I’ve suggested this for the last few major updates, but maybe the time is finally ripe!
PROBLEM - selecting patterndata with the keyboard (Shift+Arrowkeys) forcibly selects the entire width of a track, even if I only want to select the notes, the instrument values, or just the first character of an effect command. With the mouse, the situation is slightly better, in that I can narrow my selection to either [note+instrument+vol/pan] OR [effectcommand], but not much better. Very often, I want to quickly select a large amount of very specific data to copy or cut, and the means of doing so should - if I want - be arbitrary. It shouldn’t be expected that if I want notedata, I’ll surely also want the instrument number; that’s often not the case. I might for instance want [vol + effectnumber], but not the effect parameter or anything else.
The response to my annual request for this feature is usually as follows: “why don’t you use the advanced edit tickboxes to filter the data before copying it?” Well, because that’s workflow suicide. To maximise screen area I usually keep advanced edit closed, and life’s too short to want to consume seconds per hour/minutes per week fiddling around with the content mask in order to achieve something that would be best managed intuitively, which is how data selection should usually work. In other words, you use hand-eye coordination to select what you see.
PROPOSED SOLUTION - an optional preferences flag for fine-selection of data. When toggled, holding Shift and using the arrow keys will select an arbitrary rectangle with a 1 character resolution, rather than a 1 track (11+ character) resolution. Also, mouse selection will work the same way - selecting exactly what you see when you drag the mouse from one character at the top-left of your target data to the character at the bottom-right.
The GUI seems like it’s already set up for this - arrowkey navigation for entering/adding patterndata works on a 1-character/column resolution, so all I want is to have the option for selection to work in the same way.
This would be a real workflow boost for me, not least because it exploits one of the major benefits of tracker-style sequencers: giving nuts’n’bolts access to musical data and rewarding keyboard ninjaskills. I hope you’re able to give it some serious consideration this time