Qtractor An Audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer
What's Qtractor ?
Qtractor is an Audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer application written
in C++ with the Qt4 framework.
Target platform is Linux, where the Jack Audio Connection Kit
(JACK) for audio, and the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
(ALSA) for MIDI, are the main infrastructures to evolve as a fairly-featured Linux desktop audio
workstation GUI, specially dedicated to the personal home-studio.
Qtractor is free, open-source software, distributed under the terms of the
GNU General Public License (GPL)
version 2 or later.
Project page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/qtractor
Click on image to see more screenshots...
- Multi-track audio and MIDI sequencing and recording.
- Developed on pure Qt4
C++ application framework.
- Uses JACK for audio
and ALSA sequencer for MIDI
as multimedia infrastructures.
- Traditional multi-track tape recorder control paradigm.
- Audio file formats support: OGG (via libvorbis),
MP3 (via libmad, playback only),
WAV, FLAC, AIFF and many, many more (via libsndfile).
- Standard MIDI files support (format 0 and 1).
- Non-destructive, non-linear editing.
- Unlimited number of tracks per session/project.
- Unlimited number of overlapping clips per track.
- XML encoded session/project description files (SDI).
- Point-and-click, multi-select, drag-and-drop interaction
(drag, move, drop, cut, copy, paste, paste-repeat, delete, split, merge)
- Unlimited undo/redo.
- Built-in mixer and monitor controls.
- Built-in connection patchbay control and persistence (a-la QjackCtl).
- LADSPA, DSSI, native VSTi and LV2 plug-in support.
- Unlimited number of plug-ins per track or bus.
- Plug-in presets, programs and chunk/configurations support.
- Unlimited audio effect send/return inserts per track or bus.
- Audio/MIDI clip fade-in/out (linear, quadratic, cubic).
- Audio/MIDI clip gain/volume, normalize, export.
- Audio/MIDI track and plugin parameter automation (dynamic curves,
sample&hold, linear and spline modes).
- Audio clip time-stretching (WSOLA-like or via librubberband), pitch-shifting (via librubberband) and seamless sample-rate conversion (via libsamplerate).
- Audio/MIDI track export (mix-down, merge).
- Audio/MIDI metronome bar/beat clicks.
- Unlimited tempo/time-signature map.
- Unlimited location/bar markers.
- MIDI clip editor (matrix/piano roll).
- MIDI instrument definitions (a-la Cakewalk(tm) (*.ins));
SoundFont (*.sf2) and MIDI Names XML (*.midnam) files also supported.
- MIDI controller mapping/learn/assignment (mixer and plug-in parameters).
- MIDI system exclusive (SysEx) setups.
- JACK transport sync master/slave.
- JACK session support.
- NSM (Non session management) support.
- MMC control surface enabled.
- MIDI Song Position cueing support.
- Configurable keyboard shortcuts.
The software requirements for build and runtime are listed as follows:
Optional (opted-in at build time):
- libvorbis (enc, file), Ogg Vorbis audio compression
- libmad, High-quality MPEG audio decoder
- libsamplerate, The secret rabbit code, C library
for audio sample rate conversion
- librubberband, Rubber Band Audio Time Stretcher,
an audio time-stretching and pitch-shifting library
- liblo, Lightweight OSC implementation
(needed for DSSI GUI and/or NSM support)
- DSSI, An API for soft synth plugins with custom user interfaces
- VST SDK, Steinberg's Virtual Studio Technology
- LV2, Audio Plugin Standard, the extensible successor of LADSPA
- liblilv, Lightweight LV2 implementation stack
- NSM, Non Session Management
Qtractor's already in some kind of beta stage of development and hence fully functional.
Though, the bleeding-edge development source tree is readily available from the sourceforge's public
2013-12-31 - The Mike November
- Fixed another off-by-one MIDI plugin chain timing bug, delaying
the actual playback of the first MIDI event, whenever it started
at the same and as long as the initial play-head position (after
another ticket by Holger Marzen, thanks again).
- A new LV2 host convention is in effect on plugins that expose
multiple AtomPort's in either direction: only the first input
or output declared AtomPort is eligible to convey regular MIDI
data events (introduced while trying Frank Kober's forthcoming
QmidiArp LV2 suite of plugins, thanks).
- Zooming with shift/ctrl+mouse-wheel and pointing over the main
tracks view or MIDI clip editor time ruler header's now fixed.
- A rare freezing loop condition has been fixed on the oldest of
MIDI file save/write routines (after a ticket and solution by
Tuomas Airaksinen, thanks again).
- Copy/paste now preserving clip names (ticket by Holger Marzen,
- Scaling of whole tempo map with a given factor has been added,
through a spin-box and button in Tempo Map / Markers dialog,
after a long overdue patch by Tuomas Airaksinen, thanks again.
- When issued from main tracks view (ie. Clip/Tools menu) MIDI
clip tools are now a bit more crash-resilient re. undo/redo-
- Session auto-save / crash-recovery support is now on trial as
in View/Options.../General/Session/Auto-save current working
session every 10 minutes (default on).
- Plugin-list chain context-menu now includes MIDI instrument
audio output options to existing non-dedicated output buses,
any other than the previous hard-wired default (eg. Master).
- Tracks export now allows for the mix-down/merge of multiple
audio/MIDI output buses (Track/Export Tracks).
- When adding new tracks, try preserving the last selected bus
names, while not the default Master ones (after a suggestion
from danboid aka. Daniel MacDonald, thanks).
- More preparations for Qt5 configure build.
- Brand new thumb-(over)view toolbar widget added to MIDI clip
editor window (aka. piano-roll overview).
- General MIDI RPN/NRPN 14-bit controller support is now being
introduced on real-time MIDI input parsing, on standard MIDI
file I/O, on MIDI Controller options and, of course, on MIDI
clip and event list editor.
- Pretty innocent nitpick on most thread cleanup routines.
Previous and older pre-releases, including the change log,
are also available here.
You can browse all files available for download, including binary packages, at
Qtractor Files on SourceForge.net.
The installation procedure follows the standard for source distributions.
Once under the extracted source directory:
and optionally as root:
This procedure will end installing the following files:
Just launch prefix
/bin/qtractor and you're off (hopefully).
Note that the default installation path prefix is
Qtractor holds its settings and configuration state per user,
in a file located as
Normally, there's no need to edit this file, as it is recreated and
rewritten everytime qtractor is run.
Probably plenty still, Qtractor maybe considered on beta stage already.
Qtractor is open source free software. For bug reports, feature
requests, discussion forums, mailling lists, or any other matter related
to the development of this piece of software, please use the
Sourceforge project page.
You can also find timely and closer contact information on my
personal web site.
A new Qtractor quick start guide and user manual
has been updated for version 0.5.x by Seth Kenlon & Klaatu.
The older user manual for version 0.3.0 and before,
have been co-authored by James Laco Hines and Stephen Doonan.
Qtractor logo/icon is an original work of Andy Fitzsimon, borrowed from
the public domain openclipart.org gallery.
A special mention should also go to the translators of Qtractor, of course:
- Pavel Fric (cs)
- Guido Scholz (de)
- Yann Colette (fr)
- Massimo Callegari (it)
- Takashi Sakamoto (ja)
- Alexandre Prokoudine (ru)
This project has also a freecode.com entry.
( formerly freshmeat.net )
rncbc aka Rui Nuno Capela
rncbc at rncbc dot org