Bitwig Speculation Thread

Sequencers need to be pünktlich, no?

They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Even if Renoise still lacks some features, it also has it’s strengths:
not bloated, stability, meta-dsp system, keyboard-friendly, scripting etc… But compared to the other DAW’s it still feels
“incomplete”. The features that I really miss most are non-destructive WAV-tracks/Clips and better automation editing.

IMO It’s like a fruit that hasn’t fully grown, yet

you must be using a different version of Renoise than i do. Renoise is very complete for me. actually it is the only DAW that may be used totally independently from any other programs or vsts, software or hardware. Renoise is a sequencer, sampler, sample editor and synthesizer. and with 2.8 it got some tidy additions that make it even more competitive. and you have to explain me why you desire a tracker to have a piano roll and wave tracks? wtf…

Well, I work with Renoise quite a while and also have installed the latest betas. Maybe we just have different views on that topic.
If Renoise would be totally complete why develop new versions and upgrades at all ?
Compared to other more mature DAW’s Renoise still lacks a lot (!) of features. Only some of them I have mentioned above.

This isn’t surprising, since Renoise doesn’t have the man power and market share that other DAW’s have. New features are added just slowly.
E.g. Rewire support was added to close some gaps that Renoise still have. Like e.g. freely moveable wave clips/items or whatever you call them.
And Wav-Clips / tracks are IMO totally essentially for any DAW.

@Piano Roll: a piano roll can be a very worthwhile feature for adjusting the velocity, timing, etc. for a group of notes etc… E.g. the usage of the delay column is ok for single notes, but for groups it’s still cumbersome - even if you use the nudge function - not very efficient. BTW: a lot of people voted for implementing a piano roll view into Renoise.

@Sampler: well I think the sampler is ok, and I love the sample editor, but it also lacks some decent features:

  • realtime pitch shifting / timestretching like Ableton warping or Reapers algorithms.
  • streaming from disk: every single sample must be loaded into RAM. That’s ok for a snare sample, but still a PITA for recorded tracks / vocals. The
    autoseek feature is a great improvement, but IMO it can’t / shouldn’t be the final answer. Also the recording features in Renoise are pretty weak.
    multitrack recording etc. is not possible with Renoise. Other DAW’s like Reaper do that much (!) better.

@Synthesizer: what synthesizer ? Please don’t tell me you mean the draw feature.

In general I would say compared to other fully grown DAWs Renoise is still more a kind of digital instrument or nerdy sound design tool.
Though a very nice one which I love and hope it will live long enough in order to become finally mature.

And agreed: the new 2.8 features are great and a step into the right direction. LOVE the Ableton-like track grouping.

I’m glad to see another company take a stab at modular routing workflows. Seems like after an initial burst of enthusiasm, developers have been shying away from it in recent years and a lot of early innovators have kind of slowed/stopped development (reaktor, buzz, energy XT, abox2, bidule) with exceptions (audiomulch, sunvox, max/msp). Personally I would love to see renoise go in that direction. Maybe this is just a sign of the market evolving away from the early-adopter audience towards the a prosumer audience.

The push towards a workflow that encourages per-note parameter automation is also a good direction imo. This is something that trackers and niche programs like nanoloop specialize in that really doesn’t come naturally to most DAW workflows. I definitely would like to see someone else taking this concept and trying something new with it.

In my opinion, CDM has kindof a history of coming to snap judgements for the sake of having some editorial commentary to blog about (see over-intellectualized review of moog’s 99 cent app: ). That’s just the style I guess and it’s his blog after all. But if I was the dev, I’d be kindof pissed about taking a big financial risk to introduce something new, working my ass off for a year only to have someone with a big megaphone take this kind of dismissiveness-for-the-sake-of-editorializing attitude.

Personally, I’m looking forward to trying out the demo for myself.

for all i care you could’ve underlined and double-sized it, it doesn’t make things much more truthful.

reflecting what you’ve written it kinda seems to me that you think as long as it lacks YOUR desired features it is incomplete. guess what, i would like to see some things that i desire implented in Renoise as well, but looking at it from an objective point of view Renoise already is capable of a lot and enough things to cope with, and it can achieve pretty much everything that is needed in modern audio production. Renoise has come a long way til now and it is very competitive to big name DAWs as of 2.8, i think people just underestimate it for the reason it being a tracker.

the piano roll… there’s no business for the piano roll to exist in a tracker. if i wanted to use a piano roll i’d make use of FL. why? simply because they are entirely oppositional sequencing methods. seeing that you’re lamenting about how tedious operating the pattern editor is makes me wonder why you actually use a tracker at all.

and yes, a lot of people voted in favor of implementing a piano roll, that’s right. but do you know why? i suspect these people voted solely for the sake of having a piano roll. these people probably don’t want to understand that implementing a piano roll in Renoise means Renoise losing a fraction of its unique image and identity.

and regarding the time stretching / pitch shifting… there has already been extensive discussion about why time stretching is so hard to implement in Renoise. i don’t remember the whole discussion, but one reason for instance was that an elaborate time stretching algorithm is expensive and time consuming, and Renoise being a rather niche product simply cannot afford it (yet.)
there still exist several proper workarounds though, how is this a problem to you?

I second this motion. After having spent years with other low-level node based tools (nuke,shake and houdini) and now a fair bit of Reaktor as well, I’d absolutely love the idea of having a modular/nodal low-level audio-tool building system within renoise, the amount of user-generated content will make Renoise even more valuable and the user-base larger. Kinda what’s been happening with the lua-scripting.

re:Bitwig, looks interessting. Excited to check it out!


Well, seems that truth is always a highly subjective topic. Seems that it’s somehow hard for you that that I have a critical look at Renoise. IMO it’s always healthy beside all hype and glorification to objectively look also beyond one’s own nose. Yes, Renoise has come a long way, but that doesn’t mean that all goals are reached.

reflecting what you’ve writte it kinda seems to me that you think as long as it provides YOUR desired features it is complete for everybody else.

and this is simply not true. You CANNOT do everything in Renoise (like e.g. multitrack recording) and some things are still such a PITA to do. E.g. the arrangement of bigger WAV-files is pretty limited. Creating wav-rich tunes / remixes with Renoise is like cutting wood with a knife instead of a saw. And then everything is stored inside XRNS. A real no go.

And no, I do not underestimate Renoise’s possibilities, but also I don’t praise it as it was the holy grail without beeing any self-reflective. It’s still under heavy development and lots of it’s already present cool features are copied from other DAW’s like Ableton for a reason. E.g. the Trackgrouping and DSP-Screenlayout, and so on. More cool features from other DAW’s still to come.

ok homeboy, all people that voted for the piano roll view didn’t knew what they were doing, and only you do ? Pretty arrogant. And why should Renoise’s identity beeing hard-wired to the ancient tracking editor concept ? For me that tracking editor is simply a view / GUI component. Another component like the piano roll would work on the same internal data model. It’s just another worthwhile view / editor. Last but not least ASFAIK the piano roll is already under construction. It will not destroy Renoise, it will make it more attractive.

Yes, probably because they had to pay license fees for the various proprietary algorithms. From a technical standpoint this should be really doable. I’d pay 50 € more if they would provide that feature. But that’s exactly what I mean: there’s a reason why other DAW’s are usually much more expensive. And why is the missing time stretching a problem for me ? It’s an essential feature for adjusting beats / loops / wav clips in time and pitch. It’s absolutely great for correcting vocals etc…

I’m going to try not to jump into this intractable debate, but on this point- “everything is stored inside xrns” - this is one thing that I appreciate, especially when I’m working with a lot of files. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to open a 1 or 2 year old old project in other DAWs that I thought was backed up only to have “media not located” messages pop up. I can always export stuff sounds out of renoise, so to me this is a win-win. Personally, there are things I’d like to see in renoise that aren’t there (and I bring them up… as I just did :-), but whether something is a “complete” tool is a personal call that’s not going to be resolved by any amount of debate.

renoise is just as complete as the last project or song you’ve “finished” actually IS finished.
we all know it never is. you could always improve or add little details here and there to improve the overall listening experience, but even if you don’t do it, it’s a “complete” song in one way or another.

so for that matter, if you define “complete” as a term that describes the union of all available features into one single product, then it might not be complete.
on the other hand you could argue that all the other major daw’s ain’t complete either, simply because they lack a tracker interface for instance.

no matter how you put it, it doesn’t make much sense in a common way of perception and understanding.

it’s kinda funny you’re pointing your finger at renoise’s sampler, because it’s actually a feature that most other DAWs do not possess as it has editor functions that are usually only to be found in tools like wavelab or soundforge or whatever.
ableton doesn’t even have a dedicated sample-editor and therefore blatantly offers to configure an external one in the options/file&folder menu.
all the features you mentioned that ableton possesses but renoise doesn’t are scattered across the entire UI of ableton.
some are only available in session- and others only in arrangement view and then there are those for which you have to load the native “sampler” device for.

XRNS has its advantages, but if you work with non-synthetical tracks that use a lot of WAV content then the Renoise approach is: loading everything into RAM, store everything in XRNS.
This is a killer / no go if you use MB’s or GB’s of WAV material. Though I agree: if file size permits it everything is nicely bundled together.

Hey Keith,

of course it’s never finished. But if you compare Renoise to most bigger DAW’s there are still some features missing which IMO are state of the art.
Most important features IMO are the previously mentioned wav-clips/tracks, time-stretch / pitch shift, multiple automation lane support, piano-roll, and a better mixer / audio routing.

I agree, the sample editor in Renoise is great ! It’s actually not so much the sample editor which I address, but instead the whole ancient concept of how Renoise handles samples.
IMO Renoise should provide WAV-tracks/clips like most other DAW’s do since years. Really, I wait for this feature since Renoise 1.8, now !
BTW: a reason why other DAW’s don’t have a dedicated WAV editor: it’s not needed in most cases because you can non-destructivly split/heal/cut/copy/paste/transpose/normalize/xfade etc. items directly in the WAV track. Nonetheless I agree: an inbuilt editor would be an improvement for some DAW’s out there.

i also wouldn’t complain if any or all of these would be implemented or already were. i wouldn’t even mind the infamous piano-roll as long as it doesn’t interfere with the pattern editor’s workflow. ;)
the other aspects you mentioned certainly are an enrichment for any DAW’s feature list and flexibility, with the only exception being the time-stretching / pitch shift ability. i don’t see this one in the “a DAW is ought to have that” department. I think at some point we have to draw a line between what should be available out of the sequencer’s box and what is more likely meant to be covered by the fx plugins. i always regard sequencers to be the HOST software that sends (midi) data and information to audio generators and manipulators - be it soft- or hardware. but nowadays the trend seems to be to have everything inside the host software - also that stuff, which is more leaned towards the client side.

don’t get me wrong, i mean the more stuff renoise get’s armed with the merrier it gets for the user. but in my opinion there’s the stuff that renoise should have and the stuff that would be nice to have in renoise but is not mandatory to make it a complete software solution in its ballpark.

Some people just lack some features.

On topic: Bitwig is very intriguing and I hope that the competition with Ableton will reduce the cost of this awesome way of performing live. So that people with smaller budgets could afford it.

Also when something is totally rewritten from ground-zero it involves some of optimization. So I bet it will be a bit faster and easier on CPU. Let’s see…

Interesting it is.

I know Keith that you’re a master on the keyboard ;-), and in my case I love to use ctrl-p, but in some cases a piano roll is IMO more intuitive. Especially for adjusting note-lengths (I hate note-offs in Renoise) and fine-adjustments of timing positions.

I agree that a DAW should focus on the core-stuff / engine, and I wouldn’t miss native devices like cabinet simulator or exciter, since those can be replaced easily by third party plugins. But when it comes to pitch-shifting / time stretching my opinion is that this should definitely be a core DAW feature. Renoises pitch algorithm is still based on the ancient “play that sample at different frequency”-scheme. Also all pattern effects are based on simple frequency modifications. Man, this hasn’t changed since over 20 years now, Renoise has still even those Amiga-pitch mode. And when you hear Reaper or Kontakt in contrast it just sounds much better. Time stretching is also an essential tool for mixes / remixing and so on. Of course if you need it you can use this “rubberband” stuff or external tools, but this is really cumbersome compared to other DAW’s. E.g. in Reaper you just grab an item with left mouse + alt key pressed and it is time stretched, which is super ergonomical.

As I’ve written earlier my personal - subjective - opinion is that Renoise still lacks some essential features, which I heavily miss right now. It’s the best Tracker, but still an underdog DAW.
Nonetheless I love Renoise for a lot of excellent reasons (e.g. the meta-device system and the dsp handling), and I really would be more than happy, if the one or other gap is closed soon.
Indeed, I would love to see that Renoise looses it’s “Tracker”-dogma some day.

Totally agree that as a DAW, Renoise is lacking. But Rewire saves the day. Tried going over to ableton fulltime, but it takes four score and seven years for me to create a drum pattern in Live, so; Rewire :) Would be great to have some kind of horizontal sequencing integrated in Renoise though. Ideally, i would have Reaper, Ableton and Renoise Rewired together as Abletons sequencer is kinda lacking as well :)

word. I have tried so many times to do what I do in Live and after hours of effort and youtube tutorials just turned the thing off. I have tried most DAWs/Whatevers out there, and none of them can compare to renoise’s spontaneity. to me, that alone is worth more than any set-up of “proffessional” features like piano-roll, warp-function etc.

I tried to combine Reaper and Renoise multiple times via midi sync and Rewire. But I always had some kind of timing / sync problems. Especially when doing the final rendering.
And you even rewired 3 DAW’s - no probs ? Why is Ableton’s seq lacking for you ?

That’s interesting, since I made some really refreshing experiences using Ableton recently. But I agree that Renoise’s workflow in general is excellent.

I said that i would like to rewire 3 daws. Don´t even know if it´s possible. But i haven´t noticed any sync trouble between renoise and ableton so far.

As to the ableton sequencer, i just can´t get anything done. Can´t get to grips with the zoom, and i´ve gotten really used to mouse modifiers in Reaper.