Having moved from using a sequencer for a long time I am very impressed with this software, it has made song writing quicker, better and far more fun than previously, hence my decision to purchase it within days of downloading. My question is, can Renoise be considered a ‘one stop shop’? I find that the rendered songs pretty good (I have used the free mastering software from Aodix) but not being a great authority on mixing and mastering don’t know if I should use something else other than a wave editor to normalise the finished results. I’d appreciate your comments. Thanks
Renoise is one studio out of the box, if you know how to handle this tool because Renoise is different from other known tools like Cubase or Logic…
There are some tools to master a song included like “Channel-based” equalizers, noise-gates and compressors and with these onboard-tools you can produce very good results but I think postprocessing a songfile with Cooledit, Audacity or Wavelab is a good idea, sometimes.
The biggest problem with mastering anyway, is that you can screw up a song completeley.
Usually I try my best to set the volumes and effects as perfect as I could do it, I need more time for the channel DSPs than for composing the song.
Having recently migrated to OS X and not having found a Cool Edit Pro equivalent, I decided to try mastering within Renoise using available effects and a VST plug-in set called T-Racks. Results: It sounds great.
I prefer not to think "well, I can always clean this up later in ". I try to get the track the way I want it to sound entirely from within Renoise.
The only things I really do externally (with SoundForge) is final normalisation of the whole track if it’s not already maxed, and trimming the silence from the rendered wav, making sure it starts/ends correctly at 0db to avoid any clicks, etc. Even those things could be done with Renoise, but SoundForge is much better at handling huge wav files
Occasionally I will also do minor EQ adjustments in SoundForge if I’m feeling too lazy to fix it in Renoise and re-render the whole track.
I’m definitely not a mastering wizard yet though, but I do feel that it’s very important to get the sound correct as early as possible. I think too many people rely too heavily on post-production and mastering to “fix” the sound for them. If the sound was shit to begin with there’s not really much that can be done to help it, but if you spend the time to get it as good as possible from the beginning, any post-production work will be a lot easier to do.
T-racks is indeed a cool tool (I have not used it as a plugin yet, but i did used it upon remastering older wave-files of mine), you however still need to know for what purpose you use T-racks to master your song.
Well, it depends on how you look at it, but imo you can’t use Renoise as a mastering application. At best, you can use it as a mixing application in conjuction with it being a sequencer/tracker, in that you can apply mixing effects such as compression, EQ and reverb to each of the tracks in order to mix them down. But if you’re looking to do good mastering then you need to use a dedicated program (e.g. Sony Sound Forge), as I don’t believe any CPU is capable of handling the tracking, mixing and mastering stages all in one.
Mastering meas you need a whole master plug-in chain, including EQ, a multi-band compressor, multi-band stereo imaging and limiting etc., and this alone would max out any CPU if you’re looking to do a good job.
But, if you’re just looking to “master” by strapping a limiter across the mix, sure, just put it on the master channel and you’ve “mastered” in Renoise.
I’ve seen screenshots of T-racks and that’s about as far as I got. Totally not my thing at all. I prefer the much greater precision of the Waves processors. And using roughly the same presets is also about the last thing I want to do. As every master I do is different, I start with a clean slate each time (well, still using the same basic approach of course)
I see. Though I don’t know if the Renoise compressor is really the best one to start out with. It doesn’t have a visual display, so you’ll have to know what to listen for as you adjust the controls, which is gonna be extremely hard.
If you’re serious about wanting to learn, find yourself either a freeware compressor on kvr that has a visual display (including a gain reduction meter), or go for a “try before you buy” option and get something like the Waves C1 or Cakewalk Sonitus:fx compressor.
The way you’ve set the compressor up as you described it sounds OK, but the attack and release times greatly depend on the mix and sort of music you’re working with. If you want to reduce the volume of drums, while allowing the lead instrument to be generally unaffected (giving it more presence), use a short attack and release to reduce the volume of the fast peaks only (i.e. drums).
Tutorials usually do an OK job of giving you reasonable values to start with, so just begin there, and after perhaps a year you might try experimenting a bit more as you get more of an understanding as to what part does what. It really takes a long of patience and frustration, I know.
I know that the compressor DSP in Renoise isn’t the best quality in the world, but damn it’s got some lovely, simple controls! I do have several other compressor/limiter plugins, but I rarely use them simply because their interfaces are a pain in the ass. I honestly wish all of the other “pro” stuff could be as simple to use as some of the built-in Renoise effects.
Seems like too many of the bigger software companies try to design their software to be based around the look/feel of hardware, rather than actually thinking “ok, let’s do this from scratch… how can we make it as simple as possible to use?”. Y’know what I mean?
But at the end of the day it’s all about personal preference. While I might prefer to have 3 or 4 sliders to control the basics, someone else will inevitably want 30-40 sliders to control every subtle nuance of the sound, hehe.
Know exactly what you mean. That’s why I use Waves DSPs, because they’re not designed with clumsy hardware controls that I find to be a real pain in software.
But the only other thing the Cakewalk Sonitus:fx compressor has is a knee control I think, which is easy enough to use given the compression graph image, not to mention that the other parameters are also much easier to work with since you get feedback meters. Ah well, it’s up to you want you prefer to use.