Jack patchbay

Alex Montgomery apmontgomery at gmail.com
Wed Feb 4 10:42:47 GMT 2009

> But, I don't grock the patchbay.
> Can't seem to get it to show connections except between system node and
> ardour node.
> Doesn't show connections between in & outs.
> Add new and select snapshot and doesn't restore what I've wired in
> connections.
> What am I missing?

I'm not an expert on patchbay, but I'll tell you what I use it for and
what my experience has been. Patchbay is mainly used for
defining/naming your own virtual devices and automatically making
connections between them. For example, my audio card (Hammerfall
light) has 18 outputs, and I use outputs 9 - 16 as 4 pairs of
headphones. Not only is it annoying to remember what channel numbers
correspond to a particular pair of headphones, but I also have to
break the automatic connections most applications make to outputs 1 &
2 (I don't currently use them) and make connections to outputs 9 & 10
(my first set of headphones). Patchbay allows me to create 4 separate
stereo devices to represent my four headphones, and to create
connections between programs and those headphones that are
automatically set up whenever I open up the applications.

Patchbay lets you create custom devices and add sockets/plugs to them.
Then you can make connections between these devices so that QJackCtl
will automatically connect the actual devices / programs whenever they
appear.  When you click "Add" on either the input socket side or the
output socket side, you are creating a virtual device to which you can
add an arbitrary number of plugs, ALSA sound, ALSA Midi, or JACK Midi,
which are selected from the currently available ports on your system.
This means that if you want to create a virtual device for Ardour's
master output, Ardour needs to be open when you're making the
patchbay. You can then connect that Ardour master device that you've
made to any other devices you've made, and whenever they're both
present, (i.e. Ardour is open as is whatever program or sound device
you've connected it to) patchbay will automagically make connections
between them.

Hope this helps,
-- Alex

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