Separate sound cards with ALSA backend

I’m relatively new to Ardour so apologies if I ask something trivial. Reading the manual and searching the forums hasn’t lead me to an answer…

I run Ardour5 on Fedora27 with the ALSA backend. I try to avoid Jack.
I have a Zoom R24 that I want to use for input, and the output should go to the system sound card. However, in the Audio/MIDI Setup window, whenever I select the R24 for input, it is automatically assigned to output as well. Likewise, when I select the system sound card (HDA Intel) as output device it is automatically assigned to input as well.

So the valid combinations for input and output seem to be: None + any of the others, Any + None, HDA Intel + HDA Intel and R24 + R24.
With R24 selected, I can record all 8 inputs, and with HDA Intel selected I can play tracks through the system audio. In either case I can use the DAW functions of the R24 (buttons, sliders, etc.). So technically everything seems to understand each other.

How can I use the R24 for input and the system sound card for output?

Not with the ALSA backend.

You can use JACK for this but please read this first


You used to be able to do this with ALSA as well IIRC, pretty sure Robin and I tested this a while back when I first started working with my laptop for similar reasons (Actually think the Input on my laptop was an issue, so I could do just output through the built in to work on the road). Could be wrong but at least fairly confident in my memory on this one, was this an intentional change?

Obviously same caveats would apply whether using Jack or ALSA.


seablade: not quite. Ardour’s ALSA backend does not support multiple devices in any released version of Ardour so far.
There is some code to allow this in 6.0-pre but there is no GUI to set this up, yet (it’s possible to configure via an environment variable)

The current Audio/MIDI Setup window leads to believe that you can set input and output device independently. Since this is apparently not possible, may I suggest to change this to a single dropdown list for device selection, and two checkboxes to select “Input” and “Output”?

It might become possible in the future, as noted by x42 above.


How odd, I was fairly certain I remembered testing that with you a while back. Oh well, ignore me and I will go back to my little hole in the wall:)