My thoughts on the perfect Renoise sampler

This is an attempt of me to define what I would consider the perfect implementation of the Renoise sampler, in light of the current problems and limitations.
While there are many ideas floating around in several threads, I thought it might be a good idea to write them all up in one place, since I think that they also depend on each other in one way or the other.

Output routing
This seems to be a bit tricky subject. In the past, Renoise allowed an instrument to be played on every track, i.e. wherever a note was played in the sequencer, the audio was routed to. So basically, there was entirely free audio routing for the sampler.
In 3.0 this behaviour changed, but only for instrumnts that include FX: An instrument with FX can only output audio to one track. Which track that is, is not well defined at the moment.
This could be solved by allowing instruments routing audio to different tracks, in case FX are used (if not, well, then the whole thing behaves like it did in 2.8). So, not using FX → old 2.8 behaviour, using FX → VSTi behaviour (see also next point)!

Note data routing
Crucially, this is different to the point above. Irrespective of how the sound from the instrument will be routed, the note data can be placed on different tracks.
As mentioned above, in 2.8 there was a one-to-one correspondence between note data and audio output.
Since this is not the case anymore for 3.0 (when FX are used), I think the behaviour should at least be changed to mimic this of VSTi: Notes can be placed anywhere, but the audio routing will be independent (see above).

Mute groups
This is partly related to the output routing it seems. In the current implementation mute groups function only within a track. That is, when not using FX, mute groups will work, if you keep the to be muted samples withing the same track.
When using FX, however, things should work the following: We should be able to route each FX chain to a different output (see also two points above). As soon as there is one or more output routings (i.e. one FX cain in use), the mute group behaviour should change to a global mode (because now a limited number of track outputs is defined, the overhead computational problem is gone!) and samples in one mute group should be muted irrespective where the notes are placed (EDIT: …and irrespective of where the audio is output to!).

“Tracker” vs. “Live” mode
This is how danoise seems to see the current sampler problem:
Basically, all points I listed above so far make one thing clear: What they all have in common is that they all are somehow related to the output routing
problem. Thus, the difference between old-behaviour and new-behaviour (or tracker vs. live mode), in my opinion is whether output routings (via FX chains) will be
defined or not. As explained above, the mute groups for instance would work differently depending on this “mode”. Also, Redux would only work with output routings, of course.

Modulation concept
Not much to say. Bit_arts explained this very well here:

Maybe “sample groups” would be a solution here, i.e. the possibility to group together a bunch of samples which share the same modulation (see for instance Shortcircuit 1 for an example).
Another thing that should allow to be modulated are sample/loop start and end.

Optional: DFD (direct from disk streaming of samples)
Would in general be nice to have, since it allows for big instruments to be loaded. This would be in addition to the default from-memory mode of course.

Optional: SFZ support
Seems to be a widely used (and open!) format. So supporting is would certainly be a plus.

Well, I hope this gives a good idea of what my thoughts on the topic are (in one place, rather than scattered through many threads). I hope these thoughts are helpful to taktik and his crew in some way.

Mmh, no replies at all…
Is this to be interpreted as general agreement, general disagreement or general indifference? :slight_smile:

About the output/note/mute-groups routing;

I have no problems with the way it currently works as I know its strengths and weaknesses/limitations and use what works in my workflow.

+1 for direct disk stuff, which will without a doubt be foreplay for audio tracks, multi-track recording etc (Renoise 5.0) :wink:

Agree 99% with everything you’ve said. Summarizes my issues with the Renoise sampler nicely.

There are two distinct things though that I’d point out:

I want to be able to define mute groups in the one instance, and output channels in the other.

Mute groups control the muting of groups of samples, while output channels define the audio routing path. While they might be the same for one instrument, they might be different. For example, I might want to have some hi-hat samples in a mute group while sending the audio to a track for all cymbals.

Mute Groups are not the same thing as output channels.

I would also add to this the ability to optionally tie the sampler to tracks rather than notes, and hide the instrument column in the tracker (and be able to enter notes with no instrument data).

I agree, and I actually meant it that way. I edited in the original post.

The features you list are not really something I would use. However, coming from using shortcircuit, I really miss:

  1. The ability to specify sample start and end positions non-destructively with vertical markers
  2. A simple non-destructive gain to tweak the sample volume

Well, yes, if you don’t “play” the sampler, that is, when you just use it as a sound source for programmed/sequenced stuff, then the points I listed are of less importance. However, I consider a sampler an instrument.

I totally agree, and that is actually implicitly in my list, as I list the sample start to be considered as a modulation target (for this to work, there must be a way to set it in the first place :slight_smile: )

You could in principle add a gainer as FX chain for that sample…unfortunately that would lock THE WHOLE instrument to one single track only at the moment (see above).

Wel you could add an operator to the volume and aign to a macro …no need to use the gainer in the tied effect .
This way you till have all your available output s

True. that makes actually way more sense.

Here is a nice series of articles about sampling:

A lot of the very basic features that 25 year old hardware samplers already were capable of - and Renoise is still not - (like sample start automation and velocity/keyzone corssfading) are described here, with concrete usage examples.