The Tracktion Software Corporation, or TSC, was formed in 2012 to acquire, update, market and support the Tracktion Music Production software platform. The company's three principals, Julian Storer, James Woodburn and Dave Christenson largely focus on technical, operational and marketing duties respectively. As the original creator of the highly intuitive software platform, Storer was able to provide Tracktion with a completely new digital audio engine to be both compatible with user projects completed on previous versions as well as all of the latest computer operating systems, third party plug-ins and controller hardware.
Admiral Bumblebee already did a comprehensive review of Waveform 9 here. His review in part convinced me to buy Waveform.
Short review: Waveform is well worth the money I paid and the time I've invested in it.
Context: Previously, I used Ableton. I wanted a DAW to bounce my stems to and mix in. I generally prefer using third party plugins and was satisfied with the plugins I had, so I went with the basic option of Waveform and won't evaluate the stock content. With an EDU discount, I paid 55 dollars. At first, I only mixed in Waveform. After a couple projects, I felt almost as comfortable in Waveform as in Ableton, despite having years more experience in Ableton. I now primarily use Waveform for all tasks. I've used Waveform for 3 months and spent ~150 hours in it. I'm a hobbyist producer making hard dance music with minimal recording.
Unique Features: 1. The signal flow is intuitive. Input > clips > plugins > output. 2. Racks let you set up complex FX chains with any routing you like. I haven't scratched the surface of racks. I love the stack editor for creating kick chains. 3. The Return/Send system is god tier in terms of flexibility. 4. Clips have a lot of great options, like clip FX, Step/Edit clips, and saving clip presets. 5. Automation, macros, and modulators are flexible and work well together. They are confusing at first, though.
Weak Features: 1. MIDI editing is 90% there. With MIDI clips, the selection of tools and options is comprehensive, but they aren't fun to use. There's no specific problem (sometimes scrolling horizontally jumps too far, replaying the current clip requires setup, triplets have to be clicked as a global option rather than within the clip, etc.). Step clips have the opposite problem: they're fun and easy to use, but they lack features. 2. The pattern generator has major potential, no pun intended, but it's clunky. It requires you to follow a certain sequence. If you decide to change a chord, for example, all your later changes are undone. I'd use it more if it was more flexible. 3. Submixes are strange. They mess up some things, such as rendering, sends and returns, and they cause crashes sometimes. In general, there are a lot of odd situations that cause unexpected crashes for me. Seemingly random crashes make me very anxious, and I've set autosave to happen each minute. But I get fewer crashes with each update.
Overall, Waveform is extremely flexible, between clip FX, racks, the aux system, automation, macros, and modulators. It's intuitive, well-designed, and fun to use. It's packed with small conveniences and bonuses that make life easier. Always check the control menu! There's always a dozen extra options down there to help you out. Waveform is a great DAW, and I'm satisfied with using it as my main DAW.
I'm very new to the new Tracktion team. I'd heard about them once or twice, but never saw any of their work in any detail. Purchasing Mackie mixers caused me to encounter "Lite" or early versions of one of their Tracktion DAWs, but as I've always felt overwhelmed with the number of DAW products available, with all their various strengths and weaknesses, I was afraid to try to learn its advantages. Until this month I didn't realize that Tracktion, early on, was really instrumental in developing some tendencies (contextual editing workflows built into the GUI, and track/clip freezing to name 2).
In toying with this for an hour or so, I find this to be one of the most well thought out ambient sound design tools out there. Make no mistake, there is a lot of deep function to understand, but right out of the box you can get your sound moods going faster than with anything, and I mean anything else. I've tried much of what's out there, and there are a great number of tools with certain better features, and certain better GUI sections, etc. Where this plugin shines is in having such a sheer volume of creative potential that isn't found elsewhere, allowing constant morphing if you like, note by note fx if you like, mathematical playgrounds if you like, etc., etc.
Well done to the team at Tracktion for getting this accomplished, and I am looking forward to trying out Biotek 2 which is set to drop momentarily, which has apparently added granular oscillators to the possibilities, (just when Propellerheads also have pushed forward in that direction which is nice - its always interesting to see multiple new takes on an old method.).
Biotek 2 also is said to add new filter types and an improved graphical design, but there's so much in here as it is that I can only hope to understand it over a number of months.
If you do sound design, trap, film scoring, ambient or chill type music, I think this baby will be a happy surprise even though it may seem slightly more expensive than certain other tools. Its like instead of buying a package of spice frozen meat, with biotek you're getting a whole fridge full of inspiring foods to create with and sample. And no, they are not toxic or labeled biohazard if you don't want them to be. (Which assumes you're not a zombie).
Tracktion is fairly easy to use. I switched to this from Cubase 8LE. It's much easier to use for begginers. I am haveing some issues with VST's though. Most VST's do not load or aren't recognized. This is rather annoying because what is available is limited. Can anyone help with this?