First Mixbus impressions

I just spent the morning playing with my new acquisition of Mixbus. And very nice it is too. I tried getting onto the IRC channel to ask some questions but Safari would only let me see the chat and not contribute to it. Maybe I need to install a proper client?? Anyway, I thought I’d post these observations here because they’re probably relevant to Ardour generally:-


  1. “Open Session->Browse” launches the familiar browse dialog but I cannot select any file or folder unless I physically move the dialog to a new position on my screen!! Thereafter, it’s pretty unreliable generally. e.g. if I double-click to enter a particular folder I can’t select anything inside that folder unless I go ‘up one level’ and then go back into my chosen folder??? I’ll enter this on mantis if anyone else has seen it.

  2. If I drag the playhead to a new position it doesn’t invalidate the current session - i.e. it doesn’t require me to save the session before closing. That’s exactly what I’d expect. Moving the playhead to a new position doesn’t (IMHO) intrinsically change the session data. However, if I drag the playhead after writing some fader automation on a track, that does invalidate the session which (personally) I find annoying because the session data still hasn’t been materially changed.

  3. Ardour won’t launch unless I start the JackPilot app first. Maybe this is because I’ve only got a Mac Mini which apparently has no aggregate device? It’s quite annoying though.

  4. Mixbus seems to display my existing sessions ‘upside down’. i.e. if a session previously had track 1 at the top and track 8 at the bottom, it now has track 8 at the top and track 1 at the bottom! Haven’t quite figured that one out yet but it begs the question - can track ordering be physically changed?


  1. When writing fader automation, is there any way to group faders - so that moving one fader will move any others that are in the same group?

  2. I noticed that my canvas has re-acquired those vertical lines which I’ve always assumed to be beats & bars (because every fourth one is bolder than the others). In my pre-existing sessions I seem to have turned them off somehow but I can’t remember how I did that? Is there a way to get rid of them?

Apart from those very minor niggles - brilliant work and congrats to everyone who contributed to it…!!

Re: 1

Do you use more than one monitor?

Re: 3

This one is explained in Mixbus’s documentation as well as Ardour’s;) Yes an aggregate device would be required.

Re: 4

Drag and drop ordering of tracks has been supported for quite some time. Your drag and drop in the track list on the right hand side.

Re First question…

Yep, funnily enough called Mix Groups. They are created in the Mixer window and you add tracks to the mix group.

Re: Second Question…

Try not setting the grid to beats/bars but to something else instead?


Re: Second Question…

Main menu: View -> Show measures

Thanks for the replies. It’s probably over a year since I last used Ardour but it’s slowly coming back to me now. I guess I must have reordered the tracks manually in my Linux setup.

BTW Seablade - yes I have two monitors. Are there known issues with more than one monitor? I do seem to be having some very niggley problems. For example the transport keys don’t really work as expected. Let’s say the timeline is currently stationary. To put it into play mode I need to click the transport ‘Play’ key (which gets ignored) then move my mouse very slightly, then click it again. Similar process is needed to stop playback too.

John E I have the same Play Stop button problem with the latest OSX version of Ardour.

I am not using MIX BUS but uses Ardour.

John E-

Yep there are known issues with multiple monitors, again mentioned in the quick start guide that came with Mixbus, and I think it may be on their website as well:) Things should work pretty close to correct on the first monitor, but dialogs etc. don’t work to well when on the second monitor. As a result I usually have the mixer window on the second monitor and am controlling it from my Mackie.


regarding clicking on buttons: i’d appreciate clarification on whether this affects all buttons or the transport controls specifically. OS X has an unusual design in which the default mode of interacting with windows is to swallow the first click (the first after working in another window or with Finder). The swallowed/ignored click just makes that window the “active” and “key” window. it is possible to override this, and a few OS X applications do so. i’m just trying to understand if people are reporting a side effect of this design by apple, or something more specific to ardour/mixbus.

Paul - it’s the same problem but with a subtle twist. Normally the first keypress gets swallowed but subsequent keypresses work as expected. However in Mixbus’s case, the first one gets swallowed and so do all subsequent ones - until I move my mouse very slightly, after which they work as expected again. It seems to affect all buttons AFAICT but not combo boxes or sliders or text boxes or region selection / tab selection etc.

BTW Paul - are you the right person to report JackPilot bugs to? I noticed that launching its ‘About’ box effectively disables the JackPilot app since there’s no way to close the About box once its been opened (no obvious way, at least).


Jackpilot bug reports need to go to Stephane of the Jack2 project I believe.

I know the issue you are talking about with the buttons, I think it is related to a highlight/focus issue in GTK if I remember right, but I haven’t experienced it in some time, it is odd you are now experiencing it if you are not on a second screen when doing so.


Close the ‘About’ box of JackPilot by clicking on the logo, the thingy with the plugs, that works for me.