I came across a nice software synth with built in tracker and sampler few years ago. Many of you have probably heard of it: AXS (Another eXperimental Synth) -homepage-. They have sadly quit the development but that is not the point The thing is that they developed a very nice way of handling patterns. I would say that it is an extention of what we find in general and Pro trackers as Fasttracker and Renoise.
In AXS patterns are called blocks (just another name). When you build up a song in AXS each pattern entry that you add contains mute info. This means that you get more flexibility. Say that you want to make a drum beat. First you start with a bass drum and in the next pattern you want to add a high hat. In renoise you have to copy your bass drum track from your first pattern into the new pattern with high hat right. Instead of creating a new pattern every time you want to expand your current pattern you simply add all tracks into one pattern (the climax). In most cases you just want to keep instrument playing into the next section of the song.
It is easier to explain this in examples:
In renoise or fasttracker:
Song pos: Pattern nr:
000 | 000 Bass drum
001 | 001 add high hat
002 | 002 add clap
003 | 003 add ride
004 | 004 add bass <-- climax
In renoise you have to create a new pattern every time you want to add a new track. Which means a lot of copy and paste.
Song Pos: Pattern nr: Muting
000 | 000 | 0---- bass drum
001 | 000 | 01— add high hat
002 | 000 | 012-- add clap
003 | 000 | 0123- add ride
004 | 000 | 01234 add bass <-- climax
In AXS you only got one pattern to do this. This pattern contains 5 tracks but the thing is that you can mute tracks for every entry. It does exactly the same as in renoise except it is faster, easier and more flexible.
If you still not understand what I’m trying to suggest please visit this page and download AXS (It is free). Also download the song MasiveEx.