Ripping my hair out

Hey All
Im new around here but have been running ardour for about a year on my dirty old bone of a laptop with linux, and had no real issues figuring it all out with the jack settings and running various LV2 plugs, and even bought the package from linux dsp, which are awesome to say the least. But I never even considered doing a production on it, because well, I have been using the same system since about 2004 and I am fast and self assured on that system.

Rewind to last week. I inherit a powerMac g5 dual core thingy, and I decide to give it a go to mix my last production with ardour, and I am losing my mind with all the problems that are arising. Ive been lurking on the net reading all kinds of documentation on the software, and every user manual that I can lay my eyes on, but I tell ya, its a very hard process.

First off. Im mixing, and I get stutters and stops even with what in my opinion is not a very heavy plugin load. I should mention that Im using Mixbus by the way. The version of jack control for mac osx is a nightmare. I cant set up anywhere near as much as I could in qjack, and well If I wanna record a small part in a project after the mix starts, I can just forget about it, because my wrestling with the disk buffers and dsp overload has me occupied enough as it is.

So run my butt down to the corner convenience store for 4 gigs more of memory, which means that this machine now has 5 gigs of processing power and 6 gigs of memory and it cant keep up with my garbage picked windumb computer that is running on 1/3 of the power. This cant be possible. I must be missing something here. Ok, one weak link is that Im using my old Zoom h4 as a usb sound card, but windumb swallowed it like a cold beer on a saturday night.

So i crank the buffers up to 2040, and it goes for a while, then sppppuuurrrttt. The nightmare starts again. Restart jack. restart mixbus…reconnect the H4. ok , but for how long? maybe an hour, maybe half of a song. Not a very nice mixing situation. at least its my own project, because a customer would shoot me on the spot when they would have to witness such numbnuttery.

I know this sounds more like venting than looking for solutions, but I really want to give this a go, because the mixes that I did squeeze out of this metal monstrosity whoop a elephants booty with Rob Halfords studded belt. I know I could freeze he tracks and all that jazz, but just for fun, I set up a project to record 4 tracks of a acoustic song that fits my mood called “motherfu+#er” and had the buffer settings at 2040 and well, it went ok for a little while, then bluuuuurt. tracks recorded full of distortion and jitter. So latency settings down, no jitter, but then coming in way too late. I know I know. change the latency settings in jack, which I cant find unless I set up the device over mixbus, but then it wont let me change the settings. So I tried making it an appropriate device. no dice. This cant be right whats going on here.

A word on the mac itself. Its totally running well with other applications, Ive thrown heavy Illustrator files at it, and it gobbled the bytes up with vigor.

Any advice?
Blow myself up to put myself outta my misery? Or Go use my windumb system? I think id rather blow myself up.

ok first let me say that I am on my cell so this wont be as long and detailed as I might like…

The first thing I would normally mention is that even though you may not have inserted many plugins, keep in mind that Mixbus runs a variety of dsp on each bus, track, and mixbus. So if you are running the same dsp on both Ardour and Mixbus, Mixbus will obviously need more processing power. However that being said…

If you are having problems with a 4 track session something is definitly up and I would suggest dropping an email to Harrison with your session so that they can take a look at it. For the record I am mixing 30 to 40 tracks with no problems on my machines, primary differences being that I am running 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo based macs instead of PPC, so that may be playing a part in it.

It is doubtful that memory was your issue unless there is a nasty memory leak somewhere that needs to be fixed, were you actually running out of memory? What is your DSP load like? (Can be seen in Mixbus or Ardour).

Also for the record you can download and install QJackCTL for OSX at its website if you want. I tend to keep it arouund myself as well as it is a bit more flexible than JackPilot.


on a powerbook g4 I was able to mix about 16 tracks with some plugins (not many)… with about 1024 as my period setting (working from memory here)… and using the internal sound card… based on that, unless there is a flaw in the G5 architecure I daresay it is possibly the USB audio device… or drivers.

Thanks for your help guys, The guys at mixbus also sent me a helpful email about my issues, and i see the light now ! Only thing is now im sitting here attempting to compile QT4 so I can then compile and run Qjackctl. Im out of my element here, as I am not savvy with this kind of stuff, but im industrious. and nerding through it like a trooper. aint out of the woods yet, but I will be soon I hope…

Hmm I thought there used to be DMGs of QJackCTL on their website but now I can’t find them, however if you google QJackCTL DMG you will likely find some is my guess.


Thanks for the tip seablade, found an older version as a dmg for ppc. greeeeat!