Some pre sales questions I wanted to ask and some advice on moving forward

Hi guys and gals,

So just a brief history I used Impulse Tracker back in the mid 90’s, was the beginning of my journey with composing music and by far the best experience of my mid to late teens. I had the pleasure of communicating with Jeffrey Lim a couple of times in those days.

Impulse Tracker opened up doors for me to the point of being one of the very few who took a PC to rave parties in Sydney and played live with Impulse Tracker. LOL… I will never forget those days.

That was about 20 years ago…Due to circumstances in those times, composing became a second hobby and soon was not something I could dedicate time to anymore.

Here I am 43 years old, 2 kids, beautiful wife, living the dream…

The dream of getting back in writing music has been haunting me for 20 years now and I feel I am now ready again.

So I initially thought something like Ableton was the go to product and not only did I buy a license for it which cost a pretty penny, I invested in an external soundcard a Native Instruments Komplete 6, an Akai MPK Mini as well.

I have not really invested too much time in Ableton at the moment, but my roots are really with Trackers, that is what I know and remember.

So I found Renoise, Schism Tracker as options for modern day tracking.

Sorry for the long winded intro, here are my questions.

  1. When I play my Impuse Tracker original tracks they do not sound as good as playing them thru Schism Tracker, why is this ?

  2. Is Renoise, really the best option for me, if I want to utilize my external Midi equipment like my MPK Mini as a Synth to play notes, or samples etc…etc… Is this even possible to configure it with Renoise ?

  3. In personal or professional opinions is something like Renoise inferior, superior to software like Ableton when it comes to composing music, what are the pros and cons of each. The last thing I want to do is choose one then move onto the next.

  4. Is it possible to load up sample banks other than sample files eg WAV files, any way to import Ableton sample packs into Renoise?

I think that’s about it for now… too many questions.

A big shout out to the developers of this software, just the fact that your keeping the tracking scene alive with software like this deserves a big pat on the back.


  1. i cant answer this one sorry :wink:

  2. Yes you can. there is a “instrument midi control” meta device for this, as for notes you can configure these in the midi tab.

3, No software is inferior/superior. Personally i just hate working with pianoroll. So trackers are the way to go for me :slight_smile:

  1. not sure which formats you are talking about, since i dont have ableton. but here you can find the supported formats:
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Welcome friend and good for you to come back to making music.

  1. I dont know either

2.Since your background is making music with trackers you will feel right at home in Renoise and the forum is here to help you.MPK will work fine with Renoise and most midi controllers so no worries there.

3.Ableton is good also so keep them both and learn them both.

4.I dont think that the Ableton packs can be directly imported to Renoise but you can always bounce the audio in Ableton or better export stems and load them
to Renoise.

  1. I remember this question coming up a few times over the years. While Renoise allows you to import a variety of old tracker formats it’s purpose wasn’t the accurate playback including all it’s quirks, but rather being able to import and maybe further work on your old unifnished songs. Schism Tracker on the other hand is a full blown Impulse Tracker clone focussed on exactly this.

  2. As the others already said, yes, this works fine.

  3. I use Ableton Live as a second host as well here. Depending on my mood and what i want to work on i might pick one over the other. Renoise is all about speed, focus and also quick access to the sampler for me, perfect for all kinds of electronic genres, i know it very well and it feels just second nature to me. Even though the Drum-Racks in Live are fun and quick to use i do find the workflow in Renoise a lot more direct and less fiddly, slice, reverse, retrigger, you name it. On the opposite spectrum if i do want to work with long audio samples for drones i will usually pick Live over Renoise, though i have done those in purely Renoise as well already. Renoise can auto seek on long sounds but visually you will often just see an empty pattern track and it’s hard to judge at what position and place you are in the sample. Track Freeze is nice to have in Live, also overall much better midi handling. Don’t let an ideology limit your creativity, use the tools you feel most comfortable with to fulfill your artistic vision. While my older works is mostly tracker based i do find myself using both hosts pretty regularly and even exchange bits and pieces around for some songs. I do love my Renoise though and won’t give up on it in favor of Live or any other host. :slight_smile:

  4. While most Ableton packs show some filetypes supported by Renoise they are actually encoded with some proprietary codec and won’t load or play in Renoise or even Windows for that matter, probably similar for other OS. Your Komplete should have sounds to use, you can resample in Renoise and also Ableton, there is some sample packs to download in the Backstage Area as well as a starting point and the internet is full of free and cheap sounds.


Ah, good memories, tracking in the '90s! I guess a few of us here can relate. :slight_smile:

I went down a somewhat similar path a few years ago. Ended up getting several DAWs and finally landed on Bitwig + Renoise. Now I am home :houses: and more musically productive than ever. Each DAW is a unique experience with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Judging by your background and what I know of the technical aspects of the various systems, I can boldly say… Go for it! Get Renoise, learn up on some of the modern features, and you’re going to be in tracking & music-making heaven.

Renoise is IMO an amazing value, in terms of capability / cost. There’s also Redux, which could plug right into Live, but honestly I wouldn’t want to do without full Renoise. You can ReWire it into Live if that ends up being your favorite DAW. Live, Bitwig, and Renoise are all solid main DAWs. With NI Komplete and Live as a source of fuel, you are going to have a blast with all the resampling and manipulation capabilities of Renoise. Welcome back to music land, I hope you have fun and hang out with us on the forum sometimes! :slight_smile:


Also a tracker from the old ST3 / IT days here :smiley: For several years now Renoise is my main sequencer, DAW, and even host for instrument sounds, plugins, and so on. I always have an instance of Renoise (Linux) running on one desktop through which my keyboards, guitar sounds etc. are routed. It’s the best and most flexible setup i’ve used so far.

Like a few others have pointed out for loading old modules like .xm .s3m .it etc, it’s not really the point of Renoise. I often use Schism Tracker (a full, open-source “remake” of Impulse Tracker) especially when i want to make let’s say, a chiptune, old NES music, or oldschool modules that would be used in a game or something. Renoise is more of a professional music creation tool.

For the price of Renoise, you really can’t go wrong with having it, it’s really a powerful and versatile tool.

Hope this helps!

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If your roots are Trackers, than you HAVE TO go to Renoise. In my humble opinion it’s the best for creating music, because it combines all the Tracker stuff with professional options. As you might know you can compose very fast on a Tracker and it’s easy to handle, which is the biggest plus compared to Ableton, Cubase and so on. And of course the price is unbeatable, where else do you get a DAW like this for a few bucks? I also started composing in 1991 on Amiga with several Trackers like Soundtracker, Noisetracker or Protracker, switched to PC to other Trackers like Fasttracker or Skaletracker but also checked Cubase and Ableton, with the result of using Renoise. It’s simply the best, especially when it comes to electronic music, which I clearly prefer. I would recommend Renoise to you for sure. I’m using it now since 2012 and I’m not disappointed and I don’t have the intention to switch to another DAW again. Go for it! :wink:

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I appreciate all the feedback guys…and I will be investing in Renoise and giving it a good go. Electronic music is my main genre so I think Renoise is a good match.

Ill post some of my unreleased tracks I made in Impulse back in the 90’s on the forums.

PLUR, Mitch.

P.S If there are any Sydney siders on the forums, give me a shout would like to connect.

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