Note name overlay

The standard tracker convention of presenting notes by the name (e.g. C-4, A#5) has a couple of key limitations, the first being that it is not always intuitive for when working with percussion instruments, and the second that it is not ideal in music where the key signature would normally call for flats rather than sharps.

Would it be possible to introduce a new feature whereby the note names that appear in the Pattern Editor can have a toggleable overlay on a per-track basis with user editable note name maps? For example, if I have a complex drum kit and I want to make it easier to see what notes trigger particular samples, I would like to be able to substitute say KCK instead of C-3 for a kick drum sample, SNR instead of D-3 for a snare drum sample and so on. I envisage the overlay being something that can be toggled on and off so that you can easily see what the actual midi note name is underneath. This should be a fully user definable feature, but it might be worth including an example with an overlay for standard midi drum maps. Keeping the note name overlay to a 3 character limit would probably be the simplest way to implement this.

Similarly it would be good to have an overlay for key signatures, so that if the overlay is on, flats in key signatures that have flats appear as they should. Another option would be to have an overlay that highlights when notes are in a selected scale or not (maybe by color coding??).

For consideration.

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trackers have an unused potential here: each note is represented by two alpha numeric symbols instead of position on a staff.

there’s great potential for user created mnemonics.


Seems legit :slight_smile:


Considering this is a feature that 1) should not be too hard for devs to implement, 2) does not disturb those who won’t use it, I think this would be a great feature that in a small way would make Renoise a little bit more appealing to new users (and a nice add-on for others as well). Well worth considering IMO!

And generally it’s a more logical way to represent non-chromatic instruments this way in a pattern. The only drawback is that you lack the visual feedback of what key is mapped to what sample. If you see C-4 on every 8th row, you’re intuitively aware that C-4 is where the kick is at… This might call for an additional possibility of entering a labeled “note” into the pattern with an auto-completed text input?

An additional idea that might make this even more sensible is a TOGGLE TO SWITCH between “name mode” and the conventional “note mode”. This would maintain the original workflow while editing, but provide great visibility when switching to “name mode”, for instance during playback or on all tracks that you’re not currently working on.

I could see myself using this not only for naming drums, but also for chords. “Cm7” triggering a C minor 7 phrase, for instance.

With phrases properly set up, you could switch between chord functions (maj/min/7/sus…) by transposing -12/+12 with great visibility thanks to named notes.

Yeah, this would indeed be very useful. Today we can map the phrases to individual keys, but it would be so much cooler if we could simply have another (optional) visual layer on top of the tracks where we could simply enter "Cm7"like inBand in a Box and have that particular string associated with a key such as C#4 which triggers the Cm7-phrase.

But it shouldn’t be limited to three chars, instead it should be a stringand stored within atable of selectable objects. So that you could build a library of chords for example and thenjustselect which chord you wanted to insert at the pattern editor cursor.Even cooler if it would be possible to link together multiple tracks and instruments, so that you couldbuildcustom stylesà la Band in a Box or Chordpulse. Another possibility with the mighty phrases… next step in the phrases evolution maybe?

EDIT: Another way of implementing this could be tobuilda new_ Combinator _-instrument, whichwouldbasicallyact as a regular instrument with phrases, but it wouldtrigger other external instruments and phrases. In such a Combinator device, you would map the keysas usual but be able to trigger multiple instruments and phrases at the same time on several tracks/channels, with a single keystroke.

The best use for this, to me, would be to label keyswitches.

Many VSTi:s use keyswitches for articulations (orchestral libraries, guitar/bass instruments) and it would be very helpful to have a better display of these in the pattern editor. This is commonly handled in piano rolls by labeling notes on the keyboard image, basically the same way a drum instrument can have labeled keys.

I’m not sure about what way would be best to implement it in Renoise. The common sense way might be adding an ability to give keyzones a custom name. But it would also have to work with VSTi:s, of course…

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I don’t like this idea, because:

  • You should not mix different drums in one track / column

  • You have the track name to identify what type the used instrument is. And even column names.

  • You won’t know the trigger key anymore, if it is written something like “KIK” instead of “C-4”. You would have to switch to instrument layers view first.

  • 3 letters look like a workaround

  • You should not mix different drums in one track / column

Ok :slight_smile:

ffx, If you have a better idea that covers the issue, that would be great. I think these labels seem pretty natural, especially since they would replace the usual non-relevant chromatic note label. Using different note columns really doesn’t help when it comes to keyzoned instruments or keyswitches.

No no, go on… Just wanted to mention that. Seems I don’t understand fully what’s going on. Maybe color coding instead?

ffx, If you have a better idea that covers the issue, that would be great. I think these labels seem pretty natural, especially since they would replace the usual non-relevant chromatic note label. Using different note columns really doesn’t help when it comes to keyzoned instruments or keyswitches.

I mean, if you return to a project after some time and maybe forgot about some keyswitch details of a vsti. How would it exactly help now if there was written SW1 or SW2 instead c-7 and c#7? You still would have to look into a graphical overview, some redux like keyboard view or a piano view. So you could also look into the vsti instead. So in the end, which way is faster in workflow? If you directly know the key and simply can try or if it is renamed?

If you could also view the piano view from the sampler under the pattern, and define the name or color ranges directly in there (and also get a quick overview), OK then I would agree that it is a workflow speed up. Only the realization of the setup and displaying of the substitution zones seems to me pretty much effort. Also there is the keyzones view, which only works for xrni, so isn’t usable here. In the end, lot of effort for only little benefit?

No? It’s a lot easier to remember that “PUL” means “pull-on” in a guitar VSTi I’m used to, than to remember it’s E-1.

Colors don’t seem to help. They would be almost as difficult to remember as chromatic notes, I think.

If the setup is stored as keyzones, it’s very quick to store/load them as presets.

Where are we on this topic ?
I have no issue what so ever with the standard « american » notes name.
But i’m french, in my country the note are named « do ré mi fa sol la si », i also use a wierd notation with a name for each chromatic note : C# is Lu, Eb is Ka …
could be great to be able to « see » the music is my own prefered way.
I can imagine lots of other people in different country, of from other musical system would enjoy to be able to choose there own notes name.
This does not seem so hard to do… so is the renoise team looking into it ?
I think this could be a very unique and a very special feature that could help bring some new people to this awsome software.