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User Reviews by KVR Members for Renoise

Rate & Review Renoise Now!

Reviewed By mortfell [read all by] on 17th May 2017
Version reviewed: 3.1 on Mac
10.00
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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This is a very special piece of software. It's obviously not for everyone, and the developers know that.
That being said the scope of what it can do is unbelievable
They nailed it, best tracker ever IMO.

Reviewed By EnergyCrush [read all by] on 23rd April 2016
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows.
Last edited by EnergyCrush on 2nd October 2016.
10.00
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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(Update)

I've just discovered DDFM Metaplugin, which provides stable VST3 and side-chain functionality that can be used within Renoise. Awesome.

(/Update)

I've been using Renoise for 14 years (since v1.28), and regard it as my primary DAW for composition. I primarily write EDM, Ambient or Glitch in a home studio using plugins (monitors or headphones on a laptop). I also sing, but don't use Renoise for vocals/recording (currently using Reaper for that).

One liner: It's an amazing composition tool with a highly functional workflow geared for getting ideas down quickly and working to completion (sans raw audio).

Pros:

  • Incredibly efficient and streamlined workflow for modern sequencer-based composition using plugins and short audio files.
  • Very responsive and consistent support/engagement with customers, including vote-driven feature requests.
  • Solid VST support (I've seen a crash now and then, but Renoise has been one of the most reliable VST hosts I've ever used by far).
  • Great price with several fantastic out-of-the-box effects processors (and a few fun sample-based instruments to get you started).
  • Includes many very powerful automation tools, including a LUA-based formula modulator that can be linked to *any* available control.
  • Huge and helpful customer base (if you ever need help figuring something out, there are lots of active users who've figured a lot of things out).
  • Includes Rewire support.

Cons:

  • It can sample/edit audio, but not ideal for working with vocals or long audio files (waveforms are not displayed in the tracks, not enough visual cue).
  • Have seen cases where Renoise has mishandled plugin behavior on 'Stop', or after note cutoff on a track, that causes high CPU until stopped.
  • Does not work as a plugin for other Hosts/DAWs (there are others that do to enable this composition style - yes, this is totally a con).

I've looked into a few other trackers, but nothing has been as polished and complete as Renoise.

Trackers aren't great for every music workflow, but I've found Renoise to be an unparalleled sequencer for modern composition. Workflow subtleties, like the fact that notes are assumed to keep playing on a track until hitting a cutoff, make them ideal for sound design and construction using external plugins. In almost every major DAW on a Mac or PC, composition like this commonly requires drawing every unique note and it's duration using a mouse, and the sheer pain of that experience has not been taken seriously enough for DAW-makers to incorporate this style of composition (nor really take the time understand why accommodations to their own workflow are both ineffectual and unsavory).

In my time using Renoise, I've used many versions/tiers of other DAWs or hardware sequencers:

  • Software:
    • Reaper (current).
    • Ableton (current).
    • Reason (v3-6).
    • Pro Tools (v9).
    • Cubase (v3-7).
    • Various others (Sonar/Cakewalk, Studio One, ACID, etc.).
  • Hardware:
    • An Akai MPC-1000 (current).
    • An old Alesis MMT-8 (loved that thing...).

Most have unique merits, but none have been as near to a complete and reliable solution for me as Renoise for composition. For vocal work, I'm currently using Reaper. Don't want to start off poking at the DAWs other people use and love, but if you ask, I'll respond with my personal experiences in some cases.

Thanks,
Mickey.

Reviewed By TheBellows [read all by] on 24th August 2015
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows
10.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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It works quite different than any other DAW as it's a tracker.

It's perfect for samples, has lots of powerful built in effects and tools, supports VSTs, it's stable and very effective when you know how to use it.

If you mainly use your DAW for live recordings it's probably not the best choice, but even for that, with combinations through Rewire, it may be a great companion.

It works in Windows, Mac and Linux, it looks good, it's inexpensive and has great support.

If i could bring one thing to a desert island i'd bring Renoise.

Reviewed By Didas_94 [read all by] on 1st July 2015
Version reviewed: 8 on Windows
9.00
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Hi, .

this application is very powerfull...

Many plugins effects.

You could sample your VSTi.

Very Very stable.

the special feature is the Tracker, this notes editor can feel weird if you don't know tracker, but after having used it, it's like another daw just less colored and more hexa number. So for classic composer it's not necesseraly the good interface (it's more complexe to see chord and arranged)

A very very good soft for Electro composer and live Electro musician.

Reviewed By excuse my arrogance! [read all by] on 23rd May 2015
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows.
Last edited by excuse my arrogance! on 30th May 2015.
10.00
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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First review, .

Using Renoise version 3.

I have used Studio One, Ableton Live, Tracktion and all had their quirks. I demoed renoise and got used to its vertical spreadsheet in a few day's and starting to apreciate the workflow more and more.

Why do i like it because i have got a recording scetchpad which is a very good sampler at the same time and can record my mic input straight into memory without setting up anything. The sampler is really well integrated in Renoise.

In fact i feel like i'm back in the days of having an AKAI S3000XL sampler in software format which was fun playing around with samples. To me Renoise feels like a recording instrument aswell.

I can load kicks snares and everything into the same sampler form the browser and tweak the samples with a sample editor cutting, normalizing fading xfading everything is there. Setting up the looppoints is abreeze when turning on the pingpong loop setting which is reversing and forwarding the loop. You can merge a stereo file into a mono file for more easy looppoints finding with the push of a button.

It is as intuitive as the workflow in Ableton live but then with good sound quality! Yes i know science has proved all DAW's sound the same, but for me it is not ableton sounds bad period. Studio one sounds ok and tracktion aswell but Renoise has got a pristine sound engine compared to them. The sound is detailed and has depth into the overall mix. When i use the same instruments (geist drums and trillian for bass) Renoise kicks ass! Renoise mixes from the 2 the best. trillian bass sounds in Renoise more detailed and sounds more pronounced beside the drums. Best sounding DAW for me see for yourselve and try to compare with your current DAW i'm sure you will hear a difference.

Renoise is a creative workhorse once you get to grip with it. Try it and try to forget the lineair approach! You may love Renoise in the end just give it some time. One good point for the tracker approach is that you miss visual reference which forces you to trust your ears over your eyes.

Only gripe i have with Renoise is that i can't record my vocals or guitar parralel to my song. I have to record it in the sampler and align it manually. I do hope that Renoise will add an option in the sampler when hitting record the transport starts at the same time so the recorded sample will play along with the song without aligning it manually.

For recording vocal phrazes the sampler is perfect for recording along the song there must be something improved.

Really enjoying Renoise, it is just plain fun to record with.

Regards, .

Wilfred.

Reviewed By ballacr75 [read all by] on 12th October 2014
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows
10.00
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Renoise is a fantastic sequencer (sorry, tracker) that brings past into future! Once you have understand the workflow, you will use renoise as you first composition tool.

Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 12th October 2014
Version reviewed: 3.0.0 on Windows.
Last edited by robohymn on 12th October 2014.
10.00
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Love it. What else to say? Beautiful interface, intuitive, endlessly interesting and fun. I use REAPER as my main DAW and find that Renoise rewires with it flawlessly, I basically use it as a very, very good sampler within REAPER but now that I've bought a license I'm sure my use of it will expand considerably and once I'm a bit more accustomed to the workflow it may replace REAPER for me down the road.

Reviewed By Xiangqi [read all by] on 9th September 2013
Version reviewed: 2.8.1 on Windows
9.00
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Let's face it; all hosts involve work to get things done. So, while Renoise has its *$#(&$(#* moments, it remains - overall - more efficient or just plain 'better' than other, piano-roll DAWs.

It is missing some things; mainly, the ability to multitrack. If you need to record multiple audio tracks in real-time, you'll probably have to use something like REAPER, and import the 'audio stems' into Renoise. If, on the other hand, you're able to work with recording just a single real-time track at a time (lay down a guitar, then lay down a vocal, then lay down a real-time or step-sequenced track, etc.), then Renoise is a self-contained solution.

I find the 'tracker' interface to be super-efficient for step sequencing, and for real-time 'jamming' and step-editing (if desired) later, and even for working step-edited parts around ('in and about') an existing, lengthy audio track. Overall, I can't emphasize enough; how efficient this 'spreadsheet' or 'tracker' method of step sequencing can really be.

For the automation, it does help to be able to do basic hexidecimal math, but it's not necessary. You've got (hexidecimal) automation columns in the tracker view, but you also have the 'automation view window' and can do more broad-based automation there. So you can do super fine-tuned automation with the hex codes, or more 'big picture' automation in the 'automation window'.

Feature-wise, there are a number of things which could be added; i've got a whole list as a matter of fact. But none of them are deal-breakers.

One amazing thing about the ongoing development of Renoise: In my experience with software programs, an updated version - with all of its new features - tends to inevitably be bigger and slower than the previous version. In contrast, Renoise is the first program where it seems that with every update, it gets faster and faster. I don't know what future updates hold in this regard, but this has been my experience thus far.

So, if you need 'live multitracking' like an old-fashioned recording studio, you'll need another host. Renoise can do everything else. The 'signal follower' alone is a super-powerful 'device', which it seems most - if not all - other hosts have overlooked.

So yeah, i find that working in Renoise involves just that - work. But it's the best host in any event. I don't think any other hosts are even close in matching Renoise's overall efficiency and 'creativity-sparking'.

Reviewed By EatMe [read all by] on 5th September 2013
Version reviewed: 2.8.1 on Windows
10.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Renoise is the most powerful and modern tracker sequencer there is.

The Renoise sequencer data editor is based on the "tracker" principle, which features a grid in which moments in time go from top to bottom, with note trigger data for (multi)sample instruments, VSTi's and MIDI sent on each row possible. It has the ability to use MIDI, Rewire, VST effects and VSTi instruments, as well as a powerful set of built-in effects and automation control devices.

- the workflow is much faster than any DAW:
Renoise mainly lets the user use the computer keyboard for entry of the sequencer data. A customizable skipped number of steps on entering note trigger sequencer data and continous paste makes creating logically timed sounds easy. Renoise features many keyboard shortcuts, for example the keyboard shortcut to interpolate from value A to value B with any effect/instrument parameter in the sequencer data. This makes entering a crescendo / decrescendo in automation or velocity a matter of a few keyboard hits. The keyboard configuration and shortcuts can be fully customized. Multiple automation parameters can be controlled via one "hydra device" effect parameter.

- many built-in powerful automation tools and effects, sample editor, full MIDI support, as well as VST effect and VSTi instrument implementation:
Renoise features options for sequencer data command following, visual track lane following, note-following, level-following and very customizable LFO following automation for as many (VST/built-in) effect parameters or VSTi instrument parameters or MIDI commands as desired.

- feature requests can be posted on the Renoise forum and when suitable they are actually implemented:
New features can be requested and discussed on the Renoise forum. The exciter, for example, is a built-in effect that got implemented by my request. The exciter will make your sound bright and shiny by adding adjustable subtle harmonic distortion in stereo or mid/side processing over 3 individual frequency bands.

- the Renoise demo version has acceptible limitations and lets you create / save / load Renoise projects like in the registered version:
There are only 7 limitations on the demo version which do not limit use of the sequencer to get started and create and save a full song with samples, VST(i)s and MIDI.

- there are good beginner tutorials ( youtube/LearnRenoise ) and a good manual which explain Renoise.

Renoise absolutely is a must-have or at least something to have tried for anybody who creates electronic music. Renoise is the sequencer you will have overnight success with after getting used to it.

Reviewed By loft_electronics [read all by] on 31st August 2013
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows
10.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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If I had to keep only one piece of music software, it would be Renoise.

I've been using it for over ten years. For a long time it was something I dipped into now and then, as I surfed around looking for a DAW to love after leaving Logic. I kept coming back to Renoise, and for the last two or three years can't be bothered with anything else.

It is excellent for composition. Once you get your head around the interface (and I was not an old tracker fiend) you won't want to go back to the clunky DAWs. It's not meant for recording, and not exactly perfect for mixing either - so it's good to have a regular DAW around to export stems to and record into if you need it. But for composition, magic. You can work with VSTs etc, but it also allows you to work with samples in a way which is impossible with - say - Logic or Ableton. I have shown it to many, many people, and they always go "Wow! It's like the Matrix!", but so far not a single one has tried it for themselves. It seems to put people off by looking complex, but it really isn't. So a big advantage is you look cleverer than you really are, just by using it.

Favourite things, in no particular order:

No visual representation of sounds makes you use your ears, not your eyes.

Best sampler ever.

Amazing routing options, allowing pretty much anything to control pretty much anything else.

Funny in-built features, like the ability to rip patch from a VST to a sample patch, so it will work wherever you go (and save CPU).

Lovely, funny user group.

Excellent, uncoloured sound.

Can be installed to a memory stick and therefore entirely mobile.

For some reason I can't define, unlike any other DAW, it simply isn't irritating. It's neutral, extremely functional, and you never get the feeling that it's making the music for you or dangling novelties in front of your eyes. Once you've got the hang of it, it sort of disappears and you feel like you're making your music all by yourself again.

Latest 10 reviews from a total of 10

Discussion: Active

Discussion

3 September 2013 at 9:46pmJoeCat

Great to see another positive review for Renoise. I still use Live, but for the money, Renoise should be on everyone's list as a creative tool to supplement or (just maybe) replace their DAW, even if they've never used a tracker. It's robust, easily configurable, well-supported, lightweight, and just plain fun.

7 June 2015 at 5:28pmDeist

Renoise IS fantastic. Not very popular (might never be) for two main reasons I suspect: one is of course that most musicians (well, people really! Musicians usually being people, they commonly present the same drawbacks) are too dumb, lazy and narrow/simple-minded followers to even consider trying it out and getting used to something else than their cherished piano-roll display (of course, every other guy having known and experienced the tracker method is well aware of its own advantages!! Not necessarily saying that one is better than the other, they compliment themselves (or should anyway -- aren't there a plan to implement a piano-roll view at some point in the future in Renoise as well IIRC?) but nobody should ignore the tracker view does allow features and possibilities either very difficult and just plain annoying to use with a piano-roll).

The 2nd reason on the other hand is in my opinion completely on the Renoise devs to blame: as long as Renoise won't allow something as _fundamental__ as modular MIDI chaining (not sure how to put it precisely, but I'm of course refering here to the astonishing and pathetic fact that it is still impossible to use a third-party arpeggiator, sequencer or ANY other pure MIDI control plugin really inside Renoise!!!!!! Sure, there are many to choose from within Renoise own scripted extensions, but clearly no freeware add-on would blatantly claim to be able to cope against say, Kirnu Cream or Cthulhu from Xfer, right?). Come on dev guys, this is like DAW 101 stuff! Can't believe after all these years of development (more than a dozen already!!!), such a basic and absolutely VITAL feature still remains inexistant in Renoise 3 (or is it? Not 100% sure, as I haven't tested v3, but I seem to remember having checked out the What's new features list without finding it). I've been planning to /invest/ the massive sum of around 50$ needed to purchase Renoise for YEARS now, and though like with any other DAW there ARE always a few details nagging me (missing bits and other), THIS is the one reason that has stopped me thus far. Soon as it gets implemented, I'll finally gladly jumb onboard.

I love Renoise (and not just because I love trackers!), but I can too easily spot and overhear the general DAW community (whose opinion, let's face it, is that any tracker is more a gadget and a beginner's tool, and can never NEVER be nothing close to a true professional DAW) laughing their ass out at this quite obvious gaping void in Renoise features list, conforting them in their spiteful opinion of it.
Were I a part of these guys, I know I'd laugh too...

6 July 2015 at 6:30pmoverhishead

the tracker... it's fun and geeky in one way, but its really impractical to work with a bunch of numbers and arcane hex values and codes flying by that mean nothing unless you have a photographic memory. it took me a really long time to learn, but i couldnt even finish a track because of hanging notes and losing control of the pitch of the vsti's. it is far too easy to accidentally bork your track in renoise, causing so many invisible mistakes in frustratingly hard to find places in the sequence. i quit trying to work on Renoise because i had some pro work to do, and now I can't even turn it on again since I forgot all the tracker codes already. patterns longer than 32 steps result in a dizzying scrolling nightmare for me, so the first thing i wonder is how people like Vsnares presumably makes patterns that are flying by at 900 lines per beat, while maintaining precise control over it. How is it even possible to edit in those conditions shall remain a mystery to me, since operating a tracker unintuitive and unmemorable unless you stick to it permanently. Reaper and similar traditional DAWs are difficult to learn from zero as well, but they are not so abstract that all meaning disappears if you stop using them for a while.

23 October 2015 at 5:27amProtocol_b

Deist: there is a new beta at their site claiming to have implemented MIDI chaining in Renoise...

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

29 October 2015 at 12:23pmDeist

@Protocol_b: thanks for the info man! I'm gonna check this out ASAP and if it's confirmed, it will be great news indeed (though not a year -- or six -- to soon in my opinion)

@overhishead: your post underlines sth which I never had to think about myself (having used trackers since my Amiga back so I go way way back), but it my in fact well be that Renoise isn't for beginners (ie. with trackers!), althoug I rather suspect it might especially not be for EVERYBODY.
What you complain about is all perfectly understandable and make sense, but it sounds likely to me that what experience you had while using Renoise may not be the same for someone else -- even though there IS a stepping curve with hexa codes and stuff obviously, but nothing as nightmarish and inconvenient as you relate I believe, not to everybody anyway (I still remember most of the special effect hexa codes for Protracker and Fasttracker after all, and I haven't used it for like 15 years...).
Finally, several things that you mention, above all any functionality and stability issues, are just NOT what my experience have been with Renoise!
"Hanging notes and losing control of the pitch of the vsti's" you say? NEVER had that, not once (and I've been using Renoise for the last six years with a BIG amount of VSTIs. "Accidentally bork your track", "mistakes in frustratingly hard to find places in the sequence", "patterns longer than 32 steps result in a dizzying scrolling nightmare"... All your complaints scream "not used to a tracker" when I read them! As I said, I won't deny that tracking is prolly not fitting for ALL musicians out there, but you shouldn't feel so mystified that people like Vsnares can use it so efficiently when you couldn't even finish one project with it: it only further shows that it's not for everybody. But what you can't achieve with Renoise, other people might!
For that very reason, all your judgements about Renoise (unintuitive, impractical, etc.) seem useless to me because they apply to YOU and you only: others might fell the opposite (and actually many do), while yet others might have completely different issues with it than you have, so it doesn't really help anybody.
Also, your coin phrase-like that Renoise is "fun and geeky" but you had to "quit trying to work on Renoise because you had some pro work to do", is one more perfect illustration (as countless times before) of what I mentioned in my previous post: "that any tracker is more a gadget and a beginner's tool, and can never NEVER be nothing close to a true professional DAW". Which is so obviously false and misguided, it's only a matter of trend! Trakers were fashionable, in a time when there wasn't anything but notation software to compose, cause they simplified that and made the composition process accessible to people who couldn't read music. Nowadays, piano-roll simplified this further, for so-called "PRO" people who are in need of more visual aid & feedback to understand what is going on on their screen, but if we're honest, although much more trendy a piano-roll DAW __ISN'T__ in any way more powerful than Renoise is (with the exception of the tragic lacking point about MIDI routing I mentioned previously but which appears to finally be addressed!). What a real pro can do with a piano-roll, he can do with Renoise, period! Also, just as a piano-roll view allows for more practical access to some features, a tracker also allows for its own! I repeat that they complement each other well, and to tell that one is superior would just be proof of ignorance.

Still it should be acknowledged that a tracker program will almost always feel most confortably used in the hands of a tracking artist (ie. one who has known trackers for a long time), and let's not forget that is the VERY reason why Renoise was developed in the 1st place: to allow long-time tracking artists, who have been making computer music history since the days of Soundtracker on the Amiga, to continue using their favourite method to compose with all the modern advantages and present requirements.


Now will the "pro musicians" hypocrisy continue to be so presentt if ever a piano-roll view gets integrated in Renoise as well (like it has been talked about for quite some time I believe)? Unfortunately, I suspect it will...

18 December 2015 at 5:07pmaeoluslaude

Renoise is the best modern tracker. It is not expensive and the demo is almost 100% functional with only the export to wave feature disabled. If you are wondering why use a tracker instead of a DAW, the primary advantage is switching between samples rapidly. It is a creative technique that is laborious in a ProTools-type DAW, but very easy with a tracker. Original trackers were limited by the number of samples, but not so today. You quickly load up a folder of samples, as many as you like, and create catchy bass lines or melody lines that use multiple samples and rapidly switch between them. The grid system looks scary, but the numbers mainly relate to which sample # and its velocity. The other columns are for effects like pitch bend and varying the cutoff frequency. Another advantage is adding effects to a track instead of each sample individually (which is possible too.) Add a little delay and it quickly sounds great. Try it out, its fun and addictive. We can hunt for more samples together ;)

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