The term ‘tracker’ describes an early form of sequencing that originated on the Amiga, where notes would be arranged on a timeline that scrolled from top to bottom, rather than left to right as in modern piano roll and drum grid editors.
To people used to modern DAWs, those early trackers, with their Teletext-like interfaces and scrolling note-numbers, look positively arcane, but to the people who grew up with them, they were unbeatable for speed, and were used to devastating effect by artists like Venetian Snares and Remarc.
Today, they’re considered something of a curio by most, but there’s still a hardcore of artists — including jungle producer Pete Cannon, who we visited recently to film one of our in-depth Video Features — using them today, either on original ‘80s computers such as the Amiga and Atari, or on various emulators.
But trackers may yet make a mainstream comeback, thanks to this intriguing new device from Polish synth-makers Polyend. Looking not unlike the MPC Live, the Tracker is a stand-alone sequencer sporting a large colour screen, a 4x12 grid of pads, various navigation buttons and a jog-dial.
The Tracker has a granular sampling engine and an integral synthesizer… but so far, that’s pretty much all we know! We’ve contacted Polyend for more info and pics (a back-panel shot would be especially revealing), but in the mean time, you can watch the teaser video below and speculate along with the rest of us.