Finalizing In Renoise

Is Renoise good for Mastering/Finalizing?
How good is it?
Is it supposed to downmix just to offer a preview… or I can use it to put toghether a real mix? Is the -Render-To-Separate-Files- option really there just to allow us to add other effects on a single, continous track before merging it back in the body of the song? … or it’s maybe worth to render all channels to single files in order to mix em in some other program? (WHAT program? And WHY? What’s that program good at? Why isn’t Renoise good at that too?)

I remember someone stating that Renoise is not supposed to be a Mastering software… still I see loudspeaking options, prominently displayed in the render menu, informing me of a “Perfect interpolation” mode…
is this misleading someone?
what’s the relation between single channels and song render?
What direction should Renoise follow in its future to optimize developement efforts and give the most functional results?

I suppose that Renoise will take great benefit from discussing and stating clear answers to such points… as the idea of functionality behind the program is indeed the very maker of any change in Renoise

The only reason I don’t ‘master’ in renoise, is because of the inclusion of live-played instruments. I’ve never in practice tracked a song using any sample longer than one or two patterns. It just gets a little rediculous. So that’s when I take it into something like Cooledit or Audition or Protools, etc.

By the time any of the tracked portions get taken into other software, they’re already perfect - and so I don’t do anything more to it.

Personally, I think renoise does its job as a tracker perfectly, and doesn’t need to be weighed down by the features of a totally unrelated program. Apples and Oranges.

At the moment, I see two problems:

  1. Lack of good way of working with long samples, which means that, as Tibor9000 said, it’s rather hard to work with live instrument recordings or with freezed tracks.

  2. Lack of CPU performance - as working with freezed tracks is problematic, you have to do your mastering on a song. If the song takes 70% of your CPU power, the remaining cycles might not be enough for all those EQs, compressors/limiters, reverbs, warmers and spectral maximizers. In mastering/finalizing there should be no quality compromises, so the effects applied in the final stage have to have high quality - and that can cost a lot of CPU.

Problem #2 can be solved with freezing tracks, so to make mastering in Renoise possible, it is crucial to solve problem #1. Some mechanisms have already been suggested for that, like ‘sample following’ and support for direct-from-disk long samples in the arranger. We’ll have to wait for their implementation before we can do some serious mastering in Renoise - but the potential is there…

Having said that, if you have money, don’t master your songs - leave it to the mastering studio. They have better gear, better know-how and trained ears - they can do it better than 97% of us at home. Check out demos at XARC Mastering.

hm :) the answer is simple. Renoise is a sequencer … not a wave-editor or a multitrack recoder software,

mastering is a process after all mixing is done. you have a bounced/rendered single wave track and adding eq,comp.,lim and so on … ok it’s possible to load long waves into renoise, adding fx and so on … but music tools like audition/wavelab makes mastering more simple.

for mixing single rendered tracks:
there is no mixer in Renoise, there is no recording, it’s not possible to make crossfades between long wave-tracks (like vocal/real instrument tracks) without complicated editing, wave editing in general is really poor in Renoise and so on … and there are much more features that makes sense for mixing/finalizing in multitrack recorder software.

e.g. try n-track (it’s low-price shareware)

another very good commerical software is samplitude too

I would recommend Audacity for multitrack editing… Its free and IMHO quite stable…

This conversation is interesting once I was also having the same dillema: Do everything in Renoise or use it along another software?

I concluded that I’m gonna mix everything in Renoise, render to audio each track, import the wave files to Cubase and do the mastering there.


Allow me to suggest the excellent and cheap Tracktion as a multitrack recorder software. On top of that, the new 1.6 version is bundled with FinalMix for the same price…

When Renoise will be equipped with an option to display the tracks horizontally (like Piano Roll:), it will be much easier to work with long samples this way.

If the samples are displayed horizontally like in traditionnal midi editing programms, then one can see bars on the sample (relative to current bpm) and see exactly what part of it is played at what time in the song. Very yummy useful :). Also a terrific way to cut/slice samples and play with loops.

Seems like most of the replies have missed the point :)
Guys I know what a Tracker is… I know how to finalize and what program is actually capable of doing what I need… This thread was mostly aimed at rising a point about the future of Renoise starting from its present… otherwise I would have written my questions in the “Tips & tricks” or in “beginner’s questions” :lol:

I don’t really get the “totally unrelated program” :huh:
I would never suggest to include a 3d editor in Renoise, that would be what I call a “totally unrelated program”

WHY? What is it that makes such tools “better” or “more simple” ?? And what’s the point for Renoise NOT doing such things? Because Renoise does NOT handle horizontal waveforms?? :blink: that’s it??

but then why are there in Renoise also features that actually -makes- sense for finalizing?

This makes sense… but the thread is about understanding WHY this is good to be done… and why are we supposed to do it in Qbase… and in case, WHY do we have chance to finalize-mix in Renoise if we all seem to master stuff out of iT?

Well… let me tell ya. Why don’t we DIRECTLY buy a CD in a music store instead of composing music for ourselves? Professional musicians they have a better gear… a better know-how… and trained ears… and they can do better than 97% of the registered Renoise users :lol: ( And NO, Paulie… I definitely don’t have much money ) :P

personally, I’ve found out these points:

1] I’m not a pro: I don’t sell my music
2] I’m unable to master tracks in a good way: my tracks are very hard to master, because of their constant variations
3] given 1 and 2, I’ve not got the time and skills to make a good mastering job

So, I make 90% of mastering stuff into ReNoise and I’m happy with this.
If you have complains about my sound quality, pay me a monthly wage and I will be happy to master my song professionally :)

probably this is an unpopular point of view, but my music is unpopular aswell :)

  1. Well, I’d say because Cubase or Logic are the music industry standard software. They are known to be very good at what they do (all the way from mixing to mastering). Therefore, to me, it makes sense to master there.

And if you get examples of Renoise successfull stories they are combining the power of Renoise with someting else.

  1. As for the second question, I beleive it would be possible to do everything in Renoise, even though, to me, there would be some learning involved with midi and track envelopes automation in Renoise. But that’s something that I know how to do very well in Cubase, and I chose to do it there.

In the end it would be just a metter of taste and what you are confortable with.


no. I’d say you are just more confortable using trakers.

I think your sound quality is ok. You have great sound from the sources (I mean - good quality samples, gooe software), and good mixes, in such situation there’s no real need for spending hours on mastering.

I recently tested a great mastering program called Jamin. It runs smoothly on my Linux and I will probably do my mastering job in it from now on. So far I just put a compressor on MASTER track in Renoise and I was happy :). It’s time to end the crap :D

That is a big part of it - showing long waves horizontally makes it easier to get an overview of a song - simply because our screens are wider than higher and you can fit more information on the screen this way. But even more important is the easiness of working with long waves - playing from any point and directly from disk. A mastering oriented interface also helps a lot - a mixing console with level faders and aux buses.

To me it’s mostly due to easier working with long samples.

Sorry, but composing is a completely different cup of tea. Composing is about writing a musical idea down, which is much more resistant to technical issues than mastering. Mastering is not an easy thing to do on your own unless you invest serious amounts of money in mastering hardware/software and time in gaining knowledge and experience. Also, in my opinion, becoming a sound engineer is not a good idea for a composer as an overflow of technical issues kills creativity. That’s why I suggested leaving mastering to sound engineers - if you plan to go commercial with your tracks, that is, cause otherwise, there’s no need to bother with serious mastering - it’s enough to create a proper sounding, well balanced, clipping free mix. Making music as a hobby there’s no need to care about the RMS of your track or the dithering method to choose. Put a warmer on your master channel followed by a mastering limiter or a spectral maximizer and you’ll be happy with the results.

(Parsec: I didn’t knew that you poses the knowledge how good or bad 97% of the registered reNoise users mix down their work :P)

If you are a professional musician, you don’t master your own songs at all.
Even if you would have the skills to do it, mostly you are emotionally too much involved.
Mastering in most cases requires guts to push certain tracks to the backgrounds and pull others up-front where really required to bring valuable levels to your song-output.
A skilled mastering-technician who does not have any affection for the song will just plain say:this is how the levels of various tracks should be, period. And he / she will mix it down or up properly.

I’ve had a couple of times i wrote music (also with better equipment i could not afford) and let someone else do the mixing and there was never one time i was instantly satisfied with the result.
But if you drop it aside for a while and then listen again, it actually doesn’t turn out to sound worse than the way you supplied it, it actually sounds pretty good.

And the equipment doesn’t tell everything, the sample quality does set a base. Mastering involves panning, equalisation and making objective decisions.
It is actually not really more than levelling the load of frequencies to a flat output rate and tuning the song-elements into harmony with eachother. (to be done in the opposite order than mentioned)

:huh: Showing long waves horizontally makes it nice to the eye to actually visualize the song flow… I don’t see any evident reason for the sound quality improving due to a visual feature :)

I think we did not get each other about this “long samples” thing.
You have “Long Samples” when you have rendered your channels to single files. Why is one supposed to do so? You can handle each channel output already via DSP and you can add more layers of DSP manipulation using SendTracks to add any compressor/limiter/EQ to the whole channel (what you would later render into one file). Is there any real need to mix all notes on a channel to a single file? And why? Why external handling of the rendered single file is better than having free notes in one channel going through all the needed DSP? I see lots of people claiming Renoise do it perfectly…

Note that I’m NOT “really” asking. I’m just trying to focus about the future developement of Renoise and trying to have other users (and possibly the devs?) focusing on it aswell :) Some sort of “devil’s advocate”.
I would have posted this on “Beginner’s questions” otherwise ;)

I see what you mean… and this is what I assume to be the point where we start: People is discussing here about the “Best” way or at least a “good” way to “improve” sound quality. So it does not really take to be a sound engineer for any Renoisers to be actually “willing to improve” the sound quality of a track. They all seem pretty busy instead about pulling out the best sound quality they can -without- bringing their stuff (and money) to any studio. They suggest programs each other, they send links each other…
If I was supposed to check out for what Renoisers are more likely to do or want in order to set decisions for further developement… I would rather tend to consider that a great percentage of Renoisers are willing to play the “little sound Engineer” regardless of the danger of killing creativity due to “overflow of technical issues”…

Now this is a statement! :lol: This is importante to me, why you say “Time to end the crap” ? Is Renoise evidently bad in finalizing/mastering to you?

Infact I don’t know it… :huh: Herm… you’re speaking to Paulie, aren’t ya?

It surely has nothing to do with audio quality, but is much more than just an interface style - it results in better ergonomics and thus may be one of the reasons that might make people want to do their mastering in Cubase or whatever.

What’s the reason for rendering (freezing) tracks prior to rendering? I’ve already written this in my first post in this thread:

I’m not saying this is a better approach in terms of audio quality, but it is simply necessary in many cases as the processor cannot handle generating the sounds from scratch and applying the mastering effects at the same time. However, if you own a PC powerful enough, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it all in Renoise without rendering tracks.

Except for one - when carrying out the whole process in Renose, you might be tempted to do some of your mastering as you compose or to make some corrections to your composition while you do the mastering. You will hardly ever get good results this way and most probably waste a lot of time. Working on a track in the classic way (compose, render, mix, master) makes you focus on the composition first and then take care of the technical issues - which is IMHO better.

Making it easier to do mastering in Renoise will in my opinion require implementation of: sample following, direct-from-disk streaming of long samples, arranger and mixer console (in that order). Actually, nothing has to be reinvented here - big mastering programs have it solved in terms of functionality and ergonomics quite nicely.

Sure, but the question you asked was why do people tend to render their tracks down to disk and do their mastering in some “big” sequencer instead of mastering in Renoise - so I tried to address that question and didn’t think of giving plugin and mastering guide links. If you want to improve your mastering skills and/or get better plugins, I strongly recommend KvR-VST as the starting point - make a search in their forum and you’ll find a number of mastering tips, guides and plugin recommendations.

You may laugh at the “overflow of technical issues”, but this is something I’m telling this from my own experience. In Fasttracker days, when I didn’t know anything about mastering or had any means of doing it, I finished one song after another. Now, when I’m more aware of technical issues and have all the plugins I very often get caught in tweaking EQs instead of focusing on song flow. Result? My Renoise Songs folder is full of one or two pattern long “songs” that I’ve started and focused on the sound of the mix rather than the composition right after I got first ideas into Renoise. When the sound was ok, the mood and ideas were gone and I couldn’t come up with a good song flow - so I just saved the song in hope of finishing it later.

That’s why I strongly recommend the “compose first, then master” method and would love to see Renoise supporting that work flow. Perhaps the fact that people tend to render tracks down and arrange them in a program like Cubase has less to do with audio quality and more with work flow and ergonomics (when performance problems are put out of the question)?

I think he was actually speaking to himself (and the rest of us, who put a compressor on Renoise master track and are happy with the result ;) )

My music composing “pipeline” is like this:

  1. a new idea for a song (this is fundamental!)
  2. compose it into Renoise trying to make it as close as possible to my will, except from live played instruments (guitar solos, lead vocals, ecc…). I use almost VSTi, in particular SampleTank2 and VirtualGuitarist, that offer a lot of quality and control.
  3. set up the most important tempo-related track effects (reverbs, delays, phaser, ecc…)
  4. export every track in a separate file with maximum quality
  5. import them into Adobe Audition 1.5 (ex-CoolEdit Pro)
  6. fine tune volumes, compressors and equalizing, and also insert some other special effects (panning, filters, noises, ecc…)
  7. final mix down to file, eventually final compressor and normalize.
  8. finish! :walkman:


wow! sorry, but that sounds really conceited. there are plenty of artists that regularly blurr the lines between production and composition, aphex twin, autechre, futuresound of london. and plenty of acts that totally produce themselves. quality of production on computers is not a function of how much cash you spend on your gear, but how you put that gear to work. telling people that you need to invest years at recording school to learn how to mix tracks properly is buying into RIAA-type dogma. you are wrong wrong wrong. mastering is a process of determining averages, you make several mixes, listen to them on a variety of stereo systems and steer for the happy medium. studio experience helps you identify what to look for, but half the time studio pros mixing unknown musician’s tracks will just set the levels and leave them.

the only advantage a pro studio has is nice preamps, microphones and dead sound rooms. the modern pc is an excellent mastering and mixdown tool.

the reason studios are so expensive is because they have bills to pay, egos to feed and don’t want to get buried in working out every crappy garage band’s album. a high price tag weeds out lightweights, adds an air of exclusivity and makes people on music production forums reverse-justify the expense as evidence of higher quality.

don’t buy that shit. :yeah:

Let’s back to topic.

As i understand it’s all about ‘mixing’ capabilities of Renoise.
Any modern mixing software has own algorithm of mixing.
For example one friend of mine using FruityLoops studio producer to create his music. But when he mix down track in FL and compare it with Cubase mixed track, he found a big difference in character of obtained sound (Cubase sounds much detailed and clean).

Different people prefer different softs: Logic Audio, Samplitude, Cubase, Audition, Vegas e.t.c.

Some time ago (using older Renoice version) i compared fully Renoice mixed track with rendered to tracks and mixed in other software track (dry mix, w/o any fx added). And i must admit - it seems that side-mixed track sounds little better and cleaner. But i don’t sure 100%, it’s like perception feeling of sound.

So it’s a question of ‘mixing’ engine and algorithm of software i suppose.