Music Sequencers In The Future

All the discussion related to piano roll, arranger, more accuracy, better newbies support, etc… for future improvements in Renoise is also related to other sequencers. For example, an audio/midi sequencer like Project5 (a special version of Cakewalk Sonar for electronic music) could also offer a tracker based interface… You always find the piano roll, the arranger, the event editor and maybe a drum editor. But I still wonder why all these very known packages don’t add a simple tracker-like editor. It’s not too hard, especially when you only support some basic features.

But the market concentrates more on VST2.0 plugins for fx and virtual instruments. New versions of the known sequencer packages always offer new VST Instruments, support for external hardware, better latency, etc.
But all the other things related to “how to enter event data” are forgotten.

For example, in most applications the piano roll looks like same as in an earlier version 10-15 years before. Besides the thing of “I (don’t) like the pr”, there could be a lot of improvements in a pr editor. There is still no piano roll implemented, which you can additionally edit like a tracker with your computer keyboard only. It would be simple to support something like this or make a fusion of tracker and piano roll to a complete new thing.

But I don’t see similar improvements in those tools since years.
So, it would be great to have a special plugin format, where you can easily add your own editors in a host application. Surely, you could use a VSTi and build your editor in it… but it’s not suited for that (therefore not really integrated in the host) and you can’t send midi events back to the host… and you also need audio output in your plugin (mixing engine, resampling, etc.).

Rewire and the other Steinberg technology (I’ve forgotten the name) for synchronize different applications is a good start… but not the solution I think of at all.

Perhaps we have such a plugin format in future… e.g. you could buy a special Renoise plugin ;) that offers full tracker like feeling in your host application and looks like it would be native implemented there.

So everyone could create his own editing suite in one application. And the same sequencers would look very distinctive between different people.


The idea of a host that allowed an open plugin format for adding editors etc is not a new one. I think it was about 4 or 5 years ago on United Trackers this very idea was proposed and discussed at great length. Unfortunately, just as they were about to start developing the project (they may have even just got started), it all fell apart and, as far as I know, it died and hasn’t been seen since. My recollections on this are vague, so someone else here may be able to fill in the gaps…

There has been an attempt by Yamaha to develop a similar technology in recent years, namely OPT (Open Plugin Technology, perhaps?), but it just doesn’t appear to have caught on…I think Sonar, Samplitude and Acid are the only sequencers which have implemented this, but I don’t think anyone noticed or cared. I do believe the piano roll in Acid and Samplitude is an OPT one though. Perhaps Yamaha’s acquisition of Steinberg will see Cubase adopting and pushing OPT more in the future, but it’s difficult to say…unless they manage to develop something in OPT form that makes people sit up and take notice, then VST will remain the focus, and it will take more than the crappy OPT piano roll in Acid to do this.

sorry,didn’t really read your posts with much concentration, but, robbson, plugins for gui was also discussed by the psycle devs, psycle II shall have plugins for everything, complete modular bla bla, well, dunno if there’s any alpha version
well, and, buzzle has some alpha, there are some nice features but haven’t tested… and have you seen the newest aodix? beside bugs, also some interesting editing, although i can’t use it
to put something genereal and stupid in here… great trackers still have to be written, ok beside renoise, of course, but renoise devs job is to write a mass compatible software, and to write something at all, i mean, forget about all that unfinished stuff, who needs it? it’s 2006 and i also don’t want to use any beta software therefore
if anyone is interested in giving that whole thing a new try, i’d like to open a forum for tracker ideas and thoughts about gui etc, like many i’m sometimes a really enthusiasted musician who likes improvements (which partly exceed the ones in the renoise feature poll), and i like to dev something too, although i most of the time think “who cares about any written line of code, they all in the end whine about their missing features and fixes”


Thx for comments!

I googled a little bit around but didn’t find anything like the Yamaha technology you described. At least it was not called OPT. :unsure:
Samplitude I know since the beginning in Dresden. ;)
But I can’t say anything about the piano roll feature in samplitude because I mainly use the older versions. The piano roll I saw was very basic, anyway.

I thought United Trackers would be a website for the scene… that’s all.

Psycle II is dead because the former developers have found busy jobs.

Aodix is indeed a little bit too unready… It’s not so comfortable that it could be with the great idea of this “piano tracker”. But Arguru don’t like to finish projects… :rolleyes:
The concept is ok… an arranger is also included… but I need at least a good gui like the one in Renoise.

I think, developing a plugin system for exchange of event-editors is far more difficult than sending some aufio data or midi control… All these VST stuff was already there in the past (as audio and midi hardware) so you can more easily adapt it in software.


Search for “Acid Pro” OPT in google and it will talk about Acid’s OPT midi editors…as I say, the technology doesn’t seem to have garnered a large amount of interest from consumers, but it does seem to offer the ability to create different ways of entering/manipulating midi.

You’ll be hard pushed to find a working link of the ReTrack project, as it died a long while ago and pretty much all the links that you can find on google result in a 404 error. It wasn’t a UT project, it was just born there from a lot of discussions on the forum…