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The Futile Duchess

After some time in quarantine, meaning that it just passed almost 40 days since its last public appearance, the frivolous debutante has matured a bit but not that much. Truth is, it is not quite healed and in fact, it is getting seriously bloated ;)

Qtractor 0.1.1 (futile duchess) has been released!

Qtractor is an Audio/MIDI multi-­track sequencer application, written in C++ around the Qt toolkit. Its primordial 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 Desktop Audio/MIDI Workstation GUI specially dedicated to the personal home­studio. It sits confortably tagged as for the techno-boy bedroom home-studio. There's no genre segregation here, it also applies to techno-girls ;).

Now seriously, it even has its own Wikipedia entry already:

Back to business, these are the major highlights for this release:

  • Draft user manual, contributed by James Laco Hines
  • Native Linux VST plug-in support
  • Initial DSSI plug-in support (audio effects only atm.)
  • User configurable keyboard shortcuts
  • JACK server auto-start
  • Clip fade-in/out relative resizes
  • Auto time-stretch now optional
  • MIDI capture/record input quantize
  • Major plug-in infrastructure rewrite
  • Seamless plug-in drag-and-drop

Check it out, from the official project web site:

Direct link for the source tarball download:


The new user manual draft is also made available:


Literal change-log follows. since the last 0.1.0 (frivolous debutante) alpha release:

  • After some great user demand, keyboard shortcuts are finally configurable, as found provisionally under Help/Shortcuts..., for the main application menu and for the MIDI editor as well.
  • Debian package gets SSE optimization disabled as default.
  • At least some transport actions get to be non auto-repeatable when pressed for much too long, as Play and Record, avoiding the tumbling imposed from the keyboard.
  • For the first time ever, jackd auto-start is now allowed (!).
  • OSC service support through liblo gets optional at configure time, now leading the way to proper DSSI plug-in hosting.
  • All plug-in widget controls count are now capped to one hundred.
  • Plugin paths setup is now made available on the options dialog, overriding each of respective default settings, as implicit from the LADSPA_PATH, DSSI_PATH and VST_PATH environment variables (see View/Options.../Display/Plugin Paths).
  • Clip fade-in/out lengths are now kept relative to tempo changes and also to clip offset and length changes (clip resizes).
  • Automatic time-stretching for all audio clips when session tempo changes, may now be disabled/enabled as a global session option (see View/Options.../Audio/Playback/Automatic time-stretching).
  • Double-clicking on an empty area (de)selects all clips on track.
  • MIDI capture (record) quantization is now an option, possibly handy for some jerky performance musicians, as the one found in myself ;) (see View/Options.../MIDI/Capture/Quantize).
  • The global options dialog (View/Options...) has seen its Display tab page being moved back and to the right.
  • Major rewrite of the plug-in infrastructure, adding primordial support for DSSI and native VST plug-in flavors.
  • Drag-and-drop of plug-in instances are now allowed intra- and inter-mixer strip chains, either on tracks or buses.
  • Turning track record off while recording is rolling was leaving the session in a inconsistent recording status, now fixed.
  • A random but instant crash upon audition/pre-listening player onset was hopefully fixed.

Cheers && Enjoy
rncbc aka Rui Nuno Capela