I’ve been using bundled Renoise effects reverb, compressor, chorus and delay in my guitar and vocal tracks. Also, I’ve been using EQ and Maximizer when mastering and trying to get a little louder mix out. So far I have no complains about the quality, though I don’t have much experience in mixing.
Should I consider using for example Universal Audio plugins instead of “free ones” bundled in my Renoise? Has anyone made any evaluation how good Renoise effects are compared to similar hardware or software effects?
1st off… That old skool verb is amazing. I use it all the time.
2nd… With a modern quad core Uad might be becoming obscolete… It’s a very expensive thing to get yourself involved with, and there are vst options, payware, that are very amazing, and far less expensive…
They’re not bad by any means. To my ears, subjective of course, they are better than most of the effects in the Korg EMX-1 or even Reason. I can’t vouch for any external plugins since I’m quite happy with what’s included with Renoise. Definitely try out some free plugins though it can’t hurt.
I get my ears tested every year as part of my job - so everything is in full working order:
I can rarely ever tell the difference between plugins of the same class/job. It’s just a matter of tweaking.
I think renoise native effects are excellent and unless you need something specific (like a niche audiodamage or sugarbytes plugin) or “vintage” (which really is a joke/scam in my opinion), just save your money and stick with the native effects.
Well I usually put a Bus Compressor (native that is) on master track, on the ‘Mastering A’ preset, after an Exciter on stance ‘Clean’, and tweak from there. But my product is not always ‘mastered’ very well .
What I did learn a lot from also for in other apps was reading the extensive (!) Reason manual. One Reason tutorial video told me “first make it sound good without anything on the master track, then pump it up” (that’s renoise translation)
Also there was a topic flying around in Tips&Tricks about using Multiband Send and Bus Compressors to make a small Multiband Compressor
Which would you rather use? Even if the sound is the same, the fabfilter gives me much more control and it gives me mid/side independant processing. For compression tasks, I prefer to let several compressors stacked do the work instead of one workhorse. The renoise compressor does what it is supposed to, but it doesnt do it with much color and character. I love character plugs; plugins that do a bit more than just what it is supposed to. Lots of great free stuff out there, but I have a few personal favorites that I have bought, which gets used in every single track. Here they are:
http://www.fabfilter.com - Get everything. Very transparant EQ/comp/Limiter with beautful GUI. Saturn, Volcano and Timeless are wonderful FX plugins. http://www.cytomic.com - The Glue. Best compressor out there. Lots of character and really smooth. http://www.pspaudioware.com - Someone mentioned these guys earlier. Get it. Its all fantastic stuff. Vintage Warmer 2 is a must have for any drum bus.
There are more wonderful stuff out there ofcourse. If you dont want to get caught up in the UAD jungle of hardware, Waves just removed the need for an iLok - amazing company who makes some of the best bread and butter plugins out there. Not so cheap though.
Hmm, there seems to be two camps here. I am not sure if I want to pay hundreds of bucks just for nice UI, if quality is pretty much the same. Although, I realize that there could be more “color” or “character” in expensive ones. But is it just that they have better pre-settings, or is there really different algorithm coded that brings out that new sound factor?
Well, I think there’s just one way to find out. Thanks for the links! I will check them out.
OK - I will agree with the statement that the “best” plug-ins are not cheap. However, the included fx in Renoise are pretty awesome. They are very usable and sound great, I suppose you can come up with a list of other plugs that have more bells and whistles or a prettier GUI, but the question you have to ask yourself is there something that this plug does not do that I absolutely must have. If you can come up with something, then spend the money. I really wish I had learned to ask that question a long time (and many wasted dollars) ago.
Most Renoise plugins work fine in many cases, however sometimes might need to look something different. For example, mpReverb is fine in terms of generic digital reverb most of the time, however should one need to more closely model physical environments that is not going to work. Or if you need to fatten up a simple synth pad made out of a filtered saw, or whatever, you’ll need something else as well because the Renoise reverb starts to ring on long static waves. As an example, the reverb in NI Massive does real good job at it.
The delays always worked for me, filters seem to be fine as well (although I didn’t really compare them to anything yet), however those that are used in instrument envelopes I tend to avoid.
I think the straight up dsp style of renoise’s effects are a strength. It’s not fashionable yet, but someday some company will probably make a few bucks ‘modeling’ Alesis or Roland rack effects. (After some guy finds some way to exploit some great sounds out of one, gets famous with it, then… some software company says $150 and you can do it to!!!)
Think about what a reviled piece an ibanez digital flanger was at one time. You could get used ones for almost nothing. Now look at the prices all because of some tom morello or something whatever guy using one to make, uhrm, dubstep noises or whatever that was with them in the 90s or something.
By all means, read the magazine reviews and audiodork websites, but don’t let them worry you about the ‘quality’ of your own gear, ever. Fuck 'em. But if they do lead you to some software that you are absolutely in love with and have to have after demoing the hell out of it, then, sure, buy it.
editz- oh, yeah, and you said mastering. about that, if it’s really that important, maybe it’s money better spent getting all you stuff tracked and mixed the way you like it and then sending to someone else?
maybe i’m not so smart, or just lazy, but i never got renoise compressor(s) to work like i expect. i have the feeling that the sliders all are named wrong or work in a different, inverse way.
next thing what should be improved are the presets of the delivered plugins, i does not have fun to insert (for example) the (really great) delay plugin, and adjust every single time since YEARS IN EVERY TRACK I PUT THIS EFFECT IN, the send slider. and its not saveable as default preset. that suxxx big times and draw his line trough all native renoise effects and that causes that i really use to 99% of the time other plugins with good presets.
(yes, i know about copy plugins and settings and save pluginchains).
i really have to complain here that specific problem, because the delay effect in renoise is just the best and i use it in all songs in nearly all tracks since years.
the EQ is ok, (sound is neutral, that means it does the job very well), only the sliders are a little bit unhandy, so mostly i use izotope ozone3 as EQ plugin. it does not sound better (unless u use multiband harmonic exciter in that plugin), but the handling is a little better than the native renoise one, i think its just a matter of the size).
You’re right, I should use let pros do the mastering, if I wanted to make a radio hit.
But so far I just want to learn about my hobby (home studio production). It includes the fun process of final EQ tweaking and making my composition loud. I don’t need the best plugin, just good enough to do this decently. That’s why I wanted to know, if Renoise plugins are “just toys” or can I use them to study the process for real? Supposing I’d have some extra bucks in my pocket, would mixing/mastering be more fun with uad/psp/fabfilter? Will I learn more?
definately YES (beside the compressor ^^ but this only is directed to the strange name and behaviour of the sliders, NOT the sound !)
ofcourse you would learn more, for example how to handle compressors (which is the main mastering process, beside EQ’ing). but you did not need to buy such plugins, there are enough free plugins availible which have the same learning effect for you.
ofcourse there are some buyable plugins (compressors) which sounds definately better than the free versions (which i know), BUT:
90% comes from the composition. a super duper plugin cannot convert a piece of shit in a piece of cake XD
it can add some flavour and candy to the shit, but its still shit
o.k., free stuff i use reacomp and reaxcomp (as many bands as you want compressor) sometimes. you may want to try the reaper (freeware) vst plugin suite in renoise. there’s a handy e.q. and other stuff in there as well that may work in a technically more correct way than some renoise dsps. you may want to do mastering in reaper anyway?
Thanks I evaluate these plugins when I start to mix my current composition. I’d rather do everything in Renoise and perhaps buy plugins instead of another DAW (Reaper, although it is not much). As it happens, I am miking acoustic guitar for the first time, and it seems I really need a good compressor now. Playing is much easier.
PVCF, thanks for commenting too. I don’t think this piece is shit, but I’ll let you decide when I’m finished