Alternative step-entry for faster keyboard-only workflow

I have been looking to modify the step-entry to replicate the versatility that the 1993(!) Voyetra Sequencer Plus Gold had.

It allowed full keyboard (i.e. text keyboard, not midi keyboard) input of notes in a very handy way using arrow keys to navigate in time and pitch, and using “ins” and “del” to create and remove notes. When you hit “N” there would be a “Note” details tab that allows to modify “p” for “pitch”, “v” for “velocity”, “l” for “length” and subsequently using “+” and “-” to increase decrease and “[” and" “]” for larger steps. I made a quick video in dosbox-x (which actually allows you to hook SPG up to jack :slight_smile:) here:

In the current step-entry I couldn’t figure out how to delete notes again with purely keyboard strokes, and also some of the other editing was not as easy as in SPG. I have been looking a bit at the dev example and the github code, but I’m too much of a novice I’m afraid…!

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When I implemented step-editing in Ardour (a decade ago?) I decided to follow the Logic Pro design, because Logic seemed to get the most love when I looked online for feedback on step editing implementations.

There are certainly other entirely diffferent models for step editing, and certainly many people did like Sequencer Plus Gold a lot.

I believe this would have to be a different operation entirely, not a tweak to the current step entry system.

Thanks Paul, I agree it would likely be a different model, perhaps a further mode in the menu when right-clicking the record button.

I had a look at the code on github, but it’s a bit of daunting for me. My initial thinking was to first replicate the current step-entry in the code (so have the extra menu entry with the same code behind it) and modify from there.

But playing a bit more in Ardour itself I then thought perhaps its a smaller change to just upgrade the arrow-key functionality in “draw” mode (already works when first selecting a note with the mouse), and adding new functionality to create new notes with e.g. the Insert key.

Since you know the code base much better, what do you reckon would be a good approach and any pitfalls you already foresee?