Better Support For Outboard Gear

VSTs are a great companion and are an irreplaceable tool for electronic musicians. However since VSTs have gained such high popularity… but one could also assume that most of the majority of even these users who desire to one day get some sort of outboard gear will eventually pick up at least some sort of MIDI synth.

A few ways I think Renoise could improve in the MIDI arena:

  1. Instrument Definitions for our synths that:
    -build off the Instrument Settings>Ext. MIDI section and allow us to…
    -define instrument names
    -integrate a panel designer similar to that of ctrlr

  2. Enable us to be able to record, save with xrns project files, and dump to outboard synths SysEx dumps.

  3. Some sort of SDK to allow people to control Midi devices with android, honeycomb, ios, monomes etc… something similar to duplex

  4. Allow for even more MIDI-In ports. (like, ten?)

… other ideas welcome …

Its a shame to look at music production software and see so little emphasis put into support for outboard gear. Maybe Renoise could close a gap in the industry? It seems this emphasis really died down at what seems like it’s peak in the late 90s when VSTs began their take-over of the electronic music industry’s attention.


I use only outboard gears, and the internal sampler of Renoise, NO VSTi-s.
Sysex Dump would be great, and the panel editor what you’ve mentioned too. (I’ve got a Korg Prophecy, what is a great sounding synth but hardcore to program it :D)

Couldn’t agree more, although some of these things have been requested in the past. I for one would just like to see sysex send & receive in there in it’s simplest form. All that’s really needed is a message name, number, definable message size, and of course send and receive) this would encourage me to put a load of my old gear back into use. There are lots of other features that could be implemented like termination capture (stop receiving after F7), predition of actual message sizes, and send messages after loading song, but not vital.

Looking at ctrlr (looks very handy btw) and I noticed it has LUA hooks which (if I’m not mistaken) will mean it’s parameters will be available to use in Renoise and vice versa. Maybe it could even be possible to ‘export’ devices from ctrlr to use in Renoise - now that would be sick!

If I remember correctly I beleive there were issues implementing sysex features in 2.6, but not sure about 2.7 with all the API enhancements. Any people in the know care to comment?

+1 I agree.

It would be nice with the next Renoise release focusing on better hardware support/workflow :)

Some additional thoughts:

  1. Support for Cakewalk instrument definitions shouldn’t be that tricky to fix with a script, but it would be more slick to present it in Renoises midi instrument tab (not just bank # and program # like now). Some other DAW software allow you to define what synthesizers you have by stating midi port/channel, name and instrument definition. Renoise would do well with a similar feature. This is quite scriptable though.

  2. Renoise needs audiotracks or clips incl bouncing/freezing for a sensible workflow with HW synths. I think this feature is paramount.

external hardware “plug-in grabber”, please.
All other stuff, +1

Creating a “sysex librarian” using the Renoise API is definitely possible. It’s just that no-one has done it.

This topic is about using Duplex as a Synth controller/Sysex librarian…I probably killed the thread with too much detail:

The topic was probably inspired by this in the first place:

In short: it’s definitely possible to create panels for synths using Duplex. The level of detail that the panel designer in ctrlr has is simply not possible with the Renoise API (knobs looking like the hardware counterpart etc.), at least not yet.
You would want to create the “sysex librarian” as a separate tool though, as Duplex doesn’t care about which song is loaded (I think a good great sysex tool would automatically match presets to particular songs)

I know that some people will kill me for this, but If the developers define a “MIDI” track, they should define another mixer track for HW outboards…

+1 from me too - at the moment I’m firing up WinUAE, so I can run the MIDImsg editor in OctamedSS to capture and send messages… Not ideal…

Just downloaded MIDIox to see if that will do it, but I’m open to suggestions for alternatives. I don’t need to be able to edit the data, just capture it and send it…

that’s my hope - that renoise will consider the huge doors just this little bit would open up, instead of hold shut the doors of a hardware synth market that is not going away any day soon.

ok… if just one of my above pipe dream could be integrated into renoise it’d be exactly that - a way to record, and conversely play back sysex patch dumps. It shouldn’t be rocket science and would not require any MIDI message editing - just record what gets sent on a patch dump from the outboard gear, then play it back from the point it was recorded into renoise - similar to how renoise can record and playback controller changes from/to outboard gear, just the message has more bytes.

and yes this has been requested in the past, endlessly, All the more reason to implement it, no?

ctrlr ( has answered most of my other requests and if it hasn’t it should within time - renoise doesn’t need to recreate the wheel here, just allow us to record and playback sysex dumps.

+1 for the external hardware ‘plugin grabber’

I tried some code to make MIDI sysex tool. I remember recived sysex data well from my external gear, but i had problems resending it back.

My idea was store with the song the sysex data and when Renoise loading resend it. It’s not very hard and i think someone can do it. Unfortunately i don’t have much time to acomplish it.

Ok. danoise, jeruro-
Can you point to some resources that might help me or any others interested to take a stab at building a sysex capture and playback tool w/i renoise? It’s high time this gets done.
i can recall a mention of a snippet sysex_callback … can someone post some details on this before I go chasing down rabbit holes?

I’d consider a skinable panel designer a waste of renoise dev time actually until renoise is actually able to send/receive sysex.

The solution to this I’ve been using for some time is the os x sysex midi librarian app … it’s a decent tool but the idea here is to get that functionality into renoise and allow the sysex data to be saved with the songs.

Thanks, all

Renoise SYSEX = A++!! Please make this possible ;)

Go herefor updates and to help make this happen.