Internal speakers / headphone dropping out on dell xps 13

I’m trying to get ardour up and running on my dell xps 13 with ubuntu 18.04, using jack. When I route the output to internal speakers or headphones, the audio fades in and out quickly, as if it’s being enclosed in a sine wave that has a period of about 2/second. When I use a usb connection to my external speakers, it works fine.

This is your onboard sound card. For pro audio, you really want an outboard card that gives you some gain control, a high quality headphone preamp, and some actual pro-audio inputs to use if you’re doing vocals or instruments.

The thing is, you need to set up a system for pro audio. This tutorial from Unfa is a great step by step walkthrough. In general with Linux, before Ardour will run well and you are able to get GOOD results with it, you should expect a 45min-2h (depending on how many issues you run into) setup time, with a few reboots, some running of commands in the terminal, and some serious “holy shit this isn’t Windows or Mac” moments. Linux is LOGICAL, but it isn’t always EASY because of the way packages are set up.

I will say that I have access to Logic and Mac, and refuse to switch because (A) I hate the layout of Logic and MacOS both, and (B) I get pretty bangin results with my Ardour box.

I have a motu 8 channel input,(and some other two-channel interfaces) but it’s firewire 400 and only works with my mac. I used to use cubase on mac, but I would love to use linux and not have to re-purchase cubase every time mac updates the OS. So, I’m trying out ardour to see if it will work for me. If I can’t get it to put a simple stereo output onto my built-in sound card, then I’m nervous about getting new hardware for this system.
Also, I’ve been a software developer on linux systems for the last 30 years, so that’s not really the issue.

I just installed Harrison mixbus, and it manages to play audio correctly out of my internal speakers. I wonder what the difference is since it’s based on ardour.

That is surprising. The backend and engine code is identical, as is the build-system.

(Mixbus 6.1.22 is based on Ardour 6.2-33, and there have not been any changes since that could explain this). Are you using the same settings with both in Audio/MIDI Setup?

I’m using ardour 5, since that is what is in the distribution for ubuntu18.04 and it looked like downloading 6 was going to be a hassle. If mixbus works, I’ll just use that, I guess.

I highly disagree. It was a single terminal command to start the installer and a couple Y hits later that I had Ardour 6.3.0.

Somewhat off topic @x42 but I’m seeing the Arch distros now have 6.3.2 in the repos, but if I go to download it from the Ardour site all I get is 6.3.0. The big change I care about (classifying the LSP multisampler plugin as an instrument instead of an effect) isn’t there in the 6.3.2 version, so I gotta ask what gives? What was changed between those two? And how come the official Ardour site doesn’t have it up for download?


So I took a quick glance, I see in Arch a 6.3-3, which isn’t the same as 6.3.3. What is in Arch is the third package of 6.3, not anything new compared to 6.3 but changes in the download/compilation instructions that make up the packaging on Arch, any changes to Ardour’s source code in comparison to it is likely on their side.


The release is 6.3. For a project like Ardour, managing micro-versions make no sense.

We use micro-versions to denote development changes. 6.3-2 (aka 6.3.2) just means two changes after the 6.3 release.

see the first two changes in this git change log: displaying (all) MIDI automation lanes was tweaked.

You can get the current recent builds (currently 6.3-133) from

For some reason I thought I had to build the nightly build from source, which is definitely not the case. Super happy that I can now import all my Hydrogen kits and use them in Ardour! Thanks Robin :smiley: