When syncing Hydrogen to Ardour, I can't move the playhead

Hi all, I’m trying to sync Hydrogen to Ardour. I have them both connected in Jack, and I have Ardour set to Time Master and JACK right above it. I’ve set Hydrogen to use the Jack driver (in tools->preferences->audio system), and J.Trans is highlighted in Hydrogen.

Right now, when I press play in either Ardour or Hydrogen, it starts them playing in both, which is good. But when I pause, and try to move the playhead back to the beginning of the track in Ardour, it doesn’t let me, unless I unclick “time master”. If I try to move it without clicking that, it just snaps it back to wherever it was.

I don’t really understand the function of “time master” first of all, what is it?

Also, how can I move the playhead? Am I not supposed to be able to?

Thank you!

Hi poopenheimer,

What version of Ardour (&linux?) are you using (ardour->help->about)?
I had a similar problem with an older 2.8.x (I forget now) version I installed first.

Cheers, Brian

Hi BrianSully, I’m using Ardour 2.8.12, and linux 3.2.0-60.

OK, same as the 2.x version I have here…

Far as I remember (but my memory is sketchy) I first installed ardour with,

sudo apt-get install ardour …

I had problems where I couldnt loop when syncing hydrogen via jackd (I wanted to work a particular pattern by looping the relevent part of the song). The playhead just ran through the loop end.

Also on occasion I also had problems pretty mush as you described (cant remember the exact details though).

I read somewhere that an apt build fixed similar issues so I tried,

sudo apt-build --source install ardour …

went away, had a long cup of tea, came back after the build and install and problems were gone.
I’m presuming the rebuild did the trick.

Shortly after I moved onto ardour 3.x & forgot about the issues.

Did you install your system with ‘apt-get install ardour’ ?

I might repeat the process, ie. delete ardour 2.x here & reinstall with just ‘apt-get install ardour’ & see if I get the issues again & if so see if ‘sudo apt-build --source install ardour’ fixes them.

But do let me know if you installed your 2.8.12 version with ‘sudo apt-build --source install ardour’ because if you did & still have those problems then I’m on the wrong track.

I hope that makes some sence…

Cheers, Brian


FWIW I always deselect Ardour as time master (look in Session–>Properties) when working with Hydrogen otherwise things are quite unpredictable, when Hydrogen is the time master I can move the playhead all over the place in Ardour and things will stay positioned, when Ardour is time master I lose sync with Hydrogen in no time.

YMMV, worth a try though…


Odd I have never needed it for that purpose(For example syncing to Jadeo), I must be completely missing something. Oh well I guess glad to be corrected, though am a bit confused now:)


Alright, any ideas though?

Time Master refers to MIDI primarily, which tells Ardour to generate the timecode for others to follow. It is not used with Jack transport to my knowledge.


Actually Seablade, quite the opposite. Time Master is exclusively associated with JACK transport and tells Ardour whether or not to take on the role of defining the current time for JACK transport.