[LAA] Qtractor 0.4.0 (foxy dryad) released!

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To: <linux-audio-announce@...>
Date: Friday, March 13, 2009 - 4:21 pm

Howdy!

It's been quite a while since last time (Fluffy Doll on Xmas:). However,
Qtractor is back again on track and this time with great news. And the
big news are that this pet is leaving its rusty four-on-the-floor cage
and spreading it's musical genre targets. Still a bedroom/home-studio
sequencer though, but not for the techno-boy/girl only anymore--if one
may trump about it, it's getting a general-purpose sticker now.

And what makes it like just that? One long due feature, now stroked by
implementation lightning: Tempo/Time-signature Map. Or in other words:
project sessions may now have multiple parts with different tempo (BPM)
and/or time-signatures.

Tempo/time-signature map is/was a very pervasive feature change.
Although deeply internal, as it's only evidently visible from the new
View/Tempo Map... interactive yet primitive dialog, it is also
accessible by double-clicking on the time rulers (main track-view and
MIDI clip editors) and by left-clicking over the main tempo spin-box,
which also introduces the time-signature figures as seen from the
current play-head position.

One should probably say that this is the major change in Qtractor
internals since its primordial inception. No doubt, we're still in
/alpha/ status. It surely will take a (another) while, a year or so, for
a similar payload take a lift, ever again. No sweat. Watch for next
favorite feature requests, like MIDI controller map/learn/feedback and
automation. Coming next, soon, hopefully :)

A few words of caution must be said now. It is of paramount interest for
all of you who already use Qtractor for any (small) project or
prototype, to be prepared for less amenable surprises. Being
optimistically wise, there's a very good chance that all new workings
will bring a better experience overall. But given the whole nature and
depth of what got through, it is wise enough to have your backups at
hand and up to date. Don't hesitate asking for help, in any case.

Caveat emptor!

So, with no further ado, there it is:

Qtractor 0.4.0 (foxy dryad) is now released!

Good old intro/description:

Qtractor is an audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer application, written in
C++ on top of Qt Software's Qt4 framework, having JACK and ALSA as its
main infrastructures and Linux as native and exclusive platform.
Specially suited to the lone-wolf composer, arranger and (re)creative
music-maker personal home-studio, it still hopes to evolve as a fairly
featured desktop audio/MIDI workstation or at least, a prototypical part
of it ;)

Release highlights:

* Tempo-map/Time-signature support. (NEW)
* MIDI Song Position cueueing support. (NEW)
* MIDI Clip Quantize command. (NEW)
* Zoom direction mode option (NEW)
* MP3 audio format support (FIXED)
* and many other assorted fixes and brand new bugs ;)

Website:

http://qtractor.sourceforge.net

Project page:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/qtractor

Downloads:

- source tarball
http://downloads.sourceforge.net/qtractor/qtractor-0.4.0.tar.gz

- user manual
http://downloads.sourceforge.net/qtractor/qtractor-0.3.0-user-manual.pdf
(nb. yes, it's the same old, dusty and outdated manual, sorry)

Weblog (upstream support):

http://www.rncbc.org

License:

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 pure Qt4 C++ application framework (no Qt3 nor KDE
dependencies).
- 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 linsndfile).
- Standard MIDI files support (SMF 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 file.
- Point-and-click, multi-select, drag-and-drop interaction (drag, move,
drop, cut, copy, paste, delete, split)
- Unlimited undo/redo.
- Built-in mixer and monitor controls.
- Built-in connection patchbay control and persistence (a-la QjackCtl).
- LADSPA, DSSI and native VST plug-ins support.
- Unlimited number of plug-ins per track or bus.
- Plug-in presets, programs and chunk/configurations support.
- Audio/MIDI clip fade-in/out (linear, quadratic, cubic).
- Audio/MIDI clip gain/volume, normalize and export.
- Audio clip time-stretching (WSOLA-like or via librubberband),
pitch-shifting (also via librubberband) and seamless sample-rate
conversion (via libsamplerate).
- Audio/MIDI track export (mix-down, merge).
- Audio/MIDI metronome bar/beat clicks.
- Unlimited tempo/time-signature map.
- MIDI clip editor (matrix/piano roll).
- MIDI instrument definitions (a-la Cakewalk(tm))
- JACK transport sync master.
- MMC control surface enabled.
- MIDI Song Position cueuing support.
- Configurable keyboard shortcuts.

Change-log:

- MIDI (re)connections fix; now caring for the ALSA client and port
textual names only, avoiding as much as possible, any reliance on those
volatile client and port numbers.
- Transport/Backward and Forward commands may now reset to immediate
full start or end of session locations, by just pressing the Shift or
Ctrl keyboard modifiers and clicking their respective toolbar buttons.
- Default session/MIDI resolution has been set to 960 ticks per beat
(960 TPQN, where a beat equals a quarter-note); it is worth of note that
the previous default resolution was set to one order of maginute lower,
ie. 96 TPQN ;).
- Making (dis)connections now also flags session as dirty.
- Internal Audio/MIDI engines queue/time drift correction takes a brand
new approach, specially adapted to rolling tempo/time-siganture changes.
- MIDI monitor refresh-cycle slight internal optimization.
- Converted obsolete QMessageBox forms to standard buttons.
- Transport/Rewind and Fast-forward commands may now be set to
double-speed, by pressing the Shift or Ctrl modifiers while clicking
their respective tool buttons.
- MIDI clip editor zoom ratios are now saved and preserved across sessions.
- Time-signature is now directly accessible from the main tempo spin-box
which also reflects current tempo status.
- Time/frame spin-boxes now allow to step change each field
individually, depending on the cursor beam position.
- Make sure that Transport/Follow playhead option is only effective when
playback is actually rolling.
- Primordial attempt to include MIDI Song Position Pointer (SPP), Song
Start, Stop and Continue sequencing support.
- A completely new time-scale infrastructure is now in place, with full
support for session tempo and time-signature map; this long due feature
is primarily accessible through the main menu, View/Tempo Map...; also
by double-clicking on the the main window and MIDI clip editor time
rulers and left-clicking on the main toolbar tempo/signature spin-box.
- Moving and resizing individual clips now cares for track proper
ordering and overlapping changes, avoiding nasty out of sequence clips
and other unpredictable effects.
- An expedite MIDI clip quantize command is now available from the main
track view menu (Edit/Clip/Quantize), which simply applies the current
snap-to-beat setting to a MIDI clip range selection.
- Fixed that hideous bug affecting overlapped audio clips when playhead
gets moved backward, causing the playback of those audio clips in
particular, go out of sync.
- Tracks are now limited to their minimum height, specially effective in
face of vertical zooming.
- Zoom mode option introduced (on menu View/Zoom/Horizontal, Vertical, All).
- Tempo beat type is a new session property; however it is not yet user
modifiable and currently disabled to default MIDI quarter note (1/4).
- All open MIDI clip editor time-scales are now updated and corrected
when the main session time base changes (tempo, time-signature,
resolution, etc.)
- MIDI metronome fixed, preventing duplicate click events.
- MP3 audio file decoding was broken for way too long and falling short
for every file with custom frames, ID3 tags and comments. Got shamefully
fixed.
- Time signature denominator (ie. beat divisor) is now an accessible and
effective session property.
- Attempt to retain original size (clip length) of all audio clips when
changing the global session tempo and automatic time-stretching is not
an option.

Cheers && Enjoy!
--
rncbc aka Rui Nuno Capela
rncbc@rncbc.org
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