Playing with multiple tracks

I had decided to do some multi track recording when I noticed that my LEM RDX 82u mixer feeds back the sound from the computer into the recorded track. This lead to a Matryoshka doll of recording, where the fourth track contained the third, which contained the second track, which contained the first track. The track also contained the second track, which contained the first track. And the first track, all mixed together with increasing delays. This was not what I had hoped for.

I ended up buying an M-Audio Fast Track Pro, which should work in Linux, both with custom drivers in Debian, and as a plain old USB-audio device under any OS.

However, it didn’t work that well with my Ubuntu 11.11 machine. Actually,it didn’t work at all at first. It took a lot of trial’n’error and searching the interwebs for me to figure out how to get it running.

Techno mumble follows…

In the end I managed to get the board running with the following command line start of jackd.

jackd -v -R -d alsa -C hw:0,1 -P hw:0,0 -H -s -r44100

Note that I use different subdevices for input and output (this should be configurable within QJackCtl, but it seemed to me like the settings never really propagated from the GUI to jackd. I found that some audio applications didn’t work with any other sound card than the first one (the 0 card), so I hacked /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf to allow snd-usb-audio to take the position as the first sound card.

I did a proof of concept recording this evening. It’s mostly random key mashing over an arpeggiator track, and all tracks but one were done on the Yamaha CS1x. The last one is the viola da gamba (the drone track in the back of the mix).

Download: No bubbles here.mp3

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