How Do I Make This Rhytym Fit?


This problem has hounted me for years. I play something with the keyboard in a rhytym that pleases me. Then in a rush of inspiration I quickly hit record in Renoise and play it in. Here the problem starts: I have everything in Renoise sounding just the way I want, exactly in the rhytym I like. But the patterns in Renoise don’t match, in other words the melody doesnt lay out evenly to the patterns but there might be a empty spot in the end of the last pattern before the melody starts again.

I have always struggled very much with this issue. I love music, but I’m very bad at math. Can anyone here tell me how I should proceed to make this song easier to work with in Renoise (make the melody spread out evenly on two patterns without changing the actual rhytym)?

I include an example to download here:

The sample in the song can be replaced by any sample, a piano sample or instrumetn should work nicely.

Thank you very much if you can help me out!

Record playing to a metronome so you record in time to you tempo?

I took a look at your file, and it seems that your piano figure is implying a tempo around 91 or 92 beats per minute, while renoise is set to 165 bpm.

I suggest that when you discover one of these riffs you feel good about, find your tempo first. I use a metronome with a tap tempo function, but you could just turn on renoise’s metronome and adjust the BPM until you find the tempo of your riff. im sure there are some tap tempo capable bits of free software out there… try this web page…

just make sure you find the tempo of your riff BEFORE recording it into renoise… that seems to be the issue here.

looking at an old post of yours, it seems you’ve discussed this issue before… diskdocta said:

i used to struggle with the same problem. getting in the habit of using my tap tempo metronome without ruining the moment took time and practice. keep at it, and it will become a natural part of your workflow over time. one day you’ll do it without even thinking about it…

I was going to suggest a metronome with a tapping function, too. I also run into this problem from time to time.

Sometimes you just can’t think about tempo first without killing the creative moment. What I do is just record whatever comes to my mind, not paying any attention to the tempo set in my DAW, to get a “snapshot” of the idea. Then I listen to my riff(s) and roughly figure out the tempo by using a metronome with a tapping function (or a watch that displays seconds). I set that tempo in the DAW, turn on the metronome (or lay down a simple beat) and record the stuff again. I mostly lay down a beat instead of recording with a metronome because I find actual beats much more inspiring for further improvisation.

PS That reminds me that I would really like to have a tapping function in Renoise

I dont know if I’m just crazy, but I somehow feel almost like the metronome will change the way I play the melody, kind of forcing me to insert notes more “dead on”. I really like this “swing” in music, the small accelerations and slowdowns that make a melody feel more alive. I think that’s why I keep beating my head against this wall, I think I am searching for a way to take the thing I freely played and strech it out just enough so it fits two patterns in Renoise -->while still maintaining the relative distance of the notes as accurately as possible. Do you guys know what I mean?

If there only was a way to tell Renoise:

“This is the note pattern I want played in exactly this tempo, but change the song bpm and the relative distance of the notes so that the notes fit exactly two renoise patterns”

Where you begin affects the next decision which can ruin the initial inspiration.

For example, in the time domain, if you start with rhythm first, it’ll dictate the structure, tempo, and hemiola order.

My prefernce is…


_30 60 90
_90 120 150
_150 180 210
_210 240 270

Hemiola (not sure if I’m using the term correctly), but from my understanding, since the brain counts in pulses of 2 and 3, you can variate 8/4 in 22-22 or 233 for example.

Then I lay some rhythms.

Currently though, I’m experimenting with shrunk and expanded hemiolas according to hit placement + variable resolutions to solve the same issue of fitting a rhythm within any given structure through looking at the rhythmic options according to the structural set-up instead of feeling a rhythm out all day.

Hopefully its something that can be implemented in 2.6

It’s been three years since I was posting about this, so I’ll revisit this issue now that I’m considering giving Renoise another go (been too busy to play around with it).

Is there anything in the newer versions of Renoise that would help fitting notes to a pattern? I still don’t like the idea of metronomes :confused:

I have also one solution for the problem but it’s not optimal:

If I render the midi to a wav-file, I can then lay it on a pattern and tweak the pattern speed without affecting the original tempo of my recording. The obvious downside of this is that I loose the Midi, but at least I get the tempo exactly in the way I played it.

Does anyone know of an alternative method?

I don’t think tempo tap will help in stretching the midi to fill a pattern evenly?

In other words, if I understood correctly, tempo-tap will help me figure out the tempo of existing notes.

But my question is about spreading existing notes to form an even pattern.

To put it in a different way I would like to do this:

Play a melody or drum beat freely without any pre-set tempo or metronome. Then start messing with pattern speed until the played melody/beat fits a pattern. The midi notes should constantly adjust to compensate for the pattern speed change, by contracting or expanding the note positions so that the speed changes do not change the timing of the original notes.

I’m thinking of a workflow in which you can play your notes with the tempo in your heart and let Renoise adapt it’s pattern speed to that, so that one melody bar fills one pattern. The way I see it this would give total rhythmical freedom in a tracker program = pure awesomeness!

You could code something that does this with the lua API…

It seems simple enough to double the BPM, double the spaces inbetween and add a space where there wasn’t any no?
Or are you referring to the amount of notes in the pattern, spaces included, which you can click and adjust where the 64 usually is in the upper left corner of the widget?
If you’re doing midi imports i would do midi and then import each instrument in wav and just manually replace
hope i could help im not sure exactly what you mean though

I suspect you are looking for similar behavior as software that uses a time-line approach, in that case:
simply create one empty pattern of 512 lines (In an empty song:just change the amount of lines from the existing pattern to 512) and clone it that amount of times until you are satisfied with a song length you can fill in (right click on the Renoise timer clock and it will show you the remaining time-span the current sequence has from the cursorposition) and then simply start recording your session.

Use shift-space to continue from the exact line you want to start playing/recording.

Tempo tap will help you set the BPM to the beat-count measure that you dictate the tool, you have in your mind. If you use the above approach, Tempo-tap will be enough for you to correct the BPM to your groove and you won’t need to to anything else.
However if you really don’t know what 4/4, 3/4 or 7/8 beatmeasures are but want to divide notes evenly across patterns, i would highly recommend you to teach yourself at least about that.You can’t ignore this kind of knowledge if you want to put your notes evenly in any particular exact frame and this doesn’t really matter which program you use.
Once you know this, the only thing remaining is dividing the pattern to the ratio of your beat. If you tapped a 3/4 beat measure, set the pattern length to 48, if you tapped 7/8, set it to 56 etc. and then clone all these patterns.

Okay let me try to explain it in another way:

I’m basically looking for a feature, that let’s you tweak pattern tempo while moving the notes to compensate for the change.

The way I see it, this would allow me to first record any crazy rhytym to midi, then set the tempo so that my midi notes fill one pattern perfectly, allowing those patterns to loop seamlessly together. All this without affecting the original rhythm the notes were played in ( = very important).

I will try to make a video to illustrate this more clearly during the next days.

I just thought of another way to do this:

  1. Create a really long pattern, don’t worry about tempo just hit record and jam away
  2. Render what you have recorded
  3. Trim sample to a whole number of beats and bars
  4. Slice the sample
  5. For drums use slices to pattern to get the note data, for melodies use slices to midi

It’s not quick but it works…

Hmmm I think you might have understood! To make a really simple example, let say I only recorded two midi notes. These notes are located on step 1 and step 19 on a 64 step pattern. The current speed is 128. If I would now activate the feature I’m talking about, I could change the speed to 256 and Renoise would automatically shift my midi accordingly. So now the notes are positioned on step 1 and step 38. Their relative rhythm has not changed, because while the pattern speed has doubled, also the distance of the notes has doubled.

Using this feature I could gradually change the speed until my two notes start to loop nicely. With two notes I could probably do the math manually. But if there is a more complex melody, i would like Renoise to do the math for me. Like what if there are notes on step 1,3,18,21,25 and 29. They sound perfect, but the problem is that the pattern obviously doesn’t loop seamlessly. The original speed is say 110 bpm. The math is much more difficult for me now: If I spread these notes to fill one pattern perfectly, what is the right bpm that will preserve the original rhythm of these notes?

Alfa8 those two tools you presented sound indeed very helpfull! This might prove to be a nice workflow!

I get you now… the way you have described it would make quite a useful feature…

I think dblue’spattern resizer tool will take you most of the way there, with a bit of hacking it could be made to work like you describe.

Actually I think using the pattern resizer is probably the best and most accurate way to do it. If you get your notes looping nicely in a pattern, regardless of how long the pattern is to start with, you can resize it to a more usable length

I think I might have something for you
4098 nl.jeweett.TempoTool_V1.xrnx
“Tempo Tool”, a quite simple but very handy shortcut (and context menu entry) in Sample Editor that allows to set the tempo according to the sample’s duration. i.e. you can load any loop and take it’s tempo after you set the ‘sync’ value to the corresponding amount of lines. So the tool takes into account the duration of the sample and also whatever lpb you want to use in song, as long as you set that linesync correctly (Renoise sets it correctly for most samples, but if you make a beat in 4 lpb then save it to .wav and load it back in a 8 lpb project you might have to adjust for that)
O yeah it also takes transpose into account (finetune not, atm) - so if you prehear and you like a beat loop better at A-3, set it 3 semitones down and then run the tempotool shortcut.
In the way of just recording some ‘freestyle’ beat aka not on the metronome exactly, you would render whatever you got and sounds good, tweak the loop start and end points until it’s a perfect fit, then right click -> “select loop” and then ctrl+t for trim - now you can set the tempo, make the pattern, activate loop, rechop, etc.

The suggestions in here are good - I do think a more ‘live looper’ kind of approach is doable within the lua api, where you just say at the beginning how many beats or bars you are using to set off, then record into and have a dedicated midi control message for the first ‘reloop’ - then that tool would immediately calculate the bpm, reposition all the drum hits, fix pattern length back to the predefined beat/bar count, play.

I understand that, but i can’t grasp why you want to do that in that way. I simply submit a logic solution that might work without having to go through any hassle, this also means dispose of the whole pattern framing idea.
As said there are plenty tools that can help you along the road to do it the hard way, but why do you want to do it this specific way? I guess i really need some musical demo to hear what you are doing, it sounds like a pretty interesting project, but i have no faint idea of what this would be.