Old 03-17-2009, 01:43 AM   #1
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Default Editing behaviors

Three things in the editing behaviors of Reaper that complicate matters. =edit= All these behaviors occur with auto-crossfading off. One by one they are :



If the green item were moved to overlap the red item, we would get the requested behavior, though not completely, as the red item would not be cut either. This makes it quite hard to place crossfades at the cut points too.
------


Once the mouse button is let go of, or the paste command is executed, the placed material takes precedence and erases everything that used to live in the space it now occupies. This again, enables crossfades to be created more easily if needed. Right now the user needs to delete the red material he/she will cover with the green item before moving the green item.
------


Another example of why it is handy to have material handled by the user REPLACE the material underneath, in this case the red item replaces the space that the green item had occupied before.
------------------

It must be noted that the three behaviors as they stand in Reaper at this time, should be relegated to the Free Item Positioning Mode, which is where multiple items overlapping in interesting ways should be handled.

It is my impression that users expect a track operating outside the Free Item Position Mode to operate more like a strip of tape. I'm all for keeping this optional of course, but this should be addressed.

Please point out any faults in my strategy or downfalls the requested behaviors could incur. I'm all for ideas better than my own, though these current behaviors of Reaper have been pointed out by quite a few users already.

-edit-
It occurs to me that the requested behaviors will turn tracks in to behaving more like tape. Thus, let's call it the 'tape editing mode', and put it in the icon bar as a toggle.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:18 AM   #2
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Counter proposal:

Opaque items.







Note: "mute" doesn't mean classic per-item mute. In this case the muted part is just excluded from playback.

There could also be a new action: Remove overlapping parts of items. It should work like that:



If this action was executed automatically on mouse button release or paste it would work exactly as airon described Should also be optional though.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:43 AM   #3
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If anything, the counterproposal is how Reaper should have worked all along.

Some folks need the stuff underneath to be erased for the simple reason of creating crossfades. In the first case this can be achieved with auto-x-fades of course.

In the second case it's no big deal if the material is underneath the current one, unless someone trims the green item to reveal it. It may surprise some folks.

The third case needs a tape-like operation, and thus the optional "Remove stuff you place things on top" turned on.

The only way this wouldn't be necessary is if Reaper let you produce crossfades at the cut points very easily. I already have some macros in mind to make that happen if this tape-like behavior can be introduced. I don't see this happening with the current behavior or that in the counterproposal unless the Reaper developers create those actions or mouse actions.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:46 AM   #4
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erm....


<=========== this arrow points left, no?


I've no problem with idea #1 but with 2 & 3 I'd like it to NOT cut the audio.

Also, I don't think the counter proposal is how I'd EVER want it to behave.

Of course, it's optional so no biggie
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:54 AM   #5
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oh , woops, actually I wouldn't want ANY of these behvaiors (I misread idea #1 up there) sorry

they are all fine options though, I just think it would confuse people if it's default
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:23 AM   #6
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I think it should be such:
- Don't cut and remove anything.
- ensure that reaper plays the topmost item only, unless there is a crossfade or play all takes (even in FIPM mode).
- add the following actions: Items: Crossfade selected items (with default) and Items: Crossfade selected items (x-fade editor). Which will put a cross-fade over overlaping/touching edges of all selected items according to the default length and shape set by the user (or according to the x-fade editor dialogue)

in my opinion, in the case of #3, where where a shorter item is placed on top of a longer item, the longer item should remain intact, but simply not be heard outside the range of the fade areas.

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Old 03-17-2009, 08:02 AM   #7
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The overlap should probably be default behavior as in the counter proposal but shaded so you know where the overlaps are and trimming the item underneath should be possible from above.



Typically I never crossfade items like this, it's normally a "cut" edit so auto crossfades are usually turned off. Here's a video of what I mean. You always know when there is an item underneath. No surprises.

http://theaudiocave.com/Jing/ol2.mp4
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:24 PM   #8
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Then, shouldn't the item the user touches, moves or trims always be on top ?

A crossfade action would be nice. I hope it works too.

And I think any fade should eliminate the grey "there's something behind this area" colouring, should that be introduced. It could show only when the mouse cursor passes over the item, or the item is selected.

Here's another demonstration of what I hope to achieve. Like I said, I see this as an optional behavior for editors who need this:



Does anyone have a better idea on how to achieve crossfades efficiently ? The "crossfade selected area of selected items" function has been done by Xenakios, but it sure would be nice to have such a useful editing feature out of the box.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airon View Post
Then, shouldn't the item the user touches, moves or trims always be on top ?
Not really. It would start to change the front to back positions of the items if every item you touched came to the front/top.

Quote:
And I think any fade should eliminate the grey "there's something behind this area" colouring, should that be introduced. It could show only when the mouse cursor passes over the item, or the item is selected.
For sure. if you have a crossfade then you don't really have an overlap/cancel so there wouldn't be any need to mark the overlap. It would already be marked by the crossfade region's start and end points and both audio sections are working on the same "level" in that case with no particular segment "on top" of the other.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Not really. It would start to change the front to back positions of the items if every item you touched came to the front/top.
Then so be it. I always bite my desk everytime I can't grab the right edge of an item because another item overlaps. It could be so that selection brings an item to the front (also in fipm).
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:07 PM   #11
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Not sure about all that stuff.

One thing I really miss:

On two crossfaded items we should be able to resize the left item by grabbing and dragging its right edge at least. Currently that's not possible (when not using the "show overlapping items in lanes" option)! At the overlap you only can resize the right item at its left edge
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:33 PM   #12
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This may help some folks doing these type of edits, just in case people forgot or didn't know:

- alt+shift the crossfade to shift the entire intersection without moving contents

- alt+drag to shift the contents themselves without moving in/out points

- alt+shift the contents to shift the in/out points without moving contents
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:25 PM   #13
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Then so be it. I always bite my desk everytime I can't grab the right edge of an item because another item overlaps. It could be so that selection brings an item to the front (also in fipm).
I hear you. It would be unique to have Reaper bring an item forward temporarily for editing purposes on selection, but not actually play the section that's "covered" and of course put it back in the proper order on losing the focus. In practice in Cubase that's easily handled in the info bar by hovering over the length of the item and rolling the mouse wheel so I haven't had an issue with that in that daw.

That would be a neat editing trick/option (temporary bring item forward) that would solve that very real problem you describe in Reaper. Other than that, that's what lanes are for... freely trimming the edges of overlapping takes into a comp?

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On two crossfaded items we should be able to resize the left item by grabbing and dragging its right edge at least. Currently that's not possible (when not using the "show overlapping items in lanes" option)! At the overlap you only can resize the right item at its left edge
Really good point. I hadn't noticed that since I don't really use crossfades.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:25 PM   #14
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I'm going to give this whole thread the big thumbs up and +1 as I'd love to see this stuff addressed. I'm open as to how it gets done...lots of good ideas here....like Airon, I like the idea of anything the user touches being on top. I love the "tape editing mode" idea a lot!!



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Old 03-18-2009, 02:16 AM   #15
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Lawrence, let's take the topic of design innovation concerning the ways to temporarily show overlaps for editing fades, the problem of items being dragged in from the left going underneath any item it encounters in a single lane environment and the funny idea that few who posted in this thread seem to actually want a somewhat destructive method of placing items in the timeline, to another thread in the General forum.

All the solutions offered here fall a little short of what this feature request is asking. Should some of you folks not be interested in these methods, that's alright, but don't post that here. Should you want to criticize the feature request on issues of design and practicality, please go ahead and rip it to shreds, for good reasons. "This isn't useful to me" doesn't do it, if no reason is given. "I'm fine with the way things are" doesn't improve my situation or that of editors who I know do need this.

Any idea that matches or betters the one presented in the feature request at the top is well worth discussion. So far I've mostly seen good points about the way things are quirky in Reapers current methods, and workarounds that end up being a lot slower than the request.

So to focus myself and folks who are following this thread, here's the visual compilation of what currently happens, and possible solutions, if they exist, on how to tackle them at this time.

What I see is that a destructive tape-like mode is very necessary for people who don't want to waste more than a second or two on a crossfade. In my opinion, Xenakios' Crossfade command ought to be included in Reaper, because manual fade ins and fade outs are covered, but manual crossfades are not.



Avi version for folks who want to pause the video (1 MB) and a Quicktime version (1.5 MB)
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:13 AM   #16
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+1 Airon, you are preaching to the choir as far as I'm concerned. I spent years helping develop DAW's with companies (ie: AKAI). Ultimately, the better mousetrap wins out. If it gets you there in the fewest steps, it wins. The rest is people who simply enjoy trying to reinvent the wheel. Is that really intuitive? Core efficiencies need to be sorted out around here.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:02 AM   #17
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Good explanation.
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
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+1 Airon, you are preaching to the choir as far as I'm concerned. I spent years helping develop DAW's with companies (ie: AKAI). Ultimately, the better mousetrap wins out. If it gets you there in the fewest steps, it wins. The rest is people who simply enjoy trying to reinvent the wheel. Is that really intuitive? Core efficiencies need to be sorted out around here.
Without Xenakios' action crossfades would be much more work and less precise too as there is no manual crossfading, and trying to trim out an item that is to the left of another, in to that right-hand item, or just dragging one on top of the right is a risky thing. I may need to activate that overlap->dual-lane option, which will cost me visual detail and make a session with lots of edits real interesting, like a checkerboard with irregular holes.

So far I see no way out but to have a switch to turn on/off that destructive item behavior, which I've lived with in all the other DAWs all my life.

That said, there's nothing wrong with some background intelligence for this. When I drop a small piece in to the middle of an item, and then move that small piece around that, the hole it leaves could travel with it. Having that hole however is important as I don't need anything playing underneath that placed item, and while there is the workaround I showed in a previous video(the dialog editing comparison) of pre-cutting a hole in to the item, that is occupying target area, works, it's a bit more fiddly. The overlay material may not actually come from the immediate area, so I might COPY a piece of an item far away and then just attempt to paste it on top of the target area. Good luck with that. In Reaper you'd be better off pasting it in to an empty track beneath or above and then dragging it with the mouse. Of course not without pre-cutting a hole in to the intended destination area once again. It adds up.

With a tape-like behavior you'd have the guarantee of overwriting the area you're pasting in to. You'd be safe and wouldn't need to check out each track for items that just live on top of each other. That overlapping does not need to happen often in the editing I perform. The most use of the Free Item Position Mode or the overlap-dual-lane option would come when I might bolster a piece of dialog with some additional roomtone, something that requires an extra track in all other DAWs.

I've gotten used to the time selection/marquee thing, though I still think the free selection would make things much clearer and have enough benefits to make it worth the effort to the developers and benefit all users. This overlapping behavior however is plain unpractical for much of the editing work I've done. I've tried imagining where it would have been beneficial, and there were no situations that I could remember as such behavior being more efficient.

If I wanted an overlap like that to happen during fx editing for example, I'd just use the Free Item Positioning Mode right away. This is the area of Reaper where I expected this overlapping behavior to occur.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:26 AM   #19
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So now I've found where all this hoopala of funny item behavior stems from.

When you check "Options/Show Overlapping Items In Lanes" it becomes quite apparent.

Question is, does anybody actually need this ? And Why ?

I'm curious because nobody I talked to seems to find any use for it yet. And if there's just a few of you, why not either relegate this behavior to the option mentioned above, or have 'normal' tape-like behavior be the default ?
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airon View Post
So now I've found where all this hoopala of funny item behavior stems from.

When you check "Options/Show Overlapping Items In Lanes" it becomes quite apparent.

Question is, does anybody actually need this ? And Why ?

I'm curious because nobody I talked to seems to find any use for it yet. And if there's just a few of you, why not either relegate this behavior to the option mentioned above, or have 'normal' tape-like behavior be the default ?
I don't use it at all airon, I've never find a reason to. Maybe you've hit the nail in the head, this seems to be directly related to that.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:32 AM   #21
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argh.... double post, sorry
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airon View Post
When you check "Options/Show Overlapping Items In Lanes" it becomes quite apparent.

Question is, does anybody actually need this ? And Why ?
I'm using it. Why? It shows overlapping items in lanes
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:20 AM   #23
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Oh I meant the behavior in single track view. The overlapping lanes thing is great, but I don't need that when I'm editing on a single track. We have two options to do that already, and I don't need a third to complicate things.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:01 AM   #24
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Bump to remind us that tape-like behavior is required for many of us.

For the folks who indeed need the current behavior, I don't want it to go away, but you need to realize that you have three options to shuffle things underneath each other with the Free Item Positioning Mode, the Show Overlapping Items in Lanes option and even the single track mode. And the single track mode is where I cut all the time.

A lot of users need things to be cut properly when overlapping without auto x-fades, and then need manual crossfades to work too.

Right now, when an item is moved in from the left to overlap an item to the right of it, it goes UNDERNEATH the item. Come in from the right and it goes on TOP.

All editors working with Reaper, please examine this for yourselves and post your impression of whether or not you actually want to live with that, or request tape-like behavior.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:05 AM   #25
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A better name for what airon is describing is "tape style editing". Without this, editing in REAPER is very long winded and painful with many common editing workflows.

Having and Item overlapping another Item when dragging it to the left yet underlapping an Item when dragging it to the right makes no editing sense at all. It requires doing extra time consuming steps.

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Old 04-06-2009, 04:25 AM   #26
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a big +1 on this!!
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:41 PM   #27
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Quote:
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A better name for what airon is describing is "tape style editing". Without this, editing in REAPER is very long winded and painful with many common editing workflows.

Having and Item overlapping another Item when dragging it to the left yet underlapping an Item when dragging it to the right makes no editing sense at all. It requires doing extra time consuming steps.

Shane

Ab. So. Lutely.

I'm hoping that once V3 officially comes out, audio stuff gets a nice little kick in the pants.


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Old 04-20-2009, 05:23 PM   #28
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Bump

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Old 04-20-2009, 07:29 PM   #29
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+1 for me too !!

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Old 07-22-2009, 09:57 AM   #30
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+1 for me too. The overlapping item "feature" where you hear the two items mixed together sucks for most of the editing I do. If I paste a media item over another, I want to hear only the item I pasted, not a blend of the pasted item and item underneath.

Maybe I'm missing something in the Preferences or Options menu, or some way to turn off this behavior...?
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:12 PM   #31
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+1 for me too. The overlapping item "feature" where you hear the two items mixed together sucks for most of the editing I do. If I paste a media item over another, I want to hear only the item I pasted, not a blend of the pasted item and item underneath.

Maybe I'm missing something in the Preferences or Options menu, or some way to turn off this behavior...?
+1 Yes this is really odd. This behavior seems actually like a bug - because it behaves this way with auto crossfades disabled.
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:29 PM   #32
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I found out today that there is a setting that partly deals with the issue of overlapping audio:
Go to File>Project Settings>Project Settings tab and then Item Mix Behavior. You have to select "Items Always Replace Earlier Items" then hit Ok.

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Old 07-22-2009, 07:48 PM   #33
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Quote:
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I found out today that there is a setting that partly deals with the issue of overlapping audio:
Go to File>Project Settings>Project Settings tab and then Item Mix Behavior. You have to select "Items Always Replace Earlier Items" then hit Ok.

Avi
Thank you, Aviavi. Sometimes, many posts show many encountering the same problem. Perhaps a useful feature request would be to move that menu selection choice over to Option>Preferences>Mixing Behavior (just above Editing Behavior).
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:46 AM   #34
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Bump, please at LEAST allow us to overlap items from the left on top of the right!
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Old 09-26-2009, 03:12 PM   #35
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Yeah. To some newcomers in Reaper this actually looks like a bug! I can't understand why it's like this either.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:13 AM   #36
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You have my +1 on this issue too.

Could it be that the editing behavior is on a per-track basis rather than a global option? (but still having a global preferred default for new tracks). The tape-style behavior should be the default in my opinion.
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:32 PM   #37
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There is now a feature request in the issue track on the overlap behaviour.

http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=1256

Go and vote if you think it's a good idea.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:50 AM   #38
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Updated the post in the issue tracker to clarify what can happen after this operation is performed. Naturally this is also expected to happen on the right-hand side of the overlayed item as well.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:56 AM   #39
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Looks like the discussion has moved to the announcement thread in the General forum.

Post comments there :P .

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=43344
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