[ardour-dev] Ardour lab

Doug nostar at comcast.net
Sat Mar 13 04:41:29 PST 2004

I put together a setup to emulate various methods of recording with 
ardour to study the code, its operation, help in debugging, learn to use 
it, impress my friends, etc.  This is my second night of hammering on 
ardour, so I decided that I should be keeping track of any results 
somehow, for informational purposes plus in hopes to get some 
feedback/advice/comments on anything. This list seemed the obvious choice.

The past 2 days I have been concerned mainly in emulating an 8 track 
live recording session.  I have hours of 8 track cubase recordings from 
my band that I play out of one PC (each track routed to its own output 
on the 1010LT) and record into another.  Electronically this is 
identical to the way we were recording, as we ran the direct line outs 
of the mackie board to the line inputs of our audio interface.  We 
actually did a little cheating to get down to 8 tracks.  We were at a 
total of 13 mics if I recall correctly.  We did things like sub'ing the 
3 tom mics to one channel and hoping the levels were equal, etc.  As I 
progress on this project my plan is to put my 2 delta 1010LT cards in 
tapedeck and be able to have a dedicated track for every mic. At the 
same time the EZ8/EZBus will move into position in this emulation 
station as one of the 2 PC's interface.

I am using 2 PC's, setup as follows:

PC 1:
hostname:	tapedeck
MB:		Gigabyte 7VAXP VIA KT400/VT8235 chipset
CPU:		good question (see below)
memory:		512MB
audio h/w:	Delta 1010LT (snd-ice1712 driver)

hostname:	athlon1
MB:		ASUS A7N8X Nforce2 chipset
CPU:		Athlon XP 2600+
memory:		512MB
audio h/w:	Delta 1010LT and EZ8/EZBus (both snd-ice1712 driver)

There is an issue with tapedeck and the CPU speed.  It is labelled and 
came in a box labelled 2400+, I bought 2 of these with 2 7VAXP boards at 
the same time.  One for me, and one for the jam room at the guitar 
players house. Both boards recognize both CPUs as only an 1800+. I have 
2 XP 2000+ systems and athlon1, the 2600+ box, to do some cpu swapping 
till i figure out whos lying here, the cpu or the board.  Thats tomorrow.

Both PC's are running linux on a single partition, meaning ardour is 
read/write to the same drive/partition that the OS is on.  Another drive 
is on its way, to be a dedicated data drive for ardour on tapedeck.

Played a 45 minute 48Khz 8 channel cubase recording out of athlon1 and 
into tapedeck.  I got about 20 or so xrums in 45 minutes with the 
following jack settings

/usr/local/bin/jackstart -R -t500 -dalsa -dhw:1 -r48000 -p1024 -n2 -m -H

I tried again with -p2048 and got over 100 xruns in 20 minutes.  Huh??

Gave up on recording for that night, and went to experimenting with 
playback of the 45 minute set, to get intimate with the UI after all of 
this time of barely getting to do anything with Ardour.

Tapedeck was really sluggish, and would crash with a disk stream error 
if I did anything like scroll around the project too quickly.  It played 
good though. I copied the project over to athlon1 and played it back 
there, much better.  Tapedeck appeared to have some issues.  Passed out 
in my chair.

Mostly I tried to get a handle on whats happening with the I/O 
performance on tapedeck.  I reversed roles and recorded into athlon1. 
Tapedeck was spitting and sputtering and snap crackle pop, burping and 
farting its way thru the same cubase project, while ardour, running on 
athlon1, proudly and flawlessly captured every embarrasing moment. 
Everything afterwards is pretty much inconclusive i think, till i 
determine whats up with that CPU thing.  I was vey happy with ardour's 
performance on athlon1 though.  Worst case I'll just go Nforce2 on all 
my machines.  I'm sure that wont be necessary though.


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