Align an audio track with the metronome

Hi all,

I have a beginner’s question.
Let’s say in an audio track I record an input track from an external source that plays at 130 BPM.
Then I also set Ardour at 130 BPM.
But when I play it in Ardour, the audio track is out of phase compared to Ardour’s metronome.
Do I have to align it by hand (therefore in an approximate way) or is there an automatic way that does it exactly?
[This is electronic music, so often the kick leads the way, but it may not be there].

Thank you,

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Have you calibrated the soundcard’s systemic latency?
Menu > Window > Audio/MIDI Setup > Advanced

What Audio system do you use?

That should not be required if you have configured Ardour correctly.

But now. after the fact yes, you will have to do that: You can do this semi-automatically. Calibrate the systemic latency. write down the number or measured samples. Then enter that value in the nudge-clock, select recorded regions and Region > Position > Nudge earlier.

Maybe I explained myself wrong.
I generate the audio with an external program, which I want to record on Ardour.
So I press RECORD+PLAY on Ardour, it starts, then I press PLAY on the external program, and so it is recorded (obviously) out of sync.
I should find a way to record in sync with Ardour’s grid.
Otherwise I can align it later, as you explained.

EDIT: The ideal would be that: when I press PLAY in the external program, recording in Ardour starts at the same time. But I don’t know if it can be done.

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Maybe be even more specific. What tools are you using, exactly?

OK, I thought you were recording to the click.

I guess in your case the quickest is to just use Ardour’s grid tool and simply adjust the tempo-map so match the recorded audio.

Alternatively you could use Ardour’s transient Analysis to find a beat in the recorded Audio, add a sync marker to the region, and then snap that the grid (you may need to enable Prefs > Editor > Snap > snap to region sync point).

@x42 Yes, I’ll do that.

@ardourwlk I am referring to any external player that produces audio.
I send it as input into an Ardour track.

A system that would start recording as soon as Ardour starts receiving, would be useful.

There is a plugin “Voice/Level Activate” that comes with Ardour.

You could add that to the track that you record on. However it may or may not be accurate for your case.


what kind of external stuff are you using? Because maybe it’s possible to sync extern and Ardour via MIDI, like Midi Time Code, so it starts recording already synchronized?