Renoise With External Hardware.

I am considering purchasing renoise to use in my studio as an alternative to logic.

I am familiar with seq on the mpc and renoise seems very similar workflow.

Couple of questions.

I have 3 external compressors, several fx boxes and pre-amps, and normally use hw synths.

Is it really practical to sample everything into a new instrument ?
How are people with mostly hardware based setups using renoise ?
What are your prefered working methods when say sending a track out to your compressor and back in ?

Is there any tricks etc when tracking hw synths etc.

Control Surfaces:
Is there a template about for mackie control or similar ?
Would be nice if the motorized faders on my desk could be used for renoise.

Thanks !!


“Is it really practical to sample everything into a new instrument ?”

I wouldn’t think so :slight_smile: , but why would you want to sample all your outboard synths / gear into new instruments? You can just trigger them through midi if you want. Rendering songfiles in renoise wont automatically include/record your hardware synths into the mix though.

“How are people with mostly hardware based setups using renoise ?”

I wonder this myself to, since I’m more of a vst(i) guy. Only once connected a synth (korg r3) with renoise, and it was dead easy to control. Just hit the record button on the gui and mash in the keys. Renoise also automatically recorded all the knob movements/program changes from the synth into the pattern editor.

“What are your prefered working methods when say sending a track out to your compressor and back in ?”

I don’t know if this is possible yet? There is a line-in device for incoming signals…but…you would need some kind of aux no?

“Is there a template about for mackie control or similar ?”

Never seen one on this board. Unfortunately the Renoise gui isn’t that midi-controllable yet, the transport functions (play/stop) should work through mmc (<-right?). When it comes to controlling vst(i) it is really easy to set up for your own templates (if your mackie is comparable to my behringer bcr2000). Just hit ctrl+m to bring up the midi mapping, twist a knob and voila.

“Would be nice if the motorized faders on my desk could be used for renoise.”

Renoise currently doesn’t support midi-feedback, so your faders won’t move according to the settings in Renoise. I wouldn’t be surprised if this feature will be added in a future update, since it has been requested before in the ideas and suggestions forum.



Many reasons for that. Some synths are not multitimbral, or even monophonic. So it’s practical to trigger part as samples/instruments instead. Then there is all the other things you can do with samples…

This is possible. Add a send track. Route this sendtrack to your external hardware. Then in a normal track you add a send device followed by a line-in device.

Renoise is great for controlling external hardware via MIDI. I am a Logic user, but I use Renoise almost exclusively when it comes to sequencing MIDI. I’ve even started sequencing Logic’s internal synths/samplers using Renoise and the IAC bus (if you’re going to play around with routing MIDI between programs on OSX, I also recommend downloading the excellent and free MIDIPipe: In my opinion, nothing out there beats Renoise in speed or flexibility when it comes to programming audio (playing it in live is another matter).

As for how to set things up:

Your audio interface will ultimately dictate the possibilities of your setup. I have a very modest 4 in/2 out Presonus Inspire. I use the external MIDI port on my MPD24 to hook up all my external kit (Ensoniq SQ-80, ESQ-1 multitimbral synths, Alesis D4 drum rompler, Boss SP-303 sampler, a couple Yamaha QY-70’s w/ onboard XG synths). Whatever sound modules I happen to be using at the time get patched into a Mackie VLZ 1202 mixer.

The mixer has a main and an aux bus. I use the main bus for a total mix of everything being triggered externally. This mix goes into my computer through the first two inputs on my interface. It is brought into Renoise through a Line-In plugin that has been loaded onto a dedicated track. Meanwhile, the mixer’s aux bus outputs have been connected to the second two inputs of my interface. If I need to record a particular instrument for whatever reason, I bus the synth/sampler to the aux outputs on the mixer and set Renoise to record audio on the second two inputs of the interface. Once it’s inside Renoise, I can subject it to all the usual sequencing and pattern effect trickery.

The limitations of my interface make it a total hassle to use with outboard effects. (I can only route to a single stereo out on my interface. In order to get a send/return thing going, and still be able to hear everything else through my speakers, I need to use OSX’s aggregate device to gang the internal audio to the Presonus, then use my computer’s headphone out as the send. Yech.)

If, however, you have multiple ins and outs on your interface, you can do things a couple of ways. The most flexible is to dedicate a Renoise send track to your outboard effects channel by choosing the appropriate output on your interface in the “Routing” drop down for that send track. Rename the send something you’ll remember like “ext. fx send”. Then dedicate a regular track to serving as a return by adding a Line-In plugin on it and setting it to the inputs on your interface that the signal is to return through (the reason for a dedicated regular track is you can’t use Line-In plugs on Renoise’s send tracks). Rename this track something you’ll remember like “ext. fx return.”

Now, if you want to send virtual instruments or sampler sounds on a Renoise track out to the external effect, simply add a Send plugin on the track you’d like to send. Select “Mute Source” on the Send plugin if you’d like the external effect to act as an insert, or “Keep Source” if you want to use it as a traditional send. If you want to use an external synth or something with this routing setup, you’d need a dedicated Line-In plugin for that sound source on the track to get the sound into Renoise, at which point you can use the above process to “effect” it. (Of course, you will need a separate input for that particular sound source if you want the effect to be applied to it, alone, as opposed to your whole external gear mix, if you have a setup similar to mine.)

There’s a lot of fun stuff you can do with routing (including controlled feedback, dub techniques, and other things). An external mixer used together with the computer can make things a lot more fun and interesting. The thing I like best about using external gear with Renoise is being able to sequence quickly, twiddle my hardware’s knobs live as I record my external sounds into Renoise, and then chop, rearrange, and generally fiddle with the sample inside Renoise.

Hope this helps out.

/ J

Thanks for all the feedback.
I cant wait to get home and experiment with some send tracks.
It seems like audio in and sends are fairly recent additions to renoise and i hope the developers continue to expand upon this. Would be great if we could specify tracks like outputs. eg to create mix busses etc or is this possible.

I have 18ins + 18 outs running through two 48 point patchbays. (cable nightmare at my crib)

My midi patchbay showed up fine so i didnt need to set iac drivers as per the manual.

I do hope they add rewire support, would truely give the best of both worlds.

Seems like there are many similarities to the tracker way of working and the mpc.
I use a mpc1000 with jjos v.2 and internal hd.
Often i will sketch out ideas on the mp then track them into logic.
I am hoping that renoise might be a the best of both worlds, so to speak.

I’ll let you know how i go integrating renoise into a mostly hardware setup.

Thanks again for all the help !! :drummer:

You can make mix buses. If you want to bus a track to specific external outputs, you can use the “Routing” drop down menu in the Track DSP section or at the bottom of each channel strip in Mixer view to direct the output to the right place. If you want to make an internal bus, you can just use the Send plug to route the track to one of Renoise’s internal send buses (and you can still route that internal send bus out to external outputs, if you like).

As an example, I usually have at least four separate tracks for my drums: kick, snare/clap, hats, and other percussion. I use Send plugins on each of those tracks and pass them to a send track called “Drums.” Using the Send plug’s “Mute Source” option effectively makes this like using a subgroup on a mixer.

You can also pass send tracks to other send tracks (although, for some reason, the Send plug will not let you pass the signal to a previous send track, which kills some flexibility).

As for Rewire support, you can get by using the IAC bus to route MIDI between programs and something like Jack ( or an OSX aggregate device that combines your interface with Soundflower ( to take care passing audio around. A little more configuration is required, but these solutions will give you more flexibility. And if you like patching as much as your hardware rig seems to indicate, you’ll really like the inter-app routing options that become possible :) .

Good luck!

/ J

Thanks for the info.
I will be registering my copy.

I am also going to check out soundflower and jack, very interesting stuff.

Thanks to all who replied, great user community !!