Sequencer Sub Grouping

This is an old idea from the Arranger thread I reworked a bit. Based on the Instrument-pattern suggestion by Pysj in the Rni Future thread. dblue suggested a simpified version where one just load an additional rns into an instrument, and the 09xx command would be used to trigger patterns within the song.

If this additional rns was loaded or created into a Sub Group instead of directly in the instrument, it would open up a bunch of possibilities, while retaining the functionality suggested by Pysj and dblue.

Here’s my idea for a multi-pattern sequencer:

Larger picture
Picture with explanation

First we have the Master Group, this is what we have today. Sub Groups would behave much like additional instances of renoise which you could use to load a complete song or just create a few arpeggios. Each group could have it’s own tempo or sync to the Master Group. In the example picture Group 1 and 2 are twice as fast as Mst Group.

Like in dblue’s suggestion one can trigger a specific pattern using 09xx, and note value to transpose the target pattern on the fly. Usually you would trigger a pattern in another group, but triggering a pattern in the same group could be used to jump song position. In the example, patterns in Group 1 and 2 are triggered from track 1 and 2 in the Master Group.

The sequencer would act pretty much like today if no Sub Groups are used. Otherwise it would be somewhat similar to the Session View of Ableton Live! You don’t have to use the instrument-pattern function to trigger a group. Clicking the arrow in the “name box” starts all groups from that position. Click on a pattern-box and the group starts playing from that position. All groups then play at independent speed, continuing down the list until it gets stuck in a loop or reach the end.

A loop can be one pattern or several patterns long. Several loops can be predefined and turned on/off with the continue/loop button at the top of each group. In the example, pattern 52 of Group 2 is used as an arpeggio… it’s a short 6 step loop and keeps playing until note off or a pattern in the same group is triggered. The strings are not looped, just retriggered by the pattern-instrument in track 1.


  • An advanced sequencer wich would be usable in a live situation.
  • No need to switch window, you get a good overview of the sequencer while still seing many tracks in pattern editor - good tracker tradition (and it’s horizontal).
  • Possibility to mix different speed for greater resolution on some parts, or just odd signature combinations.
  • Backwards compatible, if you don’t like the feature don’t use it. It can also be used in many different ways.


  • Probably much coding work for the devs?
  • You tell me…

I’ve added a picture which points out the features.

I reworked the image a bit. The way previous and next patterns were displayed triggered, cut and transposed the in the editor was too complex and confusing. Dunno what I was thinking. Now I’ve changed it to look more logical. You can simply see a dimmed out version of previous and next patterns in the list, like normal.

No comments on this?

I know a lot of people render their renoise stuff to Ableton Live! for gigs, mostly for the Session View I guess… seems like a workaround to me. So I think something like this could have great potential if discussed and developed thoroughly.

Yeah, the old suggestion was a bit off topic in the arranger thread, which is something else. I like the clip idea, but not too fond of the GUI. Anyway, I would have more use for a Live! inspired sequencer, more precisely the Session View (or something). And my idea simply tries to work out a way to do that without changing the fundamentals of how the sequencer works today.

What, are there plans to change the Pattern Sequencer to show Tracks instead of Pattern Instances? I thought an important idea with the Arranger was that the Pattern Sequencer could be kept like it is for backwards compability and comfort of old-schoolers?

So how would a track based sequencer work? Like Buzz?? Or do you mean groups of tracks when you say tracks? Did you figure out a good way to display the tracks that are playing in the pattern editor?

^_^ one up!
nice explanation and nice pictures.

Well, there’s also the AODIX variation of the sequencer, which, i think, is more suitable for Renoise since it is pattern oriented as opposed to buzz which is machine oriented.
In Aodix you call specific patterns in arranger (pattern instances), marking the start/end tick of a pattern to be called.
I’d say Arguru’s aodix has all the makings of the most powerful arranger out there, its just that its somehow gets … a little in the way of the workflow. (or i didn’t give it some time to get used to it)
But the idea of detailed pattern call seems reasonab…err, renoisable.

ps. please, no more pictures of ableton or other “knob twiddlers” - it’s such a sad sight for sore eyes! Just plain ANSII will do, thank you. ))))))

One idea for an arranger without breaking the current pattern sequencer:

One could imagine a Renoise song internally as a huge long pattern (invisible for the user), divided with some kind of markers (internally) into real patterns, just like we have now. Twirl the current pattern view by 90° right and instead of seeing the notes one would see blocks of pattern data or an audio waveform like in some other arrangers. When moving blocks around, Renoise would just move the data in the patterns and adjusts the data in the tracks as needed. Basically like if one has copied a note block in pattern 10 and manually copies it to pattern 12. If for an example one would draw a global automation curve it get’s automatically splitted across the song patterns, just like if one has drawn the curve with the current automation view.

I’m to lazy to make a mockup now, ask if it’s unclear. :)

Now might be a good time to discuss the future of the pattern sequencer IMO, before the arranger is finished… we might come up with some functions that need to be considered when making the arranger, especially since the two are quite closely linked… or at least a bit confused with one other.

I think forcing the pattern sequencer into tracks is a bad idea, the width is only one aspect. If track oriented as default one should be able to group several tracks. But I don’t think width would be a big problem, just use a horizontal scroll bar, like in my picture.

I haven’t tried Aodix… sounds like something close to my old suggestion:

…which would be quite nice since it show more precise pattern triggering graphically. But it might also make it harder to implement functions somewhat like the Ableton Session View.

I don’t get it, that sounds pretty much like the arranger discussed in the arranger thread? Maybe having one long pattern as sort of Master Pattern wouldn’t be such a bad idea… dunno… But I don’t think it would be necessary to flip it sideways, automation and such across more than one pattern with the clip function is planned in the Arranger.

Sorry, i’ve posted this in the wrong thread, i had this one and the arranger thread open. :o

Regarding a live mode, maybe something like energy XT has implemented currently? It would go hand in hand with the new arranger.

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