Chord Maker

The idea is very much related to this one, but it’s a significant expansion, that’s why a new thread.

Basically the idea is to have chords played and written by pressing only one note (Rootnote). The other notes get pressed ‘automatically’, according to some settings… Take a look at this picture:

There are some predefined options for the Chord Type:
-… (any other relevant chords)
-Custom* (you define your own chord - that’s important, I’ll explain later)

In the picture, when the ‘Major’ type of chord is selected it happens that when you press a note, two more notes will be played: the one that’s 4 semitones from the Rootnote and the one that’s 7 semitones from the Rootnote. For example, you press C and ge the chord: C+E+G.
If you record in the pattern, this will get written perhaps with the use of the fx column (explained in that other thread). It would look something like this:
C-4 C47- (‘C47-’ is in the fx column)

*The Custom setting for the chord type is important because you could use it not only more exotic chords, but also for other purposes, like layering more drums from a drumkit. So it would be handy if you could select not only positive values for additional notes, but also negative values.
Example: you play a kick drum, which is on the note D and there’s another on the note C, which you’d want to be triggered at the same time. You go to the Chord Maker, select ‘-2’ in the first field and voila: both drums get triggered at once when playing the note D.

Where would the Chord Maker be located? Well, perhaps in the Instrument Settings would make most sense. It should definitely be defined for every instrument separately, not as a global setting. Other than that, maybe in an Instrument Control Center of some kind. ^_^

Just realized that this would complicate the “numbers in the fx column” part, because you can’t write negative values there.
Maybe a workaround for this could be that if you wanted negative values, you’d have to select a ‘-’ in the first field of the Chord Maker and then the desired values in the two remaining fields.
In the fx column this would be represented like ‘CN2’, where ‘N2’ means ‘-2’.

edit: If not, negative values could perhaps just be impossible to use. No big deal, after all.

I quite like your idea of a chord command similar to oldschool arpeggio command, because it is very elegant and easy to work with, but I don’t think this chord maker idea would be that useful overal. You run into limitations with it too quickly in my opinion.

Example 1:
Let’s say I choose a major chord in the chord maker. Assuming that the chord maker is a unique setting to each instrument, as you suggested, and assuming that when the chord maker is enabled any single note in the pattern will automatically be played as a chord which is defined by the chord maker. So, when there’s a single C note in the pattern the chord maker automatically triggers C+E+G, when there’s a D note it triggers D+F#+A, etc. But what if I don’t want every chord to be a major chord? How do I tell Renoise that my C should be a C major, but the D should be a D minor?

Example 2:
Same situation as above, but what if I want a single C note to play as a single note sometimes, but as a full C major chord other times? Once again, how do I instruct Renoise to differentiate between them?

Overall I don’t think the concept of a chord maker per-instrument really works. However, as a note input tool contained in the advanced edit section I think it could work very nicely. I can imagine a situation where I would want to quickly fill a pattern with some basic chords. With the chord maker enabled I would simply type C and Renoise would automatically enter the notes C+E+G into the pattern for me.

As a time-saving tool I think this could work. As some kind of helper which overrides the normal note behaviour I think it would just be confusing and limiting.


I think I understand your concerns. I forgot to explain some details.

This assumption is wrong. Let me explain:
The notes in the pattern will be played just like now. A note will be played as a chord only when it has a value defined in the fx column. Like:
C -that’s a single note
C C47 -that’s a chord

When Chord Maker is enabled it makes chords during:

  1. live playback with the keyboard (just playing notes and not recording)
  2. recording in the pattern: in this situation when typing a note → a chord will get written

When just playing the song/pattern the Chord Maker will have no impact on playback. Chord Maker only works when you play notes [with your fingers].

Ok sure, then like I said, as a time-saver when recording notes, some variation of this idea could definitely be useful. :)

OK. Yes, it’s definitely a time-saver. Also a space saver, when combined with the usage of fx column for additional notes.

I also think that, after all, it could be used as a general setting as well. (Not separate for every instrument.) Because I assume that it probably wouldn’t be used that much.
So perhaps the Advanced edit would be an appropriate place.

Then again, with separate settings you’d have some more options for live use and whatnot, but that’s probably looking too far in the future… I had in mind stuff like playing many instruments “at once”, quickly switching between them, … then separate settings make sense.

The chordmaker is a really nice idea, though i’d prefer it as input helper in the advanced edit section. For playing chords with a single note, Renoise should support midi plugins in a future version, which would make your idea possible.

Yeah, placing it in the advanced edit would be ok to me, too.

I updated the picture in the first post, which now includes the “Write chord notes in the effects column” option. It’d probably make sense to have it in the same place.

Although the chord maker widget would be nice, I’d happily just settle for the pattern command on it’s own if it’s easier / quicker to implement.

The best chordmaker i’ve ever seen so far was (i believe!) in IT where you could copy a range of notes and use this base for your complete chord, using the note you striked as basenote.
In this way you could create any arbitrary range of notes (and effects!) and paste the set related to the basenote entered. No fuzz with dropdownlists and options, just plain copy and and strike (if the function is turned on).
This could also make it usefull for creating arbitrary effects or whatever you want to experiment with.

I’m not sure I understood how that worked, vV. Copy a range of notes from where?

But it got me thinking of a way to make chord bulding even faster, simply by learn function. Not to replace the bulding of chords by presets (Types), tho. Just an addition.

There would be a Chord Learn button, which you’d press, then play a chord (by pressing all the buttons on the keyboard) and the chord (or just any combination) would get registered in the Chord Maker. Then you could trigger that sort of chords (combinations) with one note only.

Because you can’t enter all the notes precisely at once the learn function could work in 2 ways:

  1. Automatically - you’d press ‘Learn’ and you’d have a certain amount of time (defineable) to enter all the notes of the chord. After that amount of time the chord will be learned.

  2. By confirmation - you’d press ‘Learn’, press the notes of a chord and then, when you’re happy, press ‘Learn’ again (or un-press) to confirm the chord.

This would be useful, IMO. Imagine having this in Advanced Edit, for example: pop up AE at the side, click learn with one hand, type a chord with the other hand and there you go.

It was called Template mode, i will show you how this power works exactly, with ALT-I you could select different template modes, what IT did was using your copied clipboard as a template for your pressed note-key.
Depending upon the copy mode (overwrite, mixpaste etc.) it would embed the notes in between existing content, mix existing content in between clip board or overwrite the complete content even notes only mode is there (no effects are mixed / overwritten).
You see me marking it, i copy it with Alt-C , select the template mode and then just hitting any specific note on my keyboard:

If Renoise would have this power it would be so immensely usefull…
There are still a lot of practical things that make Impulse Tracker superior to todays Windows standard trackers.
It was one of the things i missed so much during the beginning of using Renoise…
But if it would be implemented and i get used to it again, it would be again as if i would be missing a leg to walk faster if this feature would be stripped from Renoise again.

Good idea.

However, I think midi-effect support would be a million times better.

That way, we can use already existant “chord makers”

Something I would really like is that if you pressed a chord when in edit mode it would record that chord, without you needing to hold down shift.

There would be a time value and if you pressed down several keys within that time it would write them down on the same row.
Perhaps you should be able to adjust that value.
It would be a question of milliseconds.

The best thing about it would be that when using a midikeyboard you would not have to hold down shift at the same time as you made the chord which can sometimes be very annoying.

As for the chord editor I think it can be a nice idea but it should have shortcuts for different presets and I also think it should be able to playback the chords you record.

It would be nice if you could give it keyboard focus then you could quickly switch between different chords with shortcuts while live playing.

Perhaps using the numeric keypad for playing different chord types.

Fully agree.

MIDI effect support would make sense to me too. But an integrated chord maker of some sort would still be nice. Because:

  1. It would be handier to use than a plugin. Quicker, no inserting necessary.
  2. Chord making and quantization are probably the two most used MIDI functions. And as such both could/should be integrated in Renoise, since they’d get used often.
  3. The chords in fx column feature would make sense as a part of a chord maker. (Even tho, as datassette said, it could be there anyway.) No MIDI plugin can write that pattern data for you… so, if it’s a wanted feature, it’d have to be integrated in Renoise.
  4. Same for ‘chord learn’, which is something I haven’t even seen in MIDI plugin.

The chord fx is nice in some cases, but generally useless with natural instruments (guitar / piano etc.)
With template, you can snapshot also the included delays.

or try using
in addition ;)

The MC Chordwizard seems to be a nice little tool, but unfortunatly doesn’t export midi files. :(
Is there some trick with a kind of loopback device?

Nevermind, the MC Arp Tool can export. Nice little helpers :)