After a week with Renoise, is it time to say goodbye?

you underestimate people

To the people wanting to make this easier for newcomers, some thoughts.

Piano roll and tracking do not go hand in hand, how would it be implemented into a vertical sequencer? A separate pop up with horizontal input, or a vertical piano roll? Assuming the former, this would look awful and also necessitate yet another window. The latter, massively wide columns.

Hex input is efficient, compact and precise. It is not an overnight learning subject but conversely is not impossible.

The desire to shift Renoise to be more in line with, say, Cubase is equivalent to throwing a post onto the Steinberg forums and asking for vertical sequencing and a tracker alternative to piano roll. It would be antithetical to the stated aim of Cubase.

OP, if he is truly a newbie with a keyboard, looked at the entire market and chose Renoise ahead of something like Reaper or FL Studio? Get real. I’m starting to think OP is a troll alt account.


I don’t think anyone in these forums is against Renoise getting improvements, additions, even changes, Renoise evolving in any way. Every time a new update is in sight, the forums are flooded with hundreds of requests from these users.

But all these changes or improvements have to be founded, be consistent, make sense in the ecosystem of a tracker and maintain a certain simplicity. For example, asking for a pianoroll is a way of not wanting to fight a tracker. Because the pianoroll completely replaces the pattern editor. Making an integrated pianoroll is not an easy thing, I assure you and even less with the capabilities that Renoise already has. All of that has to be moved graphically, and obviously people will ask for a detachable pianoroll, with the detachable pattern editor. Move all that.

Now graphically add audio waves in the pattern editor. Renoise uses a lot of CPU to move everything, audio and graphics. To add all these things, maybe it would be necessary to reprogram the whole Renoise, because we are putting very low-power computers with computers with 4k multi-monitor displays, and obviously it should work for everyone. Also, there are still 3 platforms to serve.

In the end, the programming time is very limited, because there is no money to justify it. Therefore, that programming time is used for other things. That’s what I think. There is only one programmer. What do you want?

One week of learning is not enough for people very new to music composition. Maybe other users using other DAWs will find it easier to compose music quickly, the basics at least.

The problem is always the same. Most DAWs that a large mass of people use are because those people have received a great bath of information with advertising or because many users who have received that publicity tell you about that DAW, or even because there are people with money behind who do seminars with those DAWs. Even if Renoise was shit, with a constant big ad campaign behind it, it would sell a lot more. But a constant advertising campaign needs constant money investment. This indisputably increases the price of the product and has the need to hire more people.

However, Renoise has what it takes to learn. Video tutorials on youtube. The best forums in a DAW to ask. An online instruction manual that allows language translation easily with a browser. A great API to create tools and expand it to your liking (listen, this is not learned in a week either).

Has the person who has been a week read the instruction manual? Because that’s what it is for. There’s plenty of information to learn the basics of Renoise and get started. The rest is attitude and patience.


A wonderfully common sense response. Thank you.


Here we go again. Why does it have to be so complicated? And whats this obsession about making everything vertical. Have you opened the Sampler/Waveform view? It’s horizontal. How on earth do you contemplate that? It must be so confusing to you, not having the option to edit waveforms vertically. Also, the automation section is horizontal. Does this work for you?

No one is asking to SHIFT Renoise into anything. It’s a matter of adding usefull functionality. That ultimately might grow the userbase. No one is trying to change or remove anything. Piano roll as an added feature in Renoise, not something that’s supposed to replace or remove anything else.

Wrong. A piano roll would aid a track in the pattern editor.

We already have detachable mixer view, detachable instrument editor. But. Why should it be detachable? And then again. Why not?
The pattern editor is not detachable, cause that is the core essence of Renoise. A piano roll would just be an aid to a track in the pattern editor. It’s not a replacement for the pattern editor. However @toimp have proven with his tool Simple Pianoroll, that eg. ghost notes can be a god save.

We can already show and hide different parts of Renoise. Like disk browser, instrument box, instrument properties, upper/lower frame, pattern advanced edit, pattern matrix
Why would a piano roll be any different from those? Show/Hide piano roll

I have commented that a pianoroll completely replaces the pattern editor. It is a note editor, like the pattern editor. I have not said at any time that it does not help, when I myself have created a tool based on this.
The only problem that Renoise has is the vision of the notes. It is a visual problem, not an editing one. In fact, a “single note visual monitor” at 10 octaves would be more than enough.

Basically the new user is faced with this:

Translate this, please. There is not much else to tell here. Because the rest, basically, is repeating the same thing over and over again. The users resist this. We have all gone through this process to begin with. This is the matter.

A pianoroll only translates the notes and some specific parameters into image blocks and sliding points.

It is only about destroying the barrier between both concepts. It is normal that many new people are used to a pianoroll, because most DAWs come with one (they are based on it, not a tracker), and a real piano is a very famous instrument in the world. Anyone would quickly understand.

But a tracker is “another concept”. If new elements are brought in, they must be consistent with what already exists. The tracker really allows you to do more complex things and combinations of parameters than a pianoroll, basically using the USB alphanumeric keyboard of your computer…

In short, most people do not have to learn how to use a pianoroll because they will already know how to use it, because it is everywhere. What you have to learn is the use of the tracker. Resisting this is like wanting to turn Renoise into something he is not. Even if you have a pianoroll next to it, you still need to understand what is in the image above. And believe me, there are many parameters, with letters and numbers. Things that need to be understood that are not in a pianoroll.

Also, there is not much to discuss here. Adding a pianoroll would always be an optional thing. You can use it or not. There is no problem with this. The point is to integrate all this and to coexist correctly, with a single programmer who charges little money per license


Here we go again. Why does it have to be so complicated? And whats this obsession about making everything vertical. Have you opened the Sampler/Waveform view? It’s horizontal. How on earth do you contemplate that? It must be so confusing to you, not having the option to edit waveforms vertically. Also, the automation section is horizontal. Does this work for you?

How would you implement Piano Roll then wise guy? I say vertically because that’s how it currently works!? A horizontally scrolling piano roll with vertical tracker lanes? Horizontal tracking lanes (like on the Polyend, which are awful)?

Secondly, being condescending makes you look petulant? Show me some examples of a tracker with a piano roll please so I can see what I’m missing.

note: i’m not for the piano roll, and this is not the point. But how Radium handles zooming into the lines - is something Godlike :smiley:

Wow. That is a very busy display. Not my cup of tea at all, vertical tracking, horizontal sequencing and piano roll below it and then a jumble of boxes.

I’d rather use almost anything else. Proof, if needed, that it isn’t a great approach


:rofl: I think for inclusing a piano roll into a tracker, this should have to be a bit like in Ableton Live (“Arrangement view” and “Session view”). That mean two differents ways to visualize the music. That can be switched in one click, but never merged into the same screen. That would be the classic “tracker editor view” or switching on “piano roll view” in place of the columns view.
But no doubt this would be a huge work for the dev. And certainly would need a lot of more computer power to run the DAW.

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Precisely, nobody can say how they would want it to work, or be organised? Click onto the track and you can either track or select a piano roll option in a tab next to the Automation tab? Piano roll is less powerful and less flexible than tracking. To match Renoise as it stands you would need a variable height piano roll window, then an automation lane for velocity, then pan, then delay (redundant if you just draw notes off the grid, but still) then a selection of FX automation lanes. So a full screen for what Renoise currently does in one vertical column with 5 lines. And this would be the most elegant (ha!) solution.

Madness. If people want piano roll so much, use another DAW with Redux? I really don’t understand.

Except one thing. The pattern editor will potentionally consist of multiple tracks. How pianoroll works in any other daw, is editing one section of a track, that consists of midi note and parameter settings. Just like the notes in a track in the pattern editor.
If you open the midi editor in eg. Logic Pro. You see the notes in the section of the track you opened it from. You don’t see the full song as MIDI notes.

It is also an editing issue. You can more easily select multiple notes from different chords in a pianoroll and move them to eg. change said chords from major/to minor. In a Renoise track, that task is much more cumbersome.

Exactly. I’m a Renoise user since 2003. And before that Fasttracker II and Protracker since the 90’s. The last couple of years, I’ve been using Logic Pro for creating chords, melodies and basslines. Just becuase it’s much more efficient in Logic’s pianoroll. I get the idea down, and can edit it much quicker in the pianoroll. Have I had that pianoroll in Renoise, I would not consider using another daw.

So. A native pianoroll would not only welcome new users in to Renoise. It would also cater to somes user who might be prone to a transition out of Renoise.

I’ve been diving more and more into the other DAWs, and becoming more and more aware of Renoise shortcomings as a music production tool. With the total lack of development, it will sooner or later become a distant memory. Just like it’s predecessors. Just a “tracker” from the past, that I will use for that retro/nostalgia feeling.

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Highlight selection and Alt-F2 to transpose up for example. Advanced pattern editor also has options for larger single jumps. Highlighting and dragging in piano roll is cumbersome - “did I highlight all the notes”, “oh my god the noise of all the notes sounding while I drag them”, “did I line the notes back up correctly”? I must admit, I would like to select a region and adjust it’s duration with the contents being compressed or elongated as needed but it isn’t a hardship. What Renoise might lack in one area, it can do other things that another DAW can only dream of. I’m sure you already know this as a long term user.

If the only thing stopping you from only using Renoise is piano roll, but you also say Renoise has so many shortcomings you fear it will become a relic - how do you reconcile these statements? If it had piano roll you would ignore all the other problems that make it a relic? Please. Drop the hyperbole.

With a piano-roll, how do you deal with:

  • notes shorter than the current LPB resolution
  • which instrument is playing the note
  • pattern commands for the note
  • which pattern lane the note should be in
  • note panning
  • phrase commands

etc etc. ?

if you want piano roll use another program. Renoise doesn’t need to be everything to everyone, just let it be.


I never heard about Mixbus, but it’s 94 € and not 79 €, which means it’s cheap but still more than 50% more expensive than Renoise. But yes, ok, Reaper is next to Renoise also a cheap one. But to be honest, compared to the common DAWs like Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools etc. Reaper looks like a cheap copy of it. Renoise is not only good in its functions, it’s also well designed.

Of course, there’s always something to improve, nothing is absolutely perfect. But it’s as perfect as it could be if you ask me. There’s no way that you can get everything into Renoise without destroying the concept and its functions.

Look what I wrote. I wrote that a midi keyboard is the best way for playing live, no more and no less. There’s no connection to a piano roll. But I still don’t get what you want to say. Do you want to say that a piano roll has the same functions than a midi keyboard? That’s not the case. So if you wouldn’t own a midi keyboard and you’re using a piano roll in your DAW, how do you edit or play your notes? You would do this with a PC keyboard (or maybe with your mouse, too), right? That’s exactly what I’m talking about. It makes sense how you would like to use a piano roll while live playing (correcting the positions of the live recorded notes afterwards), but where’s the connection to a midi keyboard?

Look, there are a few concepts of music making. There are common classic DAWs like Cubase, there are trackers like Renoise and there is hardware. Everything has its pros and cons, so which one is the one for you depends on what you would like to do. Mostly the classic DAWs are “second nature” to the musicians, trackers are the minority. That’s the reason why we discuss here, because some people would like to see something from the “second nature” of most musicians to be part of a tracker, even though it doesn’t fit to the concept. So it’s not the “defensive mode” in a way like for example “You’re against trackers because you’re calling for a piano roll”, it’s more like it wouldn’t work out.

Yes, it is. But I don’t think a piano roll is an easy solution compared to the notes in a pattern matrix of a tracker. In a tracker you can see everything on first sight, it’s short, nice and clean.

Radium is a mess in every aspect.

I don’t think so. Compared to the trackers of the past like SoundTracker, NoiseTracker, ProTracker, FastTracker and so on, Renoise is able to implement external software, which increases the possibilities a lot. And for what it is, it already is nearly perfect. There’s not much you can improve, neither now nor in future.

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you can customize skin to look like pro tools… then you have pro tools for 60$ :D:D:D
Ignore Mixbus, consider Ardour which is practically the same… (and free) :slight_smile:

i won’t create whole another debate here which you implied - to compare DAWs… you cannot just claim that X is better than Y… because someone who utilize features in Y more than in X, might find Y DAW way better… we are shooting blanks at this point… Mostly naming the functions/workflows we never use…

I have nothing against someone who uses X or Y tool… the problem is made when someone claims that X DAW is better ‘globally’… because it does THIS… Who tf are you to know how i make music? maybe the best DAW for me is a tape recorder!? Maybe i do not use that function at all (the one that makes a DAW the best for you, or anyone…) :smiley:
do not get me wrong, i’m not trying to insult or provoke here, just expressing myself

do not exclude context when quoting… I pointed Radium because the following:

namely - because Radium has piano roll built-in
no one says that Radium is perfect and/or better, but the ability to zoom into lines without editing LPB is my personal favorite feature…

Zooming into LPB is a clever touch I didn’t grasp what you meant before - I like that idea a lot.

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I bear that in mind in case of someone asks me. :upside_down_face:

That’s why I wrote this:

I know. I just wanted to point that out. :grin:
The zoom is cool, indeed. But it’s still a mess.

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to everyone asking for piano roll: why don’t you guys simply register on cubase/ableton/logic/FL/ etc. forums and drop a feature request for adding a tracker interface? i know why, but i don’t know why you think it would make sense the other way around.
there are certainly hundreds of different ways renoise could be improved as a tracker, but i fail to understand why time and energy of a one-man-dev-team should be focused on the implementation of a piano roll when you already have a tracker interface in a tracker software.

besides that:

this, a 100%

you won’t improve a tracker by programming a substitute for the tracker interface. it should be common sense.