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Chapter 8. Qtractor

8.1. Requirements and Installation
8.1.1. Knowledge Requirements
8.1.2. Software Requirements
8.1.3. Hardware Requirements
8.1.4. Other Requirements
8.1.5. Installation
8.2. Configuration
8.2.1. Audio Options
8.2.2. MIDI Options
8.2.3. Configuring MIDI Channel Names
8.3. Using Qtractor
8.3.1. Using the Blue Place-Markers
8.3.2. Using the MIDI Matrix Editor's Tools
8.3.3. Using JACK with Qtractor
8.3.4. Exporting a Whole File (Audio and MIDI Together)
8.3.5. Miscellaneous Tips
8.4. Creating a MIDI Composition (Tutorial)
8.4.1. Inspiration
8.4.2. Files for the Tutorial
8.4.3. Getting Qtractor Ready
8.4.4. Import the Audio File
8.4.5. Marking the First Formal Area
8.4.6. Creating our Theme
8.4.7. Repeat the Theme
8.4.8. Compose the Next Part
8.4.9. Qtractor's Measures 52 to 75
8.4.10. Qtractor's Measures 75 to 97
8.4.11. Qtractor's Measure 97
8.4.12. Qtractor's Measures 98 to 119
8.4.13. Qtractor's Measures 119 to 139
8.4.14. Qtractor's Measures 139 to 158
8.4.15. Qtractor's Measures 158 to 176
8.4.16. Qtractor's Measures 177 to the End
Qtractor is a relatively new application, created and maintained by the same developers who are responsible for QjackCtl and Qsynth (both covered in other chapters of this Guide). It offers much more flexibility than Audacity, but is still easier to use than Ardour or Rosegarden. As such, it serves as the perfect starting-point for people first discovering software-based DAWs.
But Qtractor is much more than just a starting-point: its simplicity is its greatest strength. Ardour and Rosegarden, may offer more features, but Qtractor takes much less time to learn. After the initial learning-curve, you will be able to complete almost every audio or MIDI project with Qtractor. Its interface offers simple, intuitive, point-and-click interaction with clips, integrated control of JACK connections, MIDI control integration with external devices and other MIDI-aware software, and support for LADSPA, DSSI, native VSTi, and LV2 plug-ins. With development progressing very quickly, Qtractor is becoming more stable and usable by the minute. The simple interface allows you to focus on creating music to suit your creative needs.
Beginners and advanced users alike will be pleased to see how Qtractor can work for them.

8.1. Requirements and Installation

8.1.1. Knowledge Requirements

Qtractor is easy to use, and its user interface is similar to other DAWs. We recommend that you read Section 6.4, “User Interface” if you have not used a DAW before.

8.1.2. Software Requirements

Qtractor uses the JACK Audio Connection Kit. You should install JACK before installing Qtractor. See Section 2.3.1, “Installing and Configuring JACK for instructions to install JACK.

8.1.3. Hardware Requirements

You need an audio interface to use Qtractor. If you will record audio with Qtractor, you must have at least one microphone connected to your audio interface. You do not need a microphone to record audio signals from other JACK-aware programs like FluidSynth and SuperCollider.

8.1.4. Other Requirements

You need a MIDI synthesizer to use Qtractor as a MIDI sequencer. You can use hardware-based and software-based synthesizers with Qtractor. We recommend using the software-based FluidSynth MIDI synthesizer. See Chapter 10, FluidSynth for information about FluidSynth.

8.1.5. Installation

Qtractor is not available from the Fedora software repositories. Qtractor is available from the "Planet CCRMA at Home" and "RPM Fusion" repositories. If you have already enabled one of those repositories, you should install Qtractor from that repository. If you have not already enabled one of those repositories, we recommend that you install Qtractor from the "Planet CCRMA at Home" repository. See Section 4.3.1, “Installing the Planet CCRMA at Home Repositories” for instructions to enable the "Planet CCRMA at Home" repository. The "Planet CCRMA at Home" repository contains a wide variety of music and audio applications.
After you enable the "RPM Fusion" or "Planet CCRMA at Home" repository, use PackageKit or KPackageKit to install the "qtractor" packge. Other required software is installed automatically.