Headless Mixbus

Would there be a way to run Mixbus in headless mode?

I am planning to build a networked appliance, namely a multi room sound system with AES67 receivers in rooms and a music player daemon on my NAS. Playback control, playlist management, routing and also mixing should be controlled by a cross-platform Qt (mobile) app. I would love to support routing through a Harrison 32C channel strip before going out to the network. A networked mixer and HDR with NMOS IS-05 support is also something I consider a cool setup.

Have you considered using virtual framebuffer? e.g. XVNC or http://www.tigervnc.org, that way you can also connect to it using VNC over the network and interact with the GUI on demand.

Yes, I have considered using VNC, but would prefer to create a client-side UI. This would allow for a more integrated UX and “bindings” to different channel strips/plugin chains could be created. I guess with Ardour this would be possible, but not with Mixbus? Or is there a way to load parts of Mixbus DSP as plugin in Ardour?

One doesn’t rule out the other. You can just use the frame-buffer to start Mixbus in, and then forget about the UI and remote control it via OSC or MIDI.

Recent Mixbus 5.3 comes with the commandline interactive mixbus32c5-lua interpreter (on GNU/Linux, in /opt/Mixbus*/bin/). That is truly headless, yet perhaps overkill – https://manual.ardour.org/lua-scripting/#Commandline%20Session (keep in mind that some functions are GUI provided and not available without a graphical UI).

Yes, Mixbus is just Ardour with some compile-time options and the Harrison channelstrip DSP loaded as plugin.

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PS. There are already various remote control apps, mainly for touch-screens using OSC. Perhaps the existing Lemur interface already fit your bill:


Thanks, this definitely helps. I will have a look at the different options.

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