play automation for monitoring purposes?


I wonder if there is a workaround for what I am trying to achieve:

I have a void track which I arm for monitoring purposes only
(Ardour does monitoring). I don’t want to record, just play and listen
what I am playing along with other tracks. I would like to automatically
modify “my” gain level in certain parts of the time line.

I can’t use the gain fader automatically.
If I write automation and then try to play it, play doesn’t work
as long as the track is armed.

Any ideas?

Cheers! Pablo.

Oh yes, I am running ardour 2.8 built from revision 5245.

I guess the workaround is to lower the other tracks.
Perhaps the easiest way if you have many is to route them to a bus and automate the bus level.
Another way would be to assign the tracks to a group, but I’m not sure if you can automate a group’s gain.

Thank you peder, I haven’t thought of that.
I will try it (route to a bus).
Anyway, is there a reason automation doesn’t work in armed tracks?
Or is it so unusual developers haven’t even thought of it?
I admit that I have no experience with DAW’s other than Ardour
and I use it just for home recording but right now I don’t see
anything bad in this.

Regards. Pablo.

I guess your needs are so unusual noone thought or bothered to implement it.
I mean, you normally arm a track to record on it and then you bother about level control during playback. And how can you automize a track that hasn’t been recorded yet? How would you know where to put the automation points?

I’m sort of thinking you must have done the monitoring the wrong way. I’m no expert in having Ardour monitoring the input sound (my soundcard does HW monitoring) but there should be another way than having to arm the track methinks. You’d still have to do the trick about lowering the other tracks though.
Hmm, you should be able to just route the inputs from your soundcard to the outputs using QJackCtl. Have you tried that?

Hmm I would need to look at the code, but I am not sure if the fader would operate the gain on the track, then automating the fader on an armed track would be a BAD idea. It would mean your recordings wouldn’t come in clean at all. But again I have to look at it to be sure.


When ardour does monitoring you can use the fader to control the monitoring level.
I do this to rehearse rather than to record but it could be used to record as well. For example, I have a finished song by my band which I have recorded into ardour and I want to rehearse my part with the guitar.
I want to listen to what I am playing low enough so I feel like I am rehearsing with the others.
I don’t mind not to listen to myself a lot in the rhythm guitar parts but when there is a solo,
I would like to increase the monitoring level, automatically. You are right, I don’t exactly know the level increase I want, but this is not important, just a bit more, or else I can edit the automation line afterwards and try again.
Yes, I can route the input directly to the card outputs, but this way I can’t use the fader.

I am seeing that in software monitoring the fader modifies the monitoring level but not the input level.

I guess most people in studios use hardware monitoring but in home recording with a decent audio card but with two outputs only (m-audio 2496 in my case) where you can get very low latencies with Jack and with little gear, virtual amplifiers and so on, software monitoring is good.

Cheers! Pablo.