This episode is a response to the popular misconception that Jack is difficult to use and understand. Both Ryan and I are of the opinion that if you know how to connect a microphone, preamp, and mixer together, than you have all the skills needed to understand how to use Jack intuitively.
- DarkTable 1.0.4
- Digikam 2.6
- RawTherapee 4.0.9
- Converseen 0.5
- Main Site – Front Page has Changelog
- Media Lovin’ Toolkit (MLT) 0.8
What is Jack? Jack is…
- …not an audio driver.
- Jack works with low-latency audio drivers, such as Alsa and FFADO.
- Alsa is the driver set for PCI and USB audio devices.
- FFADO is the driver set for Firewire audio devices.
- …a server/client tool.
- The server is called “jackd.”
- Jackd handles the actual work.
- Jackd is useless without a front-end
- QT Jack Control
- Ladish Toolkit
- KXStudio Cadence Toolkit
- …a digital patchbay.
- Jack simulates cables and splitters.
- By default, Jack can support up to 2048 “wires.”
- Each wire transports audio for one single channel of audio.
- The audio goes from the output of one device or program to the input of another device or program.
- Each microphone has an input.
- Each speaker has has an output.
- The wiring can be split and merged.
- Splitting creates two identical audio signals.
- Merging mixes two signals together.
- …a timekeeper.
- For Jack-native applications, Jack manages the timeline.
- Simulates MIDI time codes, except it’s not limited to MIDI programs.
- Hacks such as the Jack-Alsa bridge and ASIO4ALL drivers cannot support this feature.
- Jack performs every single action in realtime.
- Audio filtering
- Audio processing
- Audio recording
- Audio playback
- If the system can handle it, sound processing can happen in as little as 2ms. With specialized tweaks, this can be reduced to less than a millisecond.
- The more delay, however, the less chance of buffer overruns, which causes dropped audio.
- Jack can perform processing for realtime applications.
- Stage performances.
- Streaming Media
- Broadcast Media
- There are driver tricks that can be used to link non-Jack programs into the Jack wiring diagram.
- For Linux, the Jack-Alsa Bridge is one example.
- In Windows, the ASIO4ALL driver is another.
- This allows non-Jack applications to be used with Jack, which is very useful if lacking in dedicated mixing hardware.
- Google Voice
- Mumble (some versions have native Jack support, but not all of them)
- As a digital patchbay, Jack has all the flexibility of analog gear, with bonus benefits:
- No signal degradation
- Additional amplification is not needed in larger chains.
- No additional line noise per filter.
- Line noise is replaced with delay.
- No voltage inconsistency.
- No risk of damaging one kind of filter with a different kind of power.
- Wiring can replace hardware features
- Mix-minus is as simple as not plugging the output back into its input.
- Reusable filters
- One filter can be reused as many times as needed.
- When combined with the splitting/merging capability of Jack, very complex tools can be created that can surpass the best self-contained filters.
- …Free Software.
- Jack is released under the GNU General Public License.
- Users have absolutely no limit to what they can do with the software.
- Developers simply need to make their changes available.
- Jack isn’t just for Linux
- Jack is available for Windows and Macintosh.
- Audio routing works in both other systems through their own tricks.
- Tricks are available that can allow non-Jack applications to work in Jack’s wiring diagram.
- Native applications are required to take advantage of the transport feature.
Related Articles and Sites
Penguin Producer Articles:
- Jack Audio Connection Kit
- Jack Clients
Other Referenced Websites:
If you have an idea for a topic, or a comment/question/criticism of anything presented in this show, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. If you wish us to read the email on the show, please inform us, and if you want to attach a voice message to the mail, go for it; we’ll be glad to play your message… provided that we are legally permitted to do so (no copyrighted works, please).