Hows About a Renoise 2.9 for Everyone Who Prefers the Old Interface

"Are you blind? With 2.8 you could easily make the browser take up the WHOLE WINDOW. Now you can’t. And why? Because the devs decided it must be that way, without giving us the option to make it take up the whole window. "

  • well im not blind at all but i ask myself for what do i need the whole window while using a browser…i mean a minimal width is needed…in most cases the whole height of the windows as we have lots in our folders…but why the hell do i need the whole window for it?

thats what i dont understand right now!

peace out!


edit: hehe, iv got an idea…why not doing a gui design contest for renoise…devs tell us what is the best way to handle that for implementation and we try to build a new interface…(iguess nobody wants that ;)

Human brain has the ability to read an icon faster than text, of course it depends on the text and how distinctive the icon is, but it is supposed to be more efficient.
You are talking about the icons in the plugin panel right? Those are universal icons, at least for load and save, so it shouldn’t be very hard to assosiate with what the buttons do. If you can’t remember because you rarely use them, then 1 second wait for the text to appear won’t kill ya.

It kinda sounds like you are the only user of Renoise. By all means air your opinions, that’s what these threads are for, but it couldn’t hurt to try to tone down the negativity and rather make your points in a polite way.
If i was a developer i’d rather please the users that shows a little respect for my work, than the handful of whiners that screams the loudest. Just saying.

Developing a kickass software like this is not a simple task, to please everyone is impossible. I believe the devs do whatever they can to please as many as possible (while still staying true to their own vision), we can’t ask for more.
They could hire lots of coders and audio geniouses, but then they’d have to price their product thereafter, we don’t want that do we?

Exactly this, if you try and please everyone you end up with an average product for the average user.


Most of the people like the new style Gui. Why can’t we speak here on the forum that we like the new gui. And if we do, then we are directly called a fool. Where does it go wrong?

I’m absolutely down for old GUI version with 3 funtionality.
Renois 3 GUI seems absolutely wrong, for 2 basic reasons:

  1. While in old aproach you see everything you need to compose in one window (except this concept in 2.8 which i don’t like about samples windows separate from instruments), than in Renoise 3 you see some shattered parts, wihtout seeing the whole picture, and basic aproach is ‘click to see’, which is very bad i think, and very limiting by standarts of basic tracker visual idea.
  2. Maybe it’s just me using it for few days, but in most parts i don’t see logical definition between ‘compose’ and ‘design’ parts of GUI, which would be logical with this aproach of ‘click to see’, i think logically it would be better to visually very clearly define those 2 aspects of music creation and workflow.

Heavy using of keyboard shortcuts won’t be a helpfull answer on this arguments, it’s all about visual perspective and how you ‘see’ through composition and mixer.
And screen resolution is not answer here also, coz i have both 1600x900 laptop and 2560x1600 desktop, and equally don’t like new GUI, because it have same problems.

For now it’s just absolutely clumsy, overflowed and frustrating, and more than that - not really necessary at all.
It was very very good idea to use new features (in older versions) as modular approach (for example pattern sequence matrix), because solid basic GUI concept was best for years, and proved to be so.
And it was very bad idea to break shatter everything appart.
To be honest i was shocked with such change, and if there will be no option for old GUI, 2.8 will sadly be my last Renoise :(
My suggestions are:

  1. Move Sample section of sampler back where it was for ages coz it is very bad idea to hide beneath tab something that is so heavily used for composition workflow. It is very very logical to do so, since of course you don’t use all the time Keyzones, Modulation, Waveform and other stuff - please, hide them under other tab, but you choose samples all the time, and to see them all the time - is a must.
  2. Choosing plugin window same thing again, i won’t even say more here, it’s very obvious - plugins are instruments, and they must be presented all the time on the screen with instruments and sample windows, additional functionality - can be hidden in tabs, but not the most important.
  3. To save space, logic and not confuse people who used renoise for years i would strongly suggest to move Sampler, Plugin, MIDI tabs down, and Edit, Mix, analyser buttons higher.
    This would save precious space of single line, and will bring lot more sense i think.
    Like that:


It’s easy, if you have a monitor with small height and huge folder full of samples, it’s visually easier to seek and manage samples with sample window that use all availible height, now it’s much less than before, which ain’t very good idea either, but i guess a lot of people can leave with it.
What about me, i’d like button to make browser bigger in height, as it was in 2.8

Sure, but even though I’m not really a frequent poster to the forum, it ticks me off because I know where these people are coming from. I mean, heck I remember the days of FTII and Modplug and all of that because that’s what I started with. I have no issues with using trackers.

The fact is, I like a lot of different ways to compose music because they force my brain in a different direction. The fact is, I’m sick of using five DAWs and a pile of hardware. I remember when I first looked at things like Max, etc and was amazed at how you could build your own things in real time.

Personally, VSTs are okay but after many years using them they don’t do it for me. I actually LIKE the new sampling features and the extra ways of working with external hardware. I’m perfectly content with this release. I’m perfectly content with using trackers to make music.

So, when someone takes an elitist jab at someone who has invested a lot of money on his own for multiple DAWs/hardware/interface and still uses renoise anyway for it’s features, doesn’t hesitate to do free PR to friends of mine and even offer instruction on how to use it, etc it’s an insult I take personally.

I understand there is a lot of baggage, especially with Arguru not being around anymore to keep this program as close to the noisetrekker/classic tracker platform as possible to the point where the noisetrekker project has been revived by others. The funny thing about that is, at that time trackers themselves were diving into the realms of virtual synthesis on internal processing engines with sampling for drums. The chiptune half-purists would rather use single cycles and envelopes with 8 bit sample rates to get songs down to the kilobytes. The amiga purists are still happy making 4 channel jungle tracks.

That’s all fine I guess, I have my own nostalgia as well but I also am attracted to the idea of pushing the envelope. I suggested that idea because it doesn’t exist anywhere else. How do I know?

I’ve used pro tools, digital performer, ableton live, fl studio, cubase, and sonar. I hang out with lots of musicians, who all have project studios. I’m well aware of what’s out there.

I still use renoise, because of what it can do with things like drum patterns and sampling. None of those other DAWS can do those things without many hours of work. Actually my only gripe about Renoise is playing into it with a keyboard live, since I turn MIDI notes off because it takes less time to tap them in after recording than to delete all the double note offs and imperfections that gets stuck in the buffer/sequence. So i have to rewire the darned thing into ableton and try to build a track with both because some elitist thinks I should do that or become like him and be a “guru” and write an 8 channel track with nothing but canned c64, fairlight, and proteus samples…

There is no space anymore in the 2.8.1 GUI to add something new in it.

Let’s say that spaces in the old interface were completely used so that you could keep sight on everything at the same time. Some people would say that the old interface was so optimised that visually, too many informations could make it unclear, especially for newcomers. The problem : in such a dense interface, you can’t add anything new and keep sight on everything like before. The devteam had to take “logical” decisions : if they want to introduce a “sampler” in Renoise, with dedicated FX chains, and dedicated Modulations chains, they need new spaces for it. So, the old bottom Instruments Settings tab had to be changed. This tab was allready completely messy, with too many informations, and lateral panels in it. Where would you propose to add the new FX chains in this old but good Instruments settings tab ? Where could you add all the modulations sets in it ? Frankly : new features require new spaces.

Renoise 3.0 itself certainly isn’t perfect and needs improvements. For example tabs would be better than stacked & collapsible panels, in the Sampler zone.

There are indeed lots of small things that could be optimized. For example, the phrase editor needs advanced editing tools and/or a better visual integration in the pattern editor workflow. The VSTi/VST/Plugins browser could allow more flexibility with the ability to Drag & Drop items in groups, (what can’t be done for now… too bad for me I’ve got 1000 VSTis/VST on my desktop computer and have to reorganize everything “manually”).

But, the new interface looks more “logical” than the old one. In the 2.8.1 interface you had to use 3 separate tabs (instruments settings, sample editor, keyzones) to deal with xrni instruments. And newcomers found this separated zones visually unclear, messy. Believe me : some people still don’t exactly understand the difference between renoise .xrni instruments and samples, because of it. I’m sure that the new Sampler tab, will probable make things more clear.

Moving the disk browser on the right side was necessary. As well as moving the VSTi selection box on the top left to let us browse big lists of virtual instruments more naturally. Why. Because browsing huge lists of samples, huge “Content libraries”, browsing huge VSTi libraries require new vertical spaces ! How could you do it with the old tiny horizontal browsers ? It makes no sense AT ALL. The “more” button on the old disk browser hides everything else in the screen so you loose sight on all the workflow. Frankly you can’t use the new right side disk browser and say “Duh, I prefer the old 2.8.1 one because there the new one opens big unused spaces”, that clearly what you’ll have to fill : fill spaces with Libraries of Content.

Try to realise mockups. It’s a good exercise. Try for example, to draw your ideal interface. By doing it, you’ll realise that everything isn’t so easy.

Only thing that really bugs me with the new gui is that you can’t see spectrum analyzer and track dsps on sample editor. I loved how in previous versions you were able to configure the parts of the gui however you wanted.

Other than that the new gui is all great, although there are still some bits that could use some polishing.

Yes 3.0 GUI is a pretty big step backward for single monitor setups (big or small resolution). 2.8 was much more flexible in terms of which information you could see at once, while 3.0 forces you to constalntly switch between screen configurations or having a sampler in a separate VST-like window (which is even worse solution on single monitor).

But I think 3.0 GUI only needs a few tweaks to make it even better than 2.8:
- sampler/plugin tab should not hide upper and bottom panels
This would again make it possible to use it together with track DSP and spectrum analyzer. It should be a bit optimized to make better use of vertical space though, but just making it tabbed (like proposed in this topic), would make a ton of difference. And maybe you could also make the keyboard hideable or at least a bit smaller vertically.
- make sampler’s left panel independent (like it was before, when it was located on the bottom panel)
This way you could load/replace samples, tweak them and change VST presets (!!!) directly from pattern view, without having to switch into full sampler or opening VST GUI.

I also agree with cupcake’s post about disk browser. Old one was better designed and more logically placed for the workflow when loading samples. New one has controls all over the place. But I don’t think vertical browser is a bad idea! I think it can offer even more flexibility than the old one, which was redundant with the spectrum/track scopes.

My suggestions to improve it:
- place it on the left side of the screen (together with instrument list)
- reposition preset folder buttons (1,2,3,4) closer to other buttons (higher, or maybe even horizontally?)

This would place instrument list and browser right next to the sample list (on the left side, which is a logical position I think), which would make it even faster to load samples than in 2.8 and even make it possible to do this without hiding upper analyzers.

What do you think?

Here are a few quick mockups, what I’m missing in 3.0, based on my previous post (1280x800 resolution). All have disk browser on the left side with repositioned 1234 buttons closer to other buttons.
I have repositioned sampler left panel to the right side, because it didn’t look good together with disk browser on the left.

Sampler with spectrum & DSP:

Pattern editor with sample list panel on the right:

@Tha_man:I can understand the logic for the first drawing. The second mockup leaves a lot less room for the advanced edit, how would your mockup look with that expanded in the smallest sized Renoise window?

First of all big thanks for making the effort of doing mockups.

I like the first one. Because the first one features an horizontal set of tabs with keyzones, waveforms, modulations and effects. It seems that the stackable floating panels aren’t our cup of tea and I agree with you on this point. It’s also interesting indeed to keep sight of the spectrum especially while youre editing a sample or tweaking the associated track fx. Working on a track DSP and applying FX on the edited sample seems to be more easy to do, with this logic.

However the second mockup will not push people to go into the “hypercharge instrument building system”. I suppose that you don’t need those new features as much as using samples directly in a pattern structure.

@vW: Sampler panel should be hideable, just like disk browser and other side/top/bottom panels (I forgot to draw the icon on the top). This way it would be up to the user if he wants to see it in patern view. I have tried it at 1280x800 and it would be completely usable even with advanced pattern edit expanded (it hides the bass track). Since 1280x800 is around the smallest resolution you can get in todays notebooks, it would be fine on most machines. On those with bigger resolution even more so.

On the contrary, I love the new instrument features. Especially the new modulations are something I have been waiting for a long time and I love the phrases too. Good example why I really miss the possibility to tweak sample properties and load/replace samples directly from pattern view is the drum kit shown on the mockups. Lets say I have already recorded “bass” track (usually single sample or VST) and “sample” track (sliced recording) and now I’m building the drums. Maybe I already have the phrase in my head or I simply improvise, either way…

This is how approximately this usually goes:

  • I load the kick, set the drumkit mode and record it
  • then I load snare on the next sample slot (renoise automaps it to the next key), record it, set the volume and pitch (when using samples from different sources they are usually not in the same pitch)
  • then I load a hi-hat and record it. Ups, I have made a mistake, lets correct it in the pattern
  • darn, that snare is not good, let’s try some others, but sample track goes on my nerves, let’s mute it. And hi-hat too. Or better, let’s just pan the hat a bit to the right and lower the volume
  • snare still doesn’t sound right - let’s solo the bass track and pitch the snare again against it
  • hm, how would it sound if I put a compressor in the drum track? oh yes! just a little less volume to the kick and remove one note from the patterns which collides with the sample
  • this sounds good, but what if I try that other bass preset and a bit different bassline (let’s say bass is a VST although in mockup isn’t)? ok, mute the bass track, change the preset and play something else… no, no, change the whole VST, yes this one has good basses… I like it, record!
  • this last part of the pattern still doesn’t sound right, let’s loop it (block loop) and take a look into it… hm… ok this is good, back to the whole pattern
  • load the cymbal into the next slot…
  • etc. :)

All this goes live from the single screen configuration in 2.8 or the second mockup. But in 3.0 as it is now, I have to constantly switch between pattern, sampler and plugin screens and It’s really cumbersome in comparison.

I understand that developers would like to push certain people so build complex instruments, which is why the new sampler feels more detached from the composing environment, but I think this shouldn’t mean that very good workflow solutions available before have to be removed. People are smart, they will use new features if they are good (which new sampler definitely is). But they will use them when needed, no need to force them to do so in every case. Renoise was always very integrated composing and sample mangling environment, much more that just a sum of it’s features and with every release it build upon this paradigm and refined it. But 3.0 is the first release when this integration is much less noticeable, actually the new sampler (although very good by itself) feels more like an add on or some sort of integrated VST. More like a Redux VST :) But I feel it’s a step back for Renoise as a composing workstation.

Well, i still think that the only way to keep things a little more logical and only hide not really vital stuff in tabs are this three steps at least:

  1. Move Sample section of sampler back where it was for ages coz it is very bad idea to hide beneath tab something that is so heavily used for composition workflow. It is very very logical to do so, since of course you don’t use all the time Keyzones, Modulation, Waveform and other stuff - please, hide them under other tab, but you choose samples all the time, and to see them all the time - is a must.
  2. Choosing plugin window same thing again, i won’t even say more here, it’s very obvious - plugins are instruments, and they must be presented all the time on the screen with instruments and sample windows, additional functionality - can be hidden in tabs, but not the most important.
  3. To save space, logic and not confuse people who used renoise for years i would strongly suggest to move Sampler, Plugin, MIDI tabs down, and Edit, Mix, analyser buttons higher.
    This would save precious space of single line, and will bring lot more sense i think.
    Like that:

I would love to draw mock-up, but have to work really hard now, have 0 time between work and work, but i really care about what people doing in here…
I kinda like functionally what tha_man did, at least you can see vital stuff all the time, but visually it looks very overloaded to have left-and right orientation of important panels all at once.

Well frankly, i was aiming towards the smallest netbook resolution which can be 990*600.
And i personally don’t see any logical spot for the sampler near the pattern editor because it frankly does not has any relationship with the pattern editor.
The whole current structure is now neatly packed together. I can understand why people rather have a tab structure then column based expansion/collapsing areas.



Your first mockup is what we need!

It’s what we had!

@vV: No problem, if it’s hideable - top and bottom panels also can not be displayed together on such resolution. About sample list/properties panel: I have explained in a reply to KURTZ why I find this extremely convenient also in the pattern view, although it’s not in direct relation. It might be just my way of working, but it was one of the things that sold me to Renoise.

Anyway, I did another quick mockup with just sample list/properties (this time full height) on the left side of the pattern editor (with advanced edit). You could easily imagine sample editor in the middle instead of a pattern, like on the first mockup.

I did this one mostly because I was interested, how would this type of interface (left+right+bottom+top panel) look in full hd resolution, which is becoming more common in desktop systems. It would look very similar with disk browser on the left and samples on the right, like I did in the first mockups:

It pretty neatly uses all that screen estate, don’t you think? I have tried 2.8 on such resolution and it uses all that space much worse, mostly because top and bottom panel are not resizeable and there is lots of empty space on the right side, except if there is huge amount of tracks. So I guess 3.0 GUI is step in the right direction, just bring back the flexibility of what we could see at the same time.

Considering your workflow, that is based on a constant interaction between the pattern editor tracks, and a constant drumkit redefinition, I understand better your problem with the new interface.

Here is my secret workaround for it. Okay that will not be a secret for a long time. Anyway.

How do I actually create my muli-sampled instruments and my drumkits,

b[/b] I start my tracks by selecting a bunch of samples in the disk browser, that I load in the instruments list one by one at the top right. At the begeinning there are lots of shitty sounds that I won’t keep in the end, but it’s just to make tests in realtime within the pattern editor, like you.

b [/b]Then I compose my very first beats with elements of this instrument list, at first. I immediately see and hear - like you - when a sample doesn’t make it and when I have to replace it.

b [/b]I replace every sample until I’ve got something nice and cohesive for my kit. Sometimes, I add one or two effects in the track dsps where I compose my beat. When I believe that some effects would could be applied directly on the sample, I open the sample editor and I click on the FX button : I remove the FX chain later on and save som CPU cycles.

b [/b]When a complete pattern is finished and the beat is clean : I deleted unused samples / instruments. Then, I save my song. The song is then visible (.xrns file) in the disk browser but this song can be “explored” in itself. If you click on the little triangle icon before the .xrns song name, you’ll be able to see every included samples in it.

b [/b]So, after that, I select all those included samples in the .xrns file, in the disk browser, and I drag & drop them all in the samples list windows.

b[/b] I just go into the keyzones. And click on the drumkit button : it’s nearly done. I give a name to my drumkit.

b [/b]to finish : I’ve got a pretty sounding pattern but instruments references in it are wrong : I’ve got to use my new drumkit, to replace track by track the old instrument references. I could use the advanced pattern editor for instruments numbers and some tricks to change notes. But anyway, that’s just one pattern : my next patterns will be faster to build thanx to my new drumkit.

So the trick is to use the disk browser that shows you all samples in the .xrns file song, and that allows you to drag & drop all the samples in one pass, between the disk browser and the sample list windows.

Totaly agree on this.

That’s why: