Confusing phrase transposing... Solved, thanks everybody.


  1. I have the instrument with selected scale, lets say C minor.
  2. I can insert notes straight into the pattern editor or the phrase editor. If I insert them into pattern editor, they are transposed straight away. If i insert them into the Phrase Editor they are transposed during playback based on the selected scale. Love it…
  3. If i record Q W E R T Y on my keyboard, the sequence will look like this: In Phrase editor it will be: C D E F G A. And in pattern editor: C D D# F G
  4. I prefer to insert notes into pattern editor, because i can see what notes are in scale, and then i can create a phrase from them if i want.

EVERYTHING IS GOOD SO FAR. Love the flexibility and understand that this “background transposing” inside the phrase editor can be handy. But there is one thing i don´t understand. Maybe i don´t understand music theory good enough, maybe nobody else didnt realize it yet —>

Because I´ve created phrase that contains note C D D# F G and lock it to that C Minor I can not insert E note into pattern editor and transpose that phrase by it. Somebody told me that it depends on relative scale, circle of fifths etc…
But I am not so sure about it.

Because when you select some scale that doesnt contain C (G# pentatonic minor), create a sequence in a pattern editor ( Q W E R T Y gives you B C# D# D# F#), convert it into the phrase editor and want play this phrase in the basic form you can not because C is abandoned by the selected scale so you have to change base note (to B in this case). But then i have just 5 notes * octaves for transposing and I don´t wanna turn off that scale (because of experimenting with phrases, their scales, base notes etc).

I have a feeling that the concept of straight transposing notes into the scale inside the pattern editor clashes with the transposing the phrase.
I dont have a big problem with changing base note but what stresses me is a feeling that i am limited in transposing the phrase because of the selected scale :slight_smile:

I hope it is understandable as English is not my native language and someone will explain me my misunderstanding or we find solution together without damaging that great straight-away transposing of notes inside the pattern editor which is great for learning, lucidity and mainly writing song in a key…

There are some topics about how phrases should be inserted:

But they dont solve my problem, because notes that can be inserted would be limited by selected scale still and i am not sure it is something what you want when you inserting and transposing phrases. Maybe there should be some button that will turn-off scale function for the pattern editor? It would solve it absolutelly’
(But then it will break correct transposing of phrases? Dont know, somebody who is more musically educated must tell…)

I´ve made image showing my “problem”:

I´ve already talked about this problem somewhere but nobody respond back. I hope that i am not the only one that appreciate this note transposing behaviour when pattern editing…

I’m not exactly shure what the problem is and i may understand uncorrectly, but i suggest you better unlock it from the chord and rather make multiple phrases so that you can have E play the phrase you want.

But if you unlock it from the chord, phrase will play what is written in it but i want it to be transposed.
For now i just use scales (for writting into pattern) and not phrases.

Problem is that content of phrase and content of pattern editor are influenced by one selected scale and i thik that scale (7 notes for example) doesnt have anything to do with transposing. So if you select major C, you can write minor notes into phrase and they are transposed to major c, but you can not write minor note into pattern editor (for example c# if you wanna transpose that scale by one semitone) so you are limited to 7 transposition in one octave, why?.

you can duplicate the instrument and set it to another scale. it’s great to make ‘mood swings’ for song parts also :]

I think there is misunderstood… Your information doesn´t solve anything, sorry.
Will try to show another scenario:

  1. Create phrase in instrument 1
  2. Select C minor scale, press record and press these keys Q W E R T
  3. What you inputed into phrase is C D E F G. (If you wrote this into pattern you would see what is in (5))
  4. Switch back to pattern editor and insert this phrase, root note is C.
  5. What is being played is not C D E F G because it is transposed into C minor it is C, D, E♭, F, G (you don´t see it, you just know it).

PROBLEM IS HERE. I wanna tranpose this pattern by one semitone but

  1. I can not insert C# into pattern editor because it is not in the C minor scale. Notes that i can input into pattern editor are limited by scale of selected instrument (different behaviour than in phrase editor as i´ve described in 1st post and point (3)) what is great function when you create melody in the pattern editor but it looks somehow unsuitable when you wanna transpose phrase.
    You can insert C# when you turn off that C minor scale inside the istrument but then you get transposed C major because what you´ve inserted into phrase editor is C D E F G and that is not transposed into C, D, E♭, F, G with scale turned off.

So transposision is limited by 7 notes (in major and minor scale) of octave. And I ask if it is related to music theory or is just renoise limitation.

I hope it is more clear. Maybe i describe understandable problem by the non-understandable way :slight_smile: (english is not my native language neither)…

Maybe te dev’s can shed some light on this

I was wishing that I could automate the scale on/off, root note and scale… that would help solve this issue right? You’re talking about accidentals… the desire to place notes and transpositions that are out of the currently selected key?

Accidentals can be inserted by duplicating instrument and turning scale off. And automatization wont solve nothing, sorry. I’ll try to create Scenario 3 :-).

Scale G# Minor has this notes: G#,A#,B,C#,Eb,F,G
If i select it, notes that i can inert into pattern editor are: G#,A#,B,C#,Eb,F,G -> The same that are in selected scale (7 notes in octave)
If i select it, notes that i can inert into phrase editor are: ANY NOTE -> They are later invisibly transposed to selected scale.

Scale G# Minor pentatonic has this notes: G#,B,C#,Eb,F#,G#
If I select it, notes that i can insert into pattern editor are: G#,B,C#,Eb,F# -> The same that are in selected scale (5 notes in octave)
If i select it, notes that i can inert into phrase editor are: ANY NOTE -> They are later invisibly transposed to selected scale.

I select G# minor pentatonic and write some sequence into phrase and because some of the notes are not in the selected scale i need to have this phrase locked into scale (cause they are then invisibly transposed). But then i can make only 5 transposisions in one octave (these 5 notes of scale i can insert into pattern editor).

If I select G# minor and insert random notes then i can make 7 transposisions in one octave (these 7 notes of scale i can insert into pattern editor).

So the less notes used scale has the less transposisions you can make.

[i]I have my own workaround (Lock to the scale, create sequence in pattern editor (so i see and insert just notes from the scale), convert it into phrase and turn off scale, then i can transpose as i want —> BUT IS IT RIGHT? ISNT IT OUT OF SCALE OR SOMETHING LIKE THIS when i do it? :slight_smile:

If i do it, problem is that i am not anymore locked into scale. I can duplicate instrument and turn the scale on but it is not very elegang solution… [/i]


BECAUSE AS I UNDERSTAND IT: SELECTING SCALE LIMITS POSSIBLE NOTES IN PATTERN EDITOR BASED ON THAT SCALE (GREAT, because you know what you insert into pattern / Great, that phrases are not limited in this way so you can change scales and notes will be transposed. Both ways have its advantages) BUT IT ALSO LIMITES TRANSPOSISION AND I CAN NOT IMAGINE HOW PHRASE TRANSPOSING AND NOTES IN SCALE CAN BE SO MUCH CONNECTED.

Thank You, I suppose one of developer should know…

If you turn scale mode in instrument editor on, it works two ways:

a ) you can insert ANY note into the PHRASE EDITOR and it is invisibly transposed into selected scale during playback.
So you can change scale and it will modify playback of inserted notes.
b ) you can insert just NOTES from SELECTED SCALE into pattern editor. It is not transposed, notes out of the scale can´t be inserted.
If you then change scale in the instrument it wont influence what you´ve already inserted into pattern editor.

a1 ) because you can insert ANY note, user should know what is transposed.
Suggestion: Let the that keys under the phrase show what notes are really played. It would be very usefull. Because when i make some weird transposition I no more know what is being played…
b1 ) when instrument has a phrase, note in the pattern editor influences its pitch (or chooses pattern). When instrument has pentatonic scale then i can insert just 5 notes of a octave into pattern editor. When instrument has major scale i can insert 7 notes of octave. So the wider scale is selected, the wider transposisions can be made.

Even if i think that a (+a1) and b are great functions I have feeling that transposision of phrase in pattern editor is limited by b and some button that will switch between phrase and pattern scale function in instrument editor would solve this conflict.

Or as i´ve already asked: Is it some musical or mathematical relationship I dont understand? Like Pentatonic has 5 notes so it can be tranposed just by 5 ways etc? Then b1 wont be any problem.

A and B are indeed two different things - with A (live phrase transposing) being somewhat limited in that you specify the key and the scale, and then have “to do with that”.

In sense, the note in which you trigger the phrase could be seen as one axis, and the key defined for the instrument, the other axis.
You are experiencing that the inability to change the key, and I agree that this is not optimal. Otherwise you are limited to the notes within that scale, and only those.

Maybe I dont understand you but it is not about changing key.
It is about transposing.

I´ve figured out how to ask this question and solve it:

  1. Lets say i´ve select F# pentatonic major (F# G# A# C# D#)

  2. I create phrase with notes C A F B and I assume they will be transposed to C# A# F# and A# if i will play that phrase.

  3. Because C is not in F# pentatonic major (so i cannt insert this note into pattern editor) I need to change base note of that phrase to F# for example. And i insert this F# into pattern so i will hear C# A# F# and A# i suppose.

  4. I can insert also G# and A# and C# and D#. And it will transpose that phrase. If keys under the phrase would show played notes i would know what transposed phrase plays. For now i can just guess (look bellow where i guess :-)).

  5. If i could insert any note into patten editor and i would insert B for example how would that transposision look? (look bellow where i guess :-)).

NOW I am getting it maybe
, transposision of some sequence is limited by a scale it uses. Not just in Renoise but in real world…
So in my example:
F# in pattern editor (and it is base note of that phrase): C# A# F# A#
G# in pattern editor would play: D# C# G# C#
A# in pattern editor would play: F# D# A# D#

and B would play theoretically some b*llshit…

If i am right please consider just a1 :-)).

I see the problem and i think it’s a bit inconvenient, but if you transpose a scale by one semitone then it wont be the same scale anymore. That’s probably why it sticks to the scale no mather what as long as you have it turned on, so you won’t end up with an incompatible scale.

It shouldn’t play anything on B if your first observation was correct (can’t put C in pattern editor), because it’s not in the scale?

I’m not very familiar with the scales and i never use them, so i’m not shure if this makes sense.

This is what somebody with better understanding of music theory must explain ;)

Are you shure about that? What do you know about my knowledge of music theory? I’ve been tracking since screamtracker 3, have i been dooing it blindly for all these years? Not saying i’m an expert in any way, but you don’t need that for an understanding of scales.
Music theory is an extremely wide subject, you know that right? This has really not much to do with music theory anyway, so i don’t know why you should bring that up?

A scale is a scale, if you’re working in one scale it won’t make a sense to transpose it 1 seminote because then it’s another scale. I already said that, but you seem to want everything with a t-spoon.

It will transpose only within the scale so that you don’t get out of scale, yes. Is that a better way to put it?

How Renoise handles its input from the pattern editor vs phrase is another matter though, and that seems a bit inconvenient.

I am sory i didnt want to offend you. I ve didnt read your post very well. Now i realize that transposing must happen logicaly in scale. What Danoise said about unpossibility of changing key is actually only “problém” but it doesnt bother me anyhow :)
Thanks for explonation and patience.