Latence / external mixer


I am currently using Ardour 4 on an iMac with El Capitan.

When recording, I use 44,1 kHz with buffer size 1024 samples (23,2ms).
While working inside of ardour, I do not even recognize latency; however, when exporting downmixes, the latency is very noticable.

Jack does not work on El Capitan. I am considering buying an external mixer to reduce (or rather, completely get rid off) latency.

A friend of mine recommended the Phonic PHHB24U board. It looks great and I have been participating in recording sessions with it, it seems like a great piece of hardware. Anyway, it is also pretty pricy. I do not currently need so many inputs.

As I record track by track, technically one input is enough for me. I am just looking for a piece of hardware I can connect and record with so there is no latency when exporting my downmixes. Can you recommend something?

Also, I have tried setting the buffer size to a lower number. When I do, I keep hearing cracking sound / noise in the recording track.

Do I need to buy an interface or is there a simpler solution to get rid off latency? Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

What exactly do you mean by ‘latency when exporting downmixes’ ?

What exactly is happening vs what are you expecting?

From what you have described, I can’t see how having an external mixer would help, and I generally will not recommend Phonic anyways.


We have reports of JACK working on El Capitan.

Ardour does not care about your audio interface hardware. If you want to do “serious” recording, you will need to buy something to use instead of the builtin audio interface in your iMac. What you buy will be determined primarily by your budget and by how many inputs and outputs you need. On OS X, most stuff is going to work acceptably well.

Thanks guys.

I have this project:
Master (Stereo)
Track Guitar 1
Track Guitar 2
Track Guitar 3
Track Guitar Bridge 1
Track Guitar Bridge 2
(all mono)
Bus Guitars (stereo)
Vocals Main
Vocals Support
Bus Vocals (stereo)

Each bus has the appropriate inputs (i.e. Bus Guitars has all Guitar Tracks as inputs) and output (Master 1). While working in Ardour, timing seems to be correct. This is a test file, so I won’t say everything is recorded perfectly; however, everything syncs up. Then, when I export a wave mix of all tracks (= Master 1) and play it in any audio player, the timing seems way off, especially the vocals, but also some guitar tracks, are really not on time.

This is confusing. I’d assume when everything sounds fine in the program, the downmix would sound exactly like that, but it does not.

@seablade: what would you recommend rather than Phonic? I should mention that all these recordings I am trying to do now are nothing more but demos for personal use. Later on, we will record some punk rock tracks. What I am trying to say is that I probably do not need top shelf hardware as we are not trying to record another “Dark Side Of The Moon” but rather garage band stuff. I am not saying I don’t want reasonable hardware, but I also do not want to spend thousands of Dollars for something I would consider a “just for fun” project.

@paul: I could not find a working version of JACK. I am trying to do serious recording as in I do not want any noises or (noticeable) latency as accours now. I have also been considering the Behringer XENYX X2222USB as an affordable USB input. So far I could not figure out whether it is capable of providing as many individual tracks as it has inputs or if it would mix all input channels into one track.

Generally speaking, right now I only need one to two individual inputs (which should be recorded as individual tracks in Ardour, not as a mix of both in one track). Later, I assume 8 inputs (as individual tracks) should be sufficient when recording band material, though it would be nice to have the option of adding some mics, so maybe 16 inputs? I am not sure about a price range. If it is possible to find something useful for around $350/€300 I’d go for that.

jack2 for El Capitan:

Still, this is an odd issue, when everything is in sync while playing (listening to master out), the exported wav should be exactly the same.
I just tried on OSX and it works for me. Also when re-importing the exported file, then polarity invert the channels, it zeros out.
Can you reproduce this with a minimal session (say two short tracks) that you can share?

This problem only seems to accour when working with a larger number of tracks. I have been considering stem exporting all the tracks, then importing them in a new session and creating a downmix from those files (so no effects have to be rendered over the plain wave files) but have not gotten around to it.

Thanks for the link, I will check it out.

I am still open to hardware suggestions though, regardless if this problem can be solved with jack2 or any other software solution =)