Renoise does not keep tabs in the instrument editor

R3.2.1 W10
Currently, Renoise has a usability problem with the Instrument Editor tabs. It is a problem of design, of behavior.

The Instrument Editor has 3 main tabs:

  1. Sampler
  2. Plugin
  3. MIDI

The problem

The problem is that Renoise always retrieves the Sampler tab when the user changes of instrument slot in the instrument box. Ocurs with empty instruments.

The expected

What is expected is that the instrument editor remain in the tab it is on. The user should have control over this.

Several examples:

  • If the user is on the “MIDI” tab, when switching instruments, it should remain on the MIDI tab. This does not happen. Renoise jumps to the “Sampler” tab.
  • If the user is in the “Plugin” tab, when switching instruments, it should remain in the “Plugin” tab. This does not happen. Renoise jumps to the “Sampler” tab.

The only case that works correctly is if the user is in the “Sampler” tab, because he will always be forced to switch to this tab, every time the user changes the instrument slot.

If the user only uses samples in his song, Renoise will be a luxury as it is now.
But if the user uses plugins or MIDI, Renoise is very annoying to control, because it forces to change constantly to the Sampler tab.

To understand the problem: “ridiculous” scenarios

  • Imagine that the user only uses VSTi plugins in a song. This is a perfectly feasible scenario. Then the user will be continuously fighting between the Sampler and Plugin tabs.
  • Imagine that the user constantly uses the MIDI tab, for example, to adjust the routing of various instruments. Then the user will be continuously fighting between the Sampler and MIDI tabs.

The conclusion is that Renoise, as it is now, seems to make this message very clear to the user: “Hey, use only samples, do not use VSTi or anything from MIDI, such as routing. Use only samples!”

From the usability point of view, there is no reason for Renoise to always switch to the Sampler tab, every time it changes the instrument slot in the instrument box. This behavior can drive the user “crazy”!

@taktik. I propose that, if you wish to maintain this behavior, at least offer an option in Preferences, to keep the instrument editor tabs when switching between instrument slots.

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May I also add to this something that’s quite related.

Renoise has a very weird way of remembering the sample “sub-tab” selected for an instrument. It only seems to remember when the phrase tab is selected for a specific instrument, otherwise is uses the ‘last selected’ tab as a default when switching instrument.

It would IMO be better if all tabs were remembered (at least per session) for all kind of tabs.

It’s somewhat context sensitive.

If the instrument uses samples, then the Sampler tab opens by default.

If the instrument uses a plugin, then the Plugin tab opens by default.

(If both samples and a plugin are used, then it does actually respect your choice of Sampler vs Plugin tab.)

If the instrument only uses some MIDI properties, then the MIDI tab opens by default.

In most cases (that I’ve quickly tested right now at least), your previously selected view within the main tab should be respected: i.e. whether you were using the Sampler’s Waveform view or Modulation view, whether you were using the Plugin’s Phrases view or Editor view, etc.

Does it not do this for you?

If it does not seem to be working as intended, are you perhaps using some tool that is dealing with the selected view changes?

Either way, I can agree that such behaviour could be made optional instead, if it annoys you.


Edit: Quick video of what I experience:

Maybe not the best example, but you can see it’s definitely not always forcing the Sampler tab when I change instruments.

@dblue. Yes, all those scenarios seem to work correctly, as they should.
But the problem is in empty slots, which will always change to the Sampler tab by default. This is especially annoying at the time of creating the instruments. If, for example, you are creating 15 VSTi instruments, you will have to constantly switch between Sampler and Plugin. Things like that.

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Ok, I understand. You made no mention of empty slots in your original post, so I thought you were experiencing something completely broken.


I personally keep the instrument properties panel expanded below the instrument list, which allows me access to the essentials no matter which main view I currently have open. I think that may ease your pain a little bit in your example situation? Give it a try anyway. :slight_smile:


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Yes, that could ease the operation of creating instruments, but then you depend on this small panel. I usually have the instrument editor on another expanded monitor, and I like to control everything from there.

Added now in the original post…

I have not reviewed what @joule comments. But it would be good to consider it, in the case of improving this behavior in a future version of Renoise.

It would be great to have a choice in preferences, as I have said before, at least.