The Renoise Based Liveset

Dear Renoisers,

For a while now i’ve been struggling with different setups to go live, non of them are keepers…
A few months ago i discovered Renoise and i find it such a sympathetic program, i just like the way it works, looks and it’s effordable price plus it’s extremely suited for the music i am making at this moment…

So i was wondering if people are using it in livesets and if so, how they use it.

Are you using multiple outputs from your soundcard to an external mixer?
Are you routing your effect channels in a certain way?
Are you using hardware effects on the side?
Are you changing patterns with a midi controller?
Stuff like this…

And if you guys have tips or tricks regarding the use of renoise in live situations please share them, even if they seem so obvious…


I haven’t gigged with my new gear yet, need to put some more stuff in a rack case and finish building it.

I’m using a multiple output sound card and a mixer along with some MIDI knobs and a really compact keyboard, and a bunch of hardware stuff as well.

But I’m sorry to say that I might not use Renoise live. Checking out the very expensive Ableton Live atm. But that is mostly because I want to be able to do unique remixes each performance. If you do things more straight forward, Renoise might be good enough. But for me, I lack some control over songposition, looping etc. I hope this will be implemented sometime soon, possibly in the planned arranger.

Yes, Ableton Live is good if you have pre-made music files that needs fill-in. I have not either used Renoise to tweak compositions during live performance. I have been too much a nazi with the stuff I make in Renoise, because that is what I like so much with trackers. You are the total overlord that can pre-direct the skeleton of a perfect drama before going on stage.

Problem with this can be you try to hang on to the computer instead of instantly controlling it, which, for some can result in less presence in the performance. I always try to learn the compositions to a subconcius so I do not need to remember on stage, it works quite often too! I do this by listening to every new song MANY times a day for a long time, sometimes I have one song on repeat for the whole day. But one needs to practice once in a while also.

Thinking of it, it would have been cool if you could controll patterns, songposition, EQ , etc. with MIDI. At least if I did not play Ableton Live, guitar or synthesizer. So, is it possible?

i try to stay pretty free form when i’m using renoise live. i’ll switch back and forth between looping pattern sequences, using the shortcut keys to enable and mute various channels. midi mainly for tuning effects and fading channels in and out.

as far as multiple outputs are concerned, i haven’t actually bought a multiple out soundcard yet, so i’ll either use a second computer and my djmixer or, lately i’ve been running multiple instances of renoise on my powerbook and attaching a second screen to it. this works though you have to watch resources.

i got into using trackers live back in the IT days. i wouldn’t recommend it if you aren’t already or willing to become VERY familiar with how to operate the tracker. that said, i have used ableton and renoise simultaneously before. ableton does a fine job of handling large sounds and quantizing, but i can’t mangle sounds in it in a live setting nearly as well as i can with renoise.

experiment… the whole genre of live laptop music is being invented by us anyway… :yeah:

I’m currently involved in a theatre-project where I control sound fx live on stage for most everything that happens, and I use 4 instances of Renoise with my midicontroller, utilising 49 keys mapped to 49 sample slots divided amongst the 4 renoises, removing the “16 samples only”-rule, only applying a helluva lot more cpu power, hehe…

I also utilise all 16 knobs/faders for volume/panning of some looped patterns with ambience, and will route it through various outputs in my (soon to be bought) M-Audio Firewire 410-card. Works quite well, actually. :)

Although, not quite the performance you had in mind? It does work, tho. I will try this out when performing music live some day soon when I have time. Can be quite interesting, AND my own thing!

When I get to performing music live this way, I’ll let you know. Most likely I’ll make music specifically for live performance, making it up as I go. You know, ambient… Or maybe techno, hummmm… I’m really liking this idea more and more!! Lots of loops sweeping the background, fading up and down, and lots of multi-instruments on one keyboard. That would rock! I gotta do that asap!!! :D…261750&t=261750

check out this thread :)

I was toying with the idea of using renoise live but found that it dictates the sort of set you can do with it too much.

If you want to go into the whole live pattern editing thing you end up with something really repetative, which is fine for minimal beats type stuff, but for more melodic things with chord progressions etc I found myself just muting/unmuting things and flicking between mostly preprogrammed patterns - I was too busy controlling the flow of the song to have time to get in there and edit anything. Plus your timing has to be very precise when unmuting things so you don’t catch the last beat of the previous pattern, I know that sounds lame, but it’s the sort of thing you just don’t want to be worrying about so you can concentrate on the flow and make your performance more entertaining.

So I’ve ended up using Ableton, for one, you don’t have to stop inbetween songs to load up the next module, I don’t like the idea of having one big module for a whole set, as tempo changes and other things like DSP chains can get a bit messy and limit where you can go with the sound.
I prefer Ableton’s more ‘zoomed out’ approach for doing live stuff.

You have to find the right balance so you haven’t got too much to do during the performance, or too little (like pressing ‘play’ and faking it!), depending on the sort of music you make.

So my setup is Renoise for making the tunes, and then Ableton for remixing them live.

yes, looking into this too, and will have some controller to help out me after the summer. I do hope renoise will offer some things to help out with live performances (like the 16-sample per instrument limit), or I’m going to have to look into Ableton too. It’s bundled with my soundcard anyway, so worth a shot :)

I’m currently doing live DJ sets with XT, roughly involving:

  • Two CD deck imputs, both routed with Send and Dry effect lines for various degress of mash.
  • Xtal VSTi for mp3 playing.
  • Another instance of Xtal for playing background ambience mp3s.
  • XT sequencer for cueing of wav files or pre-saved midi data.
  • Any synth I feel like noodling on live
  • An audio line (with effects like Amplitube) for my guitar imput/improv.

I keep the center of the mix with full-presense groove based music, mostly electronica, mostly underground, and a fair amount of track from Renoise people. While I keep the groove going (no beatmatching thankyou) I colour the sound with other non-percussive tracks (classical/ambient/noise/talking) to give the mix a sense of originality and vastness. I call this style of music ‘ARC’, but some call it ‘mashup’ incorrectly as it sounds nothing like some lame splice between Britney Spears and James Brown.

I was trying the same approach with Renoise, but XT-SA handles audio I/O much better. Once Renoies has ‘audio IN’ then we’re dealing with something remarkably different.

im just in the process of putting together a 30min .RNS file for my live set.

its all preprogrammed inc vst’s [renoise built in only]

ive made about 20mins so far and jammed it loads of times.

using shortcut keys etc so i can let the thing just play on its own while i tweak whatever i want
muting nmuting mashing stretching etc

i’ve also got a microkorg + mpc2500 wich im just starting to add to the set wich i tweak live too

i’ve used ableton loads of times for my live shit but its not the same as renoise

the sound is different and becuse you don’t have all the fiddly shit like ableton does you tend to concentrate on different stuff

at the mo i have about 36 tracks running [not at the same time tho]

as the patterns progress down the tracks move accross

ive tried flipping form one pattern to another but this can be a bit jumpy

is there any way of having the pattern flow from 23 back to 18? or 23 up to 28?

can i control the tempo with a midi controller? BPM, Speed etc…



My live situation is changed while Renoise and my look on hardware evolves.

first I used Renoise to play the song (it’s very good at it ;) )
used hardware synths and controllers to play in live melodies and control midi-mapped functions inside renoise. (filters, panning, volume, ect.)

I used to have an kaoss pad that I used on specific tracks of renoise.
I route them apart from the main output on my soundcard to control them seperately.

apart from that I ran Guitar rig seperatly to do effects on the live played guitar.

now renoise has audio-in, these things have changed. (will change for my next gigs):

I now prepared guitar rig inside the *.xrns file so I can do more with it.
and it saves some CPU.

I don’t even use a mixer anymore, guitar and synths are routed trough my audio card (presonus firepod)
so now I can even aply vst effects on my hardware synths.
everything is premixed inside renoise, when it isn’t right, I simply go to the renoise mixer or turn the volume knob on the synth.

I always have the things I do on the synths sampled inside renoise, when a synth as problems I simply unmute the channel in renoise, this gives me some time to solve the problem.

all the stuf comes out of my soundcard in one stereo pair, and one extra stereo pair for the guitar, that are routed to his own amp

You can still use Renoise as an effect processor for your live audio streams if you desire.
But i can understand Renoise is not the total-in-one app for live sessions. though i still see usefull opportunities in different areas of Renoise that can be used live like aforementioned.

Whats this? Who’s talking about ableton in the church of renoise? Well, to be honest ableton is so much better to use live than renoise, but thats mainly due to one reason; the lack of an “arranger”. However when the arranger arrives; i will not be using a mix of ableton and renoise, ill just renoise.

Why cubase when you can renoise.

I play live with renoise,i dont take my pc out to gigs tho,i would do if i had a laptop :P all i do is jam live with my hardware for an hour a time then go back and edit it and make tune’s out of it,just making as i go along,im using the Keystation to control most of Renoise which makes it alot easier,

But yeh Renoise can be used to play live,but i feel you need hardware to help you along a bit,plus a nice analog drumachine make’s everything alot more punchy and any other decent hardware make’s Renoise sound alot better.

:guitar: .

In my livesets I use:

-PC Laptop, running two copies of Renoise simultaneously. (One copy for each sound card-output --> Mixer )
-Access Virus B synth
-Korg Kaoss Pad 2
-M-audio Oxygen 8 midi keyboard/controller
-Numark 3002EX (3 Channel DJ-mixer) (Channel 1= Renoise, Channel 2= Renoise(2), Channel 3= Synth thru Kaosspad
-Mic, Bongo drums and/or other instrument into Mic-channel on Mixer. (Also thru Kaoss Pad 2)
-Pioneer HDJ-1000 headphones
-And more

I make two versions of every song. One “Complete-version” and one “Live-version”. The Live-version is a lite version with some tracks muted for real-time playing with external instrument (Synth, KP, Mic, or other)

This is, for me, the easiest way :D :walkman:


My setup is pretty simular to cutedecibel’s, except that:

  • I route the output from Renoise into another program (Audiomulch), for further treatments (modular fx, looping)
  • My mixer is setup to let ALT output (muted channels) feed any sound back into the laptop
  • There’s always some sort of custom midi-controller mapping (such as the awesome knob that’ll crossfade between the two renoise instances:-)

I’m preparing a dub techno liveset at the moment and the setup is as follows:

  • Apple MacBook Pro with Renoise taking care of the MIDI sequencing and routing/processing of the audio
  • Dynacord Echocord Super tape echo, the real deal and crucial for those crispy resonating delays
  • Echo AudioFire12 audio interface, 12 analog in and 12 analog out
  • Korg Electribe-S MK2 synced with Renoise, for the beats and percussion
  • Korg MS2000 for the dub chords and live filter/envelope tweaking
  • Moog Little Phatty providing the fattest bass a subwoofer can handle
  • Moog MF-104Z analog delay (with the delay-loop ran through a Moog MF-103 12-stage phaser)
  • Soundcraft Compact 10, combines the signals routed through Renoise, Dynacord and Moogerfoogers

Renoise is not a really big part in this setup, but I like the way I can route different signals to specific outputs for further processing. :)

Edit: this is how it sounds by the way:

hmm, never played renoise live, but i just got an idea for renoise live editing…
What if you as cubedecibel sugested used at least two instances of renoise, routing each of them to a mixer with a crossfader. Now, you take the song you want to play, load it into both instances, and set the midi settings so they are in sync. Now use the pattern join function to make the songs into a single pattern.(not possible atm because of a limit to the lines, but you can reduce a son to a three or four at least.) Now turn off pattern follow. This should, i think, this would make it possible to edit the pattern and the effects i advance and then fade them in. It seemed cool in my head at least…

ok so im looking for some advice…
say I had 6 renoise songs (a SET), don’t use ableton and don’t really want to stop to reload songs live leaving a gap, any suggestions on what to do whilst looking busy for 25 mins???

Heres a suggestion to the renoise developers…drumroll…

how about an application that would let us open renoise songs and mix them together etc…maybe some additional effects/vst use.
I don’t mind paying for it cos renoise is a bargain anyway.

cool to see people using renoise live,i dont play live (yet)but would be cool if renoise could be used