Coming from Sunvox - what do I need to know?

Hi, I am considering buying this software this week.

I am coming from Sunvox, a rather nice tracker.

The way I like to produce is by using drum samples, sampling acapellas and then using VSTi synths or the synths inside the program. I like to make house/post-dubstep/breaks.

Some tricky stuff about sunvox for me is editing drums, For example, in renoise is I made a song at 140 BPM, would I start the song at that tempo and be able to have sped up/stuttered hi hats and small stuff “in between” the kick/snare? Or would I have to make everything in double time? I struggle a little with the concept of “ticks” so I need to lock this down in Renoise. In sunvox, default is 6 ticks. I believe Renoise is 8…so that is a little confusing.

I also am interested in what sounds I can make without bringing in a vst. I love the modular routing of Sunvox…Just being able to quickly drag in FX really helps me out a lot. How does this differ in renoise?

I use both.

Stutters/in-beteen timing. This is typically done using the delay column rather than note delay effects, which goes from 0-FF, so there are 256 possible placements per line. The ppq will depend on the number of lines per beat (LPB). IMO this is a much better solution than delay effects for recording “live” parts, and getting down and dirty with micro-timing.

Sounds without VSTs. This is a weakness of renoise - Most people prepare sample kits. You can do some basic wavetable style synthesis by drawing waveforms (I often do this in sunvox as well). There are a few renoise tools which do some basic synthesis, but to be honest, these are useful hacks rather than cutting edge solutions.

While native “generators” are lacking, the native effects are useful. The sound quality isn’t anything to write home about (the bus compressor isn’t going to compete with the glue, nor are the distortions and amp simulators going to hold up against amplitube or trash), but they’re functional and fairly comprehensive. Artists like Hunz seem to be able to do some amazing productions using all native effects.

The modular routing is going to be completely absent sorry. You’ll have to make to do with bussing using “groups” and sends console mixer style. The closest solution may be to use plogue bidule alongside renoise. This is one of the things from sunvox I miss a lot.

Despite these limitations, renoise is really great, especially if you’re willing to branch out and take advantage of VSTs. I think that’s one of its strengths over traditional trackers or something like sunvox - you can apply the super-detailed-OCD programming mentality of trackers to VSTs with incrediblly deep sound engines like Zebra or ACE.

As a side note, make sure you check out the autoseek function if you deal with acapellas. It’s really handy to have for long audio tracks.


Awesome…much appreciated info!!!

I find myself using samples more and more.

As for VSTs…I own Massive and FM8 as well. I am very interested in ACE as well. I want to keep my synths capped at 3so I can just get to work…lol. Would you recommend ACE as a good fit with the other 2?

The more I think about the routing…as cool as it is there are a few things that were always tricky in Sunvox. For example, seeing the true level of my tracks was always a bit tricky. I never knew exactly what the peaks were.

Also sampling in sunvox was a bit clunky. The sampler in renoise seems so much more powerful. Is it similar in terms of the basics? I love how Sunvox just puts the sample across the keys in every pitch for example.

I guess if I am already somewhat comfortable programming hex, I should be fine. The fact that renoise lets you add groove to your drums if you want is an extra bonus.

Let’s be honest, sunvox is a 1 man show and while there are some very nice tutorials, I have a feeling renoise will be a lot faster for me to learn due to the support of the product.

edit - just looked up autoseek…wow…that is sweet!

I love programming my arps by hand in trackers so in Sunvox I would get a generator sound I liked and then just start coding an arp. I am sure I can do the same in renoise.

Renoise’s sampling ability is on par with Kontakt and Hallion, ( you must be aware that Kontakt has a lot of built in fx, but Renoise is a production environment, also forget the libraries, I am just talking ability ) in terms of sampling ability, I stand by this statement 100%. Renoise really excels with slicing and manipulation… Its like having the best part of Recycle, but inside your DAW.

Sunvox is a really cool app, but Renoise is really full featured… ya know… Like a full DAW… That is where Renoise is…

In terms of, “which vst synth.” Everybody is going to have a different, “totally favorite, absolute best synth to buy is xyz.” Look at your budget, go and demo stuff, really test things out…

When you buy a U-He synth. You get bug support. Customer service. Somebody who cares.

When you buy a Cakewalk synth… You do not get this. You used to… but not since Roland has screwed up the company.

IMHO… It is very hard to choose a good synth, and you must demo, and test, and take your time with your purchase.

The ACE demo is fairly full-featured other than crackles and pops, so I’d demo it. My understanding is Massive is a subtractive beast, and FM8 is a new dx7, so ace will complement these nicely (it’s good for weird modular circuit sounds). U-he is kindof the bandwagon thing now, but something about his synths just sounds damn good. While you’re at it, I’d try Zebra (which has an even more permissive demo). My theory is it’s that there’s some subtle modulation with the pure oscillators that make them sound “alive”, but who knows.

Modular routing is tricky. It can make for messy mixes since it lets you blend signal chains however you want. This makes gaining parts couple in weird ways. I don’t mind though, I’ve always loved the creative “what if” aspect of that. Also it’s fun to see how much sonic mayhem you can get out of just a few effects routed in weird ways. With the mixer console style routing, things are cleaner, but there’s a strict one-effect-one-role “lego block” aspect to working with effects that’s not nearly as fun.

The sampler in renoise is pretty powerful. The basics are similar to sunvox - you have your key mapping, your wave editor, loop ranges, vibrato (in the form of lfos), envelopes, etc. That basic stuff is all there. I always thought sunvox could’ve used a automatic “drum kit” mapping button like like there is in the renoise sampler, multisamples were a pita to setup in sunvox.

Sunvox development cycles are actually pretty impressively fast for one guy. Renoise isn’t a huge team either, so you’ll be disappointed if you think renoise is going to have much faster development cycles. Whereas sunvox tends to have incremental changes, renoise usually adds a lot with each version, but at longer intervals.


Well this is all great stuff to read. Much appreciated.

I bought Renoise an hour ago and feel like a kid at christmas…lol. Loading up these demos and watching the notes ripping by at 200 BPM is just awesome.

There is so much to learn coming from Sunvox, but I feel like a couple hours a day and Ill have things figured out well enough to compose some tracks real soon.

Ill check out those U-HE demos too.

This feels like a graduation coming from Sunvox. I love Sunvox and am blown away that 1 guy made it, but as stated in here - renoise is like a full DAW…just awesome for $77. So much better to me than composing in Cubase like I used to do.

Also you have to know that the dev of SunVox also posts here so be sure to not rustle his jimmies.

Don’t forget 0Rxy (retrigger) and 0Sxx (sample offset) effect commands :D/>

Im a huge sunvox fan, so nohing but respect for the dev.