[Brainstorming] Live Sequencing Of Midi With Renoise

Ive been using Ableton for a while as the rewire master in my live setup, but recently discovered Cakewalk Kinetic, very straightforward program, basically a groove box with a synth, reasonably priced, easy and fun to play, and Im trying to see about slaving it as an audio sequencer, which pretty much is all I was using Ableton for in the setup, in the current incarnation only 2 channels of audio are sequenced, the rest is all MIDI, so theres not really a significant reason to keep on using Live, and Ive always been frustrated by a few of its quirks.

The main thing that I was doing in Live, though, that I don’t know how to do with Renoise (Im still 2.5.10) was running analog-style mono step sequencers which I had mapped to teh controller and are very fun to play sequencing racks of instruments. I can see how not only is it possible to rack instruments in a single channel Renoise with control over what is active in the CPU, but its potentially possible to toggle the on/offs of more than one at a time, wiht Live’s chain selection its very linear.

The other thing that Live can do a bit easier than Renoise, is off-time percussion, but Kinetic can do that just fine with more MIDI connectivity. Its been a major sticking point in the developemnt of my setup, how to arrange percussion with enough variation so it doesn;t just sound like Im up there with e single drum machine wiht a single mono sequence ad nauseum. And Kinetic is fun to platy, part of why i shaved off the bulk of audio sequencing was the wonderfully awkward mouse based piano roll doesnt really bring mback for more wiht new ideas… Kinetic is more like a hardware box with integral seqa la Electribe, and I can’t think of what else Id want to do that Renoise wouldn’tbt. Exept run in Win7 x64… (which causes me to look simily arly at Reaper as another idea).

I just don’t know how, or if its possible, to route MIDI within Renoise, and I recall that being the reason that sidechaining isn’t really possible, or wasn’t, or soemthing, anyway if Im wrong I would love to know how to do that…

Anyway, the potential for Kinetic to fill the gaps seems intriguing and I hadn’t seen any mention of it around here :D

Any thread with the name “Sequencing of Midi data” must have access to at least these bits of data:
Music Technology March 1988 review of Zyklus Midi Performance System.
This is a really arcane and archaic and super-rare bit of tech from the u.k. from 1987-1988, designed to be a method for the performer to record midi-phrases, be they rhythmic, chord or any form of midi notes and combinations thereof, into 12 slots in the device. After the recording of these midi events, the user then can either start these midipatterns looping (and exactly as ableton live had in 2003 - exactly like that in Zyklus the midiclips can be of different lengths and therefore loop at will - back in the day in 1988), for instance by having a 12 note octave where a note will start a midiclip and the same note will stop the midiclip. That’s neat, right? Well, the midiclips can also have “at end of pattern, hold last note forever until stop of clip”. That’s pretty sweet. It gets better. You can non-destructively transpose the midiclip’s midinotes in another octave, so that you can play your c-c-c-c-d as f-f-f-f-g if but you press F in that midi-clip-transposition octave, no hassles. Being able to play in midiclips or step-sequence them by clicking “next step” inside the Zyklus is also frankly just a perfect way to deal with the data inside it.

I’m really hoping that Renoise will eventually be able to store note-clips from the pattern, and to have instrument-specific patterns, and instrument-specific pattern lengths so that I can track a really slow pattern of chords at say LPB1 BPM60 and then play it with the same resolution and same length as it should be - but while being able to have a LPB 4 BPM120 beat on top of it - without having to have a repetitive 16 row beat loop for 512 rows while the chords slowly wind their way down - that’s really useless and quite difficult to then later-on edit in a really decent way. To instead have a 16 row beat and a 512row equivalent different-LPB-divisionalBPM of chords and to freeform be able to toggle them on and off and to have autoseek functionality on the notes so that a 32 row pattern for instance would have two instances of the 16 row beat - and on another channel - one instance of “start slow 512row eq. chords” which would - even if the song itself is on loop-mode in that 32 row pattern - would keep plaing until time to restart from 512 to 1st row of said instrument-pattern…

Vangelis was a big fan of Zyklus MPS and got himself a proprietarily modified version from the company - with features not available in the Zyklus itself.
Some more bits on Zyklus

In the proud tradition of printed music gear advertisement, I give you “It works most of the time”

Approaching beta!!

Edit: just realized it’s not MIDI :slight_smile:

MAke it beta noaw! I want to play around with this :)

Seriously, Jonas, I’m looking forward to that. I think I’ve come up with a really fun and responsive sequencer - being native to Renoise carry it’s benefits: able to write notes precisely into the timeline, maintain the expressiveness of samples. But just as important, and ‘un-tracker-like’, it’s not locked to patterns, and to a certain extent not even lines - it’s simply synced to the same tempo. Want to divide you 4/4 beat into 23 equal parts distributed over 48 lines? Go ahead!!

Another thing I realized was absolutely essential to this type of workflow: bystrano’s Auto Clone Patterns tool. It’s really simple to use: start with a blank song, load a sample and start recording. If edit-mode is entered, and we are inside, or have just approached, a looped range in the sequence, the range is cloned. Repeat for each time the looped range is encountered.

Talk about tool cross-pollination