[Ardour-Users] Multiple USB Input recording ___IS___ needed. No it is not "DUMMB" to want this feature

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Tue Jan 14 08:42:12 PST 2014

On Tue, 2014-01-14 at 16:49 +0100, Marco Bertorello wrote:
> Ok, I assume that most people in this lists usually doesn't read the
> email to which they are responding. I repeat, this is not my point, I
> know what is jack and what is ardour, I know what their job are.

I did read it, my apologize since English isn't my native language.

What's the point?

JFTR I personally knew some famous professional audio engineers/famous
professional studios and still know some amateurs. I've seen them
neither using Ardour nor using USB microphones. Who cares?

Robin gave some hints, that are interesting [1]. What's bad with those

On Tue, 2014-01-14 at 12:00 +0100, Marco Bertorello wrote:
2014/1/14 John Rigg <au2 at jrigg.co.uk>:
> I agree, but cannot understand where is the problem asking ardour
> people to not consider only professional usage of ardour but also who
> accept the "degraded" quality in order to save money.

Ardour isn't the application that handles the USB microphones.
If the authors won't add amateur features, then the authors won't add
amateur features. Perhaps they do it because of limited time and/or
because most Ardour users would dislike amateur features?
Would you add a new doorbell to my home if I ask you to do it?

> As far as I known, NASA also use Ardour.

And they don't do it as a hobby.

> I don't know why, but I thinks that is not for record pro-quality
> music for the next summer hit :)

No, but it's also no amateur usage. IIRC they are recording their
communication, for professional analysis of the communication, for one
project and perhaps other projects too.

> IMHO, supporting low-profile usage of Ardour is not a sin, but an
> extra value for this great software.

What exactly are you missing? Does other software provide it? E.g.
Qtractor, Rosegarden or what ever other software? Take a look, I for
example used more often Qtractor then Ardour.

-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Robin Gareus
To: ChaosEsque Team
Subject: Re: [Ardour-Users] Ardour with multiple cheap (USB) audio
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2014 02:57:02 +0100
Mailer: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:10.0.12) Gecko/20130116

On 01/11/2014 02:25 AM, ChaosEsque Team wrote:
> Hi, I'm really interested in helping people who want to use Ardour
> with multiple cheap (USB) audio interfaces. It doesn't seem very easy
> right now to do this sort of thing - in fact, I'm not even clear if
> it is possible 

It is possible, but you're quite right that it's not very accessible,
mainly  because there is no GUI to set this up. You'll need to resort to
a few terminal commands.

Ardour uses JACK, so the goal is go add an additional soundcard to jack.
There are various options to do this, most of which are described at

> and I'd appreciate some guidance because I think
> this is really important group of people: folks that can't afford
> multichannel interfaces and lots of amps, the sort of people who
> might really be attracted to a tool like Ardour.

Fair point. As explained on the linked page, it is not ideal to use
multiple un-synced soundcards, but it can be good enough for many cases.
The easiest way to do so on GNU/Linux is to to use alsa_in/out:

First start jackd as usual with one soundcard - and then add the others
as needed.  This is as easy as opening a terminal and running
   alsa_in -d hw:1
This adds the 1st soundcard (hw:1) inputs to an already running jackd.

Instead of numeric IDs you can also use the name of the soundcard.
Device and their names can be listed with 'aplay -l'. For example

card 3: UA25 [UA-25], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

in this case 'alsa_in -d hw:3' is equivalent to 'alsa_in -d hw:UA-25'

To add outputs use the sister of alsa_in: 'alsa_out -d hw:DEVICE'

Hope that helps,

PS. there are ways to automate this process as well as auto-detect,
auto-launch. Yet, this is mostly undocumented territory and requires a
bit of scripting which builds upon above concept. More later if you're

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