How to record a JackTrip session digitally on a Mac?

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David Watt

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Jan 21, 2022, 9:33:30 PMJan 21
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Hi all,

I have a Mac sitting next to a JackTrip Raspberry Pi. I was thinking it would be nice to record a Jacktrip session on the Mac. I've successfully gotten the Mac to connect to one of the managed Jacktrip servers, and I see the jackrec utility Just Sitting There on the Mac...

jackrec seems to want a Jack server to talk to, with a device name. In the setup I'm describing, is there something simple that can be done with jackrec to record the session that the Mac is connected to?

I've seen people do things like run audio cables from their Jacktrip box's headphone jack to the Mac analog in, which, okay, I *could* do that, I guess -- but is there an all-digital path?

Thanks in advance,

Dave

Michael Peets

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Jan 22, 2022, 12:27:10 AMJan 22
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All our studio instrument inputs go to a Yamaha TF5 mixer. From the mixer we route the in-studio instrument mix to the the JackTrip bridge device input AND to the iMac using stereo Aux’s. We pick up a remote user from the JackTrip bridge device output and route that to the Yamaha and then to the iMac via a stereo aux. The overall Yamaha mix (in-studio and remote) is going to headphones, and FOH is muted. Our iMac has a Steinberg UR44 audio usb device with six inputs. Two of those inputs come from the Yamaha stereo aux for the in-studio mix, and another two also come from the Yamaha via a stereo aux carrying the output of the JackTrip bridge device.  We can use Cubase on the iMac to record and mix everything if it’s just a jam. More often we would just be recording the remote user to add to already recorded tracks in an existing project. Ok, so it ain’t overall digital, but it works. And it isn’t that expensive. No doubt such a setup as ours is more complex than what you are hoping for. I think trying to grab Raspberry Pi audio input and output will be very problematic. And I don’t think you can accomplish your objective without a usb audio device attached to your Mac and at least a cheap four channel mini-mixer to capture your JackTrip bridge device input and output to feed your Mac.

Dave Adams

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Jan 22, 2022, 7:03:12 AMJan 22
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I have attached a script I used in early 2021.  This worked nicely on Linux against a host at jacktrip.org, but the underpinnings should work on Mac and any  jacktrip server you can reach.  I think the heart of your question is getting a name for the Mac to use in referring to the jacktrip server.

Operation is described in the "<<'SEQUENCE'" in-line text.

You run the script by typing the name of the script followed by the ip address of the server.

In addition to making the  ip address available as a name (instead of number) the script also sets up a lower bandwidth Jamulus client to use for playing back to the other jacktrippers.

Playback vs recording in this scenario  is VERY  demanding!  If you read the script carefully and decide to go this way, let me know.  I have two MROE scripts that you  will DEFINITELY want to use: jack_record and jack_playback.  These use jacktrip commands "jack_connect" and "jack_disconnect" to make the right  connections between ardour and jacktrip.  You would use the named connections to jack_record instead.

I ended up with Ardour because I had the best luck managing connections there.  I tried jack record and Audacity.  Audacity jack integration was only  meh at the time.  Ardour worked almost right out of the box.

BUT  you DID say simple.  If you  look over the script and decide that the approach is sufficiently simple, let me know and I'll post the other two scripts.

Dave
jack_prep

Michael Dessen

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Jan 22, 2022, 12:02:33 PMJan 22
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There are always many ways to do things :) Dave, you described wanting to record on a Mac that has already successfully connected to a managed VS server. If that Mac can receive a stereo mix from the server, then my suggestion would be to use a virtual audio device like BlackHole on the Mac to route the audio it receives into a DAW and record it there:
1. install BlackHole 16ch and set it as the audio device in Jack setup
2. in the Connections window in Jack, route receive 1 and 2 to playback 3 and 4 (never route inputs/outputs to the same number in a virtual audio device, as this will create a loop)
3. In a DAW (i.e. Ableton, Logic, etc) set the input audio device as BlackHole 16ch, and then set the audio input on a pair of tracks BH ch 3 and 4.

If you were using a self-managed server, you’d have other advantages, like multi-track recording, using the “broadcast mode” on the server to send out channels with no dropouts, and giving players their own monitor mixes, but that would get more complicated. Good luck,

Michael
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Synthia Cynthia Payne

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Jan 22, 2022, 2:50:47 PMJan 22
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all good suggestions, and pertaining to Michael's approach with
Blackhole, my friend Jan made a video that might help:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2rUo70fxsY

synth

David Watt

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Jan 24, 2022, 3:48:09 PMJan 24
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Thanks, everyone! Here's what I managed to do:

0) Start the managed Jacktrip Server, and note its IP address.
1) Installed the BlackHole 2channel driver from here: https://existential.audio/
2) Run the JackTrip app on the Mac.
3) Configure JackTrip's RtAudio back end to set its input device to a microphone that's fully turned down (so I'll only be heard once on the remote mix, from my JackTrip Raspberry Pi's input), and for its output device, choose the BlackHole 2ch driver.
4) Connect to the managed JackTrip server using the IP address from step 0. (Note: I was unable to successfully stay connected to the remote server while I had the Jack audio drivers installed on my Mac -- I had to remove them and just use the RtAudio back end.)
5) Install and start Audacity. (https://www.audacityteam.org/)
6) For Audacity's Microphone input, choose the Blackhole 2ch input. (Its input end is already connected to the JackTrip server's input from step 3.) For its output, put on a set of headphones so you can hear what's going on.
7) Set Audacity's Project sampling rate to 48000 Hz. That appears to not be a requirement, but it does match with what JackTrip is doing, so it seems like a good idea.
8) Press record in Audacity. If all goes well, you'll see the JackTrip output appearing in Audacity.

I've still got a couple of mysteries here, though:
1) Having to remove the Jack audio driver in order to get a stable connection with the JackTrip app - that just seems crazy, and says I must have had something wrong, but I wasn't able to figure it out.
2) The level of the recording volume input from the JackTrip server is pretty low when it's just me connecting in. I haven't tried recording the whole group yet, so maybe that will take care of itself?

Any thoughts on this setup? It seems simple enough?

Dave

Michael Dessen

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Jan 24, 2022, 5:55:29 PMJan 24
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Hi David. I’m not sure how this would work using RtAudio (and Audacity might also have some limitations that Logic/Protools/Ableton/Ardour or others would not, though I’m not sure). My suggestion was to use BlackHole in conjunction with JACK. Sorry I am not able right now to dive into this setup you have, but anything you can report back here is welcome, and hopefully someone who has been using RtAudio and Audacity can chime in to help.

Michael
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