how to route a lexicon hardware effects processor, connected to firewire interface, with jack/ardour?

I hope this is possible, but no luck in finding the steps to set this up:

I was told that there is a way to setup a bus in ardour for the lexicon mpx550 effects processor and then connect the desired channels/inputs to that bus. Not sure how to do it. So far I have managed to get a feedback loop (loud signal) when sending to my Focusrite saffire pro inputs and then returning back to the lexicon on the left output. hope i’m describing it correctly. I also was hoping it might work via the spdif cables.

I still want to use the lexicon and was used to an outboard mixer which made things easier…

You could do this one of several ways.

You could put a send on each track you want to send to the lexicon, route the sends to the lexicon and activate them, and then create a but where the input is set to the input coming back from the lexicon.


You could create a bus, put an insert on the bus prefader, and route the outputs of the insert to the lexicon, and the inputs back from the lexicon. That way anything you send to that bus (Also via putting a send on each track) gets sent to the lexicon.

Or half a dozen other ways really. The best way is up to you, but if oyu ask on IRC youll probably get a dozen different ways to do it, but it is also easier to walk someone through it in realtime.


Thnx for the quick response!

I will test both methods that you mentioned. I never use IRCs as of yet, bad habit, cause like you said you can get more interactive help…

After I wrote this I discovered jack eq and I believe jack-mixer, not in front of that computer right now. Jack eq showed the option of send/returns but I am not sure about the inputs described by ffado- there is firewire designated inputs and audio/spdif labeled inputs…Well wondering if that is useful to use, simpler maybe, or not. I usually have been routing via jack ‘‘connections’’ rather then Ardour cause I like to see the connections visually.

Note: I am testing the focusrite saffire pro out and have the option of buying it , but have to decide by tommorow. I just installed a realtime kernel from Tango Studio instead of pre-empt from U. Studio cause I got some xruns! I rarely got into this kind of trouble with the stereo maudio 2496 PCI card. Also I had a digital hardware mixer of sorts (so I didn’t have to worry about software send/returns) but I needed to record more simultaneous channels, amongst other things, hence the focusrite. But I really want to make sure that this audio interface is the right decision…

Ardour and Jack connections are identical in any released version of Ardour. There is no difference, Ardour uses Jack for all audio routing, even internally. So if you create a track or a send in Ardour, all the connections of that track or send will show up in every Jack compatible program, allowing you to use QJackCTL or similar to route it.


Sadly it is difficult to help you with this over the forums, what I explained above was the basics of it, but I don’t have my Saffire anywhere near my laptop I am on to be able to walk you through all the steps, step by step right now. IRC is really the best option for this, and people are around there typically most often during the daytime EST. You can get to IRC by going to Help>Chat in Ardour.


Hi Seablade!

I will try the chat tommorow cause I’m drained from trying to get it working, I had no luck! I hope someone can help…I tried the 2 methods you mentionned and I get sort of white noise from the lexicon inputs into the bus and I tried to send to that bus from a track I had a mike connected in. I just get the mike signal dry!

BTW do you use the IRC? If not, I guess its a pretty standard question.

I still am using the Ubuntu studio pre-empt kernel for today wasen’t in the mood of setting up permissions for the realtime kernel yet- and I have my partner still waiting on me to record…having updated some of jack, ardour from the Tango Studio repos but still using pre-empt kernel can’t cause any compatibility problems, right?

I miss using the hardware mixer, as a last resort I can still connect it via adat to the focusrite and have the lexicon aux in nice and easy lol! but then I have to start over with the mess of cables uurgh!

BTW do you use the IRC? If not, I guess its a pretty standard question.

Yes, I am usually on IRC, though may not always be at my keyboard or paying attention to the window.

I still am using the Ubuntu studio pre-empt kernel for today wasen't in the mood of setting up permissions for the realtime kernel yet- and I have my partner still waiting on me to record...having updated some of jack, ardour from the Tango Studio repos but still using pre-empt kernel can't cause any compatibility problems, right?

Unless you need low latency, and typically few people do(Live Mixing, Monitoring with Effects, or Monitoring MIDI instruments) then the kernel isn’t as important as making sure your users have realtime permissions.


Hi Seablade! Had to make sure all was working with the realtime kernel, also set my frequency scaler to performance cause jack and calf plug-ins had shut down on us last night a little too often, very annoying and time consuming to reconnect everything again (try to save ardour session often though) didn’t verify if it was xruns or something else…
Letting you know Im connected on the IRC and will be by my setup shortly…in case you are around…

BTW, I found out I had the clock on the lexicon set to internal rather then external. When I changed that, I got it working in both Windows side and Ardour! It doesn’t seem to work with a simple insert on the same channel (say a mike input). I found 2 ways so far, tiny variation from what your previously described, involving dry channel, bus/send and then a return/wet channel, or just a bus and channel. (The first method is interesting cause I can record simultaneous wet/dry track. I do have a couple of questions about the faders in ardour and potential sample rates but that will have to wait! Got lots of music to catch up to, but will be back on the IRC in the future! Thnx for the help!

As Jen Trynin would sing…’‘I’m feeling good, I’m feeling good
I’m feeling good -for now,
but I know that by tomorrow I’ll probably come around…’’

Just in case anyone is using the Focusrite S Pro 40, I found out that the outputs need to be set in Windows first, since the dice-matrix mixer is still not responsive and I believe is being worked on in ffado. Also the settings are saved from Windows to Linux because of the unit’s flash memory. Once you assigned the I/O to and from the effects processor, you can just select the wet inputs say Firewire PCM anlg in 5 and anlg in 6 (in this case its a stereo effect) to your track and set the wet % on the effects processor. Alternatively, you could also add a dry track of same instrument and record both simultaneously and then blend both dry and wet tracks.

Note: If anyone can use the mixer in linux, I’d really like to know as there is a libffdado 2.0.99+svn1995 version and I am using 2.0.1…I hesitated cause it from ‘‘unstable’’ repo but may try it if there are improvements in latency etc…