Hardware/Software Usage And Interaction

Hey all,

I know I’m not particularly active in these forums, but I’ve been using Renoise for a long time now. Only once in that time span has my computer been unable to handle the workload Renoise and I have been giving it, and that situation was quickly fixed with a new processor. Unfortunately, things have gotten a little more complex in the last several years, and at this point I’m a bit uncertain about how to remedy my current issues.

So, My Problem:

Having evolved musically with Renoise over the past 6 or so years, my work has gone from a much simpler FT2/IT style of production (with a bit of VST gloss) to a more full-blown DAW level of operation. Depending on the project, I can end up using dozens of orchestral instruments (from the EWQL Symphonic Ochestra) complimented by a slew of percussion, ethnic instruments, and synthesizers (both VSTi and sample-based) as well as live recordings, OR set up what is basically a full multi-tracked session of drums, bass, guitar, vocals, keyboards, and programming. In either of these scenarios, I seem to be finally coming to the point where my system simply can’t handle these loads. Whether it’s pops and clicks, or the dreaded “Out of Memory! Please try to free up some memory and try again.” errors that keep disrupting my saves, I’m losing a significant amount of productivity these days.

What I’ve Got Now:

Windows XP 32-bit
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.40GHz
4GB DDR2 PC2-6400
GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB (not that it matters ;))

What I Would Like To Know:

In the future, what kind of hardware upgrades can I do to get the best performance out of Renoise? What’s the most RAM Renoise can take advantage of, and would it still benefit my plug-ins if I had, say, 8GB (for example, could Kompakt use the extra RAM even though it’s being loaded as a Renoise instrument)? I realize that WinXP is unable to use that 8GB – if I switch to Win7 will I have problems using Renoise or plug-ins (I don’t mind using a 32-64bit bridge)? I’ve been able to gather that a 64-bit Renoise is on the way, but not yet released. When taktik is kind enough to give us a 64-bit version, will that enable all the system RAM to be used by Renoise or will there still be restrictions based on the architecture of Renoise itself? Is getting an i7 processor over an i5 going to give me markedly improved performance, or will the difficulty involved in multi-core computing provide hugely diminishing returns on that investment?

Currently, what can I do to alleviate the issues I’ve been having? I recently started using Reaper as a ReWire slave so I can have my 8 drum tracks being streamed instead of trying to load them all into Renoise, and that seems to have helped. Should I alter my workflow so that vocal editing, drum mixing, and bass/guitar tracks are all loaded into Reaper? Is the reason this seems to help that Reaper streams the tracks from the hard drive rather than keeping them all in memory? Why does my 100MB Renoise file occupy 1.5GB of memory (surely flac isn’t that awesome)? Does increasing my Paging File help with memory issues (in my testing it didn’t affect anything)? One of my biggest questions is if my multiple large samples (3-minute, 48khz, 24bit) are the memory hog, or if some of my VST(i)'s are bringing me down due to too many instances or just crappy VST programming. I would presume that VST’s should be more taxing on the processor, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more crossover than I anticipated.

I apologize for the length of this post, especially if these issues are covered in-detail elsewhere on the forums or in the manual, but I couldn’t find a very comprehensive explanation of all this stuff, and especially how it relates to Renoise in particular. Much appreciation in advance for any advice, and thanks for being such an awesome community in general :D


I you are getting out of memory errors, my guess is that it is because of large samples streamed from ram. An easy thing to try would be to tell your sample programs to stream it from disk.

You can always free up ram and cpu by recording a track to disc, and then make sure that the vsti is turned off. This works well if you dont need to edit all instruments at the same time. Just decide what instruments you want to work on and record the rest. Render song to sample and insert the resulting wave file into Reaper, or just record directly into Reaper.

I once tested this program: http://www.fxfreeze.com/ and found that it worked with Renoise. But now I think its simpler to just record into Reaper.

If you decide to upgrade you could consider keeping your old computer as a dedicated sampler/vsti machine, and control it via midi. (I havent tried this myself).

Anyway thats just some quick thoughts of mine. Hopefully someone else can answer the technical questions.

Memory wise, i could recommend stepping to a 64-bit platform. At least you are then prepared to use Renoise 64 bit as soon as it comes.
Having a Mobo that allows you RAM expansion of at least 8GB helps as well.
You will need a 32-bit bridger to be still able to use your 32-bit plugins but this will probably also incorporate inflexible problems like latency issues. Though when only using 64-bit plugs, that should pose no problems.

If you switch to Windows 7, you need to carefully install plugins using the proper rights, windows 7 is security wise a lot more tight than Win XP. -> meaning: some plugins require access to certain document folders which no longer automatically offer authorized access like they used to being set to.

I’m currently already loading Play instruments outside Renoise simply because of memory problems (and currently because output routing fails)

[center]Yup these fellows are right. When you record with Renoise your recording to RAM. Its usually better to render your vsti’s to sample and work like that and if you want to record using programs such as but not limited to Reaper or Acid there are even free programs like Audacity. Hope this helps atall. I usually use renoise to compose… any recording i like to do directly to my HD…


Another suggestion: work in rendered stems. Get the parts inherently ‘correct’ and complete in Renoise, and then either bounce down into the same xrns or out to another DAW like Reaper.

Alright guys, thanks so much for the responses and sorry for my late reply! I tried to just pound through everything by bouncing and rendering some of my Renoise tracks into Reaper, but unfortunately I just simply did not have enough bandwidth to run all the tracks and plugins I was trying to use.

SO, I’ve purchased a new motherboard and i5-750 along with 4GB of 1333mhz RAM which I’m hoping will get me through this project using 32-bit XP. Once I finish this session I’m making the leap to Windows 7 64-bit and throwing in another 4GB of RAM. Crossing my fingers that this will alleviate my issues, at least for a couple years! :P

In my search for more answers I also stumbled on this thread in the Reaper forums: click. The discussion is obviously about Reaper specifically, but there is a TON of information about 32vs64 bit platforms, how RAM is utilized, how to bridge plugins, etc. Very, very useful.

On a related note, what’s up with the volume of Renoise’s renders? They don’t seem to render at unity (exactly as loud as they are playing in the track itself) but instead have some sort of normalization done on them. Unfortunately this makes it extremely difficult to “freeze” tracks, since each bounce requires careful volume adjustment once its reinserted into the track. Is there a set amount of volume reduction on each render or is it based on the peaks on the track? Just curious :)

Wish me luck, I’ll let you all know how it goes when I come out the other side of this upgrade!


PS. The sample AutoSeek feature… so, so amazing. <3