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BambooTracker Version Number (autogenerated image) BambooTracker Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD BambooTracker License: GPL-2 Only
(Build tests)
BambooTracker Build-Test Status on Windows (Qt5) BambooTracker Build-Test Status on Windows (Qt6) BambooTracker Build-Test Status on macOS BambooTracker Build-Test Status on Linux (Ubuntu 16.04) BambooTracker Build-Test Status on Linux (Nixpkgs) BambooTracker Development-Build Status

BambooTracker is a cross-platform music tracker for the Yamaha YM2608 (OPNA) sound chip which was used in NEC PC-8801/9801 series computers.


Table of Contents

  1. Wiki
  2. Community
  3. Translations
    4.1. Releases (Windows 7+, Windows XP, macOS, Linux)
    4.2. Development builds (Windows 7+, Windows XP, macOS)
    4.3. Packages (macOS, Linux, BSD)
  5. Key commands
  6. Effect list
  7. File I/O
  8. Building
    8.1. Dependencies
    8.2. Compilation
  9. Changelog
  10. License
  11. Credits


On the BambooTracker GitHub Wiki, you can find some more details on:

  • what a Tracker is
  • what BambooTracker is & what it supports
  • how to navigate & use BambooTracker's interface
  • how to control the Yamaha YM2608 sound chip in the context of BambooTracker


We have an official Discord server where you can chat with BambooTracker users, developers and package maintainers, ask for help, help others and share your tunes on.


BambooTracker currently supports the following languages:

  • English (default)
  • ζ—₯本θͺž / Japanese
  • FranΓ§ais / French
  • Polski / Polish

If you'd like to see your language of choice added to the list, join the Discord server and let us know! We can walk you through the steps required to set up the translation tool.


Releases (Windows 7+, Windows XP, macOS, Linux)

Releases are recommended for most users, as they should provide a good & stable experience.


Development Builds (Windows 7+, Windows XP, macOS)

Development builds are built & uploaded whenever a code change has been committed to the base repository or a pull request. They thus offer the latest or in-development features and fixes, but are not optimised for regular use.

Development Build

  • If you're looking for

    • the latest merged commit, make sure ONLY
      master -o- (some numbers & letters)
      is displayed at the top instead of
      master -o- (some numbers & letters) ← in_development-bugfix (some numbers & letters)
    • a specific Pull Request, make sure that it says
      Pull request #(Pull Request ID)
      in the top left

    ... otherwise check the History tab to find whichever of those you need.

  • In the "Job name" column, find the row that says APPVEYOR_JOB_NAME=for (your OS) and click on it.

  • On the new page, click on the Artifacts tab on the right to get to the download page.

Packages (macOS, Linux, BSD)

Packaging status

Nixpkgs (macOS, Linux)

Nixpkgs package:

Declarative installation:

  environment.systemPackages = with pkgs; [

Imperative installation:

nix-env -iA nixpkgs.bambootracker

Debian / Ubuntu

sudo apt install bambootracker

Arch / Manjaro

AUR package:


pkg install bambootracker


See Building

Key commands


Effect list


File I/O




To build BambooTracker, you'll need the following dependencies across all platforms:

  • Qt (5.5 or higher)
  • Qt Tools (qmake, lrelease, ...)
  • A Qt-supported C++ compiler (GCC, Clang, MSVC, ...)
  • make

How to acquire these and further required / optional dependencies are specific to your OS (distribution).


  • C++ compiler: You can use either of these options
    • MinGW
      Should be a bundled option in the Qt installer.
      Otherwise check the Qt docs for your Qt version's compatible GCC version.
    • Clang
      Untested but might work.
    • MSVC
      Either bundled with Visual Studio or standalone (check "Build Tools for Visual Studio 2019" download).
  • Qt Older Qt versions (e.g. for an XP builds) may require you to checkout & compile Qt yourself, official prebuilt versions were removed by Qt.


For simplicity, these instructions assume the use of Homebrew & Qt5.

  • C++ compiler: Xcode Command Line Tools
    The challenge of acquiring these is left to the reader.
    (The developer writing this doesn't use macOS, try looking on the web for a guide perhaps)
  • Qt5:
brew install qt5

Optional dependencies:

  • JACK: Support for connecting to a JACK server in vendored RtAudio / RtMidi.
    Requires JACK (version 1 or 2) headers & libraries.
    brew install jack
    Optional: pkg-config, can be skipped but may make finding JACK headers & libraries harder.
    brew install pkg-config
  • RtAudio / RtMidi: Use a precompiled RtAudio / RtMidi installation instead of our vendored one.
    (Obsoletes the optional dependencies above)
    Requires RtAudio (5.1.0 or higher) and/or RtMidi (4.0.0 or higher) + pkg-config.
    brew install rt-audio rt-midi pkg-config


Installing dependencies highly depends on your distribution and package manager of choice, search the subsections below for your distribution to find a tested set of install instructions.

Additional dependencies:

  • ALSA: Required for minimal audio & MIDI support.
    Requires ALSA headers & libraries.

Optional dependencies:

  • PulseAudio: Support for connecting to a PulseAudio server in vendored RtAudio.
    Requires PulseAudio headers & libraries.
    Optional: pkg-config, can be skipped but may make finding PulseAudio headers & libraries harder.
  • JACK: Support for connecting to a JACK server in vendored RtAudio / RtMidi.
    Requires JACK (version 1 or 2) headers & libraries.
    Optional: pkg-config, can be skipped but may make finding JACK headers & libraries harder.
  • RtAudio / RtMidi: Use a precompiled RtAudio / RtMidi installation instead of our vendored one.
    (Obsoletes the optional dependencies above)
    Requires RtAudio (5.1.0 or higher) and/or RtMidi (4.0.0 or higher) + pkg-config.
Debian / Ubuntu:
# Optional dependencies

# PulseAudio

# Either:
# JACK 1
# JACK 2

# Either / Both:
# System-RtAudio
# System-RtMidi

# Install dependencies
apt install \
  build-essential \
  qt5-default qttools5-dev-tools \
  libasound2-dev \
Arch Linux / Manjaro:
# Optional dependencies

# PulseAudio

# Either:
# JACK 1
# JACK 2

# Either / Both:
# System-RtAudio
# System-RtMidi

# Install dependencies
pacman -S \
  qt5-tools \
  alsa-plugins \


Mostly like Linux:

  • ALSA is optional
  • OSS4 headers & libraries is required instead

If you managed to get BambooTracker manually compiled on a BSD system, feel free to open a Pull Request and add your dependency install instructions here!


These compilation instructions assume CLI usage, though it's possible to use an IDE like Qt Creator instead. They should generally work on all platforms, specific changes are mentioned in the subsections below.

Qmake options (flags/switches):

  • PREFIX: Where to install the completed build.
    • Windows: C:\BambooTracker
    • macOS/Linux/BSD: /usr/local
      Example: PREFIX=C:\Users\Owner\Programs\BambooTracker
    Can be specified multiple times to add multiple options.
    Use += to add & -= to remove an option.
    • debug: A debug build, may be helpful for debugging crashes.
    • release: A release build, more optimised & slimmer than a debug one.
    • install_flat: Don't use Linux FHS paths under PREFIX during installation. (Default on Windows)
    • install_minimal: Skip installation of non-essential files.
    • use_alsa: Compile vendored RtAudio & RtMidi with explicit support for ALSA1. (Default on Linux)
    • use_oss: Compile with explicit support for OSS42. (Default on BSD)
    • use_pulse: Compile vendored RtAudio with explicit support for PulseAudio1.
    • use_jack: Compile with explicit support for JACK 1/213.
    • system_rtaudio: Skips RtAudio compilation and links against the system's RtAudio installation instead.
    • system_rtmidi: Skips RtMidi compilation and links against the system's RtMidi installation instead.
    • real_chip: Compile with support for SCCI and C86CTL interfaces to a real OPNA chip4. (Default on Windows)

1: Only works on Linux and BSD.
2: Shipped & auto-detected(?) on FreeBSD but possibly not functional in RtAudio.
3: API technically supported on Windows but unlikely to compile in Rt library.
4: Builds code that doesn't use an OSI-certified license. Only supported on Windows.


# Where you want to locally keep the source code clone
cd /home/owner/devel

# Replace --recurse-submodules with --recurse-submodules=submodules/emu2149/src if CONFIG+=system_rtaudio AND CONFIG+=system_rtmidi will be used
git clone --recurse-submodules
cd BambooTracker

# Configure
qmake PREFIX=/usr/local CONFIG-=debug CONFIG+=release CONFIG+=use_alsa CONFIG+=use_pulse CONFIG+=use_jack

# Recursively initialises subprojects properly, dependency tests may be flakey if run multithreaded
make qmake_all

# Compile with 4 threads
make -j4

# Installs to PREFIX
make install


Enter a shell with Qt + your compiler set up before starting the above steps. (Qt installer adds scripts you can use for this)

  • If you're using MinGW, use mingw32-make / mingw64-make instead of make.
  • If you're using MSVC, TODO.

Qt Creator may be used for a more graphical compilation process instead.


If you decided to use Homebrew's JACK without pkg-config, you may need to help the build process out by passing qmake some additional arguments: LIBS+=-L/usr/local/opt/jack/lib INCLUDEPATH+=/usr/local/opt/jack/include.


BambooTracker can be built via FreeBSD ports instead:

cd /usr/ports/audio/bambootracker
make install clean




This program and its source code are licensed under the GNU General License Version 2 or later.

See LICENSE and licenses/ for details.


I would like to thank the following people for making it:

  • Qt team for Qt framework
  • Tatsuyuki Satoh, Jarek Burczynski and Valley Bell for the codes of MAME YM2608 chip emulation
  • Digital Sound Antiques for emu2149
  • Decidetto for the application icon
  • Mark James for Silk icons used for some other icons
  • VGMRips team for the VGM file format documentation
  • Some tracker creators, especially HertzDevil of 0CC-FamiTracker, Leonardo Demartino (delek) of Deflemask Tracker and Lasse Γ–ΓΆrni (Cadaver) of GoatTracker for UI and routines of the tracker
  • Vitaly Novichkov (Wohlstand) for WOPN instrument format files
  • maak, SuperJet Spade, Dippy, RigidatoMS and ImATrackMan for sample modules
  • papiezak and Takeshi Abo for sample instruments
  • Yuzu4K for sample skin
  • Ru^3 for S98 file format documentation
  • γŒγ—οΌ“ (gasshi) for SCCI libraries
  • honet for C86CTL libraries
  • Gary P. Scavone and others for RtAudio and RtMidi libraries
  • Thanks Alexey Khokholov (Nuke.YKT) and Jean Pierre Cimalando for Nuked OPN-Mod emulation
  • Jean Pierre Cimalando and Olivier Humbert for French translation
  • freq-mod and Midori for Polish translation
  • Ian Karlsson for ADPCM encoder/decoder
  • And everyone who helps this project!