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Craig Anderton

Who's Using ReWire with CbB?

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I had a thought for my Sound on Sound column on CbB...it's great that CbB is free, but it doesn't include the instruments that were in Platinum. Given the money you save from not having to buy CbB, and the uncertainty over when/if any instruments would be re-introduced in a Cakewalk store, it seems like it would make sense to buy Reason, ReWire it into CbB, and use it as a synth/sampler/drum computer backline for CbB.

Although it might seem using ReWire is obvious, there are some fine points and those would be the subject of the column. Thoughts? Worth doing?

 

 

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I have been doing digital recording since before the current millennium, and I have never rewired anything, and don't know how to do it or why I would want to. So I'd be interested in an entry-level explanation of it. Capabilities, gotchas, advantages, reasons for doing it at all. I'm sure I could google this, but I guess my question would be "Why would I want to know?"

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I tried to use rewire once.

Using CbB as master and Reaper as client. Did not work.

Though i googled a lot, i never got to understand how to use rewire.

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This is very useful feedback, because even though it's only two responses, my sense is that they're representative.

The bottom line is that ReWire lets you treat an entire DAW as a plug-in. Larry, the reason "why you would want to know" would be more relevant if you didn't have Platinum, because CbB has very limited software synths. But by writing one check and getting Reason, via ReWire it would essentially become a "super plug-in" within CbB.

You'd have a basic sampler along with a quite sophisticated one, a killer modular synth, killer normalized synth, unique Graintable synthesizer, "drum designer" on a level similar to Studio One's Impact XT or NI's Battery, TR-808-style drum machine, virtual analog synth, eight-track REX file playback machine, something similar to the  Cakewalk Sound Center for more conventional sounds, and a whole bunch of effects. All of these would feed into CbB's mixer, just as if they were conventional soft synths, and be triggered by CbB's MIDI tracks.

Kurre, I feel your pain but the reason it didn't work is because Reaper and CbB are both host-only. ReWire needs a host, and a client to ReWire into the host. Some programs are host only, some client only, and a very few are both (Ableton Live is the only one that comes to mind). So an article on what ReWire is and how to use it would have saved you time.

I'm beginning to think this is worth pursuing, so thanks for your feedback. FWIW Sweetwater also seems to think that most users don't understand the advantages of ReWire...if people knew how ReWire worked, the ones who don't like CbB's staff view  could use Presonus Notion, a notation program that also works as a client. Granted, ReWire can't be as tightly integrated into a program as something that's in the program's DNA, but that's how Studio One gets around needing to incorporate notation.

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I have to agree that rewire is a can of worms, and I suspect this is not just a Cakewalk issue. For someone who does not have any instruments except what comes free with Cakewalk, the effort and cost might be worth it, but for those of us poor suckers who have acquired far more VST's than we have expected lifetimes to learn how to use effectively, it is not worth the additional effort.

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29 minutes ago, slartabartfast said:

I have to agree that rewire is a can of worms, and I suspect this is not just a Cakewalk issue.

It is definitely not a Cakewalk issue, Sonar always had a good ReWire implementation. I think the main issue is that companies don't really answer Larry's question above: "Why would I want to know?"  Describing the nuts and bolts of how to do it doesn't make sense without giving the big picture as to why.

But, this void is what gives me writing opportunities! I think it's going to be a fun article to write, and I hope it will help people understand that ReWire has some really legit uses. Before the Matrix View, I did a lot of rewiring of Ableton Live into Sonar. I also was an early adopter of Reason, and with Sonar having one of the better ReWire implementations, it really filled a gap in plug-in land back then. I still find Reason's virtual instruments to be really cool, which is why I think they'd be an ideal match for someone who's starting off with CbB, but doesn't have a vast collection of VST instruments.

Again, thanks everyone for the comments.

 

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This topic has been a bit of an eye opener for me, and I'll be honest, I fall in to the same camp as Larry - I don't know much about rewire, and wondered why I would ever need to anyhow.

I've never really been interested in Reason, as I always saw it as a modular synth I'd never have the time to get into... and from what I've seen of Ableton, it's workflow doesn't really fit in with my writing workflow either. So with those two being the main rewire clients, I'd never really considered it.

But the prospect of using things like Notion for scoring does interest me. And if there's any other rewire clients that are out there, I'd like to know about them - not really from a "how to" perspective, but more of a "this is what you could do" perspective.

I really look forward to your article.

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I used to use rewire with Reason all the time and found it provided lots opportunities. It seemed like it stopped working at some point...I can't remember when.
Would welcome using it again with Cakewalk. Hope you do the article. Would love to check it out.

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Posted (edited)

Good to know my vast ignorance might finally come in handy for somebody. @Craig Anderton, feel free to PM me if you'd like to know what else I don't know, about ReWire or... anything.

Edited by Larry Jones
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8 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

...Kurre, I feel your pain but the reason it didn't work is because Reaper and CbB are both host-only. ReWire needs a host, and a client to ReWire into the host. Some programs are host only, some client only, and a very few are both (Ableton Live is the only one that comes to mind). So an article on what ReWire is and how to use it would have saved you time...

What didn't you understand with "googled a lot"?
Wikipedia have Reaper as both host and client (device).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReWire_(software_protocol)
Another one listing Reaper as both host and client.
https://reverb.com/news/how-to-combine-2-daws-with-rewire

Users on vi-control.net:

Nr1. Reaper can run in Rewire mode, certainly on a Mac. I have run it successfully as a slave to Logic. Don't see why it can't run as a RW slave on a PC as well.

Nr2. I find If I open a Host DAW and the 2nd DAW shows up in the Rewire list, it can now communicate as the Slave.

In my rewire list i find Waves and Reaper.

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Posted (edited)

Very sorry about that, I certainly stand corrected about Reaper! When I googled, I found several articles (like this one), and also the wiki.cockos.com documentation, that described using Reaper as a host, but none describing Reaper as a client. Then again, I didn't search on "rewire synthesizer" or "rewire slave," only "rewire client."

Also, I had tried using Reaper as a client once and it didn't work. However, I do recall that at one point, Propellerheads were really late delivering a 64-bit library for ReWire. So there were several months (maybe almost a year?) where you couldn't rewire anything with 64-bit DAWs. Perhaps that's why it didn't work for me.

FWIW the new version of ACID that Magix overhauled can also be a client.

Edited by Craig Anderton
Added bit about Acid

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Posted (edited)

That's ok.

If you could make Reaper to work with CbB as a Rewire client and explain how you did it. That would be of interest to me.

Reason not so much but others probably would like to know about that one.

 

PS. It seems to be some freakish law like murphys law that hide mistakes and missing words until i submit the text. 🙄

 

Edited by Kurre

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On 7/29/2019 at 6:19 PM, Craig Anderton said:

on a level similar to Studio One's Impact XT

I am not familiar with Reason, so had to look up the cost for an end user, and rewire has been a can of worms for me as well. Does the Reason Intro version include those features (full blown Reason is not cheap)? If not, some third party programs or even DAWs have these functions integrated under the hood which makes them simpler (and get fixes more readily). Being unfamiliar with rewire, I would be interested to hear the argument for a new user, since learning two DAWs is not as beneficial as sticking with one which already does what they need.

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At one point back in the day I used Giga Studio 3 in Sonar via Rewire.  It worked fine, but I found it best to run GS3 in stand alone mode where I could have It at 64 sample buffer size while Sonar was running higher latency with other stuff.  That seems like forever ago. 😀

I’ve also tested out waves tune in rewire in the past and it seemed to work fine as well.  

 

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9 hours ago, mettelus said:

I am not familiar with Reason, so had to look up the cost for an end user, and rewire has been a can of worms for me as well. Does the Reason Intro version include those features (full blown Reason is not cheap)? If not, some third party programs or even DAWs have these functions integrated under the hood which makes them simpler (and get fixes more readily). Being unfamiliar with rewire, I would be interested to hear the argument for a new user, since learning two DAWs is not as beneficial as sticking with one which already does what they need.

Good questions, to be sure. The Intro version used to support ReWire, but no longer does. The full version costs $399, but what you get for that is impressive. Remember, my context is someone who has downloaded CbB, but now needs plug-ins. Reason works out to under $25 per virtual instrument, and there are also the 20 effects you can put on those instruments. 

As to learning two DAWs, that's a misconception when it comes to ReWire. Think of ReWire as turning a DAW into a plug-in. All you really need to do is figure out how to get MIDI to an instrument, which basically involves choosing it as a MIDI output in CbB, and clicking on the instrument you want to hear in Reason as you record. All the instruments default to mixing down to a stereo channel in CbB's mixer, but with a little more effort, you can expose Reason's individual outputs and assign different instruments to different outputs. It's really not very different from using a multi-timbral synth like SampleTank. Of course, if you want to take advantage of Reason's pattern sequencers and such, you need to learn those.

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On 7/29/2019 at 4:19 PM, Craig Anderton said:

if people knew how ReWire worked, the ones who don't like CbB's staff view  could use Presonus Notion, a notation program that also works as a client.

This has been my main use of Rewire.  Notion had other issues  that prevented my continuing to use it with any frequency, but I did have the Rewire functionality working realtively smoothly within its limitations (e.g. Notion's playback cursor not following changes in CbB Now Time when transport isn't running).

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8 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

Good questions, to be sure. The Intro version used to support ReWire, but no longer does. The full version costs $399, but what you get for that is impressive. Remember, my context is someone who has downloaded CbB, but now needs plug-ins. Reason works out to under $25 per virtual instrument, and there are also the 20 effects you can put on those instruments.

I was disappointed to discover that ReWire had been removed from all but the full version of Reason. I recently acquired Reason Lite 10 with some hardware, and was looking to explore ReWire with that, but it's still $299 to upgrade from Intro/Lite.

Since I do have Notion, that still may be worth checking out ReWire for notation with a DAW.

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Posted (edited)

Back in the Gibson owned days I always had the grandiose idea of Using Reason as a rewire plugin in Sonar.

However, the reality was the few times I tried it always felt clunky and the synths I had with Reason at the time really sounded more dated than I remembered them being.  With so many good (free and cheap options) that can work as a VSTi within Cakewalk, I ended up moving on.

That being said, I do not have the latest and greatest full blown Reason version.  

The general concept is a good one and I'd imagine Craig has a workflow that is much improved on my own personal experiment with it.  

I did not realize Reason removed Rewire on the recent "lite" versions.  I think I bought 8 to get the functionality in the 64 bit environment.  Previously I was using an old, but full blown version in 32bit land.  After moving strictly to 64 bit, I got the lite version to see if the concept would work for me.  As noted above, it didn't seem like it was worth the hassle and I never liked the idea of basically the recource hog of effectivly running two DAWs at the same time.  (Did not run tests to determine how much that idea is rooted in reality)...perhpas another area Craig could shed some light on.

I even have an unopened Reason Essentails box that should be in the Rewire era.  Bought two at the time given I work in multiple environments (and didn't want to have to rely on the included Reason dongle.  

(note I bought lifetime updates with Sonar, so I had more in the box synths than the current free Cakewalk offers currently).  

Edited by Brian Walton

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