Simple per-instrument EQ on the new-gen Tracker+ and Mini

What is the problem?

As a musician who writes EDM-type music, having reasonable control over the mix while sketching out a new song embryo is crucial. The new-gen hardware on the Mini and Tracker+ should offer a rudimentary form of EQ or base filter (in addition to the already existing performance filter) so you can clean up the mud and rumble frequencies of short samples that can’t be EQ:ed with the Sample Editor.

When looping single-cycle waveforms and similar samples, it’s really difficult to even hear the problematic frequencies until you play it chromatically with all Instrument effects applied. While the Sample Editor has an EQ effect, it’s printed onto the non-looped single cycle sample, which means the EQ tweaks may not really be relevant anyway, and if they are, they will follow the played pitch of the sample (so if you pitch the sample up, say 24 semitones, the EQ you applied will also move up two octaves). For single-cycle waveforms or other forms of really short loops, the EQ effect on the sample carries little value when pitching it up or down and playing longer notes.

What should this feature achieve?

This feature should make it possible to run the Instrument through a simple EQ (minimally a hp/lp combo similar to how Digitakt/Digitakt 2/Syntakt/Digitone add a second “Base Filter” option, in addition to the standard filter choice of high/low/band pass filter, to tame the frequency range).

Are there any workarounds?

Four workaround exist that are either crude, clunky, or both.

  1. Resample the entire track’s pattern phrase and play that back as a long sample. Use the Sample Editor to process that long sample through the EQ. This is a bad workaround because it means you have to commit to all sequencer data and programmed parameter locks and if you change your mind about some of those details later on, you have to go back to a backed up copy of that pattern, re-render it, and then remember what EQ settings you applied the last time you rendered that clip.

  2. To apply some crude EQ on the master via its fixed 5-band EQ. This can be an effective way to clean up some of the mud that accumulates but it’s hardly an adequate solution for a modern audio workstation.

  3. Devote the existing filter and set it to Band Pass filter. This can be effective on some types of sounds like pad chords, but if you plan on opening up the filter as a song progresses, you’ll also change the lower end of the sound since the band pass will move the bottom end of the filter too.

  4. Multitrack into the DAW and worry about mixing later. This is sometimes not feasible and the whole process of adding elements to an already problematic base means you run the risk of discarding the work in progress because you can’t stand how it sounds, when in reality is that it just suffers from a poor mix due to problematic frequencies. The sketching process, to some musicians, involves evaluating not just the melodies, rhythms and harmonies, but also how it all comes together. So even if the final destination is the DAW, some of us want the ability to keep things clean as we sketch things out too.

Any links to related discussions?

There is the old wish for the original Tracker that was deemed not fitting with the “current product design”, but presumably this was because the specs for that older hardware wouldn’t tolerate this functionality. Hence this wish which is meant to revisit that decision.

Any references to other products?

Pretty much any other sample or synth-based groovebox on the market come with some form of EQ per track:

  • The Digitakt has a second “Base Filter” that you can use to control the low-end and high-end of the frequency range. Note that this filter is a second filter on top of the main filter (which, like on the Tracker+, is assignable as a lowpass/bandpass/highpass filter). This is an adequate solution that I’d consider “minimum viable” here because it effectively removes 90% of the problems in a mix.
  • The MC-101 / MC-707 has per-track and per-Tone (equivalent of the Tracker’s Instrument) EQ.
  • The MPC, Push 3 SE and Maschine obviously all have a form of EQ too, but that’s maybe an unfair comparison.

Welcome to Backstage @Sineway ! :partying_face:

A very strong start with a very well written wish! Thank you! :heart:


I have used these workarounds on both the OG tracker and the Mini before to do standard processing but do wish that some finer control per either instrument or track could be useful, but I don’t have any idea of how CPU intensive that is considering that the only eq’ing that occurs **live ** on the instrument is on the master bus. +1 from me.

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This is the number one thing I am looking for. Using a lot of raw oscillator samples with the onboard filter for tone shaping (would love some more low pass models though) I found my overall arrangement was really muddy and needed a lot of mixing to rectify. A simple base-width style filter would make this so easy rather than doing via offline editing or waiting until I take it to the DAW.

Even per-track would be useful if not practical to put on every instrument from cpu pov

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This is a good point and if processing power is indeed a limitation, a per-track EQ would be a decent second-best solution here.

@Sineway Thanks for your contribution. Unfortunately, the wish doesn’t fit our current product design direction.

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