What can Renoise do that Ableton can't?

Let me preface by stating that I’m geniunely fascinated by music production software, and that I by no means prefer this over that or whatever. I’ve used them all, and I guess I’ll continue to for a long while.

That being said (out of pure curiosity); what is in your opinion something that Renoise can do (or does very well) that Ableton can’t?



It’s a tracker, it is a completely different way of viewing and editing music.


Yes, it is! And, I remember that from my MadTracker 2 days in the late 90s.

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One thing that comes to mind is playing an instrument in any track simply by writing notes in those tracks. Also, you can render anything in a selection in the pattern editor. The 0SXX command or 09xx for older versions.


The intern LoFi fx sounds better then Abletons. :slightly_smiling_face:


Comparing Renoise with Ableton is like comparing word and excel or OpenOffice with Firefox.


It can look cool and mysterious, and lure programmers into making music.


My top Renoise features I’d love to have in Ableton :

  • Impressively comprehensive visualizer suite (oscilloscope, spectrometer, frequency visualizer with built-in track to master comparison). Seriously, a VST suite like that can cost more than Renoise itself

  • The “block approach” of the pattern sequencer. Missing a build-up section ? An outro ? There’s one too many chorus ? Just add/remove without fearing messing up your song by selecting and dragging a chunk of it

  • The separation of concern of the samples and their positionning. Don’t like you’re guitar sound, just re-record it… if you played the same stuffs, it’ll be already in place in your patterns

(All in all, I think renoise does a WAY better job at preventing you from losing focus. Everything has a place, and messing with a part of your song won’t affect the rest)

  • The Multiband Send…

  • The fine tuning of macros/hydra… with one turn of a knob you can increase stuffs, decrease others, slightly change another thing…

  • The sampler is just killer an super comprehensive : round-robin, velocity layers… easy as a breeze

  • The modular approach, you can stick all sorts of modifiers all over the place, route things like crazy…

  • The left click automation


One HUGE feature that was missed in here.

  • Native Signal Follower

*With this it makes it easy to monitor and output specific frequencies (multiband send / filtering etc) to external Midi/OSC for visual processing etc.


I was going to write about the Signal follower along with the LFO device, but apparently Max for Live does these too. But, yes, we’re talking native devices for Renoise with freq filters to choose what freq range will be monitored for signal riding/following with Attack and Release times and Curvature. Enough said.


Hi Tumulte,
regarding your (ableton) Live reply:

  1. if you use “drum rack” or “sampler” instrument, you could easily swap instruments like in renoise as well.
  2. “block approach”? Live has “clip approach” whereas you could do exactly the same (if you use arrangement window mostly than clip launching env, you are missing “Live” point)
  3. multiband send > you could easily add fx rack to channel, create 3 multiband comps, solo bands, and you have multiband split within channel, no need for send (which you could do as well)

You’ll notice that I’m talking about creating (and finishing) a song. Live is fantastic for messing around and testing stuffs (and live obviously), but all this modularity vanishes when time comes to make a song.

Renoise, however, is very efficient at this.

As for your other remarks, yeah, you can do a lot of stuffs in live, it’s just so much more straightforward in renoise ! It’s like LFO… you can have these in Live… but in renoise it’s just so well integrated and easy to use, you can’t really compare the two


well for me coming from Live it was the opposite.
Just because it’s more logical to you doesn’t make it to anyone else i suppose
topic is " What can Renoise do that Ableton can’t? "
so your points are not valid at all…- unless it’s roaming around topic almost like every other topic :slight_smile:


That’s the point of having so many daws… to each his logic, and feel etc…

But I stand by my points : renoise encourages crazy routings and splittings etc… right out of the box, no manual needed, while Live has workarounds.

Also, the ability to modify a song structure as easily as moving around Lego blocks really is something Renoise can that live can’t.


This is not correct. This is a forum for discussion, he is putting out his opinion on the differences between Ableton and Renoise as per subject. It is always welcome and completely valid.


Keyboard driven step automation.

Good example of why this is relevant is snare rolls and flams.

Click notes in with mouse, fuck with velocity settings with the mouse continually to try to get an exact value with the mouse which is only doable zoomed in, etc. Total time fucking with it: about 40 seconds per 8 bars.

Type notes and the values you want in with keyboard. Total time fucking with it: about 15 seconds per 8 bars.

If you’re dealing with complex drum patterns, with lots of note data and step automation the workflow differences can save literally an hour or more. It’s why the jungle and IDM guys use trackers. Cutting up breaks and doing all of those edits by hand with mice is doable, and yeah there are some that’ve done it the hard way in pro tools or logic or ableton or whatever but doing it the hard way is hard.


you could always use your midi to record “exact note values”, rather than program them…
there is even easier way cutting up breaks in the arrangement window, just put wav, ctrl+e (slice if i remember correctly on every beat) and just drag waveform of each slice to your taste ~ and you’re done. Now that excludes sampler from renoise, but it is doable. Topic is "you cannot do in Live(ableton)" stick to it. This is ridiculous - avoiding topics like this.

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do you even read the topic name? OP asked what you cannot do in Live that you can in Renoise - Those things are completely doable.
Just because it’s not “clicking” for you doesn’t mean that is impossible, so now get back into sane mode.

This is so anoyying replying to things that even don’t follow initial question. Start another topic of workflow differences or something like that.

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I said that you can’t step edit automation values with the keyboard. You can’t. The whole point of trackers is to program step sequenced patterns.


If you’re making 4/4 boom chk clap music with some recorded keyboard on top, then Live is fine. I suspect if venetian snares tried to make this in Live he’d throw the mouse at the wall about halfway through.


maybe someone who is used to “clicking” workflow would say the same for Live that you do for Renoise, didn’t you think about that?

~ if you’d know to play complex fugues, you’d record that as well, not program it so your argument is lame again.

you could just loop and record thing by thing while looping - to get complex stuff written- which is way faster than entering it…

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