[Ardour-Users] Recording to Midi accompaniment

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Thu Feb 15 13:43:46 PST 2018

There's no reason to assume that aplay/arecord should ever work. Both
applications are completely mis-designed for any serious use - they do not
use threads, they do not use realtime scheduling.

FFADO has mostly migrated into ALSA now. If there are problems with ALSA
supporting devices that are correctly supported by FFADO, I am sure that
the ALSA development community will want to know about it.

If you want to wire up multiple applications, then certainly JACK is the
bee's knees and then some. But this is NOT the common case for most users
of most audio software.

Ardour's own audio/MIDI backend use realtime scheduling as well. It was
written by the same people who wrote JACK, except with the benefit of
another decade's worth of experience.

Firewire audio more "stable" than a PCI device? I think not.

Foregoing JACK won't improve your audio experience but if you're  new user
who is not trying to wire up applications and who wants to use MIDI as
well, then in the context of Ardour, your overall experience will be much
improved by said foregoing. Unless you're using Jack1, but who does that,
these days?

On Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 4:24 PM, David Kastrup <dak at gnu.org> wrote:

> Paul Davis <paul at linuxaudiosystems.com> writes:
> >>> The bad news is that Ardour really wants to work with Jack
> >>
> >
> > Actually, the opposite. Ardour (and I) do not want you to use JACK.
> >
> >> That hasn't been true for a couple of major versions now, Ardour will
> >> happily take exclusive control of your ALSA device.
> >>
> >>"Really wants to work with Jack" is not the same as "can only work with
> >>Jack".  Letting Jack deal with the realtime problems of Audio is the
> >>sane thing to do.
> >
> > Conjecture.  JACK with MIDI is a total PITA for most users. JACK for
> people
> > from other platforms is just utterly conceptually confusing. When it does
> > something that you need, it's amazing. When you don't need it, it doesn't
> > give you anything that the ALSA backend doesn't (and the ALSA backend
> makes
> > working with MIDI much simpler).
> Jack manages to work with a Tascam US-122L (which has so few possible
> settings in its usbstream plugin that specifying all command line
> options for aplay/arecord is a real pain, and then it frequently drops
> out.  Jackd?  No problem).  It works fine with Ffado (agreed that ALSA
> Midi then gets ugly).  It allows to wire up a host of applications (try
> integrating and recording something like Aeolus).  How are you even
> going to record the Master off Ardour like I do in the video without
> being able to route it as an output into Pulseaudio?
> And Jackd does realtime scheduling.  It's been a long time since my last
> xrun.  And that includes doing screen recording off an Ardour session on
> the same computer that runs the audio session.
> When a device is supported by Ffado, there still is quite the tendency
> for that to be more stable than any available ALSA device.
> So it has been my experience that foregoing Jackd is rarely going to
> improve your audio experience.
> --
> David Kastrup
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