Keyboard shortcuts using ALT modifier do not work

There’s a thread (Shortcuts with ALT key acting weird) on this problem already, but it’s over a year old so I guess it’s better to open it again?

Any keyboard shortcut using the ALT modifier does not work at all. Not in context nor can they entered as keyboard shortcuts in the options window. Basically Renoise seems to either eat up the events and not process them or somehow misinterpret them. This only occurs in Renoise 3.3(.1) though. The shortcuts work fine in 2.8.2 which I’ve been using to this day so far (looking to upgrade now finally), and it did work earlier in the 3.1.x versions. As noted in the old thread the problems apparently seem to have started with 3.2 which I didn’t test drive much so I hadn’t noticed it.

My situation funnily enough is the same exact one as user ASC in the old thread. I’m using an Apple A1243 keyboard on Windows 10 with SharpKeys that swaps the Winkey and Alt keys. The issue seems Renoise specific since over several years that I’ve had this setup (both at home and work) this is the first time I’ve had an issue like this. I’m not looking to switch out my keyboard though, since this is my favorite keyboard I’ve ever used. The issue is essentially a showstopper for me and would probably force me to stay with 2.8.

This is probably completely unrelated (or incredibly related if you check the linked thread in the OP), but in case it is not (it is): I recently started using nVidia GeForce Experience. It has a game overlay option that effectively prevents the use of ALT in Renoise. Some sort of conflict in how they deal with Input I guess. Anyway, disabling the overlay in the nVidia options solved the problem for me. If you happen to have any software that runs in the background and makes use of keyboard shortcuts, try disabling them and see if that makes any difference.

Edit: just looked into SharpKeys… I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it very likely has something to do with this issue. Perhaps you could reverse the changes made as a test? Might be helpful for others that stumble upon this.

Good to know, thanks. I have an NVIDIA GPU, but I don’t have GeForce Experience installed at all. I also know that Photoshop sometimes does this in the background, but I don’t have that open either. The shortcuts work perfectly fine in Renoise 2.8.2 if I just open it next to 3.3.1, so it definitely seems to be an issue only in the newer Renoise versions.

Most likely it is SharpKeys yeah, but it never was an issue in the past versions nor in any other application I’ve come across yet, so it definitely should be fixable. I’ll verify this later, as changing the SharpKeys settings requires a restart.

Copy that. Just re-read the linked Thread, which I had noticed when it first got posted. Looks like @taktik either switched a library somewhere in Renoise or updated one for version 3 and it changed the way keystrokes are received, leading to hacks like SharpKeys and various overlay and background services that intercept keystrokes not playing nice with Renoise or simply preventing ALT strokes from being seen (seems to only be ALT based on the previous Thread and yours).

Perhaps this is fixable, perhaps not. Seems like disabling the SharpKeys hacks worked for the OP in the other Thread.

Should also note that SharpKeys is just a GUI for interacting with the Windows Registry, so this is not a problem with 3rd party software per se, but incompatibility with a feature in Windows. This is the standard way to do key mappings in the OS. There’s also multiple other mentions and recommendations on this forum for people to use the method to for an example map the Insert key to keyboards that don’t have it natively, so it’s definitely not something that’s alien to several Renoise users. =)

Disabling the remapping unfortunately is not an option for me since I rely on it for consistency (or alternatively I’d need to reboot every time I open and close Renoise.)

I wonder if this still works with version 3+ of Renoise (remapping Insert, etc.). Also super curious if it is very specific to the ALT key and if so, why.

(musing at this point)

Alright, I actually made some more observations:

In fact the ALT-modifier does work, but only when held down, i.e. if you want to transpose notes up in a selection with ALT+F1, holding down ALT and pressing F1 doesn’t do anything, but if you hold down F1 as well transposing will occur once key repetition kicks in. This is obviously not really a workable solution but at least some indication what might be wrong here. This is not just in the pattern editor, but also for an example when assigning the keyboard shortcuts in the Preferences menu. Clearly it seems there’s something wrong in the keyboard event handling at a low level.

Additionally, possibly due to a similar reason, doing granular mouse selections in the pattern editor i.e. by holding down ALT while selection with the mouse also does in fact work. As far as I can tell there are no issues with the behavior.