I look at the arrangement window and it’s the only part of Renoise I struggle to properly “see”. It’s the only thing I miss from a “typical” DAW. I find the “blocks” difficult to mentally parse, I can’t see the transition part or automation and how it all relates. Does anybody have any workflow tips or hacks (or wanna make a video on it, wink wink @slujr) that they’re happy to share?
This is a tutorial of how to kill the overview by creating a song out of a single pattern just by muting tracks.
Imagine the matrix being the overview of your song, it’s all about the overview. You can see on first sight what’s going on in your song. What you can see is how the song was built, which tracks are filled with notes or effects only and which are empty, which tracks you’re using in which pattern, which tracks are automated, how many columns a track has got and of course how to continue your buildup and song structure including variations. Besides of that you can use the matrix to copy and paste or delete tracks quicker than within the pattern editor. If you combine using the pattern matrix and the pattern sequencer it will be much easier and quicker to arrange a proper song structure. In the end the pattern matrix is primarily your overview and the pattern editor is your detailed view. When it comes to detailed informations of course you will have to check the respective views, whether it’s the automation view for automation or the pattern editor for note and pattern effect informations. RTFM is highly recommended, too.
If you’re used to a horizontal scrolling DAW, then imagine taking the arrangement view from said DAW and flipping it on its side. That’s what the Renoise arrangement view is.
If a particular block in a pattern has automation going on, there’s a little squiggly line on the block. You’ll have to click on the block itself and then go to the automation lane view to see what exactly it is that’s being automated.
I suggest naming your arrangement chunks to help you remember which parts are transitions, which parts are intros or breakdowns, etc. It’s much easier to see how everything works together when you do it that way.
The video that Jek recommended is a good place to start. Bizzy B is a legit jungle legend from the Amiga days, and plenty of people build tracks out of four bar loops, so don’t let TNT’s opinion keep you from watching. You can see how Bizzy has the patterns broken up with different section names and then just mutes and unmutes things. That’s the beginning of the arrangement and you shouldn’t stop there, you need to add the transitions and the automations, and you’ll probably have to write a few more parts to keep things interesting.