DSP FX Chain Stepper


Time for an update for my Stepper patch!

This is a DSP FX chain that emulates the Stepper in the modulation FX. It uses some meta devices, and a custom table LFO that will act like the Stepper! You can control native effect devices or VST effects with this…

You can edit the step values in the LFO graphically, also with the Ext. Editor. It allows changing the number of points, setting an arbitrary step value, or random step, and it has a RESET control which you can trigger to set the stepper to a certain position from automation.

To load, drag&drop the file into a renoise DSP FX chain, or right click on the effects chain/mixer track and select “Device Chain”->“Load…” and select the file.

CAUTION loading the patch will delete all the current FX from the chain, and replace them with my patch. Blame this on renoise. Make a new track, and load the patch into it, if you don’t want to loose your FX!

After loading locate the Velocity Tracker, and set it to the instrument that you want to trigger the Stepper. (Edit:) Move the Velocity Tracker to the track from which you want to trigger the Stepper. Point the Hydra at the end of the chain to the effect parameters that you want to automate with the stepper.

To set the parameters see this pic:


  • The “points” values must match, edit the “Table” LFO Points number, and you must enter the number as text with the computer keyboard in the formula device, as well. Max 256 points supported!

  • In the formula device you can also edit the “step” value. It can be any positive or negative number or term, like “1.25” or “-2.5” or “1/3”. If you set it to zero “0” then it will choose a random point on each step.

  • The “RESET” controller allows resetting the Table to a position. You can just drag the slider to select a step, you can automate it with pattern fx, right-clicks or points envelopes, and you can point a key tracker or velocity tracker to it… That the slider will keep flipping back to 1.0 is necessary for it to work properly.

Limitations: can only register one trigger per tick, so if you trigger multiple notes at once, it will only advance one step. Is not polyphonic.

Download Patch v 1.2b:

fxstepper-1.2b.xrnt (17.8 KB)


  • You can point multiple keytrackers at the “Trigc” → “Reset” control, to make multiple instruments or keyranges trigger the Stepper. If using key ranges from same instrument, set keytrackers into “soft” mode. The “Trigc” → “Reset” control must be triggered with a value of zero “0.0” to advance the stepper.

  • Try to trigger the RESET Control with a keytracker with a range that is set to two adjacent keys. Then set for min and max the reset positions you want to trigger with them. Trigger them in rhythm to make repetetive automation patterns! Put the keytrackers in “Soft” mode to do it with multiple keytrackers on different ranges of the same instrument.

  • Use the RESET Control to select a step, disable the step triggering tracker, and edit the LFO or hydra while being able to hear how the parameters sound, as they will be adjusted according to the Table value.

  • You can automate the “Step Table” Amplitude and Offset to get some extra variation to your modulation

I hope you all have a lot of fun with it!


dude, this is fuggin… awesome. :metal: thank you so much for putting this together!!! :beers: Will definitely be seeing some use in my workflow.
You’re a genius!

Oh shit I posted in the wrong forum category. Meant to post it in Tips & Tricks. Maybe a mod can move it?

The math device should be unnecessary. Since you have that note trigger impulse, you simply can automate the speed of the “table” LFO, setting it back to circular. Then you also can normally reset that LFO. Only in a short test, it advances always by 1/3 of a measure, not 1/4.

partypoopers.xrnt (6.5 KB)

Ah, interesting, a 24 step grid will work, or setting to 16 TPL.

huh, interesting! this method will also work, but the amplitude for the zero-point value on the trigc lfo needs to be scaled depending on the number of envelope points in the step table lfo to get them to sync up properly. for example, 75% will sync properly to a 16 step lfo. clever use of lfos alone can do it. great to know!

Well, maybe increase the resolution of LFO1 again to maximum, set the off-point most close to the left, then it should advance by song settings TPL as far as I understand it. Maybe also dependent on yout LPB or so…

12 points in LFO 1 with the first value @ 75%, 1 LPC yields synced 8 steps/points in LFO 2 (16 lpb)

24 points in LFO 1 w 75% yields 16 step sync

good enough for me for now :upside_down_face:

might be trickier with odd numbers of steps, but I’ll fiddle with that when I come to the need for it…

thanks for sharing!

80% value works for 5 steps

somewhere close to 57.149% works well for many cycles for 7 steps, but drifts slightly over time… just in case anyone else is curious to use this method

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Great trick, this way you can get simple stepper action by calculating the proper TPL, the number of steps, and driving the LPC value of the Table LFO to get some stepping action! It has different limitations than my method, but it frees the Table LFO reset knob for some skippy backstep-boogey…

But I still have some concern because it uses no formula devices. I will have to think about it. My patches are only starting to do any good if they use at least 2 or 3 of them! Maybe I can persuade you, that a formula device in this setup would be great, as well. Or even 3 of them. I just need to make some calculations, so it can be put to proper use with some easy formulas.


trial and error mucking about with ffx’s method yields these:
3 stepper.xrnt (6.0 KB)
4 stepper.xrnt (6.0 KB)
5 stepper.xrnt (6.0 KB)
6 stepper.xrnt (6.0 KB)
7 stepper.xrnt (6.0 KB)
8 stepper.xrnt (5.7 KB)
12 stepper.xrnt (5.7 KB)
16 stepper.xrnt (5.7 KB)
24 stepper.xrnt (5.7 KB)
32 stepper.xrnt (6.0 KB)

they are fx chain presets, so, all the usual caveats apply. Namely, don’t unintentionally overwrite another fx chain in use. These are not doofer-wrapped, so, you can choose modulation destinations in other fx chains without having to move stuff around & into the same chain. No hydra, just bare-bones vel>LFO>LFO>up to you. These are not as flexible as @OopsIFly’s method, which has the advantage of altering the step length in addition to randomization, similar to the stepper mod device, but these should serve well for consistent repetitive patterns.

I’ve included some musically useful iterations based mostly around 3 and 4, with 5 and 7 included as well

hope you get some use from them! I’m psyched to integrate them into my sound design :metal:

Thanks for the group effort @OopsIFly & @ffx! Renoise community is the finest in the land :beers:

No need to fiddle around, when you can control it with code that will calculate the exact LPC speed and amplitude/offset that is needed to make a precise stepper for any settings! 3 Formula devices were not enough, I think I needed four, plus an additional in development to monitor the target step LPC frequency.

Load the patch to track (will wipe all fx, make new track for it etc.), plug your instrument into the vel tracker, edit the Values in the “(Step-Stepper)” and “Step Table” devices, and you will have an LFO stepper like @ffx created ready made with all values set up properly. Do not forget to set the “ntaps” value to the same number as points in the LFO. It will follow the song TPL speed, but I think automating it has sometimes made it work flaky for me. If the table position drifts between the values, use the reset knob to realign. You can also use fractional steps, like “1.25” or “1/3”, but negative steps won’t work with this one.

You can also use this as a “factory” for presets. Just set up once for your target setup, and delete all the devices that have names in “(brackets)”. The patch should still work just fine! But now you cannot change the parameters any more, and it will not adapt to different TPL speeds. Then no more nice formula devices. I would advise you to keep them, though, for that extra edge, and for now and then reading in the pretty code.

Had a lot of fun making it, this one was even harder to make than the first. I think both are very useful. This one (“lfostepper2”) has the downside that it must reduce resolution when the table is small or the step is large. Then notes happening very close to each other will trigger only a single step. I think my first approach was more fruitful, and worked more reliably in this regard (minimum distance for retrig always 3 ticks I think).

I will consider adding more features at later point, like automation of the reset position and of the step values.

Oh, and do not forget, while the LFO Table is steppin’, you can automate the Amplitude and/or Offset sliders to add even more life to your modulations. Looking forward to soon making music with these little toys.

Download lfo stepper 2: :ph34r:
lfostepper2.xrnt (25.6 KB)

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Sweet! Thanks for this, too!!

Although at this level of complexity, it makes sense (to me, at least) to wrap it as a doofer, and append the target dsp within the doofer

Awesome work! Excited to start using all of these approaches. I’ve been wanting a way to do this for a while now. Thanks again! I’ll have to study your code and see if I can divine some meaning from it :upside_down_face:

Finally found the time to update my stepper patch. Now with proper Reset control!

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