How Do You Guys (And Girls) Record What Your Playing?

I really like the concept of playing in instruments like piano live to the music, but unless it’s a very simple riff I’m not a good enough player. My timing gets sloppy and I’m all over the place. I sometimes use the Renoise quantize to clean up my act but it doesn’t work well for me.

I’m left wondering - ever since the advanced timing I thought it would make Renoise easier to use when recording “real playing”. This is important because sometimes I want a genuine ‘live’ take instead of something programmed. When I used to use cakewalk I found it easier to correct my notes and the interface better at letting me play notes in to the music.

I know that there is presently no count-in, and suspect that a vast majority of Renoise users actually program notes in while few people record in the traditional sense. For those that do play notes in, do you have any tips or tricks? For example, because I always make mistakes I like to loop a section and play it over and over again until I get it right, but Renoise keeps adding additional notes so I must stop, or at least cut (ctrl-X) to clean out the block but that takes my hands off the keys and makes it harder to get back in the swing.

Ultimately the real solution is for me to keep practicing my playing. But I’m wondering if there are any tips or tricks any other Renoise’ers can offer that they use when recording their playing notes in live? (setup multiple blank patterns, some type of macro, something… anything?)

If you use the pattern matrix (2.5) you can ease the pain a little bit by removing complete contents of several tracks thoughout the sequence so you can retake all those patterns.

If there are only a few notes to correct, the old fashioned way is by using these shortcut-keys to shift complete notes up and down:
insert/del -> Shift all notes in the whole pattern-track down/up
ctrl+shift+ insert/del Shift all notes in current note-column down/up

The later versions of Renoise will memorize notes that disappear from the bottom of the pattern if you would push them out (so if you move rows up again, notes that got shifted out of range will be drawn back into the pattern again)

This is how note-correcting works on the vertical way but works locally on pattern only (not song-wise).
But you don’t have to do a complete retake to get stuff straight.

Have you tried doing both - playing the notes, then manually editing them to fix mistakes and tweak around?

To be honest, one of the weakest spots in renoise right now is to record live stuff. Especially recording midi notes from a midi keyboard.
Not much you can currently do here to improve the workflow.
In addition to things previously mentioned, you can also do some stuff in the advanced edit, like more precise quantize and nudging notes, and humanization.
But even this is a pain because of the lack of hotkeys support in the advanced edit panel.
With the scripting feature coming up, things like quantize will hopefully be made much more sophisticated and easier to use. This together with easier nudging and other cool scripting stuff hopefully should help quite a bit.
However a pianoroll kinda edit tool would be the godsend feature for these tasks imo.
If you record anything polyphonic now in the pattern editor you end up in a huge mess.
It’s even very hard to find and identify your mistakes in the first place. And very tedious to correct them.
Also the fact that notes are not treated as one object slows this process tremendously.
Also things like ‘takes’/clips, punch in recording etc would be necessary to make recordings really smooth.
Live recording have simply never been prioritized in renoise, and was never meant to be in “Renoise, the tracker” someone would argue… Hopefully it will some day.
Most people do have a midi keyboard somewhere I think. But i bet quite many renoise users don’t use them very much for live recordings as renoise certainly is not inviting you to use it. That’s a shame as it will not only improve your workflow for certain things, but you also miss the ‘free midi keyboard exercise’ you get from this.
You don’t have to be a virtuoso on the keys to find live recording extremely useful, you just need the tools to correct your mistakes efficiently. And you quickly becomes a much better keyboard player and then need less and less post note editing.
Better handling of midi and audio recording is what I really would like to see improved in Renoise. And I’m quite sure that in some way or another it will be done… some day.

Thanks everyone for your replies. Pysj - your reply was really the one that caught onto what I was saying. (I very much apperciate your reply becuase now I know that I’m not the only one that has difficulties recording live takes!)

Johann and VV - what I’m trying to do is figure out how to best setup Renoise so that I can do live takes. (real playing). Nudging, shifting and quantizing is what I’m trying to minimize, if not eliminate.

Pysj, you’ve made me feel better becuase I had thought I was inept. Even though I feel as comfortable as a fish in water in a tracker, when I play piano sequences or big chord movements I find that fixing my mistakes is really hard. What I had been hoping of is someone pointing out something obvious that I had been missing though.

On that note though, I will try the pattern matrix becuase I haven’t spent much time using it yet and maybe that will help. I completely agree with what you are saying though about clips, punch-in and live takes - because without it I don’t see how anyone can perform in live takes efficiently unless they are very competent (1 take) pianists. (I’m probably more like a 99 take pianist, but hey… at least I’ll give it a go!) =)