How do you get "normal" sounding instruments in Renoise?

A lot of times when I practice chords or other things on the Midi controller, I want to use Renoise to play something, as it’s my main music software currently.

Many of the instruments and samples are great for the kind of music Renoise is known for, but sometimes too wacky to practice chords or melodies on. I often just want a boring piano, flute, organ, sax, or strings sound. These traditional instrument sounds are also good for me to brainstorm song ideas with or record the tracks in a “rough draft” manner.

On a Yamaha keyboard or whatever this is easy, as many have 128 General Midi intruments, and if not that then they at least have the basics. In Renoise this takes extra time and can be frustrating.

Here’s some options I noticed…

  1. Take the Renoise default instruments and remove a lot of the vibrato, flanger, delays, etc, all the effects, and you maybe end up with something that sounds like a regular piano, or a regular flute, etc

  2. Try to find premade Renoise instruments in the backstage area that are more normal or traditional sounding.

  3. Use ReWire in some manner, but I’m on Linux so that won’t work.

  4. Use VSTs, but again many don’t work on Linux and I’m in the process of finding out a few that do. I like Dexed and Helm for synth tracks but I haven’t found one I want yet (hopefully FOSS, not proprietary) which would create General Midi type instruments.

The VST route from what I read isn’t as “native” and some Renoise effect commands and such would not work. Is this correct?

That leaves the Soundfonts and other files, but again I am not familiar with these.

So which of these would be better for normal, boring instruments that are more “native” or closer to the Renoise workflow, but also sound good and have some variety?

If I can’t figure this out, I’ll either need some standalone software to practice chords and melodies, or I’ll have to use an old Yamaha keyboard that has GM instruments.


There are assorted free instrument packages around. Often not in xrni format but you can convert.

For example:

There’s also this thread (and probably more like it if you search)

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You can literally use any sound you want, you just need a big sample collection.

There’s a few collections in the middle of this page for example:

You can load any tracker song and rip the instruments too.

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