What, previous versions of Renoise weren't enough to make you consider this music production underdog? Renoise 3 says, yes, you really, really need to pay attention this time, with powerful workflows for approaching instruments and arrangements in digital music making.

What, previous versions of Renoise weren’t enough to make you consider this music production underdog? Renoise 3 says, yes, you really, really need to pay attention this time, with powerful workflows for approaching instruments and arrangements in digital music making.

The phrase “alternative universe” always seems to fit Renoise. Imagine a world in which the tracker metaphor – a music arrangement notion mostly associated with software from years ago, especially on Amiga – became dominant. From there, you begin to explain that Renoise is an instrument that brings that retro idea into a modern context.

Well, Renoise 3.0′s beta has arrived. And this time, it feels like someone ripped open a wormhole and showed us this alternate future in all its glory, no holds barred. Renoise 3 is a radical step forward for the popular tool, challenging notions of what trackers can be, let alone Renoise.

Here’s a quick summary:

The instrument workflow is massively expanded. Part of the beauty of the tracker is thinking about instruments and scores rather than tape-style tracks. Here, that really gets fleshed out. Instruments can have powerful internal routing for modulation and effects. You can add modulation per-sample – a powerful combination of what you expect from a synth with what you expect from a sampler. You can make extensive chains of effects, and work with keyzones and layers.

Input options expand real-time performance. Quantize on input, for forgiving live performance. Define range and harmonic scales.

Pull out Instruments into their own window - or even on another (virtual or real) display. You'll want to do that, because Instruments are more part of the workflow than ever, melding the best of synths and samplers.

Pull out Instruments into their own window – or even on another (virtual or real) display. You’ll want to do that, because Instruments are more part of the workflow than ever, melding the best of synths and samplers.

Add patterns inside instruments. Now there’s a basic tracker inside individual instruments, opening up new avenues for playing live or arranging ideas. It’s an instrumental phrase sequencer, but all built with a tracker-style interface.

Tracker inside the tracker: instruments can now have their own pattern editors, with the same powerful tracker-style interface.

Tracker inside the tracker: instruments can now have their own pattern editors, with the same powerful tracker-style interface.

Instrument macros. As found in tools like Native Instruments’ now-defunct Kore or Ableton Live, you get eight “macro” knobs per instrument for making parameters easier to access and automate. In the Renoise paradigm, these can control powerful chains of modulation and effects.

Detachable Instrument Editor, with a redesigned layout, is both easier to use/focus on and works well on systems with multiple displays (or multiple virtual displays).

New effects. There’s the Doofer, which wraps together multiple effects chains into a single effect. (I need to look closer at how this works, if I’m being vague.) And there’s a Convolver, including custom impulse response support, for sophisticated reverbs and special effects.

Among a host of new effect and modulation features, you can now add modulation per-sample inside an instrument - something no ordinary sampler has ever dreamed possible.

Among a host of new effect and modulation features, you can now add modulation per-sample inside an instrument – something no ordinary sampler has ever dreamed possible.

There are a whole lot of other UI tweaks and improvements, and Linux performance is enhanced – great news, as Renoise is still perhaps the best pick for working on Linux machines.

Oh, and probabilistic patterns, with a new MaYbe command, plus Glide and Slide Pitch Up/Down commands for more pitch control.

You can also more easily share your work with Content Libraries.

Check out the Release Notes page for lots of additional features and details:
http://www.renoise.com/release-notes/300

  • James

    I bought Renoise some years ago because it was cheap, looked different and I needed a DAW.
    Developing a love/hate relationship with it, still occasionally needing pointers with tracking… I’ve found that I’m not able to go back to anything else. I don’t always feel sure of what I’m doing but it makes me LISTEN to my arrangement rather than LOOK at it. At a couple of turns I wanted to give up but I couldn’t deny that working in this strange way GOT STUFF DONE.

    Now that the effects and sampling have gotten a boost, I’m going to need more time with the manual/tutes, but I can see how perfectly it’ll match up with the few pieces of cheap mono hardware I’ve acquired…really exciting time for a few of us…I’m guessing Content Sharing will be a way to share samples, patches and Tools in a smoother way, kinda like Live Packs. I hope that it stays affordable (and sometimes, free) from that perspective.

  • http://grogon.com/ grogon

    I did use Renoise back in the days, now it is not quite my cup of tea but… probablistic patterns? No idea whats that is but sounds interesting.

  • Anonymous Coward

    Don’t want to piss on anyone’s chips but I’m pretty sure Kontakt has per sample mod envelopes.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Yes, though you’ll have to dive into scripting I think before you can do all the modulation in the interface above.

  • Tom

    This was big surprise during saturday’s hangover. Of course the first look was like: Uh heh is there any pianoroll? Not really. It is what it is. Tracker. And still bigger personality between all traditional daws and fucking powerful! I believe that lot of others will profit from Redux soon (http://forum.renoise.com/index.php?/topic/39417-►-renoise-3-beta-testing-starts-announcing-redux/). With phrases plus quantization and scales and probability command you can have lot of fun like me running renoise all evening and just hitting different key from time to time. And I didn’t connect any of my synths yet! Of course you can use au/vst as well and midi mapping is very easy! Maybe it’s still for people with some obsession like those using only hardware synths. It is not a mixing software like Traktor, it’s not like Ableton, but with features present in beta it’s useful in live performance more than before. And to all complaints on the forum: Let’s see the solid basement and space opened for more which just took some time to devs to rework. And we were crying to see beta if not alfa, so they’ve thrown it to us – thirsty dogs. They’re producing real nerdy gem not bullshit so it’s useful now while it’s not really finished. Thanks to dev’s team for such a cool /maybe the best/ Christmas gift and looking forward to hear about it more and more. And yes, merry Christmas to everyone.)

  • Em

    A cheap, light i5 notebook with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Linux and Renoise 3 – yes, I think I’ll do that. Bought Renoise 4 years ago – really great change of pace from piano rolls.

  • Turrican

    started with trackers.. havent used one in many years tho

    one particular advantage it has is in doing glides/slides/bends .. you can get incredibly precise with those, much much more control there than in a standard piano roll style

    i would imagine that kind of thing is transferable to other kinds of modulation, when supported by something like renoise…

    may have to check it out again soon

  • Padlock

    This update is absolutely fantastic. If there’s one thing that can be said about the Renoise devs, it’s that they never give you features that aren’t useful. They listen to their fanbase and are very quick to iron out bugs.

    Also if you’re wondering what the Doofer exactly is, it’s basically the same thing as an effects rack in Ableton, minus multiple chains and chain selecting. It allows you to group effects and then macro them. And while it doesn’t have multiple chains in one Doofer, you can have multiple doofers on the same track and turn them on and off using pattern effect commands/automation.

  • josh

    i’m so happy. update looks absolutely fantastic. Renoise, still my favourite tool after 10+ years. XxX

  • http://relianist.com/ Jonathan

    Its a very nice update. I think the Renoise Instrument has always been a great sampler but for version 3 it is really on a level. The phrases are very slick, but will take most producers some practice to really get their feel. The doofer and all the new effects are kind of, “icing on the cake.”
    The most important thing about the update? Renoise is still Renoise. It still is a tracker, it is still the same program.
    Good stuff!! “Yeah Renoise!”

  • Depotspritze

    before posting such a “review” and produce such a hype better look deeper and see why renoise is def. no daw for serious composers!

    • sebastienpaquet

      ah yeah, so I guess you wouldn’t consider Venitian Snares a real composer? You’re a joke. Renoise is better than Ableton!!

  • Depotspritze

    BE CAREFUL WITH RENOISE…INTERNAL MIDI ROUTING (EG FROM VST TO VST) IS NOT SUPPORTED, THIS ALONE DISQUALIFIES ITSELF FROM BEEING A SERIOUS DAW!

  • http://darrenlandrum.com/ Darren Landrum

    I know I’d like to see something a little better than cubic resampling for sample playback. I suppose it works well enough for most things, but I’ve run into some massive aliasing issues with some samples. Or maybe I’m just missing something in 2.8.