My friend and hiphop producer Cornelius Noll (aka 84 Caprice) recently offered to share a track on ACB that he produced for the Renoise Efficient Music Competition. I just got a chance to preview the track, and while I’ve been quite fond of 84 Caprice all along, he has managed to conjure something special this time. Here’s what he had to say about his process and working in Renoise.
This particular track is one that started out as an instrumental for Prof, an MC on Stophouse Records where I get most of my work done. The original draft was created in a program called Renoise which falls under the category of “tracker” or “tracking sequencer”. It quickly became an exercise of figuring out how to truly work the insides of the program it was created in for a contest conceived by Renoise and Indamixx in conjunction with CreateDigitalMusic.com. Upon initial approach it looks like this; make a bomb track and license it under Creative Commons. I won’t discuss C.C. But will rattle a bit about Renoise and the technicalities of making fight-night weight.
These days I typically use a piano to work out ideas and then graduate into software to execute them. Renoise tends to be my favorite place to land as it loads up like butter and is quick for nailing down concepts. The implied constraints of this contest, however, had hoisted a series of difficulties in my process. The first being that while I like to use VST/VSTi’s in the process, non-native sound creators or effectors were not to be used in the final version. The second concern was the size of the Renoise file as the winning entry will be used as one of the demos within the program (I haven’t had to deal with file size since I turned my 1.44meg floppies into coasters). Third concern – CPU usage. I was shooting for a great track weighing in under 5 megs. My rough track was loaded with complex VST/VSTi’s and was well over 20 megs.
The process was actually more focusing than I imagined. Imbedded capabilities include “rendering” which allows creation of samples of MIDI performance very similar to a “bounce to disk” but without leaving the program. This proved helpful with some of the trickier performance passages. It also lent itself well to taking a small sample of more simple instruments allowing for creation of patches (which I have never made the time to do in Renoise). If you look at the file itself you will find within it instruments which approach “chip-tune” file size all the while maintaining my vision for a very anthemic quality to them. I found as I rooted through the sequences and the instruments that my samples were converted at 32 bit 44.1khz; this was rectifiable within the program. I reduced resolution on lower frequency and less important pieces. These were huge in dropping file size down.
Skipping ahead a number of hours, we now have the track entirely reconfigured. No external instruments. No external effects. Less than 3.5 megs (this just blows me away). While the original track would load my laptop to as much as 40% CPU usage, the current CPU loading on my laptop does not exceed 11%.
Oh, and the track is kinda large.
Checkout 84 Caprice feat. Prof – Karma the uh oh beat (Renoise document) and listen to an MP3 of the track below. Karma the uh oh beat by 84 Caprice is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.stophousegroup.com.