Maintain sample's pitch while synching it to tempo.

So, I’ve finally decided to try to learn Renoise as it seems to be a great tool for the music I make and after getting through the official beginners tutorial and reading some other tips/pattern commands etc. I am trying to get into manipulating breaks.
So I’d load a break and no matter if i try to use its slices to create new patterns or simply play it back as it is, I cannot synch it to the my tempo without having its pitch altered.
I looked it up in the manual and searched in here but no matter what, pressing “T” or ticking “synch” seems to make an amen or whatever other break around 130 bpm match my 170 bpm tempo but without maintaining its pitch.
I understand this is a popular question and as I’ve said I’ve already used a forum search but all I could find were some years old statements in the form of “this is timestretching (well, it is) and it cannot be done locally in renoise”. I refuse to believe this is really not possible in Renoise as I got it in my mind as the ultimate beat mangling tool (well, among other things surely) and this is certainly such an important step.
I remember reading the term “sampler in steroids” (again I am aware Renoise isn’t a sampler, at least in the traditional sense) so I really hoped I’d be able to stop using Kontakt for slicing and programming breaks and use Renoise instead as I thought it’d allow me to have more precise control in every little parameter.

I’ve thought a big part of the whole idm-esque/breakcore break programming in Renoise was to load a break, slice it, use the slices to rearrange/create new patterns, then spice up things with commands such 0Uxx and others to create rolls and so on, having the extra-ease to apply effects to single slices/hits. At least that’s a part of what I intended to do. But how can this be possible if you cant maintain the pitch in the first place? Obviously I am missing something.

Chances are:

  1. What I am asking for is possible but it escapes me how to achieve it.
  2. It’s not possible and one is expected to use other apps for that such as Kontakt and Recycle. That would be disappointing cause I really hope to have Renoise take care of at least my breakbeat manipulation duties (seeing it’s pretty famous for that reason) if not cover additional needs making it (why not?) the DAW to go for a number of things.
  3. I am to assume I am supposed to work with the pitched-up result which seems really unlikely as being FORCED to it seems really limiting. Wouldn’t that mean the 0Uxx/0Dxx commands would make the whole thing go out of time anyway?
  4. The whole approach I have in mind for what I am trying to do is wrong and there is another way (or more) to deal with it.

In any case, I’d be grateful if someone could enlighten me cause I really have good faith in Renoise (I hear nothing but good things about it) and it’d be a shame to give up on it. Thanks a lot for your time. :)

Hi Chrome,

As you read in other threads - Renoise does not feature time-stretching (and for that matter neither does ReCycle) and I can only assume you are a relative novice who is more familiar with Ableton Live.

Firstly, time-stretching is not necessary to achieve the sounds you want to achieve. Breakcore / IDM / Drill n Bass were all around long before time-stretching was widely available and have their drum-programming roots in 90s jungle / drum and bass that was made on old hardware samplers with Atari ST’s. This meant that you had no choice but to pitch up the samples if you wanted to speed them up and is actually an important part of the signature sound of breakcore /etc / etc because it makes the drums tighter and crisper with short decays when they are sped up. If you want to do fast rolls of increasing pitch then simply use ascending / descending chromatic note values in tandems with Sxx commands instead of 0Uxx / 0Dxx commands.

Time-stretching is one of the most complex and destructive DSP processes a music software can be asked to perform. It is therefore normally required that a developer purchases a third-party algorithm to include it which then bumps up the cost to the end-user, which from what I understand is part of the reason Renoise doesn’t currently feature it.

Personally, I cannot stand the gargling, warbly, box-of-cutlery-falling-downstairs-underwater sound of time-stretching. It destroys the original PCM encoding and damages transients so will only weaken the sound, which re-pitching does not do. It has become the standard because Ableton Live allows inexperienced people to load two completely different and incompatible tracks and instantly play Mr DJ, essentially allowing them to force a square peg into a round hole and feel clever with themselves "Oh wow I can mix tunes really well!! :w00t:/> "

In summary, you don’t need time-stretching for this type of beat-slicing and pitching up samples is actually a stylistic feature of the genres you are interested in. IMHO most audiophiles would avoid time-stretching wherever possible due to it’s destructive nature so don’t sweat it too much and certainly don’t let it’s absence put you off Renoise - it seems to work for this guy:

You can use some tools, for example:
So it is possible in renoise and you dont have to break your habits.

Thanks for the answer Rex.

Actually I have barely touched Live (or Recycle for that matter). I am a long time Cubase user where as I’ve said I’d normally slice breaks in Kontakt then manipulate them at will using automation/midi cc. Using that method it is actually possible to let Kontakt sync your break and its slices at any given tempo the host uses, I think its time stretching algorithm isn’t too bad. But yeah, I’ve figured Renoise would probably be a more advanced and detailed way for my beat programming than that and I’ve finally decided to make the jump especially since as you said yourself, I am aware legends like Snares or Datach’i (and others) swear by its name.

I am also aware of the destructive and “prone-to-artifacts” nature of time stretching and I agree with you. As a matter of fact the point of my post was not to diss Renoise by any means or even try to necessarily force it into MY habits but actually also question my workflow itself and LEARN one thing or two in order to improve my sound.

So, if we go the time stretching route I see the native solution being the Rubberband Timestretch/Pitch-shift Tool as Akiz also suggested (thanks mate). I already gave this a try. Apart the artifacts issue which is a problem in every time stretching tool, I understand you should input both the original tempo of your loop and the tempo you want to match BEFOREHAND rather than simply enable it and have your break sync to any tempo change you make (as you are able to do in Kontakt)?

I’ve also tried this method which is interesting too but artifacts started becoming quite audible after, let’s say, 200 bpm.

I wonder if Melodyne would be the best way to deal with this since it has the best time stretching algorithms imo.

BUT as I’ve said my point is to actually improve my music and learn stuff in the process and it’s interesting you say that “the way” to approach this (not claiming there is only one way and I am all for trying new things/use techniques you come up with but at the same time I am not stubborn/stupid enough to insist screwing up the quality of my samples by time stretching if this isn’t the traditional/signature way it is usually done) is to ditch time stretching altogether and just embrace the pitch shifting as a trademark of the whole process/style.
Is this correct? If that’s the case by saying

do you mean to use the Sxx command in order to trigger the slices OR the sample offset? Wouldn’t imputing ascending note values merely trigger different sample slices rather than pitch a roll up? Once again, thanks for your and anyone’s else help, I am still trying to find my way in Renoise, looking forward to grasp it in its full potential!

I would also love having a timescratch natively in renoise (click on marker and move it forward or backward like in ableton or S1), but i am happy there is workaround with some not so flexible tools.

And about your question:
S command will triger different slices of sample, but if you combine it with ascending notes it will create an increasing pitch (rolls). But your sample must not be synced and your notes must not represent individual slices (this is created if you click on ‘generate drum kit’). Or you must change your keyzones, but for now, just take any sample and experiment with different pitches and S command, you will find it out. B)
(I hope it is clear as my native language is not english) />

By this, Rex was referring to older technique, before there was ‘slicing’ in the GUI which is of course awesome to have, we just used 0Sxx command to trigger ‘sample offset’ indeed. E.g. in a one bar breakbeat sample you mostly have snares on 0S40 and 0SC0, so to say. So a pattern piece like

C-401 .. -- 0SC0  
E-401 .. -- 0SC0  
G#401 .. -- 0SC0  
C-501 .. -- 0SC0  

in a 16 LPB song gives a breakcore type snare roll (You can have different parts with different LPBs to render these rolls etc). You’ll need to tune the notes themselves a bit to make it sound cool, and if the higher notes have other drum sounds because they’re also going ‘quicker’ you can use 0Cxx command to cut the sound after xx ticks (1/12th of a line in default settings)

Of course what you can also do is just copy the snare out of the break, into a new instrument so you have a little more freedom/precision/layering options, but many composers here I think find it a great exercise to see what you can get out of one break sample without breaking it apart into multiple renoise instruments.
The thing that’s so nice about renoise is that tracks aren’t explicitly connected to instruments, i.e. a kickdrum sample can be a snaredrum sound in another pitch, on another track with different fx. (example: fxdemo.xrns)

PS Rubberband is a pretty awesome tool for what it does, don’t know if you wanna use it on drum samples though…

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Have you read the Slice Markers Explained tutorial?

So first of all, I guess we can all agree on leaving time stretching out of the equation since it messes up with the sample quality AND it is not traditionally used by the people who established the whole genre(s) in the first place while having the pitch altered IS desirable/a trademark for the whole thing, right?

I did, thanks. :)/> Actually the whole slicing/marker thing was pretty much straightforward and I have no problems with it whatsoever.

So for the pitched rolls effect, it’s either slicing and spread across the keyboard then use 0Uxx/0Dxx commands OR refrain from slicing anything and use the 0Sxx sample offset command to trigger the part of the break you want in which case you pitch stuff by input different note values, right? Are both methods identical/give the same result? Any advantages of one over the other? Personally I find it more intuitive to slice and spread across keys but I am not sure the 0Uxx/0Dxx commands produce the same effect with the second method which actually seems to give some quite “Aaron Funk”-like results. Hmmm…

It is here which gets a bit confusing. Let me tell you about how I understand the process, feel free to correct me or advise me if necessary:

  1. I load a break as a new instrument.
  2. Tick sync in the instrument settings as my break needs to obviously follow the tempo.
  3. Choose between the two methods I described earlier.

And here are some things I don’t really get:


This would be the second method. Yeah but if I don’t synch (by ticking sync and/or T) my sample won’t be in time with the tempo, no? Isn’t this a problem?

b. Would any of those two pitching methods cause the whole drum part to go out of time or is it that the roll lasts way too little to have an effect on that?

c. In general, coming from a more traditional horizontal DAW background I got some problems to visually grasp timing with the whole LPB thing. I mean, you can lay a note in each line, in each every other line… leave some lines and then apply a new note to retrigger the sample (without inputing a note off message before), have either 16 or 128 lines and still be in the same 4/4 (provided you’ve chosen 4/4 of course) bar in the same tempo? I am not sure I am making sense, and despite being aware that this system merely allows you to “edit with more detail” if you choose to, I am just saying that I somehow have trouble to REALLY see it/understand it as a typical, musical visualized pattern.

Again, thanks everyone for your input and I apologize if I sound clueless but hey… isn’t this what a beginner’s section is about? :)

Hey dude, if you tick the sync checkbox then click the T button it will set the tuning / fine tuning to the pattern length specified. If you then uncheck the sync box the sample will remain sync’d at C4 or whatever base note you specify based on the tune settings and then allow you to manipulate the pitch as normal while C4 triggers with sample offset or not will always be matched to tempo.

I guess for many people the point of using breaks is to get the funky dynamics / feel that a real drummer conveys, so slicing it into individual hits makes it more rigid and drum-machine like which kinda defeats the purpose of the exercise. If you wanna go chop shop then try chopping the break into 2,3 or 4 hit phrases like kick-hat-snare or snare-hat-hat, etc. and this will at least retain a bit of junglist flavour.

LPB settings are about resolution so they are basically the equivalent of quantize in the tracker world, the difference being that renoise shows you all the blank spaces in-between the notes. 16 LPB should be sufficient for most purposes, especially if you are using the delay column effectively (which gives another 1/256ths of accuracy per line) but a lot of renoise breakcore guys go nuts and deal in 32 LPB plus which make the pattern editor strobe-like when you fire her up!

I´ll give you some tips because i have same background
(i´ve tried every daw i know besides Protools … that is weird cause it is standard, but i am more about composing stuff and for mixing i use reaper or mixbus, sometimes just Renoise…)
so i needed to figure out how to do some things that look easier in other program.

I´ll give you example how i make drum rolls or how i synch and slice something what i can later pitch up or down.

1: create a loop. Sync it cause then it is easier to create markers (the main pieces of loop are mainly placed on numbers that represent slice number). Create markers. You can create markers by two way, place them manually (or by alt+k) or use this great tool Simple Slice Marker Creating Script by darell.barell, where you can select just some part of sample (fe 1/8 ) and then create markers which will have same lenght (so there will be 8 markers, first on 1/8, second on 2/8 of that part etc if). it sometime works and it is nice for fast slicing of straight beat.

Then in sample editor click on create a drumkit, you can latter change keyzones of individual samples. So fe. one slice (lets say that 1/8 of beat) can be on c1 - c2 second (2/8of beat)on c2-3 etc. Then you can play these samples in one octave for each (but you are limited by tones you can use, so in my example it will be 7samples of 12pitches i think). These samples wont be synched. just that original loop will, so you dont need to care about sync button.
If you dont wanna use sample keyzones for pitching and you wanna be more flexible, or if you dont have enough space on keys for a big kit you will use comand D od U. BUT YOU CAN USE BOTH AND IT IS THE BEST LIKE IN EXAMPLE BELOW.
Btw. This is way how i create drumrolls. Slice sample, create drumkit then write a notes of it (represents different part of samples, I dont use S command here because i want hear that part when i press key and if i wanna pitch something up or down i use command (because i commonly dont pitch individual hits i dont care about keyzones very much and prefer effect command).

If you wanna change just tempo of some sample and preserve pitch, use rubberband (after you change bpm of song) or external tool. Sometimes i take some loop, use extreme settings (if i wanna some weird and very scary textures, try it) of rubberband and then slice that sample by simple slicer, write notes and experimenting with some effects. And there is where 0S command come for me, i have markers for main part of that beat or texture or whatever but i dont wanna create it on every piece of it, so 0S effect makes it possible for me. It is great because every slice has it own slice numbers for 0S effect.For me, 0S is mainly more about experimenting, “key slices” about tight drum rhytms.
For example i can write this sequence. That part after D1 can be some fast break.

D1 S10
F1 S30
D1 B00


Btw. sometimes works just this. But it is not synching. Create loop, slice it to 8 same parts. Reconstruct it with same space between every note. Samples will be cuted but with or without envelope settings it have sometimes nice result and pitch remains unaffected.

c. I dont understand that question but i suppose experimenting is best way how find out .). Btw. LPB is not so complicated. If you know fl studio, you can imagine default settings of renoise like that sequencer buttons. One bar has 16buttons (sixteen rows in renoise).
when you raise lpb to 8, imagine that fl studio has 32buttons sudennly, but lenght or speed of that bar is not influenced. It is just resolution. It is more complicated when tripplets come in [sub](when you dont use LPB12 but i dont wanna complicate things even more, so… :lol:/>/>/>)[/sub] cause we dont have piano roll. But thankfuly to Dblue, it is solved by this great tool.

But i am sure you can find out more about lpb on forum.

But What i am telling you it is just me, renoise is very open minded and everybody have his own tricks and manners ^_^/>/>/>.
so good luck :rolleyes:/>/>/>

Thanks a lot Akiz for the lengthy explanation. Rex and the others too.
Getting confused with LPB, the whole thing of not viewing time values the traditional way which results in not being really sure where to place my break samples (every other line? every fourth line? eighth? a change in LPB setting changes everything)is my main problem right now but I am trying to take in account things you’ve said and find my way. Hopefully I will get used to it. :)


Then don’t change it ;)/> keep it at 4 or 8 if you wanna get risky
And just set your drums… see renoise pattern editor is very much like a step sequencer in a drum machine, say reason’s redrum, but with a lot more freedom, custom groove/shuffle making, etc. So if you keep LPB at 4, and a pattern length of 16, you have the redrum’s default setting of 16 4/4 steps. Renoise’s view on the time is actually much the same… you have to learn to look at it a little different, maybe to help; I’ve created a tool that displays a Bar.Beat.Line window of where the playhead is. (it’s called Hammer Time)