Fast Track Pro connected

Hey all. I have a question for the experts in here. I have my board connected to the computer via usb only. I have the instrument and the headphone connected to the board. Today I wanted to check if everything was working fine, and I’ve played some bass on a drum track I’ve made with H2. I could heard the bass in the headphones, obviously, but I couldn’t hear the drum track in the headphone as well. Only through the computer speakers. I was thinking about connecting H2 to Ardour and see if I could have any result in that way, but in the end I had other to do and haven’t tried. Any advice on how to do this? Listening in the headphones to what I have made together with what I play at the moment, guitar, bass or others. Thank you

I think you use direct monitoring, and that’s why you hear bass in headphones, but no drums. I suppose your interface has separate outs for headphones and speakers, so you need to route drums to 3rd and 4th (or whatever they are) outputs also.

Hi Alex and thank you for the answer. What do you mean with route the drums to the other outputs? I’m not expert at all. You can check the board on the net, so you can see the various ins and outs.

Are the speakers connected to outputs 1 and 2, or outputs 3 and 4?
What is the selection of the A/B select switch set? Headphone outputs can be set to A (out position, main outputs, outputs 1 and 2 sent to headphones) or B ( in position, S/PDIF output, outputs 3 and 4, sent to headphones).
How is the Mix knob set? From the user guide: “When turned fully counter-clockwise (IN position), only the input signals are heard at the line outputs. When turned fully clockwise (PB position), only the output signal from your DAW software is heard at the line outputs.”

Hi Ccaudle and thank you for the answer. Well, I haven’t been too precise: I use a laptop so the speakers are internal. I’ve connected the bass on the 1 channel, mix knob is halfway and the headphones is connected in its place, everything on the front panel.
If a s/pdif it’d be needed, I wouldn’t even know how to do since my computer has only usb and hdmi ports.

@telover: then you need to setup playback via your interface instead of internal sound chip, but then you won’t get any sound in speakers. You need to get a pair of external speakers in order to use such with your USB audio. However, there are ways to set up multiple cards to work together as a single virtual device, but this solution is usually unstable and not suitable for real work.

Thank you for the advice. This morning I’ve tried again. I’ve set up both input and output on the computer via the Fast Track and tried if I was able to listen to any audio file I have on the computer, and it worked. But I couldn’t heard anything I have in H2. So I suspect it’s something not being set up correctly in the program. I’ve checked it up, and the only thing I’ve imagined has something to do with it, is the Audio in the preferences menu. Actually is set up on JACK. I’ve tried to change it but none of the others options, Alsa, Default, etc. worked.

What does it mean that you have “setup both input and output on the computer?” Setup using some audio configuration utility for your operating system? That will be independent of the audio configuration for Ardour and Hydrogen.
When you refer to “Audio in the preferences menu” which application does that refer to? Ardour? Hydrogen? At least I assume that your reference to “H2” above means Hydrogen drum machine software. Are you still trying to play from Hydrogen directly, or through Ardour? If you want to connect to Ardour then you will need to get jackd configured properly and running, so you might as well set that up now. You will be using something like qjackcontrol to setup jackd. You will need to read some documentation, I don’t really have time to retype all of the existing jack and qjackcontrol documentation here for you at the moment.

One note about the ALSA configuration, by your description “I was able to listen to any audio file” it sounds like you were using some other software which you do not describe to play back audio files. Without knowing the software used to play back the audio and the linux distribution you are using, it is difficult to guess whether the software is using ALSA directly or whether your distribution provides pulseaudio server that applications treat as an ALSA device, even though the applications are not using the Fast Track Pro directly. If an application is using ALSA directly it will have exclusive access to the device, so Hydrogen will not be able to access the Fast Track through ALSA if another software is currently accessing the Fast Track. If that is the case you will need to shut down the first application you were using to play audio files.
If using pulseaudio as an ALSA interface, then the pulseaudio server will mix multiple applications together, so you should be able to have Hydrogen use ALSA output and also other applications using ALSA output simultaneously (although even in that case you may need to verify that the software is using something like pulse sink for the ALSA output, and not trying to use the Fast Track directly through ALSA).

Using jackd will require that jack have exclusive use of the Fast Track Pro device, and then the other software will need to be connected to either the hardware outputs or other software (use the qjackcontrol connections dialog to connect the output of the software to other software, e.g. Ardour inputs, or directly to the Fast Track Pro outputs).

Hi Ccaudle. That’s what I call an “articulate” answer, lol. Sorry I’m not expert, so the most of the times I don’t explain things in the right way, I’m using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and yes, I talk about input and output in the system audio preferences.
I’ve tried with H2 alone, not yet connected with Ardour.
To check if it was a H2, board or system problem, I’ve tried to listen to some music I have in the computer playing it with Rythmbox that I use to play music files and I was able to listen it in the headphones connected to the Fast Track. So it worked.
I’ve read that with the Ardour version I have, the 5.1.0, there’s no need to use Jack since it’s already in the program.
It seems that H2 cannot connect with the Fast Track. I don’t know if using H2 alone, without connecting it in Ardour, I have to use Jack. If so, I might use it only connected with Ardour, if it works in this way, and using it alone only when I’m building a drum track.

@telover 12.04 is quite old by now. and a lot of the audio applications and utilities have known bugs in them including both pulseaudio and jackd2. The latest LTS 1604 is out (even 16.10 is out but not LTS) what is the reason for not upgrading? It is possible to work around the bugs in these two utilities, but I am not sure it is worth it.
Hydrogen requires jackd to run. using Hydrogen with Ardour requires Ardour to use Jackd and not ALSA directly. If you just need the hydrogen sounds in Ardour there is a LV2 plugin called DrMr that does that, but as it is not even in the 16.04 Ubuntu repo, it will for sure not be in 12.04. You would have to build it from source.

Leno, I have this distro because my laptop is quite old. Right now I want to work with this, and not be forced to upgrade it. It’s not a matter of H2 sounds, it’s just the possibility to work with a drum track playing over it while listen to it. Today I’ll probably try to connect the two, H2 and Ardour, and see if it works.

Ok back. I’ve tried to connect H2 with Ardour but it doesn’t work. I left all the preferences in H2 by default and I’ve changed the ones in Ardour as per following:
Audio system: JACK
Driver: ALSA
On the right of the audio system button that’s a written in red saying Stopped, and on the right on this write there’s a Start button.
The problem is when I start playing Ardour the selector or whatever it’s called (the vertical line) moves while H2 doesn’t.
I’ve got a message from Ardour saying “cannot conncet to audio/midi engine”.
I haven’t the Fast Track connected this time, I only wanted to check if the two programs work connected.
I watched a mini tutorial about it but I think it’s an older Ardour version since the window is different than mine,

Your issue has nothing to do with H2. Your problem is that you’re not able to start and connect to JACK. There are many possible (system-specific) causes for this. You would be better off trying to configure and start JACK outside of Ardour so that you can see more clearly what is happening. Qjackctl or Cadence are good GUI tools to do this.

Hi Paul thanks for the hint. Yes, I have Qjackclt installed, I’ll give it a look and see if I’ll understand something about it. Anyways, as last options, I can always export the drum track as single instruments and import them in Ardour.

I’ve tried Qjack and I have some progress. I’ve tried all the connections possible and in the end I hear the drum track playing in H2 within Ardour. I also see the lighmeters in the master working. But I cannot command H2 from Ardour. I have to start and stop it from H2 directly. Anyway it’s a start. I’ll try to the track exportation later.
Here are some printscreens of the setup in H2 preferences and in QJack:

Just one thing: if I export the kit as single instruments, put 5 for example, 1 snare, 1 hi hat, 1 tom, 1 kick and 1 crash, do I have to create 5 separate tracks in Ardour, right? And import one instrument each track.

This thread has wandered along way from issues with a FastTrack Pro. I am also unclear on what you really intend in terms of connecting H2 and Ardour. You’ve mentioned things that merely require audio connections, and also “commanding” which suggests the use of JACK transport. Without knowing what you really want to do it is hard to comment on those screenshots.

“I cannot command H2 from Ardour”
You do not show the important part of the H2 preferences screen for that feature. With two applications connected together, one application has to be chosen as the “master” which determines when to start and stop, when to jump to a particular location, etc. The other application has to be configured as the “slave.” With Hydrogen and Ardour you would use jack transport (there are other options for synchronizing, see the ardour manual).
See the Hydrogen documentation here:
Select either “J.TRANS” to make hydrogen follow ardour, or select “J.MASTER” for Hydrogen to control Ardour. The transport selection in ardour would have to be set to the opposite as Hydrogen. If Ardour is the master then the start and stop buttons in Ardour would also make Hydrogen start and stop. If Hydrogen is the master, then Ardour will need to be configured to be a jack transport slave, and the start and stop buttons in Hydrogen will make Ardour start and stop. I think even if Ardour is the jack transport slave, the start and stop buttons in ardour may work, but I am not positive, you can check that.

“setup in H2 preferences and in QJack”
It is a little difficult to tell from the pictures you captured, but it appears that you have several connections to the Ardour LTC input port. You do not want that, disconnect anything from the LTC port unless you are actually using linear time code (you will probably not use LTC unless synchronizing with an analog tape machine or a video tape machine).
Also check the connection between hydrogen outputs and Ardour inputs, it appears that perhaps only one channel of hydrogen is connected to the Ardour master bus in. I can’t tell, it looks like hydrogen out_l may connect to LTC_in, and hydrogen out_r connects to master/audio_in 1. You should have hydrogen out_l connected to master/audio_in 1 and out_r connected to master/audio_in 2.
For a typical ardour project you would create tracks within ardour, either a stereo track for stereo output of hydrogen, or a number of mono tracks matching the number of drum instruments in hydrogen if using multiple outputs, and connect hydrogen outputs to the track inputs rather than directly to the master bus.

“if I export the kit as single instruments…do I have to create separate tracks in Ardour, right?”
Correct, you would create a track per instrument. You do not have to export from hydrogen to mix the drums separately, if you want to use Ardour for mixing the individual instruments you can select multiple outputs in the hydrogen setup (select the “create per-instrument outputs”), and connect each instrument output to a track input in Ardour. At that point you can either have hydrogen play the drum pattern each time the ardour transport starts, or record the drum output into ardour one time, at which point you could shut down hydrogen and work with the drums just as audio tracks.

Hey thanks a lot for the useful advices. Yes Ccaudle, today I’ve exported the drum track and I saw there’s no need to create tracks in Ardour, just select import as tracks, and it will do it by itself. That’s great. Yes, you’re probably right about that button in H2. I think I had it on Jmaster, tomorrow I’ll try to set it up on Jslave. I just have to find where’s the mastar button in Ardour since the tutorials I saw online are all about different versions.

In the connections window, either in qjackctl or from within Ardour, connect the output of the Fastrack with the bass (either channel 1 or channel 2, whichever has your bass connected) to the input of the track where you want to record the bass. Select the master record enable (red circle button) at the top of the ardour timeline window, and also the record enable button for the track where you want to record the bass. Hit the transport play button on ardour and start recording.

Here I am in my continuing odissey B-P
The daily problem is I cannot record a track, the bass in this case, through the board in Ardour.
I’ve created an audio track but the problem is the one thousand connection available. I haven’t taken screenshots because there are too many things. Could anybody here using an external soundboard to record an instrument let me know what connections he uses? I’m also checking the manual but I find it quite difficult. I’ve tried some connections but the input from my card is completely mute. The card works because I hear both the bass and the drum track I’ve imported in Ardour, I just don’t have any signal coming from the board to Ardour to get recorded.