As it seems like Duplex and GridPie are no longer maintained, I wanted to find a way to do live sequencing with no reliance on tools or scripts. What I came up with:
- Create a single, looped pattern, representing a 4 or 8 bar block, with a single note-on right at the top of each track (one per instrument)
- Create the actual sequences you want as 4 or 8 bar phrases within each instrument
- Set all instruments to program mode in the phrase controls
- In every instrument, include a “mute” phrase consisting of just a note off in every column
Press play, and use MIDI or OSC program change messages to change the active phrase for each instrument, and every time the pattern loops, all the currently active phrases will trigger, giving you live, synchronised sequence switching. Make sure you turn off autoseek inside each phrase, to stop it switching sequences mid-pattern as soon as you send a program change. Switch to the “mute pattern” for synchronised mutes; for instant mutes use OSC track mute messages or map MIDI CCs to the the track mute buttons (with Renoise in its default “soft mute” mode, this will mute by sending note off to all notes in a track, rather than immediately silencing it).
If you know how a Keystep sequencer works, the end result kind of behaves like that, just without pattern chaining abilities (you can only set the next active phrase, not queue up multiple phrases; though you could combine this technique with OSC pattern sequence messages if you want to get advanced).
I used TouchOSC on a Raspberry Pi to drive percussion and strings for this track using this technique. You can see it on screen in the second video (use chapters to skip to it).