[ardour-users] nice stuff

Djamel Ouerdane ouerdane at nbi.dk
Thu Oct 21 03:27:44 PDT 2004


I want to report here that ardour 0.9beta19 and jack 0.99 are working very 
nicely, as far as I could push my humble sound system (a Dell Lat. 800 
laptop with an onboard Intel sound card, running redhat9, planet ccrma 
kernel 2.4.26). 

Software used:
  - jack 0.99 (compiled myself)
  - ardour 0.9beta19 (planet ccrma but chekcked also my own compiled 
  - alsa 1.0.6 (compiled myself), module snd-intel8x0
  - hydrogen-cvs (0.9.1cvs)
  - jamin (ccrma)
  - ladspa stuff (ccrma)

Hardware : processor intel Pentium M 1.6 GHz, 1GB RAM (2x512 MB), 60GB HD 
(but a slow beast, 4200 or 5400 RPMs, I don't remember). Running redhat 9 
with a few updates, using KDE 3.1 (starts to be outdated, I know :)

running jack with -p 256 -n 2 -r 48000, forced 16 bit (my sound card is
not able to do more). Originally did it with -p 128 but it's not stable

Without looking at the doc (bad habit due to stupid lazyness), I could
(almost) easily figure out how to make things work. I also checked out
Hydrogen-cvs. It is now behaving very nicely as a jack transport slave.

A couple of things though :
 - if I let the playhead continue beyond the ardour _tracks_ (if e.g. the 
my hydrogen drum bus is not yet played to its end), the playhead line 
motion becomes kind of "parkinsonian". No big deal, it goes until the end 
of the session, stops normally, and comes back to the start. Isn't 
that a bit weird ?

 - when I want to turn on hardware monitoring on a track whose inputs are
connected to capture ports, i hear nothing, I have to turn on the
monitoring from an external mixer app (I honestly don't know if this is
exactly the thing ardour is supposed to do) _or_ turn on the software 

 - when I then use jamin (cool prog. by the way!) to remaster the whole
shebang, I start getting small xruns, of the order of 0.05ms 
(my connection config:  ardour-master-outs to jamin-in, jamin-out to
ardour-bus-in, ardour-bus-out to playback ports). The DSP load is
reasonable, as well as CPU, etc. I don't use many software plugins in
ardour, I have some external devices for my guitar, etc. I use jamin from
planet ccrma. 

I also know software monitoring introduces some latency. When I remove 
jamin from the whole setup, I cannot here audible latency (actually, 
sounds more like weird sync'ing when jamin is on).

 - when I power on my wireless card (miniPCI) and activite it (using the
useful but not so cool ndiswrapper), jack reports lots of xruns at startup
(6 or 7) and reports some more every 10sec or so. No such behavior when I
activate my ethernet card (bcm5700) and use the net heavily while jack is

I did the tests with 3 tracks and two busses. Maybe reading audio data 
from my slow HD (of course, dma is on) is a problem but in general, 
everything is nicely sync'ed (except when jamin is on).

I will test further with more tracks and plugins. 

But I am very pleased, I didn't get any single crash, I let the system on
for more than a day, doing all other sorts of things (compiling heavy 
programs for my work, etc) the responsiveness of the GUI was very good and 
I could in 1/2 an hour building the skeleton of a song, that sounded 
like... music! :)


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