REX files are often confused with Groove Control® because both share the basic concepts of sliced audio and MIDI files. A REX file is something anyone can create from a standard audio file loop by using Reason Studios’s ReCycle™ application since it is an open format, while a Groove Control native SAGE file is a closed format and only something that Spectrasonics can create.
Stylus RMX supports the REX file format by allowing you to import REX files via the Stylus RMX Standalone. The standalone makes the process of using REX files in RMX very convenient. However, REX files may not work as well at different tempos compared to the Groove Control files in the Core Library and Expansion libraries.
So what’s missing from a REX File that a Groove Control file has? Here are some facts that will help explain the difference:
REX Files are inherently limited by three factors:
Limited Tool Set
The only application that can create a REX file is ReCycle, so the limitations of the tools available in ReCycle for manipulating the audio slices determine the level of quality that can be achieved in a REX file. ReCycle is an older application and no other plug-ins or audio editing applications can be utilized in the creation of REX files. For certain types of simpler percussive loop material, ReCycle has an adequate set of tools for a skilled user to potentially create a quality sliced audio file. For more complex mixes or tonal loops, ReCycle’s tools are not adequately suited to produce a usable sliced audio file.
The Experience Level of the “Slicer”
The skill level of the person who is doing the slicing work is another very important factor in achieving the best results from a REX file. While high-quality audio slicing may not be an artform, it is certainly a skilled craft that requires a lot of patience to learn and is far more difficult than most people realize. If the preparation of a REX file is rushed, not sliced properly, or carefully tested, the results will likely be disappointing and nowhere near the desired end result.
No Guaranteed Review Process
REX is simply an audio file format, without any guarantee of musical results that Reason Studios checks, tests, or reviews. Anyone can create a REX file and the end musical results can range from fantastic to terrible depending on the source material and the skill and experience of the person doing the slicing work in ReCycle. Unfortunately, many commercial REX libraries are poorly sliced, while others are sliced very well. REX files are a case of “Garbage IN, Garbage OUT”, so your results can vary a great deal.
Groove Control® is not limited in these three important factors:
With our proprietary Groove Control development method, we are able to use a huge variety of tools and any combination of commercial applications to achieve the best results for each type of source material. This allows us to try many things until the end result is exactly what we want with no artifacts and the best possible sound quality. Many different processing methods are used on the audio, along with a lot of “hand-tweaking” and some custom software. This ensures that every slice of every groove sounds great and can stand on its own. As a result, Groove Control grooves can be played at a much wider range of tempos while still keeping the highest standard of audio quality. Even complex Groove Control grooves with ambient elements sound great when undergoing dramatic speed changes.
Highly Experienced “Slicers”
Groove Control files can only be created by a special, highly trained, and experienced Groove Control audio development group at Spectrasonics where we works together to push the boundaries of what is possible with sliced audio. The group spends a great deal of time-sharing techniques to create the best quality results for every loop. Only Spectrasonics and ILIO Entertainments are currently authorized to produce Groove Control products.
Guaranteed Review Process
When you see the Groove Control logo on a Spectrasonics or ILIO product, you can be sure that every groove has been carefully scrutinized with an official review process to make sure that it adheres to the highest standard of quality.