Waveform Overlay

i’m not sure if i or someone else has suggested this already but i’ve been thinking about it a bit:

basically i was thinking about the piano roll idea as well as trying to figure out how renoise could be used more as a mastering and mixing tool (i’ve often wished that i could mix down tracks for production in renoise so that i could do it tracker style with tracker effects, etc.).

i know that a horizontally oriented timeline is kind of the norm for audio editing, but couldn’t you theoretically orient it vertically (so waves draw from top to bottom instead of left to right)?

the reason i’m wondering is because i think it would be a pretty useful feature if you could superimpose a transparent image of the wave produced by an instruction you enter into the pattern editor (taking into account offset values, tempo, duration) on top or underneath the pattern itself.

i realize this might be a bit processor intensive, but it would enable you to do a whole lot more to see where events in sounds are in refference to the pattern, and it would make it easier to visualize the interactions of deffernet elements of the pattern.

am i explaining this right?

Yes yes yes!

I also think that this is a great idea. Being able to see the waveform makes things so much easier.
Also (at the risk of being too much like a sequencer) having the same overlay thing for automation curves is nice too. Maybe even for FX values…


If you want to see what effect your compressing etc is having on your wave forms now there is the plug s(M)exoscope at smartelectronix.

May be of some use in the mean time.

I dont see why it could not be implemented similarly to the plug Ive linked here but for each track. Sure the devs could come up with a neat way of implementing it.

Like this idea aswell. Think it has been suggested before but it certainly gets my vote. You would have to have a way of cycling through your curves maybe for each track individually and maybe cycling through types globally i.e. show all filter curves or vol curves etc. Different colours for different envelopes would be good also unless pattern font colouring is introduced… (also has my vote) in this case I could live with monocolour envelopes or just using an envelopes off switch :).
Maybe someone who has experience of this type of envelope handling in sequencers could add more here…

Well, it could be as easy as rendering a track to audio with a very low quality algorithm (like 8 bit / 1000 khz or worse), which wouldn’t be too insane as correct sound rendering - accounting for all note-off’s, multilayered instruments, etc - is already built in. Of course that could be quite a bit of overhead too, I just dunno, but it may not be so impossible as you say.

I’m still excited about the idea of sub-tick tracking resolution, anything after that is gravy for me.

It would make the whole process of mixing ALOT easier,
but right now i rather have the arranger done… :)

But it would be great to have someway of knowing when,
i’ve reached the maximum headroom of each channel.
Maybe a clip indicator?

This has been recently discussed here with the idea of vu meters either in the track scope area or overlaying the tracks if you are interested to see.

Woops missed that one.
Been offline for a while, working in the studio :P

as I understand renoise, there is no “headroom” for channels, you cant make a channel clip simply by increasing the volume/output for any (vst)-effect. this is really cool imho, because you can actually make something louder if you want it louder, instead of making everything else more quiet.

I’ve suggested vertical waveform display before a couple of times, but not as underlying, or lying on top of the data.
It’s a great idea if all the elements would be distinguishable from eachother.
I’d prefer, in addition, an option to change the track display from (pure) data, to envelope, to waveform, to different types of visualisation and whatever else might appear.

Apart from that, I have thought about another way of doing it, which would merge the vertical and horizontal idea, by displaying the waveform and envelopes in horizontal segments/cells that are stacked vertically.
It can be compared to ‘word-wrap’ in a text editor.

You’d take 0-15, 16-31, 32-47, 48,63, etc, and display the track data vertically, but use the same space to display the waveform and envelope data horizontally.




Ideally, you’d have the option to have them layered as you suggested, or the option to toggle between each, or the option to display all as seperate columns.

d | wa | en
a | ve | ve
t | fo | lo
a | rm | pe

Ok. I’ll post the idea, as I’ve made it look in Photoshop tomorrow.

Something like this. I’d want to do a more condensed version, but this gives an idea of what I meant.

Wasn’t the idea to orient the waveforms from top to bottom?
that would make a whole lot more sense.

but the general design looks good.

Maybe it could be an optional working mode,
like mixing mode/normal mode.

the use that i see i it is being able to program track data that coinsides with rhythm spikes in your audio. the automation envelopes already higlight your relative position in the pattern o maybe just having a waveform overlay there would be cool. but another use would be that cubase dorkas would suddenly see what tracker geeks have been doing all this time and why our interface is so much sexier than theirs.

etno, I added that just to depict what I meant by merging the vertical and horizontal idea, in the post before.

sonus, to make it look less cluttered, the cells that aren’t ‘active’ could be dimmed out or something. Even though I’m more comfortable with this than with a vertical waveform/envelope, I see what you mean by it looking cluttered.

How it looks in terms of color, etc, isn’t really something to be concerned with. And it might look more confusing than it’d have to be, due to halftones and the photo used for texture.

ok, now show me one with a spectrum analysis overlay. :P

I think this is a very cool idea, especially hcys’ last (combined) mockup. It just seems like an incredibly intuitive way to work with tracks; best of the waveform world and the tracker world combined. Maybe for supercomputers only… ;)

I honestly don’t see the point of this.
Sample playback speed is dependent on note pitch among other factors. what would happen if you pitched a frequency downwards? Would the waveform-backdrop stretch itself in real time? Or would it be re-rendered every time you changed a pitch-command?
Remember people, this is not cubase where we are working with static length-waveforms. We are dynamically altering the way the sample is played back by issuing arpeggios, pitches, different VST-effect etc…
What if you have an instrument with a slow fade-out on note-off, and that instrument is note-offed by another instrument in the same column?
What about really long waveforms? Would the pattern itself strech and insert spaces in between the rows so that the wave-image would actually show something comprehensible?

Oi… Mr. Negative Man I am… Sorry for that… but as I said, I don’t see the point, only complications :)

i’m not sorry. you are being totally negative. just because there are details to work out does NOT mean that it’s a worthless idea. think of all the considerations and dependencies that had to be considered to get renoise to this point.

if renoise was to modify the overlay data with each instuction entry (which is what i said in the first place) then when you enter you change the pitch frequency the note would be redrawn.

here’s an idea, if you’re interested. you could make the overlaid wave be a mixdown of the current collumn. maybe with the wave data pertinant to the current row (or maybe just what’s under the cursor) highlighted.

ideally it would simply automatically show the wave continuing in the next pattern (useful for figuring out where that sound is coming from that you don’t seem to have a trigger in this pattern for) until you note off it. same goes for unterminated loops.

if you honestly don’t see the point of this, try looking at it from a less dogmatic point.

Relax. When did I ever say it was a worthless idea? No ideas are worthless. I said I couldn’t see the point of it.

Not sure if I understand your reply. What I meant is that since the wave-image would have to be stretched over the pitch-downs, and pressed together over the pitch-ups, renoise would have to read a track ahead to render the wave-image (think of a vibrato, for an example). That could be a lot of read-aheads if you’re changing values alot, or using a LFO.

That wasn’t what I meant.
Since there is a limited resolution to what can be shown at the screen at one time, the wave-backdrop would have to be a resample of every X sample in the original sample. What makes me wonder about this whole thing is; would this resample really show something worth seeing? Or would it be all garbled up and just look like some random white-noise (which could indeed be what it would end up showing if you take into consideration that with multiple layers of waves intervening with each other, there’s a heck of a lot of noise going on) when resampled to fit the screen.


yes. the wave will only look as clean as your programming. :rolleyes:

if what you;ve got going sounds like noise then that will probably be what the wave looks like.

maybe the idea woul work if you could do a vertical wave preview of the current track/collumn instead.

but like, if you take a pure sine-wave, it will have its distinct sine-wave-shaped shape :P

if you squeeze this wave together, by playing the wave at a high pitch, and taking in account that the screen might not be able to display the curves good enough to actually let them be curves, it might just as well be any basic-shaped wave for all the viewer knows… which in practice limits the overlay-image to telling us how “loud” the sound in the track is playing… VU-bars would do that as well…

actually… bouncing this back and forth has made me think, and the screenshot looks cool… I’m just not sure if it’s possible to implement this feature in a good way. If it would turn out like the scenario above, the feature would just be a distraction to me, and I think many other users as well…