I recently started working with DAW multitrack software and found it rerally cool to use the option of rendering each track to a separate wave file in order to import it to a multitrack and mix/edit comfortably. However, I quickly found that there are still some things to be done to allow even more comfortable work with these applications. I’m not sure if some of these ideas weren’t suggested before. If so - sorry.
Usually I do some kind of mixing already in Renoise. Otherwise it would be quite hard to write proper music. The problem is that after rendering each track to a spearate waveform each of them is veeery quiet. Although I usually use 24-bit mode when doing that (so the dynamic range is not really a big problem) it’s quite difficult to work with such waveforms in a DAW, simply because in the multitrack it’s very hard to see where a weveform starts (usually no track is busy through the whole song, so most of the wavefile contains silence), because the waveforms are so small. I wonder if Renoise could have an option to automatically normalize the waveforms. Obviously I can do it in some other app, but it’s problematic to normalize i.e. 20 huge wavs manually.
After loading all the waves to a multitrack I have like 20 channels that play mostly silence. This causes unnecesary HDD traffic, so the obvious solution is to cut off the moments of silence. The problem is to find them. Also, there’s a problem of synchronization. After loading all the wavs it’s good to move them so that the actualy music starts in some decent location. However, I tend to leave a small pattern in the beginning of the track, where I insert track commands preparing channel DSP etc, so the start of the waveforms is not the start of the patterns. Thus I have to move them. For now I have to move them manually by choosing some characteristic moment of the waveform and move it to a logical location.
I think both of the mentioned problems could be addressed by some pattern command that would insert markers in the channel’s waveform when rendering. This would allow me, for example, to make a marker inserted when an instrument starts playing in a channel. Or insert marker in the beginning of the song. That would rock, especially if it would allow inserting markers for each track, but if it would work for all waves at the same time - it’d still be helpful. Also, ti would help synchronizing the project to the DAW etc.
Why are these things important to me?
Renoise does have very nice mixing capabilities. but still, a multitrack give a lot better overview and guarantees easier and more precise automation etc. Also, although Renoise featured recording features in the newest release, it’s certainly not a good program to work with long waveforms, for obvious reasons. I find it fun to record the bass for my songs, but doing that in Renoise is simply hard. Other reason is that ProTools and some other multitracks feature proprietary (RTAS in PT’s case) plugins, usually very good ones.