Ardour conflicts with Skype and all other sound applications


After I launched Ardour all other sound applications don’t work. Music player, flash on web sites (youtube), Skype, Audacity all became quite.

And another strange thing - if I had a Skype call Ardour can’t be launched (error occurs saying that jack is already started by another user…). Even closing Skype doesn’t help. The only this that helps is rebooting my comp.

It looks like JACK blocks audio device… Is it possible to configure it so that Ardour can be used during a Skype call and listening music at the same time?

Thanks a lot.

what os/distribution are you using?

@dmitry: (1) Its not Ardour that does, its JACK. (2) Its entirely intentional. (3) for information on running various other applications via JACK even though they were not written to do so, please read the JACK FAQ at

JACK is intended for use in professional workflows, and was not designed to integrate with consumer or desktop sound systems. That said, its quite possible to set things up so that it more or less works that way anyway - I regularly listen to music all day via Rhythmbox, Flash videos, MP3 links and more - all via JACK, and all using techniques outlined in the JACK FAQ.

I use Ubuntu 10.10. Does it depend on OS?

Thanks for help. I will try to figure out something from Jack FAQ. Using player while using Ardour is needed to be able to quickly listen to audio footage or samples… and I used to talk in Skype when working in Ardour…

Aqualung ist great in my opinion. Works automatically with alsa or jack or whatever :slight_smile:
I don’t know how to run skype with jack.



The dual talk on Skype and Record is professional. When I’m recording voice overs plenty of customers have requested connection via Skype for the patch so they can direct the voice over. Works great. When I was interviewed by a blog cast last month, it was via Skype but also recorded. The multi instance is needed in many studios today.

I too would like more information on running more than one audio at the same time so I will keep searching the web and hopefully find someone that already has. Until then I’ll have to keep flipping back to Windoze with Adobe CS4 recording the directors call over Skype.


No Skype is not intended for professional recordings, it just gets used for it. Personally I find the audio quality horrible for this. If you want to see if they will implement support for Jack I would encourage you to both do so, and not hold your breath. If you really want to use Skype like this all it takes is running Skype out of a consumer sound card into your professional interface with Jack running on the latter.


@brosskgm: i guess i should have been more specific: pro-audio and music creation workflows. anyway, its not really the point. The point is that the title of this forum post is wrong. Its not Ardour but JACK that "conflicts" with SOME other audio applications, specifically those whose audio support is so badly written than the many possibilities for re-routing audio don't work with them.

Its entirely appropriate to consider recording skype calls, but its Skype that fails to work when people try the same approaches that work for many other non-JACK applications.

What technology are you using on Windows to route from Skype to CS4 ?

I realise its not always an option but free software supporters would do well to dump the now MS-owned Skype for one of the many alternatives such as Linphone ( ).

Advantages over Skype include:

Free software based on open standards, unlike Skype

Supports JACK hence solving your problem (not tested JACK support yet but its definitely supported according to configure)

Available for more platforms than Skype

Less resource intensive / smaller hardware requirements. My brothers netbook couldn’t handle Skype video but worked great with Linphone video calls.

Cheaper calls to regular phones than Skype

and just in case you didn’t guess, Linphone is nothing to do with Microsoft!

So the only downside is having to convince other people to get a SIP account and ditch Skype really.

Hi Paul,

As far as the technology to route Skype through? I only had to tell skype under the sound and Mic to use the Mixer USB port and CS4 records the session.

I also read but can’t find the config yet but someone mapped Skype to an extra audio track on Ardour and got it to work that way. I’m looking in to it.

Ubuntu for my system is i386. I don’t have 64 bit AMD, I have 64 bit Intel 3.0 dual core, ATI dual monitor card, 4 gig ram. My other hard drive has Windoze 7 Pro x64, I have been hoping for replacement. I used to use Mandriva but Audacity lacked a few things and had to move to CS4.

Only been running Ubuntu couple days now.

I looked at linphone (Reminds me of linspire). Doesn’t call phones from what I tell?

@brosskm: the JACK FAQ that i pointed you at has information on various ways of re-routing “normal” ALSA-using applications. If you did only what you describe to record Skype on windows with CS4, it suggests that your audio interface can be set to record the outbound stream, which is true of some but not all consumer audio interfaces (i.e. some but not all Intel HDA interfaces as found in most machines these days).

It always interests me to see what people who’ve only been working on an OS for a few days imagine should be “easy” :slight_smile:

So the only downside is having to convince other people to get a SIP account and ditch Skype really.
accounts can be had for free, it should be easy to convince ppl.

to the OP:
use skype on an extra ALSA device, route that device to jack (which uses your “pro” device).
The extra ALSA device can be real (like on-board chip) or virtual (alsa-loopback device).

I wrote a howto on how to use the virtual one. if you don’t mind the latency, it works fine. Maybe you can fine-tune the buffer size to reduce the latency of the virtual device. Check the howto at this link:

Paul, name is Bob,

Yes new on Ubuntu for a few days but 15 years with Linux Slackware (1.2.13). Remember all those disks, No self install, and you had to create every partition etc… Even tried Red Hat for one day when they came out but didn’t like the self install at that time because I didn’t like they way they changed default locations of things. Tried many “X” versions on Slackware. Lindows (Changed name to Linspire), Mandriva, Coldera (1996)

I found the information. They used one called KXstudio, I’m running it all now and will see what it does. You need to have an hour or so free time on your hands. It’s not for the weak at heart either. But it is “easy”.


Hi Paul,

It worked. Skype will now talk and work with Jack and Ardour at the same time.

Since I have a version higher than 10.10 I didn’t update the kernel.

Now all I have to do is see how it does with audio book or recordings of an hour or more.


Well, a few things that will need to be worked out. The pre-screen boot that lists 5 different setups. The 1st one is the best choice. I’ll just have to figure out how to get ride of that. if you don’t select it seems to default to the 1st one anyway.

2nd, you have to start JACK manually. Set the config up a little the 1st time. But it works. It detects Skype as ALSA in connection and Ardour under the audio.

Now all I have to do is put all this on my laptop (Travel work setup) and I’ll be able to drop Windoze once again.

Now I’ll be able to contact the people I hardware beta for on my Linux servers to see if they are interested in having me try them on Ubuntu. Glad I have space for 7 hard drives and boot selectable. Watch for the new 3T Hard Drives. They are really sweet.

This was really not that hard to do. If I can do this after only working on this OS for two days it should be easy enough for anyone to do. So if it really interests you. Yes it was an easy process.

I did re-install Ubuntu 4 times to get familiar with it. Even had to set up root so I can do a lot from prompt it won’t let you do other wise if there is a lock or freeze. Yep already locked it up cold 4 times already with the included screen saver graphics. Never thought that would happen, but it did. Still looking for that.


I re-installed Ubuntu 11.04 (Not Studio)

Question: Why does Audacity and Skype work perfect.

they do not use JACK. JACK is designed for specific types of applications. Its not there to be a general purpose sound server. In all likelihood, Audacity + Skype is using the same routing that I mentioned is probably happening on Windows - via your audio interface. JACK doesn’t work that way.

You can set Audacity to use JACK in the Devices tab of the preferences dialog.

IIRC Audacity used to remove its JACK ports when you stopped playing a file, meaning that you had to re-connect it each time. It’s been a while since I last used it, so perhaps they’ve fixed this by now (I hope so)