Dsp Chain Manager

In my opinion, the biggest design flaw in Renoise 1.5.X from a UI point of view is its lack of a comprehensive and fast way to assess the scope of DSP chains and easily rearrange and navigate through them. This annoys me to no end, and it seems like i’m not alone at all.

So i have a suggestion. A toggle button and keyboard shortcut (mouse cursor over the dsp area + tab for instance) switches between two view modes. One is as it is, the other is the Chain manager, a color coded simplified overview that lets you navigate, rearrange, mute/unmute, add/delete, and in general perform the same functions as the normal view, but with no parameter editing, and a complete focus on the above mentioned requirements.


In this situation, the logical flow is apparent, and you can quickly see how the sound is generally altered at a glance. MetaDevices are color coded burgundy, DSPs are blue, VST effects are green. The second Filter2 is currently turned off, apparent from it’s “muted” look.

From this view, drag&drop will rearrange devices as well as delete (by dragging them out of the device manager area). Double clicking a device will switch to the normal DSP chain view and scroll directly to the device. Right clicking a device will turn it on/off.

Should the chain become longer than the horizontal width of the device manager area, a new row of devices is created, with the white line flowing from the last device in the first row in a sharp “Z” shape to the first device in the second row. Should you create more vertical rows than there is room for, a vertical scrollbar is created on the far right.

I think this addition will significantly improve the common workflow, and i think it is a UI issue the (most excellent) developers have failed to see the very real significance of.

I really like the concept behind that idea!

I think a general discussion about how we may be able to improve the DSP area of Renoise would definately be interesting and productive.

As for the effects area, perhaps an alternative (I haven’t completely thought this through) could be to ‘minimise’ a DSP/VST component rather than switching views completely. Although I think switching views might allow room for other ideas.

Another idea is to allow people to save their presets. (as XML files, like how the colour config works).

The general VST area needs improving. Allow multiple groups in a “many<->many” type layout. Like I’d like to be able to store my reverbs in a Group called “reverbs”, and some of the same VSTs in “Favourites”. Once again, an XML format might be handy.

[Slightly offtopic] Another advantage of being able to store your VST lists in XML format, is in the event of a re-install, you can compare your old VST XML file with the new one, to re-build your VST collection. (is there other software to do this? I’m too scared to reinstall windows! :huh: )

The instrument chooser needs improving too, but that’s another topic…

Hmm all valid… What i’ve been thinking about the hardest is basically just how to add something that builds on what is already there, doesn’t require any radical restructuring of data (i hope), and serves to improve the workflow in an area most of us spend a good amount of time in.

I picture something like this… I’m looping a block listening to a sound as i’m adjusting it. I’m moving through the DSP chain, but i know there’s a device somewhere in the middle there (device 7 out of 13 perhaps). I hit tab, the view switches to the overtview, i pick out the device i’m looking for, double click it, it swaps back, scrolled to the correct position.

A more dramatic example is how inserting a new DSP will place it at the end of the chain. If you really want it to be at the START of the chain, you’ll have a good long dragging session ahead of you. Instead, hit tab, drag it 40 pixels and drop it. Hit tab again or doubleclick it. Problem solved.

This mirrors the way Maya handles shaders. You CAN click an object, open the attribute editor, scroll to the far left and find the shader somewhere there. Or you could just open the hypershade and press graph materials on selected.
I think the shader / dsp chain parallel is very real, and thus things could be learned from software such as Maya.

OT: Why the hell am i not sleeping at this hour. Jesus.

  • SJ

Wow. Least, interest, ever. Are you telling me everyone feels the current DSP chain UI is satisfactory? There’s no debate here?

No I think it’s a good idea. It obviously needs something doing to it.

Even more I would like the see the folder structure for opening vst effects and instruments improved from that onelonglistofvsts.

I did a search and couldn’t find it, but i remember somebody already having a similar idea. The idea was to include a minimize button to the left of each inserted plugin. This way the chain would not be so long. There were also mockups of it in the thread. Looked good at that time. :)
I guess with a new Mixerview it would get even better. And AFAIK it’s already in the todo list.