Probability Column

I request that there be a probability column, that allows us to provide a hex value representing a percentage (x/255) of probability as to whether or not a note will be triggered. This would be amazingly useful for things like making interesting hihat variations on the fly, or having notes that only occasionally shine through in a melody.

If a separate column isn’t doable, perhaps another pattern effect is in order? :P


An alternative could be a probabilistic control of the volume.

xxAB where

  • A is the mean volume
  • B is the steepness of the volume curve


green and blue curves should be vertical. With those two, you can reproduce the behaviour BYTE-smasher is asking for. The difference : you will only have 16 levels of probability, but it should be sufficient.

On the red curve, rather than having volume at 0 or 1, you can have a range of possible volumes.

Okay, this is not the most precise thing there is, but what do you expect from two hexadecimal characters ? ;)

yes, teh renoise needs some Stochastic implementations, but couldn’t this be easily coded in an outside app? Didn’t Icarus already do something here?

Jonas: I just don’t feel like having to jump to an external app every time I want to do this. Believe me, it would be all the time. Plus, the cool thing about having it internally, is you could loop one pattern and have it play differently every time, which would be GREAT for live use.

You can get a lot of the same effect by using a random LFO (which Renoise already has).

+1 with a definable seed (= repeatable randomness), otherwise +0 because that’s just not how I roll.

I’d love to see an example of that (that doesn’t make the head explode, that is).

  • 1 for more native randomness

The external app is cool, but something truely pseudo-random would be more dynamic. Nice idea. +1 :)

Haha… Since when can LFOs trigger notes? I don’t want a random gainer dude… I want probability of a note being triggered. I also don’t want a random volume gate, thought that would be better than nothing.

Also, I’m fairly sure I can’t emulate probability with an LFO… any clues as to how would be great

Interesting request…! Although in my world ‘random’ and ‘music’ are
somewhat of the exact opposite, I’m curious how people would use such
a feature.

I always include elements of randomness in my music. I personally see creating music as providing structure to chaos… sculpting noise into pleasurable sound. Granted, that’s not everyone’s paradigm, but that’s how I see it anyway.

randomness can still be musical if its controlled in the right way, although if its to emulate human feel/variation on grooves there’s a problem because the sound of a real high hat is not randomly different as such.

however aesthetic issues aside i can see how it would be useful. but i’m not sure if a pattern effect command would be the best way or not, because next you’ll want random timing aswell, random pitch, random note. surely it’d be better to have all these things and more in an instrument, no?

or maybe it could be done with an effect which controls amplitude in theory, like an LFO but with:

reset [x] on/off [x]
mute probability [-------I----]
delay probability [----I-------]
amount delay [—I--------]

so you switch it on and trigger it when you reach a note you might not want and set a value for probability. but if it works on amplitude long notes or notes close together would bleed together. maybe that would sound cool though.

i dunno

probability column? you must be kidding… <_<
how about a ‘free improvisation’ column that plays a random note matching the harmonies present at the same pattern row?


Well, the probability thing could be done with a random lfo attached to gain plus a noise gate that removed everything below a user-defined threshold, unless that’s the second thing you said you didn’t want?

I dunno, I’m just rewiring to Live which already has a couple of aleatoric things built into it (a random midi device and a way to set clips to trigger according to user-defined probablities). It is a useful feature (though I don’t know how I would use it in Renoise which has a much more linear workflow): I use it to trigger related sonic material randomly under certain musical parameters (e.g. randomly skipping through a string sample every 16th note), and then I go back and chop out the bits that are useful to my composition.

If you wanted to get an analogous feature in Renoise, it would be a pattern randomizer (which Renoise may already have for all I know…)

I’d prefer to have more control than that. Assigning a simple probability of triggering a note would allow you to define complex sub-melodies in advance.

I should point out right now: I’m not talking about randomly choosing pitch. Simple whether or not a note you’ve placed gets triggered.

To me this is a can of worms. I’m really into algorithmic composition, even live I perform with a home-brewn chuck based system that makes all kinds of guided decisions.

I cannot see any sleek way to start integrating that kind of extreme flexibility this ultimately can lead to into renoise except this: Make it possible to have a column be generated from a command line call. Both calls on each line (with line number as argument to the external tool) and calls on every new iteration of the pattern would be cool. There probably needs to be a “call X ms before the result is needed in renoise” option to compensate for slow computing from the commandline tool.

I would personally write a python script for generating columns, starting simple, build a library of tools and end up with something generic that could be used (by or others) for just about anything.

I realize my proposal is quite geeky and some (most?) people wouldn’t know what to do with, but I think it’s the ultimate flexible solution that doesn’t clutter up renoise with stuff that can’t be generalized in the first place.

I hope the general outline of my proposal is clear enough to derive a few comments :slight_smile:

atte you have my blessing to go ahead! :)

Since you mentioned python scripts…I remember:

wasn’t there something mentioned about using scripts in Renoise for a future update long time ago (in a thread about a renoise api)? It was mentioned that it is basically already implemented for bug-hunting alpha testers, but public implemenation could open all kinds of possibilities, including the stochastic pattern generation discussed here. searches board

think I’ve found it here:…6&hl=script

I’m sorry, I’m a programmer, and I’ll be the first to say that running external scripts while trying to play a song realtime is a horrible idea.

I’m not entirely sure what’s so horrid about my initial idea

I think he was thinking that it would be an aleatoric song generation tool rather than something that works in real time.

It’s not necessary to have a command-line interface for that; you could use any tool that can automate the UI (AutoHotKey springs to mind) to randomly enter information into a pattern.

That’s a great idea really.