Plugin Grabber And Instrument Window Ideas & Suggestions

First of all, sorry for posting here. I don’t understand why I can’t create a new topic in suggestions subforum. I know this is not a good habit to post in a wrong category but I have something imho important to say. If it could be moved to suggestions & ideas subforum it would be great.

Tonight I was rendering crappy ProteusX sampler banks, which I have issues with before, and decided to convert them to renoise native format. I spend nearly 8 hours working with Plugin grabber and new Instrument Settings tab and I have some thoughts on it I would like to share with you.

Good things first. Plugin grabber is fantastic. It gives me hope that I can make music with renoise under linux without plugins which are of poor quality or tricky to get working. At this point the only thing that could be improved in plugin grabber is configureable samplerate for rendering, although personally I don’t need it now. Another great feature I’m happy to see in Renoise are sample keyzones. This is just great, I missed it and now it is implemented. Fantastic.

However, there are some things I have to say. New Instrument Settings tab is great for those who need to quickly adjust some minor glitches in theirs instruments. In this field it’s a very good concept. But it completly fails when more complex editing is needed i.e. when instrument contain a lot of samples. When rendering from a plugin samples have long names i.e. for me it was like Proteusx()_0x7F_B3. With this tiny samplelist all the samples look like they have the same name. Again: when simply adjusting some settings for previously prepared instument, it’s fine. When doing it from the beginning - it is not.
Going further with long samplenames problem, take a look at a typical sample keyzones tab after rendering of a instrument:

Can you tell how many sample layers are there without looking at first and last sample? I can’t. You may say I could change the name of the instrument to something shorter - ok, lest say I call it “A”. After rendering it is still A_0x7F_B3. Besides, I don’t want to call my instruments this way.

Another problem with rendering - let’s say we have an instrument which is of awesome quality and has range from B-2 to B-9. Our goal is to convert it to renoise instrument format while keeping it’s quality. To keep dynamics, let’s set velocity step to 5 and note step to 1 to avoid transponing. Simple calculation: 7 octaves * 12 notes * 5 velocity layers = 420 samples. The limit is 256. Of course you might say “let’s set note step to 2” or “make less velocity layers” but why one would do that? Our goal is to keep instrument top quality. We need more samples per instrument. Err, wait. I need more samples per instrument :) Now it is 16^2=256. With one more bit it will be 16^3 = 4096. More than enough for just everyone I suppose.

Next thing. Let’s assume we have all samples rendered as we wanted them to be. They all have separate NNA, Transponse, Tuning with some default settings. What if we need to change it for ALL the samples? When there are 5 or 25 or 30 samples - it’s not that bad but it gets tricky when there is more than 200. After hour of stupid manualy clicking I found a way to change it. Save instrument to file, open in archive manager then edit xml file with Find&Replace. Ok, nice workaround but it should be doable with program interface. If there is a way, please tell me as I was unable to find it myself.

Ok, lets sum this up.

What is wrong:

  • New instrument tab is too tiny for complex editing
  • With long sample names it is not clear how many velocity layers there are and when they start/end
  • Sample limit per instrument is too low
  • There is no way to set NNA and other options for all the samples at once

I was thinking of a solutions for these issues and here are my propositions

  • Add Instrument Tab, like it was before, with new features, without removing new Instruments Setting tab in lower panel
  • Create Zoom Tool in Key Zones tab
  • Add two modes for instruments settings: global and local

1. Add Instrument Tab, like it was before, with new features, without removing new Instruments Setting tab in lower panel
An image is worth a thousand of words so I have prepared one (this is just a lame copy & paste but I think it gives a hint how it might look):

I put some markers on this image I would like to describe now

  1. Sample list. It is wide,long and clearlooking. Long sample names friendly.
    2 + 3 + 4 + 5) - just like in the new instrument tab
    6 + 7) - Envelope editor like in hte old instrument view
  2. New tab as it is now, left for quick edit purposes
    and some feature propositions:
    A) Toggle local/global mode for sample. If set to global, sample has the same settings as instrument. If set to local, it has it’s own. With this you can configure all the samples with single click and then adjust these which need your attention
    B + C) - local/global mode for envelopes. When global - adjusting envelope for instrument. When local adjusting envelope for sample which has local mode set
    D) switch to instrument tab, just like it was before

2. Create Zoom Tool in Key Zones tab
I think it is quite obvious how this might work. Personally I would use a mouse scroll to zoom in/zoom out

3. Add two modes for instruments settings: global and local
Described in point 1.

4. Increasing Sample limit per instrument
I’m in no way a programmer so I don’t know if it is a trivial task or not. If it is - then there is no problem. If it is, I have a suggestion. If Renoise could map it’s own instrument as it can map samples - then one could use this to load more than 256 samples into one instrument. If this is possible now and I missed it - please tell me.

I think there are better ways of solving issues I have wrote about and this post is intended to start a discussion on this matter. I don’t think my ideas are the most adequate - they are the way I would solve these problems if I had to do it on my own. I think you might find those ideas appealing.

PS. 1. Please do not treat this post as a “I pay I demand” one. I just want to help make Renoise better for all of us.
PS. 2. Please do not suggest me learning LUA to do all this on my own. I don’t know LUA and I think it’s developer’s task to improve software. However I think I will learn it someday and share my plugins but it is a plan for future, not for present because of my personal matters.
PS. 3. Sorry for my english, it is not my native language and I’m still learning it.

Again, I hope this post will start a constructive discussion. Cheers.

Jenoki gets 5 internets from me for those helpful animations!

Jenoki is steadily advancing to become the forums’ animated gif king.

Hi :)

Well, I understand reasons for not taking new feature proposals but my intention was to discuss the existing features in 2.7 beta and find a way to make them better.

I’m glad we understand each other. As I wrote before, my intention was to start a discussion on how should the new instrument window look.

Wow, I wonder how could I miss this? Thanks!

Again, I missed this despite it’s intuitive. You made my life better!

Another issue I found today is instrument max size. It is 256 mb now - and it is too low. I think it should be at least 500 mb or even more. The biggest instrument I was rendering needed ~550 mb.

The 2.7 forums are pretty much for finetuning 2.7 before hitting RC status… Whatever discussions are open remain open currently. You can submit all new 2.7 related discussions to the general discussion and suggestions forum as things won’t be added or altered in 2.7 anylonger.

Most likely, along with the limitation of 255 samples per instrument (which is hit even faster than the memory limit).
If you are rendering mono samples or instruments that you can turn off effects inside the plugin that you can mimic in Renoise as well, in most cases you can just render them mono and the size drops twice as much.
If you render 16 bit instead of 24 or 32-bit, this also drastically narrows the memory consumption.

Just want to chime in to say the screenshot, in terms of real-estate, doesn’t look half bad.

I had a big hate on for uneven amounts of tabs. In your screenshot, adding a 5th looks OK. A lot of room to manoeuvre if its added.

One of the most informitive threads Ive read in while. Thanks everyone :)

PS I hope the suggestions are concidered. I love to use Renoise standalone in Linux. I’m building a machine just to do that (thankyou for the 64bit version bye, bye (sane) memory limit > :D).

Thankyou Renoise Dudes :D

I see. I will not use the 2.7 any further then. Thanks for advice.

I’m aware of those tricks - the instrument I was talking about needed 550 mb with no effects set in plugin, stereo and 32 bits. I wanted to have as precise replica of the original as it was possible. To achieve this I needed note step set to 1, velocity step between 4 and 6 (could be more but this is reasonable compromise between quality and size) and 32 bits for better dynamics and processing quality. I don’t think 500 mb per instrument is that much these days when one can load >1 gb samplebanks into third party vsti samplers. I think Renoise can do better than these plugins, especially in 64bit version.

Thanks :) Personally, I like tabs. I have always tons of them opened in firefox,PCManFM (file manager for LXDE) and many others.

I love to use Renoise standalone in Linux too and I’m looking forward to getting new pc especially for that task in near future :) The only problem with making music with linux is lack of good synth plugins (fortunatly Renoise has great effects). One can use those which are available (and which I personally dislike) or write own synths (i.e. in pure data). Each way is a pain compared to those available in windows or mac.

Do you need the full scale of notes then?
Sometimes using note step 2, does the job as well, but this in major goes up for natural instruments, like string instruments etc.
If you use granular synths, then using step 2 and few velocity layers you miss out on a lot indeed.

For as far as i made various attempts, the most irritating limitation for me is the 256 sample-slots limit. All these have to be used for note on as well as note-off events which means in cases where you are sampling high note ranges, you can’t have an equal amount of note off layers as you can have for note-on.
The maximum range of notes i could generate is currently C-3 - C8, step 2 with 6 velocity layers recording 16 bit (well i could have done this in 32-bit as well in this case). Then you can have one note off layer c3-c8 using step 1.
My instrument size became approximately 6MB. With 32 bit i think this would have turned 12MB. (using the loop feature though)
Yet for a string instrument, the 16-bit recording sounds quite good, considering the fact that the plugin is a synth which doesn’t generate noise which usually needs to be cancelled out somehow.
For granular generated audio this is ofcourse quite a different discussion or when harmonic tones in general get into the picture.

what i’m wondering is: why would you have a limit? i mean, if someone wants to put 100.000 samples in an instrument, that’s fine. if that causes Renoise to take a long time for loading that instrument, so be it, the dude must know, he put all those samples in there.

now, if there must be a limit for some reason, put the limit at 100.000 samples and be done with it. (and don’t go tell me that someone will be requesting 1.000.000 sample limit after that!)

256 is obvious. 8bit numbers innit. If it’s to be expanded next obvious limit would be 65,536 (unless soft limited lower.) IE 16bit number.

yes, to YOU that might be obvious, but i know jack shit about 8bit/16bit, so! :)

nah, thinking about it, you’re right. but let them expand it then. the times they are a-changin’.

I agree that note step set to 2 or 3 sounds good enough (it’s hard to distinguish from the original) but sometimes you will get into trouble with natural instruments too, if setting note step to higher than 1. For example Piano samples with long tail. If you set note step to higher than 1 and play some chord you may have samples that are longer than others (originally rendered) and shorter ones (these which were transponsed +1, +2 etc.). You might solve this by looping but this would mean hand editing of every sample (which may mean editing of 256 or more) and would need separate loop points for each channel. So I guess it’s just better to render using step 1. As I suggested in my first post, if it would be possible to map renoise instruments just like samples then one could render one’s instruments with the quality one like but within smaller range and then map pieces into one complex instrument.

Wait a minute. It is possible to map different samples to events such as a note on and note off? Looks like I missed something again…

Yes sure hell you can:

A pity round Robin wasn’t written in this version, but i guess we would really need to raise the 256 samples limit.
In one of the first 1.8 versions i believe the amount of samples were infinite, but the limit was set to 256 simply because the Renoise mapping range was only 128 keys. So frankly back then, nobody would ever need over 128 sample slots, perhaps having some extra for processing and rendering etc.
This situation ofcourse now has changed.

WTF I’m blind or something! WOW, thanks SO MUCH!

I think I need a rest…

Today I found it is already implemented. Feels like a idiot.

Also I checked out how automatic crosslooping works. This is fucking icredible.