How did you guys leave out loop recording for midi?

I’m just wondering how that managed to happen when that simple function has been a part of basic midi sequencing for as long as I can think of. Makes it nearly impossible to program drum patterns or anything else for electronic music. By the way, I may have discovered a major bug in ardour 4 and mixbus 3. If you load in motu bpm or the akai mpc plugin, the sequencers that are inside of the plugs start at bar 2 beat 2 in both programs even if you start ardour from the beginning. Whenever you start playback in ardour or mixbus that is what happens. there are no ways to change it as far as i can tell… tried everything. This doesn’t happen when you load these plugs in logicX, tracktion etc… they locate to bar 1 beat 1. Also you are forced to place a instrument plugin on a midi track prior to loading the mpc plug, if you dont it gives you this error message (you attempted to add the plugin mpc essentials in slot 5…
this plugin has: 0 midi inputs, 2 audio inputs.
but at insertion point there are: 1 midi channels, 0 audio channels). Again, this does not happen when loading this plug in other daw’s.

errmo: ardour is not making claims to be a pattern sequencer. And actually, pattern sequencing and DAW-style sequencing are really historically quite different. We may support this at some point - I wrote a very powerful pattern sequencer before I wrote Ardour, in fact - but there are no immediate plans to do so. Ardour is not really focused on what you refer to as “electronic music” (which is actually a very broad term, and covers a lot of music that has no need to pattern sequencers or drums), so this is not our highest priority. I believe you mean “loop and sample based, groove-centric music”. Correct?

The bar 2, beat 2 issue sounds interesting, there have no other reports of this so far.

I don’t know what you mean by “you are forced to place a instrument plugin on a midi track prior to loading the mpc plug” … what other workflow are you thinking of? Perhaps this is a reference to the current inability to replace the instrument on a MIDI track?


Regarding the last issue, see the channel configuration mismatch he mentioned. He is inserting a plugin with no MIDI input(Only audio inputs) on a MIDI track, that seems to be the issue. I don’t know enough about those plugins to say whether it makes sense or not to use a MIDI track here though.


seablade: thanks for that clarification - I wasn’t read carefully enough. Yes, this is another example of an “odd” plugin configuration that doesn’t work very well with our imagined workflows. Thinks like Reaktor that accept MIDI and audio inputs are the other, and I made a special case for them.

Paul & Seablade let me first say thanks for your response. Allow me to attempt to clarify things a bit. When I speak of loop recording I am talking about having the option to set the loop points like you would in playback mode to say a 4 bar loop but instead of having it loop or cycle playback, it loops that 4 bars in record mode. Currently if you record enable the midi track with loop points set it will not cycle during recording but default to linear recording. I am very knowledgeable of the various sequencers and their modes of operation whether it be step, pattern, linear etc… Fact remains that in logicX I have the “OPTION” to use the mode that best fits my recording need at that specific time. Ardour has the ability to loop, just not while recording midi - which most all modern daw’s allow.

You are correct in saying the term electronic music is broad. I’m just referring to using virtual instruments, samplers, drum machines … Stuff like that - not acoustic instruments.

The reason I feel forced is because I feel that I shouldn’t have to but for some reason that is the only way this virtual instrument will load and operate properly with the exception of the bar2 beat2 issue. Let me paint a picture- take a empty midi track, try to open mpc plugin you get message listed. Now take same empty midi track but first load up let’s say a korg m1 plugin. Now go back and load the mpc plug with the m1 still loaded and bam! No error! Everything works with mpc plug. I do not have to do this with other daw’s.

Is this a fixed offset of 2 bars, 2beats regardless of position on the timeline? or only at start?

In any case this seems to be a bug, best reported to Discussion on the forum rarely leads to bug-fixes.
You’re probably the first person to use and test the akai mpc plugin with Ardour. Is there a demo version of that plugin available that would allow developers to reproduce the issue? got a URL? I just checked with an OSX test plugin and timecode is reported correctly, so there must be something special about mpc and/or some unhanded edge-case in Ardour.

The vast majority of Ardour users use Synths (midi in, audio out) . The case you describe (sequencer plugin, no input) is not very common in the Ardour community. The no-input, output only plugin is a known issue that came up before but so far nobody bothered to address it.
The workaround you describe is actually a known bug :slight_smile: but that’s another story. The rules for adding and re-ordering plugins is due a major overhaul. The current idea is to remove all limitations and improve visualization (so that a user can figure out routing situations that don’t make sense, instead of Ardour trying to be smart and prevent nonsensical routings). A dedicated slot for the instrument is also being discussed.

x42 it is a fixed offset. I double checked with a different plugin that I also use that functions as its own sequencer combo beat machine/synth/sampler -motu BPM. Maybe someone can try a different beat machine plug like ni Machine to see if it has the same issue. I dont have that plugin to try. The akai MPC plug is not just a sequencer plugin, its also a combo beat machine/synth/sampler that also functions as a vsti/au instrument host if you want to load your third party plugins. This is why it has been a mystery to me about the loading error of the instrument in ardour. I will experiment with some more plugs to see if I can reproduce these errors.

Ok x42 I found one that you can try. Go to this link:
download the demo. Make sure no other plugs are inserted prior to loading patchwork. Then try to insert this plugin on your empty midi track… its not going to let you. Next go ahead and load any synth plug you want on your ardour midi track. Now load up patchwork and bam! it loads. With patchwork available to use, load whatever instrument plug you want into patchwork, start playing your keyboard and its game on. Make sure you enable the power button beside your instrument insert point in patchwork or you wont hear anything.

I’m sorry, I should have stated it more explicitly:

The “port mismatch” is the same for all plugins and all OS and a well understood issue.

LV2 plugins on Linux that have no input have the same problem (and the same workaround to first insert another plugin). The solution will be to rework the “policy” how plugins can be inserted. That is planned but there’s no timeline as to when it will be done.

The time-offset is the interesting problem.

Looks like I am trying to do the same thing here… Record additional MIDI (merge) in to a single region during loop recording. I often do this (with Rosegarden and Hydrogen) while building drum patterns and multi-layered sound patterns… including things like recording a few notes in first pass, then more notes in the next pass (loops), and finally adding controller events in a later pass/loop. I need to hear what’s just been laid down (recorded) while adding the new content on top (merging with the same region). – I am using Ardour 4.1, but there seems no way to do this.

A couple bugs? ....
1) If I have "seemless looping" turned off and then try recording with Loop-As-Mode on, the recording does not loop, but continues past the defined Loop end.
2) If I have "seemless looping" turned on then it does "loop" while record is engaged, however, I cannot hear what is already on that track (as the input must be set to IN rather than DISK).. and also, even those Ardour does loop, the content that is recorded is appended in to a LONG region that contains a linear concatenation of all the times Ardour looped.. all appended together one after the other (so loop recording 3 times over a 10 second region leaves a single 30 second region)

What I would like, is to get away from having to open Rosegarden and Hydrogen and Zynaddsubfx and Ardour, but rather just work within Ardour. Since Ardour does looping and now does MIDI, I'm hoping it would be a small fix to allow it to merge new notes/events to a single region each time going through a loop. -- Even if this would be too problematic to merge with an existing region recorded on disk, perhaps just merging notes/events for multiple loops during a single "record" action? .. This would still let us build loops over multiple repetitions, as long as we got all notes and events fixed before pressing Stop.

@ errmoo - did you report this bug?
I have it too with Maschine 2.0.
Also the Innerclock Systems Sync Gen II plugin starts late.
I’m using Mixbus 3.3

The very first time I open the project it starts on the first bar but thereafter the plugin sequencer always starts late.