Brainstorming: Audio Tracks

I agree with vV, some prerendering/intelligent freeze function could solve this? This will give the user more options as well.
However, I can’t see this replacing true audio tracks (with waveforms).
Having “audio tracks” without waveforms is like working in the sampleditor without any visual information? I don’t get it… sure it is possible to do that, but it would be very awkward IMO.
I don’t see the problem to have some separate (visual) audio tracks together with a intelligent freeze function for any type of track.

We could also discuss this on a per instrument basis. So it depends on the instrument type you put into a track, how it would be visible in the pattern editor.
So both mixing notes/commands and waveforms in the same track. I guess the waveform clips/instruments would then be in a separate subtrack without sample commands being applied to them.

Visual information in most DAWs is for the purpose of being able to detect where the samples begin and end - usually represented by coloured blocks. Waveform info started to appear in DAWs when systems were able to draw that stuff without wasting valuable CPU cycles, but it’s rarely useful and usually quite vague - especially where complex drum samples are concerned. For example, where people retain brief attack sections of drum hits, the visual ‘beat’ point is at the loudest point of the waveshape, while that’s not necessarily where the ear places the accurate beat point. And in even more complex, bounced samples from multitracked sources (say a pad mixed with melody and ambient noise), the visual waveform data is even less helpful as it ONLY reflects amplitude and, when shrunk proportionally according to the number of tracks (width) and the BPM/patternlength (height), becomes a mess. Even more so again when it’s been loaded in from a compressed format such as MP3 - to see what I mean, load an MP3 into SoundForge and zoom way out.

My point is that people seem to be hung up on the idea of waveform display in the pattern, and I think it’s a red herring. Looks pretty, but wastes cycles on slower machines. However, to adopt the sole genuine advantage of other DAWs’ displaying of waveforms, we could shade/highlight blocks of patterndata between long-samples being triggered and their ultimate end points (as calculated across one or multiple patterns). This could be a transparent block of the track’s colour. That’d also be a nice alert to the user that a sample would be playing right now, and that they might want to avoid disrupting it with new notes or commands.

Unless I’m misunderstanding, in which case I’m sorry :)

Well, I agree that we do not necessary need waveform in the pattern editor. It could be in an arranger window/matrix. Even in the automation window.
I simply disagree that waveforms is not useful. I and lots of other people use this in many daws. It’s not just blocks you move around. You ‘read’ the sound structure. It’s faster then listening over and over again till its perfect. (of course in reality you do both listen and read).
And yes, the amplitude makes you instantly see where to cut things. Where to fine tune things. How to put things you have recorded on beat. Draw envelopes directly on it etc.
IMO it’s much more efficient that way for these tasks then to scroll up and down in a pattern editor and type numbers.
In general, fine tuning things I like to do graphically. While well known exact and repeated data is much more efficient to type in the pattern editor with less graphical input needed.

Pysj - I agree wholeheartedly with the usefulness of detailed waveform display. That’s why I advocate envelope overlay in Sample view and why I’d also advocate waveform overlay in automation envelopes, if long-samples were to come about.

What I’m saying is that considering the degree to which the accuracy of visual waveform data would have to be compromised in order to fit into the vertical patterndata area (i.e. into tracks), the visual data we’d be left with would be indistinct and of questionable usefulness. Especially if we aren’t able to arbitrarily zoom horizontally and vertically in the Pattern Editor in the way that most DAWs can in their horizontal multitrack sequencer views.

Cutting, fine-tuning, why can’t those functions be performed in views which are more suited to it, like the Sample Editor? And, if the overlay suggestion gets picked up on, in automation/envelope views? Personally, if I’m doing any chopping or fine-tuning, I want to do as good a job as possible, which necessitates having the best, largest, widest possible view of the sample data’s waveform. Arbitrary zooming like I describe above could be implemented if sample editing functions were overlaid on automation envelopes (which would be useful for all sorts of reasons), and then we’d have automation, sampledata waveform AND patterndata all visible on the same screen - brilliant! ;)

Does that go some way towards reconciling all of these concerns? I didn’t want you to think I was an anti-visualisation pariah, I just wanted to be clear that I didn’t think it should be literally IN the Pattern Editor, which it seems you agree with :)

+1 what Syphus says.

Yeah, I think having waveforms in the pattern editor would be a nightmare of clutter and annoying inaccuracy. Upgrading the Sample Editor seems like a much better idea. I also particularly like the idea of having the waveforms display horizontally since that’s what I think most people, including me, are used to.

Envelopes would be great too. I posted a somewhat similar idea a few months ago with a mockup, just so you know how much I approve of such things. :)

+1 to all of what Syphus said.

IMHO i think it would make more sense to have the waveform in the automation window,it will also help so it doesent clutter up the pattern arranger

I think automation and audio tracks should be shown in the matrix vertically (optional view setting)
I think this would be the cleverest solution as i think the matrix has the potential to become a full blown clip pattern based sequencer and trigger system



Bungle: The idea about a clip-based matrix is very cool!

But what I like about Syphus’ suggestion is that you are working in a nice big window. Anyone who has ever worked in a 3D graphics program like Maya or XSI knows how nice it is to work with automation and function curves in a big zoomable window. Automation and persistent sample visualization/editing could live in a view that is LIKE the sample editor, but not necessarily IN the sample editor.

But I like that clip-based matrix idea too…


There are so many different opinions about how the waveform view should be… It’s really hard to finally decide what to do :(

That my dear friend is indeed a good idea

Has anyone seen a tracker for PDA/Iphone called sunvox? It shows automation overlayed ontop of the note data in the same track in the pattern editor (its transulcent so you can see the note and effect commands through it)… thought that was a pretty cool idea…probably someone mentioned already.

absolutely perfect visualisation, YES PLEASE MR RENOISE ;)
ive been working on remixes and this would have made it so much easier
theres realy no point in hiding audio tracks in some other window (as some people have suggested)
i did ask for this quite some time ago and got some very unpleasent responses
tracker/daw, who cares what its called, its for making music and thats that
Please renoise devs just do it

the vertical is more logical but teh horizontal would look better…vertical just looks wrong somehow ah reckin.

as for automation, check out this video from 1 min 20 secs in. this kind of automation could work overlayed on a waveform or just over note data.

i think a horizontal alternative would be a good idea but a vertical layout makes so much more sense for renoise imo. having things advance in two directions at once is kind of counter-intuitive.

the primary thing that made me interested in trackers is that you can view a lot of data simultaneously side-by-side and it would be great if wave forms could be viewed like this as well.

Having played with Renoise a bit more, i don’t need a wav view in the tracker. As an aside, having wav view in the automation or pattern matrix are intriguing ideas.

Be that as it may, what i really need is the ‘persistent sample’ thingie already mentioned; to be able to go to any part of a song, and the long samples which were triggered at the very first note of the first pattern (or whichever previous point in the song); they all play from the current location, without constantly having to go back to the point where the samples were originally triggered.

With this, the user could also loop a given pattern, and then go into the sample editor, and there would be an option for viewing/editing the current pattern section of the sample, and whatnot. Having a ‘from the trigger point, by pattern delineation’ viewing option in the sample editor would be great. In other words, being able to see the pattern borders as they apply to the sample, all in relation to where it’s being triggered.

Also, when cutting and pasting in the sample as it plays, for it to be able to keep on playing, without going silent and requiring retriggering as it does now (at least on this machine); that would be great.

Anyway, having something like what i’m describing above, with perhaps a ‘zoom patterns in and out’ feature in the sample editor, and optional ‘pattern border’ markings (as mentioned this could possibly be in the pattern matrix); that’s about all i really need.

As to whether this added functionality in Renoise would require a hardware upgrade on my part; that’s another question altogether.

Anyway, the mind boggles at the various directions this could all go. There are probably some obvious design issues regarding what i’m speaking of, but the ‘persistent sample’ thing is my own #1 request for Renoise.

As it is, Renoise sure is a fine and dandy program. Make long samples (audio tracks) easier to work with and Renoise becomes a veritable bees knees of DAW software.

I second the recommendation of mrblitz000. Having vertical wav in pattern editor is cool idea, but would be of almost no practical value until the so-called “persistent-sample” feature is added.

I currently mix long instrumental recordings with my music, and it is a real pain to have to always start at the very beginning of the song to see if the audio is lining up well near the end.

I read this in the Ableton Forums (googling for Renoise, this is about Autoseek) and had a eureka moment.

We don’t need to support audio recording in the current tracker tracks. All we need is a new type of track (think Audacity) that we can insert in between tracker tracks!

Good times.

Yes, the autoseek is not suppose to replace the basic functions of audiotracks. It’s just a simple unique renoise feature that fits the standard tracker-tracks beautifully.
I really hope we will get standard audio tracks sometime as well.
Disk streaming and the visual feedback, split merge clips, automation on clips etc is just simpler to use with standard audio tracks.
What I’m not sure about is how audiotracks would be implanted in renoise. Either directly in the pattern editor, or in a separate arranger window. Or both…