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The Seventh Draught - MIDI Editor's debut!

Just a month after the previous alpha-pre-release (if one may call that so), here comes a major upgrade to this pet project of mine, now getting bigger and fatter, and counting. This time I am proud to release the first glance for the MIDI clip editor integration and raw power functionality. There's no innovation here, it is just a long due feature and taken out from the closet :)

Qtractor (Seventh Draught) preview has been released!

Rejoice, Qtractor, as an Audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer software application target at the personal home-studio, is getting bloated and developing according to plan. Whatever.

Things have changed a bit since the last pre-release, and there's this large change-log, which you might read as boring as hell:

- Crash fix on the connections widget, was a matter of refactoring the refresh/clear slots.
- Help menu added to MIDI editor form (redirected and same to main form anyway).
- Clip properties form gets its proper sanity check, querying any existing clip editor whether its safe to apply the new settings.
- Mixer sliders get their long due valued correction, hopefully.
- Transport backward and play/stop are now made accessible from the MIDI editor widget, through their keyboard accelerator shortcuts (backspace and space, respectively).
- Transport actions (play, rec, rew and ffwd) are now kept stable on a single point, instead of being scattered all over the main form code; transport visual feedback might get affected, specially regarding the MMC processing.
- Application icon is now officially installed into ${prefix}/share/pixmaps.
- Spec file is now a bit more openSUSE compliant; just made RPM requirements as exigent as the new debian ones.
- Paste cursor is now properly preserved after leaving MIDI editor views.
- Amazingly why this was not spotted before, the main application logo-icon has been downscaled to the 32x32 pixel standard icon size.
- MIDI clip editor clipboard gets singleton status and is now shared on all MIDI editor instances. Similarly to the main track-view, shift/ctrl-left-clicking on the MIDI editor views sets the current session play-head position.
- A desktop entry file has been included on install, at last.
- Clips in main track-view get more info in the form of tooltips.
- Major rounding fix to time-scaling and most specially on all those internal MIDI I/O methods.
- Extended range selection from the time-ruler and key-list headers is now possible by click-and-drag the mouse pointer.
- Play-head cursor is now also displayed and/or set position on all open MIDI clip editors time line view. As in the main application form, a new local follow play-head option is also featured on the MIDI editor view menu and toolbar.
- All MIDI file save operations are now logged to main messages and files are added to the main files list view.
- Initial debianization.
- MIDI capture/record file format (SMF Format 0 or 1) is now an user option, introducing the new MIDI tab on the global View/Options dialog.
- A bad old-time session cursor glitch has been apparently fixed.
- Make sure the generic clip properties form is modal.
- Major rewrite and adaptation to the session time-scale properties, making its way for a brand new command instance: the session-tempo command.
- Changing the snap-per-beat combobox value on the main window toolbar does not make it as an undoable command anymore.
- Long due MIDI clip editor integration has come to reality.
- Major rewrite on the MIDI sequence file read/write methods, in preparation to the coming MIDI clip editor.
- Status-bar session length label now gets rightly updated, while extended recording, of course.
- Clip properties fade-in/out lengths, gets their old due constraints.
- Main transport time display is now an editable custom spin-box; the Tempo (BPM) spin-box has seen new colors (green on black).
- Transport time display format option adds the new choice of absolute frame number, alternative to previous time and BBT.
- The frame-time based spin-boxes, on the clip properties form, were replaced with a new custom one, allowing for alternate frame, time and bbt input/display formats.
- Time-scale helper class has been introduced.

Of course, all this stuff is ready for download from the usual place:

Cheers && Enjoy!


Just wondering...the project's homepage does not state what exact version of JACK is required; if you are using JACK-MIDI (which I am not sure of), I could see a chance that the last released version of JACK is not recent enough?

Generally, it might be a good idea to list the minimum required version of the packages you depend on (e.g. "Qt >= 4.2.0" or so).

Nice to see the bedroom technoboy is continuing hacking :-).


rncbc's picture

Hi Frank,

The technoboy here uses ALSA sequencer. Yes Qtractor still uses and relies heavily on good old, proven ALSA sequencer for all MIDI stuff, so there's no issue whether JACK MIDI is up to the task or not.

Anyway, JACK MIDI is still rough in the edges, and incidentally it was just today, a few minutes ago, that I've committed JACK MIDI support for QjackCtl.

On the other hand, as I'm still using still and most of the time my own almost-vintage external hardware synths and, you guess what, technoboxes ;-)

Personally I have no good use for JACK MIDI, which I'm sure its primarily intended for running locally properly enabled softsynths, that meaning the same operating system image and host machine.

But, nevertheless, that's all in my agenda :) Just can't predict when it will make into the code.

About version numbers, I'm almost sure that any recent Linux distro includes all that's necessary to build and run Qtractor. At least, don't pick up anything older than a single year time frame. For the facts, and from memory here goes what it takes as sane/minimum requirements:

qt4 >= 4.1
jack >= 0.101.0
alsa >= 1.0.9
libsndfile >= 1.0.11
ladspa >= 1.12
libvorbis >= 1.0.0
libmad >= 0.15.1b
libsamplerate >= 0.1.2

Pretty baseline, eh?
rncbc aka Rui Nuno Capela

Qtractor is coming on very nicely - an attractive, lightweight sequencer. Is it the case that it only does 4/4 time at the minute? I can import a MIDI track in 3/4 time at 100bpm, and it looks and plays fine. However, if I try copying a clip from it into a new track, the whole piece (old and new track) gets reset to 4/4 time at 120bpm, even though the File->Properties page before the import was set to Beats/Bar: 3/4 and Tempo: 100. Just curious!

rncbc's picture

There's one thing that's still true: to date I've only ran Qtractor on 4/4, and now you're the very first to realize that this 'technoboy' tag (or nickname) that some fellows here calling me deserves some attention ;)

And now what?... damn, problem right here is I have only 4-on-the-floor SMFs around. My truelly bad. Would you hand me some of yours? Or else I'll have to wander or hardcode some :)

Anyway, just in case, let me say something that, maybe, you missed by chance: when importing a MIDI file, Qtractor only honors its tempo and key signature if, and only if, it's the first time you're dumping a MIDI track into session. The same applies when dropping a track/channel into view/canvas, that is, when an import operation is implied.

Just to be sure, please check whether loading into a brand new session (as in File/New) the same autistic behavior is to blame :)

No worries. I'll have this noted.

rncbc aka Rui Nuno Capela

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