I’m incredibly happy with Renoise.  I bought it last night, to “render” (mixdown) the song I was working on.  I did my first mixdowns by ‘cheating’ – mixing down from my sound subsystem.  But this application has been continually surprising me.  I keep discovering new features right as I need them, and while it’s got a really busy interface, it’s surprisingly intuitive, at least for an old-school tracker user like myself.

So, I bought it because I want to see these folks continue to develop it.  Yes, I prefer open source software and such on a philosophical level, but it’s worth it to “compromise my ideals” in this case, and open my wallet.  Even if nothing else comes from RPM 2013, at least I’ve started getting nice and comfortable with a new piece of software, and I’m surprisingly pleased with the piece I’ve been working on so far, as well.

What’s most amazing to me about this software, though, is how “ergonomic” it is. Usually, when I learn new software, I bump into sharp corners a lot. In this case, I keep discovering features right as I want them.

A weird example, which will probably only make sense to people who have used “Tracker” software before:

There’s an ‘effect’ which allows you to jump to a different location in a sample (recorded sound) while it’s playing. In most programs, you get a range of 0 – 64 or whatever, each one being a small time slice. Renoise instead divides the sample up into even chunks.

I figured i was going to have to semi-blindly jump around in the sample, but instead, when I looked at the sample (waveform) view, I yelped out loud. At the bottom, the 4 minute sample was indexed in seconds – but at the TOP, there were my jump point numbers.

Then I tried poking around a bit deeper, and realized that I could (if I wanted) circumvent *those* numbers, and click to create custom ‘markers’ inside the sample – wherever you want. You can then jump to those markers, which give you even more fine-grained control, or more memorable position numbers.

What does this all mean? It means I’m excited to be working in a tool that doesn’t make me feel like I’m wearing mittens when I’m trying to compose.

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