New Tool (2.7): Frontier Alphatrack Support

Just a quick note to let you know that I have just uploaded a stable version of the AlphaTrack tool to for release.

The Frontier AlphaTrack is a usb based DAW controller similar to the FaderPort for which Airmann wrote a tool. You can find out more about it here.

A quick graphical reference guide for the tool can be downloaded here (recommended).

However, a text based overview of the command assignments follows:

Common Assignments

  • RecArm : Toggle record fader automation (shift:clear automation)
  • Fader : Track volume (or pan if flipped)
  • TouchStrip : Move up/down in pattern
  • Solo : Solo toggle
  • Mute : Mute toggle
  • Rew : Move to previous pattern in sequence (shift:undo)
  • FFwd : Move to next pattern in sequence (shift:redo)
  • Stop : Stop playback or return to start of pattern (shift:jump to start)
  • Play : Continue playback from current position
  • Record : Toggle editmode
  • TrackL : Previous track (LED on if not send track) (shift:delete track)
  • TrackR : Next track (LED on if not seq track) (shift:add new track)
  • Loop : Loop pattern
  • Flip : Fader = pan (shift:view selection mode)

View Selection Mode

  • F1 : View preset 1
  • F2 : View preset 2
  • F3 : View preset 3
  • F4 : View preset 4
  • Flip : View preset 5
  • In : View preset 6
  • Out : View preset 7
  • Loop : View preset 8

Mode 1 (Mixer) [pan button]

  • Enc 1 : Set BPM
  • Enc 2 : Track delay
  • Enc 3 : Track Pan (or volume if flipped)
  • F1 : Pattern wrap toggle
  • F2 : Chord mode toggle
  • F3 : Quantize toggle
  • F4 : Toggle metronome

Mode 2 (Pattern edit) [send button]

  • Enc 1 : Select instrument (shift:select pattern)
  • Enc 2 : Set record quantize amount (shift:set pattern length in beats)
  • Enc 3 : Select octave (shift:set bpm)
  • F1 : Pattern wrap toggle
  • F2 : Chord mode toggle
  • F3 : Quantize toggle
  • F4 : Toggle metronome

Mode 3 (DSP edit) [eq button]

  • Enc 1 : Select DSP
  • Enc 2 : Select Parameter
  • Enc 3 : Set value
  • F1 : Enable toggle
  • F2 : View external editor if available
  • F3 : No action (but illuminates if first in chain)
  • F4 : No action (but illuminates if last in chain)

Mode 4 (Sample Instrument edit) [plugin button]

  • Enc 1 : Select instrument (shift: transpose)
  • Enc 2 : Select sample (shift: fine tune)
  • Enc 3 : Sample volume (shift: pan)
  • F1 : Autoseek toggle
  • F2 : Beat sync
  • F3 : Toggle sample record dialog
  • F4 : Start/stop sample record dialog


That looks cool. If only i knew what that device does.

Does it support the LED screen of the alphatrack in any way?

Yes, the LCD display is fully supported.

It will display information regarding to the current operation.

For example, in mix mode it will display track name, song position, volume, pan etc, while in pattern edit mode it will show current track (number and name) instrument (number and name), octave, song position etc.

Unfortunately I do not have a working camera or video camera to give some demos.

Awesome. This is probably sealing the deal for me as I’ve been wondering wether to get alphatrack or faderport. Thanks.

The only thing I would ask is make sure you know exactly what you are getting it for.

My own story is this:

  • I was using other music applications for which the AlphaTrack was very useful.
  • I moved across to Renoise and AlphaTrack didn’t work
  • I wrote the tool to intergrate the AlphaTrack into Renoise
  • Since learning the keyboard shortcuts I haven’t really used the AlphaTrack much (or any other of my midi controllers) as I can get my ideas down faster with the computer keyboard.

I don’t want to dissuade you from purchasing either, but make sure you know what you are expecting to get from it. Personally it was more of a ‘stepping stone’ from other DAWs to Renoise.

For example, ‘good’ uses would be things such as:

  • Mixing (I don’t do much of this)
  • As a ‘remote control’ (The feedback is great for this as you don’t need to see the computer screen - I just don’t have that much space!)

Note that the tool will still be updated even if I personally don’t use it much.

Better late than never. I just got the alphatrack (after burning two presonus faderports) and I’m enjoying your tool, mxb!

There’s one thing nagging me, but this has more to do with Renoise itself. It really bothers me that postfx faders are not automatable. When mixing, you would really prefer to control postfx faders instead of prefx faders, wouldn’t you say? Prefx automation would affect compressors, gates, signal followers et c.

Anyhow, I replaced every occurance of “prefx” with “postfx” in your tool, for mixing purposes. Could you provide any guidance on how to make the movement of the postfx fader more ‘linear’ to what is shown on the screen in mixer view?