Brainstorming: Arranger

By the way, this is an example of exactly what I’m talking about, from 1:00 to 1:25…

I presume this guy doesn’t know about the Buzz Sequence Editor, because if he did, he would probably be asking for it to be implemented in Renoise too.

In other words, the user interface design part of the equation in Renoise has been missed out. The method shown on the video is painful and unnecessarily difficult, to say the least. In Buzz you would just move your cursor, press 1, right arrow, 1, right arrow, 1, or whatever number for the sequence you wanted, and that would be it. No combinations of Alt and Shift, no using the mouse, just cursor keys and numbers or letters, which represent the sequences.

And for those who haven’t used Buzz, you can rename the sequences to anything you like, but you still use numbers and letters to enter them, and they are permanently displayed on the right of the sequence editor, like:

  1. Intro
  2. Lick1
  3. Lick2

so pressing ‘0’ would change the Sequence to ‘Intro’. No need for different colours, that’s the most useless way of representing just about anything, unless there are only two states, and the colours never change and always mean the same thing.

In other words, in the Matrix we have useless colours and useless pattern icons (or representations, whatever you want to call them) which are of no value to the songwriter. If I make a drum pattern which I only use at the beginning of a chorus in Buzz, I just call it “DrumChorus” and I can SEE precisely where it is in the song, and I can change it to another drum sequence in one second by just pressing another key on the keyboard.

So I would say that the pattern matrix wasn’t designed properly in the first place, and the video I’ve linked to above shows how painful it is to do what should be incredibly easy.
For example, at 1:30 he changes the length of the pattern. This isn’t show in the pattern matrix! In Buzz the Sequence Editor represents sequence length correctly, and you can see if a sequence is 16 beats or 32 beats, etc. And you can mix 4 beat sequences in with 16 beat sequences. It’s just so obvious that the Buzz way is the easiest way, I can’t believe the Renoise team spent so much time on the matrix and yet didn’t really improve things. (As shown by my two previous points.)

Okay, it gets worse. 2:00 onwards. How to copy a pattern to the end of the sequence. In Buzz you would just move your cursor to the end of the sequence, and type
1 right 1 right 1 right 1
Finished. Now watch the contorted method you have to use in Renoise. It’s as if the developers have never seen the Buzz Sequence Editor and were stuck in the ‘old school’ way of doing things, and tried to improve on it, without fixing the fundamental problems.

I am holding out for the day somebody does it with LUA scripting. I imagine a load of Renoise users are going to be very happy when that happens.

XG2003 you know you can name your patterns already in renoise right??

XG2003: no offense, but we all got your point. Could you please start a new “Copy the Buzz Sequencer into Renoise” thread into Ideas & Suggestions and keep this one here a brainstorming thread?

I see that there are no responses after mine. So nobody has any other ideas to add?
Taktik, can you copy all my posts about the Buzz Sequence Editor to a new thread if I start one? Otherwise I’d have to either try to explain everything from the beginning (for people who haven’t read this thread), or continuously refer back to this one.
I thought this thread was for brainstorming the Arranger. Everything I’ve written is entirely relevant to that topic…
I’ve just watched that Youtube video again, that I put in my last post, and as a Buzz user it’s painful watching the convoluted methods that the guy has to use, just to do things that would take one second in Buzz, without needing to hold down the Shift and Alt keys and this and that…

How do I name the patterns in the Matrix? I thought the Matrix only had a graphical (i.e. pretty useless) representation for each track?

I kind of agree, I think the patternmatrix is a huge step forward in giving overview and love it.

But its still not as quick and powerful as a fullblown arranger or even like the solution I suggested years ago.

There is still need for a separate arranger in which you can combine tracks or clips from different patterns.

A simple but very easy to use tracker called miditracker has this, they call it orderview.

Its a very quick way to compose.

You got the tracks like in the pattern matrix, but in the “arranger view” the number of the track decides from what pattern the track is.

 Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Track 4  
00 01 00 18  
01 01 00 18  
02 04   
03 06 00 01 01  
04 01 00 01 01  

Looks familiar: Pattern Matrix Rethink

Yeah, to me too… welcome back to the 80’s and 90’s
Track pointers: -> Track contents:

I’ve seen my share of this approach.

Looks great.
I can imagine a tracker with “standard” arrange window, but if you double click to the blocks, a pattern editor will open, instead of a piano roll…

ok i have to say i didn`t read the whole thread but some arranger features would be fine, maybe a timeline on the left side of the patern matrix where you can choose time or beats, very helpful it would be to take patterns in a group and give them a coulor or name so the whole overview should be much better especially when it is zoomable.

i think this can be easy to build in and would give a much better overview to the whole song

pattern matrix is sweet already. just needs ‘live’ mode. click on a block it starts playing, click on another. asynchronous playback of blocks .bleh

What I miss the most in the arranger department is the ability to

  1. record something that spans across pattern boundaries, like a melodic phrase with a pickup.

  2. have somethings repeat (like if you only have one pattern playing through the whole song) mixed with (so going on at the same time as) something that’s spaning upto the entire song, like an improvised melodic part throughout the whole song.

Right now, I eventually have to make all patterns unique for a from-start-to-finish part to be recorded.

I admit that I used Cubase years ago, then later Muse (linux) what have an entirely different, non-tracker layout. But the abillty to mix “patterns” of arbitrary length, potentially being “ghost copies” of each other (meaning editing one will affect all), is the thing I miss the most in renoise.

I havent read the whole thread so maybe this have been discussed before, but i think that for a starter it would be great if you could just play more than 1 pattern at the same time. For example you create pattern 1 with drums and patterns 2 with bass etc and then arrange the “sequence” so that:


I think it shouldnt be that difficult to implement (corrent me if im wrong of course, as i am not a programmer by any means)

combine that with the launchpad and bam purely awesomness will arise :drummer:

this is how I expected the matrix to work when I first saw it :D

Oh dang, now I need this feature desperately.

I also wanted automation separated from patterns… so that one can have a repeating tune with evolving effects… until I realized this is easily done with e.g. hydra or xy devices on a send track or the master track.

but still no overview. or with other words theres no visual indication (arranger-wise) what, where and how long automation is used.

we have the ‘play queue’ stuff for live performance.
having a channel on/off queue would be something i am missing.

arranger, there is already one. having a sort of a sequencer like reason would be fine.
and i think all that will come with time.
until then use renoise as what it is, a professional tracker, not a pianoroll sequencer.

i’d only need a way to copy blocks around, like renoise has already. the matrix.
just, abit bigger.

Have a look at Buzz’s Pattern Sequencer:

And I’ve already explained how it should be possible to do this already, without having to change the underlying way that Renoise stores/records patterns. (Please notice I said ‘underlying’…)

If I can copy a track from a pattern into another pattern, then Renoise can just as easily copy this, in the background, into a ‘temp’ pattern.
It can copy Pattern 10 Track 1 into the ‘temp’ Pattern 1 Track 1, and it can copy Pattern 3 Track 2 into the ‘temp’ Pattern 1 Track 2, and then only display the ‘temp’ pattern, and only play the ‘temp’ pattern, without having to change the way patterns are stored in the background.

When I start a new song, and I record something into Pattern 1 Track 1, although what I am looking at is the ‘temp’ pattern, Renoise actually records the data into the ‘real’ Pattern 1, leaving all the other tracks empty.
Then if I record another track, ‘temp’ Pattern 1 Track 2, it can display this as Pattern 1 Track 2, but actually records the data into the ‘real’ Pattern 2 Track 2 (or Track 1, it doesn’t matter), and leaves all the other tracks empty.

It shouldn’t be very difficult to copy the Buzz Sequence Editor and Pattern Editor this way.

When I have a bit more time I’ll try to draw up some graphics which demonstrate what I mean, more clearly.

If I’m not mistaken, Grid Pie looks like the precursor to what I am talking about:

“It lets the user combine different parts of a linear song, non-linearly, in real time, using a special looping pattern as a live drafting area. It does so by taking over the Pattern Matrix.”

So maybe it’s possible for somebody to write a similar add on to allow you to have a Buzz style Sequence Editor - then Renoise would finally be perfect, and about a million years ahead of Buzz.