Middle Mouse Sample Preview Behavior

I have a small suggestion which I feel could enhance this nice new feature. Currently, if you hold down the middle mouse button and drag the mouse, a selection is created in the same way as using the left mouse button, then the sample plays from wherever you release the middle button.

Instead of this behaviour, I think it could be nice if you could “scrub” through the sample while holding down the middle button and moving the mouse, in the same style as SoundForge, Adobe Premiere, etc. With this scrubbing behaviour you can very quickly browse through the entire sample with one comfortable motion, rather than repeatedly clicking in lots of places. When you first click the middle button the sample should immediately begin to play from that position (so it responds to onmousedown, instead of onmouseup), and then whenever you drag the mouse to a new position while holding the middle button, the sample is forced to play from that new position instead.

I would also suggest that dragging the middle button should not create a new selection. If a selection has already been made with the left or right mouse buttons, this should remain unchanged while you are using the scrubbing function. This will allow for even greater flexibility.

Flash video demonstration of this behaviour in Sound Forge:


You mean like rolling the tape back and forth, at the speed of the mouse movement?
If that, +1 from me!
I don’t agree that the playback should start on mousedown, tho. It could stay like now, so that you could first scrub through the sample and then release the button and it would be played from that point - also to confirm that that’s the point you were looking for. Also if playback started on first press then it would interefere with the ‘scrubbing playback’: it would either get cut off or mixed with the scrubbing. edit: on the other hand, it could have some advantages and the cutting of the playback wouldn’t be something drastic… bottom line: I’m undecided on what would be best here, so whatever’s fine to me. sorry for the confusion. :P

Yeah, since you can already make selections with the LMB the MMB should be free for other things.

Nope, not quite. It would not be any kind of fake tape speed effect. To be perfectly honest I would find that rather silly and quite annoying in this scenario - I don’t need special effects getting in the way when I am simply trying to quickly scan the sample data.

If you have never used the scrub feature in either Sound Forge or Adobe Premiere then it might be a little difficult for me to explain it further, but, try to imagine it behaving somewhat like the sample offset 09xy command. Let’s say you middle-click on the sample at the position 0925 and the sample immediately begins to play from that position. Now as you hold down the button and slowly drag your mouse to the right, it will scrub through the positions 0926, 0927, 0928, etc., but if you move your mouse quickly to the right you would quickly scrub over larger areas, so you might get 0935, 0945, 0955, etc. The scrub feature would not try to compensate for those large gaps in any way, ie. it wouldn’t adjust the pitch or do anything else, it would simply jump immediately to those positions and continue playing. It gives a kind of rough, stuttering sound as you quickly move through large areas, but what it sounds like is not the point here, the point is the speed at which you can move around and preview the sample.

Let’s say that I use the current method and middle-click 50 times over the entire duration of a long sample, trying to find some interesting points. I am simply suggesting that we can change those 50 manual clicks into a fluid sweeping motion from left to right. The scrub feature would combine several useful things into one simple action.

Ok, I see now. I don’t use those programs you mentioned, so I first thought it was that other thing…

Anyway I agree that it would be a very nice feature!
The precision should be tied to the chosen snapping? At least that makes the most sense to me.

If that is possible, then it should definitely also be possible to disable it, otherwise the feature will become rather useless for me (and most people I would imagine who enjoy this feature in other apps). Perhaps it can be controlled with the existing snap on/off toggle, just to keep things simple.

If I have snap-to-beats enabled, for example, I still want to be able to preview little parts of the sample within the beats themselves (or anywhere else in the sample) in an unrestricted fashion. That is really the whole point of this function: quick and free access to any part of the sample.


Here, I just made a very simple example video of how this works in Sound Forge. Not the most amazing example, but hopefully you get the idea.

(Requires the Flash plugin)


I assumed the snapping, since you mentioned the 09xx effect. Now I also think that most of the time one probably wouldn’t want snapping for this feature. But some other times it might come handy, like when you have long tracks with a precise tempo and want to cut to the 1/16s or so… or perhaps when you want to use the 09xx effect.

Snapping can be disabled/enabled/set quickly anyway, so I guess it shouldn’t hurt the workflow.

Thanks to whoever split this off to its own thread. Didn’t mean to hijack the other one. :)

This was done so that you can quickly play a selection within a big sample, without having to mark a selection with the other buttons first. This way you don’t have to touch the keyboard to stop the playback, so you can do a selective preview with just one mouse move and click.

I often wished to have this when for example searching for a sample in a long Audio Sample CD track.

Understood. Although, just to play Devil’s advocate here… :)
… the scrub behaviour I’ve described can achieve exactly the same thing (finding a sampled needle in a haystack), without the repetitive clicking which can become somewhat excessive, depending on how huge the sample is. As I said in my earlier post, let’s imagine that you make 50 attempts at finding the small part of the sample you need (it’s a damn big sample and you’ve totally forgotten where the sound was). That’s 50 times you need to middle click, (optionally) drag a small selection, then release the button to hear if you selected the correct part.

Can you at least appreciate how much simpler and more comfortable it would be to simply click once, then drag the mouse cursor in a fluid motion over the duration of the entire sample, while listening to constant updates from the cursor position? Once you find the part you need, then you can make your real selection with the left button and do any further editing.

With regards to stopping the sample playback, since you mentioned that, I had imagined that the mousedown event would begin playing the sample, and that the mouseup event would stop it. You would simply hold down the button for as long as you want to listen. I think this should be elegant enough to work?

Anyway, I hope I’m not speaking purely for myself on this one.

Is there any chance of this at least being considered as an alternate mode of operation? Something which can be toggled in the preferences?


I got your back.

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Could we add a “loop selection” on/off button while we are at it?

And a slicer…


I think dblue has a great point.
It would be like several video edit programs.

if you click and hold the mouse in place, the playing continues as normal.
if you start to move the mouse it wil update it’s position, and retrigger from the new pointed position.

this way when you drag backward or forward it would be not only visible but also audible what the sample does.

Makes sense.

I usually don’t work with really large samples to begin with in Renoise because editing can become slow. Basically the samples are big enough to visually see what is happening…so the clicking feature as it is now is sufficient for me. I don’t mind if a scrubbing feature would be added, tho I doubt I ever use it.

my middle mouse button (you mean the clickable wheel, right?) don’t have an effect in Renoise at all. it doesn’t do anything. anyone know why?

Are you running the latest 1.9 beta?

hehe… yes i am (beta 6). but i figured maybe my logitech mouseware is overriding renoise.
i can set the button in the mouseware to do almost whatever i want, but i guess i have to set it to “no action”
to let renoise take over it’s functionality, or else two things will happen at once.

but it’s no big deal, really. but i would guess many others with same type of mouseware could have the same problem. i’ll do some more testing . maybe renoise have to be inn fullscreen or something.


I would definately use this feature a lot, the new middle mouse playback is ace, but scrubbing would be much better IMO.

(Only just tried 1.9b6 this weekend btw, great work as always! loving the new EQ10)