Controlling different software monitorings


what’s you recommendations for setting up different monitorings in a project in Ardour2?

I’m using a M-Audio Delta 1010LT and want to do a “live” recording with a band. While recording, I need to give myself a monitoring (e.g. outputs 1+2) and at least 2 other monitorings for headphones for the band (e.g. outputs 3+4 and 5+6).
Of course I’m able to route the inputs to different outputs with jack, but then I wouldn’t have independent volume controls for all tracks to all outputs, and I need that (imagine a drummer needing a complete different headphone mix than a singer).

I thought about giving every track pre-fade sends to the different outputs, but that wouldn’t be a good choice I guess…

Unfortunately the documentation is missing the point
8.2.4. “Controlling monitoring choices within Ardour”.

Thanks for help,

Well, two solutions:

  1. Get a cheap multi-headphone mixer like the Behringer HA4700. Send your mains to it and each person’s instrument gets an output to the aux in jack and can be separately mixed.

(theres quite a few higher end solutions to this problem)

  1. Actually sending the mix as per your

“I thought about giving every track pre-fade sends to the different outputs, but that wouldn’t be a good choice I guess…”

is a good idea, except that you should send the sound to busses first, so you can fiddle with the levels, and then send the results to another bus for each musician
(this is more or less doing in software what a behringer does in hardware)

It’s a bit of a pain to setup the first time, and you end up with a lot of busses, but after you create a template it gets easier.

Would it be possible to use Jackmix as a monitor mixer?
Another option is to start another instance of Ardour, and use it just as a monitor desk. You could make a monitoring template for the second instance, and avoid having millions of groups and busses going in the Ardour you are tracking with.

Setting up monitor mixes ‘in the box’ is not very nice on any DAW. I would love to see some new thinking about it.

The thing I miss most from using an analog mixer is being able to solo channels to the control room speakers without affecting the headphone mixes.

  1. Would a second instance of Ardour be CPU hungry? It seems to me that this would do the trick with the seperate window without trouble.

  2. I’ll check out jackmix and report if this works.

  3. Solv, is your solution not the same as sending the outs of the 1010 directly to the headphone amps except that I create the headphone mix within Ardour? Maybe I’m not understanding that right.


ardour can do this (control out monitoring).

create a new session. in the new session dialog, expand the “Advanced” settings section. enable a control out bus.

then, once the session is up, go to Options->Solo and select “Solo via bus”.

solo will then only affect the Control Outs, not the signal delivered via the normal outputs of each track/bus.

let me know if you have issues.

Or you could hire/buy a fairly cheap mixer that had 4 aux outputs, then feed the outs of the 1010 into the mixing console and create a custom mix for each of the 4 auxilaries, and send the auxilary outs to a headphone amplifier which will most often have 4 inputs and 4 outputs minimum.
Drummer can have mix, vocalist a mix etc etc…
If you have more than 4 people who need headphones you could make a general mix on one aux and then use a splitter to send the signal to rest of the band.

Thanks for the reply.

The 1st solution seems too little flexible for me, and I’d prefer to do the monitor mix within my DAW :wink:

The 2nd is ok, but if you have a lot of tracks and create busses for each track for each musician, you’ll end up with lots of tracks/busses within the mixer window.
Of course I can group them and make them invisible if I don’t need them, but isn’t there a possibility to have a seperate window for the monitor busses?


yes, it would be a good idea to be able to “tear off” a group in a future release of ardour.

All I can suggest for now is groups and/or lots and lots of screen area.