaEQ ][ReaEQ ][ReaEQ ][ReaEQ ][ReaEQ ][ReaEQ ]
[ReaCom][ReaCom][ReaCom][ReaCom][ReaCom][ReaCom][ReaCom]
[Slot E][Slot E][Slot E][Slot E][Slot E][Slot E][Slot E]
[Slot F][Slot F][Slot F][Slot F][Slot F][Slot F][Slot F]
[Slot G][Slot G][Slot G][Slot G][Slot G][Slot G][Slot G]
[Slot H][Slot H][Slot H][Slot H][Slot H][Slot H][Slot H]
This would have taken a selection of tracks and two actions or clicks. That's how it works in Protools btw. It isn't perfect, but it lets you get a good visual hook on both the monitor and any control surface.

Now you could still easily insert plugins before or after. The idea is to also include context commands that lets you shift those plugins up or down by a slot, so make room at the top for another plugin for example.

The work of perhaps having to shift the plugins up or down in a slot system like this, is offset by the benefits of quick and easy instantiation across any number of tracks at the same order.

Also, whenever plugins or sends show up on your control surface, including OSC which is of particlar use, they will line up perfectly, if you wish.

On the other hand, it may be more complex for Reaper to auto-arrange this stuff, than to let the user do it by hand. That's another possibility.

Whatever works best gets my vote.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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I think your absolutely on to something great here, but while they are at it can't we have it duplicated on the tcp? I use the mixer as an inspector, so it would do no good to select tracks in the tcp and the jump to the mixer to Finish the job
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:28 PM   #8
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Not my cup of tea. In my projects, typically every track has a completely different chain of plugins. And, it's still a pretty static system, creating more problems than it attempts to solve imho (a great chindōgu ): in my case, I would just have a lot more empty slots to navigate around using a control surface. And how would it handle multiple instances of the same plugin on the same track?

When I would actually want to achieve exactly what is described using a control surface, i.e. easily switch focus to the same plugin on another track (that is, with no more than the single click needed to select the new track), even though it may be in a different slot, I'd much rather do an utterly simple check on all the newly selected track's plugin names, and switch focus to the correct slot if any of them would match the plugin name of the previously selected plugin. No need to change the way REAPER works to solve this issue at all. With OSC/feedback, we can seriously do it much smarter than this.

(PS: I'll try to implement a proof of concept, if just for the fun of it.)
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:56 PM   #9
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This is a send slot system in another popular DAW. I added the vcc across all track with one alt-click, very nice. Shift+alt click for the eq plugin on selected tracks. The tracks with synths still have plugins line up because there are spacer slots. Also all plugins on one slot can be mass bypassed with one ctrl+alt click.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg mcp-slots.jpg (34.6 KB, 291 views)

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Old 03-13-2012, 02:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airon View Post
It's fairly easy to picture, even with text.
Thanks for the description.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djjedidiah View Post
This is a send slot system in another popular DAW. I added the vcc across all track with one alt-click, very nice. Shift+alt click for the eq plugin on selected tracks. The tracks with synths still have plugins line up because there are spacer slots. Also all plugins on one slot can be mass bypassed with one ctrl+alt click.

Is there a pre determined number of slots per track in this system to which the image refers?
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:30 AM   #12
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In that DAW, it was 5 at one point, then they increased it to 10. If you needed more than 10 (good god) then you buss the output to another track for ten more.

I have a question to the naysayers: what if under the current system you want to add a saturation (vcc, etc.) to all or all selected tracks at once and/or put it at a specific point in the chains? A million clicks and relishing of fx windows is all I know as of now.

Also, if you use a different chain of fx on every track, how does a slot system affect you at all? You would just keep doing the same thing, only not making use of spacer slots to keep organized.

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Old 03-16-2012, 11:25 AM   #13
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Anyone have better ideas than asking for a slot system ?
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banned View Post
Not my cup of tea. In my projects, typically every track has a completely different chain of plugins. And, it's still a pretty static system, creating more problems than it attempts to solve imho (a great chindōgu ): in my case, I would just have a lot more empty slots to navigate around using a control surface. And how would it handle multiple instances of the same plugin on the same track?

When I would actually want to achieve exactly what is described using a control surface, i.e. easily switch focus to the same plugin on another track (that is, with no more than the single click needed to select the new track), even though it may be in a different slot, I'd much rather do an utterly simple check on all the newly selected track's plugin names, and switch focus to the correct slot if any of them would match the plugin name of the previously selected plugin. No need to change the way REAPER works to solve this issue at all. With OSC/feedback, we can seriously do it much smarter than this.

(PS: I'll try to implement a proof of concept, if just for the fun of it.)
Your case is very rare and who force you to use slots anyway? If you rarely change fxs on track just place it in row and forget about it
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viente View Post
Your case is very rare and who force you to use slots anyway? If you rarely change fxs on track just place it in row and forget about it
Unlike you, I was merely trying to be not presumptious about what is most common. I think the case where all tracks use the same plugs in the same order is much more rare, but anyway, it's completely besides the point I made. But how the heck would you infer that I would rarely change plugins on a track?

Nobody is forcing me to use anything, especially when it's non-existent (for clarity's sake: you are talking about fixed slots - we already have slots, and I like to use them a lot, thank you very much for asking). But nobody is forcing you to ignore superior solutions either, or even to consider an argument before rejecting it on completely irrelevant grounds. Did you even read what I wrote?

It seems to me that you're just pissed off at me because I told you that you were discussing this matter in the wrong place.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:44 PM   #16
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Post production mixing deals with large numbers of tracks that have the same basic features.

Dialog tracks tend to have the same inserts. Almost all tracks tend to have at least an EQ and a compressor on them. So for post production folks, the slot system would make a lot of sense, and would probably be simpler to operate than some kind of action driven ("insert plugin in front on all selected tracks" for example), automatic behaviors, such as "show same plugins in same order in same 'slot' on control surfaces".

In this regard, the slot system is one way to do it, but it's the simplest way. I do think that professionals will be able to cope with an action-driven approach and automatic bahaviors, but that would also need to extend to the MCP display.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airon View Post
Post production mixing deals with large numbers of tracks that have the same basic features.

Dialog tracks tend to have the same inserts. Almost all tracks tend to have at least an EQ and a compressor on them. [...]
I do recognize that this is an important type of workflow, and that this is what the (set of) FR(s) is aimed at. But in most of those cases you describe, I'd assume the plugins are already lined up. So that is not the case discussed here. It's only about the cases where the plugins aren't already lining up under the current system.

Also, I don't see how actions such as 'remove/replace every nth instance of plugin x on each selected track' would depend on fixed slots. Only an action to insert an instance of plugin x on every selected track at some user defined slot number y would be a bit different. All in all, not much is left of the Pros, but all of the Cons remain, and have even been underestimated imho: without substantial reorganization, navigating a control surface can become much more painful. It's not just a waste of valuable screen estate, it also implies empty slots to navigate around when using a control surface. That's a *huge* problem, but not even mentioned as such under Cons in the OP. Imho the balance is pretty clear: minimal if any Pros, enormous Cons.

Still, I should perhaps emphasize again that my proposal is only about a small part of what is claimed to be a benefit of the FR: lining up plugins on control surfaces. My main point is that this should not be seen as a benefit of this particular proposal, at least not exclusively. We can already do that without waiting for this FR to be implemented. Yet it is claimed to be a reason in favor of this FR, right at the top, which I think is misleading.

Also, have you considered using dummy plugins to fill out slots? I can imagine that, given the availability of the type of actions as discussed above, it would in effect do much the same thing. Imho a FR for such actions (basically slightly extended, nth instance versions of these) is great idea, but presuming we need fixed slots for such actions isn't a good idea at all.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:30 PM   #18
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Banned, sorry for being a liitle bit harsh but...

Have you ever worked on huge projects? Im working as sound engineer on a daily basis and i deal with huuuuge ammount of tracks (especialy with scoring the movies) with a lot of FX's on it. I always trying out different reverbs, compressors, delays etc on a track, and its a PAIN to always delete the old plugin then add new one to the end of the list, then drag it to the right place again. And if there is a huge list (and it is most of the time) of this plugins you also need to remember where in chain it was located before. Then again..Channel strips presets is essential tool for such work. What it means that i always place some primary tools on a track, like compressor, limiter, eq. And i leave space for other plugins that i may need to insert (such as analyzers, amps, saturators, some modulation stuff etc). And all this plugins is usualy placed before the dynamic processors. With FX slots i can always leave some free slots for that needs and save this tracks as presets. Also this is good for VSTi instruments (leave first slot empty and add all processing on the next slots).

And control surfaces will never help there.

Actually i don't know any other DAW that don't have this feauture. I hope devs will hear me and implement slot system in next updates. Peace!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Banned View Post
It seems to me that you're just pissed off at me because I told you that you were discussing this matter in the wrong place.
Naah i just need this feature so badly

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Old 03-21-2012, 04:55 PM   #19
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I might be missing something obvious (probably), but it seems to me a better solution is to be able to insert plugs directly into any position, like tracks in arrange, rather than reserving slots.

Need a plug in position 1? Drop it there and everything else moves down. I FR'd that some time ago but it never got any traction.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
I might be missing something obvious (probably), but it seems to me a better solution is to be able to insert plugs directly into any position, like tracks in arrange, rather than reserving slots.

Need a plug in position 1? Drop it there and everything else moves down. I FR'd that some time ago but it never got any traction.
This might be an option for example by holding and ALT (or whatever). Or even set current behaviour in the preferences as an option. If you look to any other DAW there is a great implemenatation of this feature
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:11 AM   #21
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do many sends alone tax the cpu?
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:32 AM   #22
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Viente, of course I try to respect people with workflows like yours too, I'm just hoping you also allow me to point out where some things would be unusable or even frustrating for my type of workflows, and then perhaps reconsider what exactly the best way to handle things would be. We all want REAPER to work well for everyone else too, as long as it works great for ourselves, don't we?
Quote:
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[...]Also this is good for VSTi instruments (leave first slot empty and add all processing on the next slots).[...]
Again, not for me. I may have a handful JS MIDI plugins before them, I may have one instrument sequencing another one in the next slot, and with the new multiple MIDI bus routing features I think some previously valid assumptions about the order or number of instrument plugins in a track aren't anymore.
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And control surfaces will never help there.
Well, that was my earlier point - better to leave them out of this discussion entirely, than to (misleadingly) mention them as a reason to vote in favor of this FR. My more general point, I guess, is that we should not oversimplify nor overcomplicate things, and while always looking at the bigger picture, tackle one issue at a time, unless the issues are intrinsically linked.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:40 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banned View Post
I may have a handful JS MIDI plugins before them, I may have one instrument sequencing another one in the next slot, and with the new multiple MIDI bus routing features I think some previously valid assumptions about the order or number of instrument plugins in a track aren't anymore.
So wouldn it better to leave few slots before each VSTi then? And not constantly moving fxs up and down in the row re-arraning the whole chain after you need to add something before or in between?

i gave up already...now my request is at least option to replace fx in the drop down menu...

Sadly..i bought Reaper for personal use and almost moved to it in the studio for commercial usage but this issue blocking me from doing this...because i need to work as FAST as possible. This is essential for our work

Last edited by Viente; 03-22-2012 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
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So wouldn it better to leave few slots before each VSTi then? And not constantly moving fxs up and down in the row re-arraning the whole chain after you need to add something before or in between?
No, I typically just don't want to see empty slots between plugins, and if I do, I just throw in a few JS dummies (have you ever tried that? if you just set up your 'empty' track templates with a bunch of them already inserted, you may be halfway what you want already). Moving plugins around generally works well enough for me, although there's much room for improvement, it is not a workflow killer for me. But that may just be because I typically don't need to manipulate the plugin chains of large numbers of similar tracks simultaneously (I do need to manipulate the plugin parameters of large numbers of similar tracks simultaneously, but that's something quite different).
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:30 AM   #25
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Dummies might work if there is an action called "replace fx"...
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:06 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viente View Post
Banned, sorry for being a liitle bit harsh but...

Have you ever worked on huge projects? Im working as sound engineer on a daily basis and i deal with huuuuge ammount of tracks (especialy with scoring the movies) with a lot of FX's on it. I always trying out different reverbs, compressors, delays etc on a track, and its a PAIN to always delete the old plugin then add new one to the end of the list, then drag it to the right place again. And if there is a huge list (and it is most of the time) of this plugins you also need to remember where in chain it was located before. Then again..Channel strips presets is essential tool for such work. What it means that i always place some primary tools on a track, like compressor, limiter, eq. And i leave space for other plugins that i may need to insert (such as analyzers, amps, saturators, some modulation stuff etc). And all this plugins is usualy placed before the dynamic processors. With FX slots i can always leave some free slots for that needs and save this tracks as presets. Also this is good for VSTi instruments (leave first slot empty and add all processing on the next slots).

And control surfaces will never help there.

Actually i don't know any other DAW that don't have this feauture. I hope devs will hear me and implement slot system in next updates. Peace!




Naah i just need this feature so badly
I'd vote and support something like that. Yes, a "replace FX" option would also help a lot. Both features are good.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:04 AM   #27
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Let's see some examples.

Here's a little session of a pilot a collegue and me mixed a few weeks ago.

The plugins are arranged not just to give you room to insert something else(or not), but also to make it easier to find tracks. Mind you, this is a fairly simple session.

Click to get the full sized image (150 KB)




Slots, or something that results in the same thing as a slot system, makes navigation a bit easier.

Personal preferences don't actually factor in to this. It's all purely practical, and filler plugins that do nothing but waste cycles and clog up the screen are just a bad workaround graphically and to a small degree in terms of performance.

I can erase plugins session-wide in a slot system with one click per slot, or replace them on selected tracks with one click per slot.

Slot also doesn't mean it'll have to be Slot A, Slot B and so forth. Protools is incredibly static in this regard and hasn't really innovated here in the last ten years.

This is where Reaper could shine. So let's talk practical functions for users of who organize their plugins in either a slot system or not. Nobody seems to have thought about marquee-selecting plugins in the MCP either. That could be really interesting, just to move plugins up or down a bit, or copy a load of plugins at once.

The default should be to have things the way they are, unless anyone can put forth a good reason for it not to be. Plugins just get sent to the back of the chain on instantiation.

Slot organization would be an ON/OFF switch in the Options menu. Question is, should it be per session or global, or both global to start with but changable per session ?

New Functions

Insert plugin in front of selected plugin on selected track(s)
Easy one to do in the context menu. The function calls up the FX browser. Slot system users will find this very usable across selected tracks as well. Non-slot users probably not quite as often.

Shift plugins down by one slot on selected track(s) (slot users only)

Shift plugins up by one slot on selected track(s) (slot users only)

Replace selected plugin on selected track(s)
Replaces the Xth instance the plugin the user chose on selected tracks. This is potentially dangerous but can be highly useful even for slot system users, if the plugin being replaced is kept in different slots.

Replace plugin in selected Slot on selected track(s) (slot users only)
Pretty simple replacement method.


Note, this also applies to sends. Big note fellas.

What other functions would you guys suggest ? This was just off the top of my head.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:50 AM   #28
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Didn't read through the whole thread, but I had opened a similar FR some time ago...

http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=2160

Similar enough to merge into one?
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:43 PM   #29
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Similar, though let's wait and see what we come up with here before posting. I know I voted for it two years ago . If not merged, this new one should outright reference your request. 59 votes so far after all.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:40 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viente View Post
Have you ever worked on huge projects? Im working as sound engineer on a daily basis and i deal with huuuuge ammount of tracks (especialy with scoring the movies) with a lot of FX's on it. I always trying out different reverbs, compressors, delays etc on a track, and its a PAIN to always delete the old plugin then add new one to the end of the list, then drag it to the right place again. And if there is a huge list (and it is most of the time) of this plugins you also need to remember where in chain it was located before. Then again..Channel strips presets is essential tool for such work. What it means that i always place some primary tools on a track, like compressor, limiter, eq. And i leave space for other plugins that i may need to insert (such as analyzers, amps, saturators, some modulation stuff etc). And all this plugins is usualy placed before the dynamic processors. With FX slots i can always leave some free slots for that needs and save this tracks as presets. Also this is good for VSTi instruments (leave first slot empty and add all processing on the next slots).

And control surfaces will never help there.
How can you know this? Only because YOU can not do it? Are you thinking your view is the center of the world?
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:54 AM   #31
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The only control surface that does anything useful and quick in terms of insert effects is the Icon for Protools, but even that doesn't shift slots around so the user can insert stuff in front or between to adjacent slots.


So far I can spot some distinct advantages right off the bat for a slot-like display and capability to visually have things line up.

It makes it easier for slot-specific actions to take place across many tracks.

These include
  • inserting plugins
  • removing plugins
  • bypassing plugins
  • offlining plugins(won't happen a lot since freeze is available now)
  • inserting an empty slot
  • removing an empty slot
  • reorganizing plugins on the slot grid to line up identical plugins

Please keep in mind that this is all virtual. We don't actually need a codified slot system like Protools does because of its DSP-based mixers, though that is an assumption that may no longer be true.

I'll put together a request now. As an optional component to the mixer, it's a help for people with larger sessions, users of console emulations, folks who use control surfaces that need things to line up and just folks in general who'd like to visually organize their effects in the mixer a little better.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:11 PM   #32
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Also it opens up a new possibilities for custom actions

With slots every slot has its own number and you can put let's say a spectrum analyzer on slot 10 and always toggle it with the same key on a selected track. Or more easily make A/B's FX comparisons. You can trigger every plugin in custom actions and make complex solutions for FX arrangements and manipulations. I already have a lot in mind but with current behavior its not. possible. Look at Logic Studio. This feature has been there for ages and for a good use!

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Old 06-02-2012, 07:21 PM   #33
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sends should definitely be in the same place as fx. in fact, isn't that what we're mostly using them for? i still hit the fx button all the time when i want to adjust a send effect. so not only would it be more intuitive, but more logical. i am still on topic, am i?

or is this more about the slots themselves? but combining the fx and i/o windows (and a total rethink of the gui, should drastically simplify the user's experience, not make it more complicated.

It's all about hiding the advanced aspects from the beginner user, so as not to overwhelm them. The complexity is still right there, but it's easy to ignore if you don't need it. Sorry to get tangential but this is a point I truly wish Cockos would take to heart. Balancing a simple interface with a complex tool is important, and all it takes is some forethought and strong organization. I don't know if the devs realize what a tragic turn off it is to a user to be forced to read redundantly long and technical descriptions in order to find a simple means to a simple end (referring to mainly menus and action names). A program should seem to evolve naturally with the learning curve of the user, not drop them into a foreign country with a map and a telephone.

Once again, sorry if I misunderstand the nature of this thread, seemed like what i was looking for...
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:20 PM   #34
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This FR is pure gold. +1 from my side. I made a comparison screencapture which visualizes the advantages pretty clear IMHO.



"Empty" FX wouldn't help much because you still need to read to get it but with empty slots there is no need for reading. The strength is in the easy recognisable pattern...

Edit: Man, posting images which load on every browser is really hard with this forum.

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Old 03-24-2017, 10:35 AM   #35
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I am a little late but hey:
Happy Birthday FR! I hope you get closed before becoming 10 years!
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:04 AM   #36
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I want this!
A slot based system would be so much better.
We could even insert plugins via shortcut that way!
The whole send and insert system needs an update anyway!
It's way to slow and clunky at the moment.
I especially hate all the popup windows.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:16 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luster View Post
I am a little late but hey:
Happy Birthday FR! I hope you get closed before becoming 10 years!
+1!
. . . well the 5 year anniversary has come and gone . . .
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:04 AM   #38
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+1 +1 +1
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:50 AM   #39
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Day 2034.

Hehe. Well what can you do. It would take some doing to mess with the current system.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:14 PM   #40
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There are no cons to this. So damned tired of rearranging plugin order (though when I was using Cubase before discovering Reaper, I couldn't even do that, so it was well appreciated at the time)...

I still find it redundant to have a separate input Fx window. Just give us a few separate sections (pre, normal, post fx) in the same window, with slots.
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