Best monitoring setup with M-Audio Delta44 and Envy24 Utility?

I seem to remember being able to combine the hardware inputs of channels 1&2 on my Delta44 with the outputs from my DAW (this was Tracktion on Windows). I.e. I could monitor input and hear existing tracks, all on the first 2 outputs. I want to do this with Ardour, but the only setting that even works in the Evny24 Utility is this:

Patchbay/Router Tab:
H/W Out 1: PCM Out
H/W Out 2: PCM Out
H/W Out 3: H/W In 1
H/W Out 4: H/W In 2

This works okay for now, but obviously it would be better to be able to combine them on the card, like I thought it could. I’ve tried a lot of clicking around in Envy24 but I might be missing something obvious. BTW Jack routing gives me more latency than I can live with for monitoring.

Ardour does not control the sound card mixer. You have to set up your mixer using envy24control like you have done.

What do you mean “combine them on the card”? If you use envy24control to set up a monitoring stream from an input channel to an output channel, you are in fact combining the signals “on the card” so to speak.

Also, you might want to try running jack at lower buffer sizes as this lowers the latency caused by software monitoring. Software monitoring is far more flexible than hardware monitoring, especially since you can control it in Ardour and add processing to the monitoring streams.

Thanks for the ideas. Do you use qJackCtl? Can you recommend some optimal settings on the “Settings” tab of the “Setup” window for the type of monitoring you’re talking about?

I am still going to try to get the hardware monitoring to work the way I want. It really is nice - I like having a separate app to mix monitor signals, and latency is zero. I have used software monitoring on Windows apps before - using ASIO drivers - and that was fine. If I could get that kind of responsiveness I would go with it.

I looked at the Windows version of the Delta44 control app this morning, and the setting that does what I want is Called “Monitor Mixer” on the routing tab. It looks like the analog of that on the Envy24 Control Utility is “Digital Mix L” and “Digital Mix R” , but either it doesn’t work or I’m missing something. Any advice on that is greatly appreciated.

BTW thanks for all help so far on this forum. I’ve just switched over to Linux and I’m already very close to having a better workflow than I did on Windows for all audio- and music-related stuff.

Okay I should have tinkered a little before I posted. I changed “Frames/Period” to 128 [in the Setup window of qJackCtl] and now it feels snappier than with Windows ASIO drivers. I’m not sure whether I can actually detect latency or I just think I’m feeling it. Anyway, a few minutes worth of poking around and Google searches yields no info basic enough for me to understand what these settings actually do. What is “Frames/Period” and what am I trading off to get this responsive monitoring? If it messes with synchronization, that might hurt me, b/c I am using RoseGarden on the side for sequencing synth parts.

Is there any guide to Jack that starts at the “for dummies” level and gets into some depth?

I strongly recommend you get acquainted with Ardours’ monitoring options if your monitoring needs are related to what’s going in and out of Ardour.

The relevant options are software monitoring (remember to turn off hardware monitoring, that will interfere) and auto-input. This way you can control whether Ardour routes the input signal automatically to the outputs.