Hello there. This is the first time I post a comment in a forum. I usually don’t like talking about my experiences, but I feel the time has come for me to say something. The license for RENOISE was the first thing I ever purchased over the Internet! Therefore, I’m happy to be able to participate with other users of this amazing program. I’m going to write a good deal, so if you get bored, you could pass this over – you won’t hurt my feelings…
My maximum hobby is electronic music. I have bought and listened to commercial stuff for nearly 15 years and have almost totally ignored radio and television. I love making music on my computer since I was a teenager. Now only if I had a tracker for my Tandy 1000RLX in the early 1990s! Otherwise, I used a limited program that came with that computer. I also played a cheap Radio Shack keyboard, and had Sound Blaster Pro. I recorded the whole lot into cassettes, so if there was a mistake in my playing, it stayed. And I had to love that cassette hiss noise! From there, I moved on to more-powerful PC’s running Windows. Indeed, it wasn’t until May2007 that I used a tracker.
I have quite a few issues of COMPUTER MUSIC Magazine. In that date indicated just above, I picked up a copy of COMPUTER MUSIC Special Issue No. 22, called the Freeware 2007 special. It contained a whole mess of VST plug-ins and a few applications. And so the first time I used a tracker, or anything close to it, was when I installed Buzé. I quickly got bored with it because I had been used to a different type of music organization, that is, using linear audio-MIDI sequencers such as Cakewalk. At about that time I noticed the “Totally Trackers” column in the other issues of COMPUTER MUSIC which kept talking about RENOISE, but I didn’t pay much attention to it because I didn’t have an Internet connection yet.
Then COMPUTER MUSIC Issue No. 113 (June2007) came along, with the cover feature about trackers. I admit, that’s when I learned much more about RENOISE than I had known or cared before. I was about to install the demo, but delayed. “What good is it if I can’t render my works to *.WAV?” I asked myself conceitedly.
So I started using OMPT instead. It’s a good program, I like it. Its VSTi support is all right, and I learned a lot about composing with trackers using it. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m no chiptune extraordinaire. I could get a bit heavy with the retrigger and tremor commands… Anyway, in early December2007, my curiosity with RENOISE overtook me, maybe because by that time the 1.9 release came about. I finally decided to check out the demo. That got me hooked right away. I created three or four projects and was dying to have an Internet connection in order to purchase the license. A few days before Christmas, I finally was able to go online. One of the first web sites I visited is www.renoise.com, and right there, I decided to express my support. Many months later, I decided to try out the Linux version. At this time, RENOISE is the only music application I’m using within my (weak) Ubuntu installation!
RENOISE is one of the most powerful music applications I ever came across. I think using samples only with it doesn’t do it justice. I could be really demanding with a program which hosts VST plug-ins, but I accepted from the start that RENOISE is a tracker, and therefore I could always use high-quality instrument multisamples with it. It’s really cool using pattern effects either in the volume, pan or effect column. I don’t use pan much for panning, so the ability e.g. to use the offset command with retrigger is a real boon! Especially the automation envelopes are one of the top features. No wonder Venetian Snares liked it! I like the choice to control audio effects with the pattern effect column or with automation envelopes. Turning effects on and off at will isn’t easy with many other programs! The file managers in RENOISE are a pleasure to use. It’s one of the handful of applications I have which could deal with FLAC files (yes, I need to save a few megabytes in my hard disk). In my opinion, the MIDI control in this application is one of the best in the business. The RENOISE team’s decision (as of version 1.8) to change the project file format is wise because there’s the ability to restore a project and make customizations. In too many other music applications, once the project file is corrupted, the work is lost. And it doesn’t matter how well it could make automatic backups either. I’m baffled to find out quite recently that the format RENOISE uses for the pattern view’s clipboards is just another *.XML file! One more thing I almost forgot – RENOISE just LOOKS COOL!
Maybe you could expect me to say if there’s something about the program I don’t like? Well, there are a couple of minor annoyances. I don’t like having to depend on Quicktime to import a MP3 file into a RENOISE project. I believe the “speed” setting related to BPM is ancient. You see, I like granular-like retriggers. In OMPT I was able to set the frames-per-row to 14 without worrying about what to set the song tempo. In RENOISE, I have to settle for a “speed” of 12 and double the BPM I intend to use in a song. Sometimes I disagree with the insistence to use 32 bits when 16 bits would do, whenever I use the “Render to *.WAV from selection” feature. In the program, I would like to use certain VST effects which could receive MIDI notes, such as Instajungle and Ohm Force Ohmygod! Something that disturbs me just a little bit (maybe it shouldn’t even bother me at all) is that a pattern could have a maximum size of 512 rows. I confess also that I became spoiled with REAPER and therefore I find that the send tracks in RENOISE are a little bit tired.
About Quicktime and MP3 files: in recent months, I had to quell my distaste for Apple Computer (for many reasons, I resented them a lot). I had purchased some music on iTunes, then tried to play the *.M4P files in Quicktime but that program performed poorly. Therefore, I don’t have a lot of faith in it to deal with some other media format. Also, I choose a certain program to handle compressed audio files.
Well, I have to close. Many thanks to the RENOISE team for bringing us a great program. There should be many more compliments out of users like me – maybe except those people who don’t like to pay for anything. Have a lot of fun in your music adventures!