If you hold the Alt key then the content stretches or squashes in time regardless of which arrow you click on. This becomes available under the Search tab where it lists all the available tags and lets you filter the results by clicking on them. Whether it's audio effects or virtual instruments, you will soon want to supplement what is supplied with Tracktion, even as a novice user. With unique features like these, T7 will take users in new directions. See and hear all that this winning combination of hardware and software can do! You have the option to change the colour of selected notes, you also have velocity value and length of new notes and also a step mode so that new notes are added at the cursor. It is also known because they do not swim in the stream of classic software developers and have their own ideas.
You can now open multiple browsers the only limit being screen size and select multiple files from all of them to pull the files into the arrangement together. I particularly like the way you can synchronise multiple browsers together to let you audition samples or groups of samples together. Once an input is specified, you also get a 'record enable' switch and an input meter. I can then select a bunch of different loops from different places and with the touch of my shift key I can drag them all together into the Edit window — nice. It's music production, but not as most of us know it. Mackie released version 3 in 2007, but updates stopped appearing in 2008 and the user community began to fear the worst. I find that it's much easier to see and read items and menus on the interface now.
Occasionally, a window for optional downloads pops up usually at launch and essentially tries to get you to buy stuff. However, Julian Storer then managed to re-acquire Tracktion, and released a version 4 that was operationally almost identical to v3, but brought the platform up to date in terms of compatibility with operating system changes and plug-in formats. In Tracktion's terminology, 'filter' is used to describe any effect or plug-in that applies to that track. Tracktion Waveform replaces these with tabs with pop-up menus, which were a tad finicky to use at first, but soon became second nature. This can give some rather cool and also bonkers results.
Well Tracktion goes further than that and lets you comp any clips from anywhere at all. This is not following any type of convention — Tracktion wants to do its own thing. Rather than having a toolbar to select different actions T7 uses these little icons which let you do different things to the clip. In essence, this freezes the track up to and including the selected plug-in — Tracktion terms this a 'freeze point'. The level faders and pan make themselves perfectly large when touched. If you are running very complex projects or perhaps working with older, less powerful hardware, this is a brilliant concept. I think showing examples is essential when introducing a topic.
Maybe the first one is to deal with sort of the main connections and the other to do with internal ones — who the heck knows, but in any case you can automate all of them in either. Right, we have a familiar arrange page with a timeline, a vertical list of tracks and blocks of stuff. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers. There are a couple of niggles, however. You can automate as many things as you like but you can only see one parameter at a time on the track.
All the track information appears to be on the right, on the left we have a file browser. This can really help speed up the editing process. However, Tracktion has another plug-in feature up its sleeve in what they call the Plugin Rack. The package also includes some downloadable demo songs to get you started. The mouse scroll wheel produces a horizontal zoom unless you place the cursor onto the track information on the left or right in which case it scrolls up and down. If you need to go back to the original multitrack versions to make further changes, that's perfectly possible: simply switch back to the tab associated with that song section or, if you have closed the tab, select the song section in your arrangement edit and click Open Source Edit from the Edit Properties tab on the Properties panel. The key question regarding Tracktion 5, then, is whether Julian Storer and his team have managed to add the new features without compromising the streamlined qualities that make Tracktion attractive.
Click on this horizontal bar and a track fader appears, to adjust volume. This acts as a multi-purpose file browser so you can search for media files or loops, and access effects presets, markers and the clipboard. To be fair the pop-up help guide is useful as is the little info box at the top right which shows whatever you are hovering over. For example, there are a series of rather interesting new resource-saving features. The little spanner icon brings up the properties for the selecting thing whenever you need them.
This is neatly done and a welcome addition to the piano-roll editing features. Creating automation patterns between markers is explored, as well as how to use the side chain input. The T7 videos on the website deal with only new features so you have to dig down a bit to find videos on T5 and T6 which cover more of the basics before suggesting you buy the series from Groove 3. Automation lives under this little A button on the top right of a track. This includes all this stuff on the right.
The next video shows you all the new features you have with the browser, including moving it left, right, to the top of the window, or having multiple views open simultaneously. The lack of a traditional mixer is a problem for me — I tend to work very visually and so being able to clearly see levels and be able to make side by side adjustments is important to me. Everything to the left of the new filter is then frozen, while anything to the right remains unfrozen. I think the real positives are three-fold: the very clear and easy-to-learn user interface, the range of features for squeezing the maximum performance out of any computer hardware and the almost-pocket-money price. A fast and easy way to apply precise movement to anything in your edit.
Another feature which addresses resource management is the Low Latency Monitoring option. The majority of the options under the Settings tab are of the 'set and forget' variety, but it's nice to have all of them clearly organised in a single place. Once you buy into it, you get a lifetime of free updates; well done to the early adopters. Tracktion has been given another huge overhaul, with some great new features. And so things remained until Tracktion's original developer bought the software back from Mackie in 2014.