JACK, Kore, and me...

Distro: RemixOS 11.05
DAW: Ardour as Mixbus
Hardware: Native instruments Kore 1 Controller
Module/driver: snd-usb-caiaq


I’ve spent the last couple of days of free time trying to get JACK to play nice with my Kore 1 Controller interface -
this is the original Kore Controller with the built-in audio card - and any pointers with JACK configuration would be greatly appreciated.

Nothing that I’ve found via Google ever actually tells me, how to set JACK up for the four-channel output - until I read the Ardour manual (yes, desperation had set in…)

The Ardour manual comes closest to ‘speaking to the impatient layman’ in terms of JACK setup, which is why I’m asking for assistance from this forum :slight_smile:

I’ve come to the conclusion that my lack of understanding of JACK is the issue because:

  • I've searched this forum and the "edit the channels in the master system output configuration" trick only shows me two channels in Mixbus, When I run the same PC and the same outboard soundcard with Mixbus under OSX, I have the four channels available
  • I have a choice of either hw:2 (1 & 2 out) or hw:2,0 (3 & 4 out) and I can't see how I can can pick just Kore Controller, although I did read somewhere that I can set JACK up to read the entire device by teling it to use hw:Kore Controller but it looks like it's via the CLI or a script, and there doesn't seem to be any option to do the same through JACK's configuration GUI... (maybe if I knew how to do this, it'd go somewhere in the Options tab of the JACk config GUI???)
  • I can select either the the first two outputs (in OSX these are 1 and 2 - to monitors) or the second two outputs (in OSX these are 3 and 4 - headphone socket), exclusively, but can only route Audacious and Audacity through to the headphone socket with JACK running that exclusive configuration. This proves to some extent that the issue isn't with the driver module for the card.
  • if I leave the JACK setup that I created for the headphones as 'currently selected' then stop and quit JACK, when the two audio programs mentioned in the last point start, they automatically default back to outputs 1 & 2<
  • Mixbus works exactly as described in the last point except if I run the server to try and start it like I did Audacious and Audacity, Mixbus complains about JACK not being available (kind of a no-brainer, really :) )

    So I guess now all I can say is… can anybody help, please?



    As a post-script the RemixOS is primarily designed to run Reaper under wineASIO with low-latency but I have the same limited output channel issue in that app as well and that issue too comes back to JACK’s setup.

  • @Schprocket: for one reason or another (and its probably a good reason) the ALSA USB driver presents your device as having multiple "subdevices". You will get help much faster and more efficiently if you use IRC to ask us how to do what you want (see http://ardour.org/support) - forums are really a terrible, stupid, slow and tedious medium for this kind of thing.

    To provide a few hints you should see the JACK FAQ, specifically the image for “Tell JACK which device to use” on http://jackaudio.org/pulseaudio_and_jack and the general overview of using multiple devices (sadly still incomplete): http://jackaudio.org/multiple_devices

    Cheers for the quick reply, Paul.

    The cat command is how I get KoreController to show up against entry 2 in the list but it doesn’t appear as one device, as the DSP does in that image.

    I’ll check out the rest of the info tomorrow

    Thanks for the heads up on the IRC - I’d be there right now if it weren’t nearly midnight here… plus I already did an ‘after midnight’ last night! :slight_smile:


    Well after more digging around, I finally found something relevant which ties in with the pulse_audio page link you posted. From that link it seemed that creating a .asoundrc file would do the trick, then I found some more info at http://www.native-instruments.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74006

    Although it’s for the Audio 8 DJ hardware, the driver is the same, so it’s going to be the old trial & error reverse-engineering of the script over there to get my card working as I expect - the trick to finding it on the NI site wasn’t to use linux + Kore, it was linux + JACK of all things.

    At this stage, I reckon I’m bugging the wrong people by asking in here but hopefully I’ll have something posted over in the NI forums for anybody else who ends up with the same issue that I did.

    So apologies for asking in the wrong site and a big thanks for the guidance - I know I’ll definitely be in the right place when it’s a DAW issue! :wink:

    @Schprocket: I’ll be VERY suprised if you get more help on the NI forums than on the IRC channels #ardour and/or #jack at Freenode.


    I figured it’s really an NI issue, mate, and that I’d persist over there a little while longer.

    NI helped Daniel Mack and another guy put together the linux driver for the NI USB audio cards about three years ago or so, and whilst it’s enough to say you can get sound in and out on all channels, it’s not replicating the functionality achievable in Windows and OSX.

    So, now I’m back to figuring it out for myself, I wanted to post whatever I found worked for my hardware in the same thread I posted above.

    I pm’d one of the moderators asking that the thread be re-opened (it had been closed on ‘aging’) and to make it a sticky so any other NI users provide help or be helped, and the moderator I asked has kindly agreed to my request and set it up.

    That all said, I’ll keep your IRC recommendations in mind for when I feel I’ve hit a wall.
    It’s been nearly 10 years since I last used IRC, btw.
    I did drop by the #ardour channel at about 1600 UTC+8 but I think if most of the people logged in were in UTC-6, they would have been asleep at that time…

    In the mean time, now that I’ve got some sort of clue, I’m happy to play with the .asoundrc file, at least until my patience runs out… :slight_smile:

    @Schprocket: no, its not an NI issue. Its a function of the fact that the ALSA driver identifies each USB endpoint as a distinct PCM device. This is not specific to NI devices - its something that affects all USB audio devices on Linux. And yes, IRC is most active during US daytime (UTC-[5…8]), with some smart folks also on during central european daytime (UTC+1).

    @Paul ok, that makes sense, I’m convinced! :slight_smile: I’ll drop by later in the week - cheers!

    Paul, seablade, oof, and anybody who may be interested:

    I got it!

    It was JACK-related and I had to suss out an appropriate .asoundrc file to get around it, which I’ve since posted over at the NI forums in the thread I linked to above.

    After so many ‘close but no cigar’ moments and some coaching from the AV linux distro forums, I got enough clues to stitch the .asoundrc file together to give me the two-channels-in/four-channels-out that I was chasing.

    Ardour and Mixbus are happy now (actually they never weren’t happy - it was just me :0) ) so the next phase will be to learn more about Ardour’s editing functions, of which I’ve since realised through this testing that I’ve barely scratched the surface…

    Cheers all!