Tracktion/Live-inspired sequencer -> copyright issues

Hi jucers,
I was contemplating starting work on a sequencer (owing to the lack of a good functional sequencer on Linux platform), but I was not sure how big of a copyright violation it might be if the interface looks very similar to tracktion and/or Live. Any ideas? I think the particular source and binaries that Mackie and Ableton makes are under copyright, but not the entire interface styling, workflow and the features?

To be more specific, I’m thinking a sequencer with the same basic screen layout (ie. a browser tab, a studio tab, a settings tab). The studio tab has the track view, bottom area has context-based controls, left part has common command buttons at the bottom and track names, inputs etc on top, right part has track outputs and insert effects (maybe in the same style as tracktion :D). There might also be a mixer screen and a DJ screen to play loops like Ableton. Most of the interface will probably end up looking similar to tracktion, with some of our own widgets and ideas as seen fit.

Is this possible, or am I walking into dangerous territory?


Well I’d say that if you can manage to write something like that, best of luck to you! It’s a seriously big job to attempt!

Look at and I think you’ll find what you need.

Ardour is a digital audio workstation app, not a (midi) sequencer. I’m primarily looking for a midi/softsynth sequencer, with audio support later on. None of the countless tools I’ve tried work the way I want. Rosegarden, often touted as the most promising, has a 1995 interface. The File-Edit-View interfae is on its way out, so are the little-screws-on-4-corners-of-your-vst-synth type Cubase interface. A modern sequencer with a computer-literate UI is badly needed.

It’s not an easy task for sure, but I guess every one of us has that itch to ‘roll their own’ when the existing tools just don’t fit as well. Whenever I ask for a virtual onscreen MIDI keyboard app, people suggest Vkeybd - there is one and only one. That gave birth to this, e.g. And besides, if jules’ one man army can create Tracktion, a group of developers working on a GPL project can recreate the legacy :slight_smile:

On a side note, since tracktion is written in JUCE, what on earth is stopping Mackie from porting it to Linux. Surely it can’t be THAT much work?!

if you really want to give something to the community, don’t waste time writing just another: you can help myself in coding jost. It is actually followed by a lot of people and some good of them (like Dave Phillips and the jacklab project) are helping so much spreading, testing and improving it.

It’s basically an attempt of writing a complete modular host in the free time. It is in alpha stage, but it have a lot of good points already… and still growing !
(ah probably it have a basically working midi sequencer that you are probably searching). Give it a try, look at its code, and feel free to patch around and improve stuff…

Obviously jost is installed by default on the JAD distro, one of the best multimedia distribution out there.

ah just a side note, i’ve asked beno (tracktion actual developer) that i’ll help in making tracktion’s linux port (even for free). he is a kind person and forwarded my message to the mackie headmasters… and the answer was that mackie for linux isn’t a good bu$ine$$ :slight_smile:

let’s hope in the future of jost…[/url]

Actually, Jost inspired me about a new sequencer :slight_smile:
But you’ve convinced me and I will definitely be hacking around the source tree a little and see how it goes from there. I was planning on using the Jack, dssi and vst code from there but I think it might just be a better idea to work on something already working than to start from scratch.

As for Mackie, I don’t know, most companies think Linux software is not good business… I know nothing about business, but all I see is a major demand for it. There’s already energyXT2 now.

I would be curious if energyXT2 actually sells on linux.
any infos on this ?
I’m sure linux can be good for business in some industry.
Not so sure about the music industry though.


Linux users seem to have an expectation that unless software is free, it ain’t worth using. Which is fair enough :), but it means that I can’t see much of a compelling reason for companies to create/sell specialist tools for Linux…!


mercurysquad -

We have a sequencer in the works that looks a lot like Live. It’s designed for video games. Video game developers pay a license fee when they use the audio/MIDI engine in a commercial product. Other than that, it’s free and open source. We’re looking for somebody to port it to Linux for the OLPC.

PM me if you want to know more!