I Just Needed To Share This With Someone

I just wanted to share this with everyone. Sometimes I just can’t control my excitement I guess!

I’ve always been into electronic music and production, I’ve always made dance music since the infamous Amiga days. Then, as the limitations of the Amiga began to show towards its end (8-bit and 4 channels) I started to look elsewhere like everyone else. I needed the luxury of better sound quality and more channels. I was a dab hand at Octamed but I knew I couldn’t use that anymore.

So people began suggesting the Akai sampler/ Atari ST combination. I thought about this for a while, but in the end £1000 was just robbery for a sampler as far as I was concerned, no matter how “professional” the sound was. And 16-bit samples loaded in from a floppy or a zip drive? er-no thanks.

Then a friend showed me his 486DX/ AWE32 soundcard setup. At first sight it appeared impressive. Very impressive. It could play 32 16-bit samples at the same time from the hardware. And you used Cubase to sequence it. At last I could be a “professional”. So I opted for it and a week later I was the owner of a similar setup as his.

However, the honeymoon period was over after only a week of owning it. I immediately realised that the AWE32 had a crap signal to noise ratio. All things considered, despite the fact that it was 16-bit, it actually sounded worse than the Amiga! It was quieter, hissier and even managed to sound less analogue and less “dancey”. To make matters worse the software drove me to the point of near insanity. To actually get a sample loaded for use in cubase you had to go through a ritual with “Vienna” and soundbank manager. You then had to set the relevant bank in Cubase and even this was temperamental. All just to load a sample? WTF? And cubase simply couldn’t MIDI time correctly for bread! CRAP…

Music making took a drastic nose dive over the next four years. During those four years I migrated to cubase VST/ ASIO soundcard. A year was spent tinkering with VST in my spare time trying to iron out problems with stability/ timing/ memory, you name it. To no avail.

Then an upgrade to cubase VST 5.1. This helped a little although once I began to get into the nitty-gritty of music making I found the program bloated and over complex. It scattered “audio takes” all over the hard drive and did not have the ability to save the project as one file. Why? I found the EQ controls fiddly and it was still a “ritual” to get a sample into the program. With regards to the latter, Halion was the virtual sampler used. Regardless of what anyone may have to say, I found Halion to be the daftest piece of software ever created. Although it had all the features of an Akai, it was about as intuitive as wearing a pair of underpants on your head. All in all the VST/Halion/ ASIO soundcard set-up was a complete waste of £500 pounds for me.

Another friend demonstrated Logic 5 to me on his PC. I tried it for a week but again I ended up wearing my underpants over my head. It was more stable then Cubase, but it’s audio engine was crap. I know it is apparently the “industry standard” in audio sequencers as far as producers go, but I found it to be again unintuitive bloatware that focused on impressive graphics (both Emagic and Steinberg/Pinnacle seem to justify charging £300 for software because the mixer section looks like a Yamaha 01V). The ESX24 sampler (or whatever it was), was a pile of crap too.

So that idea was binned as well. Another few months went by without really making any music. I fondly remembered the Amiga days. I remembered the ease of getting a sample mapped across the keyboard. The instant music making power. The stability of the software/timing etc. Should I go back to a tracker I thought? A bit of research on the net soon hailed Renoise as the tracker to have. What’s this? A “pro” tracker with built in EQ/compression/reverb etc and with the ability to use both VST fx and VSTi’s? Sounds too good to be true.

But it wasn’t…

It’s a funny world that we live in. I guess marketing sometimes gets the better of you though no fault of your own. What with all the rage and all the mags telling you to get a Mac/Logic setup or Cubase SX or whatever and to then to shell out on complex software samplers. Its easy to find yourself floating into useless technology issues and not concentrate on music. It turned out that renoise was all I ever needed. Does everything with ease. Everything is actually “at your fingertips” as the authors say. Stable too, I’ve gigged numerous times with Renoise loaded on a laptop, and on my computer anyway, there’s no real need for an ASIO soundcard as the direct X driver is quick enough.

Aaaaaaahhhh…thats better. Sorry for the long post, but I just had to get that off my chest!

no go spread the word :P


“Release him Smacky, he is part of the collective now.” :blink:

welcome to the cult.

I’ve been in the same situation as you, But I stuck longer with the amiga, using Digibooster Pro.

It uses AHI drivers, that way you can have more than 4 tracks and a sound quality of 14 bit out of the standard paula, but it was awfully slow, and bad sounding.

Renoise… it’s just to beautifull for words to a ‘tracker’ like me

Nice post. :)

I’ve tried other software, most recently Cubase and FruityLoops on the PC but also back in the days when I had an Atari 1040STe and an Amiga (anyone remember MusicX??? :P ) but it’s so overcomplicated to use and as you say in your post, it’s crap for actually getting on with making music.
With Renoise you don’t need a midi keyboard (although I’ve bought one now), I’ve been making music for years now just with a standard computer keyboard.
Of course it helps that the keys are the same as back in the Octamed days. :)

nice read, good post.
definately arouses some memories of my own struggles in finding a decent tool to write music with.
hope you’ll have a good time with our beloved renoise ;)

Word perfect.

And, ironically, exactly the process I took.

People don’t believe me when I say that a tracker (Renoise) is an fantastic sequencer with a truly awesome, very powerful and fully-featured “inbuilt software sampler”.

I think it’s the step-sequencer that puts them off, when they first see it.

But it makes me laugh, lol, thinking about all the poor people ‘painting in’ notes and drum hits on Cubase with their mice. :) That’d drive me clinically insane! :blink: :w00t: I honestly just do not know how they put up with it, lmao!?!

Exactly people…

And especially when you consider that most people who are making music for the most part on a “computer” are producing electronic loop/pattern based stuff. There really is no need for all the other complex CPU hungry bloatware. Nothing quite gives you the atomic precision of Renoise.

I mean there is a possibility that Cubase’s Audio engine is better than Renoises, (but even then I’m not quite sure), but apart from that possibility there’s absolutely no point.

Timo you really DONT need to quote an ENTIRE BOOK just to add “yes, I agree” in the end, do ya? :lol:

I had almost the exact same experience finding my way to get a more professional sound and struggled with cubase and logic. At a certain point I just stopped making music out of utter frustration. I never forget the first time I launched Renoise, I felt euphoric and sad at the same time. Why did it took so long for a tracker to evolve at the stage it is now? The first thing I did was register it, not because I wanted the wave writing that bad but just not to let the development die … I hope people reading this will realize it when they are in doubt registering Renoise!

Since everyone is spreading the love, I thought I might as well yet again. I started with trackers on the Amiga when a company made a $99 sampler (anyone remember the Technosound?) that plugged into the serial port of my beloved Amiga 500 :) I used a few trackers but Octamed was the tracker of choice.

Now, when other producers come over and I play them tracks in Renoise they look at me bewildered. They cannot take it seriously. There is little point in trying to convert them, there is no way they’ll switch to a program that “looks like The Matrix” :lol: When they said that it made me want to use Renoise even more!

The money I spent in registering Renoise was the best money I’ve ever spent on software. Version 1.5 continues improving on already a good thing and I’m loving the new song layout -although it took a bit of getting used to.

Good work again guys.

Cubase uses it’s own software drivers to support ASIO, i don’t call this the better audio-engine. It seems more stable in that case (unless someone else can cue me in differently here), but for hell of asure not faster.

Convert or convince? :huh: