Fastest Way Of Getting Used To Writng With A Tracker?

Just trying to get upto speed using renoise, but I find my progress moving slowly with the most of the product, I do like it alot but after reading the manual alot, and watching the tutorials alot I still find i’m writing at a very slow pace? Is this always the deal with writing with a tracker or do you have any nice short cuts or dos and don’ts? I sometimes feel I’m missing something very obvious when composing with it…(by the way I have read the manual alot, but I find some of it a bit vague, but hopefully I will come round to it eventually:})

I’d say practice, nothing more. :P

You can print a list of keybord shortcuts from the help menu, also useful is a printed version of the effect commands for quick reference.

you said you like using trackers, and this is what you really need, together with time.

trackers are not straightforward (someone does find them easy, but in my opinion they do not use thir features fully), so they need practice. Taking a look at other people’s songs can help very much. Try Beatbattle IV entries for some good stuff.

Personally, I find that entering music in a tracker (just standard music without special effects, etc.) is DRASTICALLY faster using a tracker than using a MIDI sequencing program. That coupled with the fact that I can use my own custom samples makes trackers an obvious choice for me. Essentially, just continuing to write songs and making use of the shortcuts as much as you can will help you learn as quickly as possible. Try to think of ways to incorporate effects you want to include in your song instead of simply looking up what effects look neat - eventually you’ll find your ‘style’, and the various shortcuts that will help you to do it faster with a tracker. You don’t need all the effects at any given time - I find I usually use about ten to fifteen effects consistently, and having those written down somewhere you can see them will help too. That’s about all the suggestions I can give.

Oh yeah - another thing that helps speed things up a lot is remembering what shortcuts allow you to switch between different windows quickly, and navigate the tracker layout quickly. Those are my favorite shortcuts of all time. :D

well I thought as much… well onwards with the slog… practice, practice ok. thanks folks for the advise.

Here’s a tip for you…
(one that ain’t concerned with shortcuts or hardcore-user effects… those will come in time)

since Im not aware of the type of music your making this will be general…
let’s say your making a straight forward popsong with verse/chorus build…

  1. set up 2 basic 64-line patterns (this will give you four bars in a 4/4 time sig. using a moderate tempo)

  2. load some generic samples/vsti sounds. Ones of a type you always use.

  3. roughly sketch out rythm sections (drums bass etc.) and chord-structure (strings, keys…)

  4. now, develop what you have into a full-on chorus. Be more detailed until you’ve reached your desired ‘full intensity kind of chorus’.
    Don’t concern yourself with pattern commands or dsp’s just yet…

  5. Is this a satisfactory chorus for you? If no… go back to 4. and be more detailed… if yes, go on to 6.

  6. Go through steps 1-5 again but this time write your verse.
    One way of doing this is to ‘clone’ your current patterns and stripping them down, deleting and changing different sections…

Now you’ll have a pattern sequence set up something like this:

0 Verse start
1 Verse end
2 Chorus start
3 Chorus end

  1. when this is done it’s time for you to delve into pattern commands and dsp’s…
    (when you’re more used to the program these things will be more integrated in your way of writing)
    since your main building blocks are ready it’s easier for you to know what type of effect your after and there’s plenty of song data to work with.
  2. start arranging your basic song structure by selecting and cloning each section
    You have the basics of a song here… after this it’s all decorating…
  3. Put in an intro, bridges, melody-lines, solos, fills and breaks. make parts longer or shorter as desired.
  4. go over each part and fuzz over detail…

I hope this comes through as a simple approach and not overly complicated…
My aim was to provide a method for you to quickly come up with a song structure before concering yourself with commands or fx.