Renoise has already earned a passionate following among lovers of trackers. The once-forgotten alternative to conventional sequencers, these music editors were beloved for their quick workflow and vertical, atomic approach to assembling beats and patterns. But Renoise is increasingly poised to appeal to other kinds of music makers, too, not just tracker purists.

2.1 you can sum up pretty easily: now you can integrate Renoise with other stuff easily. There’s ReWire support (appropriately enough for a tool beginning with “Re” in the title). And if you’re on Linux, you can pipe control and audio through the ultra-elegant, ultra-powerful JACK. (If you’re not on Linux, you may have just gotten a good reason to give it a try.)

This is on top of a rapidly-growing set of features like multi-core balancing, automatic delay compensation, audio recording (cough, Reason), and MIDI inputs and outputs. In other words, this is a tracker you can use without giving up modern luxuries. Maybe it’s like the difference between having a tent in gorgeous mountainous wilderness, and having a mansion with a hot tub and a T1 Internet line.

ReWire is the headline, but some of the live performance tools may make an even bigger difference. Live control tools and live pattern sequencing could make Renoise a lot more useful in performance, even without just ReWiring into Live and recording clips. The pattern triggering looks especially nice, because it brings a feature Game Boy trackers have often used live. (Add JACK on Linux, and you could add your own custom instruments.)

And, oh yeah, the whole program runs on every OS, has an incredibly responsive and involved community that impacts the direction of the tool, and is distributed on a shareware model rather than with painful copy protection.

Full disclosure: I’m slightly biased by enjoying a couple of beers with Renoise’s Dac, and by the fact that I think this looks completely delicious.

Here’s the full changelog.

Full ReWire Slave & Master support (on Windows & OSX)

ReWire allows you to connect and synchronize multiple software applications, so that you can run them side by side while passing Audio/MIDI information between them.

For example, you could connect Renoise to Logic, program your drums in Renoise, while arranging the bulk of your song in Logic. Or you could connect both Reason and Ableton Live to Renoise, arrange your track in Renoise, control Reason’s built-in synthesizers, and play around with loops in Live. All it takes is some ReWire enabled software and you are good to go.

ReWire has two modes, both of which are fully supported by Renoise: *ReWire Master* (ReWire Mixer) and *ReWire Slave* (ReWire Synth)

Jack Transport Support (Linux only)

Similar to ReWire, Renoise now supports the Jack transport protocol. Jack transport allows Linux users to start, stop and reposition multiple audio programs, all connected/running through Jack. 

New Pattern Sequencer Features:

Decoupled Sequencer Playback Now Possible: This new feature allows the user to detach the current playback position from the edit position. This lets you edit a pattern while other patterns are playing.

Live Pattern Triggering:

Patterns can now be "scheduled" for playback via a new column in the Pattern Sequencer. Without stopping playback you can now trigger new sequences in the song "in real time". 

New meta devices (Modulation / Automation Device fun)

  • Hydra Device: Automate/change/broadcast multiple FX parameters with a single parameter. Think of this as a magic slider, which connects itself to up to 9 other parameters – allowing you to change multiple settings with just one slider or automation.
  • Keytracking Device: Modulates parameters depending on an instruments key (note) value. Like what the "*Velocity Device" does with Velocities, the Keytracking device does with Keys/Notes.  
  • MIDI Control Device: This device replaces the old "MIDI-CC Device", finally offering Pitchbend, Channel Pressure, Program Change & regular controller (CC) in a single device.

I hope to check this out in June when I can sit down and get back to production.

  • Zavosh

    Looks like Venetian Snares will somehow make even more psychotic music.

  • Renoise has long been on my list to try as a sort of "super sampler" to use along with Ardour or other Linux DAW. Of course, I was under the impression that it always supported JACK, but if it didn't before, it does now, and I guess I can live with that. As soon as I get my Linux machine fixed (random lock-ups, but I'm hoping I have the cause narrowed down), I'll be getting the demo and giving it a shot.

  • Anonymous Reader

    You should add a link (or did I miss it?). I almost broke my back googling for it! Thanks for the tip though.

  • Human Plague

    Renoise's Linux version has long supported Jack, but up until now was missing Jack Transport; i.e. Linux’s answer to ReWire.

    Also this news blurb is far ahead of the pack (do we expect any less from CDM? Of course not!).

    As I type, Renoise's homepage page is linking RC2 instead of the FINAL. The official forum post says that this will be updated by the end of the day.


    Good times!

  • Denim

    also "renoise" on google is the first hit in the list, shouldn't be hard to find…? 🙂

  • Rex Rhino

    Can someone explain how the new live performance features work?

    Could I, for example, use a drum pad midi controller to trigger pre-sequenced patterns (i.e press drum pad 1, pattern 1 plays immediately… press drum pad 2, pattern 2 plays immediately)? What about drum pad to next sequence?

    Is it reasonably as useful as say the Next Seq mode on an MPC?

    Could I also have track mutes mapped to midi? So that I could have the buttom 8 buttons on a drum pad mute/unmute tracks, and the top 8 buttons queue up the next sequence?

  • @Human Plague: Okay, I feel a right idiot now. I should've known that Jack Transport is over and above just Jack audio support. Still, a very nice feature to have, and it'll probably make Renoise even more useful as that "super-sampler" I envision.

  • Ed Majcher

    Adding rewire was the deal maker for me to place Renoise firmly into my workflow. I always wanted to use a tracker because I am not much of a keyboard player hence the interface seems to lend itself much more to experimentation vs. (badly) playing some notes and moving them around with a mouse which sucks the life out of my creativity. But since I primarily work with Live and it's built in synths (I try and keep the number of tools small) my use of renoise has been minimal for the year i had a license. Once they announced beta testing for rewire I was all over it and now I use renoise to sequence tracks in live and Reason. Very tight, easy to use integration. My only real issue is that I require 2 tracks to record the midi notes in Ableton Live from Renoise as the master, one track to receive and route the notes to the midi synth track, but i think this is just a limitation in Ableton live.

  • mhulot

    I've been using Renoise for quite a while now. I learned music on an a 486 using Fast Tracker II… so it makes me very happy. Renoise is awesome and for some reason the sound quality in it is ridiculously good… at least to my ears. These guys have done a tremendous job with it. Timing and latency is also a non issue here. If you can hunker down and learn a new way of working you will be rewarded with this program.

  • Keytracking sounds cool. I keep using Renoise every now and then, my only complaints about it has always been that the features that set it apart from the old trackers (i.e. the no-brainers for a modern production tool) sometimes makes it a little 'too much', I'm really glad someone is trying to update the tracker format, and I like Renoise, but I would also like to see an alternate modern tracker.

  • Quoting myself:

    "Keytracking sounds cool"

    I actually meant the live pattern triggering bit, but keytracking sounds nice too 😉

  • This looks absolutely amazing. I plan on picking up a full version of Renoise soon, and this just made my day.

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  • Marquis-boy

    Have just DLed Ubuntu Studio 9.04. Will be sure to give Renoise a try. Guess my only issue is testing my hardware will work with Linux.

  • Umm, PB appears to be a spambot that copied one of my comments in this thread verbatim. See comment #8.

  • aidan

    sweet. renoise is the shiz, rewire is a clincher…

  • Wilbo

    This was a huge surprise for me…I didn't think they were going to add Rewire support until much later…just more evidence that the awesome Resnoise team really listens to what their users want.

  • starving student

    I'd like to know the answers to Rex Rhinos questions as well?

  • t5

    In answer to rex rhino/starving question. No, the feature simply lets you for instance, be in pattern 5, and click pattern 3 to queue as the next pattern instead of it going to pattern 6. it will not automatically jump there. also, i don't think you can currently mute/unmute channels with midi controls, but i really wish you could.