Zoom H4, Ardour, Jack, Aggregate Device?

Thanks in advance.

I’m trying to use a Zoom H4 as a mic for the time being rather than the built-in on a MacBook (not the Pro).

I’ve gotten as far as being able to record from the H4 - I see it in an Audio track in Ardour when I set the Mac’s system preferences to Input=H4, Output=Jack, I do all the routing things in Jack and it works - sort of. I noticed in my learning curve stage that I had to change Jack input/output preferences back and forth between built-in audio and H4 in order to playback anything and hear it through the laptop (or headphones plugged into the laptop). I also noticed that both Jack’s input and output in the preferences dialog change at the same time to the same thing, i.e., they cannot be selected as separate streams. This led me to read the Jack manual again and it clearly states that an Aggregate Device must be set up if one wants to have different input and output streams.

How is the Aggregate Device correctly set up to do this?!

I did set up an Aggregate Device awhile back in order to stop the initial Ardour duplex business splashscreen about email Apple, etc., so I know how to do that.

For the current issue though I’ve tried nearly everything I can think of and have gotten to the point where if I set Mac System Preferences to Aggregate Device at least the H4 is being picked up (and not the built-in mic). In Ardour when I play the Audio track after recording it (and without exiting Ardour, changing Jack, etc.) I see the Master also is responding in sync so the signals are all there but I never get any output (speakers, headphones, normalized - it doesn’t matter).

Any help in properly setting up the Ardour-Jack-Aggregate Device interface would be greatly appreciated.


If you can, catch me on IRC, it is much easier to walk you through that there. If you can’t get myself or someone to help you there, post again here and I will try to type up a summary of steps.


S.: Many thanks. Your offer to walk me through the config is WONDERFUL. Thanks! I will look around for how to do IRC on this Mac and we can do it that way. I just can’t believe that I’m missing on some level how to do the Aggregate Device… Close, yet so far…

I will look around for how to do IRC on this Mac and we can do it that way.

In Ardour… Help>Chat


Seablade: Thank you. Things are working now. I looked at the complete I/O chain and carefully stepped through all the routings/connections on each of the softwares in the chain. I can now record into Ardour and listen back when using Play in Ardour. Now I have to make sense of doing headphone monitoring instead of just recording then listening back… (I already did a Google on Ardour monitoring and have read your advice…)


Seablade: am a user on IRC chat but don’t know how to use it! I type in the thingy at the bottom of my screen but it says “can’t use this command in this window”. Obviously it’s not just vanilla chat. What commands should I use to type to the community? Thanks in advance.

There are no “commands” for you to type. If you just type regular text, with no leading “/”, then it should work fine.

Many thanks. I’ve gotten it to work based on your comments.