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
- 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
- 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.