The Tao Of Renoise

I have been reading some of the feature request threads with interest and it made me wonder about what the underlying philosophy behind Renoise is.

I for one am dead against things like the piano roll editor and to some degree audiotracks as I think it moves Renoise away from what I think it should be all about, and goes against what I think the ‘values’ of reason are. I’m against it trying to compete with mainstream DAWs and think Renoise should be all about being an alternative music making paradigm and to an extent be something that is appealing to non traditional musicians (i.e. those of us that don’t know about music theory or play an instrument). I started out making beats on Octamed back in the day and even though I migrated to mainstream sequencers I have always used trackers as a tool to complement these, so for me Renoise is always going to be something that co-exists with other sequencer software, now that it has rewire this is as easy as you could make it. Therefore I would love to see the direction of Renoise features develop in a more innovative way rather than try to keep up with the big boys and trying to appeal to the masses.

I’m sure the devs have an idea as they always seem to take it in the right direction in every update, I thought it would be useful to see if the user base (at least those that post on here) think in a similar way or can make suggestions as to what the ‘Way of Renoise’ is, or should be.

Perhaps a clearer understanding of the Renoise ‘values’ would focus the feature requests, at any rate I’m just curious.


i agree with some point and for some i don’t

alternative music and mainstream music use the same way of making. the wooble of modern dubstep is an old sound. wavetable of lfo> cutoff is nothing nu. it’s as old as modular synthetizer and wavetable was on affordable waldorf synth for about 15 years… you can make eurodance on renoise or noisy breakcore.
Renoise is just a tool what you do with it it’s all about your creativity. some will make popish electro other industrial hardcore some weird experimental idm.

I’m learning to play guitar at the moment because i’ve understand how important it is to understand deeply music, chords, harmonies, rythm and so on. of course you could like dissonant deathmetal or free jazz stuff (and i do) but to master these stuff you go to know your basic first
I’m all for some kind of long audio file stuff but not for somekind of audio track (don’t know if it’s even possible in a matrix/pattern oriented sequencer…). When you want to record guitar,piano or vocal it is a bit complicated in renoise. now i record edit in ableton and bounce to wav. not the easiest workflow. i would be happy to do everything in renoise. the simplest the more creativity

I like the way renoise grow. userbase make suggestions in the forum and the dev team warp this into usefull feature. for example in the beginning i was all so glad of the user matrix but no wit hthe 2.8 it is slowly becoming a really usefull tool. It different from all the other sequencer but it do the job and challenge the creativity so i’m all for it now

If one sticks time into it, you can create about everything you want in Renoise, but the same goes for any other music production application.
In the end, what counts is what works best and most pleasant for you and that is where you will find your path.

Pretty much perfect right now and highly moddable using tools. Whatever direction it’ll go in, I have much faith in the devs! :drummer:

I agree, I don’t think I have heard anything that can only be specifically done only in one piece of software, I used to know one guy who wrote everything in Soundforge!

I do feel however that the interface can have a big impact on the ideas you come up with, a simple example being that the way I can use 2 octaves on a computer keyboard to enter notes results in me playing melodies that I wouldn’t have ordinarily played on a midi keyboard. On reflection I suppose it comes down to how you write music, some producers have a set idea in their minds of what they want their music to sound like. I on the other hand prefer to experiment with sound and let the song ‘emerge’ and for this kind of approach I find Renoise very useful.

I’ve also just discovered the formula device and am gobsmacked to see how it has been used (particularly by BitArts).

Even just having started with Renoise a few weeks ago some feature requests I’ve seen do seem to go against the design philosophy, like people asking for things in floating windows when it’s pretty clear that everything being locked in it’s proper place is an objective with Renoise, but I think that’s typical of any program, people will request things they’ve seen elsewhere even if it’s incongruent. I’ve only used 2.8 but it does seem like the devs must have done a great job of being cognizant of the clutter that feature creep can bring and have implemented new things in an intuitive way, coming from FL at least everything seems so much more logical and well thought out, mouse wheel on faders and EQ nodes is probably the only thing I miss and it’s pretty minor.

With the piano roll thing…there are advantages to piano rolls and there are advantages to tracker layout. I can see where people would think it would be amazing to have both in one package but I also think the request may be slightly short sighted. A lot of what makes PR’s good like being able to quickly mouse through a large number of velocities or change note lengths, could probably be implemented with a tracker view. Open MPT actually has something like a PR’s velocity window but for pattern effects, but that’s in a floating horizontal window that isn’t synchronized visually with the pattern data.

This a very important thread. And a great discussion to be having.

What is Renoise? What is the way of Renoise? The tao of Renoise? Zen, and the Art of Renoise. What is better for a company? A unique product? A product that competes? I to have been reading the feature requests… Piano Roll? I beg to differ. Audio tracks? Again, I’m not so sure that’s a good idea, and I’d be more inclined to say, “no way!” Here is where I am interested… “take some inspiration from Reaktor.” This is something I have seen mentioned, and its something I can not disregard so quickly. And also… This could theoretically incorporate, “audio tracks, and piano roll.” But let me ask this… Is this not something the developer team is already doing?

Renoise Scripting… I don’t code. I don’t understand much about this… but I see that what is built is an ecosystem? as the software world calls it… I’ve already downloaded more of the community tools that I can remember… just to highlight… resynth, and the arp, the step sequencer, the fun thing for the trance saws, there’s that white noise generator… and I’m waiting on cells to finish beta… ( I know, thats a little selfish ) there are other things I’ve downloaded, and tons of community break beat instruments… and everything. And could Renoise be opened up, to be kinda like, “the next, but way, way cooler than, Reaktor?” This does interest me… But just adding audio tracks, and adding a piano roll? Nah… I don’t believe that is the Renoise way.

So, what does that mean, “there is no piano roll!” What does that mean? It means, you are expected learn. You are expected to self study, and learn this way of making music. And stop trying to change the tool to fit you, maybe best to realize, “everything worth doing, is not going to be so easy for you.”

Just remember… You are doing it because it is a spiritual experience. We all have to invest learning in our art…

-edited by rainbows-

I think there’s no risk at all of anything being dumbed-down or hacked out from future versions. As it has been all along I think If we get anything more from the traditional DAW paradigms it will be integrated into Renoise in a very smart and peculiar way - the solution will be Renoisian. There is a consistant observable thread of health and integrity to this project. The people behind the wheel have outdone themselves time and time again, you can only think that this will continue for the time being (short of an epic disaster).

As for more subjective matters such as Zen etc, well, it’s fun to play with our emotions and go crazy with fantasy of this practice being sacred in some regard. I vote that such matters be left to the subjective and have no bearing on concrete decision making outside of a general positive attitude. This software is now so vast that gone are the days where most users were using this software in much the same way - now the optionality allows for a very idiosyncratic usage. The Devs have the unenviable role of trying to synthesise all these points of view into something that is a helpful step forward for the project.

Never have faith, for faith has the tendency for relinquishing active problem solving. Instead, work with it: if you have a well thought out feature request then pose it to the community in the appropriate way. Everything is observed and considered, so there is no need for emotion to prop up any idea. And if it doesn’t happen for you straight away, then most of the time there are reasonable work-arounds.

Hehe, I like the idea of some reaktor-like modular environment to build synthesizers and other effects and tools in renoise. I’m currently looking into Pure Data. It would be great if it could be linked more tightly to renoise than over jack-connections. I would love to write myself a PD synth for usage in renoise, or a PD FX unit.
I looked into writing a dssi-plugin for libpd myself. But it would be another big project that prevents me from making music in my free time.

A piano roll, I dont know if I need to so bad anymore. At least since I wrote my pianolol-tool I barely felt the need. On the other hand, it’s just another way to view note columns, which probably wouldn’t change the rest of renoise too deeply. And having it directly integrated would enhance the user interface workflow a lot.

But the advice to go onto a different playing field than FL, Live and Logic are already playing on, and search their own userbase is definitively important. With Bitwig on the horizon this field will become even more crowded. Building on the
creative spirit of the demo scene seems to be an important feature to me, at least I still feel it kind of, emanating from the tracker interface and the sample based spirit.

In any way: Thanks to the developers for their work and keeping up with the “i love this, i just want MORE!”-spirit of the musicians that use renoise :)

PD in renoise?

I can certainly see advantages to that but given the scripting api that already exists, maybe something like supercollider would be a better option.

PD is Renoise, while phenomenally useful smells too much of max for live to me. Which I do love, but I’d rather see renoise go in its own direction rather than follow the herd.

One of the interesting things about Reaktor, as compared to SuperCollider, PD/Max, is how accesable Reaktor is. However, “I’d rather see Renoise go in its own direction rather than follow the herd.” I agree…

Is this true? Max 6 looks pretty damn user friendly, and I remember some reaktor patches looking pretty incomprehensible (although I don’t do reaktor programming myself… I did fiddle with sync modular back in the day though).

I’ve used max, and pd, and experimented with supercollider, and have had plenty of studio time, back in my early years of production with Reaktor.

My favorite is Reaktor. That said, I don’t use Reaktor right now, but I can see myself getting a license before years end. As it seems v6 will be a long way off.

My belief is, Reaktor is more accessible. I don’t think that is a true or false statement. It is opinion

( sorry mobile doesn’t let you edit )

When I first started producing, I didn’t need Reaktor, now there are some things I want to do, I’m ready for Reaktor, I think these these are entirely possible in Renoise anyway, I’d love to see Renoise, “open up,” even more, for lack of a better phrase

i’m all for modularity be it in some way for the effect or for the instrument function

but modularity should be well done. for a program with not the biggest user base as renoise it should i think be targeted for people who don’t code. i’ve had reaktor and give up… why ? because it was so much work to get anything good sounding done. of course you could ensemble made by other people but i trainwreck the point wich is to make anything you want. of course if want the sound quality of 98 you could just plug the filter into the osc but when you go into the user ensemble the one that sound good or heavily macro coded.
that’s why i the end of the day i give up. now with u-he diva (for bass) and u-he bazille (for pad and lead) wich is modular i’ve got near everything i need and everything sound great
The good way of modularity for me is reason. the building block have lot’s of purpose but there are all good sounding and high level. so even a beginning could make a granular good sounding synth with it , or some good colored multiband comp for drums and so on…
modular way i’m all for it but for the people not only for the nerds :yeah:
don’t get me wrong i respect all the way the one that can code but i’m just not talented enough for this. i’m still trying though

I’ve always considered DAW’s like Logic, ProTools and Reaper really more of a Tool for Engineers, where as Renoise, Ableton and to some Extent FL more of a songwriters tool.

I would never use Renoise or even Ableton (while I totally realize it can be done) to track a band. That’s just not what I use those programs for.

When I first turned on Renoise back in 2.1 days, I freaking hated it. I just didn’t get it. The Tracker system just didn’t make sense to me. So I went back to Reaper and deleted the Renoise demo. Sometime later I decided to give it a second look and I’ve never looked back. For me, what I love about Renoise is that as soon as I turn it on, I’m working. I’m not spending an hour trying to figure out how to configure my drums or what have you. Or setting up an effects a bus or whatever. I just start working.

I’ve spent a lot of time the past few years trying to be a bassist. I love playing bass, it’s what I do. At one point I stopped and realized that I had this other side to me, I was an electronic musician and I didn’t even realize it. For as long as I’ve had a bass I’ve had drum machines, Fruity Loops, Reason and other tools. And I loved making electronic music, I just never realized that’s what I was doing. Silly I know, but I never really saw my time making electronic music as anything but a hobby, but nonetheless, I was doing it, and I had been since day one. I’ve recently recognized this and have decided that to truly express myself, I needed to find a way to combine both worlds; my love of being a bass player, playing jazz and classical music, and my love of composing electronic music. It was this that led me to try Renoise again. I saw it now as a companion to my bass playing. My other device next to my bass playing. I sold my cello, which I had spent the last five years studying to buy a laptop and some midi controllers and started working with Renoise. The music I’ve been writing with this combination is some of the best I’ve written in years. I feel truly alive and at my best. So for me, Renoise isn’t just a DAW, it’s a musical instrument.

I have been using PureData with Renoise a lot in the past 2 months and it works well, although the scripting interface is limited in its ability to send OSC events in response to changes in the tracker view. That said, sending MIDI sysex messages works well, and Jack works decently for routing audio.

If you’re looking for a plugin-based modular workflow to compliment Renoise, I would also like to throw a vote in for Tassman, which is quite powerful and can be used as an instrument or for constructing effects chains. I plan on doing some experimentation with Renoise + Tassman in the near future.

Just a random quote from The Book of Five Rings.

That Tassman program is amazing. Thanks for letting us know about!

I’ve been interested in PureData and Supercollider, I can’t get them to install correctly on Linux though, frustrating. I’ve never messed with code, so I mostly am just interested in it from an experimentalist standpoint. Synthesis to me is more of an exploratative world for me in that I feel like I’m always wandering into new territory discovering new things. It’s so exciting. Difficult in a different way then bass exploration but even more exciting in many ways.