Here's my setup

Toshiba Laptop with internal sound card, HDMI digital sound out, and a external m-audio Conectiv USB sound card (4-in/4-out equating to 2 sets of stereo ins/outs).

I use this setup for recording music, and DJing. I'm trying to figure out how to get a similar setup to how I use these devices in windows (roughly).

When I use MIXXX DJ software I'm able to select all the outputs of my M-Audio sound device by sending one deck to one set of outputs, and the other set to the other set of outputs so I can use my external mixer. This isn't the problem, but this illustrates my point later on. The point here, is that I'm able to use both outputs at the same time with this software.

Now, after I sucessfully setup JackAudio and am using Ardour 3 for recording/producing I realized that JackAudio doesn't see all my inputs/outputs of my m-audio sound card. It only sees one set of input/outputs (one half of the card). and Pulse Audio is using the other set of outputs. So, for instance if I have Ardour running on the first set of outputs, I can use Audacious and play mp3's which defaults to the other set of outputs (granted it locks up because jack locks the device up. The problem is that when I configure Jack Audio, I notice that only half of the outputs from my m-audio device show up in the control panel.

At one point of time in the past I remember being able to use JackAudio to access both sets of in/outs on my m-audio card.

I've also noticed that when I look up the ALSA panel, ALSA is using the set of outputs that JackAudio has access to, and Pulse Audio is using the other set. (granted in pulse audio my internal laptop audio is set to the default output).

My suspicion is that Pulse Audio is grabbing the set of outputs that Jack Audio can utilize, and is blocking it from appearing in the Jack Audio Preferences. So I think that if I can find out how to get pulse audio to "let go" of the set of outputs that Jack Audio can't get, it'll work.

so, as of now in my pulse audio control panel I have access to -Built-in Audio -HDMI Audio -M-AUDIO DFU RunTime (using channels 3/4 as outputs)

ALSA has access to everything as well, however the outputs of the m-audio card are the 1/2 output.

I want to be able to access simultaneously all the ins/outs of the m-audio card with Jack Audio so I can route to external analog mixer.

So, how can I define with audio device is controlled by ALSA, Pulse Audio, and ultimately Jack Audio?

2 Answers 2


I don't know if my answer if going to help you. I was also confused with ALSA, Jack, Pulse connection / configuration.

What I read, what I use and what I got is:

  • ALSA / JACK mainly works with only one sound card. So, JACK expects to carry sound from the input of one card, through processors / programs to the outputs of one card. In this link you have a bit outdated manual for Ardour 3 where I got this information and how to configure the system to use more than one sound card: Ardour 3 manual

  • I am using ubuntu studio 14.04 at the moment. I got confused with mixxx and videos played on firefox (vimeo, etc.) connections. Supposedly you can run all audio through Pulse but I got all sound "jammed" somewhere in the system. I solved it configuring (by order): 1) Mixxx to send audio to ALSA / Pulse (so running Mixxx before QjackCtl). 2) Opening QjacCtl (that automatically connects Pulse Jack sink). 3) Setting general audio output on Ubuntu to outputthrough: Pulse Jack Sink

I don't know if there is an easier way to accomplish this.


Try Cadence (from KXStudio repositories).

It has JACK bridges for ALSA and PulseAudio so you can control everything from Cadence.

I had good results with my problematic M Audio sound card.

I quote this answer https://askubuntu.com/a/742249/514869

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuStudioPreparation (instructions plus more features)

Open a Terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type the following commands.

install the very basics :

sudo apt-get install vlc ubuntu-restricted-extras ubuntustudio-menu cdrdao

Install needed tools

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common wget

Enable KXStudio repo (press 'Enter' once asked)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kxstudio-debian/kxstudio

Update software sources

sudo apt-get update

Install kxstudio-repos

sudo apt-get install kxstudio-repos

Update software sources again

sudo apt-get update

Then download the Cadence binary from http://kxstudio.linuxaudio.org/Applications:Cadence (bottom of the site)

In Cadence, select your sound card in Configure< Driver< Device, then I guess you should be able to configure the outputs (simultaneously hopefully). Dont forget to Start the ALSA Midi and PulseAudio JACK Bridges.

Hope it helps!

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