Track DSP's and their Settings are effects (DSP's)
which can be applied to a track. There are plenty of those and their usage
requires a bit of experience. We will try to point out the most common usage
for each individual effect to present you what you can do with that effect.
Screen displays (from top-left to bottom
Available - List
of available effects which can be inserted into a track. VST effects will
also appear in this list if the VST path was properly configured. Current - List of
effects you added to track. It may look, for example, like on the picture
- Deletes the selected effect from the list (and therefore also from the
track). Move Up/Move
Down - Rearrange effects in the chain by moving them up/down. The position
matters because effects are processed by the order of the viewed chain. Copy/Paste/Init
- Copy, Paste or Initialize the selected effect. You can use copy-paste
to copy an effect to another or the same track.
X - Delete effect (close window). < and > - Change the effect order in effect list. On/Off checkbox - Enable/Disable the effect playback (does not remove
the effect from list). Open Editor - This button appears only for VST effects. It opens
the VST's own editor window. V - This is another button that appears only for VST effects. It
selects whether to parse VST effect parameters into Renoise window or not.
Sometimes it is more practical to have those parameters in Renoise and sometimes
such parameters are more easily tweaked with VST's own editor. In Renoise
you can do both.
Using Track DSP's/Settings
To add effects to a track, first go to the track you wish to put the effect
in. The effect list changes as you move along the tracks. Now select an
effect from the available list and double click on it. The effect
window appears. Now you can modify it's effect parameters or add new effects.
After you've put some effects on the track play a sample on it and hear
the result. If it is not OK, modify the effect parameters until it sounds
as you intended.
Effects are easy to add and work with, but to master them you will need
to experiment and hear some examples. Look for examples at Tutorials.
Although Renoise effects are very fast, they can still take a lot of CPU
power so take care how much you put in, if your CPU is not very fast.
We will describe the build in Effects in detail now:
Track settings are always present. Use them to modify basic track parameters.
Mute - Enable/Disable
track playback. Solo
- Play track solo (mutes all other tracks). Unmute All - Re enables all tracks. Routing - Choose a device/driver to which track is routed. Panning - Choose track pan (balance between stereo speakers). 50%
is center position. Volume - Choose track volume. Width - Choose the amount of track 3D effect (surround).
This is very simple effect but it can be of great use for proper sound volume
balancing. Use the gainer to amplify the volume of your track or to change
the panning. The volume and panning are added to track settings volume and
- Desired volume level from 0% to 400% Panning - Use it to additionally change panning
On normal waveform there are 2 maximums (positive, negative) and the center
(zero). On wave which has DC offset in it this center line moved into positive
or negative range. If it moved, for example, to positive range this results
in reduced dynamics in this positive range (and increased in negative one).
This can occur sometimes on badly sampled waves or after applying certain
effects on some waves. When this wave is played, when it ends, it makes
a "click" sound because volume instantly jumps from DC offset
position to zero. To avoid this defect you can use DC Offset DSP. Also,
if you intentionally want to produce this effect for special purposes you
can force any DC offset you need.
DC Offset - Forced DC Offset value you require Auto
DC - Automatically adjust DC offset to center value
A Noise Gate is a special type of expander that can be used to reduce or
eliminate noise below a threshold level. A gate is similar device but generally
is not used for this purpose (noise elimination) - it is usually used to
increase / reduce sensitivity to particular beat levels - i.e. if you use
a drum loop you can use it to eliminate certain parts of the loop (that
have lower volume) or to make variations to loop groove. Basically, if signal
is less than threshold it turns the volume down, but not the signal itself
is used. Instead, it uses envelope follower. To control envelope follower
use attack, release and hold parameters of the gate device.
Threshold - Level of volume that will be used to trigger
gate device Attack
- Adjust envelope follower attack time Hold - This will define how long the volume will not
jump down after the envelope has passed the threshold Release - Adjust envelope follower release time Floor Amp. - Defines how low will be the gated volume
One of the most strongest production tools widely used today. If you have
a sound that spreads from very quiet to very loud, a compressor makes quiet
sections louder (depending on the amount) and louder sections more quiet.
The result is a more balanced volume amplitude but also a reduced dynamic
range. When such compressed sound is amplified, the result is sound that
sounds much, much louder than original sound. When you listen to today's
CDs you will notice that they sound very loud compared to those published
many years ago. This is mostly thanks to compression. If used carefully
you can increase overall volume without sacrificing much of the sound quality.
A Limiter on the other hand limits maximum volume amplitude to certain value.
It is used in radio stations to limit the maximum signal to avoid distortion
and also in clubs where music is played very loud to reduce the risk of
burning the speakers with various volume amplitudes in various songs.
You will need compression and limiter mostly in post-production after you
finish a song, but little extra compression before on instruments to maximize
volume can also be useful.
Small window - Shows compression visually. Threshold
- Sensitivity of compression - i.e. minimum amplitude that will be affected
by compressor Ratio
- Ratio of compression applied to signal / selection of Limiter
mode (move slider to right) Attack - How fast compression will start Release
- How fast compression will end Post Gain - Amplification after compression
that compensates reduction of peaks and gives final result - amplified sound
with less clipping.
So you think that your instruments sound too good? Use Lo-Fi Mat to degrade
them, add noise, and to make a Lo-Fi sound. This can sound very effective
on some drum sounds, voices or, as an additional effect along with distortion.
Crunch - Quantizes the dynamic range of the sample from full 16 bits
to only 1 bit. Quality
- Changes the sampling rate from full frequency (usually 44100 Hz) to other,
lower values. Noise
- Adds random noise which degrades sound. Wet Out, Dry Out - Balances between amount
of DSP effect applied to track and amount of original sound (without effect). Interpolation
- Improves calculation quality to reduce harmonics (quality value).
This effect degrades the sample but gives it "stronger" sound.
There are 2 distortion types available: Amp and Fuzz. Amp distorts the sound
by over amplifying it. Fuzz thresholds and over amplifies the sound to produce
distortion. Distortion is used mostly on guitars and 303 sounds, but also
on leads, bassdrums etc. You've heard distorted guitars gazilliun times.
This is it. And on 303s it sounds... well... like distorted 303 :-) Listen
to the distorted 303 lead in Tutorials to get
the idea of how it can sound.
Fuzz, Amp - selects distortion type
Drive - Amount of distortion. Filter Freq - Selects the filter frequency
if the filter is on. Filter On/Off - Enable/disable the integrated
low pass filter. Wet
Out, Dry Out - Balances between the amount of the DSP effect applied
to the track and amount of original sound (without effect).
- Sensitivity of distortion. Clamp - Amount (amplitude) to modify. Gate On/Off - When on, all signals that are
below the threshold will be shaped out.
This is one that Techno and Trance freaks simply love (and not only them).
Use this effect on 303 baselines, basses, strings, it sounds even good on
Vocal samples. Various values for cutoff frequencies can specially enrich
your sound. Look at Tutorials which shows how
filtered strings can sound like. Try it with Moog filter, then Lowpass,
then Highpass etc.
Cutoff Freq - Changes the frequency range.
In Low-pass filter it is the maximal frequency after which the sound will
be filtered. In High-pass filter it is the minimal frequency etc. Resonance - Amount of resonance. Resonance
brightens sound. Inertia
- Defines how fast changes in the effect values will be reflected in output,
values range is from instant to very slow. Vel2Cut - Velocity sensitivity of the cutoff
- Velocity sensitivity of the resonance parameter.
Filter types (buttons)
Choose the filter type by first selecting the main filter type with the
arrow buttons, then click on the button that represents the sub-filter type.
- 2 pole Low-pass filter - frequencies that are below threshold will be
- 2 pole High-pass filter - frequencies that are above threshold will be
- Band-pass filter - Frequencies that are within threshold range will be
allowed and none outside that range. Band-reject - Band-pass filter -Frequencies
that are within threshold range will be removed and the rest will stay intact. Moog
(low-pass/high-pass) - 4 pole Hi/Low-pass filter which emulates
moog hardware filter. Single pole - 1 pole Low-pass filter. Para EQ - Parametric EQ - Band-pass filter. Peaking
EQ - Shelving EQ filter. Comp Dist - Distorting Comb filter. AMod - Frequency modulation.
An equalizer is a series of band-pass filters with which you can make certain
frequency bands louder or more quiet. It is used for extracting vocals,
removing basses or high tones, changing characteristic a sound etc. Here,
you can select 5-band or 10-band equalizer which only differ in number of
frequency sliders (EQ10 has 10 of them and therefore better control, but
in many cases EQ5 which is simpler for controlling and will use less CPU
Hz sliders - Control amount of presence for each frequency band.
Flanging has a very characteristic sound that many people refer to as a
"whooshing" sound or a sound similar to the sound of a jet plane
flying over head. This effect takes original sound and shifts its start
offset by very small amount e.g. 2-3 ms. After that it modifies this shift
with period value (like LFO). When such sound is played together with original
sound a little dephase will be heard which is actually flanging effect.
Use flanger on strings, 808 snare drums and virtually all lead sounds. This
will add a color into boring sounds.
Amount - The larger the amount, the more pronounced the notches in
the flanger. Rate
- Speed of the LFO that modulates the delay. Amplitude - The amplitude of the LFO. Feedback - Controls the feedback amount of the delay. Delay - Sets the delay time.
Phaser or phase shifter is a special kind of a flanger which filters the
original before delaying it.
Upper slider - Dephase amount between the left and right channel
in degrees. Ceiling
- How far the notches sweep up in frequency. Floor - How far the notches sweep down in frequency. LFO rate - Speed of the LFO that controls the sweep. Depth - The amplitude of the LFO that controls the sweep. Feedback - Controls the feedback amount of the delay.
This effect is used so commonly that you cannot imagine one song without
this effect. It simply repeats (echoes) the original sound. It will sound
very weird if it is not synced with song speed and song beats so use the
x1, x2, x3, x4 buttons to automatically match the delay to the appropriate
number of pattern lines.
L/R Delay - Time how long will effect wait
before it starts repeating left and right channels. It is good to sync this
to song speed. L/R
Feedback - How much echo feedback effect will give - only few echoes,
or many... If on maximum value it repeats forever. Track Send - Amount of DSP effect applied to
a track. x1,
x2, x3, x4 - Used to sync delay time automatically with length of
one, two, three etc. pattern lines. This time will change if you change
song speed/BPM. Multi
Tap Amount - Not yet implemented.
Reverb is series of echoes, like hundreds and thousands of them. It occurs
in large halls, corridors, canyons, open spaces which are between walls
or mountains, churches or any other acoustic chambers. Because echoes of
original sound are so fast here you cannot even distinguish particular echo
but you hear it as another effect which is called "reverb". The
sound can be also partially "damped" by room walls cutting off
certain frequencies out of original sound. All of these parameters can be
controlled with this reverb. The common rule is to put reverb as much to
make sound last until it triggers again (for example to extend sound to
few pattern lines) but another rule is to put as much reverb as you need
it. And final rule is that there are no rules in music.
Room size - Value how fast the echoes will
occur, lowest slider value is equivalent to "room" and highest
to "hall" Width - Stereo width Damp - Amount of frequencies which are absorbed. Dry
Mix - Amount of original non-reverbed sound to mix into effect (or
mix only effect without original sound) Track Send - Amount of DSP effect applied to
When using VST effects the parameters depend on the VST effect you use.
They will fit into the Renoise GUI. Some effects have also an own editor
window, which can be opened by clicking on Open Editor button. There
are many VST effects available, describing them all is impossible here.
You can use VST effects equally as internal DSP effects and mix them all
together in any amount you like.
keyboard - If checked and VST window is focused enables you to enter
values using the keyboard Load FXP preset - Loads VST preset files Load
FXB bank - Loads VST bank files Rand - Randomizes VST plug-in parameters -
use it when designing new instruments
All devices with an asterisk are non DSP devices (i.e. don't process an
audio stream). You insert them like normal DSP effect but they will have
no effect on sampled audio.
This device will give you automatic control of any other device parameter
using LFO. LFO parameters are set in LFO device and then applied to destination
device which can be any other including VST automation device too and even
another LFO device!
Waveform selection - Select the waveform
you would like to apply to the target device - sinus, pulse, saw or random. Dest.
effect - Effect order in chain list that holds parameters that will
receive this LFO changes.
Parameter - Selection of parameter of destination
effect that will receive LFO changes.
Reset - This button restarts LFO from its
starting position. You can also apply this as pattern command code too (it
is printed when you press button) when you want to trigger it on start of
pattern or anywhere else.
Amplitude - Selects affected range of specified
Offset - Selects how much LFO center position
will be away from effect parameter center position.
Frequency - Speed of LFO oscillation.
*MIDI CC Device
This is a helper device that lets you send, record and automate Controller
Changes (CC) of MIDI or VST instruments.
Linked instrument - Select the instrument
you want to control. When a MIDI instrument is chosen, it uses
its device/channel and delay settings. When a VSTi instrument is chosen the CC's
will be sent to this VST instrument. Usually all parameters of an VSTi's
can be controlled via CC messages. Please read the documentation that comes
with the VSTi to find out which parameters can be controlled and which controller
number you have to use.
For each of the 4 rows:
"Empty Boxes" - Click on
them to enter a name that reminds you what the controller No. actually controls. CC No. - The CC
number of the controller change MIDI message. For example, 1 controls often
the modulation. Slider
- The current CC amount - move it (as usual) with the right button to record
the value into the pattern and hold down shift to record into a track envelope.
Search for "MIDI specification controller" to get a listing
of "default" controller numbers.
This device is used to translate VSTi parameters into effect sliders which
you can later control using Track Automation - therefore controlling effectively
VSTi device. It can control many different VSTi parameters. Mapping of controllers
can also be user specified (controller number doesn't need to be numerically
identical to VSTi parameter).
Linked instrument - Select the instrument
number where you loaded VSTi. No.01-XX - Assign VSTi device parameter
to controller 01-XX. Parameter name appears in box next to it. This way
you map specific controller to the specific parameter number. Slider - Depending on VSTi loaded this slider will show controller
effect value. This slider can be controlled by track automation later, therefore
controlling actual VSTi parameter.
Send tracks are grouped effects that can receive input from specific tracks
depending on this device. In order to hear track output on specific send
track you must add this device to the track and select appropriate send
track you wish to use and amount to send to the send track.
Mode - Source track that sends output to
send track may be included in output or not by setting this option
- Selects track amount that is send to desired send track. Zero setting
is "off" setting where no data is sent to the send track. Receiver - Specifies which send track will receive Amount value
Using reverb and echo effects on vocals and leads
Let me share with you a little secret everyone knows. You may wonder why
is it a secret then? Well if you know it but don't notice it is almost like
not knowing it. Here it goes: all of the lead instruments and lead vocals
must have added reverb and/or echoes. Only
a few very special examples are excluded from this rule.
Why is this so important? First, if you ever entered any studio and heard
"sound of silence" that is best to describe the acoustic chamber
that is acoustically isolated from the outside world noise, you will begin
to notice that virtually everything we hear has at least little echo or
reverb added to it in normal life. You don't have to be in a large hall
or canyon - even the room you are sitting in has a little room reverb: try
clapping your hands to hear it. That is why reverbed or echoed leads or
vocals sound more natural to the human ear.
Next, if you use lead or vocal without this time-based effects it may sound
very, very raw and flat. Once you add an reverb on it, it will sound fuller
and much wider. It works like magic - adds stereo to mono sounds, fattens
thin sounds - but beware, this can be also a trap! Adding too much reverb
will cover all of the other sounds. It is great if you have only a few instruments
in your mix, but if you have loads of them, be cool, lower that reverb or
nothing else will go out except it. And hearing only one sound going out
and covering the rest of sounds can be incredibly boring!
And finally, don't add reverb to basses. These take so much acoustic space
that they already are fat and wide. However, sometimes even reverbed basses
sound good (not often though).