Hardware Synths and Renoise 3.1.0 - Help please

Good evening all,

So, I’m currently doing my research into purchasing my first hardware analogue synth and the current short list is as follows -

Moog Minitaur

Korg MS20 Mini

Both have sets of sounds that I just gravitate towards, the Moog has such a warm and deep bass sound that will be great for most of my production style (drumfunk/old school jungle/ dabble in hophop) and the Korg just screams Steve Moore/ZOMBI/ John Carpenter type tones - which I feel will also be very usable.

Now, I’m wondering how does Renoise take to external hardware? It’s my primary daw, so I don’t really want to have to record in anything else and then import to Renoise if there are any timing issues, but I do have other daw’s I could install and use. Also, the integration of the external synth with Renoise could have a factor in which I finally choose - if one had better timing that the other for example (I’m a complete newbie with this - so excuse me if that would simply not be an issue.)

I’d be running my h/ware synth of choice into my Focusrite 2i2 - which is currently rock-sold in Renoise with a 6ms latency.

IF I wanted to be able to use a h/ware synth audio in to process audio from Renoise I realise I could not do this with the 2i2 - but, if I integrated a Mackie 5 or 8 channel desk - could this be done?

In short, if anyone is using either the Moog or Korg with the latest version of Renoise - please share your experience!

Many thanks,


Im am not sure, but I think those mixers dont have integrated interface, so You could not use it to output signal from renoise. Even If You could, there would be no way to combine it with scarlett interface in a multidriver scheme.

Sure, scarlet 2i2 can’t be used only by itself for routing audio out to hardware and back in - with a small , not realy comfortable exception. It is possible to use one of the stereo pair output (and work in mono) to connect to audio in of a synth and then back to scarlett preamp. You need to be very carefull with routing in renoise mixer and mute the coresponding L/R channel to prevent feedback. Its really not the best idea but its possible.

Thats why I got 2i4 (and I would get an interface with more outputs now that I have more hardware…), which has midi out (clock/latency compensation etc. works well in renoise) and additional pair of outputs which I run happily thru microbrute for example.

If you are planning on using Renoise to sequence the synth in realtime you want to aim for as low latency as possible and this really puts a lot more demand on the driver quality and overall system performance (lower latency also affects how much CPU Renoise is using). It’s perhaps obvious, but worth pointing out that ASIO drivers usually are the only ones able to go as low as you would need.

Also, like Jackie said, I think you will enjoy having enough inputs and outputs in order to avoid complicated workarounds. Strictly speaking, you need a minimum of 1 input and 3 outputs for a monophonicMS20 setup. But adding more channels is not as expensive as it used to be…

Personally, I have an MS20 and use it with Renoise. Unfortunately my audio interface does not offer low enough latency forreal-time processing, so I tend to aim a bit lower and use the synth as a destination for computer-made sounds, which I process with the MS20, sample and processfurther in Renoise. Has worked great so far, but I am also thinking of upgrading.

I actively use hardware synths with Renoise in most projects and haven’t run into insurmountable problems. Like danoise says latency becomes the biggest issue and I’ve found even with a very good (but still consumer-level) audio interface, I still wrestle with latency. I’ve found that if I want to send MIDI from Renoise to a hardware synth and send the synth’s audio output back into Renoise to record, I have to fiddle a bit with the track’s latency setting (upper right corner of the first box in all tracks’ DSP chains) to get perfectly on-time recording. Usually this means setting the track’s latency setting to around negative 10-12 ms. Once that’s done the audio from the synth syncs very well.

However, in a project with a LOT going on (many tracks with lots of effects and plugins, etc), it’s better to render audio from external source ASAP, trying to record a hardware synth live in a big complex project can become a headache.

Anyway, it works, just need to fiddle with it. Also I’m not familiar with the Minitaur but I can readily recommend the MS-20 mini – I’ve had one for a year and really love it. Another great, inexpensive analog is the MicroBrute.

Thanks for all the replies - I’m currently running renoise with a 6ms latency on my focusrite s/card - should this be sufficient for recording/playback in realtime?

Renoise works fine with hardware, i use various hardsynths and have no issues

With a focusrite 2i2 you should be fine,just be aware of latency,
Recording is as simple as going to the sampler section, click record, choose inputs, and decide if you want to record the midi sequence or manually (for example if i record a drum sound, i’ll just record anf hit the keyboard to make the sound)

The sampler is brilliant too for editing and tidying your recordings

Remember you need a midi connection / cable to send any renoise midi to your synth
Also researcg the difference between hardware monitoring and software monitoring

And if i had to choose i’d go with the ms20, you get more for your money, it’s semi modular too so you can get way more flexibility and sounds

I’m using an Access Virus and it records straight threw the USB. I don’t even need a soundcard! It was hard to get everything wired, but once I did its been a dream since. No latency issues or drop-outs.

Hey doctor, you really should look out for the new Korg Minilogue which came out earlier this year.

It’s like an MS20 but polyphonous with a lot more features. And very affordable at 600 €. Much better money value than the other synths you mentioned, I think.

Thanks for all the info all - sorry for radio silence - been too busy playing with my new…

Waldorf Pulse 2.

For £5 more than the Minitaur, it ticked a lot of boxes - and so far everything about using, programming and having FUN. No latency issues to speak of - been happy rendering midi to audio, and then going to town with the Renoise sample FX.

The modulation matrix in the synth is an awesomely poweful tool and built in arpeggiator.

One thing though, what’s the best way to be able to record hardware synth automation? Just to get tighter control than moving the filters by hand when recording…

I’m going to go through the Midi CC list in the manual, and map the most common / useful ones to knobs on my Maudio Oxygen controller. Providing I save this config, it should be mapped eacch time I use it - and if I check the ‘record midi to automation’ lane box I can then get more control - even with the quantise steps feature turned on?

That’s my theory anyway -



Hey guys, since my question somewhat relates to The Good Dr’s question I figured I might as well put it in here.

I currently have a Roland Boutique JU-06 hardware synth and Renoise and am looking to buy a MIDI keyboard controller. Since I’m not really sure how these things work exactly, I’d like to know how I can control my synth with this controller, and then get the audio to output to my laptop. If possible, it’d be nice if the synth doesn’t have to be turned on and connected in order for it to playback properly. Probably an easy thing to solve but I can’t figure it out and help is greatly appreciated.