Hopefully Easy Question - Ardour / Jack / Input

OK, hello, I’m a new user. I’ve installed Ubuntu Studio on my machine, and the machine has an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard (which runs from hw1,0 as the motherboard also has a soundcard which runs on hw0,1). I have a microphone plugged into the M-Audio soundcard through a pre-amp. All I’d like to do is to mess around with recording sound from the microphone into Jack. I think I understand the basic principles, but I’ve only occasionally got it working, and I’m not sure what I did.

Basically, when I add a new track, and edit the input settings (in the mixer window), I’ve got the option to add inputs from two tabs “ardour” and “system”. Even if I add all of these, I don’t seem to be able to record any sound (i.e. no change to the levels when I hit the record button in the mixer). Now, I’ve occasionally got this working, but I think it was when there was an extra tab in the available inputs marked “alsa”, but I’m not sure how I got that tab to appear, or how I lost it.

So, my first question is, am I supposed to be using the input from alsa, rather than system, with my setup?

Secondly, if the answer to the first question is yes, then how is it possible to get the alsa tab on the available connections window? I presume the problem lies with Jack. When I type jack_lsp into a terminal, the output I get is:
SSE2 detected
ardour:click/out 1
ardour:master/in 1
ardour:master/in 2
ardour:master/out 1
ardour:master/out 2
ardour:auditioner/out 1
ardour:auditioner/out 2
ardour:Audio 1/in 1
ardour:Audio 1/out 1
ardour:Audio 1/out 2

Presumably there should be an alsa_pcm entry there, right? Does anybody know how I might go about getting it?

If I’m on completely the wrong track, please also let me know, I’m a bit of a beginner at this…



alsa_pcm was renamed “system” so that connection setups transferred to other platforms (e.g. non-ALSA backends for JACK, or OS X, or Windows) would work. system:playback_N is the N’th playback channel of your audio interface; system:capture_N is the N’th recordable channel of your audio interface.

most audio interfaces only permit one capture source to be used at once. might be the mic, might be an analog line-in, or something else. JACK doesn’t attempt to control this - we leave that to you to configure using a h/w mixer control application. trivial examples include alsamixer, but there are others. so, precisely what signal arrives on system:capture_1 depends on the hw mixer settings, which JACK does not modify (it requires way too much card-specific knowledge to do it correctly; you might have that, but JACK does not).