Connecting Audio and MIDI Devices

Normally Ardour does not care about how audio and MIDI gets into the computer—it pretty much deals only with its own inputs and outputs; it is up to the user to ensure that all external routing is sound. After all, Ardour has no way to know how signals from the outside world get to it. However, there are some things that Ardour can do to help troubleshoot problems with audio and MIDI connections—at least on the computer side.

For example, a typical setup might include a microphone that feeds a mixer that then feeds the computer. A failure can occur anywhere in that chain, including the cables that connect everything together. As far as Ardour is concerned, the most important connection is the one coming from the sound source to the line in of the computer—in this example, the cable connecting between the mixer and the computer.

Common sense and basic troubleshooting skills are needed when problems arise, and in the above example, one would have to go through the entire signal chain to ensure that each component was working as it should.

Common Problems

Ardour tries to set things up in a sane manner by automatically connecting the hardware inputs of the computer to its master input and the hardware outputs to the master output. If the signal coming into the hardware inputs is active the meters on the master channel should move. If it doesn't, things to check include:

  • Making sure there is actaully an input signal
  • Making sure that Ardour is talking to the correct sound card
  • Making sure that the sound card in use is working properly

Old Stuff That Should Be Deleted Eventually Once It Is Covered Above

Plug in your audio equipment to the computer. Send a signal from the instrument to the computer. If the levels on the master channel do not move, the signal is not getting through to Ardour. Some things to check: Instrument, cables, outboard mixer levels, microphones, ALSA mixer levels.

Plug in your MIDI equipment to the computer.

Check to see that audio is coming in and MIDI is coming in too.

Common Problems

Noise, no audio, no MIDI