Features (8 / 10)
This is the best tracker I have come across (and my favourite piece of music software). The sample files supported include: wav, MP3, aiff and ogg. There is full VST 2.0 support and several native effects included. These features are well incorporated into the tracking environment which makes for very quick usage and easy application. The downside or largest lack in this software I feel is the lack of a decent arranger. The current one is quite fiddly (although usable) and can get quite confusing if you need to cut + paste large sequences. However a new full screen arranger is planned for the next release (1.3) which I think will give the best of both worlds: The speed and ease of a tracker and the convenience of a cubase style overview for large edits to a whole song. There is no line in recording yet but this can be done through VST (explanation on renoise forum). This though is also planned for a future release. Other upcoming features include: Piano roll Improved look Mid import (v1.3) Improved resolution (v1.3) + others (see web site for details: www.renoise.com) With the improvements planned this will become even better to what for me is a great piece of software already.
Sound Quality ( 9 / 10)
The sound quality is professional and as good as the samples or VSTs that you use. The native effects are good but anything you feel the need for improvement on then VSTs can be used for. I would recommend though for mastering that another program is used ( a program made for this purpose)
Usability (10 / 10)
The interface is the main selling point for this type of software with the easiest method for composing I have found in a music application. You basically enter the notes you want in individual tracks via the computer keyboard or a MIDI keyboard. These are then shown in each track as the letter of the note and the octave that note is in i.e. Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 -> (Up to: Track 64) 00 C-3 D#4 G-5 01 — --- — 02 G-4 — B-2 03 — G-3 — 04 — --- D-4 The screen unlike conventional mid editors scrolls downwards. This allows maximum tracks to be shown at one time and makes sense here for the way the notes are represented. The song is diveided into patterns of length defined by the user (default 64 lines) Not everyone likes this sort of interface but after a little practice it becomes second nature. There are some demo songs included which will speed up the learning process considerably.
Quality / Durability( 9 / 10)
There have been some small stability issues with renoise in the past but these have been and are getting ironed out at the moment. It is worth checking in the forum for details and for current users using it live. The support is excellent at renoise. I once had to contact the developers over a song I had that I couldn`t reload and was e-mailed back the same evening by the main developer. Bug reports in the forum are regularly responded to by the developers so any problems you have will be addressed. The best thing about the support is the ability to suggest and vote for (the latter if you are registered) new features which again the developers + users actively discuss on the forum.
Love Factor (10 / 10)
Anyone who loves tracking will love this prog. I have been tracking for about 8 years on an Amiga and was put off modern computer music making by the complexity of doing things in an hour that would take me five minutes in a tracker. Renoise got me back making music with the modern sound quality that PCs and advancements like VST offers with the usability of programs like OctaMED on the amiga. There is a demo on the site you can download, only wav rendering and ASIO are disabled in the demo version. It is possible to save songs. Again @ www.renoise.com Happy tracking