Cheapest possible renoise setup? (for professional results)

Just how cheap can a professional music setup possibly be these days?
Im looking for the absolute cheapest possible working renoise setup which includes an audio interface, monitor headphones and either a midi keyboard or drumpads.

Im hoping to find a way to make professional music with only 200 euros to spend.
I havent found a way to do it for 200 euros yet, but came close by excluding an audio interface in the setup.

Below are some cheap setups I believe will work ( maybe with no vsti so samples+effects only for the cheapest one ). I still havent managed to do it for 200 euros.


Samsung NC10 160GB, Intel Atom, 1.6GHz, Netbook Working Condition - 46.30 euros

Audio Technica ATH-M30x Closed Back Headphones (NEW) - 63.67 euros

Renoise Digital Audio Workstation
Full version license (3.1 - 4.1) - 68 euros

Akai lpk 25 mini midi keyboard - 28.93

TOTAL = 206.90 EUROS, 178.76 british pounds, 233.77 us dollars

It seeems it may be possible to get a reasonably good setup for close to 300 euros…


Dell Latitude E6220, Core i5-2520M @ 2.50GHz, 4GB, 160GB HDD Win 10 12.5" - 98.44 EUROS

Behringer UM2 U-Phoria Audiophile 2x2 USB Audio Interface Studio DJ - 46.31 euros

Audio Technica ATH-M30x Closed Back Headphones (NEW) - 63.67 euros

Renoise Digital Audio Workstation
Full version license (3.1 - 4.1) - 68 euros

Akai lpk 25 mini midi keyboard - 28.93


Korg padKONTROL USB MIDI Drum Pad Studio Controller - 57.88 euros

TOTAL = 305.35 EUROS ( with Akai lpk 25 mini midi keyboard ), 263.81 british pounds, 344.98 us dolla
TOTAL = 334.30 EUROS ( with Korg padKONTROL ), 288.82 british pounds, 377.68 us dollars


If you are serious about making music save some money and built a better setup cause eventually you will need it.Better safe then sorry


If you want to keep it cheap, why do you need midi?
Tracker realm ( to me is simply whispering ‚Äútype with your keyboard‚ÄĚ)
From my perspective, i suggest some lenovo thinkpad t430/440, (16gb ram, i3/i5 - idk prices but not over 180euros)install linux > buy renoise, and some headphones (i have DT770 and using them for so long).
I mean - if you want to act cheap, you can, but is it good in long term? you want to encounter issues at some point? If so, you’ll waste time and money.
I think that it’s most important to get good PC (laptop or desktop?) and headphones or speakers and renoise, other is not so necessary if you are going the cheap path

Why do you need audio interface? are you planning to record something serious or?

I want to use a cheap laptop with renoise and some drumpads to practise drumming with cut up breaks while travelling or on a long journey, staying in dorms, guest houses and maybe going hiking or something. Dont want be carrying a lot of expensive equipment. Similar to what you were saying in the other thread. To be able to use renoise a bit like an MPC.

Also to spend time on proper EQ’ing, filtering and stuff that would require an audio interface and monitor headphones.

Another thing is I was just curious if it is really possible to get going with a set up for only 200 euros

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  • why you need interface to use proper eq? TDR Slick eq is free, TDR Slick eq M is free (50$ is actually, but it doesn‚Äôt store presets as demo, otherwise you can resample it all day). You need only headphones, correct me if i‚Äôm wrong, but native soundcards can just handle fine. Unless you want to record something‚Ķ :slight_smile:
    regarding MPC studio black (which i have longer) i still don’t find it quite portable. Renoise is my ultimate portable workstation. Headphones + laptop = awesome! (and is multiplatform :P)
    on Windows you can use ASIO, on linux JACK, on MAC core audio (which behaves nicely for realtime performance with native renoise FX as well - fingerdrumming) - so no need for interface, again :slight_smile:
    To answer your last question: i would consider only good laptop to be around 200euros, so that‚Äôs a big ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ from me i gues‚Ķ of course you can buy cheaper, but that depends of if you wanna get cheap, or stable i guess‚Ķ

ibm x31 (better ergonomic as my mac book air)
vestax pad one drumpad (midi + usb, better quality, need no drivers, more sensitive as akai )
echo indigio io (second hand expensive, have pcmcia, is handy)

i got also a old ibm S-10-2 netbook, renoise run but there is no fun, not recommended

@ random

I think the IBM x31 doesnt have enough RAM, only 256MB…thats less than the netbooks.

The vestax pad one is not that terrible for sensitivity, its definitely the best value for money…built strong with a heavy metal casing and looks pretty with the light up pads and very portable shape but the newer AKAI pads are still more sensitive ( AKAI MPD218 ). I’d say the pad sensitivity ( on vestax padone ) is better than MPC500 and MPC1000, but you do still have to hit it reasonably hard. It wont pick up very light playing. Its not sensitive enough for people who do rolls with two fingers of one hand on a pad. But still, overall excellent value for money. Vestax padone is only 40 euro.

@ dspasic

Maybe you are right, as long as you have monitor headphones for listening clearly when sorting out the drum sounds ( and other sounds ) EQ’ing and so on, but it would still be better to have a cheap audio interface…also, like you were saying you could record some other instruments with it too, or sample into renoise from whatever has an output.

I am also impressed with how great renoise with asio4all is for drumming…theres no noticable latency. Its very playable, no problem at all. I believe ( but I may be wrong ), that even a shitty netbook for 50 euro would be useable as this kind of low latency travel-pad-drummer setup.

In any case, if the budget went up to 500 euros, the setup could be really quite nice…but do you want to travel and stay in dorms and stuff with 500 euros worth of stuff in your backpack?

For example

Lenovo Thinkpad X240, Core i5-4300U, 8GB RAM, Windows 10, 250GB SSD - PRICE = 213 EURO

Korg padKONTROL USB MIDI Drum Pad Studio Controller - PRICE = 57.88 EURO

Second-hand line6 sonic port audio I/O and condenser mic - PRICE = 69 EURO

Second hand beyerdynamic DT770PRO - PRICE = 69 EURO

Renoise Digital Audio Workstation
Full version license (3.1 - 4.1) - PRICE = 68 EURO

TOTAL = 476.88 EURO

Obviously if you have renoise license up to 4.1 already you can leave those 68 euro out of the equation

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Yes. The Akai MPD-218 is more sensitive
But the Vestax Pad-one has a better response to my feeling,
Find the pads better (probably also a matter of taste similar to Guitars)
Unfortunately i do not know the Korg Pad Control (it should be good)

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Thanks for these suggestion. will keep in mind and check easy access to card details fast.

I was seriously impressed with the build quality of vestax pad one. The way the casing is solid metal and the whole unit is quite heavy. Also I like the feel of the pads, a little more squishy kind of rubber. The whole pad is translucent and looks cool when it lights up. Even assigning midi numbers to pads is great and very convenient with the jog wheel. Its certainly useable, and if Im honest only a little less sensitve than MPD218. One thing is for sure thats great value. Its much much better than the korg nanopads and shitty pads like that but its not as good as ableton push 2 or maschine mk3, some ridiculously expensive pads. Even if you pay all the extra money those ableton push 2, mashine mk3 or MPCLIVE pads…they are not really so much better than MPD218, for example…you might pay an extra 400 euro just for that little bit better sensitivity…so yeah vestax pad one, better than MPC500 and MPC1000 pads ( which people still managed to jam out nice beats with )…and so so cheap. also great metal casing and just great for the price. vestax went out of business, thats why they are so cheap…also has midi out and a kaosspad

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If you do really want a ‚Äúprofessional sound‚ÄĚ, factor in purchasing some top end plug ins aswell.

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I did once a sound work for small local TV show - the intro music/sound piece.
On Lenovo T60 Laptop(100EUR).
No MIDI controls, no external Soundcard, only Renoise, no extra Plugins, monitoring on consumer grade HiFi Headphones. On Linux.
They liked what I made and I even got paid - so its professional :wink:


great! you got the skillz to pay the billz

I have over half of the low budget pad-drummer travel setup now ( below ). Still too expensive but its not the worst i guess.

I need some advice on low budget usb audio interfaces, anyone know a good one?

This is the setup so far

  1. Samsung ATIV 11.6" windows 10 tablet PC ( intel core i5 3427U CPU @ 1.8GHz, quad core, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD ) - This is o.k, not too bad - 200 EURO

  2. AKAI MPD218 ( Had them already, got them a while back ) - 100 EURO

  3. Beyerdynamic DT770PRO ( second hand, had them already ) - 70 EURO

  4. Renoise license ( already had this ) - 68 EURO

TOTAL SO FAR = 438 euros / 379 pounds / 494 us dollar.

I need a cheap, cheap USB audio interface. Any recommendations, thinking about low budget.

The only ones I can think of that are cheap enough are

line6 sonic port vx - 65 euro
Behringer euphoria um2 - 29.99 US / 25 euro

The USB audio interface must be small enough to dump into a backpack.

all I need to do is sample based music in renoise, no vst instruments or effects ( all renoise only production ). Live pad drumming.

I only need a USB audio interface to ;

  1. make my drums sound nicer with EQ and compression ( plus some other renoise effects )…try to make everything nice as possible in terms of the overall levels and finalizing stuff in the master track effects.

  2. record line-in from stuff like Korg DSN-12 for nintendo 2DS and PSP-SEQ through mini kaosspad…maybe some other instrument…

  3. maybe even plug in the whole ‚Äėsampler sequencer pad drumming‚Äô setup somewhere and play live.

Heres images of the whole setup including cheapest powered usb hub, cheapest wireless keyboard, cheapest wireless numpad ( for insert key and live instrument changing )

zoom u-24 sound card is currently on sale for 79 eu (177.-)

  • usb + battery powered
  • build cheap

run it on my ipad, sound is ok as far as i can still judge, i m old

note the Samsung ATIV Accu Power, Tablets have partly bad values
cheap USB-Hubs like to make trouble

hey, thanks that is a great suggestion. I did not know about that zoom audio interface. Looks Ideal for my purposes and has extra features I would not have expected to get for the price ( pictures of the unit are below ).

Have you seen the panasonic toughbooks? Now that looks like its built for travelling and can take a beating…couldnt justify the price though unfortunately.

As for the samsung ativ tablet, I think you are right. It only has one usb port so I will need to use a usb hub to plug in both the AKAI MPD218 and the audio interface. Im not sure if the USB hub will need to be powered or not…I think the akai MPD218 will run powered straight from the usb port only.

I tested out how powerful the little tablet actually is by loading a renoise song with all instrument slots filled with chopped breakbeat drumkit instruments. Each instrument had 48 one-shot drum sounds inside it. Each individual drum sound had its own gainer in sample fx, and custom envelope in sample modulation…I ran a convolver on the master track.

With all this inside one song, it did take about a minute and a half to load the song, but once it was loaded pad drumming was fine…there was no latency, slow down or stutter.

I should add though that only once, when windows started running background tasks ( anti virus )…there was some stuttering and renoise just couldnt take it. I reloaded renoise and the song and it worked fine again…you wouldnt want that shit to happen in a live pad drumming situation…so I will need to think about how to set up the tablet to ensure that it will be stable during a performance…so not randomly starting a virus scan or some other background task during a live set.

Do you have any tips on how to make sure all these background processes are definitely off, a kind of ‚Äėperformance mode‚Äô for use during a live set?

anyway here is the zoom interface you mentioned. Looks pretty damn good to me. Thankyou for the suggestion. I might go for that one…First thing I noticed about it that looks great is the separate volume dial for the headphones. Going to read some product reviews.

sry i am not up to date
always had lenovo, long driver support, also for old laptops

the mode machines usb to midi converter works with powerbank well at my akai mpd218 on a yamaha qy100
should also work at the midi port of the zoom sound card
possibly a usb hub alternative

Im seriously starting to think about getting one of these panasonic toughbooks. They look extremely solid and unbreakable ( bit like vestax pad one, but even more hardcore ), not to mention waterproof, vibration proof humiditiy proof, overheating proof…just need to know if renoise will run well on them or not. Saw one with a 3rd generation i5 processor 8GB of RAM and a decent SSD for 200 euro online. I think its just that little bit too old a processor to run renoise comfortably for big renoise only ( or almost no vst ) projects.

What about putting the computer in airplane mode while you are playing a set? Also I would make sure Windows Update, antivirus updates, etc are not on automatic mode so that you aren’t interrupted while doing something more important, or at least scheduled for times you aren’t likely to be needing the computer more.

How fast of a processor does Renoise need? Is it about processor speed or is it about having available cores/threads? I currently run it on two different 3rd gen i5s (a 3320m and 3470) and the only situation I could imagine overloading the processor would be using an unspeakable number of VST plugins simultaneously.

Thanks for the tips on turning automatic updates off and airplane mode on. Ive been thinking about the question ‚Äėhow fast a processor does renoise need to run well?‚Äô. I cant be so sure of which processor is the minimum to run renoise well enough. I need to find out somehow because Im trying to do low budget and portable as possible while useable for sample-based, reasonably large projects and live pad-drumming. On the samsung ativ tablet, which is a low performance, quite old computer ( i5 3427U CPU @ 1.8GHz, quad core, 4GB RAM ) it seems to run well even with over 100 instruments with 48 drum samples in them each. It loaded fine and worked fine even with every single instrument slot filled, each instrument having 48 drum samples ( enough for the three pad panks on AKAI MPD218 ). However it took a long long time to load. It did lock up a couple of times and start stuttering‚Ķonce when anti-virus was doing an automatic scan and once when I went online to check the forum then when back to the project. I‚Äôd imagine if each of those instruments had longer samples instead of just short drum samples, the processor ( or the computer in general for whatever reason ) wouldnt be able to take it. Or another situation in which an older i5 3427U CPU computer couldnt take the strain might be if a lot of hardcore vsti‚Äôs or effects were used, or maybe even just a lot of separate effects chains in per-sample, sample fx chains‚Ķlike maybe too many reverbs or something. I dont really use vsti‚Äôs that much, only for a bassline or for making samples so this kind of computer is enough for me at the moment but I would say its borderline. I wouldnt want to go lower to say an i3-third generation.
On the other hand, if I was only loading a drumkit of three pad panks in at once to drum with the MPD218 it would probably load and be playable even on a 2012 netbook, one with the maximum 2GB RAM…I havent tried so I cant say for sure. Its hard to say how cheap you could go with buying a laptop only for renoise. If you do only chiptune with single cycle waveforms and a couple of effects, probably a 2012 netbook is fine…depends what you do. For me I want to do some reasonably large renoise only, samples only songs and some live pad drumming.

Those panasonic toughbooks are around the same specs as my samsung ativ tablet so probably o.k without too many vsti and effects or very long samples. Having said that, it can manage a few vsti and effects, enough of them…depends how hardcore a vsti or vst fx it is.