Renoise has lots of specific features, and little cool things that really improve the workflow, and make it a good tool for electronic musicians. However mastering those cool features requires a good learning curve (a few weeks of intensive practice ). When we were beginners, some of us had to hardly hang on the interface, and they all have been rewarded with satisfying results.

But when you hang on this way, it’s because you know that given explanations will be understood for sure. Let’s say that through all this learning curve where you have to hang on during the few first weeks : knowing a “technical” english is really helpfull. It’s helpfull to read the manual, to understand the tutorials, to get in touch with the renoise dev. team and renoise power users, to ask questions and read answers, to understand good ways to program music in elegant and efficient ways, it’s helpfull to hang on to Renoise itself.

Because I was born in a house where some commodore 64 chip music or electronic sequenced music was played all the time, soundtrackers immediately attracted me, and since I can read and speak english, I’ve been able to read the manual, and get the meaning of the tips of the day, get the meaning of the tooltips, the way to use the software and its main functionnalities. But I know some people in my country that would like to use Renoise and that are completely lost in translation. And when they use “Google translate”, it’s doing a mediocre or average job - especially when it’s time for dealing with technical things. I’ve tried to give them some assistance, but this assistance isn’t easy. And I often see good musicians giving up, just because they see Renoise as something simply too strange, too hard and too complex. To my eyes : it’s a problem of localization.

It would be cool if first of all the Renoise GUI text labels (messageboxes labels, tab labels, menu labels, toottips labels, button labels, error messages…), were located outside of the binary code, and available in an external (and editable) xml file. Putting all of this an in “external” file would help power users to build localized interfaces. Imagine the Renoise GUI available in german, but also, in french, in spanish, in danish, swedish, italian… We could even make renoise more easy to use with specific gui fonts for russian or japanese people, why not arabic or greek people, you see.

Of course modifying some labels in the interface will just be a starting point, the next step would be to put help-like “?” buttons, on the right side of every box, opening help boxes, explainging everything that need to be explained, and those words could also be found inside the same external xml file, and that you could simply translate, you see. Lots of usefull elements are sometimes lost somewhere in the manual, and it’s not that obvious to quit the interface and check the manual : renoise could make everything easier by bringing help directly “inside”, the GUI … what would also make it more efficient during the learing curve and not just after the learning curve, you see.

I think this project requires volunteers from other languages to work on language conversion projects, not just for the program but for the help docs.

I am happy to do the conversion to Australian.

i use all my software in english localization. the reason is simple: if I need help, I can search for english terms on Google and this broadens the chances to get a solution.

of course for me it’s easier because I can read and write english with no hassle, but I don’t think that localizing would help: I think that your non english-speaking friends would simply remain with the same issues and less chance to get a solution

It’s difficult to imagine that you don’t read & speak a language that you can indeed read and speak.

I don’t want to say that renoise will be easy to master for the english users, because even if you know english, you have anyway to train a lot, before you get satisfying results. I just wanted to say that language is another additionnal difficulty, added to the “natural” difficulty to master a software like Renoise.

I recently discovered the renoise-gate portal, sure you know it. We know that lots of people in Japan speak and read english, so… why would they need to read the reference manual directly in Japanse language ?

Maybe, with a little bit of imagination… Imagine that you had to learn Renoise and use a menu with items like
파일, 편집,보기, 옵션, 도구, 도움말,
ફાઇલ, એડિટ, વ્યૂ, વિકલ્પો, સાધન, સહાય,
קובץ, עריכה, תצוגה, אפשרויות, כלים, עזרה
Файл, Правка, Вид, Параметри інструментів, довідки

Would you’ve been able to hang on easily to the concepts of renoise based composition ?

Take for example this cute video (even if you don’t like the style of the music) :

The software used to make this is called DanceMixer. You can get some information about it here : dancemixer.jp. And it seems that it’s a Japanese unlocalized software. I tried to check some youtube video about the way to use it, but franckly it’s a bit hard for me that do not read a word in Japanese language. So even if I find some initial interest in DanceMixer, I’ll drop it, because of the language.

Sorry if I will sound like an asshole but I have to share my thoughts on this topic. I do not intend to offend anyone, so if you feel this way I’m sorry - it is not my intention to hurt anybody’s feelings.

I don’t understand why people in central and eastern europe whose languages have nothing in common with english can learn it by just using internet and software for some time while french, some italian or spanish people can’t. This is just beyond me. We don’t have good education in languages, actually schools does more harm than good in this field. Most of us has too little money to take language courses. And we still are able to learn english to some degree and communicate with other people. Maybe this is because it is not profitable for companies to localize their products to our languages but in the end we manage somehow. Of course it changed a bit in last 10 years for better but what I said is still true.

I am not against localization (if there is somebody who is willing to do that, renoise team or a volunteer - thanks for helping other people). I just wanted to share this thought.

For example - I learned english by playing fallout 2 as a 13 yo kid. I understood maybe 5% of the story but the game fascinated me so badly that I played it repeatedly for years and now, 10 years after I can speak english. Well, maybe it is not perfect… but it just is. I have read recently some article about facebook as a company and there was a very interesting motto mentioned: “done is better than perfect”. So I just continue to “do” my english.

Ok, one last thing. English is not a typical language. It is the current lingua franca. Your Japanese and Russian example is good for imagination but it misses the point.

I learned it by playing adventure games like Kings Quest in the early days (you had to type a lot of commands as well)
The best way to learn it imho.


Maybe things are not all white or all black. I’m not saying that people don’t know how to speak english at all, I say that they just make an extra effort to translate.

The facts :

  • because of this effort to translate, people have some difficulties to trust a product. Things that seem to come from their own culture, are accepted more easily.
  • most global end-users prefer to use a product in their own tongue rather than English, which to them is a second (or third) language.
  • the effort of translating words, is more or less painfull. You’ll find some people that instantly translate with no effort ; you’ll find other ones that will take more time, and finally you’ll find other ones that will lose patience.
  • translation is simply an exercice that slows down the first usage of an unlocalized product for 40% of global users - that are (btw) also potential customers and potential buyers.

Just focus on it, that’s all I’m asking. You can’t imagine how much billions companies that are using internet to expand their markets, can loose each year in potential sales, because of problems with translation and localization. Studies have show that a proper localization increases sales up to 2-5 fold, and sometimes even 15 fold. Selling well a product is not of course the absolute evidence that it’s a good product, but it’s a sign that a positive customer relationship can start… The time and cost of a translation of an interface and a manual into let’s say 10 different languages, is a fraction of the revenues it can quickly bring.

Saying that I’m ready to translate the renoise manual in french.

But a program with such a small development team as Renoise the main work really has to go onto developing the program as a whole, not translating its interface from the most widely understood language on the planet to a number of others. The only way anything like this would ever be to work and not distract from advancements to the program itself would be via volunteers. Only problem is that I believe a lot of the text is images on buttons etc and thus new bitmaps would be required for each language, rather than an edited .xml language form or similar. I believe this is the same reason that makes it hard to freely resize Renoise’s interface to be easily read on small, high resolution screens.

Well, any good maintained manual in a foreign language will get a fixed spot in the help menu of the site, just like the Japanese has, so you (and friends) are welcome to do so and keep us informed.
the site doesn’t need to have the exact same structure and output, we assume all material explained matches 90 to 99% of the english version.

I could imagine to put the English text for buttons and fields inside .mo language libraries files so that localized copies of these files can be created using PO-edit.
Our company (the company i work for during daytime) works with this library editor and sets up a locale folder including a subfolder for every nationality. Depending on the choosen language, the specific language .mo file is loaded and then pasted into the fields.
In this way everyone is free to create a localized string version for the texts inside Renoise.

in a previous similar discussion, an user stated that he was translating the manual in French. maybe you should gather forces

What I suggest/request is a way to open a text file of XML or similar settings with names for menus, which can be altered to the users’ tastes. Then, a group of users who speak a particular language can share the setup file if they want.

UTAU (singing speech synth) and MikuMikuDance have partially translated menus in this way, for anything else there are English-speaking support forums and poorer than elementary school level 日本語. This leaves foreign language support entirely in the hands of users, which isn’t much diffetent from what we have now.


If I create an online french manual, it will probably match 99% of the official version of the english user manual, with the same structure, the same chapters, the same overall organisation. I’ll make it highly consistent with the official english reference, with lots of hyperlinked contents. I could even add 1% of some extra explanations.

PO-Edit seems to be the right software, simple and powerful. It can easily do the job for a german, italian, or french interface. But could PO-Edit help someone like Satobox, for example, to build a Japanese Renoise interface ? I don’t know if PO-Edit would support the display of some Japanese OpenType fonts. I know that you can find interesting things in the Renoise Skins/Fonts sub folder. You can edit the config.xml file and define something else that the DejaVuSans OpenType font (& even the PatternFont font). Maybe, some specific localizations would require from users to add some extra fonts in this place. Plus, you’ll find some middle east languages where texts are written from right to left (and not from left to right). Users should be able to define the text alignment type (i.e. : panned to the left, to the right, or “centered”).

It would require from french volunteers to enter in a wiki - based site where they contribute in a collaborative knowledge base and add, then edit, some contents.

What you said is true, localisation may, and will increase sales and improve comfort for many users. However, as it was noticed in this thread, Renoise is not backed by some company, the team is actually quite small as I understand etc. Besides, I don’t fully understand what kind of translation this software needs. This is not Microsoft Word. If you want to use Comb Filter, you have to understand what it does, and when you do, you don’t need additional explanation. For me, parameters for compressor could be in some african dialect and I still would be able to use it. When you don’t know how this type of filter works, well, then some parameter’s name will not help you much. At least it’s how I see it, others may disagree. In the end, my opinion doesn’t matter :) Having in mind that most of the literature regarding DSP and acoustics is not available in my native language or those books which are available are very basic I don’t see any other way than simply learning english.

I agree with this. English is standard language for any computer software and especially pro/prosumer one. I have hard time imagining anyone who doesn’t know what lowpass filter envelope is in english to know it in their native language. There might not even exist proper terminology at all or the localized terminology is only used by 90 year old recording engineers who worked their whole career for public broadcasting company :)

yes, that’s exactly the reason why I previously said: I think that your non english-speaking friends would simply remain with the same issues and less chance to get a solution

Concerning the DSP effects, you’re right, nothing is better than experimentation, and that’s probably why the Renoise User Reference doesn’t try to explain each effect like Wikipedia.

Here’s the Renoise description of the flanger effect :
A Flanger mixes two identical signals together, with one of them delayed by a small and gradually changing amount”. It’s short, and consequently, translating those short lines will be even faster and easier too.

Here’s the description you can find in Wikipedia:
Flanging /ˈflænɪŋ/ is an audio effect produced by mixing two identical signals together, with one signal delayed by a small and gradually changing period, usually smaller than 20 milliseconds. This produces a swept comb filter effect: peaks and notches are produced in the resultant frequency spectrum, related to each other in a linear harmonic series. Varying the time delay causes these to sweep up and down the frequency spectrum. A flanger is an effects unit dedicated to creating this sound effect. Part of the output signal is usually fed back to the input (a “re-circulating delay line”), producing a resonance effect which further enhances the intensity of the peaks and troughs. The phase of the fed-back signal is sometimes inverted, producing another variation on the flanging sound.” Wikipedia’s trying to give the most precise and complete description and also delivers an audio example of it. I assume that they know that without this audio example, the sound effect descritption by itself is futile.

It pushes me to (quickly) translate the Renoise DSP effects descriptions but also to add some small video tutorials showing each DSP unit in action.

However, these DSP unit description only concerns 30% of the Renoise User Manual. We can’t see Renoise as a pile of DSP effects. It would be unfair to ignore eveything that makes it a so cool tool. What about all the other chapters, what about the workflow, pattern edition, song control and song construction, instruments definition and samples editing, what about mixing, Automations, rendering, and the MIDI configuration, ? What about the Renoise cool editing possibilities ?