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Renoise: worth it?


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#1 phlegm

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 11:48

Sorry for the clickbait title.   :D  I'm a trackerboy; last one I used seriously was Fasttracker II back in the 90's.  I've always been yearning to get back into making music, but the workflow of DAWs like Ableton with their piano roll sequencing never really jived with me.  I love the precision and speed of working with tracker-based notation and just couldn't get into piano rolls.

Renoise looks like the perfect DAW for me: tracker-based, able to use VST plugins and control MIDI.  No longer am I a slave to just samples.

 

However, looking through the forums, I am sensing that Renoise is in a bit of a state of flux.  It appears that development has been paused on it, with no real idea of when the next update will come about.  As a new user, this seems OK to me, as I've also been reading that Renoise is actually being used as people's main DAW at the moment.  I reckon that the software must be in a pretty solid state for people to consider it their main tool for music creation.

But there is still a bit of doubt in my mind about Renoise, so I pose the question to the experienced users: what exactly needs updating in Renoise?  During my research in the forums, I've found a couple of concerns users have, namely, lack of sidechaining, as well as the GUI needs major revamping.

Are there other things about the software that a new user should be aware of?  I am not super-experienced with music creation, so maybe some issues are things that will not really concern me.  

 

I am asking this question, not to incite argument or bad vibes, but, being a geezer, I am trying to choose software so that I don't have to keep moving to other tools because of deficiencies, thus, needing to re-learn a bunch of stuff.

 

Is Renoise the only tracker-based DAW out there for Mac?

 

Thanks for any response.



#2 Raul (ulneiz)

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 14:50

@phlegm

 

Hi! If you want to use a tracker to compose, there is no doubt, Renoise is the current best option on the planet.

 

If you compare it with other trackers, the answer is very easy, Renoise always.

 

If you compare it with other DAWs not trackers, most pianoroll-based programs are much more expensive. Renoise is not the perfect DAW. It is far from being. But it's the same with the rest of DAWs. All have shortcomings. The approach I have appraised about Renoise is that it brings just enough to make everything work. And if something is missing, the vast majority can be accompanied by tools written with the language LUA. New people will not appreciate this.

 

But if you learn LUA and the Renoise API available, you can customize the program to your liking, with the features you need most important. However, Renoise needs several improvements that do not involve a visual order change, but in the agility of using their panels. From my point of view:

 

  • Gui for high screen resolutions based on vectors. Renoise uses non-configurable text for size (except the pattern editor) and uses fixed size icons in BMP or PNG, typical of outdated interfaces. On screens of resolution higher than HD, Renoise 3.1 is not suitable for the view.
  • The automation panel is very basic. Many people do not use it because it is not practical.
  • The instrument box does not allow any sort of order or serious classification.
  • Renoise does not take advantage of the use of colors. You can only color each track of a color. Nothing else.
  • The vast majority of shortcomings have to do with specific functions that people miss. For example: it is not possible to customize mouse commands. The controls with the mouse are halfway still.
  • The virtual piano does not even write notes with the mouse.
  • ...

On the other hand, Renoise is a beast. The best are the USB keyboard controls. Very broad to control almost everything. For less than € 100 this software is a gift. Renoise has many things under the hood. At first it may seem complicated, but learn fast and if you know how to handle a tracker. Uses input MIDI devices to accompany. Use VST 2.0 instruments to expand your compositions. In addition, Renoise has really good effect chains. Very good audio quality can be achieved if used properly.

 

And yes, Renoise is "stopped development". It is very likely that there will be no news in many months. Possibly in a year or more. Renoise's main programmer has abandoned it to create yet another project. People ask, but nobody knows anything. It's a mystery. The only thing you can do is download community tools, which are free. There are very interesting things.

 

You can learn Renoise in these months, until there are more versions with news...

 

You have a trial version. Give it a try. If you like, you buy it! It's worth it!


Edited by Raul (ulneiz), 10 June 2017 - 14:53.

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#3 radian

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 15:12

Just try the demo and see if its for you.

Who cares about updates? When was the last one for FT2 after all?

#4 Djeroek

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 15:31

^ what Radian says.

 

Also, what kind of music are you into/plan on making? While everything might be possible with workarounds, I wouldn't recommend Renoise if you want to multi-track a live band. Rather use reaper for that and if you want to add tracked elements, get redux to go with it. 


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#5 OopsIFly

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 15:38

Word from main dev was renoise is paused, can regain attention in the future when another project is fixed up. Devs don't communicate much. Very small team, low resources, philosophy that stuff is only ready for release when it is really considered done and stable, not by deadlines. I'm optimistic, because renoise isn't some short fad but on the screen for quite some years.

 

Yep, try demo, try with some lua tools also, renoise can be expanded by scripting in very powerful and fundamental ways. You'll be able to do anything with the free demo, also keep your work, you just can't do asio, resample/render, rewire and that's about it.

 

Some things are lacking, but then again look at the price of the full version & compare with other music software. Missing sidechaining (other than by internal workarounds) is a major downside, also affecting other plugins that need more than one stereo input. Some details might suck, like you can't really config polyphony of the internal sampler to control cpu usage, layering vsti is a non-easy hassle, some other details where you might have to use overly comlicated techniques to achieve something simple. On the other hand it has stuff like meta routing that will allow you to create really crazy powerful modulations, even with programming logics inside. I think renoise is for nerds, for tracker-nerds or for scripting-nerds, if you are such you might be happy with it.

 

I found it is very stable compared to other software. I sit in front of it a lot, and it only very very rarely "randomly" crashed for me (maybe not even on its own fault but because of OS problems, broken plugins etc.), mostly auto saving my work to a crash backup file that I could just reload on next startup and work on.


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#6 danoise

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 16:15

From what you're saying, the answer is yes

 

Planning to pay for it as well?  :badteeth:


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#7 fladd

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 16:32

It depends. Coming from Fasttracker you probably gain a lot in terms of functionality. Compared to other, more classical software though, Renoise offers less. It also depends on what you wanna do with it of course. Due to VST support you can also get around some of the limitations, for instance by using a more powerful sampler or synths when needed. Same with effects. It's certainly possible to do modern professional productions in Renoise (see e.g. B-complex). My main advice though is to take it for what it is right now. Don't expect it to develop in a certain direction. Try the demo and see if it is for you.
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#8 Redman

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 16:38

It's only 70 quid so you're really not gonna lose much if you don't like it. Hell I've bought hardware for more than that, that's just collecting dust under my bed now.


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#9 Neurogami

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 19:03

The "not getting updates" trope seems a red herring to me.  If people are expecting FAVORITE_APP to get MISSING_FEATURE then a good many are going to be disappointed.    It's a losing battle, a waste of time and attention.  You often don't get what you want and then have to cut through massive menus and options filled with "features" you have no use for.

 

Better to see if a program, right now, does most of what you think you need without getting in the way.  Sometimes you won't know that until you spend some time with it.

 

If there is some notable change in hardware or MIDI specs or I don't know what, and it was something that DAWs in general should properly support, then I would want an update.  But I (possibly myopic) don't see that on the near horizon.

 

Odd fact: I didn't realize that Renoise was a tracker when I took to it.  I started music production using multiple portable cassette layers and bouncing tacks among them, then moved to a proper  4-track open reel. Then I sort of put music aside as I studied CompSci.

 

When I got back to music production I tried a few programs.  I just could not get my head around Live.  But Renoise (and I don't know how I even  heard of it) just clicked.   I think it lent itself to the way I think of music: bits and pieces (whether a single struck piano string or a 30 second sample of my bass guitar) mixed and matched and looped and arranged.  

 

It took me a while (weird, in retrospect) to fully grok what people meant by "tracker."  Now, though, when I watch videos of people mixing or mastering songs I find it weird that they have these long extended wav files.   Different strokes ...

 

The more I used Renoise the more I tried to poke into the features; I've a ways to go.  That Renoise can be extended using Lua is just amazing.  A real god-send.  (That people like danoise and others write such terrific tools makes it even better).

 

Lately I've been using Reaper to record instrument tracks, but I then slice up the results and import them as samples into Renoise.  Reaper is one of multitrack recording tools; Renoise is my composition tool.


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#10 Conner_Bw

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 21:16

Is this a real thing? The last time you used a tracker was FT2?

 

That means you're my age and can easily afford to pay one developer a fancy dinner or X developers some hotdog lunches.

 

Try the demo. It's pretty much the full app. Pay for what it is.


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#11 Roppenzo

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 22:30

It's only 70 quid so you're really not gonna lose much if you don't like it.


And that's 70 quid for a lifetime of updates. so just buy it. :)

Edited by Roppenzo, 10 June 2017 - 22:30.

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#12 phlegm

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 03:37

Thanks everyone for your input.  Yes, for sure, I have no problems with paying the cost of Renoise.  I was asking the opinions of the experienced users to get a jump-start on understanding any deficiencies of the software before spending a lot of time getting down and dirty with it.  I have two little kids, so my personal time is few.  Thank-you to the experienced users for your insight on the good and the bad about Renoise.  :lol:  It seems that, especially as a novice, the issues with Renoise will not make much of an impact to me -- at least in the beginning stages.

 

I am planning on making house music, more on the techie/minimal side, with good groove/bassline.  I think Renoise would be perfect for that, which is why I am very interested in getting into it.

 

Thanks again, all!  I will download the demo and poke around.  For sure, I am an old fart, but I do see the importance of supporting good software, regardless of quantity of updates!  I hope to eventually be able to participate in this community-forum, as well.

Cheers


Edited by phlegm, 11 June 2017 - 03:58.

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#13 ArturRembe

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 16:26

I ve Buying it too Last year After using the c** Version 2.8! Sorry for that, but at the end i buying the Original and there was the best buy i have done After buying a car:)
In Germany there is 19% (MwSt) so it costs to ne 80,xx€

I Love the Software so much, that is my Main Daw (i have no other Original) and since some Months i use only Original Software.
There are so much free vsts in Internet.
(Helm, kairatune, dexed, u-he tyrell)
You have with it some years fun and dont Need an update of Renoise yet. Buy it, have fun and Post your Tracks Not only in this Forum, in every bigger Music Community to get Feedback.

Everything is possible with this daw.
I know it After using Reason and Fl Studio;)
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#14 Skyscape

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 10:21

It's absolutely worth it. For every user complaining about lack of updates there are probably 20 others perfectly happy writing music on it. I've been with Renoise from the start - updates and dev communication have always been sporadic, it's fine. The software is mature and stable enough to do good work with. Many of Renoises shortcomings can easily be remedied by rewiring into something like Reaper, but really, 9 times out of ten it's not necessary. I use Renoise as my main DAW despite owning several, and I barely touch the others in comparison.


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#15 sokoban

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 20:50

If you want a DAW with low CPU usage, low latency effects, very stable, intuitive GUI, great forum with great community here, many ressources, free tools, 32/64bits VST/VSTi support, sample grabber, not expensive... then YES, Renoise really worths it!!

And personally, I prefer making music vertically ;)


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#16 xerxes

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 14:17

Yes, worth it! I have used Renoise as my more or less only DAW for years - it is rock solid. If you have used trackers before and enjoy that way of producing music - then this is a no-brainer. Cheers!


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#17 Akiz

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 17:02

And you can download almost any demo VSTi and "convert it" into renoise instrument.... ;]



#18 ArturRembe

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 19:09

Akiz, that is great:) but only the current Settings of the synth, Not the synth it Self

#19 xerxes

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:52

Akiz, that is great:) but only the current Settings of the synth, Not the synth it Self

 

Well, obviously, since a synth pretty much has unlimited amount of settings/tweaks. Sampling all of that would blow your HD to pieces hehe


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#20 ArturRembe

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:25

I have Never done it. It is at the end the Same Sound? Or is the sample Different to the Setup of vst, if i Playing Many notes?

#21 tL One

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:34

Well... then just try it, you lazy bast**d...  :badteeth:



#22 Bungle

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:11

Its this simple...

Do you want the best Tracker currently available, yes ? Then buy Renoise.

 

Ignore the garbage about updates and such, even when the developers were developing it, most of the updates in the last 5 years have been esoteric nonsense that virtually nobody uses, or scripting engines that changed so much version to version that only the hardest core of the hardest core carried on using them and even those users have near enough given up using them now too.

 

Renoise is the best tracker available, it works and has always worked extremely well and is extremely stable, is it the best DAW, no, not even in the top ten, it is the best Tracker by a long long long way.

 

So is it worth it to you, well you wanted a Tracker, so of course it is !!!


Meh

#23 ffx

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 08:16

Not true what you are writing about scripting API changes: mainly the instrument structure had changed, but most scripts still will work, and if you want to fix your script for v5, it's not that much time of fixing work, so not that difficult. Also it is better to change the API than staying with a weak API. I only wished the changes were more drastically...

#24 Raul (ulneiz)

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:19

@Bungle

 

Again it seems that you have not used Renoise thoroughly, for commenting this:

 

...

 

Ignore the garbage about updates and such, even when the developers were developing it, most of the updates in the last 5 years have been esoteric nonsense that virtually nobody uses,

...

 

It simply is not true. Yes, some new features may not be used much, but Renoise has improved a lot on some internal aspects that have to do with sound. Without going any further, version 3.0.1 is different from version 3.1.0 under the hood with major changes, for example in routing of instruments (something very important), their individual effects by sample, which involves important changes that are not appreciated at first glance.

 

I've also noticed a big change in introducing the phrases, which is summed up in a great team effort, parallel to Redux, and that has brought a lot of new features to the API, fattening the code considerably. Although it may sound exaggerated, it was like as introduce a tracked within another tracker, with everything that connects.

 

Regarding the API available for scripting it is still possible to improve it substantially! The main problem I see here is not the API itself, but the documentation itself, which is not very well ordered, nor the number of practical examples for people with little knowledge dare to try things with LUA. Only 4 nerd people make tools!!!

 

On the other hand, these forums are very full of new suggestions from many users. Renoise needs updates, in addition to fixing bugs!!! Renoise 3.1 is full of small bugs in many parts. Fortunately, most do not affect stability.

 

Not only to please users improving Renoise in many respects that Taktik knows perfectly where Renoise fails, but also in the API for scripting. Sometimes, some details would allow to make really surprising tools, like the addition of some observables, direct sound control (very important), control of the GUI of the tools in real time (A huge detail that prevents you from creating parallel tools to the pattern editor  or matrix, like a real pianoroll), coherence between different codes to do the same with different peripherals and things like that...

 

When Taktik returns, you will see hundreds of suggestions in the forums, and again many will be ignored. Many are details, but some details are very important.

 

Note: the accordion was finally removed. That was so important! :D  Maybe make way for more improvements in the future, and no kidding. On the other hand, anyone who complains about people asking for updates, they use Renoise 1.0, please, or some of Renoise's betas 1. Renoise 3.1 is not for them! Then Renoise 3.2 will come, and 99.99% of users will upgrade. There must be a reason!


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:excl: Development of my tool: GT16-Colors

 

:excl: My API wishlist R3.1 (updated 18 July 2017):

Spoiler

 

:excl: My Renoise 3.1 wishlist (updated 18 July 2017):

Spoiler

#25 justchris

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 11:20

For me it is worth, so I have bought renoise 3.1.