Monitoring while recording

I’m trying to set up headphone monitoring while recording (possibly for track laying but certainly for dropin repairs)
I’m a new Ardour user.
System is based on M-Audio Delta1010.
Outputs 1+2 go to my monitor speakers and 3+4 go to the headphones.
I can’t get any input (from the mic) into the monitoring bus if I set up Ardour in what seems the obvious way.

I created a session selecting “Create monitor bus” 2 channels because that looked like it would be a sensible thing to do if I wanted a monitor bus.
I notice that when I add tracks to the session, they have outputs named Audio1[Control]out1 as well as Audio1 out 1 and it’s the [control] labelled outputs that go to the monitor bus when the tracks are created.
1st question: what does [control] mean in that context?..

I manually routed the monitor bus to out (Playback) 3+4 instead of 1+2.
After recording stuff on up to 8 channels I can play back and hear though headphones connected to outputs 3 and 4, and the level is controlled by the monitor bus fader. So far so good - the monitor works for playback.

Reading the manual about Auto Input I interpreted this as meaning the track outputs switch to the mic inputs when they need to i.e. when the track is record-armed.
This doesn’t seem to happen - in fact I can’t get the input signal to appear in the monitors at all.
I could do this by explicitly routing the inputs to the monitor bus, but as I understand it I don’t want that, because it would bypass the automatic switching of track output between recorded audio track and system input.

I expect I’ve missed something simple and fundamental, but so far it doesn’t make sense to me.

Hmm several misunderstandings here. The first thing is that it seems you are using a control bus, which I haven’t used much in a while so I can’t help but so much on that, didn’t realise that created a second set of audio outs for each track, handy to know(And a good thing).

Really I suspect in your case you don’t need the control bus. What you do want to look at is what you have told Ardour to do about monitoring. For this I reccomend reading here…

Basically if you can’t do the monitoring in your hardware, not sure in your case, then you want to tell Ardour to do the monitoring and that will allow signal to be passed through when a track is record enabled, but will incur the latency you have Jack set to as well as AD/DA latency, whereas hardware monitoring if your interface is capable of it will be MUCH lower latency.


delta1010 is capable of hw-based, close-to-zero-latency monitoring of all inputs and outputs signals. what you need is envy24 control utility, a soundcard control panel which features a dedicated mixer and router for this task. this allows you to set the monitoring directly in your hardware, without having to use a monitor bus in ardour.

Thanks both.
Yes, I know about hardware monitoring and envy24 looks good, though it’s a slight limitation that I have to use outputs 1+2 for the headphone mix, as the system uses those same outputs for general audio when I’m not using Jack (You tube videos, checking exported WAV etc) which I want in the speakers and I hoped I’d be able to have speakers and heapdphones on separate outputs since I have 8 available! I may find a solution to that involving putting the speakers on outputs 3+4

Also, while I might end up using hardware monitoring, I feel I should know how to do it in software and understand how Ardour works. It’s running fine at 2.7ms latency while recording 8 inputs so software monitoring should be usable.

What you do want to look at is what you have told Ardour to do about monitoring. For this I reccomend reading here....
I've been there, and fully appreciate the benefits of hardware monitoring, but I've addressed that above... As for telling Ardour what to do about monitoring, I thought I'd told it but it doesn't seem to understand :-) Anyway, the manual page your referred to says, under "Ardour does monitoring" :
During recording, Ardour will route the inputs of record-armed tracks directly through the tracks (instead of playing back the pre-recorded audio on the track). Known as "software monitoring",
That's the bit that isn't working: as far as I can see, Ardour is not routing the inputs of record-armed tracks through the tracks, or at least it's certainly not sending them to the "control bus" (what is that? I can't find a reference in any of the manuals)

I’ll try starting afresh with “create monitor bus” NOT selected on a new session, and add a normal bus after opening the sessionr. I’ll also try creating a “send” on the track output, sending that to my monitor bus. That will have the advantage that I can adjust the levels per-track in the monitor mix, which I can’t if I route Audio out 1 straight to the bus input.

Thanks for your interest - I’ll let you know how it goes

Always check the simplest, most obvious explanation first…
I didn’t know that Ardour has a monitoring item in the options menu, which was set to “Audio hardware does monitoring”.
I’ve set it to “Ardour does monitoring” and expect greatly improved results.

I did say I was new to this.
I think I’d better go through all the options on every menu and somehow learn what they do so I remember they are there.

Sorry and thanks again.