The problem:

I have always struggled in mixing live audio on Ubuntu, I have tried Jack and played with configurations, but I cannot achieve the "per app" modularity that I need. I am wondering if there exists a program that does what I am looking for, a program that mixes audio sources, with the following characteristics:

  • Capable of taking all programs and devices that are a source of sound, e.g. a Microphone, line in, Firefox, VLC, Spotify, Mixxx, Amarok... The tab "Applications" in "Sound Preferences" recognizes each application in this way.

  • Capable of taking all audio output devices, like speakers, line out, headphones, Bluetooth speakers and usb audio interfaces.

  • Finally, allowing arbitrary routing of the audio from any source to any (none, one or more) outputs.

Conceptually and ideally visually, something like this diagram.

What I have tried

  • Jack, but as far as I understand, if the application does not support jack, it will not work with it. The only thing that I can do is sink everything mixed into jack, but doing that it loses all the sense.
  • Ardour (but it is based on jack, so it is the same)
  • I am not aware of other options.


Currently, I have QjackCtl installed with

  • Sample Rate: 48000
  • Frames/Period 256
  • Periods/Buffer: 2.

That gives me a latency of 10.7 ms. I experimented with the connections manager of that tool, but I just got a beautiful (horrible) microphone feedback. I cannot see the applications one by one.

I just discovered this page with a lot of tools. If you could guide me a little bit on how to proceed, I will appreciate it. I will try jackmix.

I also found that Firefox can support jack when it is compiled with the appropriate flags. Do I need to tweak every application in order to use them with jack?

Thanks for your time :)

  • Jack will do this, but it can be confusing to configure. What tool did you try to configure jack and perhaps post your configuration – Panther Aug 31 '18 at 4:54

jackmix will probably do what you need
There is also jack_mixer but may be harder to find as some distros dropped it due to age

Try Patchage for better display of JACK connections
(prob want 'sprung layout' option turned off in settings to stop things moving around!)

Best if you can have as much as possible running in JACK
Hardware devices can be added to JACK with alsa_in and alsa_out commands
but some software packages are better left in Pulseaudio

Pulseaudio JACK Sink and source connections in and out of JACK are not limited to just one connection
Extra connections can be added by running commands:

pactl load-module module-jack-sink channels=2 

Will create 2 channel 'Pulseaudio JACK Sink 01'

pactl load-module module-jack-sink channels=1 connect=0

will make mono 'Pulseaudio JACK Sink 01' with no connection
(no feedback from connecting to JACK mic input)

repeat commands for more numbered connections

  • 1
    thanks, I was able to compile jackmix, it has exactly the same UI I was dreaming with, I just installed patchage (with apt), it is very clear, I will play with them tonight and tell you. – onlycparra Sep 1 '18 at 0:17

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