Shift or Auto Chord Mode Suggestions

On a related note, is there a particular technical reason why the SHIFT key is needed to insert chords, given that the Chord Mode toggle already exists? It’s OK for simple one-handed chords, but for large two-handed chords it is obviously impossible to also hold down SHIFT while playing the notes.

Would it be possible for Renoise to automatically insert chords if multiple notes were played in Edit mode with the Chord button active, without also needing the SHIFT key? I would much rather insert chords individually at precise points rather than attempting to play along in realtime.

Most keyboard can only handle so many key presses, it’s called n-key rollover. If using a MIDI keyboard sure it makes sense but for entering from the computer keyboard you need a way to tell Renoise you are still on the same chord and I hope this is what is happening (have to admit I’ve never really used chord mode and generally enter things as I feel they fit.)

N-Key Rollover varies a lot. Many USB keyboard will give around 6 Key. My laptop keyboard can not do some very basic 3 key combinations (Q + E + T being a very basic chord which caused me to first notice how limited it is.) If the Shift key would allow me to press these keys one at a time it would be very useful, hence my assumption. If it works differently how does it work and any chance of making it work such?

The main reason why we have this shift thing, is that you else could not hack in chord sequences (arp sequences) when holing down multiple keys at once. This is IMHO as useful as the chord mode. This could be another option, yes, but many people are already confused by the chord / keyjazz option we have now…

Ah, so the idea is that on a computer keyboard which might not have N-key rollover, you can enter a chord by holding down SHIFT, then pressing and releasing each individual key at a time, then releasing SHIFT to finalise the chord. I didn’t know about this mode of operation, but it makes sense in this context.

I guess this would also work for a MIDI keyboard (press and release each individual key), which would solve the one-handed problem. Still, it would be nice if Renoise could handle the MIDI keyboard in a more natural way, by automatically inserting chords for simultaneous keypresses without a SHIFT key.

EDIT: Would the following solution be viable: if you hold down SHIFT, every key you press and release becomes part of the chord until you release SHIFT. If you don’t hold SHIFT, only simultaneous keys make a chord (whether this is MIDI keyboard or a computer keyboard with n-key rollover). Essentially the SHIFT key would be an option not a requirement.

You’ve got to be playing and in record mode to play in chords live, otherwise you jump the edit step each note pressed in turn and it’s impossible to press keys at exactly the same time. Best thing to do would be learn to play live (wish I could.) Just had a look to see if you could use a work around of setting either BPM or LPB to 0 but lowest you can go is 32 at 1.

This is one of my biggest annoyances with renoise, another option (minus shift for chords) wouldn`t be the end of the world IMO.

All you need is for all note-offs received back from the MIDI keyboard before renoise will move down a line (edit step 1).

Honestly if this is added as an option in preferences disabled by default, people who didn`t need it would never have to know or be confused (unless tinkering :) )

Exactly. Although this might be annoying if you wanted to enter a fast single-note part without creating chords, but then you could just turn off the Chord Mode button altogether to revert to single-note mode.

The thing is, we already have this option – the Chord Mode button. The problem is that for users of MIDI keyboards, the Chord Mode button is not enough, you ALSO have to use the Shift key to enter chords, which is non-obvious and unhelpful in this situation.

Yes the option I am asking for is minus the shift, so an extra option. It really affects workflow when inputting chord progressions so actually becomes a fundamental workflow issue here.

I agree, I think we are arguing for the same thing. I don’t see the need for an extra preference though, since all options would be covered:

  1. Chord mode OFF – notes are entered one at a time, chords are never generated.
  2. Chord mode button ON – Renoise inserts chord automatically if notes overlap, waits for all key-release/note-off events before moving to next editstep.
  3. Chord mode button ON, SHIFT key held down – each press-and-release is added to the current chord, editstep applied when SHIFT is released.

You have your “minus shift” option by just not holding down SHIFT, and using option 2 (unless I am misunderstanding what you mean).

Yes your 3 options do cover what I am after in no.2, the only thing not covered now is:

This is not something I really use but am not asking to get rid of either.

That would be option 3, i.e. the same behaviour as now. The SHIFT key would be an optional extra to get around the limited key rollover on computer keyboards, whilst those of use with MIDI keyboards could use option 2 with no SHIFT key.

The difference is that you have changed that, when chord mode is on it will behave differently than now. This is the behaviour that taktik is wanting to preserve for making arps.

EDIT: no I see that you are right.

What is wrong with this solution taktik?

This is really needed.

I think the solution proposed seems great.

Theres nothing wrong with this suggestion, in contrary: its a great addition, but this is a fundamental change in the workflow, so you can expect that many people will start moaning why things don’t behave as they used to be. We had this several times before, thats why the preferences are full of old behavior compatibility switches. This is ugly as hell, so I was always looking for a config free but also backwards compatible solution.

The dilemma is:

  1. we add an option for the new behavior, but then nearly no one will use it cause no one sees, uses the new switch, button
  2. we make the new behavior the default, but then the first thing people will do is either getting used to it, or crying for help, which results into setting the old behavior compatibility switch on

Another alternative would be applying this to MIDI input only - when Keyjazz is enabled. Quite unlikely that someone whats to step edit with a MIDI keyboard? Then you have to do the Shift thing for the keyboard, always get chords with MIDI, unless you turn off keyjazz.

I understand the dilemma if you wish to keep the ugly compatibilty switches down (though I think they are the lesser of annoyances in some cases)

The solution that you proposed for just MIDI keyboard may well be the most elegant though so if this could be implemented…

:drummer: :dribble: :yeah:

I’m not convinced that it really is a fundamental change in the workflow – the only behaviour that would be different would be that if you don’t hold down SHIFT and enter a chord, you will get a chord, rather than as now when you only get an individual note. You could still choose to hold SHIFT if you wanted, so the existing workflow is preserved.

Are there really users out there who rely on the fact that a chord will collapse to a single note if you don’t hold down SHIFT (even though it will play as a chord if edit mode is off)? It doesn’t seem like a useful behaviour to me.

I would be happy with applying this to MIDI keyboard only, however please don’t remove the edit step option for MIDI keyboards, since I do use this. The solution Ledger proposed of waiting for all note-off events before applying the edit step can be used here instead.

Right now you enable edit mode and hold down Q, and this fills in the entire track with a single note at the given edit step. This would no longer be possible, cause we would have to wait for other keys for a chord instead of instantly repeating the currently hold key.

Thats quite a fundamental change, even if we, lets say wait 2 seconds till we start repeating and ignore the chord mode?

Yes, of course you are right. In this situation the user would have to turn off chord mode, which is a change in the workflow, unless the behaviour was only applied to the MIDI keyboard.

As MIDI input is already different in this respect and doesn`t give this repeat behaviour, then it makes sense to add the new feature to just MIDI keyboard input even more. Best of both worlds…

Ledger scores.