How Is Renoise Running On Osx?

As I use mainly XP for Renoise I have no experience in using it under OSX. If you have please tell me how it runs and feels. Even more if you switched from XP to OSX I would really want to hear from you. Do you miss some of your favourite VSTi’s? etc… Thanks!


I was running a W2K box before. Renoise runs pretty great on OS X. No complaints. Enough VST’s to keep me happy.

The things I do miss are applications like Analogic/AXS, Cool Edit, Hammer Head and a bunch of other things i used to use to make tracks. I’ve since learned to live without them with a few new mastering VST’s and the advances in Renoise.

…now that I think about it, maybe I can run Analogic/AXS in DOSBox. REVELATION!

i’m about to make the switch. i’m really excited about it. :dribble: :dribble:

I switched to OSX recently and started to use Renoise on my brand new iBook G4.
Performance is not that good, even when i tried it with an imac G5. Now if you can afford a G5 Powermac it may be usable. I switched back to PC. I still use the OSX version for light projects without VSTis.

The OS X version will be optimised in the future. Apparently the gui is suspected of being the bottleneck, and this is being looked into.

What are you talking about? I use both an iBook G4 and and iMac G5 and Renoise works fine. Yes, it “feels” snappier on my W2K box (with more MHZ than my iBook), but so does everything else. It doesn’t prevent you from doing any work. Run something like Garageband, Tracktor, or Live on your OS X… Renoise is a lot faster than those. Compared to other applications in the same category, Renoise is doing fine.

It would be nice if Renoise was optimized, but for a first release on a UNIX based OS for people like me, it’s a dream come true.

I run it on a PowerBook G4 1.25 GHz 768MB RAM… One single instrument, one note, without extra VST effects of for exemple IMPOscar, takes 15% of the CPU. Aftter 5 channels or so of VST instruments the GUI is lagging and sound turns choppy. Compared to e.g. Logic that’s not what I call “doing fine” or run “pretty great”. Rather it unfortunately makes the software almost useless for my applications. I ran the same stuff on a comparable PC laptop and the CPU usage was roughly three times lower. That could have to to with how heavy IMPOscar is optimized for the different platforms though.

Other than the VST thing, I agree it is an excellent release and I have been looking forward to it for a long time!


It is true that Renoise can’t optimise how a vst runs internally- the only thing it can optimise with regards to vst is how (process() or processReplacing() ) and when it calls them, and in both of these circumstances I’ve found Renoise works just as well as anything else.
There are currently performance issues with the Renoise GUI that will be addressed, but this should not greatly affect performance of signal processing and generating code.
It might be a good idea to talk to the developer of your vst instrument to find out why it is not performing up to your expectations.

I’ve been doing some reading on OSX and the next release Tiger is an optimized OS due to a new compiler (gcc 3.x) and stuff related to the responsivess of the windows (like resizing) could this be related?

It will help with overall performance of the OS, probably reducing cpu load by a few %.
I can only speculate with regards to how it will help performance of Renoise’s GUI, because I have not seen or wordked on the code.
Unfortunately, it won’t help existing plugins reduce their sometimes huge cpu requirements :)

A also thought it was an internal VST-plug issue, but some time ago I was in contact with Simon Finne, the guy doing the OS X port, and he then stated that the problem was indeed related to Renoise. Because of the badly documented API for VST-hosts a lot of ugly fix-code had been necessary to make it work in Renoise. At least back then he thought this was the reason for the slow speed. I’m not sure weather this is still true.

Laurence, are you sure that Renoise performs as well as e.g. Logic? It seems weird that it would not be possible to run more than 5-6 VST channels in Logic without chopping audio on a high performance Powerbook. Even old and simple VST-plugins (Pro-53) eats a lot of CPU in Renoise, and all VST plugs can’t be that badly optimized for Mac as it’s quite a large platform for audio especially since Logic was bought by Apple.

It would be interesting to see a Shark profiler log when Renoise is running with a couple of VST-channels…

Well, to answer your question and make comment I guess I’d have to look the code, which I haven’t done yet. Simon is more of an authority than me with respect to the performace of the mac version, and anything I say right now is purely speculation.

I can say for certain though (but don’t quote me :) ) that there are several ways in which renoise can appear to slow down performance of vst plugins, but those would have to do with how it manages threading and audio streams (and conversions within those streams), not the actual code of the plugins themselves.

Afaik, there is still a small overhead in the PC and MacOSX version when processing VSTs: We are using a different internal Audio format range than the VST protocol, so we have to scale the buffers before processing the VSTs and scale it again after they are processed. On the PC this is nearly unnoticeable, on the Mac it will be noticeable, when using something like a 500 MHz G3.
We will sooner or later remove this extra overhead. Its just a question of time.

Also give us some time to optimize the Mac OS X version: The OSX port was introduced with this release, and I think so far its running quite well, compared to other audio soft on OSX. Of course it will be more and more optimized in further updates.

Question about this internal audio format range of Renoise, without getting to technical. Is this related to the way Renoise and trackers in general handles timing ‘ticks’ ? Just wondering…

First of all: I made a 30% switch in 2003, when I bought an iBook G3 800mhz, to try OSX.
I loved it.

I made a complete switch in end of 2004 when I had the chance to get a dual 2ghx g5 cheap, and i’ve been lucky since. Some apps are slower, and from time to time there’re problems which I wouldn’t have under windows - but on the other hand, there’re a lot of problems I would have under windows which I don’t have under osx. :)
Apart from that, I’m doing a lot of Linux development at work, so having a good Unix OS at home (although the Linux/OS X compatibility is sometimes not that good) really helps me.

There’re way more vsti’s and vst effects on windows than on osx, especially since all these synthedit thingies are win-only. But I understood this as a chance, as having too many choices usually makes me create less. I just browse patches and try vsti’s instead of making music.

In addition to that, you get garageband for free, I’m using garageband a lot in conjunction with Renoise (triggering garageband instruments via renoise-midi), as there’re some really nice instruments (not to mention those cheap jam packs).

Well, I wouldn’t want to switch back to windows.

The only thing I really miss is a nice cheap Audio-Editor like soundforge or cooledit. I use audacity, but it’s not that good in comparison…

This editor is sort of like cooledit and has an ok price.…asp?Language=EN rumor goes that CoolEdit or now Audition 1.5 is being ported to OSX by Adobe. Normally I do not like rumors but this one I do like :P


Source of this rumour please?

Quatro Pro doesn’t do it for me (no multitrack)… The closest thing I can find to a good Cool Edit Pro replacement is Audacity… and it’s not very close at all. :(

What about Bias Peak? or Deck?

I’ve read it here but doesn’t confirm anything that’s why it is called a rumor I guess… <_<…dio_editor.html


As for running Renoise on Mac OS X 10.4 i guess we’ll have to wait for a while.
The new version of the OS is due on 29th of April.

As some pople have already pointed out in the forums Renoise 1.5 ‘Final’ doesn’t run on the build
that will ship on 29th(8A428) but for some strange reason 1.5RC2 does.
(If the devs need to do some testing i’ve already got 8A428 installed on my boxes).

Personally I’ll be picking up my legal copy of 10.4 Tiger on 29th at a local retailer.

gcc4.0 should give the Mac version of Renoise a helthy speedboost when it ships wich hopefully won’t take too long.