The real issue with Pianorolls!

Thats known as ‘black midi’…There were paranormal phenomenon arising from it as in the video below :

Maybe this is the real reason, the developers wont let that #crap into renoise…keeping us save? Never heard of this before, yet who knows.

what pianoroll?

Yea, like keepin the kids(user) safe; so nothing bad can happen. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

what pianoroll?

safe from auditory illusions?

I really believe there is a big issue with piano rolls and the general visual style of popular DAW’s.
The piano roll and the track overview translate all to most musical information into a visual abstraction.
Look at a track in FL Studio. What information do you get from the song ? What key is it in ? What notes are even being played. Which instrument is that ? What’s the measure of that note ?
The whole thing is practically based on abstracting music to something visual. Making a note “higher” making it “longer” in a piano roll easily let’s you forgo any musical thought process and just use the visual framework.
That’s why it’s so appealing to people with no experience in music or with an instrument, but to me personally it’s just super malicious to have those visual representations intervene with a musical process, because it’s easy to just make that note “longer”, “Higher”.
Also when you click around or drag inside a piano roll they just play all the notes and even though you have the notes at the side often times you first have to click around and drag and then look to the side to see where you actually are on the piano. By that time you have totally destroyed any harmonies you had your ears tempered to.

I think NOT having a pianoroll interface is one of Renoise biggest advantages.

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Perhaps the main problem you have is that you don’t get used to it or don’t feel comfortable with a piano roll. But you just criticize the most positive part of a piano roll, which is being able to show the shooting and stopping of the notes (their duration) as well as their tone. Your visual appearance is your main advantage! And it is not precisely for newbies. Professionals also know how to appreciate this.

That said there are piano rolls that when you play a note or when editing it, that note sounds! If you were a deaf person it would be a huge visual window to have a piano roll. But also, if you have ears, you can guide yourself by listening to the tone of the note.

Frankly, sometimes I think that people criticize for criticizing or see problems where there are none.
If you now focus your thoughts on a tracker as Renoise, you will have more trouble understanding a complex melody than watching a piano roll. But this is far from knowing how to control it or not. There are users who control Renoise very fast with the keyboard. But there are users who use FL Studio with the mouse and some keyboard commands also very very fast (or other piano roll software).

And yes, beginners see it easier to “understand” a piano roll than a tracker’s abstraction. There must be a reason.

In fact, the fusion of both types of software is something very powerful and gives you the possibility to use whatever you want when necessary.

That said, taktik is horrified by piano rolls. So don’t worry, there will never be a piano roll integrated under Renoise’s hood. No need to criticize them.

Lacking something is never an advantage! It is a more not available option!

By the way. In case anyone has doubts about this. Renoise would work with the same performance if it also had a piano roll running in parallel. The graphical interface of a piano roll can be frankly light. They are only squares in a mesh following a sequence. Technically it is perfectly possible.

However, I think it is better to devote all resources to improving the tracker. It seems to be the path drawn so far.

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I really appreciate it that you joined this discussion with such a big post.
But since I’m obviously of different opinion I hope you don’t take it as a personal attack when I disagree with some things you said.
First, I want to assure you though, that I do not “Just criticize to criticize” which is not nice to accuse me of and by definition a fallacy.
I do not disagree that a lot of people love piano rolls and for whomever want’s to use em, I shall not stop you.
But I would still argue that it would be a better learning experience not to do so, especially if you’re still learning.
(See my arguments in the previous post).
I hardly think any of my arguments can be blankly debunked and in the part where i said it was “malicious”, I was referring to my personal experience as stated.
And quite frankly, not only did you not touch on my arguments much at all,

“Lacking something is never an advantage!”

let’s me doubt you understood my reasoning in the first place.

“And yes, beginners see it easier to “understand” a piano roll than a tracker’s abstraction. There must be a reason.”

I gave a possible explanation for that. If you think there is another reason I’d be happy to hear it. To argue that solely relying on a visual
framework to make music is advantageous strikes me as preposterous.

Of course both ways, a tracker or a roll, let’s you compose anything you want. I neither want to argue a piano roll is insufficient, nor that
a tracker is the optimal way of digital composing.
The thing is that not everything that seems to “aid” you helps you in the long run.
Just like I would argue that undoing (ctrl+z) in digital painting is a powerful tool and appreciated by professionals, but still terribly easy
to be overused and prone to hamper a lot of people, especially those with less experience. Erasing let’s you choose what to erase and what
to keep and even if it’s subtractive it can be seen as working towards your visual goal, while undoing is quite literally moving backwards.
But it’s “easy” to just ctrl+Z all the time. The same principal of “aids” keeping people from growth can be seen all over the place.
(Like the calculator in math class :P).

If you are verbose with the piano or have another way of working out your compositions outside of the software, it’s just a matter of entering information that you already have. (On that note let me say I have no
clue which software would be “faster” to work with, nor do I think that composing a song is a “race”, or that
this difference in speed would be anything but meaningless for a DAW).
If you however instead use the software to “come up” and experiment with a composition, my argument is, that the tracker will force you to a higher degree
to use your midi-piano or the keyboard-implementation of such, and to think about intervals, chords, progressions etc. Because you have to enter
specific notes using the instrument and there is no drag and dropping somewhere into a visual relationship of preexisting notes.
(like if you have a melody that goes c-e-g and then you think: hmm next note I want to be lower than “the note before” you can just drop something
somewhere “lower” into the piano roll without looking at note values at all. It’s easy to be oblivious to what notes have been played, or which you just added
and the whole basis of my argumentation is, that it is much easier to be that oblivious on a framework that abstracts to be so visual in the first place.)

“most positive part of a piano roll, which is being able to show the shooting and stopping of the notes (their duration) as well as their tone.”

Does the tracker not do the same ?
For a roll I (usually) only get that information for a single instrument and only when I opened the roll.
The simplified song-overview representations we know from FL-Studio or similar actually don’t hold a lot of usable information at all. (But that does not necessarily need to be associated
with a piano roll.)
Is the tracker harder to read ? Maybe it’s like the difference between reading a comic and reading a book, there is just more to read :P.

Well I love a good conversation and I am not shy to be controversial (Not that I think I’ve done so here), but let me say again that
my intention here is not (and never was) to step on anyone’s shoes.

Cheers, Aaron.

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Everything is alright. It is a pleasure to contrast opinions on these topics.

In the end it is as simple as doing a practical test like the following:

Take a friend of yours who doesn’t know much about music, who has the basic notions of musical composition. That at least know the definition of a note, or the tone, nothing more. You have never seen a tracker like Renoise and have never seen a piano roll (as in FL Studio or S1).

Ok, practice a little with him on both worlds. You will find it easier to understand the piano roll, because you see it. Surely, he has seen a piano, and knows a little how it works. Seeing the piano roll will be familiar. Unfortunately, the tracker does not cause this effect. The user must learn it in greater depth.

No, we should not fool ourselves. Both systems of representation are very similar. Only the tracker does not sort the notes, it accumulates them messily. This fact creates learning difficulties, added to the notation of the figures C-, C#, D-, …, B-. It is a more abstract subject.

I have been dealing with these issues in depth in recent months. The conclusions are practically the same by comparing a tracker like Renoise (Pattern Editor) with a piano roll from another DAW. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages. But I am convinced that both together are better than both separately.

The only problem I see of a piano roll is the layered stacking of the tracks (piano rolls are different, not everyone is able to do the same). If there are many notes, it may be confusing, precisely because of those overlapping layers.

But I still think, that Renoise’s development is the improving the tracker. I would not like to see the main programmer waste time on a piano roll seeing some shortcomings that, from my point of view, should be resolved before. I have always wanted a more advanced automation editor, for example. A better instrument box (with the ability to classify instruments in a tree). If I write all the ideas, it would be a somewhat long list.

Needless to say, the improved compatibility of VST instruments should be a priority. Currently, I still don’t understand why moving a VSTi window generates the stop of the entire Renoise GUI. The programmer here has to look for the best design. And that costs a lot of research time. But hey, each person has their opinion.

In summary, what I am telling you is that you forget yourself and your knowledge. Try other people and compare. Then draw your conclusions.


Let’s see the big picture here.A piano roll will start giving attention to Renoise and possibly fininsial benefits to the developer so that benefits us users too .More money more freedom for further development for Renoise,isn’t this what we all want?More option the better if you ask me(and I don’t really like piano rolls).