Manual Effects

I’m struggling a lot with the hexideciamal side of Renoise and can’t get to grips with the Effect Column/Effect command. I’m a Mac user, can someone help me with the basics? Thanks!

Have you checked out ?

Perhaps the page there on effect commands would help you get your head around it.


Anything else, just ask and I’m sure someone will be glad to help.
(Always remember to use the forum search first, though.)

Thanks for getting back in touch! I purchased Renoise a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve come to a bit of a dead end with it. I can’t understand the whole system of inputting the effects commands in hexadecimal/songspeed/ticks etc. Sorry guys, it could be a long night!

If you’ve never used a tracker before it can seem very confusing at first. But stick with it and it will become second nature, hehe.

Are you just having a hard time with the concept of how the commands and things work, or how to physically edit/place the commands in the pattern editor? Do you understand how the hexadecimal (base 16) numbering system works to begin with?

Both really. I’ve looked at the tables and it’s not sinking in. I don’t know how to physically edit/place the commands in the pattern editor. I need to grasp to concept first.

As far inputting notes and commands into the pattern editor, edit/record mode must be enabled first. By default (on PC, not sure if this is different on Mac), you can toggle edit mode with the Esc key (or by pressing the record button found in the upper/left corner of the screen).

Once edit mode is enabled, you should see a red border around the pattern editor itself.

From that point, wherever the cursor on the pattern editor is currently positioned is where the data you input on your computer keyboard will go.

For example, if you’re in the note column and you type something, a note will be entered for whatever instrument you are currently using. If you’re in the volume column while typing, you will be editing the note volume or some other type of effect which can be done in the volume column. While in the effect command column, anything you type will be editing some kind of effect command values, etc, etc.

The position of the cursor is really the important thing here. :)

I’ll borrow a screenshot which trackit used in one of his posts:

You can move the cursor from track to track by using the Tab key (Shift+Tab to move left instead of right), or by using the left and right arrow keys to move the cursor into the positions to edit things such as volume, panning, effect command, etc. Up and down arrow keys will obviously move up/down to different rows in the pattern, where you can input other notes/effects/etc.

As you can see from the screenshot, the cursor is positioned in the effect command column, and is currently editing a sample offset command (09xx, as detailed on the tutorials page).

Understanding the actual commands themselves, what they do, what kind of values they accept, what their limits are, etc., that is something you will simply learn over time by experimenting yourself and carefully studying the documentation (as well as things on the forum here).

Hope this helps a little. It’s quite a big subject to cover at first, and can seem very overwhelming. But as I said before, just have a little patience and things should fall into place quite quickly.

Thanks so much! That makes much more sense. Okey dokey, gonna have a go…

Hmmm. i think a lesson in hexadecimal wouldn’t go amiss, I’m currently searching the web for a tutorial in it. So why are the effects commands not in base 10? Would that not be easier?

In the world of trackers where your screen space is a very precious commodity - especially back in the early days when trackers were running at resolutions such as 320x200 - more efficient use of the available space is very important.

So, hexadecimal is a more efficient way to do things in that respect. To get the number 255, you only need to use the value FF. (65535 = FFFF. 16777215 = FFFFFF. etc). That’s one (or more) extra column of text saved on your screen, and that space can be used to display some other feature or piece of information within the tracker.

These days our screens are obviously much bigger, but trackers have used Hex for so long now, it’s simply “the way it is”. Personally, I love it, heh.

Anyway, it’s really quite simple once you get the hang of it. Let’s look at the volume range for an instrument as an example. The range is 0 (silent) to 64 (full volume), which translates to 00 - 40 in hexadecimal.

Hex … Dec
00 … 0
10 … 16
20 … 32
30 … 48
40 … 64

So if you want a note to have half its volume, you use the value 20. A quarter of the volume is 10. etc.

I prefer this method because most of the time you are working with nice, simple numbers such as 20, 40, 10, etc., rather than 32, 64, 16, which is the same thing really, but just takes a little more time to do. One less digit to type means more time actually making the music. :D

in “dec” system every digit have a weight of x10
so… you go from 0…9 and then thats it… you get an overrun… so you reset the count to 0 and add one extra digit 1 so you get 10
and so on…

well, in hex the weight of every digit is x16
so you go 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,a,b,c,d,e,f and you get an overrun and you have to reset and add an extra digit… so you get 10 (but as you see this is not the same 10 as in dec system)

Thanks. I’m slowly warming to it. It’s still a bit tricky…

So, for example:

[QUOTE]“Panning column - In this column you can set each panning value for each note played. Commands in panning column are: 0–80 (00=left, 40=center, 80=right), 9x - Panning slide left, Ax - Panning slide right, B0 - play sample backwards (TIP: can be used in combination with 09xx command), B1 - play sample forward again (TIP:can be used in combination with 09xx command), Dx - delay note x ticks. (depends upon the song-speed, the slower the song, the higher the possible value), Ex - retrigger note, Fx - cut note after X-ticks.”

If I want to play the sample backwards, I place the cursor on the ‘effect’ cell and type ‘bo’? I just don’t get the 09xx thing…

Sorry guys :huh:

It might be better (easier) to focus on the effect command column first, before you try other tricks such as doing fx from the panning column.

The first entry would simply play the note C 4 on instrument 01.

The second would play the sample backwards.

The third would cause the sample to play from its middle (starting at the red line in the image below), rather than its beginning.

Also notice that the commands are using 0’s (numerical zero), and not O (upper case letter O).

If you go into the sample editor and click on different positions in the sample display, Renoise will show you exactly which 09xx command you should use in the pattern. It’s visible in the lower/right corner of the sample editor.

And when you are entering effect command data into the pattern, look in the lower/left corner of Renoise, and it will give you tips/info on what you are typing.

Aha! So the ‘xx’ in the tutorial applies to the hexadecimal value that must be input in the effect column. Cheers!


Just for fun, here’s what a typical early tracker (Protracker 1.2 I believe) looked like:

So you can see, every single pixel was important. Having unnecessary extra letters and numbers taking up those precious pixels just wasn’t an option in those days! It had to be Hex.

yeah… i used protracker on AMIGA :yeah:

people starting with computers today will not have to struggle with hex. back in my days (1992) when I started with a c64 I coded assembler, and I made calculations in hex (+,- and simple *) in my head.
so it is easy for me and its easy for most other people who either used trackers for a long time or did code ASM at one point or the other.

what I can say however, the usage of hex makes it basically simpler to make music, imho.
first, most of the music is 4/4 bar based. now hex is based upon sixteen, which is four times four, which leads to the following : if you have your patternrows displayed in hex, every 0x row is the first bar, every 1x is the second bar, every 2x is the third and 3x is the fourth.
atleast for me its easier to understand that 20 (hex) is the beginning of the third bar, or the beginning of the second part of a 40h-row pattern and so on.but if you are used to a 16/32/48/64 measuring, that may be hard.

the other great thing is that most of the effectstuff is done in hex too, 0 is 0% and 255 is 100% (of something). that seems to be strange to grasp too, but it gets easy once you understand : FF hex is 100% (thats not really true, it has to be 100 hex, but anyway), 80 hex is a half of that, 40 hex is a half of 80 hex, 20 hex is a half of 40 hex and so on. for me its easier to put volume commands like


for a soft curve instead of


anyway, as I said, hex is hard to grasp, especially since there is not really any field in computers nowadays which really uses it (colour-definition in webdesign comes to my mind, but thats it). maybe you can find a tutorial or something, I know I had a hard time getting the idea, but it did not take long and I think its something that will stick in my head forever since I simply “got it”. (calculations with bits is that other thing that I still can do in a basic way, and I never needed that for a very long time.)

Thanks guys! Phew!!! I’ve been at Hex all day, and it’s s-l-o-w-l-y making sense. But still I just don’t see it as a natural way to count - that’s the problem.

I would not understand what wouldn’t be clear about this: