SoundTracker 0.6.8 review

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SoundTracker is a music tracking tool for X11 / Unix similar in design to the DOS program FastTracker and the Amiga legend ProTracker

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 992K
Developer: Michael Krause
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SoundTracker is a music tracking tool for X11 / Unix similar in design to the DOS program FastTracker and the Amiga legend ProTracker. Samples can be lined up on tracks and patterns which are then arranged to a song.

Supported module formats are XM and MOD; the player code is the one from OpenCP. A basic sample recorder and editor is also included. SoundTracker is free ("open source") software, licensed under the GNU GPL.

The basic concept is very simple: you have a number of sound samples, and you can arrange them on so-called tracks. A track (also called "channel") can not play more than one sample at the same time. Whereas the original Amiga trackers only provided four tracks (this was the hardware limit), modern trackers can mix a virtually unlimited number of channels into one sound stream, applying various effects to the samples used.

Tracks which are played at the same time are grouped to form a pattern. A pattern typically has 64 entries per track; these entries are cycled through at equidistant time intervals. A basic drum set could thus be arranged by putting a bass drum at entries 0, 4, 8, 12 etc. of one track and putting some hihat at entries 2, 6, 10, 14 etc. of a second track. Of course you can also interleave bass and hats on the same track, if the samples are short enough -- they can't overlap, otherwise the previous sample is stopped when the next one sets in -- look at the screen shots for a more visual explanation.

Finally, a module is a compact file containing various patterns and samples, including a position list which specifies playback order of the patterns, forming a song. SoundTracker can load modules of the popular XM and MOD formats. The also very popular IT format is not supported at the moment.

audiofile library

What's New in This Release:
Permanent channels support: any samples which might have been triggered before the current song position will be started at the right position when clicking "Play Song" (yaliaev)

"Trim" in sample editor removes silence at beginning and end of samples, "Crop" function removes non-selected parts of the sample (oguilyardi / yaliaev)

Key-off recording, fixed jazz-edit mode (jpullerits)
Improved effect interpolator (jpullerits)
Added SDL output driver (mreunanen)

i386-assembly optimizations disabled by default (works around an unknown mixer bug occuring on some systems)

Fixed MIDI-related ALSA startup crash
Several small cosmetic updates and bug fixes
Updated for latest autoconf, automake and gettext

Updated de, es, fr, ru, sv translations; added rw, tr, vi translations

SoundTracker 0.6.8 keywords