Inputs and multiple tracks


In the process of recording with Ardour, I do what most people probably do: Start with a track, record it, then create a new one and overdub, over and over. I have Ardour set to auto-connect track inputs to the hardware ports.

All of that works fine. However, the more tracks I add, the more tracks end up sitting there hooked to the physical input ports. If I get to, say, 12 tracks, I can’t play an instrument while Ardour is running with the transport stopped. If I do, the output from the instrument goes into all the inputs of all the previously-recorded tracks, and it comes out of the speakers loud enough to rattle my neighbors windows. This obviously doesn’t happen when the transport is running.

It’s obvious what my problem is; I’m not disconnecting the inputs of already-recorded tracks before I start recording new ones. What I’m wondering is if there’s an option that doesn’t require me to do that. If there was some kind of option that says “Tracks should only record from inputs if they’re record-armed” or something, that would seem to solve my problem (which isn’t a problem with Ardour). I haven’t seen anything like that, so I think I must just be going about it wrong. Suggestions?

play with the “Auto-Input” button in the transport bar. it will likely have the effect you are looking for.

Hi Kellyschrock!
Indeed you need to disconnect your capture device from all the input ports except for the one you want to record into. I’m not an expert but I use the JACK Audio Connection Kit to do that. It’s easy and it helps you understand the way computer’s audio works. I suppose you are running jackctl to get Ardour running (in my computer Ardour does not function without Jackctl).
So, open the Jackctl application and click the “connect” button. You’ll see two columns. On the left one there are the readable clients or output ports and on the right one, the writable clients or input ports. You have your audio device and Ardour. Within Ardour, all the tracks you have created, plus the master and one or two more which I don’t get. Your audio capture device is an output port, and each audio track in Ardour has both input and output ports (mono or stereo), and you can connect them the way you want. When you create an audio track in Ardour the capture device connects automatically to the input of it. So you have to disconnect the capture device on the left from the audio tracks on the right column. You select them first and then press “disconnect”. Tamper with it, you’ll see. You can even connect the output of a track or the outputs of the master track to the input of another one and record them with Ardour to get a mix, or whatever.
You can use Jackctl to connect in a flexible way audio and midi software tools such as hydrogen, rosegarden or jamin. It’s easy and it works.
Stop that noise!