Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 05/27/05 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Tracktion 2

Audio recording and sequencing application from Mackie By Frank Moldstad

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Imagine a full-fledged audio recording and sequencing program that has all the tools you need in one window. Impossible, you say? Surely it would need an effects window, a mixer window, a virtual instrument window and a plugin window, for starters. Apparently, you haven't seen Mackie's Tracktion 2. Tracktion 2 is built for fast, uncomplicated audio production at the extremely reasonable price of $199. The interface presents nearly all of  Tracktion 2's recording, editing and effects tools in one place without being cramped or unwieldy. As a result, it's easy to find the various functions -- usually, they're right in front of you.

Developed by Julian Storer of Raw Material Software, Tracktion is distributed and supported by Mackie. The just-released Tracktion 2 is the first boxed version (the first version was downloadable), and it introduces some 100 new features while maintaining the program's simplicity. At its core is a powerful 64-bit mixing engine, capable of handling files at up to 24-bit/192kHz sampling rates. It is compatible with both Macs and PCs and imports/exports Broadcast Wave files.

Tracktion 2 would be an excellent choice for entry-level recordists, but it is robust enough to record large multitrack productions, edit the results and apply an assortment of effects. The elegant simplicity of its workflow makes it an attractive option for composers wanting a no-BS path to making music, or for video editors looking for a sound bed creation tool. In fact, one of the new features in Tracktion 2 is a Quicktime video window for scoring purposes.

Tracktion 2 comes with a core group of effects, including reverb, EQ, compression, chorus, delay, a phaser and a pitch shifter. But several new plugins are a cut above the rather Spartan offerings in the previous version of Tracktion. One is Final Mix, a Finalizer-style mastering plugin that delivers very high quality results. It includes a six-band parametric equalizer that can be inserted in pre or post paths, plus a good dynamics section with extensive key and crossover controls. Another is the DSR-1 de-esser, which is very effective at removing sibilance without unduly harming the signal. Both of these plugins were originally developed by Acuma Labs for Mackie's d8b mixer.

Final Mix


For more options, Tracktion 2 will recognize any VST plugins installed on a computer. It can also can serve as a ReWire host, allowing virtual synths to be routed  from other ReWire-compatible programs into Tracktion 2. Plus, Tracktion 2 comes bundled with the Amplitube LE guitar amp simulator and Sampletank SE 2 sampler, both from IK Multimedia, and RMIV's LinPlug drum machine. Mackie also kicks in with a nice drawbar organ instrument called the ZR3, and a synth called Soundfont 1.

RMIV's LinPlug drum machine


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Related Keywords:Tracktion 2, Raw Material Software, Mackie, recording, editing, effects


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