A while back, I spoke with one of the devs (can’t remember who exactly) about the arbitrary limit of 12(?) running instances of a single instrument at any given time. Once 12 simultaneous instances of the instrument play simultaneously, the next note-on will cancel the oldest-running instance abruptly. This limit existed on 2.8.0, and I assume it’s existed on other versions as well. The dev I spoke to told me this limit would be gone in the next version; 2.8.2 came and went without a fix, so I assumed that it was being worked on for 3.0, but alas, it is still there, annoying as ever.
I assume this limit was put in place to keep people from accidentally crashing Renoise by creating hundreds of instances of an instrument simultaneously with a nearly-infinite release time, inevitably breaking their CPU threshold. That being said, this limit is incredibly frustrating to work with when making any sort of ambient or drone music, if any instrument with a long release time needs a specific emphasis (e.g. playing a melody on an instrument with a very long release time, or playing large chords with 13 or more notes).
The only workaround I’ve found for this limit is using several duplicates of the same instrument, and playing with those instruments when the limit for the one preceding it has been reached, but as you could imagine this is hardly suitable to a comfortable workflow, and is rather impossible to manage when playing things ‘live’, unless you’re constantly keeping track of how many notes are currently playing at the moment, and are always ready to switch to the next duplicate.
I feel that, while the limit is necessary to prevent inexperienced users from overtaxing their systems, the current limit is much too low (12 simultaneous notes maximum? Really?). A good compromise, I feel, would be to add an option in the preferences menu for “polyphony limit per instrument”, with a maximum value of “inf/unlimited”. Or perhaps this limit could be set on each instrument/sample individually, in the same way that interpolation or transposition is chosen. Regardless of what’s done to resolve this issue, the current state of things is, in my opinion, needlessly restrictive to the user.