Brainstorming: Audio Tracks

With complete and rendered samples, you can do this quite easily, but anticipating on ADSR effects applied to the signal is hard, with VSTI even impossible.
This can only be done if some kind of freeze function is implemented and even if implemented… if you make tiny changes to the wave-form, the visual waveform has to be updated again to match the true output signal…

sunjammer, thats a nice vision! Your description is one that fits the current framework without adding new tracktypes. So users don’t have to make a choice between a normal track or an “audio track”. The user can - even better - do tricks to the track AND use them with retrofitting play position.

But what about the FX column, the ability to play around with those large samples as well?

Wouldn’t it make more sense if you could “freeze” any track down - use any track as audio track when needed?

Are you guys proposing the editing or movement of frozen tracks? If so, that goes against the entire concept of frozen tracks. Track freezing is meant as a quick, nondestructive way to reduce processor usage for unruly tracks with many effects or load-heavy instruments. You should be able to unfreeze just as quickly for further pattern editing. Would there even be any benefit in visualizing frozen track waveforms, presuming you couldn’t edit them?

If you want to edit the frozen tracks, there should be a “render to audio-track” option that permanently freeze the track to an audio track. Audio tracks should be movable, choppable, and editable as samples. The point of audio tracks is to be able to play long recorded samples, and precisely time small audio chunks.

I’m very confused by the suggestion of merging the two features. It seems like it would only hinder functionality, and confuse the hell out of users.

All that people want here is sample streaming support, that allows you to start/stop playing wherever you want , not a regular sequencer audio track where you click yourself do death with the mouse to chop a beat? Freezing actually also makes this possile.

Manipulating samples is what trackers good at. I don’t really understand why you need audio clips then?

k I just read though some of Sunjammer’s ranting, and I understand where he’s coming from. So what I’ll do is break down why I need audio tracks:

  1. Long Samples … if I’m recording vocal tracks, I want to be able to record these alongside the rest of the tracks, like most multitrack environments… then, if I’m playing back the song from halfway though, I want the audio track to start from that point.

  2. Sample preplay … there are times when I want to be able to have a sample lead up to the actual hit… most often reverse cymbals and such… any sample that builds up. These are very difficult to do with most trackers, Renoise included.

  3. The ability to time with dragging/visualization of timing … audio tracks would pull this off.

(I’ll continue this when I get to work)

OK I’m back. After reviewing Sunjammer’s post, it’s clear that his issue with audio tracks is that it falls outside the tracker paradigm. I agree to a point, so I’ve decided to offer up some features that would give the functionality that I’m hoping audio tracks would give.

If we’re gonna attack this as a purely sample based solution, taktik has a valid point in stating that track freezing would solve the really long sample playback problem.

There are other issues in my opinion however. Recording audio is a big one. Many people have multiple inputs on their sound cards, and enjoy recording multiple parts at a time… whether it be in a band, or tweaking knobs on multiple synths. Currently, as far as I know at least, Renoise only supports recording one sample at a time. This has to change. I propose a feature that allows setting up multiple “tracks” for recording, where we can define which inputs we want to use, and have long samples recorded. As this is magical trackerland, there could also be a feature that automagically slices out the silent parts based on a threshold, and saves to separate sample chunks… placing the appropriate samples in the patterns as you record. This way, we could easily move around chunks of the recording at will.

The sample preplay, or predelay, is something that was recently discussed in another thread, and I’d like to bring it up again. We need a feature that allows us to set a fake startpoint for a sample, so that when we have the sample triggered in the pattern, it will start playing sooner than the note that is placed in the pattern. This pre-delay will allow for easy placement of reversed drum hits, and other rushing-type sounds. It will also allow for easy placement of lyrics that contain a pre-bar syllable or two.

The ability to time with dragging/visualization of timing … something that audio tracks could do, but so could having a mode where we represent notes as blocks. I’m not suggesting a piano roll as much as a mode where, like in Aodix, the notes+noteoffs are grouped visually by a block… yet in our implimentation, the notes would be moveable, changing the position and delay column value magically. This would tie in nicely with pattern zooming as well.

I’m fairly sure the features I’ve mentioned here are very much more tracker friendly than audiotracks… and if they were implimented as such, I would have no more desire for such an un-trackerlike feature ;)

Nevermind. Byte Smasher knows what’s up.

However, would it make sense for frozen tracks to have some sort of waveform display? How will re-arranging patterns work with frozen tracks?


We talked about this back in 2004 but I’ve since changed my mind and think audio tracks should be implemented as part of an arranger. Having some visual representation of the wave in the pattern editor would be nice, but time/energy is limited and I think better spent on something else.

I still think hotkey clicking revealing the vertical waveform (with a toggle option) of a sample is the best way. No need for the dedicated audiotrack then.
for recording long samples and dealing with the problem of position and playback, a simple toggleable instrument option would solve this from user perspective.
Coherent audio visualisation is important, so is screen space.
Also, I have to say that I find peoples fear of straying from a tracker paradigm in the development of a single feature is unnecesary, the rest of the program will be no less tracker than it ever was.

Rather than dedicated audio tracks…

Howabout if a long sample plays back from its correct point regardless of where you start play back in a pattern. Ideally this would be an FX command so that the long sample does not become ‘rigid’.
This would make programming fills or added percusion (or musical notes) alongside a long drum loop or vocal sample less time consuming. (having to play back from the 1st step of a long sequence can be a pain)

I appreciate the 09xx command is a simple workaround for percussive multi bar loops, but not for samples that arent mathematically related to bar lengths.
With long patterns the maths could get confusing.

Being able to hear what should be playing, without needing to play from the start of the pattern (or even previous pattern) would be a godsend.
I’d be happy to sacrafice modulations to samples whilst this command is in use.

No it isn’t. It is visual discrimination. The angle of the visualisation does not affect the sound.

I kinda think audio tracks and freezing could be the same thing. You know, because freezing is really necessary anyway, and audio tracks are potentially messy when they’re somehow different from normal tracks? At least the opinions vary wildly, while freezing is kinda obvious in comparison.

When I work on a vocal track the fx aren’t really important to me, at least not initially - the timing, the syllables are… and a single track with very few fx renders very fast usually!

So I wouldn’t mind having to hit “freeze” to see the updated waveform… especially since freezing could be done in the background so you wouldn’t have to wait for it to finish, just like you can start playing a sample near the beginning, while it is still loading the rest… Ahh this makes me drool! Think autofreezing a track when you haven’t edited it for longer than X seconds… Renoise using unused memory to freeze cpu-hungry tracks and “thawing” them instantly when the track is edited or the memory is needed… oh yeah, beam me up :D

even though it would look nice, I, personally, don’t really need a visual of the waveform. just give me the ability to play back the audio at any point in the pattern without having to retrigger/note on/note off… :w00t:

^ aye +1.

no need to see it if i can already see it in the sample editor.

I would be happy too if the sample had checker box for sync the sample to be played at any position. I think visual audio track could be faster to sync by dragging, depending how well it’s made. Syncing is not a problem if you recorded it yourself in renoise but if you get long samples from someone else, then it might need more effort.

This is a professional suggestion!
Especially when you make music using vocal samples, you always want to rewind a little bit or skip ahead, so you need this function in order to avoid starting the song from the beginning every time!
Dance music need this function, I would call it the audio scroller or something.

hmm no

This would be incredible useful for ambient music and other genres that uses field recordings.
As it is now I have to add most of the sound-scape in audacity after I’ve rendered the song out from renosie, and although that works fine it would be much more intuitive if all the small cuts and edits could be done within renoise at the same time as the music is being composed.
Thumbs up for this suggestion.

Btw. Hi! I’m new.