[PlanetCCRMA] Ardour hardware monitoring

R Parker rtp405@yahoo.com
Fri May 14 13:23:01 2004

John, I'm on my way out the door but this topic
interests me. When I get back home, I'll try to
respond with some detail.

Meanwhile, what's up with 1456? Man. If 28 i/o's route
to eachother, then what happens when you press Record
on one channel? You'd record the signals for every
route to that channel. Jackd provides awesome routing
possibilities; however, you're not forced to use every
possible route and don't want to configure for that
type of possibility.

If qjackctl, try 'disconnect all'. Then setup a scheme
with the absolute simplest route. I'm talking about
one mono channel. If you haven't done this, maybe it
will help us get a better perspective on routing. Then
it'll be easy to find zero latency hardware monitoring
when a master bus exists. I'm sure it won't be an

BTW, I'm fairly convinced that jackd routing
possibilities and logical monitoring scenarios aren't
obvious to everyone. Thanks for asking about it.

Talk to you soon,


--- John Yates <jyates@hvc.rr.com> wrote:
> Ron,
> Thanks for your reply. I think this is becoming a
> little clearer for
> me. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to do
> what I was
> hoping to do. I'll try to explain. This may or may
> not apply to your
> hardware and I still may not have it quite right,
> but here are my
> present assumptions.
> The RME Digiface, is set up with 26 hardware inputs
> (24 ADAT, 2 SPDIF),
> 26 software playback inputs (these are selected in
> Ardour as if they
> were hardware outputs) and 28 actual hardware
> outputs (24 ADAT,
> 2 SPDIF, and 2 analog/headphone). Each of the 52
> inputs has a level
> (fader) send to each of the 28 outputs. Routing
> (buss connect) changes
> never happen since everything is routed everywhere
> all the time.
> This means that there are 1456 virtual faders that
> control what signals
> appear at what outputs and at what level at any
> given time. Inputs going
> into Ardour bypass the mixer and are not level
> controlled.
> Now for hardware monitor switching to occur during a
> punch in, a
> software playback level would have to go down and a
> hardware input
> level would have to go up. At punch out the levels
> would switch
> back again.
> Here's the rub. Levels to which output channel?
> Remember, each input
> has 28 possible output 'send' levels. My guess, and
> I can't test right
> now because I'm at work, is that it would be the
> sends to whatever
> hardware output channel is selected in Ardour's
> mixer strip. This is
> probably great if you are using Ardour with an
> outboard mixer.
> However, what if your tracks are not sending to
> individual hardware
> outputs, but rather to an internal Ardour stereo
> master buss. There
> is no selected hardware output to send the input to
> in this case. Ardour
> defaults the output of the master fader to hardware
> outputs 1 and 2
> which in reality means playback inputs 1 and 2 on
> the hardware mixer.
> The levels of these two inputs going to the
> analog/headphone output are
> what I am using for monitoring. Even if Ardour could
> assume that you
> were monitoring via playback inputs 1 and 2, it
> still wouldn't know
> which hardware outputs you were actually listening
> to in order to
> send the hardware input there. And even if you told
> it explicitly you
> would not get whatever level was set for the track
> in Ardour's mixer.
> What I believe all this means is that zero latency
> hardware monitor
> switching for punching into tracks is only valid if
> you are using an
> outboard mixer to get your stereo monitor mix. To
> achieve what I was
> thinking about would require the actual mixing to
> take place in the
> hardware mixer with Ardour simply acting as a
> controller and this is
> not the case.
> Sorry, if this was already obvious to everyone. Just
> trying to get a
> handle what's possible with this set up. And please
> correct me if I am
> wrong!
> John

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