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Welcome to the new home of CheeseTracker. CheeseTracker was originally written by Juan Linietsky, who has decided to work on another project.

CheeseTracker is a software sampler and step-based sequencer. It allows a musician to turn single-note samples into instruments capable of covering three or four octaves (by playing the samples at different speeds, resulting in different pitches). In addition, it is possible to take a collection of samples that are recorded at different octaves, and combine them into a single "instrument," allowing for even more octaves without sampling artifacts.

Using the Pattern Editor, it is possible to compose songs with these instruments that the computer plays automatically. The Pattern Editor allows the user to arrange samples in several independant channels, so that many samples can play simultaneously. These songs, and the samples which comprise their instruments, can be saved together in one-file archives called modules.

CheeseTracker imposes no limits on the length of the samples used. As a result, it can be used as a mixer as well as a sampler/sequencer. Effects such as reverb can be applied to each sample individually, eliminating the need for expensive pedals.

CheeseTracker is genuinely free software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

CheeseTracker is modeled after a DOS-based freeware program called Impulse Tracker (which has been abandonware since the late 1990s). It is mostly compatible with Impulse Tracker, being able to load Impulse Tracker files.


CheeseTracker fixes bugs

Mon Dec 31 2007

CheeseTracker fixes several bugs. Now the program is now barely usable if is compiled against Qt 4.

CheeseTracker fixes bugs

Tue Aug 7 13:13:34 PDT 2007

CheeseTracker fixes a bug that causes older versions to crash while working with selections.

As a bonus, the Ctrl+D key command from Impulse Tracker (selects 16 notes in the Pattern Editor) is now implemented, making the editing of 4/4 music easier.

CheeseTracker 0.9.15 uses libaudiofile

Mon Aug 6 16:08:33 PDT 2007

With the help of libaudiofile, CheeseTracker 0.9.15 supports many formats that had to be treated as raw in previous versions. Some of the formats now supported include AIFF/AIFF-C, AU, and .voc.

Additionally, CheeseTracker 0.9.15 is better at loading WAV files than previous versions (again because of libaudiofile). ADPCM-compressed and IEEE floating-point WAV files can now be loaded correctly.

CheeseTracker 0.9.15 also fixes bugs that weren't caught in CheeseTracker


  • Unlimited sample size
  • Keymaps: Build instruments that use a range of samples, just like a hardware sampler.
  • LADSPA sound effect filters with near-analog quality
  • Built-in effect filters:
    • Amplifier
    • Reverb
    • Stereo Chorus
    • Echo
    • Equalizers: 6, 10, 21, and 31 bands
    • Distortion
    • Pitch Shift
  • Effect filters can be combined.
  • Up to 64 simultaneous voices
  • Volume, pan, and pitch envelopes with sustain loop
  • Built-in sample editor
  • Sample loops with forward and ping-pong modes
  • Compatible with JACK, ALSA, and OSS audio architectures
  • Most functions are accessible from the keyboard
  • Plays samples at different pitches to create notes
  • Simulated live musical keyboard (using a QWERTY keyboard) can play alongside programmed songs

CheeseTracker supports most of the key bindings from Impulse Tracker. For instance, F2 through F4 navigate between the Pattern Editor, Sample Editor, and Instrument Editor.

Within the Sample and Instrument Editors, the alphanumeric keys form a two-row musical keyboard. The rows beginning with QWERTY and ZXCVB represent white keys ("Q" and "Z" play C notes one octave apart), while the rows 12345 and ASDFG represent black keys ("2" and "S" play C# notes one octave apart).

The current version of CheeseTracker also supports a few key bindings from Impulse Tracker that were not supported in version 0.9.9.

CheeseTracker is not without its limits, however. CheeseTracker is not aware of the fact that sound cards exist that support more than 2 channels or sample sizes greater than 16 bits. CheeseTracker also lacks support for MIDI.

Check the Changes page for a complete list of the changes that have been made.

Known System Requirements

CheeseTracker is developed on the GNU/Linux operating system, which is also the operating system on which it is most likely to run. It is distributed as part of Debian GNU/Linux.

CheeseTracker is built on top of the Qt Library version 3, which is not included with the popular Ubuntu distribution of GNU/Linux. Almost all other GNU/Linux distributions ship with Qt.

Because of its incompatibility with Qt 3.x.x, CheeseTracker cannot be compiled with Qt 4.0.0 or later versions.

CheeseTracker depends on the libsigc++ library, which may not be present on older systems.

I am only distributing the source code (because I am using older libraries which are binary-incompatible with current GNU/Linux distributions). To make binaries from the source code, you need a C++ compiler (also known not to be included with Ubuntu... All other G/L distros include a C++ compiler).

CheeseTracker uses an obscure, Python-based build system called SCons, so you need to install that before you can build CheeseTracker. Once SCons is installed, type scons where you would normally type "make." SCons replaces Autoconf as well as Make.

LADSPA bugfixes

If you use CheeseTracker with the LADSPA plugins, you will find that CheeseTracker sometimes segfaults. A sizeable portion of these segfaults are caused by some memory-management bugs in the LADSPA plugins. The download page has a tarball containing two patches, one for the LADSPA example libraries, and the other for the CMT plugins which are distributed with LADSPA. You need the original LADSPA and CMT sources to make use of the patches.