How do you use the Pattern Matrix?

Hi, I’ve been using Reason instead of Buzz for around six months to a year now (I can’t remember when I stopped using Buzz). I only have one problem with the Pattern Matrix, which slows down my songwriting - the fact that the pattern numbers for each block in the Matrix are the same as the position they were made, in the Pattern Sequencer. So if I want to delete a pattern block within the Matrix, if I have created aliases of it, they are all also deleted. Please see this video which explains what I mean:

At 0:15 in the video I copy block ‘0’ into ‘1’, so that I can then delete block ‘0’ without losing a copy of it in block ‘1’, and can then make new aliases of ‘1’ into the slots below.

How do you guys (and gals) get around this problem? If I have, say, three aliases of the ‘0’ block, I want to be able to just delete the original ‘0’ block and then change it to something else, without deleting all the aliases. If I wanted to delete them, I’d delete them by hand, and would much prefer they stayed there (and updated their numbers to be ‘1’ for the first one, and the the second two would be aliases of ‘1’), than what happens in my example video.

I’m hoping that I’m being stupid and missing something obvious which you all do all the time, to get around this.

It’s the fact that the block numbers are tied (during creation) to the position number in the pattern sequencer, that causes this problem.
The other problem that then occurs is that if you make, say, six patterns, and then create a seventh one, which you decide should go in between patterns 2 and 3 in the matrix, you have
and it all looks a bit of a mess.

I had a play with the ‘Live Dive’ tool, and that (along with Grid Pie) makes me think it must be possible to implement a Buzz Sequence Editor tool - so those who like the Pattern Matrix can keep using it exactly as before, and those who want to use a Buzz Sequence Editor, can install the tool, and then we’d all be happy.

I am not sure if I completely understand you , but you can unalias aliiases ( right click .
I never use alias , I just copy/paste
Or shift/ctrl drag …makes new instances .

Thanks for explaining that I can unalias aliases, I hadn’t realised that.

I guess what I’m really looking for is video of somebody using the Pattern Matrix as they compose a song, so I can see what they are doing. It’s still a big drag on my workflow, compared to using the Buzz Sequence Editor. Obviously many other people are using it to write songs, I’d be really interested in seeing how they use the Pattern Matrix.

It also amazes me that we have so many incredible new tools for Renoise, but the basic sequencer, the Pattern Matrix, is kind of crippled. I was looking at the Clip Composing Language tool, which looks amazingly powerful, and then I look at the Pattern Matrix and think - I’m still not able to do the most basic sequencing with ease.

The way i do it …I make a couple of patterns …let s say empty )
THen I select and hold shift/ctrl …when now dragging the numbers at the left of the patterns instantiate a new copy of it …(no alias ),9
As in any other seq.I suppose …
WHenever I wanna change something I change it , I just make sure that every pattern is unique ( that’s my workflow )
You can also insert empty patterns in between , or you could copy them and delete the actual data in them .
It’sjust how you feel most comfortable with it , some prefer the aliases …changes made to the parent affect all children …I don’t use them that much …

You can also drag the bottom of a pattern( your cursor changes into anarrow ) and drag to make copies …
Also verry usfull …select some patterns and give them a unique colour …intro =purple etcc…(right click )
Tbh I like the composer , it’s simple and effective what more do you want ?

Hope this helps

It’s pretty powerful, though it takes a bit of getting used to. The key with aliases is to understand that these “blocks” as you call them, represent the tracks in each pattern. When they have a number in the lower right corner, they are aliases – and these are aliases FROM the current pattern TO the destination pattern (number in the corner). Aliases always point to the same track, so an alias on “track 03” will always point to “track 03” in another pattern.

So for example, you could write a pattern as the “full blown climactic” part of a song, then by creating a bunch of pattern that contain only duplicates or aliases to this pattern, you can make instruments come in and go out by disabling/enabling the “blocks” with a middle click, and create a whole arrangement for the song / that part of the song. Or, to be fancier, you can make them fade in and out with automation curves, and so on.

A pattern can, if you wish, contain only aliases to another pattern, and have different automation curves for varying any parameter of any effect you want. So even though you have a different pattern, nothing has been copy/pasted to this other pattern - if you modify a track in the original pattern, it gets modified in all patterns that have an alias to it on that track. If you prefer to have a separate copy of your pattern data (like mr. gentleclockdivider above) then you can just skip this whole alias thing and duplicate the pattern. Or, if you’ve already created an alias, un-alias it, that turns the alias(es) into its own copy.

To create a complete alias of a pattern, i use the + button, select all tracks in the newly created pattern in the pat.matrix, right-click, create alias, enter original pattern number.

Oh, a little “infinity” symbol in the corner of a block means that track has the same contents as the one above.

(damn, i hope any of that made sense :unsure:/>/>/> :lol:/>/>/> )

just click drag experiment with ctrl /shift /alt click …occasionaly read trough the manual . :)

This, and use the matrix as a visual reference where stuff happens in the song, ponder over song structure :wink:

I understand the concept of aliases, can be useful for repetitive music, but why not have everything unique (just copy, clone) and not run into possible mistakes deleting or editing more than you’re actually intending to edit?

Thanks for all your replies, I think I understand how aliases work quite well now, I am really looking for a video of somebody writing a song in Renoise, so I can see how they do it - preferably somebody that does use repetitive parts to their song, like drum beats, etc. and thus uses aliases.

I’m just trying to make a video of Buzz to show the sort of thing I do in it, but Camstudio is making the recorded audio click for some reason, which is very irritating, so I just need to fix that and then I can upload the sort of thing I’m talking about.

You don’t have to use aliases to make repepititive patterns …that’w what we try to say …
You can just cop/paste those patterns …
Like djeroek says , aliases is great when you want to change a pattern and all aliases change too , but this can become cumbersome .
Just try it out for yourself and do what feels most comfortable for you .

Thanks for your reply, but I know that I can copy and paste patterns, I was wondering how people who use aliases all the time (as I normally do) cope with the situation I showed in my video above. I can’t do what feels comfortable to me because of the limitations of the pattern matrix, compared to the Buzz Sequence Editor.

My main issue, as shown in my video, is when I have written a large amount of a song, and then I decide that I want to change a pattern that I have aliased elsewhere, but I only want to change it in the original pattern, not all the aliases. I could have a drum track that I made in the first pattern, and then aliased twenty times in the rest of the song, and then I think, I want to change the first drum pattern to something else - but I can’t, because I’ve aliased it elsewhere so many times. This really hampers the way I write music. I tend to leave things as they are, because of all the work involved if I change them - which is why a Buzz Sequence Editor would be so much better, because while it allows you to use ‘aliases’, changing the original pattern to another one is dead easy and doesn’t affect any of the ‘aliases’ of it.

I would have thought this was a very basic and obvious limitation when the Pattern Matrix was designed, which is why I can’t understand why they designed it this way. And now I see all the amazing work that’s been done on Renoise 3.0, yet we are still stuck with the huge limitations of the Pattern Matrix.

But maybe I’m just unaware of ways around these problems, which is why I started this thread, to see if anybody had a video of themselves making music, so I can see how other people do it, in case there’s something obvious I’m missing.

All I want is for individual patterns to not be tied to a number based on the position in the pattern sequencer that they were created in. This arbitrary limitation means that simply changing the original of a pattern, which has been aliased, becomes a nightmare. It’s easy to change any of the aliases, I just delete it and enter the new data in the pattern editor, but this whole concept of aliases means that the ORIGINAL pattern is ‘tied’ and can’t be easily changed. When I make aliases, it’s not because I think “I want all of these aliases to be the same as the pattern at this specific position in the pattern sequencer”, but that’s what the Pattern Matrix forces you to do, which severely hampers my workflow, and I’m sure it hampers everybody else’s workflow, who uses aliases, and you probably work around it and think it’s ‘just the way it is’.

Why have the Renoise team done so much work on everything BUT the Pattern Matrix? It only needs a few tiny changes and all these problems will be gone forever, and it will be ten times easier and quicker to work with. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE Renoise, I only go back to Buzz sometimes, out of frustation with the Pattern Matrix, but it doesn’t compare to the power of Renoise.

Ok clear .you want to change the parent alias without affecting it’s children , I think that’s impossible …because it’s the master pattern…thus all changes will reflect to it’s children .
I would just copy the master pattern in a new track and change that .
Maybe someone who uses the alias methd alot could shed some more light

Uhh… because I don’t KNOW I’ll need to change it later, when I initially make it? How do you write music?
Your very question shows that you actually think the aliases should be somehow ‘tied’ to the original pattern - why? I agree that technically they are ‘tied’ to it, due to the way they work - but as far as workflow goes, you know, actually writing a song, the fact that the ORIGINAL is the only one that you can’t change, is a right pain in the ass. The entire concept of ‘aliases’ is flawed from the get go, as anybody who has used Buzz’s Sequence Editor would have known.

So far nobody has a solution to the simple problem in my video.
It seems as if the Pattern Matrix is ‘the way’ to do things (even though loads of people want a Buzz Sequence Editor) and we must work around it at all costs. These sort of replies seem to confirm that point of view.

I’m just working on a web page which will explain in great detail, with screenshots and videos, why the Buzz Sequence Editor is THE way to do it. I’m sure that will be met with hoots of derision from the Pattern Matrix ‘defenders’ who will do anything to avoid changing it. It’s just astounding. All these other things have been improved in Renoise, we have incredible tools that make it even more powerful, and yet the most basic part of the program, the sequencer, is hampering the whole project. And the worst thing is that when I ask those who support the Pattern Matrix way of doing things to SHOW me how they’d do the things I can do in two seconds in Buzz, they won’t, because they know it will take ten or twenty seconds with the Pattern Matrix, yet they STILL cling onto it. FL Studio allows you to use clips, presumably Ableton, Logic, Cubase and Sonar do too, yet with Renoise we are still stuck in between the tracker pattern sequencer and a working, easy to use sequencer. This isn’t just a ‘Buzz’ thing, it’s just that Buzz is a tracker, and has a simple, easy to use sequence editor.

But please, please - if you are happily using the Pattern Matrix, make a video and SHOW me how you do it, because I’d love for it to be ‘just me’ and that I’m missing out on something obvious here…

Hi, I’m not going to make a video, but I did experiment with the matrix and have two ideas you can try.

  1. Don’t use the parent/main pattern in your arrangement. Create however many patterns you want, these are the main patterns. Then to build your arrangement, create aliases to those patterns. The main patterns become templates in a way, and then at any point in the arrangement you can un-alias a pattern to edit it how you want. This is fast and has a neat benefit of keeping your main patterns right at the top, and then you can build an arrangement with pattern mutes, then un-alias for detail.

  2. Un-alias all of the existing aliases, and re-alias them to a different pattern.

I watched your video and these are both faster and less convoluted imo. Although #1 is definitely preferable, and if you’re making loop-based music you might find it a helpful approach.

I sometimes use the PM for quickly copying/aliasing patterns when building new song parts within a song structure. It’s not very often that I use it.

The PM itself is kind of a compromise, giving at least some birds-eye perspective, while not being a proper freeform arranger with named clips. I hope it will eventually get replaced/evolved, but it’s better than nothing.

Thanks very much, I will give it a try!

I believe what you can do to get out of this predicament is to make a clone of the 0 pattern, then remove pattern 0 from the sequence. But it seems like you have to have “keep sequence sorted” unchecked otherwise you risk losing pattern 0 altogether.

I am not a regular renoise user, though with v3 I think I am going to have another crack at it, and I agree with you that the behavior of aliases is quite confusing. Once you start making block aliases, I don’t see why there has to be a “master/slave” config to them - with the original pattern # being the ‘master’ - because really all the blocks are equal, and edits to any one of them will be reflected in all the others. It seems like it would make more sense if the number for aliases on a block didn’t refer to a pattern, but was independent, and if there was a pool window for each track where you could see available blocks that you’ve created and drag them into the pattern seq - in this way you could have blocks that don’t belong to any pattern and wouldn’t have to worry about deleting them by mistake as you arrange your song and delete patterns.

yes something like .’ make selection unique ’ forgot about that .
Don’t use aliases that often

That’s exactly what I mean, I totally agree.

Building a complete song right now, it really gets confusing with a lot of different patterns. I can’t see which is which one. Alias doesnt help me right here, as my composing is a bit complex with a LOT of FX in the patterns. So, yes. Maybe naming the different patterns will help here :)/> Like Lead intro, lead 1, lead 2, lead 3, lead 3 FX, lead 4 FX. etc… Still, im not yet there to automate/master the whole track at the end, which gives me headaches already.

Split the matrix in sections with names, how hard can it be?
I don’t ever use aliases, i just make everything unique and automatically sorted, can’t see any reason why i should use them.