— What is ReWire?
ReWire allows you to connect and synchronize multiple software applications, so that you can run them side by side while passing Audio/MIDI information between them.
For example, you could connect Renoise to Logic, program your drums in Renoise, while arranging the bulk of your song in Logic. Or you could connect both Reason and Ableton Live to Renoise, arrange your track in Renoise, control Reason’s built-in synthesizers, and play around with loops in Live. All it takes is some ReWire enabled software and you are good to go.
ReWire has two modes, both of which are fully supported by Renoise:
Commonly known as a Mixer application, the master controls other ReWire slaves. A ReWire master has exclusive control of the sound-card. ReWire slaves must route audio through the master application. There can be many slaves, but only one master.
Also known as a Synth application. Slaves are controlled by a ReWire master. They feed audio into the Master. They receive MIDI from the master. But can also send MIDI to the master and ask the master to reposition itself.
Because Renoise can be both Master or Slave, you can use it with any application that supports ReWire.
— HowTo use Renoise as ReWire Master?
First, make sure that no other ReWire Master application is open. Then, start Renoise; this will automatically make Renoise the master.
In “Track DSPs” select a “#ReWire-In Device” and add it anywhere in the song. Send Tracks are the ideal place to use this meta device.
In the “#ReWire-In Device” will be a drop-down with a list of installed slaves. Select one. In most cases the slave will automatically launch. If not, then launch the application manually.
That’s it! The audio signal from the slave gets routed into Renoise via the “#ReWire-In Device”. If you hit play in Renoise, the slave will start playing too. If you navigate around in the song, the slave will follow. If you change the playback in the slave, Renoise will follow. Both apps are now bound together. Everything was automatically configured for you.
If a slave has MIDI inputs, you will find them listed as regular MIDI devices in Renoises MIDI Instrument Settings. This way you could, for example, use Reason synths from within Renoise.
If you want to capture another audio bus from the same slave, simply add another “#ReWire-In Device”, select the same slave but select a different bus. This will allow you to stream multiple busses form the same application.
Automating ReWired Synths like Reason:
As soon as you’ve created a ReWire MIDI instrument, you can use the “*MIDI-CC-Device” in Renoise to automate it. If the synth supports this, the mapped parameters will show up there so you know which CC number automates which parameter in the synth.
— HowTo use Renoise as ReWire Slave?
First, start the music application that will be designated master. After the master application has launched, start Renoise. Renoise will ask you if it should run as slave. Click “yes”.
In many cases you will then have to explicitly tell the master to use Renosie as a slave. In most multi-track sequencers this is done by selecting Renoise as “Audio Input”. Please refer to the master’s documentation for more details.
Once you have routed Renoise into the master mixer, you are ready to go. Renoises audio signal will be routed into the host. Starting, stopping, and navigating though the song will be synchronized in both apps!
— Dealing with Latency caused by PDC as ReWire Slave
When running Renoise as ReWire slave, and you are using some FX which do introduce latencies (like compressors, master tools or some special reverbs), Renoise will compensate those latencies via PDC just like it does when running standalone.
Unfortunately ReWire does not directly support PDC, so Renoise has to trick a bit to get stuff played back by Renoise & the master in sync. There are two modes on how to deal with the overall PDC latency, which can be changed in the Audio Preferences Pane, only when running as ReWire slave:
- Enabling the “Automatically compensate latencies” option will make sure that Renoise & your Master are always synced up, whatever latency Renoise is running at. This has the sideeffect, that Renoise has to shift its timeline before the masters. This means that when starting in the master at beat pos 1.1.1, Renoise will start a bit later, so any notes on 1.1.1 in Renoise might be missed.
- Disabling the “Automatically compensate latencies” will avoid such time shifts. Thus Renoise will not play in sync with the master, but it will also not miss any notes. You should use this option, when you can compensate Renoises latency in the master itself, by for example shifting all tracks Renoise is playing at by the specified latency back. Or when the latencies are so small that you simply want to ignore them - this will be the case ost of the time.
Another solution to this problem is to enabling the “Automatically compensate latencies” option, and later, while working on something, en/disable PDC in Renoise, just like you need it.
— IMPORTANT: How to Save/Load Songs with Renoise as Master or Slave
When working on songs, you must save your songs separately in both applications. Additionally, you must load them up individually when continuing a session. ReWire only handles Audio and MIDI routing. It will not automatically exchange/restore songs/patches!
Some ReWire slaves might have limited control over the transport. It’s up to the ReWire master to allow transport changes (or not). For example, some ReWire masters might ignore tempo changes, loop changes or position changes. This is not the fault of Renoise, but rather a limited ReWire implementation in the designated master.
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