Track Grouping & Minimizing (pattern View Improvements)

I really like the way trackers work and I’ve been using them ever since i had my first Amiga when i was a lil boy. My main issue with the pattern view is that it is getting toooo big on the horizontal plane. There’s a lot af numbers and Notes etc and i usually use MANY tracks & Notecolumns just for making the drums.

First of all …

Track Minimizing
… A feature I would really like to see is a track minimizer button, and an option to minimize all tracks by default unless your marker is in that Track. This would save a lot of space and hopefully confuse me less trying to find what i want to cut and paste or edit. Scrolling a lot horizontally doesnt come very natural, and tabbing through can get a bit confusing with all the notes and digits flying by. Preferably assigned keys for this feature as well when minimizing and maximizing tracks in the pattern view.

Track Grouping
Nesting several tracks in a Track group would ease up things a bit more. Personally i have several tracks only for drums and would really like if i could nest them all to one Track group and Minimize it too. Not only becouse of space issues…
… It would also be great if this track group could have it’s own independent set of Effects. Instead of routing all the tracks to a Send track (Wich uses yet another track and space in the pattern view) it would be great to be albe to put a compressor on that group for instance compressing all the Drum tracks at once.

Rendering a track group seems easy enough and i would do it a lot and use the Sample created in another track to save som processing power. And along with Track minimizing I could keep that track group in my song (Muted/Turned off) not taking much space if i ever wanted to go back and edit or create variations of those drums easily.

Minimized tracks doesnt need to show anything raelly, but it would be cool if they showed Notes and note off visually in some way. 20-30 Pixels wide when minimized should be enough. And some kind of color coding would be good to keep track of things.

A track group would work exactly like a send track would do when several tracks are routed to that one. The only difference is visual and space benefits.

any more ideas and uses of this welcome.

I agree. Having several notcolumns in one track was one of the mainreason for me when I chose Renoise over modplug/madtracker etc.

But trackgrouping really would be great. Being able to color tracks and trackgroups would also be nice.
And if not color perhaps having some kind of different patterns behind different tracks or every other track being light and dark.

Thinking of it, it would be nice if the track you are working on turned a bit brighter.

Another thing that annoys me is when I jump to a track and half or more of the not columns/effect columns are outside of the screen.

It would be great to be able to have a center track option. So that it would allways center the track when you jumped to it.

BTW, you do know that you can jump to different tracks by clicking on the names of the tracks up on the Trackscopes.

+1 for both suggestions. Handy features and perhaps not difficult to be added.

Yep i know but a rarely use the mouse when tracking. Basically just in Sample editor, Disk browser, and when automating. Besides from that i try to use the keyboard as much as possible.

Cleaning up the Pattern view Horizontally and you could have more space next to Adv. Edit and put the Disk browser or Sample Browser there instead, cuz Tree structures and lists of samples get too long Vertically for the small space it’s using now.

I think there’s a lot of space to save and lots of improvemetns to make UI wize. But the pattern view is my main concern at the moment. =) My songs are getting more and more complicated and using more and more tracks and notecolumns. Rendering down everying to samples is not an option sice i want to keep stuff in my song for editing and tweaking/variations

More User Interface improvements could be posted here as well =)

I think that flexible gui would be the best solution. I used Logic for a long time, there I could set up my screen any way I want. But currently it’s not much of a problem for me anyways… :)

I just updated my piano roll picture, but since it’s containing track groups i might as well post it in this thread.
This is my idea of how track groups and minimized tracks could look like. (Don’t mind the piano roll, if you’re not in to that)

Track Groups
Like I said earlier the group would funktion exactly like a send track although instead of just adding another track, it’s simply i more neat way and graphically easier way to get a better overview. Since the track group basically is a send track it should be able to have it’s own individual set of DSP’s and Automation.

Minimzied tracks.
Just to clean up the work space. No need to see all the tracks you’re not working on at the moment.


Let me know what you think. =)


love the groups, hate the roll :)
here is old topic with good ideas

Same here.

Quick comments on your mockup:

  • How to create a group, drag a track upon another track?
  • How to remove track from group, drag a track and place it between two tracks?
  • I’d like if minimized tracks could show notes in a ultra compact form without volume column and instrument number.
  • I’d like if track names were on the same row and not bouncing whether if it’s in a group or not.
  • Seperation of tracks and groupings should be clearer. Think it’s the track seperator in groups that make a mess. Maybe background coloring will help.
  • An autominimize track function could be interesting, so when you put focus on a track it pops open and others minimize to only show notes.


I was thinking you could create a group track by pressing “Ctrl + G” If. nothing is selected it would create an empty group track and you could drag and drop your tracks to that one. If your selection spans over a couple of tracks those would be automaticly added to the group track. (Don’t need to select all the way from top to bottom just horizontally) Or maybe selecting several tracks by holding “shift” or “Ctrl” and clicking on the track names to highlight them, then pressing Ctrl + G.

Removing a track from group would be easiest by dragging and dropping or Key asigned for example
“Ctrl + D” to Dispatch a track from group.

I dont know why you would want to see notes in a minimized track. Of course it could be done, but one big reason for minimizing is to clean up the pattern view. Less codes and notes = less confusion. IF there were minimized tracks showing notes they should be very toned down and preferably using a smaller font, and minimized tracks shouldn’t be editable until expanded again.

How do you mean? Same row? Like

[[Group Name] Tack1 name, Track 2 name]

Instead of…

[Group Name]
[Track 1 name][Track 2 name]

If that’s how you mean su’re why not, as long as you understand wich one is the group. And it would be hard to see tree structure, if you decidet to make yet another group in a group. It could look like this.

[Group 1 Name]
[Track 1 name]____[Group 2 name]
_____________[Tack 2 name][Track 3 name]
E-3 01 70 – ---- [E-5 02 60 – ----][G#4 01 30 – ----]
C-3 01 30 – ---- [OFF – -- – ----][— – -- – ----]
OFF 01 10 – ---- [E-5 02 60 – ----][G#4 01 30 – ----]

I agree autominimize would be nice. I would use it a lot, and tabbing would take you between tracks and automaticly open minimized tracks.

/ Cheers

+1 for nesting and minimizing!
-1 for piano roll :)
+100 for improoved song arranger

The Track Grouping & Minimizing suggestion is very good. :)

But the pianoroll… well, frankly it really pisses me off just to look at it. :panic:

Just think about it… If a pianoroll gets implemented, it’s easy to foresee the demands for future development, there’ll be more suggestions such as: “Renoise’s pianoroll now should have THIS and THAT feature, similar to the stuff in Cubase or Sonar…”

I think that would be really negative for the integrity of Renoise, and it would mark the end for Renoise being a tracker in the eyes of the public market. Let it keep its integrity, and instead implement proper possibilities to EXPORT all channel notations as MIDI for modification in e.g. Cubase or Sonar.

I don’t think it’s really that bad if you implement it as a tool. The tracker should remain a tracker. I would certanly not use a pianoroll for making a baseline for example. As you can see in my picture. I would open it up for click and drag editing, or painting notes or chords or whatever.

I think the main use of a pianoroll would be for faster editing of notes and how long they play. If i want to do that the tracker way i have to press insert to nudge the note down one line, then edit the delay value, then adjusting the offnote cuz i actually didnt want all the other stuff behind that note to move as well.
As a note editing tool it could be quite handy, otherwize i wouldn’t use it. Ideas like implementing a command like “Ctrl + Shift + Insert” for nudging 1 tick would be awesome too, but it’s still a bit annoying to edit notes and offnotes the “tracker way”. I will always like the overview tracked patterns gives. And you would still use tracking for editing pan, volume, Effect Codes.
Either way, that’s another topic so I should have cutted the Pianoroll for that picture for this topic. :P People seem to be focusing on likes/dislikes of that one rather than The track grouping and minimizing wich i wished to discuss here.

So please don’t comment the pianoroll in this thread. :P

If you don’t like it. Don’t use it, but i would think one might come handy at times.

Saving Track groups??? XRNG format?

SO… For track groups… ??? What do you think about saving them to disk? XRNG format?? Saving a track group to disk could be nice. If a made some really nice drums in pattern and wanted to reuse them. Saving a track group to disk would be awesome to open it up in another song, and editing it exchanging samples etc.
it would aslo be cool to have libraries of TrackGroups where you store your favorite drumloops, basslines etc.

It would be really nice for co-ops, sharing and uploading your Track Groups. Basically therse track groups are editable loops with variable speed, and fully editable in Renoise. Edit Notes, sample, anything you want basically). Download these track groups from an online library, for instance, Insted of browsing wav’s to infinity, searching for drum loops, bass lines etc. you could find those track groups pretty handy. That would be really awesome!
One of my strenght’s is Makin drum loops and basslines, and i would love to share some of mine if there were an online library for Renoise track groups. =) kind of like Trax in space, but for Loops. it could even have charts etc. I really see a bright future for renoise if this get implemented. That’s a producers dream to have fully editable loops at hand.

And for professional renoise users. Why not sell your loops and make some money?

Yes, this would be very useful. Market strategy-wise it’s a really good idea.

I have been thinking about this, too. One solution for this right now could be to build a database in e.g. Filemaker Pro, copy 'n pasting XML selections from/to the database. On every db-post, samples (in mp3 or wav) of the selection could be previewed as well. And maybe suggestions for instrumentation and FX-chains based on your preferences and resources.

To save time, one could also save pre-transposed versions of the XML, so that I could instantly just go Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V from the fields/containers. So if I need the arpeggio for D minor, I just copy from the Dm-field, if I need it in F-major I instead copy it from the F-field, etc.

(Hmm… maybe I should start working on a website version database for this idea concept…)

Track Groups in Disk Op.?

When Expanding the song tree in disk op you can see what samples are used in the song and load them individually. Could that be done with track groups as well? Since track groups basically are Mini patterns played along side eachother, you could have a tree structure for loading a track group from a song as well.

Just browse your way to what song postion, and what track group, in that pattern. Could look like this

My song.xrns
[1] - Intro
[2] - Whatever
[3] - Verse
[4] +
. .[DRUMS]
[5] - Verse 2
[6] - Bridge

etc etc.

Track groups should be able to be previewed exactly as songs. although you just hear that part.

Loading Track Group as Sample
Would be nice to have an option to open the Track group as a Wav sample, rendering it on import.

Any more ideas are welcome =)

God Damn, I started suggesting this kind of stuff ages ago and everyone told me I was speaking shit!

Now you all love the idea!

Colour coding, track grouping, minimizing etc etc is the way it SHOULD be. if you are making 4 track Amiga shizzle then you will not need this, but if your songs have 6 kick drum layers, NY compression on the 6 layers, the same on the snares, loads and loads of incedental sounds each with their own tracks, mulitiple synth sounds, etc etc etc etc, like me…

You need to be able to control all of this. And it is not about how leet you are as a tracker! :)

This needs to be done

Having re-read the thread… the track grouping ides is SO good.

That would make my Renoise experience perfect!

God, imagine it!!!

"Lets work on the drums… "


"Lets work on the bass… "


DO IT!!!

Hmmm . Came to think of…

If there’s ever going to be an arrager implemeted in renoise, wouldn’t it be good if you could arrange these track groups alongside with clips or wavs or whatever they choose to put in an arranger? I read some in the arranger thread but i can’t really say it’s getting clearer what it would actually look like in renoise. I’d prefer if you only used track groups and rendered wavs.

Would be great if you could have a track group “bank” in renoise somwhere as where where you could store groups just like the sample & instrument list, where you could just click and drag parts you want to reuse.

Yes. That was the plan ( means: that has been looked at quite thoroughly in some internal discussion). To have a clip list. From this list you can drag/drop any kind of clips onto the arranger, or directly to the pattern editor, or even onto a new instrument (trigger it like a instrument).
Groups of clips is also a category on that list. :)

Just curious if there’s any updates on this or other ideas, regarding track groups and possibility to minimize tracks. Was hoping to see this for the 2.0 beta but i guess i will have to wait a bit ;)