How did you meet Renoise?

I thought this would be an interesting topic.

I think i found out about Renoise in the Computer Music magazine about 10 years ago or more.I remember i just stared at it and go, this is so beautiful but i didn’t have the guts to learn it until a few years back.Whats you story?


That is an interesting topic!

Here is about me. First I didn’t felt concerned by Renoise.

That was around… 15 year ago, I was a big big fan of Impulse tracker (according to my old love for demoscene), and also composing into some videogames musics and arts projects… But and I have to say that was a bit limited to use only Impulse tracker in 2005… (no VST, no advanced effects…)

So one day a musician suggested me to test Renoise (an alpha version), but first I declined because I didn’t liked the FastTracker-looking interface… (I know, that was stupid!)

Then I waited one or two years… And felt more more clumsy and outdated compared to other musical producters, so one day then I finaly have a glance into Renoise…

So… I thanked the guy which suggested me to use this tracker, and Renoise team too! ^^


I ‘met’ Renoise when I began looking for a new DAW. After 18 years of using Reason, I noticed that they were switching their DAW over to more of a plugin approach. Plugin meaning, Reason is being used within other DAWS. I do not want to work within another DAW with the DAW I already used.

Reason is also notorious for having a ‘sound’ to it. I won’t argue the topic. I hear it, others hear it, others don’t hear it, I don’t care. It was a good reason to make a switch.


I purchased it in 2017, I believe, and sat on it. I kept giving Reason another chance, and another, and another. Reason kept getting more and more synths and effects that could do algorithmic sequencing and granular sounds. Still, it just couldn’t sit right in my ears. It sounded wrong to me. I was looking to hear sounds that were clearer, like tracks I heard from sequencers done in Max/MSP and Pure Data. Just couldn’t do it, no matter how hard I tried. I wanted to attain a sound like Ryoji Ikeda, not his ‘sound’, but his structure. I did not want to learn how to program in those softwares.

I needed a clean slate.

Re-open Renoise, and make my own samples. Learned that I could actual MAKE them right in the sampler, and I could also generate single-cycle waveforms with Tools built for Renoise. Learned I could make hums and drones from comb and regular filters. I could tune some effects. WTF!?! I couldn’t do that in Reason. Not like this!

Then, the sequencing - didn’t make sense to me in 2017, but ‘clean slate’. Learned it. LOVE IT! It’s just so much like a matrix, I mean, it is a matrix. It’s a matrix that I type into, versus clicking on buttons. Listening to the sequencer, it’s tight, rigid, what you put in the spot is what comes out. No drag, no issues.

Keep in mind I DO NOT use VST/AU plugins in Renoise. Only Tools. Built for Renoise. The highest I’ve ever gotten my CPU meter to read on a finished track is about 12.5% That’s it.

Back to the sequencer, another reason why I really appreciate it is due to the amount of sounds I can wring from a simple single-cycle sine wave. The way I can adjust patterns, the weird little sounds I can make happen ‘accidentally’, even though it’s not an accident, it’s just a percentage of randomness. Couldn’t do that in a useful way in Reason. I’m sure it’s possible, but it just didn’t really make sense in that DAW.

I also need to give a major shout out to @Raul - he began initiating an idea for sample manipulation beyond what was already present in Renoise. He worked solidly for about a month creating this tool called ‘Sample Multi-Controller’ or SMC. I now use SMC in nearly every track I make. It does amazing things to samples via LFO that was not present before. You can’t make it yourself with any of the utilities that are available for the end user. It was made using LUA. So much work went into this Tool. I can do things that my musical tastes require. Glitches, buzzes, sample-frames, motion within a sample… Just not possible to make happen by using LFOs and other modulators without this tool.

Finally, the ‘sound’. Renoise does NOT have a sound. It’s sound is whatever you put into it, and take out of it. It’s filters, EQs, effects, etc., are all clean. Even the ones that have a specialized sound of their own. The sound is not able to be marked as ‘comes from Renoise’. Renoise gives me the opportunity to sound like I made my music in Max/MSP or Pure Data. They are clean, digital. So is Renoise.

Renoise does not crash on me, Renoise is able to be ‘skinned’, and has all sorts of color settings to adjust. It’s really a DAW made for individuality.


I can confirm that the sound of Renoise is clean,many may argue but to my ears it is.


My first DAW was Ableton Live. I was working in education at the time, so I got it for the education discount of ~$350 per version (!!!) and was still struggling with the fact that all the virtual instrument sounds and “real” synthesizer Operator cost extra above that license – the full version was over $500 (educational) and I just felt like I wasn’t getting that much out of the tool. I was using it as a glorified VST host, playing with the sound stretching features, but not getting far beyond a surface-level use of the tool.

At a certain point, I couldn’t justify the cost to upgrade, and I started looking around for other alternatives. I played with Reaper for a while, messed with GarageBand, and they were serviceable enough.

Then I downloaded the free demo of Renoise 2.9, and quickly was able to do everything i did in Live. I was struck by all the community-sourced XRNI instruments that instantly gave me access to a huge variety of expressive sounds. Just finding jbborgoin’s collection of instruments opened up a world of possibilities that I was missing in Live.

I was initially daunted by the tracker interface, but quickly learned how it actually helps speed up your workflow, allowing you to quickly get ideas out of your head and into the DAW. I love that it’s actually designed to work well on the regular computer keyboard, without being too dependent on an external MIDI controller (which I didn’t have at the time) or a mouse. When I discovered GuttRoll, a Renoise Tool that lets you input notes on a guitar neck rather than a piano roll, I realized the power of Renoise’s extensibility and awesome community of devs. That tool opened up my ability to use all my background guitar knowledge to create chord progressions, rather than having to relearn them on a piano first.

It was at this point where I actually started doing some deep reading and learning about sound design, and understanding how to actually build sounds up from a waveform to the kinds of sounds I’m used to hearing in recordings. I realized that Renoise has all the tools you need to serve as a sound design workspace. In fact, the whole app serves as a giant modular synthesizer tool, with all the component pieces of a synth you could ever want to build up any experimental weird tools you want. Now, I often see ads for new VST plugins and instruments, and I instantly know how I could build something similar using Renoise’s built-in tools. For this reason, it feels like such a great value to have so much capability for so little cash.

“You get used to it, though. Your brain does the translating. I don’t even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, redhead. Hey uh, you want a drink?”
-Cypher, The Matrix

And while it feels limitless in some ways, in some ways it also reminds me of the limitations that all my music heroes had to wrestle with when they made all my favorite tunes in the 70s/80s/90s. They were using 16-step sequencer drum machines and samplers that only held kilobytes of data – mere seconds of borrowed sounds – and used those to make most of the dance music I’ve ever shaken my butt to. I like that the basic tasks of chopping samples and sequencing them on a grid are the same in Renoise as they would’ve been on the iconic hardware tools my heroes have used all along. It’s a reminder that we have access to so many bells and whistles in modern DAWs that we don’t really need, and that Renoise has everything we need to produce great music.

Lastly, I found myself craving the experience of tracking in Renoise. I get a weird “brain buzz” from working with the Matrix-style tracker grid interface that I can’t explain – am I alone in this? Not only is it hacker-cool and I feel like a badass when I show my friends the interface, but I have this little addiction to clicking around the grid and crafting rhythms. Where other DAWs feel like a chore to open up, Renoise is this little thrill that I’ll open up when I want a dopamine hit. I even installed a copy on my work computer so I can take quick breaks at work, electrify my mind for a while, and then get back to some other task.

For all these reasons, I love working with Renoise and I’m glad to learn from you all about how you use it as well!


I never thought I could be so expressive musically using only the PC keyboard.My midi controller is collecting dust for a long time now.


i knew about renoise after reading wikipedia specially reading about Venetian snares… that was when i first came to usa in 2016 and it was not pricey so i gave it a shot and got hooked pretty fast with it


It took me 30 years to meet Renoise. :joy_cat:

Around 1985: I heard some strange cracktro musics on C64 and CPC6128 that was really cool
Around 1990: I heard 8bit chiptunes during Atari ST vs Amiga 500 war (with samples, effects, all that)
Around 1998: I discovered that demoscene was still alive and was now cool even on PC
Around 2000: I discovered that I could hear XM, YM, S3M, MOD with ModPlug Player or Winamp plugins
Around 2002: I discovered that I could make my own tracks with ModPlug Tracker
Around 2005: I discovered the VST world but only did experimentations with VSTHost
Around 2010: I discovered that ModPlug Tracker was now Open MPT and was allowing VST/VSTi
Around 2015: I discovered a really far better soundtracker DAW called Renoise (v3.x)

So yes, 30 years between the year I heard the coolest muzak of da world (on old computers) and the year I bought the coolest DAW of da world.


I just remember, that after some dark years in my life I became a linux nerd as means of self therapy. Then I wanted to make something artistic, and had a choice to learn blender or some music software. I went for music! I had pre experience with fasttracker as a kid, but nothing deep…so I liked and knew the tracker interface well. But progs like milkytracker or some buggy buzz clones on linux were too limited for to me, I wanted the perspective of being able to touch professional level after some years of learning. For long time I had shunned renoise because it was no free open source software, but then I gave the 3.0 demo a try and fell in love, learned to use the thing and then soon bought the full version.


I went from ripping songs and looking at them in Protracker and other trackers on the Amiga when I was a kid, to FT2 on the PC, so by the time I wanted something better, Renoise was the obvious choice, out of all the modern trackers it just had the slickest interface. Been using it since 2005, bought it 2006.


I think it must have been 2003 or so. I had been mostly using Fasttracker 2 during the nineties and tried various other apps in between.
I believe I immediately bought the first version when Taktik had taken over, I was mainly sold by the idea of a Tracker that supports VSTs and is reminiscent of Fasttracker2.
There was also Jeskola Buzz amonst others but Renoise seemed to be the most streamlined tracker at the time and judging from my limited/ignorant knowledge I would assume it still is today.
Unfortunately making music is something I only get to do very casually.
Today I think of it more as an amazing sampler combined with a great sequencing system. I don’t think of the tracker paradigm as much.
Oh and the Linux-support was and is a huge seller and must have for me, I would not be using Renoise if it would not run on linux.
Oh and as others mentioned, the LUA support was also a very good move.
As a software product Renoise is just really well made, lots of smart choices made IMO.


Same story here, except I watched a video not read an article.
I think it was this video:
I don’t remember it being so blurry, but as it seems to be the only VSnares Renoise video I guess I’m misremembering.


I didn’t kwew this video, Renoise look soooooo underground on this! :alien: :rofl:
But the result showed is strong.

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Interesting topic, I met computer music with a 486 dx 33 (a long long time ago) and modtracker… I was already playing violin and practicing music a lot, but this way to code music was so easy and fresh that I instantly begun to love trackers… By the way, the only synth you could find in a computer back in this days was the horrible pc beep, or opl3 if you were rich… With a basic soundcard (a lot of $ btw) and a classic cpu, you could afford making nice music with samples that sounded way more realistic than beeeep beep…
After that, I tried several trackers, fasttracker, impulse tracker etc., and one day I bought a creative sound blaster awe32 with a 8mo wavetable and found a wonderfull software named AST that could harness the wavetable and integrated effects power to make music…
I used it a lot of time, but that went to an end when I discovered vsts and plugins, and 8mo that’s poor btw…
Then I used psycle, that was a brilliant tracker with a modular approach and a (rather buggy) vst host… That was a good software but not very pleasant to use, I couldn’t say why… I didn’t make much music with it since I discovered renoise with google, looking for a modern linux compatible tracker with a good sampler in it… I wasn’t disappointed… I think I bought it 30 minutes after downloading the demo…
I think I’ll never use anything but trackers, I might try to plug redux in something like reason, because recording midi with a controller in renoise is not that pleasant (or I did’nt understand how to do it …), but I can’t imagine doing step programming in a classic piano roll…


I started off wanting to make chiptunes and researching a bit on the tools I would need. Trackers seemed like an alien world to me, having come from hardware mostly, and never getting along with other software like Reason or Live when I had tried them out.

There was some kind of eureeka-moment when I finally learned how to make a simple melody in Milky Tracker. I printed up a hexadecimal conversion cheat sheet and was on my way.

I had read about Renoise during my initial search into the world of chiptunes, but I figured it was probably more than what I really needed to just produce some simple tunes. Eventually I got bored of chiptunes and wanted to do something with VST’s and more sample mangling capabilities, so I took a chance on the Renoise demo and bought it outright after a few hours of tinkering around.

Loved it ever since!


Being a huge fan of Industrial /IDM / Plunderphonics …I sought out the tools of the trade , and here I am.


I think I heard about Renoise by reading about how AFX or Venetian Snares made their music.

I think I’ve tried it a couple times since then, but wasn’t ready.

After this latest Elektron teaser and reveal period I finally decided to take my money and make the plunge.

I wish I had done this sooner. It wasn’t the computer I was so averse to, it was the mouse


I’d like to become 100% QWERTY …something about creating full tracks with just keystrokes is so satisfying to me. It’s as underground as this 80’s child can get :grin: Everyday I become more sufficient/efficient at it.


Is this possible in Renoise? Loading plugins, switching windows, loading samples, navigating, etc. ?

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Its probably easier and closer to getting 100% QWERTY in Renoise than any other DAW …,still catch myself using a mouse out of habit though.

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