Separate Metadevices From Dsp Chain?

I use metadevices a lot.
they can also grow in width pretty much when you automate lots of parameters, so the width of the DSP chain can be overhelming.

what do you think about separating meta devices in a different, dedicated tag?

just like the “track DSP” one, called “meta devices”.

maybe this could also help newbies understanding that there are metadevices…


i think that this could quicken the work flow in larger projects. plus keep things more organized.

I don’t use meta devices that much, but wouldn’t mind.

Yeah, anything which makes the UI better is a good idea…


How would this work in reality…

I mean, imagine you have a device chain which goes like this…

Distortion > Send Device > Chorus > EQ5 > LFO Device > Compressor

If you seperate the two types of Device you would have…

Distortion > Chorus > EQ5 > Compressor


Send Device > LFO Device

How do we know WHERE we want the two seperated Meta-Devices to sit in the actual chain???

I agree entirely about the DSP chains getting out of hand though. I have been trying to think of a way to tidy this area of Renoise up.

Maybe some sort of minimizing/grouping feature is needed (which could also be used on the actual tracks in the mixer/on the pattern editor)

This is kind of another reason that colour coding is essential too… It has already begun in the Pattern arranger, so how about extending it to other areas.

Well, let’s clarify things here a bit. The LFO Device is a “meta device”. The Send Device is a “routing device”.

It does not actually matter where you put an LFO Device in the chain. Could be at the start, the middle, or the end, it doesn’t matter. So this could successfully be moved somewhere else (although personally, I do kinda like to have my LFOs side-by-side with the effects they are linked to).

But the position of the Send Device in the DSP chain is definitely important, so this cannot easily be moved without severe complications. I don’t think It-Alien intended to move these in his idea. I think he means that only the actual meta devices should be moved somewhere else. DSP and routing devices should stay in the same place, where they make sense.


well of course send devices should not be moved, but a new question arised while reading vardarfone’s reply:

if we separate the devices, how could we automate them using pattern commands?

you know you can automate a device which is 3rd in DSP chain by using 3xyy commands, but what about my idea then?

this is something which could be implemented only if some of the 2.x ideas will actually be implemented

So if LFO is a metadevice… then what would the proposed amplitude threshold metadevice be?


Well then there’s still the issue of placing a metadevide like the proposed amplitude reader which uses waveform data at the appropriate place in the dspchain… is there not? … I mean I realize that it’s not implemented yet, but metadevices like this would be earthshatteringly cool, so there is a huge possibility that they will be implemented, right?

I don’t see why. I do not want to be tweaking an lfo in one window and have to toggle to another window to see the tweaks visualized.

I’d rather have a filter function by device type, or a collapse button for devices to make them as small as possible within the chain.

I also suggested something like this long time ago, to move out the lfo into its own page. The advantage of doing that would be that they would be easier to find, and you could more easily see the effect the lfo would have on a slider. You could also have a single lfo affecting several sliders. No need to have several lfo devices which all takes up lots of space.

I think its a great idea to also move out the other meta devices.

It could be solved by adding a assign to track option on the meta device if you want to controll it in a track. Once assigned to a track it would get any number raning from 1-F? depending on how many thats allready assigned to the track?

+1 to what SJ just said.

The main argument mentioned here and in numerous other posts seems to be that the DSP chain becomes “too wide” and therefore difficult to manage/view efficiently. I can definitely understand this myself, and I definitely like the idea of more granularity and organisation of the various elements within Renoise, but I’m not sure that breaking the devices up into separate views is necessarily the correct method. As I said before, I do enjoy having my LFOs side-by-side with the effects/VSTs they are linked to… it just makes sense that way. Switching back and forth between multiple views could quickly become very tiresome I think.

Sunjammer’s idea of a device type filter is very interesting. A list of checkboxes could possibly be inserted somewhere in the Track DSPs view, like so:

  • [X] Native
  • [X] Routing
  • [] Meta
  • [X] VST

Toggling these checkboxes would update the DSP chain accordingly, showing or hiding the various elements within the chain.

Ultimately I feel (and I hope) that Renoise will eventually go towards a more modular approach as you might find in Buzz, Plogue Bidule, etc., where the Track DSPs chain actually becomes a full, dedicated screen where it is possible to route devices in almost any way we choose. But until then (if it ever happens) perhaps this device type filter idea is the best way to achieve a more manageable DSP chain, without having to do any drastic logic/GUI changes to Renoise itself?

The point is the oposite, you that you are not supposed to swith back and forth, that you are instead more able to view the meta device at the same time as what it is effecting.

Long time ago I did an illustration on what I was thinking, though I cannot find it in the forum anymore.

The lfo´s would get their own screen/perhaps working like the advanced edit screen works perhaps there could be a lfo screen button underneath the advanced edit button which would open up above the lower area.
In it you would be able to add lfo devices.

My idea was that next to each slider in the dsp´s there would be small lfo icon with a dropdownbox with numbers.

There you would select which lfo you would like to effect that slider with. This would make it possible to have one lfo affecting several sliders at the same time. You would also be able to see the lfo above the sliders it is effecting.

As it is now one lfo has to be added for each slider or you would have to add lots of space to the lfo to tell it which sliders it should effect.

I get what you’re saying splajn. I guess the counterargument is “let’s meet halfway”. Your description seems very lfo-centric. Perhaps a better solution is filtering/shortcutting/collapsing for now, and your approach when/if the chain becomes more modular in nature?

I’m very much of the persuation that software evolution should be slow. Radical changes to UI, while sometimes welcome, takes what can be a small carefully augmented choice and turns it into a wide sprawling flail of the arms. How can we take what we have now, and make it so that it becomes closer to our ideals without fundamentally altering the flow of the interface?

I’m trying hard to think of a way to handle this issue better than it is right now within reason. My suggestion is that you use the mixer view to keep overview, and click on devices in the mixer to jump to that device in the chain. It’s relatively fast and painless, and improved my workflow immensely. Let’s not nitpick. Compromise has to be made.

a collapse button for internal effects would be really great. 80% of the effects I insert stay at one setting without being tweaked at all after I set their parameters.

splajn : the “one lfo modulates several effects” won’t work imho. believe me, I am an LFO junkie (currently working on an in:depth-post about them) and I never had one instance where I could have used one LFO to modulate several effects. Because the shape, the offset, the range and the speed of an LFO lead to a unique modulation and you will almost always need one LFO per modulated effect.
Even if you define an LFO by “Sine-Wave at 4 LPC” you still have to set the destination, Range and Offset somewhere, either you end up with a very clumsy LFO where you need to create lists of destination/range/offset or
you need some way to edit this at the value of the effect you want to modulate.
So either you end up with a (2nd in my list) downsized version of the current LFO (a metadevice routing the LFO output to the value, this would surely need to be in the fx-chain of the track where your effect is in) which makes no sense or you end up with (1st up there) the LFO being tucked away somehwere and not visible, you just see a slider moving mysteriously … I wouldn’t like that.