Rendering Outboard Gear

I’ve searched for this and not really come up with a definitive yes, but will give it a go:

I am using Renoise v3 and have some outboard gear, which are some Midi Synths, drum machines the usual thing etc. I can sequence these pieces of hardware without any problems using Renoise’s excellent MIDI options and everything works really well. However, of course because they are external pieces of gear when the track is rendered there is no sound.

My computer is being used at the end of the audio path, so all the outboard gear is going in to a mixer then in the computer to record everything back in.

For a start, I would think that I would need a soundcard with multiple ins and outs to separate off the channels, but in addition - is there a way to route the audio back in to each sequencer channel in Renoise so when the track is rendered there is sound which can also be processed by the internal VST effects?

I have found some older posts where people have been doing this, but then using rewire to rewire the audio back in to something like Logic.

Are there any extra options in Renoise 3 that will make this process possible?


I believe the short answer is that it is possible by recording your synth as a sample while the songs’ patterns play, but the recording must be two tracks at a time.

The long answer is that I hope someone with experience chimes in. (I use Renoise to avoid needing midi.)

Well, I’m very new to Renoise and I too have some outboard gear and I was wondering the same thing. There is very little documentation on the subject and I am starting to wonder why anyone would really need to do this in the first place.
This morning I recorded a simple synth part to an external box and rendered to disk, as the OP no sound from the synth, and no surprise really. I recorded the patch in a new instrument (sample) and changed the instrument number so now it’s all in Renoise. So the single sample is ‘flatter’ than the original, it doesn’t respond the same to velocity (no surprise there either) but I can see myself building new Renoise instruments using the outboard gear and frigging around with multiple samples. The upfront work could pay off with some really useful patches and eventually the outboard gear would no longer be required. Short term pain for long term gain.

Maybe I’m dillusional :) I’d love to hear what others (experienced) users are doing.

I’m on Linux BTW. Renoise and AV-Linux = dream come true for older hardware. :)

I usually place a line in device on the track that is planned for the external gear. In the device I choose the right input channel and also “midi return mode”. In the external instrument for the midi gear I choose the mode “linein ret”. Now I have a synced live audio input of the external gear. Of course I can process the input with vsts etc. And of course only realtime rendering will work from now on.

BTW. it would be nice if Renoise automatically would separately render all tracks with line in devices in realtime mode if the offline rendering mode is selected and afterwards join the separate rendering to the master rendering (if no separation is choosen).

Nice Info. Thanks. :D

Just starting out with Renoise (one week in) and also wondering about how best to integrate external hardware into a Renoise workflow. My MIDI gear is connected directly to my soundcard inputs, and I’ve set up a template with some MIDI instruments (set to LineIn Ret) and tracks with Line In devices (set to MIDI Return Mode).

This works great for sequencing the external gear and I can stick AU effects after the Line In devices for effects, which is cool.

The problem comes when I want to record the audio into Renoise.

Jurek mentioned rendering tracks in real-time mode, which is how I thought it would work too. But as far as I can tell that doesn’t work because for some reason Renoise doesn’t send MIDI out when rendering in real time (maybe I’m doing something wrong?).

So last night I was playing with synchronized recording from the audio inputs as samples. This works OK, and along the way I discovered that Renoise always loops endlessly unless you put a ZT00 command at the end . . .

After recording a new sample, where is it saved? I could not seem to find the recording anywhere on my HDD. Eventually, I discovered that you can right-click the sample in the recorded samples list on the left and choose Save Sample As . . . although the original recording must be somewhere (or is it in RAM only?!).

So is that basically the workflow with external synths, or is there a better way?

Figured everything out. I guess Renoise doesn’t send MIDI start/stop when rendering (although it sends other types of MIDI). I guess this is a bug.

Anyway, thanks for all the help! : )

Figured everything out. I guess Renoise doesn’t send MIDI start/stop when rendering (although it sends other types of MIDI). I guess this is a bug.

I also got problems to record the midi track correctly when using “Render song to disk” and above settings (Midi instrument: mode LineInRet, LineIn: MidiReturnMode).

The problem seems to be, that when the rendering starts, Renoise sends first “All notes off”, “All sounds off” midi control messages to all midi channels and all midi outputs. (Pretty the same as if you press the Stop button two times).

But Renoise does not wait until the sending is finished (it takes some milliseconds) but starts recording immediately. This is why the midi recording is not in sync, but delayed.

You can find an example here with the delay; the midi channel is the bass sound

And it should sound like:

A workaround is currently to render one additonal pattern before the original recording, to have a time offset for the midi notes off sends. However one have to cut this offset out of the resulting wave form, which is not very handy.

In the interests of tighter sync, I’m finding overall that it’s better to bring all the audio from external MIDI gear into Renoise via the sampler rather than doing a ‘Render Song’. I guess there are instances where this is not totally ideal, but the results are way tighter.

On my journey, I also discovered that some MIDI gear is far more responsive to MIDI than others (i.e. after sending a note on, how long does it take the gear to actually start playing a note). When you record a pattern to a samplethere’s an optionto allow for more latency than just the automatic compensation (which is only compensating for the audio interface, not the MIDI gear). If you play around with this, you’ll see how different different bits of gear are. In my setup, the Moog Minitaur required no extra offset at all. My MI Ambika only needed an extra 2 ms; my Waldorf XT an extra 5 ms; my Machinedrum 12 ms and my Analog Rytm a huge 27 ms of offset!

Although you don’t especially notice those milliseconds of delay between devices, when they are eliminated (by recording them as samples with no blank space at the beginning of the sample), everything sounds very noticeablytighter.