Beginner questions

Hi all,

I’m new to Ardour and have some questions. I’m about to start making music again after many years break.
I have a bunch of questions that I haven’t been able to find answers to. Some relating to Ardour and setting up gear. Others regarding advice on what gear to buy to get the most out of Ardour.

So, here we go…

I need a sound card and a midi keyboard/controller that will work seamlessly with Ardour.
I’ve been eyeing the Behringer UMC404HD for the soundcard. Alternatively the Focusrite Scarlett series.
For the midi, I’ve been looking at the Nektar Impact LX25+ or the Akai MPK Mini MK2.

Will this gear work seamlessly with Ardour? What are your experiences?

A more general question about midi controllers, will all controllers work with Ardour or are there differences in drivers and so on?

I bought a used M-Audio Firewire 410, but I haven’t been able to get it working on Ardour on Ubuntu Studio 18.04. The driver is not loaded for the firewire.

firewire need fado i think

it’s a driver for firewire card

Here is one success report for UMC404:

Here is a thread listing other USB sound cards working in Linux:

If your sound card works with Linux and has Midi In and Out connectors then any midi keyboard connected to those will work.

in Ubuntu Studio I would think that fado is already set up if the card works?

I was not able to get it working, it didn’t show up in QJackCtl.

Thanks, I’ll check it out. I am going to buy a usb midi keyboard and I’m interested in getting the knobs/sliders/roll wheels/whatever working in Ardour as well as the keyboard.
But will any usb midi keyboard work out of the box with Ardour or are there caveats?

I don’t have any experience on USB - Midi keyboards. I use my keyboard connected with the standard 5 pin midi cable to my audio interface. There are some knobs and sliders on the keyboard and they work fine. My keyboard has been out of production for years, maybe someone with a current model can help you here.

Every midi keyboard should work out of the box - as to knobs/sliders/buttons etc you can use midi-learn function:
or write midimap for your device:
Ardour already has midimaps for some devices:

As to soundcards I can report that Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 2gen works out of the box without any issues.

I can confirm the entire Scarlett series works with Linux and Ardour as long as your kernel isn’t terribly old. The smaller units in the series are USB class-compliant and the larger ones have drivers built into the Linux kernel (I use the 18i20, no problems here). Prior to the Scarlett, I was using the Roland Duo-Capture(model UA-25 or something). That was also class-compliant and worked great but the larger members of that series needed drivers that were NOT available on Linux at the time, I do not know if that has since changed. There use to be a list on libremusic I think that had a list of soundcards that worked on Linux, but I don’t know if the list is being maintained regularly.
As far as MIDI keyboards, I too use MIDI 5-pin for the most part. I have on occasion used my Arturia Minibrute via USB-MIDI, and it worked fine but no knobs or faders. Just the keybed for controlling VSTs/writing a piano roll. If I recall correctly, the release notes for 5.11 or 5.12 specifically mentioned that the Akai MPK mini MK2 was natively supported by Ardour. Double check me on that, as I don’t use the MPK myself, but I’m pretty sure I remember reading that.