I would really like an option to disable the following of the page to the center bar. I am using 32 note patterns, which fit from top to bottom on a single page/screen of the pattern editor. However, when I select the first note of the pattern, that row is centered on screen, and the entire pattern no longer fits on the single page, because the bottom of the pattern now goes past the bottom of the page while the top half of the page goes unused. This is because the center bar insists on… being center. So a better way to word it: I want a way to disable the center bar being center all the time. (irony?)
I have used a sequencer on the iPad named iSequence. This is actually an amazing app, but it was abandoned by the developer, plus it has many limitations because it is on iPad. However, this app did a few new things when it comes to the user interface of a sequencer or tracker. I think part of what appeals to me visually about it, is how the pattern page never moves. The current playing position moves around, and the note selector/editor also moves around, but the pattern page itself stays fixed. Something about this makes the entire thing easier on the eyes. When everything is moving in Renoise, it is harder to follow what is important. I am sure that with enough use, I could get used to it, but having seen how iSequence does it makes it obvious how much of a difference it really makes.
I showed my friend Renoise yesterday, and he was a bit overwhelmed by what was going on. He couldn’t tell what was happening exactly. When I showed him songs on iSequence in the past, he could immediately see what was going on. This made me think about why this was happening, and I concluded it has to do with how the pattern editor is a bit overwhelming to look at or follow while a song is playing.
There are 3 things that would improve this: fixed pattern page that doesn’t move around, removal of ALL the “----” lines that are used as blank placeholders, and a better font or spacing for readability. I was able to use the vertical and horizontal spacing adjusters to make it significantly easier to read at a glance. The pattern page moving around probably has the biggest impact though.
I think most of this comes from the idea that information can be presented in a way that improves the speed at which the information can be processed visually. Certain fonts are designed to be more readable quickly at a glance. The spacing of elements also greatly improves the speed. I feel that a lot of the interface of Renoise is designed around the heritage of Trackers, so that is why things are implemented the way they are. In a way, the thing that makes Renoise great, is also what causes its quirks.
I am new to Renoise, so maybe I just need to overcome these things. But, I feel that an option to disable the center bar being center all the time, despite how ironic that sounds, would be a great improvement.