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Tracktion Waveform

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Developer(s)Tracktion Software Company
Initial release2002; 22 years ago (2002)
Stable release
12.0.53 / March 23, 2022; 2 years ago (2022-03-23)
Operating systemmacOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux
TypeDigital audio workstation

Waveform (previously known as Tracktion[1]) is a digital audio workstation for recording and editing audio and MIDI. The software is cross-platform, and runs on Apple macOS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux.


Tracktion was developed by independent UK designer/programmer Julian Storer and was released in 2002 by UK-based Raw Material Software. In 2003, US-based Mackie, a division of LOUD Technologies specializing in studio recording and live sound products, took over the distribution of Tracktion. It was sold in standalone, boxed retail versions and bundled with Mackie, Tapco, and Echo Audio computer-audio interfaces and digital-capable mixing boards.

Although no official word came from Mackie, the users' understanding was that Tracktion had been discontinued as the company issued no updates, communication, or announcements on it since January 2008. However, at the January 2013 NAMM Show, Tracktion's original developer Julian Storer announced he had reacquired control of the software and would continue developing Tracktion with his new Tracktion Software Company.

User interface and unique features[edit]

Tracktion was designed to be transparent and intuitive. Track object controls and parameters are context-sensitive; effects, MIDI instruments, and other software objects can be added to tracks or applied directly to individual audio and MIDI clips using a drag-and-drop system of filters. Complex chains of filters can be created, stored, and recalled for later use as rack effects, analogous to a saved channel strip settings in a traditional DAW/sequencer.

Tracktion represented a move away from the modal dialog boxes, multiple menus, and cluttered windows common to legacy MIDI sequencers and digital audio workstations, in favor of a streamlined, single-screen approach that presented the user with minimal options at any time. In this way, Tracktion is often compared to Ableton Live, but while the latter has two separate work areas (Session and Arrange), Tracktion has fully context-sensitive windows that automatically appear or hide depending on the current task. Both are also noted for their more abstract visual styles, in contrast to the photorealistic style of other interfaces (like Reason) which imitate the appearance of real world recording equipment and effects units.

Tracktion's other innovations, later emulated by many other DAWs, were the development of "freeze", the ability to convert a MIDI instrument track to audio to free up RAM and CPU, and an inline MIDI editor that allowed MIDI to be edited in-track rather than in a separate window or dedicated editor. It was also the first DAW to adopt a fully vector-based, resizable interface.

Open source library[edit]

The underlying C++ code developed to create Tracktion's graphic and audio capabilities was later released as an open-source library, JUCE.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NAMM 2017: Tracktion DAW becomes Waveform, and now works on Raspberry Pi". www.musicradar.com. Archived from the original on 2017-07-07. Retrieved 2018-05-30.

External links[edit]