Record e-drums connected to Mac in Ardour running on Linux DAW

Hi guys

I wonder if you could help me figure out whether what I have in mind is at all feasible.

First a few words about the setup I’m using: In a room upstairs I’ve got my e-drums hooked up to a Mac Mini running Reaper and a drum sampler plugin. Downstairs in a larger room, I have my DAW set up - it’s currently running Sonar on Windows, but I’m looking into switching to Ardour 3 on Linux, as Sonar is the only reason I’m still booting into Windows, all other stuff I’m doing on Linux these days.

Both environments work nicely - on their own. My current method is creating a mixdown in Sonar on the PC downstairs, loading it in Reaper on the Mac upstairs and recording a MIDI drum track, then importing the MIDI in Sonar on PC downstairs. It works, but it’s a lot of hassle every time.

What I would like to do: be able to somehow sync Reaper on the Mac upstairs with Ardour on the PC downstairs.

This, I imagine, would save me from doing all the intermediate steps. With a session currently loaded on the PC, I would like to simply go upstairs, hit “record” on the Mac and play my e-drums to the playback coming over the network, go back downstairs and find the MIDI recorded in the sequencer on the PC.

If that is possible, how would you go about doing it? Or would you set it up differently, i.e. leave the MIDI on the Mac and just stream the audio back to Ardour?

Very much looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this.


Well, I’m not the best person to answer this since I’ve never done this myself, but you might be able to do what you want several ways:
o run netjack which allows Jack connections over a network. Then you could set up Ardour to use Jack transport so that it is controlled by Jack events. But I do not know if Reaper has Jack support which is rather critical for this to work. Well, maybe that does not matter. You can bypass Reaper and just route the midi signal via NetJack on the Mac. Hmm, but you still need to tell Ardour when to record which could be done using OSC, perhaps, if Reaper supports this.
o Skip Reaper and use Ardour3 on your Mac which can use Jack/Netjack, but maybe you’d need to run your drum sampler in standalone mode (Don’t know if Ardour3 can support your plugin)

Just export the drum track from reaper as a stereo wav and import it into Ardour.

I’m doing something similar, but not quite the same. My setup/workflow:

Ardour 3 on linux (midi keyboard, e-drums) AND osx ((bfd, superior drummer and vsl (all standalone), and uad).
multimidicast broadcasts over the network. ipMidi on osx captures midi, netjack sends audio back to linux.

Linux Tracking (don’t need osx Ardour 3, yet):
Midi recorded while monitoring osx audio on linux; edit, playback and record audio on linux. Other tracking…

After tracking, have Ardour 3 running on both machines, sync transports and playback linux audio, record on osx.

Osx Mixing (don’t need linux Ardour 3 now):
Move to and monitor osx for mixing with uad.

I think you could instead use jack for the midi connections, but at the time I was working on setting up, Ardour 3 osx wasn’t available. I tried Reaper (and some other hosts) but had trouble syncing.

The big thing is: use Ardour 3 on both machines - easier, elegant and works flawlessly.