[Done] Pattern Matrix Cell Color & Track Color

I’m unsatisfied with the pattern matrix despite it’s neat top-down view. The colors are what gets me. They’re virtually meaningless since you can’t have two different colors in one track. The biggest reason I’m unsatisfied, i make a cell i really like, i move it to a different track (for my own reasons) and i’ve completely lost it visually. it assumes the color of the “track”, which doesn’t make sense if you’re going to have colors at all in the matrix. the columns are already labeled. and if you think labeled columns are inadequate, then we may as well implement full colored tracks like this. http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/254/renoisecolourso.png no double standard allowed.

At the moment, one moves a green cell from track 1, over to track 2. This green cell corresponds with my kick-drum. Once it’s moved over to track 2, it changes color. Why have them colored if not to distinguish cells? Even if I turn off “view track colors”, the cells are still colored and operate like this. The current formulation defies intuition and lacks purpose. A solution is to remove the implementation of track colors completely.

Ditching “track colors” all together would also allow a more sensible use of color in the pattern matrix. One color corresponding to each unique cell in the pattern matrix

Then each unique cell in the pattern matrix could be assigned a color (the current color selector is perfect imo). If 1 cell in the song is identical in many different patterns, even in different tracks, it will share the same color with all identical cells. So when I see a green box, i know it’s my kick-drum.

Currently looks like this:

In this example, in pattern 0, each cell is its own sound (red = kick, orange = snare, yellow = hh, green = pad).
When I move the cells around (pattern 1 = 1 cell to the right, pattern 2 = 2 cells to the right, pattern 3 = 3 cells to the right), the color is still particular to the column despite turning track-colors off.

If we remove the idea of “track colors” all together, we get a more intuitive and intelligent way to recognize a recurring pattern.

Should look like this:

In sum:

  • Track Colors render Matrix Cell Colors meaningless.
  • Removing the idea of Track Colors makes colored Matrix Cells useful and intelligent.

alternative to track color below

not sure if this is making sense. the alternate solution to track brightness is the option to “group” so to say, by having the choice to add thick lines separating tracks of different group.

visual but non-intrusive way to separate tracks (idea taken from mickrip)

That would make it so much easier to see the unique ‘cells’.

Then don’t display them in the pattern matrix. Solved. :P

Or the track colors could be used for the matrix slot border (or coloring the background of the track in the pattern matrix with it), and the color of the inside of the box could then be used to distinguish between unique slots as you suggested.

Some poeple would need to overcome their fear of color for that though haha…

There is a limit on how many colors there are though… therefore personally I would prefer a number, or at least both and the choice what to use.

that’s not possible at the moment. the matrix cells force “track” color upon themselves.

I like this, but as you said, would take a lot to get used to this. The very idea that we need color to designate tracks is a bit goofy. we already have track titles! Matrix cells, on the other hand, can’t all carry a a unique title. this is where color becomes really useful.

Well, I didn’t mean you should not display them, I meant Renoise :huh:

To me, track colors are useful for grouping. Everything to have to do with snares gets color X, everything to do with the basses gets color Y, and so on. (I just wish we could select more than one track at a time and change the colors (or mute them, as I suggested a while ago) for all of them)…

But as I said, they can’t all have a unique color either? Or at least they become useless beyond a certain point. Your example is kinda tame, but what about for example 300 unique matrix slots?

Solution! color is optional per-cell :D so 293 of those are grey (no less organized than with previous version of renoise), but you choose to color 7 of them. and important: choosing a color for a cell colors all identical cells the same color, but this will not prevent coloring another cell this same color. so your HHs could all be brown (despite differences in the patterns), and your deep-bass kicks green + your flat-bass kicks light-blue (unique cells). the choice would be entirely up to the user.


Track colours are fine - but I think it makes it a hell of a lot easier if you can simply classify and/or minimize tracks. I did this quick mockup… Notice the minimized tracks …

Click Here for Full Sized Image

i think this is a brilliant step toward “visual track grouping” (visual since it doesn’t group the audio), but i respectfully suggest the color doesn’t help.

I respectfully totally disagree :D That mockup is just sexy :dribble:

Indeed, extremely sexy.

Great one, MickRip!

That’s pure sex!

What about this? This might be more realistic…


Should send track location be flexible?

Looks nice. And I really like the grouping. Sometimes I have like 20 tracks in one project and some of them are being used only once per song so it’ll be great if I could just minimize those tracks or parts that I’m not working on and only concentrate on other tracks…

Looks very good to me, I also like the grouping, as I like to make neat groups out of everything. I tend to get lost in songs with a lot tracks and patterns. It would help me definitely!

@mushen: with the current model the “track” is dominant, yes. As it is, I feel a track color is better at expressing the “warmth” of a particular cabinet, or the “coldness” of a lofimat effect. And since those effects are bound to their track, IMHO it makes sense. Keep also in mind that Renoise is different than most DAWs here, since you can just throw around instruments among the various DSP chains…

But let’s not forget that the blocks in the matrix are simple pattern/automation data extracts…
If we get another level, such as note clip instances, how should they be identified/visualized? Isn’t what you describe (individual cells keeping their attributes) in fact better suited for that, perhaps in combination with numbers?

Another idea we’ve discussed in the alpha stage (actually that was danoises idea), was use the tracks color as default color for all slots that are create in the track, but that you can override them manually.

Lets say you have two tracks, first is green second is read:

  • by default everything you create in there gets either red or green
  • right clicking on the slots allows you to override any slots color to whatever you want
  • copy & pasting such colored slots then also copies the overridden color. So if you’ve made a slot yellow, all later copies will also paint them yellow, no matter on which track they are
  • changing the track colors will only change the color for slots that don’t have their own color

This allows you to do/have both: a simple track based color setup and a way to spot/mark clips not just by track…

+1 from me.

yes, that would be great.

and I prefer the mockup from mickrip where the whole track is colored not just the top of it. because if you write notes and jump through tracks you have your eyes focus mostly on the cursor not at the top of your tracks. if this track group color thingy is ever about to come I hope both ways would be possible - to color the whole track and just the top of it.