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 Qtractor by rncbc is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin and an Audio Plugin Host. It functions as a DSSI Plugin and a LADSPA Plugin. It can host VST Plugins, DSSI Plugins, LADSPA Plugins and LV2 Plugins.
Qtractor
Qtractor Qtractor
Product Qtractor
Developer rncbc
Price (MSRP)
N / A
Type / Tags Sequencer / MultitrackALSAJack
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Can Host
Instruments
   
Can Host
Effects
   
UtilityStand-alone utility / application
Operating System Availability
Operating
System
Latest
Version
Download Released
 
0.9.3
 
  Download Released
Supported Sample Formats (loads or saves) include
AIFF, FLAC, MP3, OGG, WAV
Miscellaneous Information
Copy ProtectionNone
GPL

Qtractor is an audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer application written in C++ with the Qt 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.

Website: http://qtractor.org, http://qtractor.sourceforge.net

Project page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/qtractor

Weblog: http://www.rncbc.org

Qtractor is free, open-source software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 or later.

Features:

  • Multi-track audio and MIDI sequencing and recording.
  • Developed on the Qt C++ application and UI 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 VST and LV2 plug-ins support.
  • Unlimited number of plug-ins per track or bus.
  • Plug-in presets, programs and chunk/configurations support, including native VST FXB/FXP file support.
  • Unlimited audio/MIDI effect send/return inserts per track or bus.
  • Loop-recording/takes.
  • Audio/MIDI clip fade-in/out, cross-fade (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, render, merge, freeze).
  • Audio/MIDI metronome bar/beat clicks.
  • Unlimited tempo/time-signature map.
  • MIDI clip editor (matrix/piano roll).
  • MIDI instrument definitions (a-la Cakewalk (tm));
    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 Clock, Song Position Pointer (SPP) support.
  • Configurable PC-keyboard and MIDI controller shortcuts.
Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 5.00 from 1 review

Reviewed By danboid
August 19, 2012

qtractor has nothing to do with agriculture - Qt is the name of the toolkit Rui has used to create his DAW that you can use to create your 'tracs' - hence qtractor!

I'm not going to go over qtractors many features as they're all listed on its homepage. You just need to know that its a reasonably mature, GPL licensed MIDI and audio sequencer for Linux and you really should try it soon if you haven't done so already because its an absolute joy to use!

When it comes to Linux DAWs, for a number of years now qtractor has been the only serious alternative to Ardour. However, qtractor is primarily a MIDI sequencer that also handles audio where as Ardour, as of August 2012, is still yet to make a stable release that includes MIDI sequencing support.

It is important to note that qtractor has a different target market to Ardour. Ardour is aimed directly at high-end, pro-audio users who may otherwise be using non-free solutions like Pro Tools whereas qtractor is aimed more at hobbyist and bedroom/garage studios - well at the moment anyway. Ardour has long been available for OS X as well as Linux but qtractor is proudly Linux only and as a result is one of the very best Linux only apps, not just in audio, available.

qtractor is currently at 0.5.5 which I'd say is quite modest considering what it is already capable of. If Rui continues developing qtractor at the pace he has been over the last several years then when 1.0.0 does get released I have no doubts it will give some of the big name DAWS a good run for their money and will be incomparably better than whatever they released as a 1.0 in most cases as qtractor is obviously very well coded. Outside of running dodgy plugins - I'm not sure I've ever seen qtractor crash and its binary comes in at less than 1MB which explains why it runs sooo fast even on older hardware.

qtractor has often been the first app to adopt new Linux audio technologies such as LV2 with its many updates and extensions. Whilst I was doing lots of testing for Ardour 3 I would frequently use qtractor as a reference. Whilst Ardour, not only because it has a few full time devs working on it and has also been around almost twice as long as qtractor, offers more high end features for audio work than qtractor currently does, I have found qtractor to be much more stable with notably fewer quirks. Rui is always very responsive and intolerant of bugs in his apps.

It is only in the last year or so that qtractor has finally gained some much requested and long awaited automation support for both audio and MIDI tracks. Whilst this works well enough, its not feature complete right now as you can't copy and paste either segments of or whole automation parts yet. My other most wanted feature before I think qtractor is seriously ready for world domination is the ability to create tempo ramps - when qtractor can do both these I'll be made up! qtractors biggest problem is that it is developed purely as a hobby by Rui and that there is no other major contributor to its development so progress in respect to major new features is slow.

AV Linux 6 has just been released so if nothing I've said has put you off I would highly recommend you download that distro (if you're not running Linux already), get it installed and give qtractor a try - I'm sure you'll be glad you did!

To finish I'd like to thank Rui for this outstanding contribution to (Linux) music and audio software. qtractor is not only one of the very best Linux apps in any category, its one of the best apps wrote for Qt, its a reference for others trying to develop Linux audio software of all sorts and Rui's dedication, good humour and exemplary support for all of his apps is to be highly commended.

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Discussion

Discussion

Discussion: Active
rncbc
rncbc
20 August 2012 at 10:24am

holy thanks for the kind review Dan :)

cheers

danboid
danboid
25 August 2012 at 8:18pm

You're very welcome Rui!

Hope you've had a good holiday - if you're back now that is?

I was pleasantly surprised to see qtractor coming in at #1 in the Ranks and Ratings charts for free hosts in the last 7 days when I just looked now which is also how I just spotted your comment!

rncbc
rncbc
26 August 2012 at 10:39am

even more thankful to you Dan

your review rating 10 might have something to do with it, i suppose :)

cheers

glokraw
glokraw
25 August 2012 at 9:40pm

Realizing that a 10 rating is a friendly, but fictional and honorary perfection, qtractor is a fine achievement, and getting lots of improvements (the author has also released new instruments as well!). Linux as a DAW is very enjoyable, and easily acquired.

Studio 1337, AVLinux, KX studio add-ons, Remix-OS, Ubuntu Studio, Fedora CCRMA,

and quite a few others, have taken the configuration learning curve to new minimums,

and windows plugins are very usable, qtractor output can be easily summed with reaper,

festige, or dssi-vst output.

Those not subdued by piles of cash, might well get excellent performance using last-years computer,

in a fast RT linux, and discover some fine new software along the way. Yoshimi, rakarrack, and hydrogen,

and linux sampler, are getting updates, and make a solid core for composing using keys and guitars.

Burn a linux .iso to cd/DVD, or use unetbootin to easily install one on a usbstick. Reboot using early-boot menu

to avoid starting up your hard-disk windows gear.

Low floor, high ceiling!

rncbc
rncbc
26 August 2012 at 10:49am

@glokraw thanks

most comments one reads in the interwebs about linux audio & music have been superficially negative, more over when comparing to the big non-free, closed-source, proprietary systems.

in that regard, yours is positively awesome and brave ;)

thanks again

kobraaji
kobraaji
11 April 2015 at 7:43pm

the best, thanks for this great sequencer.

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Qtractor

Average user rating of 5.00 from 1 review

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