Tracktion Corporation has a history of releasing previous versions of their DAW into the wild for free. Tracktion 7 was (in my opinion) their first complete, professional and competitive DAW. Totally capable of being a purposeful and creative recording studio. It was easy-to-use, looked great and had some innovative features that other DAWs lacked. Now it’s completely free.
Tracktion 7 for free
When the latest version of Waveform 9 came along I was a little disappointed that Tracktion Corp didn’t upgrade their free version from the capable version 6 to the all-together-a-different-story version 7. But now they have!
Tracktion 7 follows their “one window” approach to music production. It’s been the hallmark of Tracktion software and has inspired several other DAWs to head in that direction. Everything flows from left to right. Your track inputs on the left, your recorded data in the middle and then your routing and signal processing on the right. There’s no mixer console which may feel initially quite odd, but all the level control, inserts and effects are dealt with on the right. It’s very modular so you can drop in effects, level, panning at whatever point you like and re-arrange them.
The individual clips of MIDI or audio have a lot of creative possibilities with built-in processing, editing, randomisation and sequencing as part of the clip. Further details and parameters are always available in the bottom section beneath the arrangement. One of the most fabulous features is the use of LFOs. There’s a bin of never-ending LFOs that you can drag about the window and drop onto any parameter to give it a bit of movement.
Deeper than your average freeware DAW
If you dig deeper into the software you’ll find interesting things like a complete plug-in chain designer with customisable controls and signal routing. The browser and drag-n-drop facilities are brilliantly implemented creating a very fast and creative workflow.
There’s also full support for VST instruments and effects and audio comping which is unusual in a freeware DAW and is going to set this apart from all the others with the exception of Cakewalk by BandLab.
Tracktion 7 is right up there as a first class piece of music making software. It should be top of your list if you are looking to keep things under a budget of zero. It runs on MacOS, Windows and Linux and has no limitations whatsoever. I did a full review of the DAW a few years back and came away very impressed. Check out the video below.