Tracks Sound Weak

Hi guys, my Renoise tracks sound weak. I just can get them sounding as full or chunky as commercial releases. I know that EQ and Compression is my key but please can someone help me out (and I’m sure many other people!) with wich plug-ins are best to use for this. A good reverb plug-in would also be great.

When I make tracks in Rebirth, Fruity, Cubase, Reason etc the tracks sound much better for some reason!! Why is Renoise different? What am I doing wrong?!!

Any help would be fantastic


dunno what´s wrong with your tracks but i have noticedc that renoise 1.5 sound engine isn´t any more that rich with low frequencies as it use to be in 1.281…can´t get any more those groovy shroomy bass frequencies, they just puuroutuu hutuksi as we say… :(

First of all Renoise’s global output volume is 6 db under the real limit.
Also Renoise saves samples you load into the instruments in 16 bit format no matter if they were 32 bit at first. I don’t know if you use samples, but in that case maybe some samples may be affected in the sound’s disadvantage after your song was saved and reloaded afterwards.

You may want to try devide certain base-instruments (if they are samplebased RNI’s) upon two individual tracks, pan one track to the utter right the other one to the utter left and use two different EQ dsp effects with different settings so you have uneven balanced frequencies upon both tracks.
I haven’t tried doing this in Renoise yet…
In the past with Impulse tracker it was the most done trick to do (using a left and right panned instrument and apply different effects upon each track) but IT didn’t had rich EQ effects for individual tracks.
Just some filter effect envelopes for the instruments.

I know that the difference is very subtle. And I can’t hear the difference between a 24 bit and a 16 bit on my system.

But still… you know. I hope this thing gets [I]upgraded[I] in the future. At least to 24 bit, which would be enough for me (also as a rendering option :)).
For others: just let them have a setting in the preferences to choose the bitrate of the samples saved in a song.

As for the topic: I don’t think that Renoise sounds noticeably different than other DAWs. Maybe it’s just a matter of loudness, as vvoois said.
Other than that… there’s a lot of things you can do to get a nicer sound, but too many, really. I wouldn’t know where to start. It also depends on what type of music you’re making. Maybe you can just look at how you did things in other programs and do the same in Renoise.
For the plugins:
And… for the loudness freaks (and not only), just today I discovered a nice, freeware master limiter, by TbT (in case you didn’t know it yet). Here. As a matter of fact: all of those plugins are simply great!


if you don’t give the song a decent mastering treatment… it will always sound weak… DAW’s won’t do it for you automatically.

I forgot about the dithering on the mastertrack that is being turned on by default… it may differ for certain sounds.
The master-dithering is being triggered in the audio-tab of the configs menu:

This does not necessarily has to be true.

You can play samples in two ways:default bit structure or bit-inverted.
When i composed in FastTracker 2 and then i did songs in Polytracker using the GUS max drivers, i noticed the sounds in FastTracker 2 where much paler and colder than in Polytracker.

Either the samples where played bit inverted or vice versa, but usually the pale playing method is being used to play samples to emulate a surround mode.
(that’s what the surround effect command does, it swaps the bits so the sample combined with the other sample gives a richer sound)

It may make some sounds and base samples a warmer sound using that effect command, but it won’t work with VSTI’s unfortunately.

I don’t know for sure if the shaper DSP can be of any good help in this case trackwise.

Another way to avoid using the surround command is converting the samples in a wave-converter before importing them into a Renoise Instrument.

I would welcome an instrument parameter that triggers bitwise playing method of it’s samples or VST instruments.

audio dithering? what the hell is that? should i turn it off? i know what dithering looks like in still pictures… i sure as hell wouldn’t want that to happen to my audio!

No, no, no, audio dithering is good! I don’t have time go into a full discussion right now. But to quickly summarize, you can dither an audio signal when you shorten the word size (for example, converting from analog to digital, converting from 24-bit to 16-bit, or rounding the results of integer division). The good thing about dither is that you preserve some of the information that you would lose by truncation–more or less in the same that by dithering a high-resolution picture to 16-color, you can preserve some of the color gradients. The bad thing with dither is that you increase the noise floor slightly.

However, the noise added during a 16-bit dither is barely perceptible. And if your final target is 16-bit (say a CD), you can dither at 24-bit as much as you want during processing. What you don’t want to do is dither the same signal at 16-bit over and over again–the noise will accumulate. (That is why you should do all audio processing at 24- or 32-bit, even if your final target is 16-bit.)

does anyone no think it might be to do with the ‘track width’ option? That often has a detrimental effect on my songwriting.

Thank you, I finally fully understand the dither option, missed a class i think

well, sending your tracks 2 a send channel makes the sample sound 100% fuller…imo its a must

You mean, sending a track to a send channel which has a certain DSP effect? Or just in general?

Someone gave me a tip upon a small mastering tool called Har-Bal… (Graphic adjusted EQing of the analysed wave-file on eye-sight)

It’s no VST plugin since it analyses a whole wave-file.
But i managed to create some warmer sounds using that one.

The weakness that is within the songs created in Renoise is pure a mixing problem.
Not that Renoise is the blame, but it’s very hard to mix your tracks and instruments around.
So best advise is one instrument per track across the whole song!
Then do your math per instrument (panning and volume).

The best average RMS power i seem to achieve in Renoise is -17db. Using Har-Bal i can raise it up to -14 / -13db but Har-Bal still doesn’t mix for you.

It would be nice if the DSP compressor would have a threshold / gain based upon db rather than percentages.
I don’t find percentages usefull at all.

witout the effects…i find some send effects sound terrible…especially compressing.

usually i have a 1 track wit snares and hihats…and another track for my kicks…when u send all these tracks 2 its 1 channel it makes the samples sound twice as full…pretty much…the volumn in the send track will act as a gainer, but sounds better.

wow i’m glad you guys are conversing about this, ive ran into a bunch of troubles not using sends.

theres a plugin i use called c3multicomp its a great comp plugin but somethng about it renoise has alot of trouble with.
im pretty sure it was written in delphi so its not like its a low quality synthedit creation.
so far out of all the compressors ive used nothing else compares to the certain compression it has that i’m after.
thing is, well theres a few things about it.
it does not work with renoise on mac for some reason(it does however work well with peak), works fine on pc just not in renoise. what has really pissed me off quite a few times is how when i push play in renoise it has some horrible static at the begining of the pattern and i havent been able to figure out where the hell its coming from or why its doing it except that renoise does not play well with it. (i know your shaking your head, but its a fact, period)
to add more to this fact, berotracker & openmodplug play it perfectly, and thats what really sucks, because theres no way i can get the devs to understand or even listen to me about this. (kinda defeats the purpose of supporting the devs & paying for renoise, now doesnt it?)
of course it does have the best GUI, input control, abilities and thats why i toned down my complaints.

so now that that is said, i found that the only way to use this plugin was to put it on a send, and deal with it sounding like shit for the first few seconds when i push play. as long as i dont stop it from playing it usually wont give anymore static. (well until i stop it an start again)
lots of horrible sounds come from renoise if theres 1 instance each on 2 tracks and not having it on 1 send. the sound is just like the one described up above, only its through the whole song when there is input being fed to it.
avoiding the bugs has pretty much reshaped the way i make music in renoise.

i dont quite understand how having a track sent to a send could give a sound more fullness. Taktik wrote that there is nothing inbetween and that would actually be something i wouldnt want. i judge the quality of a host software the same as hardware monitors, by its transparency and im sure any professional would agree, that having a host software add processing to make it sound fuller wouldnt be something they would want. thats something that one needs to have full control over.

as far as the tracks sounding weak, in some cases i do agree, but that is why they make so many highend processing plugins.

an idea for possibly helping with this, is how in oldschool mods you see they use 2 tracks for the same sound each panned hard right and left. and with bass you pann to the absolute center (you should do this if you plan on getting pressed)

You mean I should ALWAYS send tracks to a send-track? No matter what, because it sounds better then?

Cuz if it does, then I will…

We all want our songs to sound the best as possible…


Although we shouldn’t have to do these “magic tricks” to have our songs sound better… I think the devs should have a look at this.