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

I suffer with a Neurodiverse condition affecting memory and recall, lots of episodes of dreaded “brain fog” and I have been able to adapt to Hex - it is so, so efficient for so many sequencing tasks. For example, I like to “swing” my beats and rather than type in a fixed percentage of swing or use a slider, being able to delay each 16th note by a different amount for a wonky feel is amazing. The cut command for dictating EXACTLY when a sample is to fade out or end is also great. Who needs MPE when you can glide notes per note lane? Learn what you need and then how to do it in Renoise, no other DAW offers this level of granular control.

Piano roll is a deceptive tool. To create an arpeggio in Renoise spanning 3 octaves and using 6 different notes can take very few note lanes - yet this would take up a fairly tall window of piano roll. In addition, from the poor memory perspective, being able to reference melodies or progressions from one track while writing on another is a god send.

Sidechain is overrated. I will tell you what is not overrated, the Signal Follower device - why just duck the bass with a kick when you can open filters, affect FX sends, adjust dry/wet on FX all with a signal generated by a single instrument.

I do not think a single other DAW offers the innate modulation capabilities of Renoise. Want to LFO a parameter? Go for it, want granular per step control of the LFO phase and reset? Go balls deep.

Ive never understood dropping samples into a linear time line to write drums or using samples that way at all… label your tracks, adjust step jump parameter, drop kicks onto every 4, 6, 8 steps. If you label your tracks then seeing the waveform is trivial.

My personal complaints? I would like to set project key so that notes that should be flat do not show as sharps. Being able to modulate between tracks without needing to modulate a track “to the right” would be nice. Being able to highlight a selection and expand or compress the contents in the time domain, like grabbing a bunch of 1/4 notes, expanding the selection to be 1/2 notes would be grand - or compressing the selection down to be 1/8 notes. Mapping the Instrument Automation device similarly to Macro mapping in the sampler - i.e. click slider one, click parameter in a VST would be nice. A native frequency shifter, pitch shifter and “parallel” FX container would all be nice.

Pie in the sky desires are granular playheads, native FM, native synthesis a-la Bitwig grid and native wavetable support in the sampler yes. But, in a pinch, all can be sourced externally in VST and to be honest - keeping Renoise “light” and efficient should be the overriding principle here.

As for OP, his post reads like a college student applying to run the marketing campaign for a MIDI Chord pack
company. Adds nothing and speaks from basically no experience, a theme consistent in all his posts thus far.

I’ve tried other DAWs and always come back to Renoise.


There is no point in convincing someone who does not want to be persuaded.

From my point of view, nice and elegant Renoise with straightforward GUI, mighty sound engine, API and great community is unbeatable for its price. There are many videos and tutorials that can help.

Yes, almost everything can be better but this nice living community and many comments are the next proofs that Renoise is very good app.
As a piano player I am missing some things too, mainly sequencer and integrated piano roll but ok it is a tracker. Another DAWs have another flaws. Our world is not ideal and I am still switching between Reason (beacuse of sequencer and HW like approach) and Renoise.


Ok, same here. I switch to Reason when Renoise forced me, for instance because of Audiotrack editing (Vocalstracks) too. In which is to say, that the Reason Pianoroll is a bad joke. But in my opinion it’s right to speak about the weaks of Renoise, because evolution will be the future, stillstand is the death. I personally see Renoise not more as a simply Tracker, but as a DAW and enjoy many things in Renoise and how easy and elegant it is implemented, but i miss some things painfully too. I can understand the fear of some users, that they may loose somethings or have disadvantage in future, if new things like Pianoroll would be integrated, but this feelings are unsubstantiated. The most of us use Renoise because of their own tracking historie and because loving the ease of tracking concept. Thats why Renoise will always stays on his tracker roots, only with benefits. :slight_smile:

No need to force somebody buying a midi keyboard. If the one really wants to play live he will buy a midi keyboard anyway, because it’s the best way to do that and furthermore it’s very cheap. You can get plenty of it for less than 100 € each. It’s worth it, right?

Hopefully. But there already are benefits. You can use VSTs within this clear tracker. Can it get any better?

Even without labeling your tracks. :slightly_smiling_face:

Right! :+1:

Even without all of this it would be unbeatable in terms of price. 60 € for a DAW, it’s a bargain! No other DAW can compete, not even a little bit. Seriously. I feel sorry for the ones who don’t see that. They have to spend at least 5 times more money for another DAW and afterwards they have to work slowly with a pita piano roll. I’m happy having tracker roots, that’s for sure.


What about reaper? 60 $
what about mixbus? 79 €

those are great DAWs for recording/editing and production… cannot really compare those traditional DAWs with Renoise, but i cannot agree that those cannot compete… they offer much more in the sense of both editing and mixing/mastering than renoise… you simply cannot manipulate with audio content at same level… :slight_smile:


Naturally can it be better. And everyone who’s looking about his plate edge know this. Even Renoise is 100 % perfect for your own needs maybe, for other users it may be not so. I’m self a very structurally conservative human, but i know that’s crying for freezing the actual condition of a Software is not sensefull. So better accept changes and try out new functions and possibilitys is better, as preserve the status quo. Why? The Reason is simple. Certain people always want to maintain the status quo.

I have a Midi Keyboard, but it’s not always connected to the computer. But is this really your argument to avoid a native implementation of a Pianoroll, that many other user would gladly seen in Renoise?

happy tacking :slight_smile:

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I think a few of you all need to be less dismissive of OP’s comments. I want more people using Renoise, not fewer, not only to have a larger community, but also because if more people use it, the software is more likely to get support. So if somebody has ideas on how to make Renoise better, we should listen.

This point in particular:

This seems to have pushed a few buttons, but I think this is a pretty reasonable point IMO. Why insist on using hexadecimal notation? What exactly do we gain from it? It certainly doesn’t make the music sound any better. It just makes the tracker harder to use. It’s also inconsistent: why display the BPM at the top in decimal but require hexadecimal for the effect command to change the BPM?

Hex made sense in the trackers of yesteryear but I don’t see any reason to keep it around. Responses of “you’ll just get used to it” or “did you even bother learning hex” are missing the point. Why make part of Renoise needlessly burdensome? People don’t naturally think in hex - why require them to use it when there’s no longer any technical need to do so?

I learned hexadecimal when I was a teenager figuring out Scream Tracker and Impulse Tracker and now I’m a software developer so it’s not like I’ve unfamiliar with how it works. I just don’t understand why there’s resistance to this idea. Is it being an interpreted as an attack on the tracker identity?

There’s a couple of other points made in this thread I’d like to respond to:

I think this concern can be addressed with appropriate UI treatment.

I don’t see this as likely to happen. People more easily understand max values than they understand hexadecimal. And there’s a much more practical reason for a max value of 255 (it fits into one byte) than requiring the use of hexadecimal.


I think some people are acting like “time to defend myself cause Renoise is the best and someone is talking nonsense about it” instead of trying to understand what he means by his vague points. As Mark said, the more people using it, the better, so we should listen. I mean, not just “we”, the users, but “they” (the devs) should too.

With that said, let me say something. I’ve been using Renoise as my main DAW for more than 5 years by now. And I agree that the community should be more open to the general public. Seriously, sometimes this seems like a secret sect where everyone who doesnt feel really excited about the “reverse-sidechaing-with-automation-push-in-to-vst3-bus-master-sender-mixer” thing is not welcome cause they are not smart enough and should search for a “regular” daw. Why does a [big] part of our community seems to have that strong necessity to feel different/superior to other producers? It has always kinda pissed me off too, tbh.

Sometimes people suggest good things that every single DAW has except renoise, and the INSTANT response of the users and devs is something like “that’s not really what a tracker is meant for” Wait… what? Isn’t being more than a regular tracker one of the main things that Renoise uses to sell their software? I’ve always wondered the reason for that too.

TL;DR: I love Renoise, but the guy has a point.

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I get the feeling that every once in a while we all discuss the same thing over and over again.

I think there are only two issues to discuss here.

A week or even a month is too little time to learn a DAW. Are we users going crazy wanting to learn EVERYTHING in a few hours? The world runs too fast and you have to treat everything much more calmly.

Renoise is a complex DAW, just like any other DAW, and it needs a certain learning curve, just like any other DAW. If you expect a DAW “copy” of the rest, that just wouldn’t be Renoise. In short, too little time to retire.

The second issue is none other than money. It is very easy to understand. People do not live on air. The work must be paid for. If this DAW isn’t powerful enough for everyone to buy, don’t expect huge advertising campaigns all over the place. Don’t expect a bunch of developers like other DAWs that cost 3-4 times as much, or much more money per license.

Want a lot more fancy stuff in Renoise? Pay double or triple the developer of this DAW. Everything moves with money, not with so many words. This DAW is priced so ridiculously cheap for some reason.

If you want to keep seeing more and better updates from Renoise, you have no choice but to get people to keep buying licenses. Money, guys!

Do you have a billionaire friend? Make him fall in love with Renoise and “gift” money…


This is true. But. The OP have listed some points. And by reading them, you can see that he touches points that are valid.

Renoise is way to cheap.

When the existing userbase is totally neglecting the fact that potentionally new users are put off by lack off functionality expected in a DAW of 2021. How do you get more people to buy licenses?

Thank you all for your replies, specially the ones that tried to educate me about Renoise. I appreciated that.

Some of you seem to get my point. And I want to believe that with a small dev team, any constructive feedback is welcomed by the Renoise people.

My points are from a new user point of view. Just that. And I think @mabersold and @Coddy summarized better than me, the “issues” I tried to point out. Thanks for that.

It really comes down to what Renoise wants for its future. As a private company, they can decide to do whatever they want. If the current user base is enough and a bigger market share is not something they worry about, Renoise is fine the way it is. But if they are looking for a steady growth, I think that a few changes are needed. Again, this is my option, as a new user and as ecommerce guy.

I’m truly impressed by Renoise capabilities and quality. It’s remarkable that the software is this cheap. Now, I’m just thinking to myself, what would happen if Renoise could break the “tracker” barrier to new users? A software with this quality, this price, and being more friendly… how great that would be? Renoise can put themselves in a unique position. It would have that “exotic” tracker origin with a great, easy UX for the user. No other DAW can do that.

Let’s not forget that the DAW battlefield is tough. I see that new users usually take two paths. One path is looking for a free and open source DAWs. We do have very good ones for all platforms. When you are new to the game, the latest “reverse-sidechaing-with-automation-push-in-to-vst3-bus-master-sender-mixer” is not important at all. You just want to get started. The second path are the commercial DAWs, where a new user is looking for education. She wants a DAW that has a good size community, so she can watch a tutorials like “start to finish a song in XXXX” or “how to make a track with built-in plugins in XXXX”. Plus, she really wants to learn how to use the software. Here, a lot of video tutorials are the key. Reaper has Kenny Gioia, Ableton has YouTube, Ardour has Unfa…and so on. And to get to that point, it goes back to what I said about growing the user base.

Anyway, Renoise is amazing, and I understand that a lot of people are in the defensive mode. Maybe a lot of you are using Renoise for so long that it already become your second nature. But there are a bunch of other DAWs out there fighting for new users. It would be great if Renoise could do that too, if they want to.


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If any tracker want to gain a lot of users I think they really need a basic piano roll to lure them in and then convert them to the tracker view over time, they also need an easier Matrix/Pattern Sequencer in my mind, it’s unfortunate beginners always choose the seemingly easy solution (piano roll) because a tracker is awesome once you have learned the basics.

Renoise does have some educational videos, I believe it’s Achenar who are creating all these fine tutorials and stuff.


errr, there are conflicts here… so you are not using DAW to make music, but deciding upon community aspects… youtube content… and not the actual DAW? that’s personal preference… Also, manual is more than enough to learn anything/everything about one DAW… or anything, really…

i mean if 2 persons focus on ‘fighting users’, who will develop the actual software? :smiley:

… Renoise tutorials (official yt channel) is top notch… so there is content… not in pair with ‘Reason quick tips’ but it’s more than enough… for anyone… to start… to master…

so, you suggest that Renoise team tricks people into using Renoise, by hiding the tracker abstraction/realm, or please elaborate what do you mean by ‘breaking’ the tracker barrier?
does this mean that Renoise team should learn people about basic tracker aspects? there are plenty of videos for that already… or?

all of a sudden this thread went from original topic “it’s time to say goodbye due to lack of features?” - to ‘how to reach more users’ … good call - Renoise needs this type of morphing built into the native sampler :slight_smile:

my personal view: One of rare learning material, where you can avoid various kind of bloats… straight to the point… Huge respect to the @Achenar and whole team!

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