multiple instances of renoise and live midi controlling

Hello everyone,

First I would say I searched the forums, but did not find an answer to my question, I saw mre things about asio drivers or so, but nothing related to midi controlling. So sorry if it was already asked, I did not find it… :(/>

I have been looking for a long time now on finding an interesting issue to proceed live performing of my tracks. I have to say that I don’t make my tracks on Renoise (maybe this will come, I’m wondering), but on another untypical software called “Making Waves Studio 5”.

I have a midi keyboard which is MPK mini.

I have tried out FL Studio or Ableton Live for performing my tracks live, but I don’t like the way it feels. I found Renoise could be interesting in many ways, as I could launch patterns with pads, apply effects or mix with knobs, and play mélodies live on the keyboard.

But a problem appeared to me : I have 2 banks of 8 pads (so 16 pads available), and that is really not enough when you need to run an hour of live performance. So I thought I would open multiple instances of Renoise to switch from one to another so I could go on playing my music. But once I open the second one it says 2 times “failed to open the MME midi device Mpk Mini”, and since then, I can not assign midi learn on the second instance of Renoise.

I saw a video of Hitori Tori (not the same music as me, but that doesn’t matter ;)/>, and he’s doing live performance with multiple instances of Renoise and the same midi controller, switching from one to another. So I think it’s possible to do so, but I don’t know how :huh:/>

Just Watch from 2’00 this vid and you’ll see the transition :

I hope it was clear and you’ll be able to help me…

oh, and BTW, I’m still using the demo version as I don’t know if Renoise is going to fulfill my needs :blush:/> , I hope that has nothing to do with it…

My guess is that it’s a mac thing :(

I saw on pictures that he seems to be on a mac, but truely could it be that the Renoise team worked on such a feature for mac users and not for PC users ? I’m wondering… Anyone knows ?

That was amazing! :D

It could be not a feature really for renoise to decide but a way hardware midi controllers communicate, or a difference in how their message busses get ‘locked’ by a program in various operating systems.
It’s a very interesting take though indeed. Don’t like the music. But controlling 3 renoises with one ubercontroller from livid, yeah. Real cool.

You mean that the same hardware could send one kind of message to one renoise (cc as an example), and another kind to the 2nd renoise (note change as an example) ? That’s an idea, but I read an interview where he’s saying that he may use 10 instances of renoise on a live session, so I guess his controller can’t send 10 different kind of messages to the renoises Windows he has opened ? In the same interview, there is this part, but that doesn’t light much my way :

[i]"How do you handle multiple Renoise instances and how do you separate the MIDI messages going to the different instances?

Once assigned, the mappings stay locked to the songs. MIDI communicates with all Renoise instances simultaneously and there aren’t any issues of conflict that I’m aware of. Incidentally yesterday I had seven instances of the Renoise application open at once and everything was just fine."[/i]

You can find the whole interview there :

Nor do I, too glitchy to me… sounds confusing :wacko:/>

Yes, Hitori’s setups are famous around here :slight_smile: From what I can gather, he is using OSX and duplicating the entire application, including theme colors and every other configuration. This approach is cool, in the sense that you start Renoise and it has already selected a specific port for the controller.

However, it doesn’t solve the issue of having multiple instances sharing a single MIDI device…in the interview, it sounds like Hitori’s Ohm controller does not “feature” this problem.

Some MIDI devices can do this, while others can’t. If you experience this problem, one solution might be to introduce a software that can filter/duplicate your MIDI device messages.
Imagine that you are using some specific buttons which are mapped to Renoise instance X, while some faders are mapped to Renoise instance Y?

When mapping Renoise parameters to a hardware control, Renoise does not look for something like “message from MPK mini”. All Renoise cares about is that a MIDI message has arrived (a CC message, Note-on or whatever…), which has been mapped to something. So, you are able to swap the MPK mini with any other source for MIDI messages, as long as the MIDI message contents match the one which was memorized via the MIDI mapping dialog.

Basically, I would suggest using a software to “carbon-copy” every MIDI message, and then forward the message to a number of virtual MIDI ports. It doesn’t matter that each Renoise instance receive the same message - if button X isn’t mapped to anything in Renoise instance Y, it will simply be ignored.

To duplicate/route those message, you could use a piece of software like puredata. But other tools exist too. Bome’s MIDI translator, or even Bidule I think.
And then, send the duplicated message into a virtual MIDI cable (on the PC, a software driver like MIDI-Yoke is designed to act as a virtual MIDI cable).

Then, it’s just a question of using a virtual port for each Renoise instance and you should be able to control as many instances as you have virtual MIDI ports.

You can do this with Copperlan on Windows:

Connect your midi device to VMidi1 and VMidi2 in the copperlan manager and then attach Vmidi1 as input in instance one of Renoise then use vMidi2 as input on Renoise instance 2

First of all, thanks for your answers !

I have to admit that at that point things are getting more obscure to me :blink:

I looked at puredata and copperlan and this one looks “easier” to configurate when you’re not really a geek (I did not understand 5% of how puredata works)…

So if I understand things you said, let’s assume I want to run 10 instances of Renoise with my MPK mini (let’s go mad !) :

On Copperlan, I should first create ten entries like VMidi 1, VMidi 2, … until VMidi 10 ? Then I should connect my MPK Mini to each of these entries ? And finally attach each VMidi number to the corresponding number of instance of Renoise ?

Is everything ok in the process I described there ?

Dam, it looks so complicated I’m not sure I will manage to do so… :(

If everything is ok on how I described it, I will then have some questions like : Are things recorded then so you don’t have to route it everytime ? Do you need to have Renoise opened 10 times on your pc while configuring it ?..
And the last one, but one of the most important and I think I can Find easily the answer on the net : Is Copperlan free like puredata is ?

Thanks for your help guys

You only need two virtual midi ports (you only want to control two instances of Renoise simultaneously right?) , but Copperlan defaults to 4 i believe.
You can save a “snapshot” of your setup (you can save multi if you need those), this will include the links. But if you don’t make a snapshot, the links of your current configuration will be remembered anyway.
You might need to make a new snapshot if you update to a new version, but the working situation i configured it to remained existing in my case (only my snapshots were gone)

Copperlan seems like a nice, all-in-one solution. Haven’t tried it before…
However, I found it a bit tricky to set up due to the way things are laid out, so here are some screenshots to guide you (if you want to replicate these steps, simply replace the Launchpad with your device):

I start in the Edit tab, by adding Copperlan support for my device

Then I went into the “Connect” tab to add the connections to the virtual MIDI outputs


If done right, the overview should now look something like this:

So there I am :

I Downloaded Copperlan, followed the steps provided by Danoise (thanks BTW), and since I’m there, I opened Renoise and tried to go to the preferences menu to select VMidi1 or Vmidi2 instead of my MPK Mini, but I haven’t got any response from the program.

I Think I missed something. Maybe I should say within Copperlan that I want Vmidi1 to control Renoise 1, and Vmidi2 to control Renoise 2, but I did not found how to do so…

And when I opened Renoise after programming Copperlan to divide midi messages, I had the same message than before 'failed to open MPK Mini…"

That’s strange. Renoise shouldn’t try to open the MPK if it isn’t selected as in input device.
Try going to Renoise prefs -> MIDI and deselect the MPK. Restart. Does this message still appear?
Or perhaps you are using a template song with MIDI instruments, or it is being used by a tool (as a final step, try disabling your lua scripts from the Tools->Tool Browser)?

Using Renoise, you can always look in the upper right corner, next to the “MIDI MAP” button. The small LEDs there will tell you if there’s any MIDI activity…

The leds there keep flashin red, and anyways whan I select a sample and press a key on my keyboard no sound happens, then if I do it pressing a letter on the pc keyboards it works…

I assume it was previously set in the Midi Preferences of Renoise, hence the first response is expected, but if you did changed the Midi in device to Vmidi1 and Renoise is still giving that error: There are more places than the Midi preferences where you can connect the MPK Mini as input device:
Make sure you don’t have any direct assignments from the MPK Mini to instruments in your song and make sure you don’t have the device selected and running in Duplex or any other Renoise tool that allows you to claim the midi device.
Any midi device can only be claimed once, that’s where the Vmidi1 and Vmidi2 trick serve you to evade this limitation.

Yes it’s true that after that I changed to vmidi in the settings I did not have this message anymore, and that’s quite logical thinkin about it…

But anyway, I still can’t manage to get any sound from my keynoard using the Vmidis…

Any idea ?


Sound from your keyboard? midi keyboard? you should select that one in the Midi Out panel of any of the instrument slots that you want to attach to it.
Midi out and Midi In are handled separately.If it is not controlling an external midi device, i would then like to know what you mean with “get no sound from my keyboard”

I’m sorry but I don’t see what’s not understandable in what I said ?..

I know that you can’t literally “produce” sounds from a midi controller. I said I wasn’t a geek, but I even understand few things… <_<

What I meant was that normally when I use my MPK Mini on a single renoise, or ableton, or FL Studio, or whatever software; when I press as an example the C5 key after selecting a sample or a VSTi, then it “produces” sound (you hear something in your speakers :walkman: ).

BUT, after trying to divide the midi messages using copperlan and opening renoise, I can’t play anything selected (sample or VSTi) using the keyboard.

I don’t know if I can be clearer to explain the problem. But maybe I misunderstood your last message and you didn’t want more explanations ?

@Esox: Can you say “yes” to the following:

  • Copperlan is running and is configured like in those screenshots
  • (One of) the Copperlan ports are selected as input in the Renoise MIDI prefs

If yes, and the green MIDI led indicator isn’t blinking then I’d guess that something is wrong with your Copperlan config?
Try double-checking, as I can confirm that the screenshots I posted are valid and working on my machine

That is my bad, when i looked up the MPK mini, i stumbled upon a thumbnail image of the Mini editor wich i took for granted as hardware :P Sorry!

I’m not experiencing your problem here: Both instances of Renoise on my side respond to the signals coming in from Vmidi 1 and Vmidi 2 if i send a midi signal from my ESI midi 1 device to it.
It works fine with both 32-bit and 64-bit editions and it works fine both with mixed running versions, but i currently use two different versions of Renoise here (2.8.1 and 2.8.0) so their preferences are stored seperately.
Though if you are using the same version, both instances use the same saved preferences so after starting them up, you would always have to change the vMidi port of the secondary instance (the one that claims the midi device is already in use).
Otherwise i have no idea what could be the problem.