Something I noticed in Mitch Murder's "Renoise Fun" videos

I was recently re-watching the Mitch Murder “renoise fun” videos on Youtube (where you simply see a song playing and watch the tracker scroll), and noticed something very interesting: the Velocity column is empty (not used) practically 95% of the time, even for parts that are clearly musical instruments like leads, chords, melodies, etc…

Isn’t that odd? His music, to my ears, is incredibly dynamic sounding, and highly musical, so I would have assumed there’d be a fair amount of velocity-based expression in his musical passages – but apparently, nope, unless I’m missing something? And when there is a value input in the Velocity column, it’s usually for (what appear to be) the drum sections, not the ‘musical’ passages. Interesting!

It’s also interesting because when recording a MIDI controller in Renoise, the default setting will record Velocity values, regardless of whether the instrument being triggered can read them or not. So either Mitch turned that default off in Settings, or manually types in every note of every melody and chord from the computer keyboard (no velocity value is input when doing so), which is a crazy notion considering how complex his music can be…

Anyway, definitely got me thinking about his process (I’m a huge fan). Any thoughts on this, or something I’m missing?

Here’s the second video in the series, but this observation applies equally to all three of them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcyIewhYcWo

I think I’ve heard him say that he does not use any external gear, that he composes with the computer keyboard, so you’re probably right about that.
However, watching Renoise Fun 3, you can see velocity data in at least the leftmost column.

What I find odd is that his Instrument slots are all empty! No samples, no VSTs? If he has anything in there, they must be far down the list (it looks like the scroll bar is long, so there might be stuff below). Lain Volta (She Music ) does this too and it’s very frustrating – I’d like to learn how he does samples.

Again, I think I read that Mitch Murder just starts with simple waveforms and builds his synths in Renoise, so probably no plugins, but sure would be fun to see deeper into what these two great Renoise artists do.

FWIW, a couple years ago Hunz live streamed the entire process of building an album in Renoise, and it’s a master class of how to use this DAW to build songs. He uploaded the complete collection here to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUINObAzAoYoXE__dWy-Df4WLw1_mE__I

1 Like

Thanks, I’ve never seen something from Mitch Murder.

I don’t think so. It looks similar to how I work:

Everything is hidden respectively not active.

He definitely uses 100% soft-synths, he’s said that before (there’s a reddit AMA with him – he uses Zebra, Arturia synths, and Korg synths mostly) but I haven’t actually heard him say he does note input using the computer keyboard; and in some home-studio pics, he does have a little MIDI controller in front of his screen, FWIW.

But, the lack of Velocity data suggests he’s inputting via computer keyboard, though it is possible to turn off the auto-input of velocity values from a MIDI controller.

As for the left-hand column having some Velocity, you can pretty clearly tell those are the drums. So he’s using Vel for drum samples, but very rarely using it on any instruments!

Lastly – regarding the empty instruments area. He has simply scrolled that area down to show a bunch of blank slots, all the actual instruments are above that area. Guess he wanted to hide what he was using :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not sure what point you’re making here TNT, my post is about the lack of Velocity data – are you saying you also don’t ever use it?

Mitch’s lanes aren’t ‘hidden’ nor collapsed – you can see the FX lanes next to the notes, with empty velocity lane in between.

Yes, just like you already wrote:

I’m using my computer keyboard all the time. And I don’t use samples except the drums. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Oh he uses a ton of software synths. He’s stated his favorites are U-He, Arturia and Korg.

1 Like

got a google alert about this post.

funny reading people discussing my stuff like this haha. anyway, to clear this up:

i’ll use velocity commands if i want to make something sound more organic / less rigid. my latest “salary man” soundtrack for example (on my bandcamp), that stuff is full of velocity inputs, just due to the nature of the music. with more electronic sounding stuff i’ll rely more heavily on VST LFOs, on-board arpeggiators with their own velocity settings, automation curves and whatever else that doesn’t show up in the velocity column.

and on that note, i do use a bunch of VSTs. and the only thing i use the midi keyboard for is improvising ideas. the tracks themselves are made entirely with the computer keyboard. if i do record something with the midi keyboard i’ve got the renoise velocity setting turned off so it wouldn’t input anything anyway. i’ll do all that manually afterwards.

8 Likes

Awesome to get a reply from the man himself, thanks so much! Your workflow is fascinating, thanks for shedding more light on it here, it’s very much appreciated!

Obligatory but absolutely deserved praise: Then Again was my favorite album of 2021, so thank you for that as well! It’s such a sleek, smooth listening experience, with absolutely stellar mixing and production.

appreciate the kind words, glad you like it!

2 Likes