Ardour to X32 to Ardour with all FX

Here are my notes on routing a post-record session out to your X32, where you do your mixing and effects, and getting it all back into Ardour for a stereo mixdown. I hope this is useful for others.

RECORDING FROM ARDOUR BACK INTO ARDOUR VIA X32

When you’ve sent all of your Ardour tracks out to the X32 using each track’s output assignment, done your mixing and effects on the X32 and now want to record the whole board back into Ardour, this is how. This will record the entire board - channel compression and EQ and effects busses - to two stereo tracks in Ardour. These can then be mixed down again, if desired, to a single stereo master mix.

On the X32

  1. ROUTING page, out 1-16 tab
    Set Output 01 to DirOut Ch 01. Set Tap to Post Fader.
    Set Output 02 to DirOut Ch 02. Set Tap to Post Fader.
    Repeat in similiar fashion for all 16 outs.

  2. ROUTING page, ultranet (or p16) tab
    Set 01 to DirOut Ch 17. Set Tap to Post Fader.
    Set 02 to DirOut Ch 18. Set Tap to Post Fader.
    Repeat in similar fashin for all 16 outs.

  3. ROUTING page, card out tab
    Set Outputs 1-8 to Out 1-8
    Set Outputs 9-16 to Out 9-16
    Set Outputs 17-24 to P16 1-8
    Set Outputs 25-32 to P16 9-16

In Ardour

  1. Create a new stereo track. Right click on the track and open the inputs window. Set the inputs accordingly depending on whether each track on the X32 is mono or stereo. Arm for recording and verify by soloing each track in Ardour that every track will be recorded, then record the dry stereo mixdown.

On the X32

  1. ROUTING page, out 1-16 tab
    Set Output 01 to DirOut Fx 1L
    Set Output 02 to DirOut Fx 1R
    Set Output 03 to DirOut Fx 2L
    Set Output 04 to DirOut Fx 2R
    And so on, for however many effects busses you’re using for this mix.
    No need to change the card out assignment.

In Ardour

  1. Create a new stereo track. Right click on the track and open the inputs window. Set the inputs 1L, 2R, 3L, 4R and so on to match the configuration of your effects busses on the X32. Mute the dry stereo mix and arm the new stereo track. This time when you record, you’re recording a stereo mix of all the effects from the X32.

Notes:

To control the overall output level from the card using this setup without affecting the mix on the board, assign all of used faders from 1-32 to a DCA. The DCA then controls the overall output level.

To keep the same balance you’ve heard on the X32, put these two tracks into a group and make sure the faders are synced in the group. Note that if you’ve used the DCA trick above, you may want to adjust the balance between the dry and effects track in Ardour.

You can assign these two tracks in Ardour to output to an unused pair of channels on the X32 to listen to them without changing any other in/out or routing assignments in either Ardour or on the X32. Or assign the master out to 31/32 on the X32, or whatever is unused.

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