Anyone who likes Aphex Twin and trackers...

Anyone that likes Aphex Twin and trackers/tracking should watch this:

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Interesting article about it here:http://cdm.link/2017/07/aphex-twin-gave-us-peek-inside-90s-classic-heres-learned/

It includes a discussion of trackers (Renoise is shown) and comments about Renoise.

Thanks for the article. I wish I had known about PlayerPro back in the day. I started making music using OctaMED on the Amiga, then took up the guitar and left the computer behind for a long time. Eventually, I gravitated back to using more technology again and did use OctaMED in the late nineties just to do some drums and stuff (with live played keys and guitars), but moved on to Logic on the Mac as soon as I could afford to, probably just around the time of Druqs. And there I was, wondering what he could possibly have been using. A lot fell into place a few years ago when I discovered Renoise and realised that tracking never went away.

Someone on Watmm forum posted this, relevant to thread;

I’ll post this here too for the relevancy to the thread, Quote from daddy1 on the drukqs bleep store page:

fanks!

The reason this vid exists is because when my good friend Leila wanted to remix it, she asked if she could just have the melody without the drums, to make it easier to work out, so I thought be a nice little treat to make her a movie of it.
About PlayerPro though,Id like to write a chunk about that program.

Its very simple compared to modern things like Renoise BUT it had some advantages over it
Here’s the main things I loved about Playerpro. You could drag instruments from the list on the right, directly into the arrangement window, this alone makes writing things SO much faster than say Renoise and SO much more fun and less ballache.
I know you can play them in from the keyboard but you need both.
Next is if you right click a note in the arrangement window, you get a list of possible column functions/FX AND notes with octaves, This is a really fast and intuitive way to program and most importantly edit things you played in.
Ive tried in vain to make Renoise coders listen, help!

You could print plugin effects directly & destructively onto the sample, hence fr eeing up CPU but you could hear the effect first before you printed it.
I’ve really pecked several people to do this and it did get finally done in Renoise but its still not as accurate as PP, gain is not handled correctly last time i checked, Renoise has that great highlight part of the arrangement thing but the gain doesn’t get worked out properly when you have a bunch of fx, be top if this is fixed now?
The other reason this feature is so good and powerful is because most people these days setup EQs on each channel etc and they just sit there wasting CPU and most importantly the urge to carry on tweaking it always remains.
You would be amazed how it can train your brain to get it right the first time when you are forced to make a decision about EQ and then can’t change it, a bit like with a digital camera, you just take loads of shit pictures of the same thing instead of one thats right, I’m generalising.
But every sampler VST i’ve seen does this as well, its the wrong way to do it, all your plugins should be available in the sample editor to apply to samples, not on the mixer, well you need both.
I think its because in the beginning of audio on DAWS, coders were fixated about replicating real mixing desks and recording bands but this didn’t take into account the new way people were going to start using DAW’s
But even if you can’t take that discipline you could just have an undo history on the sample…so you wouldn’t have to re EQ the EQ if it were wrong…you could also have an amazing cpu guzzling EQ on every sound.
It just doesn’t make any sense to have a live EQ on static samples…yet every DAW does this, unless I missed one? Ive checked all of them and they all do that…frustrating when everyone goes down the same wrong road.
Also helped code some really different sounding granular and FFT plugs for it which was the icing on the cake…
But it was really limited so would prefer those functions in Renoise rather than resurrecting good old PP.

Mentioned before but i’ll mention again, that’s Player Pro Tracker.

http://playerpro.sourceforge.net/

Fun fact: Hitori Tori’s first tracker.

Does anyone understand what he means by “drag instruments from the right directly into the arrangement window?”

Also, although I understand the context-sensitive right click to add effects on a note in arrangement, I can’t understand what he means by “note with octave”

Someone on Watmm forum posted this, relevant to thread;

Thanks for posting this, very interesting.

Does anyone understand what he means by “drag instruments from the right directly into the arrangement window?”

I’m not sure, but it appears to have a piano roll type of editor window, and I wondered whether you can drag an instrument from the list directly onto a note on the piano roll?

Thanks for sharing.

I like both Aphex Twin and Trackers.

Knowing they have cohabited is a cool thing.

B)

I came here after reading that article on CDM. So sad it took me decades to find out about trackers/Renoise, by chance that article popped out. I just realized that a lot of my favorite music was made in trackers, I just quite able to hear it now. Was constantly struggling with ‘normal’ DAW automation approach. I sure heard about trackers but I got the impression that it is just some obsolete weirdness for nerds that I should not bother checking.

Reminds me how it took me years to find out how to have that resonant filter thing (303), by chance the Korg X3 synth that I bought in early days just did not have it (there was filters in it but no resonant ones). Also the same was about ‘Amen Break’ thing - had no idea how it was made, thought it is some programming ‘skills’ involved, later took a few minutes to ask on some forum and to get the answer. Really hope I have got into trackers earlier.

Yes, some proper marketing for renoise would not hurt the world.

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Does anyone understand what he means by “drag instruments from the right directly into the arrangement window?”

Also, although I understand the context-sensitive right click to add effects on a note in arrangement, I can’t understand what he means by “note with octave”

Yes! I managed to find a working binary of PlayerPRO to see what he was talking about. He is definitely right - the (additional) way PlayerPRO lets you edit notes is much easier. If you want to change a note value (or the individual instrument or sample effect) in Renoise, it requires a bunch of steps that shouldn’t be necessary. You have to select the instrument, highlight the note in the pattern window, go into record mode, set edit step length = 0 (unless you know exactly the note you want), and then use your keyboard to enter in the new note or effect value.

I’m guessing this is all inherited from FastTracker 2 or Soundtracker or whatever. Instead, PlayerPRO works kind of like a tracker + step sequencer, which makes more sense, IMO. Perhaps a Lua tool could add this?

Here are some screenshots of these features in PlayerPRO

Instrument drop down:

lIsvs1Hl.png

Note drop down:

Sample effect drop down:

Also here is another neat feature that I’m sure many of you would like - a rudimentary piano roll:

edit - okay so I just found a tool that does this: https://www.renoise.com/tools/note-properties

but I can’t get it to work. It’s installs but I can’t find it anywhere?

edit - okay so I just found a tool that does this: https://www.renoise.com/tools/note-properties

but I can’t get it to work. It’s installs but I can’t find it anywhere?

I looked at the code. There is no explicit menu addition. There’s only code that allows it to be bound to a keyboard shortcut.

I did that, and gave it a whirl. It does make certain things easier (pitch change, for example) but there is no option I can see to assign a specific instrument to the selected note.

I looked at the code. There is no explicit menu addition. There’s only code that allows it to be bound to a keyboard shortcut.

I did that, and gave it a whirl. It does make certain things easier (pitch change, for example) but there is no option I can see to assign a specific instrument to the selected note.

Being able to change the instrument is less important… for me at least. Plus if you design your instruments properly, changing the note can change the sample.The lack of sample effects sucks though… maybe someone should add these features to it

I definitely wish this would be added to Renoise natively though. Seems like it wouldn’t be that hard to do either

Aphex seems to use the mouse quite a lot though, became a ‘clicker’ end of the day? Whatever happened to using Keyboards in trackers…

The piano roll feature I can do without, been using that for years and never liked it really, notation view however works for me, if that could be brought to Renoise.

Changing instruments : menu dropdown is just a workflow shortcut. Can help, though its fixed for me once I am done with the assignments and neither the MPC’s work this way either. Also I just mapped mouse button macros to Find and Replace tool and the Advanced editor using keystrokes which makes pressing Esc, Selecting notes, right clicking and invoking the tools a 1-click affair. Just assign a shortcut for the tool first.

One thing I would like with Find and Replace tool is that it should automatically read the current tracks instrument numbers instead of manually inputting the ‘source’. A simple + and - for increment decrement should also help. This can be done by the tool writer and then it will a 1-click affair back again.

This sort of minor features can certainly help in our IDE (Integrated Development Environment) “reflection” feature where the function names pop up from a menu and fill our code lines. However for trackers we have MIDI key controllers, pad controllers, knobs and sliders and the computer keyboard and the mouse. How many more peripherals does Aphex need really? Must be becos of his style of production where he is more into the Max/MSP paradigm of music making.

For EQ freeze function or Fx, he can just render the track and bypass the plugins (they all have a deactivate checkbox). He must be having a lot on his mind to quibble about such things. End of the day he really is a genius so maybe he just needs it like many writers need coffee or a particular brand of pen, not for functionality sake but for sake of personal preference and comfort.

Love his music though, was a big fan of his work since school days, some of his tunes are really masterpieces, much like Venetian Snares, never gets old, but its quite predictable though nowadays and similarish sounding and current toolsets have made this style of music really simple to achieve. I believe my tastes have matured into more organic styles where music theory, instrumentation and musicianship do matter, in addition to production ethics. Being too cerebral or one track (!) has its own pitfalls.

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Where You found working PlayerPro build? OSX version not working :frowning:

thnx!

I would imagine he would approve if this feature got implemented?

https://forum.renoise.com/t/click-n-drag-to-change-values-in-the-patter-editor/42353

I certainly wouldn’t mind :slight_smile:

Where You found working PlayerPro build? OSX version not working :frowning:

thnx!

Try this:

https://woolyss.com/tracking/tracking-trackers/PlayerPro.zip

It’s buggy and crashes sometimes but it works enough to see the feature set

I would imagine he would approve if this feature got implemented?

https://forum.renoise.com/t/click-n-drag-to-change-values-in-the-patter-editor/42353

I certainly wouldn’t mind :slight_smile:

I have a simple idea but I don’t know about the depth of the Renoise API. Is it possible to query a value in the Pattern Editor from any of the columns via an API function? Also is it possible to ‘set’ a new value to that location via the Renoise API. If so, we can build a KeyShortcutExtender tool, that takes in new keyshortcuts and processes them internally via the API and gets the job done. GUI is even not needed beyond specifying the Tool shortcuts from the KeySettings Config pane. A simple list of internally implemented features via the API can be listed out and shortcuts set for them. If this is possible which I think it should since you said that the API is deep and powerful, a simple query and set is all that is needed right? Nothing too extensive really. Two functions for two shortcuts, increment() and decrement() that are event processed whenever a shortcut is pressed.

Is it possible to …

Yes, except for a small detail everything you described is possible. That “detail” is that the selection you can read is currently limited to a column number.

So you can determine the pattern, the line, the track and the column. But that’s currently where it stops - note, volume, panning or delay column? It won’t tell you. But you can still read these values, of course… it’s just access to the smallest “sub-column” level of the selection (cursor position) that’s currently missing.

So if I were to do such a tool, I would expose separate shortcuts to control the each of those values: pan/vol/etc.

And, thinking about it, that might indeed be _a better_solution because you would have less need for horizontal navigation?

The Renoise API doesn’t read the mouse-wheel position, or track click-drag events either (did I mention that GUI isn’t the strong side to the API? :)), so a tool that fulfills the request in that topic I linked to… well that can’t be done with scripting atm.

Yes, except for a small detail everything you described is possible. That “detail” is that the selection you can read is currently limited to a column number.

So you can determine the pattern, the line, the track and the column. But that’s currently where it stops - note, volume, panning or delay column? It won’t tell you. But you can still read these values, of course… it’s just access to the smallest “sub-column” level of the selection (cursor position) that’s currently missing.

So if I were to do such a tool, I would expose separate shortcuts to control the each of those values: pan/vol/etc.

And, thinking about it, that might indeed be _a better_solution because you would have less need for horizontal navigation?

The Renoise API doesn’t read the mouse-wheel position, or track click-drag events either (did I mention that GUI isn’t the strong side to the API? :)), so a tool that fulfills the request in that topic I linked to… well that can’t be done with scripting atm.

I am browsing the API forum section now :slight_smile: So essentially what you are saying is that the user selection area are not referenced in the API but the lowest resolution of detail is the column itself. If that is the case can the Advanced Editor be hacked into? ‘Selection in Pattern’ is the first option at the top of the Advanced Editor, so is the ‘Add’ function in the dropdown menu right at the bottom and the increment factor and the Apply button. Once the user makes a selection

  1. set step length to 0

  2. enable editing in the pattern editor by pressing Esc

  3. Set increment factor to 1 and set the mode to Add

  4. Somehow activate the “Apply” button. I cannot MIDI map it, neither the Advanced Editor comes with any keyboard shortcut in the settings. So hacking in is the only way for now I suppose if you say that the API does not support column data types or user selection data reading. This segregation of selection and data ranges is done quite well in the Advanced Editor. We just need to figure out a way to connect the keyboard to the Apply button rather than the mouse.

If so then maybe indirectly we can plug another function call reading the values from the selection range and then pipe that into our increment()/decrement() functions. Is the API extensible from outside the Renoise binary or source code? If not then tough luck. Additional shortcuts for V/P/D increment decrement might not be the best way (2x3=6 new shortcuts to learn). A user can just select whatever data type he is using in regular pattern editor usage and use the increment-decrement shortcuts, accordingly the tool intelligently deduces the data type and fixes the range accordingly to prevent overflow or underflow (using simple checks), so for V - till 0x7F only, for Delay till 0xFF and similar.

Regarding mouse wheel processing it is not a thing I would enjoy using, keyboard shortcuts are the way to go. Or else it could be made very interactive like a pop-up window that enables to choose from available values, making click and drag slower. Also things like fast acceleration (pressing Ctrl) or unary increments only (pressing Shift) would be additional range based features.

If all else fails for now, I can try to use mouse recording macros and apps like AutoIt.