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7.4.2. Connect the Tracks and Busses

Although we have created a system of busses in our mind, we still have not told Ardour about it. You can use QjackCtl to confirm this: all of the additional tracks and busses are connected to output audio to the master bus. Worse still, the additional busses have no input signal at all. There are two approaches to letting Ardour know how we want to connect the tracks and busses. They will both be demonstrated, and you will be left to fill in the rest.
  1. One way to connect tracks and busses is more suitable for small-scale connection changes.
    1. Select the "marimba1-L" track by clicking in the track's control area, underneath the controls.
    2. The editor mixer to the left of the canvas area should display the track's name near the top, and the track's colour (probably green in this case).
    3. If you can't see the editor mixer, open it by using the menu. Click 'View > Show Editor Mixer' so that it is checked. You can also press 'Shift + E' on the keyboard to toggle its display.
    4. After confirming that the editor mixer is showing the control for the "marimba1-L" track, look at the button on the bottom of the editor mixer, above 'Comments'. It should say "master", which means its output is connected to the master bus. This is not what we want, so click the "master" button.
    5. When you click the 'master' button, a menu pops up, allowing you to choose a different output. We want to connect the track to the "Bus-marimba1" bus, which isn't in the list, so choose 'Edit' from the menu.
    6. The connection window that appears looks confusing, but it isn't. Here's how it works:
      • The left side, labeled "Outputs," contains two output channels, "out 1" and "out 2," along with a list of everything to which those outputs are connected.
      • The 'Add' button adds an output channel. We're outputting the signal to a stereo bus, so two is enough.
      • The 'Remove' button removes an output channel.
      • The 'Disconnect All' button removes all of the track's output connections.
      • Clicking a connection in this list will remove it.
      • The right side, labeled "Available connections," contains a list of all of the inputs offered by JACK.
      • Each JACK-aware application has a tab with its connections listed underneath.
      • Clicking a connection in this list will add it to the last-selected output channel.
    7. Click the 'Disconnect All' button.
    8. Click in the empty "out 1" list.
    9. From the "Available connections" list, click on the "Bus-marimba1/in 1" connection. It will be added to the "out 1" list.
    10. Then click on the "Bus-marimba1/in 2" connection. It will be added to the "out 2" list.
    11. The appearance of the connection lists will change to indicate that you've added a pair of connections.
    12. Click 'Close' to enable the connection change.
    13. Note that the "master" button now says something like "Bus-ma," because the track's output connection has changed.
  2. The other way to change connections is much faster for large-scale changes like the ones required here.
    1. Choose WindowTrack/Bus Inspector.
      • The "Track/Bus Inspector" window will appear. It has a list of the tracks and busses on the left side, and four tabs of information on the right side.
      • The "Inputs" and "Outputs" tabs allow you to view and configure the input and output connections of the selected track or bus. The two "Redirects" tabs allow you to configure plug-in settings, which are not discussed in this tutorial.
    2. Select the "Bus-marimba1" bus from the list.
      • You should recognize the "Input" and "Output" tabs.
      • Verify that the "marimba1-L" track is connected to this bus' input, and that the bus' output is connected to the "master" bus' inputs.
    3. Add both outputs of the "marimba1-R" track to the bus' input list.
    4. Check the outputs of the "marimba1-R" track. This isn't quite what we wanted, so remove the master bus connection.
    5. Adjust the remaining tracks so that they are connected as described in the table below.
    6. Verify the connections by viewing the busses' "Input" tabs.
    7. Verify that only the five busses are connected to the master bus' inputs.
Connections in Ardour
Connections in Ardour
Figure 7.6. Connections in Ardour