Play Button won't Operate

I have just installed Ardour on Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10) on an HP Pavilion. JACK is running and looks to be connected to the sound card ok. Ardour starts up fine and I can create new tracks etc. However, the transport controls appear to be stuck in the stop mode. I can enable the record button and the track record button, but clicking the play button doesn’t bring Ardour out of stop.

I was intending to get the click track going to check the audio connections but I can’t play the click track as I’m stuck in stop! Does anyone have any ideas what may be causing this odd behaviour?

Thanks very much.

Hmmm, interesting… I’ve occasionally had a similar problem where the Play buton works but doesn’t “light up” (i.e. the transport starts rolling but the transport keys remain in ‘Stop’ mode). It first started happening when I upgraded to jack 0.109 (which was later found to be buggy) but I’m not sure if that’s the real explanation. It even happens on internal sync. On my system it only happens occasionally.

Thanks for the notes. I’ve just about exhausted all the avenues at the moment and I can only assume there is some config/linkage problem that is perculiar to my system. I haven’t been able to get the level meters to register yet either although I can hear the line input on the line out and the simple recorder bundled with Ubuntu records fine.

I have an old Dell laptop that I tried Ardour on some time ago and that just worked, but it wasn’t powerful enough to do anything serious.

Dr Frog,

Are you starting JACK with QJackctl? Ardour’s transport wont work if JACK has disconnected, Are you certain Ardour hasn’t disconnected JACK when it launched. Contrary to the poster above I found that the latest JACK .116.2 would disconnect every time I launched Ardour, but 109.2 was/is rock solid. Check the JACK menu at the top of the main Ardour Window and click “reconnect” and see if that helps.

Ubuntu’s sound recorder probably isn’t using JACK and works because it is accessing your Hardware directly through ALSA.


Yes I am using QJackCtl. Ardour seems happy with the connection to JACK as Ardour appears in the QJackCtl connections dialogue box (along with alsa_pcm) and the JACK menu doesn’t allow me to reconnect. The version of jackd reported in the messages window is 0.103.0.

I found this link but sadly it hasn’t worked for me!

I’m a little surprised that I can’t even get the click track to sound. I’ve tried all 6 outputs on my sound card.


Well I guess that rules out the obvious…I don’t know which version of Ardour you are using but I would suggest checking out which will provide you with more recent packages of both Ardour and JACK 109.2 which despite being touted as “obsolete” is very stable and works well with Gutsy. You can add Ematech to your repositories and benefit from many updated packages for Gutsy Audio-wise. I would suggest you use the “old-fashioned” cut and paste method to add the repos and Key because in my experience the “app-install ematech” quick add package doesn’t work right in Gutsy. If you need further help just post back,

I honestly don’t know why your setup isn’t working, however JACK .103 is getting old enough that more recent versions of Ardour won’t install with it so perhaps it isn’t a bad idea to bring your system up to date anyway.

Just a suggestion… take it or leave it.


I’ve followed your advice and updated to JACK 109.2 via ematech, but for me no luck I’m afraid. The version of Ardour is 2.1 (installed via synaptic) which I guess is a little old now but Qjackctl seems happy with the connections, with no errors reported.

Looks like I’ve been singled out…Or it doesn’t like my PC!

I may try out your A/V Linux or Ubuntu Studio on a different disk when I have a bit more time and see if either of those will work on this machine.

Thanks for your time.


What is your audio card?


Nothing very exciting. It’s a CMedia CMI8738 which is a pretty standard 6 channel PC audio card.

For testing purposes I tried using Audcity. The current repository version 1.3.4 just doen’t work. There are many people complaining about it. The recommended option here is to downgrade to 1.3.3. Hey presto all works fine. I’ve tried the OSS and ALSA connections direct to the audio card and they work fine.

All this proves though is that the ALSA driver can record/playback through this card.

Update: Installed Ubuntu Studio 8.10 on a spare disk, and Ardour works perfectly. So at least it can work on this computer and suggests that there is some subtle configuration issue or some other software component problem on my Gutsy installation.

Thanks for your support.