Accessing The Xml And Sample Files In Xrns, Xrni And Xrnt Files

Renoise songs (XRNS), Instruments (XRNI) and DSP device-chains (XRNT) are pkzip containers with non “.zip” extension, to avoid that people who don’t want to know about the internals can simply handle the files as binary files, and of course to shrink the file size on the Disk.

To access or modify the XML and/or SampleData (for XRNI and XRNS) content, you can simply open the files with a zip decompression tool like WinRar, WinZip or Stuffit Deluxe. Alternatively you can of course also directly uncompress them via a shell tool which supports pkzips (like “unzip”).

When compressing a new XRNS,I,T archive, make sure that you do NOT wrap the content into another folder in the zip. So do not zip a folder which contains the XML and SampleData folder but zip them directly. The SampleData folder and XML file must be in the root of the container!

About the SampleData content:
Samples can be stored in any audio format that Renoise can handle (open). So you can use WAV, AIF, OGG, FLAC or even MP3 or AAC samples. The demo songs are compressed by using OGG samples for example. Further the file extensions are not referenced in the XML file, so you can modify/convert the samples afterwards into any other format without having to update the XML.

Samples are identified by Renoise via its path and name:

For Songs for example, we have a file structure like:

  • InstrumentX (NAME)
  • SampleY (NAME)

Where X will identify into which instrument the sample has to be loaded,
and Y into which sample slot (split). NAME (everything behind “InstrumentX” and “SampleY” is just cosmetics and is ignored).

For Instruments, you will have the sample structure and rules, but with InstrumentX as the SampleData root.

what if you have a folder with "Song.xml and a “SampleData” folder and you wish to turn it back into an .xrns file?

I’ve downloaded a compos file I wish to play and when I unzipped it, I got the above files. I am unable to open them with Renoise 2.0

Also, I’m on a Mac running OS X 10.4.11 (which does not have PHP 5) to further complicate matters.

Is there any way I can turn this file back into a .xrns or .xrs file?


thank you so much!

before posting my question, i tried compressing the folder that the xml song file and sample folders came in, but that didn’t work.

so, i followed your instructions and zipped the Song.xml and the SampleData folder by shift-clicking on both of them and creating a .zip archive from only those two.

then, i renamed the file with a .xrns filename extension and it worked. i also changed the name of the original file to avoid confusion with the originally downloaded archive and accompanying files.

now i can check out some of the other .xml compos files out there, they may not all work but i’ll at least have this knowledge to help open others.

thanks again


In your case, you can simply rename the .ZIP to .XRNS

That’s what I do on my OS X machine when the web host incorrectly serves the files due to bad mime types.

Quick tip: If you have 7-zip installed, you can open any compressed archive via a right-click menu, regardless of the file extension.

with WinRAR you can use the “Open With” submenu