Routing Options

Currently anything you play with a (midi) keyboard in Renoise gets routed to the track you’re focused on.
So it is subject to the specific volume, pan, effects of that track.

My suggestion is to have the possibility to define the routing for instruments and samples, that would be independent of the track you’re on.

You could define the routing for every individual instrument and sample. For the sake of simplicity, I’d suggest that you could choose the routing to one of the tracks which already exist in the pattern. (There could be other options for that. Like: “unlimited” tracks to choose from. Or a limited number that would be defined in the preferences.)

It could look like this:

The red numbers represent tracks. For example, when you play the instrument “Bass” the playback is always routed through track 04. It doesn’t matter where you’re positioned in the pattern editor.

Notice there are numbers for tracks, not track names. That’s because numbers take less space. Each track would have a name, too, just like now. But, in addition, it would also have to have a number. You could perhaps still see the track’s name, by hovering over the red number.

Assigning the routing:
There could be a drop down menu right there in the instrument/sample browser, by clicking on a red number. Or, if too difficult to implement, it could be in the instrument editor&sample properties. (A bigger version, perhaps. With the full track’s name.)

If a user wanted to have it the old way (like now), there could be a switch somewhere, to toggle between the new mode, and the (old) track-focus-oriented mode.

This feature would be even more useful if you could assign different instruments to the keyboard at once and so then play them through specifically defined routings. Great for live use.

yeah! I’m digging live usage of Renoise these days, and I indeed would find this useful!

Very interesting indeed. Another Vote from me!

yep, no doubt this would be useful.

Wouldn’t that be confusing? We invented multiple “Note Columns” per track to avoid this. You never know what you get (where samples are playing) when starting to hardlink everything. Its evil enough that we have this option for the VST instruments already.

actually, I think that how it is now is confusing. The fact is that you’d expect two different behaviours when using Renoise live and when using it as a composition tool: when using it live, you would like to let an instrument play always the same (i.e.: always routed to a certain track DSP), wherever the cursor is; when using it for composing, you would like to have the sound changing depending on the track on which the cursor is.

It’s like if we would need a “live mode” or a “live edition” with special features like this, or something like that, but of course that would be quite an amount of work

EDIT: on a second thought, maybe this could have something to do with “Assigned to track” in the Instrument properties?

Definitely an instrument could still play in any track. The assigned routing would just be the default one.

Also, for switching between the two modes I thought that there could be a switch right on top of the red numbers column. So, easily accessible.

The problem is, right now you can’t play a drumkit live if you have different drums on different tracks with different DSPs. It will all get routed through one track.
I don’t mean just for live playing, either. This would come handy when we’ll be able to record notes in different tracks at the same time.

Then we either need a Renoise instrument tool (a Renoise VSTi) or track DSPs for instruments, not a routing option.

Well, whatever does the job.
The bottom line is that, IMHO, the current way is not the best.

It could work like in some other hosts with VSTis and midi tracks.
You’d have the samples&instruments routed to channels, not tracks.
So the tracks in the pattern and the channels in the mixer would be two different things. For example, you could have just one channel in the mixer and every instrument routed to that channel, but many tracks with midi notes in the pattern. Or vice versa.
This could probably be tough for backward compatibility, tho.

I think this belong to the new RNI structure when/if it will be out.
By default it behaves like now (auto assigned and also ‘multi-track’ assigned (for samples).

This is a part of a mockup that was discussed internally some time ago:

My opinion is that ALL instruments should have a master device that you can collapse/expand. As we have discussed internally it does not matter if your instrument contains samples, vsti or midi out. This master setting will cover and apply to all types at once. At fist it might seem redundant to have this master device when you will have vsti/sample properties for each individual vsti/sample you add to your RNI anyway. But this has been explained very well internally, so anyone reading this and don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, don’t worry :)

So… you then set all routing/midi etc in this master device (or just name it ‘Instrument Properties’).
Expand it even more and you will see NNA also here (they really do belong in instrument properties and not in the current sample properties, and what about 16(+/-) RNI customized parameter sliders here as well. These sliders will be the ‘interface out’ of the instrument (in another window/tab in the Instrument Editor you can modulate/set rules/script/whatever and route any (or several) slider(s) from any device you have added inside a RNI, out to these 16 sliders etc).

Also other more special options could be in the Instrument Properties device, like option to change the behavior of Internal DSP’s added to the instrument (if they should be true polyphonic. (thats one dsp per voice - multistream) or just 1 dsp (one common stream, thats the same way vsti behave). If your instrument contain vst or vsti this option will be grayed out (cause vst only have one stream)).

You can also add different instrument structure options (choose Type of Instrument), like a special ‘Drum Instrument’ where you don’t need any Note Offs (but you can add note offs if you like. This is the default and current behavior. And another ‘Midi Instrument’ where you have a duration for each note, and also other options for a single notes (this type of notes are more like other sequencers, and will/could look different in the xml structure and also look different in any future graphical note view (pianoroll or extended graphics in automation or pattern view or whatever… I’m not gonna explain why this is useful in this thread…)

Options to ‘Record Velocity’ and ‘Record Note Offs’ should also be individual to each instrument (with a default option for this in the preferences as well).
As you see on the picture you can also save several programs within a single RNI.

I can write 50 more pages about this, and I probably will some time… but not here and now :)
My point is that you can have a lot more options per instrument by just collapse/expand a master/Instrument Properties device. In this scenario, to be able to select midi input and track output are natural and expected options to have… IMO.

I’m not sure wich way would be the best to go, but it would sure be nice to be able to map several instruments to one midi keyboard for live usage.

I could not get back to my ancient post on this forum about a re-arrangement of the midi devices to sample/vsti’s, (SHAME)

but the things that are proposed here are likely to be better than mine.

It’s a good thing to think about

so renoise can be the new #1 live tool above Ableton Live

I’m not into that routing stuff, but the red references behind the samples could be nice for velocity layering and the first step to the new RNI structure.