Renoise For Dummies

Let me start my first post here by saying that, especially in light of the 1.9b release, Renoise is heading towards the ideal piece of software for me to produce [semi] professional music. As someone who started tracking in the late 80’s until the early 90’s and just got back into musicmaking, the progression this way of making music has made is astounding. And that is, for me, the problem aswell.

My brain is not wired for math/hex/formula’s and whatnot, it’s like being dislexic [sp?] but with numbers, so you can imagine that’s kind of a drawback. Altough i’m only a few months into learning the program, i’m getting frustrated because i’m still only scratching the surface of what is possible in Renoise. I’ve allowed myself the remainder of the year to, at least, get familiar with all facets of Renoise, but things are stalling and not in a small way due to, what for me is, an insufficient manual.

I realise that writing a proper manual is timeconsuming, and i’ve read the wiki’s and watched the youtube vid’s by that odd french dude, but i need/want! more. It’s like i’ve found a treasurechest but can only open the lid sofar to see the gold shining, youknow?

So, to make a long story even longer, i’m basicly appealing to my countryfolk if they are willing to spend an afternoon showing me the ins and outs of Renoise. Holland isn’t a big place, so there’s gotta be someone in the Randstad who’s crazy enough to do this? I’m not asking for an immediate invite, i’d like to see if we get something of a summer first and enjoy a short holiday and get myself familiar with the regulars on the forum [and pick up much needed pointers], so this is more a case of ’ no you got, yes you could have’.

Meanwhile, until i’ve found a way to stream mp3’s directly, download and have a listen to a track i’m least dissatisfied with: but until i get proper monitors do me a favor, use headphones for this one.

Thanks to TacTic and the crew for creating a piece of software that makes me happy!



Don’t worry, it takes some time :)

Can you say what you find the manual is lacking, and how it might be improved?

Hey there mate.

Yeah, well do be honest, if you have used Trackers throughout the 80s and 90s, you should have absolutely no problems with this software. For all intents and purposes, it IS SoundTracker. The only differences are in the details.

Take a step back, focus on any part you dont understand, and ask us on the forums. You will get up to speed very quickly.

Renoise, like all software, is a tool meant to be used by humans so it is definitely possible to learn it.


Another crazy french dude here :D

I must admit that I’m a bit surprised by your post.
It is true that the renoise manual hasn’t been made for realy newbies to tracking. If you have no idea what tracking is you’ll have a hard time, it sort of lacks an indepth explination about what tracking is. Which is a completly different beast then sequencing with a traditional sequencer.

But you said yourself that you used a tracker before, so you know what tracking is.
Renoise is very simular to other trackers. I’m a Buzz user myself for a long time and finally once you’ve understood the UI of Renoise you are pretty fast up to speed.
And this is explained in the manual…

I was able to use Renoise in about a week.
Here is how I started it.

  1. Read the manual, yeah I know not everybody like that…
  2. Start with one sample and see what I could do with one sample. Study the sample editor, learn how to chop up a sample, learn to loop a portion of a sample, reverse a sample & learn how to use the offsets of a sample.
  3. Start a new song with one vsti and learn what the different things you can do with a vsti.
    Each time there was something I didn’t understand I asked here.

Comming from Buzz, my biggest surprise was the lack of routing, so I asked here. And somebody explained me the concept of send channels, which is basicly the same but in a different concept.

After a weak of toying, I’m doing my first song and at the moment I have 26 tracks, a combination of samples & Vsti’s without a glitch.

All I wanted to explain is that if you take it step by step, you’ll get there. And if you have questions just ask here, there are a lot of nice guys here.


I think you are missing the point here: if you listen to Edsche’s song, you’ll see that he is quite able to make a song in Renoise, so a beginner’s guide is not what he is asking for. He probably wants to understand trackers more deeply.

there are a couple of "close look"s inside the tutorial, like this, which is a good starting point for an indepth view about what tracking is about, but honestly explaining tracking without numbers is quite impossible.

renoise summer camp!!!


are there any particular events that trackers in particular gather at or are they just general music events?

Evoke Demoparty

cheers it-alien, that looks like fun.

Johann: Don’t worry, it takes some time

Can you say what you find the manual is lacking, and how it might be improved?

  • Oh, i realise it takes time, i’m just getting impatient, which is in my nature ;) but there is room for improving the manual. I feel it is not written for education purposes but explains how able users go about it, and that’s a big difference for it assumes quite alot from [relative] beginners. For instance, simply saying that in order to achieve this kind of effect add these numbers in that column assumes a level of capability from people who might not have them. As stated earlier, i’m not wired to deal with number and formula’s and altough i have the effects page printed out and stuck upon the wall in front of me, it still looks like algebra.

The Youtube vid’s, altough a well intented effort on behalf of Kaneel, are too fast and too shallow [for lack of a better word] for me to get alot out of it. Combine that with a rather short attention span and you have a recipe for disaster ;)

I know just to stick with it, and i will for sure, but as Renoise is taking off it might be a good idea to expand it’s user manual in a way that’s not ofputting [again, for lack of a better word]. You have not heard to last of me yet :D

Download Beat Battle 5 entries. Play the songs while looking at them. Edit the songs. Patience. Practice. There’s no special manual or video that will solve your problem. To use your algebra anecdote. You have to solve it, not ask others for a back massage.

Good luck!

vadarfone: Yeah, well do be honest, if you have used Trackers throughout the 80s and 90s, you should have absolutely no problems with this software. For all intents and purposes, it IS SoundTracker. The only differences are in the details.

Take a step back, focus on any part you dont understand, and ask us on the forums. You will get up to speed very quickly.

Renoise, like all software, is a tool meant to be used by humans so it is definitely possible to learn it.

  • It’s not a workflow issue, the way a tracker works is perfectly suited for me. I can’t for the life of me understand how to work with a pianoroll, so in that respect i have no problems. So it’s not a question of how a tracker works, but how make most of everything Renoise is capable of: panning, automation, sample offsets [what does offset mean for instance?], all the different commands; that is the hard part for me to get to grips with. Basically, i posted to here to get some feedback, to get into the forum-swing of things, and to let it be known that the biggest thing Renoise lacks is not in it’s software, but in it’s manual. That is why it’s a very, very good thing you guys are out there!

Kara, because i’m familiar with the workflow and feel quite at home tracking my songs into existence, it’s frustrating not to be able to dive deeper into everything Renoise is capable of. That’s what i was trying to make clear, but no worries, i’ll hang around :D

Ah Ok man…

Sorry if I misunderstood your intention…

Well, how about loading one of the demo songs and playing it track by track and checking out exactly how all of the effects are implemented.

This is how I learned tracking back in 1990, when I was 11.

To be honest, you are best off learning this sort of thing by yourself; your personal struggles will result in a much deeper and fundamental understanding of the subject matter than anybody can teach you.

It-Alien: it’s gonna take a looong time before i understand any of what’s on the wiki-page you posted. I guess i just have to find a way to work myself up towards that understanding.

Connor: i know what you’re saying, but a blind man can’t see and i suck at numbers. Btw, you’re mistaken to believe i’m asking for a backrub; i’m kindly requesting your [not yours in particular] assistance to further my knowledge, that’s all.



I might suggest picking up a copy of the june issue of computer music (cm113), the one on trackers. It has a very good guide to renoise with examples on the CD.

Vadarfone, perhaps you’ve touched upon a mentality that’s not very constructive, and what’s not helping to make Renoise, or tracking in general, a widespread and popular means of making music. I’m not asking for your method of learning, or anyone else’s: i’m asking for a better explanation of the deeper workings of Renoise because what is available right now assumes more than i’m capable of. Any other [music] software has a comprehensive instruction manual. I’ve started out by saying that i understand, seeing Renoise is more or less a one-man-creation, that there’s no time and money to go about it properly, that is why i’m reaching out here, see? Don’t jump to conclusions just yet :P

To recap. Your original request: “I want a workshop, anyone in Holland available?”

Cool. So far, no takers.

As for the rest. I’m sorry but unless you post specific problems, your request to re-write the manual to suit you is impossible. I suggest you put more effort into the tracker and less into ambiguous and philosophical explanations of your personal learning issues. Or at least post specific problems. None of this “I’m no good with numbers, can anyone help?” Trust me, we all had to “learn” at one point. It’s not the manual. Have you loaded any of the songs from Beat Battle? Have you tried editing patterns? Yes? Well, keep trying. Practice makes perfect. Wait for it… practice. Did i mention practice?

I hope someone will offer you a workshop, i’d do it if i was in your country and you offered to pay me in beer and you had a laptop so we could meet somewhere where there is beer, but the rest of your requests are, honestly, ridiculous.

Good luck.


If i can find a copy i’ll certainly pick one up!


Thank you for your constructive criticism, i appreciate it.

@Conner_Bw… Yeah man, I agree.

To be honest, Edsche, I have read all of your posts in this thread and I suspect that you may be not all ticking…

Mate, with all due respect, I think you might not be in need of a manual re-write. Maybe something else.

It is just a bit of software. If you can’t figure it out, then pretty much music technology is not for you.


Hmm, it must be because it’s sunday and some of you are hung over or something, because my initial post was pretty clear about my intentions. Perhaps you ought to download the song i posted and have a listen, and chill for a bit. It’s not like i’m asking you to give me one of your testicles, is it? :rolleyes:

seems like theres some sort of misunderstanding going on here.

and i too am not too sure about exactly what it is youre after.

in my case, i found the manual pretty comprehensive, but the kaneel and bytesmasher videos much more helpful in that they show you what can be achieved.

and i’ve never used a tracker before renoise. i didnt even know what a tracker was till i stummbled onto this site.

nevertheless, i picked it up in a few days after watching the videos several times. and bought it a few days later.

and yeah i flunked my math tests too many times too, and i dont really get the whole hex thing but that doesnt seem to have mattered much.

i think what you need to make clear is this,… if someone was infront of you what would you ask for?

i mean surely you wouldnt just say “ok show me how you make a tune” cos everyones workflow is different,… unless of course youre after a different kind of workflow.

It-Alien says the track seems like youre quite capable. DL’s to my country have been exceeded or something so i couldnt check it out myself.

if thats the case then perhaps you should scour the forum for renoise files from other users like in the beatbattles. they actually show you how things are done line for line which is incredibly helpful for stepping up your game.

and dont forget, at the end of the day its about the music as a whole, not whether you understand why plucking a guitar string in a certain way makes a certain sound.

any manual can only tell you how to operate the software not make music.

perhaps your questions have more to do with the actuall making of the music and not necessarily the software?