I am the classical pianist through all my life and an audio technology enthusiast through the half of it. I’m from the middle of Russia, started learning audio stuff in late 90-s without anybody around to ask, no Dj’s, no internet, no anything. No computer. Just some radio stations and a pirated Prodigy tapes. Almost sold my kidney to get myself a real synth, Korg X3. To my biggest surprise I was not able to make a TB303 sounds with it (did not know about TB303 at all) - it just had no resonance control on filters. So this type of sounds was a mystery for me for years. Even when I got a PC later, even with appearance of the internet I did not know about some stuff for years again, simply because I did not have the idea that I should just ask how this or this was done on some audio-forums.
Throught time I was reading/watching everything around, tried nearly all existing audio software. I’m pretty much sure that I downloaded Renoise at some point but got the immediate impression that it is just some weird old fashion nostalgia thing that I immediately uninstalled and got myself back to Cubase.
Just a few weeks ago I read the article about the trackers and Apex Twin on CDM.link.So I got myself into Renoise demo, bought it a bit later. It is SO SAD the marketing for Renoise is so poor. Just mentioning that Apex Twin used/using it would be a huge deal. But the most convincing to me was this video youtu.be/gSj92M0N65M and alike. Also I immediately realized how many tracks I listened in the past was made it trackers. Overall I learned the software quite quickly and totally love it. For certain “creative” type of music it is just the best one around. For styles like Techno, Jungle, IDM in is just the best one. Certainly I would not ever recommend it for band / classical recordings, also I don’t think it is the best choice for casual cinematic soundtrack MIDI stuff. But for type of guys who are into Max/MSP, Reaktor, modulars stuff it is a must.
What exactly I enjoy about it? a) It is different. Yes, you can do exact same things in any DAW, but the design have a huge impact on your “thinking”, I really enjoy how Renoise influence the process, and, again, it IS different. b)It is more quick and comfortable with it’s “digits” - I tremendously enjoy to be able to fast and precisely tweak the settings, and to see them all at once, comparing to multiple lines of graphical automation lines, not seing the exact numbers, etc. c) The look - I love how the rows of digits look, it have that geeky vibe but not in a weird and obsolet way, the interface looks very modern. d) Lots of unique and clever tweaks all around that other DAWs lack (although at the same time missing some obvious stuff here and there).
I feel very sad that I did not know it all earlier. I would really like to start with trackers just in the early 2000’s when I got my PC, instead of starting with Cubase, Acid, Reason. I’m pretty much sure that there are tons of people like me around who would be happy to switch, if they just know. It is very sad that the development of Renoise is frozen for the last 2 years.
In the end here are just a couple of thoughts about some of my concerns. The strongest and at the same time weakest part of Renoise is the “heritage”, the compatibility with previos generation of projects and people’s skills. Imaging the new fresh modern DAW written just from scratch, having everything best from everywhere around. Maybe having both “normal” audio and MIDI tracks along with the some “raw” tracker-style audio/MIDI tweaking abilities.
The Renoise is amazing powerful instrument, more people should know and use it, it’s a real shame that it is not that much popular around and there is no development progress recently.