How do I solo a bus?

For example, I want to create a headphone bus. Just noticed that soloing that bus does not make it the only thing I hear from Ardour.

So what do I need to do to solo a bus and make it the only thing that Ardour plays?


Well here is the deal, Soloing in A2 is wonky. In essense when you solo a bus, it will not remove routing to the master from all other tracks. A bus can be fed by both tracks and live inputs, and the model was developed with this in mind but the result is that it is confusing to most people. A3 has changed this to a more standard and expected model, but in A2 soloing a bus only mutes other busses, not tracks.


I kinda need to do this somehow, so what can I do in Ardour 2 - OR is there any chance of my using Ardour 3 for production at this point?

I have a hearing loss and simply have to have a dedicated headphone mix for vocals. I’d greatly appreciate any advice as to how to make this happen in any way in Ardour 2, if Ardour 3 just ain’t ready yet.

You can make a bus and feed it to a separate output on your soundcard. Then switch between those analog signals into your headphones, somehow. Potentially a better solution than software because there’s always a hardware switch handy.

If you are on OSX, then you can use Mixbus. You can assign vocal tracks to a mixbus. When you solo the mixbus, you will only hear the output from the mixbus in the master output. (you could also mix with the solution above, by sending the direct-out of the mixbus to the headphones)

(full disclosure - my employer develops & sells Mixbus)

-Ben Loftis
Harrison Consoles

I’m on Linux.

But that did trigger me to come up with this idea: tweak the mix to what I want for headphones, then mix it down to one track and solo that as needed.

Not a very flexible idea, but assuming there’s no better way to do this, it should do the trick.


Alternatively run ALL tracks through a bus at some point or another and not direct to the master, then soloing a bus will work closer to what you are expecting, until you get busses fed by other busses, but in most cases that shouldn’t be a problem.


@Seablade: Now that you’ve put it that way, I can simply unhook the master bus from my audio interface and hook up the headphone bus instead. Since I already have all tracks running through the master bus, this should be the same as your suggestion.

Hmm it definitly isn’t the same no, but I suppose it could work in your situation, depending on your needs, but then how will you listen to the actual mixdown before you export it?


in my active years of fiddling with ardour (and I wish I can get back to it at some point!) I ended up doing exactly this:

  • no tracks connected to the master bus - only busses.

I grouped my tracks into different groups and output each group to a separate bus. I ended up having submixes, and simpler final mixes (only a few busses to mix down). I still experienced a few occasional weird soloing but they became quite rare.

@Seablade: just unhook the headphone bus and hook the master bus back up. :wink:

A bit clumsy, but at least I can hear the mix I need when I need to hear it.

@thorgal: That’s another good idea. I’ll have to think it over.