Track/Instrument/Column/Plugin Management

(Paurini) #1

Corresponding Tracks, Instruments & Pattern Editor Columns
For this examples sake let’s redefine Pattern Editor Columns and Mixer Tracks as “Tracks”.
The Instrument Selector remains as the “Instrument Selector”.

The idea is that Mixer Tracks, Instrument Slots & Pattern Editor Columns act in a corresponding manner and therefore redefines Mixer Tracks and Pattern Editor Columns as “Tracks” due to the fact that they are corresponding. Instrument slots also correspond; while their main purpose is to hold a unique instrument ID for tracking’s sake.

A blank Renoise project with no Columns, Instrument Slots or Mixer Tracks means when a new “Track” is created - Renoise creates and associates a new Instrument Slot and Mixer Track (i am aware that it already does this with Mixer Tracks)… Inserting an additional track performs the same action.

The Behaviour
Instrument Slot ID’s are unique therefore each Pattern Editor Column will have automatically assigned a corresponding Instrument Slot ID. We can now abandon all Instrument Slot ID entries from Column data and HIDE the ID from the Instrument Slot section… Instrument Slot ID’s no longer crossover between Columns - they are uniquely corresponding as a background process or hidden. Remember everything is linked and corresponding automatically (remove advanced pattern editor options for “Instruments”). There are a lot of advantages in this already.

When selecting a “Track” (Pattern Editor Column, Mixer Track) or Instrument Slot; Renoise select’s it corresponding opposites. e.g if i select an instrument slot; Renoise selects it’s corresponding Pattern Editor Column and Mixer Track and vice versa vice. This alleviates a lot of confusion and tops as what i think is a much needed workflow enhancement.

Combine Sample and Plugin tabs to merge as “Instruments”
An instrument can contain both sample/s data and plugins - either or both. They will share same Renoise Instrument functionality including the new stuff (modulation, phrase editor etc…).
Combining these as “Instruments” simplifies the workflow yet once again and compliments the ideas i mentioned above.

Nothing needs to be complicated more than it has to be imo and i know these things simplify it a lot.
I’ve taken some time to think and write this post and hope it’s not too confusing. Really keen to hear what other people think of this and hope the dev team can at least consider my request.

Forgot to remove the Instrument Slot ID’s in both of these images sorry please disregard it.
4491 corespond2.jpg
Forgot to take the Instrument Slot data out of the column for this image below - disregard it.
4492 correspondpatterneditor1.jpg

Why can/do samples and plugins share instrument slots?
Why can/do samples and plugins share instrument slots?
List of feature suggestions for Renoise
When selecting instrument slot...
(re)channelizing controllers?
(joule) #2

If I get this right, you basically want to tie instruments to tracks?

I’ve been thinking about that latey, but disregarded the idea after this evaluation:


  • More user friendly to people being used to traditional DAWs.
  • Fast navigation. Selecting an instrument would select a track and vice versa.
  • Gets rid of instrument numbers (“clutter” to some people)
  • Improving workflow by setting limits. Making Renoise a little less ‘technical’.


  • People are used to being able to use several different instruments in a track. Many prefer having percs at separate instruments instead of multisample instruments, and maybe use several of them in one track.
  • Already possible to route instruments to tracks.
  • Already possible to otherwise automatically select track/instrument depending on your position
  • Do we want limits?

However. I think it could be a very good idea to give Renoise a toggle to switch it into the mode you suggested. A “fast/beginners mode” for people that prefer the more traditional way of instruments being connected to tracks. All the functions in Renoise are already there (I think) so it would be totally compatible and ‘just’ be a matter of UI and some very basic behaviors.

A toggle for a “simple mode” that can be disabled as soon as you need to, which probably wouldn’t be very often.

If we could hide the instrument number column, all of this would pretty much be scriptable.

(Paurini) #3

I would like to see Instrument Slots, Columns and Mixer tracks unified. It could be that it will be limiting in a sense that you wouldn’t be able to trigger multiple samples/instruments on a single Column however we already have the ability to insert multiple samples in an instrument - a pattern effect to trigger Sample A OR Sample B in Instrument Slot “Track Name” could solve this issue easily.

This seems like a workaround for me and it has plenty of room for improvement for example, if i select an empty column - the Instrument Slot selector remains on the previously selected Instrument Slot which is null, void, pointless functionality. Very untidy and a real pain. If i start to combine Instrument Slots on one column it is a life’s mission to switch between Instrument Slots (remembering what number they are for which sample, preview if you don’t know, select them, insert into editor).

I don’t think it’s a matter of making things easier for whatever skill level - if you want to use Renoise you learn it. My suggestions were aimed as workflow enhancements.

My guess is it would be quite a hefty script?

(danoise) #4

I was thinking, that much of this could be made as a script?

An “easter egg” in the Duplex step-sequencer is that any track which is named after an instrument will automatically be synced.
An advanced version could contain keyboard shortcuts for syncing tracks and detect when/if an instrument has changed it’s name.

(Hazardous!) #5

Hell yes, I definitely want to be able to tie instruments to tracks. I like Paurini’s idea. I don’t know how many people still use multiple instruments per track. This is a legacy from the Amiga days when all you had was 4 tracks of audio and using multiple instruments per tracks was a workaround to a hardware limitation. Renoise can handle a crapload of tracks now, and I suspect a majority of users would probably use each instrument more or less in its own track, due to the way dsp chains work.

The current system is limiting for me because:

  • I can’t hide the instrument column, even though this information is irrelevant to me, as I always have one track for each instrument
  • I can’t drag and drop or copy/paste notes from one track to another without also taking the instrument value with it, meaning I have to clean up afterwards (slows down workflow, lose inspiration in process).
  • Routing audio to tracks is more cumbersome than just selecting a track and assigning an instrument to it.

Since the new modulation and dsp chains in XRNI limit some instruments to only one track at a time, and about 90% of every other music application ties instruments to tracks, not notes, I think it would be optimal if instruments were moved to tracks or there was an option to do so.

This only needs to be optional - I don’t want to limit anyone else’s workflow, just have the option of hiding the instrument column, entering notes without instrument values and assigning instruments to tracks instead. It does not have to be either/or - you could have both track instruments and note instruments if you wanted, and combine them in a track. For example, I might have a VST synth that I want to play in conjunction with a sample on that track.

(Paurini) #6

Yes i fully agree with the whole legacy thing… the systems back then were limited obviously due to technical restrictions however today i do not see any point in using legacy based concepts other than for personal preference.
But then, how important is workflow?.. How important is it to maintain creative flow? Nothing worse in life than performing over 5 keystrokes for a single action. Forget the whole “Enable this so i can do that then redisable that again to get it back to normal”.

Very true… and there a lot of other things that can be added to this list.

Yes makes sense.

Limiting workflow is not an option but the thing is that it is ALREADY limited. For those who want to use multiple samples in Instrument slots it’s just a matter of something like pattern effect commands that trigger “sample A or B on Instrument Slot 01” or “sample T or U on Instrument Slot 05”. This rough idea has potential to speed their workflow right away…

(vV) #7

Well, yes pretty much all of it is scriptable and not a bad idea either.
The current downside is that Renoise 3.0 no longer has “Master” as an input device in the instruments, which means that you have to bind your keyboard to a specific output device, so the script has to take over the master midi input preferences in full in this regard and take care that the midi device (dis)attachment is done properly.

The midi management console is halfway this solution, it also allows for chaining multiple instruments together.
It does not make the cursor jump to the corresponding track though.

(Djeroek) #8

If this ever happens than make it optional, this would seriously fuck up my workflow, not having the freedom to put a sample wherever I want to put it.

(Paurini) #9

Wo there, but if you read my posts properly you will see that you can still put samples wherever you want to put them. But it doesn’t have to be the ways that i suggested. It’s quite logical to let content reside in whatever tracks but in Renoise’s current state it is a very poor & make do situation.

(Akiz) #10

I come from “traditional daws” with no experience with older trackers and i love how renoise work. Sometimes i just try to insert some sample (instrument) to different track with different effects to experiment.
And it is very important for post-mix also (it is reason why a lot of users wanna posibility to assign different chains of instrument to different tracks - mainly for drums) I dont wanna do post-mix inside the instrument!
I cant see how it would enchance my workflow it looks more like limit to me, sorry.

(thalamus) #11

Completely agree, I use different instruments on the same track quite often. I like that it is not restricted. For me it makes Renoise quite unique and enables a lot of interesting experimentation very quickly - which is essential to me.

An emphatic no thanks from me!