Plugin editor screen in r3: have to tab away to open it

I had decided to hold off on trying Renoise 3 seeing as the improvements were mainly sample-based whereas I pretty much exclusively use VSTs. Today I decided to give it a go. The good news is that the new user interface is good for the most part. I was concerned that I would have to keep dodging around UI controls I wasn’t going to use as a result of the new sampling features.

But then I switched to the Plugin tab of the Instruments pane and was greeted with this:

A large, mostly empty window that spawns the VST editor in another separate window. To me this was basically a huge slap in the face - in 2.8 the VST settings were in a small compartment at the bottom of the screen, so I didn’t have to tab away from what I was doing to load and configure a VST plugin.

With the instrument settings detached and using vst-bridge - which is basically a requirement for me as I need access to Windows VSTs - it gets really bad: vst-bridge (at least for now - there’s a WIP branch to fix this) spawns two windows when opening the external editor. This leaves me with three floating windows. One floating window is fine. Two is pushing it. Three is unusable.

Eventually I noticed the thumbtack button (which explained why the VST editor window kept auto-opening). It looks like the external editor window is supposed to be embedded inside of the instrument window, but this isn’t happening on Linux. I’m hoping that embedding the editor using xembed is a bug/known issue and not a feature request. Until this gets fixed I’m sticking with 2.8.

Sidenote: I do think the introduction of content libraries is a big step forward. If enough libraries get created I might reconsider using Renoise as a sampler and not just a VST host.

Something which isn’t too obvious: if you double click an instrument in the list of instrument on the top right of the UI (or hit Numpad Enter key), this will open the external editor without switching to the “plugin” tab. The “plugin” tab basically then only is needed if you need to load a new plugin, adjust its volume, routing or other properties.

So if you just want to edit the plugin, you don’t have to deal with the plugin tab at all.

We’ll try to make this a bit more obvious - many people got annoyed by this (or the “lack” of this).