Is Renoise Good For Creating Jazz Style Drums?

Hi there, Im a newbie.

I have yet to download Renoise and trackers interest me at the moment.

I like the fact that everything can be controlled with the keyboard. I find drum programming the most tedious when using a piano roll due to the fact that my mouse is not always the most accurate and I find myself banging my head against a wall trying to correct everything.

Trackers look like I can do everything faster which is important since I tend to lose interest if I listen to a loop too many times.

So is Renoise right for me?

Also does anyone have any examples of jazz type drumming made in Renoise?

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Hi jono-60, it’s always good to see jazz users approaching to Renoise…

I myself use Renoise to compose Jazz (also).

you can find my jazz songs here (“standard” jazz), here (fusion with rock) and here (latin jazz).

the drums are made controlling Native Instruments Kontakt or IK Multimedia Sampletank VST instruments via Renoise.

Wow your songs are awesome! Really impressed. If it is possible to do that in Renoise then I am pretty much sold.

But the reason Im going to trackers is as I said to get a faster workflow. Would you say programming drums is a lot better than a piano roll?

Do you have any example Renoise or MIDI files with just the drums?

Also, slightly off topic… how do you get the drums to sound so crisp? I know this is down to mixing and mastering and theres whole books on these things. But it sounds to up front in the mix and so alive, my drums always sounds dull.

thanks for your words about my songs!

first of all, answering to your question:

I’m actually a long-time tracker user: I’ve used trackers since 1994 on Commodore AMIGA.
I can say I have never used a piano-roll based software. Yes, I tried them, but the impression I got from using them is something like: “geez, this is a toy…”. I’ve always been accustomed to say “play this note NOW and with THIS volume, THIS panning, THIS accent…”… well, this is what trackers are for…

during first times (which could even last for months, or could just be days, depending on how you will “feel at home” with Renoise), you will probably think that trackers are for geek programmers, too slow and misterious but, once you will get deeply into the idea, you will probably be unable to use anything else because it will feel too bounding to use a piano roll.

I say: download the demo and try giving it a run for some days. Also, we have a good and extensive online tutorial and a kind forum community which will surely answer your beginner questions.

I cannot provide you MIDI files, since there is no easy way to export MID files from Renoise, but I can send you XRNS files (which is Renoise native file format) of a couple of my songs, provided that you own at least Kontakt or Sampletank (let me know which you prefere, but Kontakt would be better. If you also own Native Instruments Battery Studio Drums CD’s then we have almost the same setup), otherwise you won’t hear anything while playing them.

you can also give a listen to (and above all a look at) my song Breath, which has been made using no VST plugins and then can be simply opened into Renoise and played without any other requisite. Ok, it’s not jazz, but it can give you an idea of how drumming works into a tracker.

about the sound quality: I mostly use only Renoise built-in effects such as its reverb and width command.
I’m a drummer so I tend to emphatize the sound of drums, sometimes even too much…

I hope I have cleared your ideas a bit, and feel free to ask for more.

Thanks Alien, I will download the demo.

I just reread my post, when I said ‘sounds to up front’ I did not mean ‘too’ upfront. Not sure what I was typing there. I just meant up front LOL which is what I like about it.

my two cents about that : the problem with renoise is that drums are quite “stiff” in terms of groove and feeling. this is the same problem with any DAW-program, but in the usual piano-roll-software you have possibilities to move notes around just a little bit (by switching te grid off or similar), something which is rather hard to do with renoise.
but as said, try around with the demo and see if it works out for you.

Oh damn. Doesn’t the offset command fix that?

offset (09xx) and note delay (0Dxx) do exactly this, don’t know why looza thinks there is such a problem

Cool! Im gonna download this puppy tonight.

Oh is there a way in Renoise to trigger randomly from a pool of samples? Kinda like Unwieldy Tracker in Buzz. This is great for adding variations. And what about velocity layers?

velocity layers are on top of our future features…

(as you may see here, we have just released version 1.9 beta for registered users, with other useful additions; we’re continuosly working on the enhancement of the application)

eagerly waiting for your opinion about our software!

Sometimes I just feel the the Dx commands are too coarse, like D2 makes the sample play to early, D3 too late … Like for some tech*-stuff I would like to have some variation when playing clap and basedrum by having the clap play abit too early or too late, for this the notedelay-command is rather useless because the delay is very audible. Maybe I am ultrapicky about this, but sometimes I would wish for a finer resolution, thats all.

i think renoise is most comfortable for jazz imitation composing
i am woking with jazz compositions for about 5 years

jono - 60 dont even think that other programs could be
better for jazz than renoise :D

A resolution of 12 works most of the times for me.

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Hi, would you please repost your jazz songs? The links are not available.
I’m also deeply interested to hear a jazz song made with Renoise. Thanks!

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@T-ger The standard swing is basically all groove sliders moved to the same position. Maybe renoise calculates the delay a little differently, so you need to play around to match certain settings, or search around the forum for a thread where somebody shows a formula to translate the classic percentage values. That there are 4 sliders is so you can program a swing pattern that has a different delay for each beat of the bar. I like to use it making irregular grooves, it can give that human feeling to breakbeats etc., even when it still sounds a bit mechanistic and doesn’t follow more complex grooves.

If you need more fine-grained control, you can try using the delay columns. I have successfully extracted groove delays from breakbeat samples with the slicing functions, then I can apply the delays to the pattern data with copy/paste masks. Triples need some extra care. I hope there might be a tool for this in the future.