Renoise And Midi Controllers

Hi all,

Im thinking of buying a midi controller to use with my softsynth within Renoise.
This machine got my attention but after reading some info about it on the net and USB powered controllers in general, im a bitt worried.

link to Evolution 249c

Specially read the first part about USB and latency.

So…do any of u guys have any experience with midi controllers and Renoise?
Or can anyone confirm these ‘problems’ with an USB powered Evolution board?

Suggestions about other types of midi controllers i could use is also appreciated ! :)

Thnx in advance,


but i want to turn knobs !!
i always did but nowadays i turn more towards the computer-side of music making
but still, i want my ‘knobs’ back !!.. :)

so …thats why…


60 ms must be a bit exaggerated?? I got a bit worried too, as I’m concidering a Korg microKontrol, which is also a usb device. Well I could probably use the MIDI-out through my parallel port interface if usb is too crappy.

Edit: Did a search and noticed a few people having evolution mk249c and being happy with it. Can’t be too big of a problem then?

I can speak for the following (because they’re right in front of me as I type this):
Evolution MK-249C - Feel is sorta plasticy. For the price, you’d be better getting an old post-MIDI second-hand synth with pots (same price, probably better manufacture and pot feel, looks better…and it’s a synth). The pots have a fair amount of resistance, so they’re good for smooth sweeps, but not sudden changes. It’s best point is the four octaves of keys, and that’s what I use it most for.

Novation ReMOTE 25 - Better feel to the keys and pots than the 249C. Faders a short, but get the most use. Joystick and touchpad are nice; I should use them more. The programming of what sends what MIDI CC is easy to use. Downside is not enough octaves (MK-249C picks up the slack in my case) that you definitely pay for all of this - again, consider a second hand synth before buying one of these. With Renoise, you probably won’t be tweaking more than a couple of sliders at a time, so one of these may be overkill.

Akai MPD-16 - Has the fader which I use the most, because it has a good feel to it and is easy to use. The drum pads are okay - particularly good for programming basslines I find, and other times when you’re ignoring proper music theory (e.g. programming all-the-same-sampled-chord stab sequences) and don’t want to have the fact that the black keys are set back from the white ones affect what note you’re going to play next…and yeah, it’s good for drums. :)

One other option to consider is a graphics tablet. You might find that mapping MIDI CCs so that the controller and your sequencer and your plugin are all talking to each other is a bit of a drag, and what’s not convenient you won’t do as much as you think. Using a graphics tablet has the advantage of being able to manipulate sliders and pots directly on the screen in a way that offers a lot more dexterity and speed than using a mouse…the only disadvantage is that you can’t manipulate more than one parameter at a time, but I think that’s a bit overrated anyway (you can record messed up cutoff in one sweep, then messed up resonance in the next).

So yeah - I think the number of keys at hand are a lot more important than number of pots and faders IMO, and just a couple of pots or faders should be enough for most of your input needs.

i have an evolution uc-16 controller, and it works OK with renoise. i think that, if you only turn one or two knobs at a time, any usb-based midicontroller should work OK with renoise. beyond that, the problem lies with the MIDI standard, not with the controller IMO. renoise does seem especially prone to MIDICC-related slowdown but not when you are only tweaking a single param at a time.

I have one those Evolution 249C, and I don’t think that there is a delay of 60ms, when I play, there is so litle data that has to be sent and I think that the usb is fast enough to send that data.
In sweden there is a law that you have one week to return something if you don’t like it. Ask your dealer if you can have the same kind of deal, it could be harder if you buy it over the internet though…
My recommendations would be that you might get an edirol though, because I have heard that they have a higher resolution on the knobs…
The Evolution is supposed to have 128 steps while the edirol should have 256 or something…

I just made a search on usb speed and here is some text from an article

Then there’s speed. ADB was 10 kbps. Apple’s serial ports supported 230.4 kbps for LocalTalk. But USB has a 12,000 kbps (12 Mbps) bandwidth.

That compares favorably with almost all serial protocols, including 10 Mbps ethernet.

The Real World
The promise is 12 Mbps throughput, but does anything actually deliver it?

Thus far, the answer appears to be no.

In an article about Macworld Expo last year, Henry Norr wrote, “…the sustained transfer rate for the Mac (USB) version [of the SparQ drive] will be 0.7 MB/sec. That’s even slower than the parallel port version, which has a sustained rate of 0.9 MB/sec and a burst rate of 2 MB/sec.”

Converted to megabits per second, that put the USB SparQ drive at 5.6 Mbps – about half the rated bandwidth of USB. But then again, that’s the manufacturer’s specification, not a benchmark result.

Things have scarcely improved since then.

You can continue and read the whole article at: