Adjusted volume not work when in recording mode

I register my audio input using alsa_in (I named it “phone”), and in Ardour, I make an audio track, I route “phone” to the input of that track. It works, I can add plugins, adjust its volume. But something weird starting to happen when I record that track (by hitting the red record button of the track), the volume I set before not work, the plugins also are being ignored.

Btw I am also using Jack for the main audio interface, but Jack can only using 1 audio interface for input/output, cannot use 2 audio interfaces for input at the same time. In my case, I need 2 inputs. So, I register another input using alsa_in and call it in Ardour directly, but it does not really work as expected. Audio tracks with input from Jack work well. Any help, please?

Ubuntu 18.04 (Low latency)
Ardour 5.12.0
(rev 1:5.12.0-3)
Intel 64-bit

Ardour 5.12 only records the dry input.
You have to use 6.0 or higher to be able to record the processed, “wet”, input.

That said; if your input signal is too low you should try and amplify it before it goes into the computer.
Any amplification in Ardour will also amplify the noise.

Thanks, Peder. Now I figure out why I have to migrate to 6.x. About 2 years with 5.x and everything’s fine until I met this issue.

You should still hear the result with plugins and gain modification.

When you record-arm a track, Ardour changes the meter-position to “Input”. This is so that you can make sure that the input does not clip when recording.

You have to set the analog gain of your pre-amplifier before the signal is digitized (once it’s clipped it’s too late and no digital processing can recover it). A good average level is around -18dBFS with peaks around -10 dBFS.

What do you expect, and how does it fail?

If I remember correctly, alsa_in/out (or zita-a2j) ports just do not show up as hardware ports. So they are not listed in the dropdown. You have to manually connect them using qjackctl or Ardour’s Menu > Window > Audio Connections to connect it.

PS. Ardour 6 ALSA (no JACK) allows to use different devices for input and output. by default however only one device for each direction. Not multiple concurrent inputs. I’m not sure if that helps you.

Does it mean when Ardour changes the meter-position to raw “input” while recording, then the track volume and plugin effects are being ignored?

I expect that when I record the track which has an input source I registered with alsa_in does not ignore the volume and plugins that I’ve set to the track. And it fails, while in recording, it records the “raw input” (I guess), and the volume is too loud, that was why I want to reduce the track volume in Ardour.

Yes, of course it won’t be in hardware ports list. But I don’t know, it maybe defferent to my case, after I register my second audio interface with alsa_in successfully, then I go to routing grid in Ardour’s track and it’s there (in “others” tab) without any extra manual configs to connect it.

After some trial-errors, I found a way (maybe a little tricky and not best practice) to get what I’ve expected. So, instead of using Audio Track to catch that input source directly, I use Audio Bus, then I add an Audio Track and set it input source to Audio Bus ouput. With this, I record only the Audio Track (because of course it’s not possible to record Audio Busses, CMIIW) and when I want to change the volume or add plugins, I change the Audio Bus and it will affect to its Audio Track too.

Ardour always records the raw input as-is.The meter point is only switched for convenience to show what is recorded (you can also manually change it).

All signal processing happens afterward. In Ardur 5.12 the signal flow is as follows:

If I may ask, why do you want to hard apply effects directly at recording?
Wet recording usually only leads to mistakes that cannot be corrected later. One of the main motivations for using a DAW is the non-destructive workflow. The original raw audio is retained as is.

Thank you for the explanation.

And maybe hardly applying effects directly at recording is not a good idea and bad practice. I am not a Music Producer, I just use Ardour for my personal stuffs, like vlog and podcast, and I don’t know, sometime I think It’s just fast and I don’t need to give much time to do it after production.

Whether the effect is applied before recording or after, if the effect is already in Ardour the amount of time needed after the recording should be identical.

The only difference is in recording the dry sound (Without effects) you can still go back and change it later.