Libraries & Presets
A Library acts as a container for other presets, stored in the file format (.xrnl) which is easily installed via drag and drop. Once installed, a content pack will immediately make its presets available via the preset menu(s). As these presets can be many different “things”, the installer tries to be helpful and will tell you what was installed - whether that content pack was a bunch of new instruments, some multi-sample presets, or perhaps a collection of DSP chains.
If you choose to save one of your own presets, it is stored in a special place - the User Library. This is essentially the same location as where content packs go, and this location is shared between Renoise and Redux - any file saved to the Renoise user library, or any installed content pack will also be available to Redux, and vice versa.
A folder is created for your own presets and files. These files are kept in a separate location to avoid their accidental deletion and to provide easy access via Finder/File Explorer.
- Windows: HOME/[My ]Documents/Renoise/User Library
- OSX: HOME/Documents/Renoise/User Library
- Linux: HOME/Renoise/User Library
Specific Preset Types
Instruments are constructed from a variety of parts: Phrases, Keyzones, Waveforms, Modulation and Effects. Specific preset types for each of these sections are available from a drop-down menu at the top right corner, where you can load, save, import and export. This allows an existing instrument to load the various presets into their specific sections without overwriting the whole instrument. A library can contain any of these file types.
- Phrases (.xrnz) - A phrase preset is an XML file describing the number of lines, columns and other settings (loop, tempo etc.) that make up a single phrase.
- Keyzones (.sfz) - A multi-sample preset is an .sfz file, an open standard format for describing musical instruments.
- Waveform (.flac) - Waveform presets are just samples stored as .flac files.
- Modulation (.xrno) - A Modulation Set preset is a collection of modulation envelopes that affect various sample domains (volume, panning, etc.). The preset itself is a simple XML file.
- Effects (.xrnt) - An Effect Chain preset describes the effect devices and parameter values that make up an effect-chain. The preset itself is a simple XML file.
A library can also contain two other file types:
- Effect-Devices (.xrdp) - An Effect-Device preset defines the parameters of a single effect device. This can be any of the regular devices or a Doofer (a special combination of other devices).
- Themes (.xrnc) - Themes are alternative visual styles for the interface and are stored as simple XML files. New themes can be created, or existing ones edited, in the Themes tab of the preferences menu.
XRNL Library Creation
The easiest way to build up a library is to save presets from inside Renoise, creating a library based on an existing user library.
Build The Collection
Libraries are laid out in the same way as the user library. For example, it might have the following structure:
- - Samples
- - Multi-Samples
- - Instruments
Note that these folders are created automatically, as you save a preset. Inside these folders, you can organize presets in folders too. This is supported and shown in the Renoise/Redux interface, but you can't reorganize, move files around from there - you need to open an explorer/finder window to organize your files. Any changes performed here should automatically be reflected in the Renoise user interface.
So, after a bit of customization your file structure might now look like this (with folders expanded):
- - Samples
- - Ambience
- - Channel
- - Field Recordings
- + Multi-Samples
- + Instruments
- - Synth
- - Bass
- + FX
- - Scifi
Add A Manifest
Once you feel the content is ready to be exported, add a manifest to the root folder (use a basic text editor such as Notepad+ and copy the following text as a starting point).
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Author>Username (plus email, link, whatever)</Author>
<Description>Amazing pack by username for Renoise+Redux</Description>
The only thing that is really important to get right is the name - it needs to follow a certain naming convention, in the form `abc.def.ghi`. For example `com.renoise.elements` for one of our Renoise-published libraries, but you can use whatever name you like as long as it has those three parts.
By now, the file structure might look like this:
- + Samples
- + Multi-Samples
- + Instruments
You can even add additional files if you wish to - perhaps you have a PDF document, or a 'readme' of some kind? These files will not be useful to Renoise, but will still be installed on the user harddrive as part of the library.
Creating The Library File
Using a zip archive utility (on windows, 7zip is recommended), you first compress the inside of the root folder, and then assign it the name provided in the manifest plus the Renoise library file extension, `.xrnl`.
So, in the case of our example pack, the file name would become `org.username.examplepack.xrnl`
If you want, you can now install the library to check that everything has worked. To install in Renoise, drag the file on top of the Renoise window. To install in Redux, drag the file on top of the plugin window, or click the load button.
A successful install should result in a message such as:
- Library 'xxx' was successfully installed.
- It contains Instrument presets.
If the installer encountered a problem, hopefully you will get a useful error message that can help to track down the problem.