Instrument Control Center

Here’s some ideas I put in one picture. It looks ugly, I know, but I just hope you get the idea. Of course, the official version should look better :) :

Let me explain the picture from top to bottom:

Assigning of instruments/samples to the keyboard:
As you can see, there’s the option to assign several instruments to the midi keyboard. This enables you to play several instruments at once. All this is also color coded, for ease of use.
The instruments/samples could be assigned to the specific keys like it’s done now. There could also be the option to “draw-assing” the sample across several keys.
Another way would be to do it like in NI Intakt. Basically you just drag the sample and drop it on the keyboard. With the same move, you can determine on how many keys will the sample be assigned. How? By dropping the sample more on the upper or more on the lower part of the key. If you drop it on the upper part of the key, more keys will get assigned. The more low you go, the less keys will be assigned. It’s simply awesome!

Next to the keyboard there would be two easily accessible switches:

  • for the Multi-instrument keyboard: disabling this would make Renoise behave like now - every instrument would have the entire keyboard for itself
  • for the Defeault Tracks (explained below): disabling this would make each played sound playback through the track where the focus is (like now)

Overview of the instruments:
Here you can see, from left to right, all the instruments used.
Instruments have many parameters, which get assigned individually:

  • Record and play velocities
  • Record noteoffs
  • Polyphony (determines if there will be more columns created for more notes playing at the same time)
  • Sample and (VST) Instrument properties
  • Default track for that instrument/sample (refers to routing options or something similar)
  • REC ENABLE* Button (record enables the Default track)
  • Quantize Button (selects quantize, which applies to the Default track)
  • Record Mode: Mix&Overwrite*

There is one instrument which has the Default track, Rec Enable and Quantize in the Sample Properties. That’s because that instrument is a ‘Drumkit’, as you can see. Drumkits have more individual options for samples.

*REC ENABLE is simple: it works so that the tracks which are enabled will get recorded during playback, just as if you pressed ESC now. The tracks which won’t be enabled will act as if the global recording is disabled.

*Record mode (when recording over existing notes on a track): If set to ‘Mix’ the newly recorded notes will be added, mixed, to the already existing ones. If set to ‘Overwrite’ the newly recorded notes will erase any previous notes, as if you were recording to an empty track.

I think such a control center would be good also because right now the Instrument and Sample settings are not so easily accessible, especially when messing around with the track DSPs. With a control center everything would be at hand in one place, even quantize and record enable for tracks, which I’m sure will be used a lot when available. Not to mention that the ‘rec velocities’ and ‘rec noteoffs’ should definitely be assigned individually for each instrument.

Updated the picture, added Mix&Overwrite for track recording options. I’m sure there’s some other stuff that could be added, too.

The words in squares are buttons, with drop down menus where required.

Anyway it’s just so you can get the idea of how the things could be put together, which elements could be there and so on.

Post some thoughts on this if you want. Anything.

Looks nice. Rather than use colours, perhaps a number or letter could be assigned to each instrument. Then on the keyboard display this would be illustrated a letter on the top side of the notes & in the instrument list the same letters are displayed on the far right?

Yes, that’s a good idea. I thought of having the inst. numbers as well, but since there would already be numbers for the individual samples… the letters would have to be there as well. So I agree.

I first thought of colors, because I’d estimate that most users would want them. Of course, the colors would look better than the ones I used for the picture.

The whole colors thing could then be expanded to the pattern editor&mixer, for example coloring notes or entire tracks.

But if a user didn’t want Renoise to look like a rainbow that could be disabled in the prefs. :)

I added two switches next to the keyboard. It’s crucial for the multi-instrument mode switch to be easily accessible.
The example in the picture, where all the instruments are mapped, would be a rare one, IMO. Realistically I’d expect users to have two to three instruments mapped at the same time. And having just one instrument mapped quite often.
With drums for example, which take up to one octave or so, you could easily add another instrument to the keyboard, and that’d be a very nice feature to have. But other instruments may need a bigger span over the keyboard to be useable.