Making Renoise a VST? (Solving the Rewire problem)

This is maybe partly a suggestion and partly an ask on how folks are working around Propellerheads ending Rewite support. Short question is if VST support (where Renoise itself is a VST or uses a VST for communication to a host like Ableton) is on the roadmap?

Long explanation:

Rewire dying isn’t a problem for me today - Ableton 10 and Renoise work quite happily together (apart from Renoise not supporting MIDI over Rewire, but I solved that with loopMIDI). In fact it’s a pretty wonderful marriage apart from a few minor quirks and has been the main reason I’ve incorporated Renoise into my setup, having not used it for quite some time. I’m using Renoise to control my hardware synths, my Eurorack (via MIDI) and samples (drums but also other things when I want that sampled tracker sound).

I noticed Ableton requires you to jump through hoops to enable Rewire in 11 (I’m still on 10) but also noticed Renoise has Link support. I gave that a go and it’s a start but it was pretty unusable for me compared to Rewire. That’s not a complaint! Link is very new, but just pointing out there’s a pretty big gap in the market left behind by Rewire - seems like a lot of folks were caught off guard (myself included). I tried JACK as well and I couldn’t get it working in the same way. Actually I couldn’t get it working at all but was apprehensive in spending a lot of time with it because it replacing the audio device Ableton uses versus adding busses like Rewire does and seems like it wouldn’t work for exporting songs.

The main things I use are keeping position in sync between Renoise and Live, using the audio buses (Renoise is usually in its own group) and being able to export the song in one go.

I forget which VST it was, but I used an Impulse Tracker VST clone some time ago and found it a little clunky but workable. It has position sync with Ableton (this was I think on 8) and audio exporting. I don’t recall if it had busses (pretty sure it didn’t) as I didn’t end up using it all that much. Otherwise though it worked pretty well and makes me think this is a feasible option to integrate Renoise with DAWs in a similar way as Rewire perhaps?

Have you looked at Redux?

2 Likes

Oh hah yeah that’s a fair point. I haven’t since it seems more like a sampler with a lightweight tracker interface on top? And doesn’t look to support MIDI in the same way (to control synths)? At least that’s what I was getting from the Redux product page. But yeah still a good point, it’s worth taking it for a spin, thanks for the nudge!

So yep Redux is pretty neat! Way better than trying to, say, program drums and breaks and things using Ableton’s sampler and a piano roll. Redux could indeed manage some of my needs for sure.

Alas it can’t quite do all of it. I’m leveraging the pattern matrix in Renoise heavily and the ability to route the tracker/mixer outs in Renoise to busses which I can then leverage in Ableton is pretty big. For instance I can setup a nice effect chain on the kick track while dialing in sends (for say reverb and delay) across the other tracks in a nice and efficient way. It would take several independent Redux instances to do something similar and I would have to write the parts separately in a way that’s fairly well integrated with Renoise now.

That’s not a dig on Redux by any means - just different feature sets. I think if I had taken a better look at Redux when we started working on our current album, it would have found its place. But then the synthesizers would have been very different I suspect (I wanted, purposefully, to use a tracker to control them to see how things might go and it’s been fun and interesting).

I could still use Renoise for the MIDI stuff and REdux for the samples at least somewhat. Link may be able to handle this at some point, but at least as it exists in Renoise and/or Ableton 10, it doesn’t seem to be time-locked - as in I can’t start the song in Ableton somewhere in the middle and have Renoise follow suit like I can in Rewire. I have to imagine that is being worked on if Ableton is trying to provide a solution to Rewire.

I’m still sort of back at square one which I’ll admit unhelpfully states what we all I think already know - given the abrupt end to Rewire (and its closed source nature in the first place), there isn’t an all-in-one replacement available at this point.

1 Like

Yes, Renoise as VST is my dream!

2 Likes

Yeah that would solve a lot, though I haven’t figured out if VSTs support multiple audio channels (and if they do if Ableton and other daws support that). The audio busses I’ve found to be super useful. That’s not the end of the world though, if Renoise-as-a-VST can only export 2 channels to Ableton, then for mixing/mastering I can still render out the tracks and import them as audio. The busses just removes that step and makes it easier to make changes while also working on the mix.

For today at least Rewire still works for me and quite reliably so this is more of a problem for down the road I think.

1 Like

+1 for this thought.

Now that the major DAWs have dropped ReWire support, getting Renoise as VST3 for timesynced DAW integration would be very much needed to add audio recordings on top of Renoise productions.

1 Like

I also always dreamt about this:

A Renoise like tracker as a plugin, which mainly hosts the instruments and midi data, interacts with the host DAW as a multitimbral instrument and optimally auto syncs midi and audio data (e.g. using a VST3 ARA2 extension or so?) with the host. So Renoise VST is responsible for instrument sound generation, samples and midi, and you would most probably then use the host DAW for audio effects, further routing, processing. And the midi data also was visible in the host DAW’s pianoroll, automatically. :slight_smile: