Overcoming piano roll hate

I am so much struggling to enter note data in a piano roll! My brain is not made for this, or I must be a super lazy person. I love to enter notes in this nice overview of the Renoise pattern context (not! the recording part though :kissing_heart: ), but I totally hate it in Bitwig. It turns into a mouse click orgy every time, afterwards my finger hurts and almost falls off the hand. And left Bitwig without entering any useful notes. No seriously, I really need some approach to overcome my painoroll hate. I would love to use bitwig and enter note data here (without any overview :worried:), since it has it all when it comes to routing, layering, lfoing etc!

Any tips for me? Is there a tutorial video or a book I can read to get my brain straight? Thanks.

I wish Renoise pattern editor was available as a midi vst plugin…


I would hate the piano roll if i used it for entering lots of melodic lines or custom arps. Is that what you’re trying to do?

For chords it’s superb. For drums, usable. For melodies, I record MIDI. Possibly quantize.

There’s a reason for hating piano rolls and everything about it. :slightly_smiling_face:

  1. Use Renoise only
  2. Drop Bitwig
  3. Ignore everything about piano rolls

Not for Bitwig. But no matter what, using a piano roll is always a “click orgy”, whether in Bitwig or elsewhere. Try this video, it’s from the Bitwig developer and he talks about note editing and the piano roll.

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I’ve never seen anyone be so wrong on the internet.

He’s a regular hobby youtube tutorialist. AFAIK not affilliated with bitwig at all.

PS. A piano roll and midi recording will get you way quicker results than a pattern editor 99% of the time.

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As much as I hate piano roll like you guys but joule is right, if you use a midi keyboard to add and manipulate chords I’m sure a piano roll is quite helpful but in all other cases it’s really not needed, at the end of the day why care? if we get a piano roll some day great, if not great. :sweat_smile: … but it will undeniably get Renoise a larger user base and that’s not a bad thing for us all.


I was mostly interested on plain note recording, editing. All the shortcuts, and how you can survive, if you are used to a better standard in overview. I know those manipulation of note data, but it’s all mouse actions, very annoying. Ok, in Renoise there are also a bunch of required mouse actions, but at least you can plain edit a melody line, only with the keyboard and so on. Also I love win Renoise to record a chord without any stepping forward, so i can overwrite it, if it doesn’t fit. Or I can play the notes under the current line, without starting playback. I miss this all in Bitwig. And layering pianorolls… I don’t know, looks like a mess to me. But I complained now 5 years about this, it’s time to get over this and force my brain to love pianorolls. I need some book called similar like “New life after renoise addiction” or so…

I barely have any live playing skills. I usually step edit the recording tries afterwards (well in Bitwig the recording at least is accurate :kissing_heart: ), but often I change a note here and there later, in context, and I can’t see any context in Bitwig. Also I have a hard time reading which note I am actually touching in the pianoroll editor, since the note is not always written into the note bar, and then my eye has to look at the left all the time and measure the height of that line, which is exhausting…

Hm. I find the piano roll much more convenient for chords, melody and arpeggios.
For about a year, I’ve been scetching out projects in Logic. Exporting the tracks as MIDI, and then struggle to import said MIDI-files in to Renoise (MIDI import in Renoise i shit. PERIOD), to finish everything up.

If that’s true you’re obviously not very active online.

You’re right, I was wrong. Bitwig was developed by former Ableton developers. I thought he was part of it, but that’s not the case. Anyway, he talks about the piano roll in Bitwig and seemingly he knows how to handle the program.

If you’re a piano player, otherwise not.

Right, but we’re not talking about a piano roll within Renoise at this point. :slightly_smiling_face:

I see. If there aren’t any fitting shortcuts shown in the manual I assume there are no keyboard shortcuts.

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Erh. For recording, yes. For a piano roll view. Absolutely Wrong. At least in my case. I am not a piano player at all.

“If that’s true you’re obviously not very active online.”

Can’t quote properly on mobile for some reason, but I did laugh when I saw his comment and your reply was perfectly pitched.

I wish Renoise pattern editor was available as a midi vst plugin…

why not use Redux?

Has no midi out…

This can be reduced a lot, when you use keyboard shortcut’s. Duplicate notes helps, so you don’t need to draw one note after another. In Bitwig its CTRL+D. When you hold CTRL und move selected notes, Bitwig duplicate them for you. Transpose with cursor keys (when notes are selected). With Shift + Cursor Up/Down, you can move notes 1 octave up or down. In Bitwig, when you just click, it draws your note with the last draw note length. Save also some time.

For me, the tracker view helps me not to “paint” a melody to get new ideas. But most of the time, i’m much quicker with a piano roll. For basic editing like moving multiple or even single notes from a melody around, transpose them, add new notes, change note length etc.


This so, so much.

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Well, I read all the replies here but problem is the constriction to one-another as far as piano roll OR tracker…

Well, some thinkers out there did BOTH…Some pretty awesome others kinda terrible…

Before we get started you should probably read a couple humbling articles-posts from the past on where renoise was going 20 years ago…

HERE, TakTik indicates a hate of piano rolls in 2002-

However HERE on this page it is clearly indicated the incorporation of a PIANO ROLL in renoise in 2003-


So I quickly deduce that Phazze is who wanted it but somehow was overruled or was beginning to back out or take a secondary seat, or whatever reason…

Many COMBOs have been made-

-Recent Psycle has LUA piano roll, don’t like it too much…
-BeRoTracker has a piano roll but it’s mono…
-DreamStation II has piano roll or tracker & you can switch back-forth, pretty nice…
-IoNeo Aero Studio has piano roll & tracker & both can be open side-side…
-BUZE has piano roll that can be opened but hard to see & way over to right side (Uggg!)
-Aodix 4.2 Has BEST integration & fluid action between both sides-

For a TRACKER person who wants some of the FLUID advantages of a piano roll I feel AODIX is-was the BEST…Also great for un-quantizing note-by-note to make more organic piece…

I have seen what there is going with that 3rd party piano-roll for renoise but doesn’t look viable…There was also a weird thing with Buzz but I can’t tolerate buzz…

For just using mouse Aero Studio pretty slick & simple you enter notes in piano roll & adjust other aspects in tracker view…

One could ALSO use any piano roll DAW & try ReVisit or…OR alternatively use a Tracker that can load VSTs & use SonicBytes Phrazor…

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Yes, also found Aodix the most impressive here. Nice post.

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NOTE!!..There is a fellow who is busy coding up a fix for the issues with AODIX whereby reloading certain plugs on next session resulted in a crash…

Haven’t tried it yet…

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Heh well I am on macos :C

There will never be a Piano Roll in Renoise, it is a hobby project that pretty much only gets maintenance releases for newer OSes, the developers didnt want to add piano roll or linear arranger, so it was never commercially viable beyond that hobby project.

Enjoy it for what it is and be happy they maintain it enough to keep using it on newer systems.


Then why is the parameter automation horizontal linear??!!!

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