Vst Latency Compensation

Renoise Developers and Other Knowledgable Mammals,

Does Renoise offer any form of latency compensation for VST fx inserts, and if not, what are the workarounds? For example, if I insert a MonkeyVerb X Pro (a theoretical plugin w/ 1024 samples of latency) on my snare track, will it then be 1024 samples behind the other tracks? What about on sends?

Also, what’s the deal with the native FX? Do they cause latency? If so is it possible to find out how much?

It is important to work out this sort of stuff if you’re the type to use a lot of plugins because you can really get your tracks out of sync and off-time, at least that’s my experience with other sequencers. Cubase SX 2.0 supposedly has full delay comp for all kinds of tracks and busses, which is interesting. Who wants to write tracks in Cubase though? Too much mouse-clicking for me. Anyway, I don’t want to turn this into some sort of tracker vs. sequencer debate thread–please refrain from responces of that nature as there’s no shortage of those on the Internet.

Thanks in advance for your lengthy, thoughtful and spiritually uplifting responses,

The only internal Renoise device that causes a delay is the compressor, as it uses a small lookup delay (about 1 ms) wich can be ignored in most cases. All the other internal devices produce no latency at all.
Latency compensation is a planed feature, but its tricky to implement and we ned to change the internal structure of the engine to do so (getting rid of the tick timing as one example).
So its planed, but I cannot tell you when it will be implemented.

there is an directx delay plugin available. you can use it together with the vst <-> dx wrapper (mentioned in this forum already, search for waves in the topic)


Cool, that’s about what I expected. Excellent work on coding the internal FX so that they don’t affect timing. It’d be well sorted if VST fx were transparent too, but even the ‘professional’ (read: overpriced) sequencer/daw market is only beginning to provide solutions. Therefore I can understand if it’d take a while to show up in Renoise. I reckon it’d be a strong selling point for a major release (2.0) as it’d bring yet another ‘pro’ feature
into this tremendous piece of software.

Just to be 100% sure–the internal fx are compensated for on sends? For example if I have a native reverb on a send track, with several other tracks sending to it and the rest not, will everything be in perfect time, including the send track? If I limit my realtime FX to the internal set (and only use VST offline via wave editing,) this means my tracks will have spot-on timing? Tell me it’s so TakTik, tell me it’s so! That’s what I’m trying to achieve.
Off-time stuff might not be noticable at first in one’s tracks, but as you pile on more and more FX, loops and other possibly musical items, you can end up with a real noisy bunch of mush if you’re not careful.

There is some sort of minor tempo drift caused by the tick timing though, right? I encountered this when trying to mix bounced-down individual tracks from a Renoise song in Cubase–the tracks matched up correctly with the bars/beats timeline for a while but eventually drifted a bit out of sync. Is this caused by the tick system? It could be that Cubase’s idea of a particular tempo (say, 133 bpm) is slightly different than Renoise’s (perhaps this would be 133.05 bpm in Cubase) too, I suppose. In any case it’s a minor problem that can be worked around.

Back to killer features–I honestly think that with the right approach, Renoise could go from being viewed as simply a ‘tracker’, (an oldschool sort of program used to make demoscene tracks) to being a widely-used and respected platform for music creation. It’s got tons of benefits, the biggest being a different approach (tracking vs. piano roll/score) to laying out music that happens to be a natural fit with certain forms, such as electronic music. Anything that involves a lot of hand-programming rather than actually recording a keyboard performance via MIDI is way easier, and being able to use the keyboard to enter notes is so much less fiddly and stressful than using a mouse for hours on end. The ‘virtual studio’ concept is but one way of making music on a computer. Rather than just being a non-tactile studio environment, Renoise integrates everything into one program, allowing for faster, more coherent operation and makes possible programming that’d be a nightmare working with only MIDI sequencing and equipment. I think that once we get AKAI import, more VST stuff (ie. offline VST fx in the sample editor, VSTi multi-outs, latency compensation) and a better way to ‘arrange’ patterns or parts, Renoise is going to end up being a serious contender in the music creation software market. (Maybe there’s some way it can have some way to ‘zoom’ in on patterns too? So that a you could take a pattern that was in 1/16 divisions and then edit 32nd notes? Or is that just stuff I should do in the effect column?) At its current pricepoint, people might actually buy it too instead of just downloading a crack. The big companies all price their software at the low-end of the pro market, and what you end up with is home users either overpaying ridiculously for their software (rare), or the common case in which 17-year old Timmy downloads everything for free, as he can’t afford $600 for Cubase SX. The real market for software is the home market (little Timmy), because it’s so much bigger. ‘Pro Audio’ is a niche market. At around $50 a pop, when Renoise gets to where it’s destined to be featurewise, it actually has a chance of selling a lot of copies since it’s completely affordable. With the right kind of marketing, somewhere down the line you guys might be able to make a proper bundle of cash.


P.S. - Got another feature request, I’m sure you guys love them, so here goes: It’d be excellent to have a sidechain capability in the compressor. Yes, excellent. Get to work! :)

There was a thread about this (somewhere…) where the basic line was that Cubase is not 100% accurate when it comes to BPM.

Increased timing is planned, i.e. to get rid of the “ticks” concept once and for all and allow zooming combined with a delay column which also would make realtime recording (i.e. with a MIDI keyboard) and different sorts of quantizing possible… Check out the pinned topic “A question of speed” in ideas and suggestions.