Song-independent Hardware Output Monitoring FX? (à la REAPER)

I’m sure that this has been brought up before and apologies for most likely creating a duplicate topic, but across three different search engines I cannot for the life of me locate anyone else talking about this. If you’re a REAPER power user reading this you’ll probably understand what I mean by “Monitor FX.” If not, here’s a quote from the user guide:

To open the FX: Monitoring window use the View, Monitoring FX command from the main menu, or hold
Shift while clicking the FX button of the Master track. You can specify any FX that you want to put on your
hardware outputs. These do not show up in renders, do not affect the metronome and are not stored in the
project file. You might use this feature, for example, to run analysis FX, or to compensate for the acoustic
characteristics of a particular room.

This is, as it happens, exactly what I use this feature for in REAPER - I have my collection of pet analyzers as well as a room correction VST and a post-render gain adjustment. I have not found a way to achieve the same setup in ReNoise, short of using it as a ReWire slave to REAPER (or using the dreaded Windows audio drivers). The room correction FX is actually a big deal-breaker for using ReWire standalone, because it applies a -12.5 dB gain adjustment to avoid output clipping, meaning anything that doesn’t have this VST on its output is quite loud.

tl;dr: My question is this: Can I create an effect chain in ReNoise that A) does not get included in renders, and B) saves to my user preferences and not to any particular song?


Welcome to the forums!

I just recently reworked my whole template and hence bumped against this same question, and after some head scratching eventually got it working pretty much similarly to Reaper, although it is a lot hackier to setup in Renoise. You need at least 4 outputs to do this, so if your audio interface has only 2, you need to use virtual outputs (at least VoiceMeeter works perfectly for this).

You can do this by routing your whole mix through 2 send tracks and configuring your track output routing in this way:

  1. First, set your master track’s output to your audio interfaces outputs 3&4 (or basically any other output than 1&2, if you are actually monitoring through 1&2).

  2. After this create two new send tracks. The first one functions basically as your mixbus, so you need figure out a routing that sends your whole mix to it. The second one functions as you “listen/monitorFX” track.

  3. At the end of your “mixbus” FX chain, put a send device that sends your whole mix to the “listen/monitorFX” track. Set the send device to “keep source” mode.

  4. Route the second “listen/monitorFX” track to your audio interfaces outputs 1&2.

  5. Insert any monitoring FX to the “listen/monitorFX” track and you will be listening through them, but they won’t be applied to your renders.

This method has some minor quirks you might run into and it can totally break your master level meter and clip indicator (to counter this, you can put a separate level metering plugin on your Monitor FX chain). But although hacky, it works essentially the same way that Reaper’s monitoring FX work. With this method you don’t necessarily need to route to any other applications, and this also doesn’t bring any major increase of latency. Now AFAIK you can’t save this setup to any user preferences, but you can put this into your template and also save any of your commonly used FX chains separately. There’s also a tool for managing multiple templates if that would make your life easier (it’s called “quick template” if I remember correctly).

As a bonus tip, if you have a decent measuring microphone and know how to operate RoomEqWizard, you can actually use Renoise’s convolver device as a perfectly functional room correction eq. So no need for room correction VSTs with Renoise. I have it wrapped up in a doofer, coupled with a tilt eq (for “house curve” adjustments) and a gainer device for gain compensation. This setup allows me to just toggle it on/off with a single button if I need to switch to headphones, and it’s perfectly gain compensated and all. Was a really nice find when I recently figured it out.

Cheers! I hope this helps!