Correct me if I’m wrong, but
Insert drumroll here…
you needed to select the pitch from that little popup menu in the sample editor
…no, that does sound a bit painstaking indeed - but there are (were) those small arrows and the selected note would always remain. After that I’d just mouse click somewhere on the track + hit enter (play) from that position. Not just from the beginning of the sample, but anywhere I want.
Soo… Bare with me on this - I have the samples/tracks in front of me, see, and I scroll up and down through them using the mousewheel and left-click at selected points on the waveform and press enter to play. It will always remember where I had clicked in Any given track, meaning that if I have several revisions of a track (say, a hotter master and a quieter master) I can choose a point on the waveform, which, for example, easily distorts on the hotter master, and flick between them using the mousewheel, hitting enter to play. So I’m getting a perfect before-after comparison and I can do the checkups instantly with no delays (really helps whenever wanting to make sure that a change in tone is not just imaginary). No dropdown menus and everything happens in one window (no need to go to the phrases window or anything in between).
So ok, sure, this can all be done with the current version as well, but… Here’s the thing. To make things even more beautiful… Let’s say I have a very nasty, boomy frequency in my room at 130hz (ah fuck it, I actually do) and I want to make sure, whether the bass in track A2 is actually too loud in comparison to track B1 or if it’s just my room emphasizing that frequency - I just click another note (other than C4) from under the sample editor to see if I’m getting the same boomy impression at another pitch - and whatever pitch I just chose, remains intact with both tracks! So I don’t have to click it for both tracks, I just do the selection once and always have the “sample editor master pitch” right underneath the sample editor waveform view, set to whatever I want it and if I have 20 tracks on there, I can go through them at a different pitch should I need to, by just scrolling the mousewheel and hitting enter - afterwards I can return to the normal pitch and it stays there. No dropdown menus. It’s gorgeous.
Same thing if I was using a sample recorded from a ground looping turntable and am unsure whether I set a low pass filter on a drum break steep enough (=if there’s any high whining sounds up there that I can’t hear, but an 8 year old on the other hand, would hear) - I simply set the pitch a little lower and go through all the tracks - ah, track A4 does have a bit of nastiness up there, I’ll just eq that out. Faaaantastic. These are just two examples… I guess it’s apparent at this point, that I love pitching stuff up and down. I listen to ‘commercial’ recordings like that in Renoise a lot as well, just to gain some perspective or if I really want to find out how a beat is put together and analyze it, etc.
So at the same time I can keep some frequency analyzers and stuff close by, and it’s basically just the fastest way ever to cross-reference masters and different revisions of tracks - and as a bonus, everything I wrote above is super helpful when sampling old records as well: sometimes I’d have a tedious amount of hours of some random cassettes I’ve ripped or something, with 95% crap on them, but I still want to go through all of it because I don’t want to miss a possible hidden gem. So I can just have all the recordings lined up and then click around, sometimes if a 5 minute stretch seems very likely to be crap but I still want to check it, I can set the pitch higher for a while, or if I just want to immediately try “hmmm how would this field recording in the middle of this 8 minute sample sound when pitched really really low? Here lemme try…”
Ok I’m getting carried away but you get the idea, the point was never that a pitch of the sample can’t be changed - there are always workarounds - but instead, just how intuitive and lightning fast it is (was) in terms of workflow. No need to go to any phrases menu or flick back and forth between views. Again, I haven’t come across that in any other daw. And that’s why I have to keep the old version installed.
When you’re referring to (not) holding a key, walking around the room… you mean that the sample preview acts as a one-shot?
Yeah, when pressing enter it keeps it playing forever, so if I want to preview listen a full track in between some more microscopic checks, it always keeps it playing. This is how it behaves currently as well (when pressing play / enter) but it’s just the pitching functionality is missing from 3.1. which unfortunately makes the aforementioned trickery impossible.
Sorry for the long rant, haha…