A Tracker Interface for Ardour is coming (but I need help)

Hello everybody,

I’ve been working on a Tracker Interface for Ardour for the past 6 years, reminiscent of SoundTracker software coming from the Amiga.

See (DISCLAIMER: this is ALPHA software).

It is already functional but slow and has a number of missing features, quirks and imperfections.

Here is the purpose of that message: I need help.

I’ve been working alone on this for too long, with a job and a family I do not have enough spare time for it, so I need people to join me to finish it sooner (and frankly merrier too, cause working alone isn’t fun).

I’ve meant to ask for help a long time ago, I wanted to do that after my branch would have been merged to Ardour’s master, but various bugs are always moving the goalpost, so I’ve decided to throw my “message in the bottle” now.

What do I need:

  • first and foremost I need developers
  • second and centermost I need testers
  • third and backmost I need documentation writers
  • fourth and allmost I need souls

So where to go from there? I’m thinking perhaps of setting up a weekly or monthly jitsi meeting where I could walk anybody through the code, take suggestions, etc. All that is really to be determined and that is also the purpose of this post.

So if you feel the call, join me in that crazy endeavor and together let us create a beautiful tracker :slight_smile:


i’m not actually a coder, but a DevOps and a long-time tracker user (renoise, milkytracker, ft2, openmpt etc). I’m really excited for your initiative, since i asked for tracker interface within ardour (the event list editor reminded me of tracker, and i suggested that perhaps it would be possible to have a tracker interface - derived from that?)

i’d help in any way i can :slight_smile:


Thanks for your interest, bitvori.rs!

Trivia: the Tracker Interface is a fork of the Event List Editor ;-).

I’m thinking of starting a weekly Ardour Tracker meeting. For those interested, would the following work?

Time: Monday, 5pm UTC
Place: Jitsi Meet

What we would do would be up to you. But certainly upon request I could demo the tracker interface, provide assistance to those who wants to compile it, walk anyone through the code, receive feedback, etc. And if nobody shows up I’ll just work solo on it.

The next meeting would be Jan 24. Hope to see or dream you there!

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Hi once again @ngeiswei ,
first of all thank you a lot for your time and the demonstration. I’m really excited, and looking forward to the tracker realm within ardour (mixbus as well).

So far i’ve been using renoise > loopback audio > mixbus in realtime to mimic the tracker realm, but with mixbus console approach…

somehow i cannot send private messages via forum, but i’d like to share the recording with you.
Thanks once again!

I’ve also been dreaming to have a tracker inside mixbus :slight_smile:

Please share the video! I’ll probably upload it to a Odysee.

Thank you too for joining!

you should receive email with access to the dropbox video. Let me know if this does not happen soon.

question i forgot to ask yesterday:
How does keyboard focus work? Is it like - whenever tracker editor is open - it has primarily the keyboard focus, or you have to click between editor and tracker editor to change focus?
(in short: do copy/paste (ctrl/cmd+c/v) shortcuts work within tracker editor?)

Video is here! Ardour Tracker Interface Demo (and a call for help)

Regarding keyboard focus, it’s bad, I know more or less how to pass through the tracker interface shortcut keys that are not recognized but it’s very flaky. Another item that belongs to the to-be-polished category. And Ctrl+c/v is not supported.


Hello interested souls, I couldn’t make it last Monday, but I’m hopeful I can make it tomorrow, same time, same place

Time: Monday, 5pm UTC
Place: Jitsi Meet

See you there.

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Hey, how did it go? Any updates?

Just to know that this project has some fans, even if they can’t participate directly :slight_smile:

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Wow, this looks promising! List editors are always inducing this question: why is this not on a grid, like a tracker? :joy:
But you @ngeiswei actually follow through! Well done.
If I find only a little bit of time, I will try to contribute. But I can not make any promise. I just started learning C++, so not much wisdom coming from there either. In any case I will check out the fork today and try to build it.
If you need more traction for this project, I suggest posting a call for help and the video over at
[https://llllllll.co/](https://Lines forum)
There are a lot of open source and tracker enthusiasts over there.

Thanks for your interests!!!

Last Monday meeting went well (except I was unintentionally muted most of the time), a good soul joined the call to cheer me up while I was hacking the code. I did not record the call (maybe I should have).

@GenGen, If you’re a C++ noob it’s perfect because then you have the added motivation to learn C++ (and you may benefit from the feedback of a veteran C++ dev). If you can you’re super welcome to join the call and I can walk you through the code. Thanks for the forum link BTW.

Next call is expected to be today

Time: Monday, 5pm UTC
Place: Jitsi Meet

BTW, if anyone that would like to participate can’t because of the time, let me know, even though this seems to be the only consistent window of availability I have these days, I’ll adapt if I can.

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Sorry I couldn’t make it. Time is sparse between family and full time job. 5 pm UTC is just about dinner time in our household. I will try to make it next time though, they can do without me every now and again :wink:

FYI, there is now an Arch package available in the AUR with the tracker editor branch of Ardour.



Hi @ngeiswei , how are things going with the tracker interface? :slight_smile: Cheers

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Hey @dspasic! Things are slowly but steadily moving. I’m still doing my weekly coding session on Jitsi Meet at 5pm UTC, and sometimes people join to cheer me up :-).

I haven’t updated the Arch package because I’m still working on my next change (support effect automations, not just instrument’s) which involves lots of refactoring. As soon as it is ready, I’ll push that on the tracker-editor-wip branch and update the Arch package.

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BTW, let me use that as an opportunity to move the meeting to 6pm UTC, time that I’ll probably keep for the summer. So meeting is now

Time: Monday, 6pm UTC
Place: Ardour Tracker Jitsi Meet

See you there.

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Hello, just wanted to tell you that we were discussing your work yesterday in a FLOSS audio group and that I was personally very happy to see that there are recent commits. Keep on! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the encouraging words! :slight_smile:

Let me provide a little update. I’m finally done refactoring the code so that I can add the last important feature which is to be able to edit automations of effects, not just synths. I don’t know how long that is going to take me. The refactoring took me almost 8 months, and I would probably have estimated that to 2 months (the 4x rules seems to apply). So well, maybe another 8 months! That’s why I ask for help :wink:

After that I’ll update the arch package, test, test and test, and I hope you, the interested community, will do too. I want to be sure it does not crash Ardour before considering merging it upstream. Then, there will still be a massive amount of optimizing, improving, polishing and skinning to be done, but hopefully, being upstream will facilitate that.

The really nice thing, is that the midi engine of the upcoming Ardour 7 is considerably better than that of Ardour 6 (which is actually why I didn’t really care to merge it until recently, because with the Ardour 6 midi engine, the tracker editor is too much pain to use due to its explicit tick-scale precision). In other words, the two endeavors, awesome midi engine and tracker editor, are converging really nicely. :sunglasses:


Got no creative time with computers available at the moment, so no testing any time soon. Still posting to encourage you to go on. Love the idea!

FYI, I’m considering live streaming instead of having a jitsi call.

I’m gonna attempt that from my Odysee channel. I’m also moving the time back to an hour earlier as the summer is ending.

Thus the new appointment should be:

Time: Monday, 5pm UTC
Place: @ngeiswei

See you there!