I’ve read in the poll section about the highly anticipated pattern sequencer… It seems to be THE feature what most users like to have. But why it is very hard to implement? Ok, having something like clips and non static pattern data lists is a little bit complicated… but why don’t do an easier solution as a first step?
Let’s take a look to one of my earlier tracker editors on the Amiga… It’s quite old (1992-1994) but to it’s time it was a kind of “next generation” tracker ( I don’t like this term anymore because I don’t see a really new generation for years… ).
There it is… (I hope you like the skin )
It’s the latest original German version… but you don’t need to read the text here.
The MusicMaker V8 has great features and a full AREXX interface for programming and collaboration with other tools.
But back to topic: The MusicMaker’s main screen on the next shot shows it’s pattern sequencer…
As the V8 in name suggests it’s one of the old 8 channel trackers (which make 8 ch. out of the 4 Amiga Paula HW channels using a trick.)
In the pattern sequencer you can see those 8 channels as tracks vertically while the time (pattern counter) goes horizontally. Every vertical column is one pattern. So in difference to all the other trackers (including Renoise) each number reflects a block of events and not a whole pattern whith several blocks inside. Blocks marked with a “-P-” are emtpy ones.
Now we can edit a pattern by selecting it in the standard “row mode” which is easy recognizable by the different mouse cursor…
… and so we are in the pattern view …
… Do you see the difference? Your tracks are going from left to right instead of top to bottom… Tell me any other tracker program with horizontal pattern view. That’s a rarity.
Back to the pattern sequencer view I’m going to show you another awesome feature of the MusicMaker V8:
Ok, I changed the skin/colors to default… but that’s not the feature . As you can see, the mouse cursor looks a bit different now because we are no longer in pattern selection / “row mode”. Now we want to edit a sequence (!) of blocks and not a pattern of blocks so we go into the “sequence mode”. This is very handy if you want to repeat a block several times with some modifications to every clone and want to have a 1:1 compare to the original one.
I selected the last 4 showed blocks of the first track: 113 112 113 112.
And this is how the pattern view (or better sequence view in this case) looks now:
This shot looks similar to the pattern view earlier. But this time we are looking to a sequence that starts on top-left and goes to bottom-right and NOT a pattern which goes simply from left to right.
I made the screenshot during the playback of the sequence . As you can see, the playback cursor is currently located in the first half of the second block (it’s highlighted).
Ok, that’s all for today. There are still a lot of other interesting features of MusicMaker V8 but we are talking 'bout the pattern sequencer here.
I think a solution based on this concept could be easy implemented in Renoise. It allows much better arranging of blocks/patterns with great overview and doesn’t sacrifice the common way of tracking at all.