BCF2000 under Linux

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jobs
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Hello,

I am trying to use a BCF 2000 (v1.10) on my Fedora 8 box.
I am using the manual at http://ardour.org/files/manual/sn-bcf2000.html.
The output of /proc/asound/cards looks OK.
When I get to start qjackctl, press Connect to make the MIDI connecttons I see three tabs instead of two as in the manual.
Only the *ALSA* tab has some contents:
it shows midi 0, 1 and 2 for Ardour for both readable and writable, midi 0 and 1 for the BCF readable and 1, 1 and 2 as writable.
Then there's a solo midi-through port appearing left and right.

What is wrong?
How can I fix this and connect the BCF with qjackctl?

j

jobs
User offline. Last seen 6 years 5 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2008-02-10
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In fact in qjackctl the info looks similar to the aconnect output:

[root@linux]# aconnect -i
client 0: 'System' [type=kernel]
0 'Timer '
1 'Announce '
client 14: 'Midi Through' [type=kernel]
0 'Midi Through Port-0'
client 44: 'BCF2000' [type=kernel]
0 'BCF2000 MIDI 1 '
1 'BCF2000 MIDI 2 '
client 129: 'ardour' [type=user]
0 'control '
1 'mcu '
2 'seq '
[root@linux]# aconnect -o
client 14: 'Midi Through' [type=kernel]
0 'Midi Through Port-0'
client 44: 'BCF2000' [type=kernel]
0 'BCF2000 MIDI 1 '
1 'BCF2000 MIDI 2 '
2 'BCF2000 MIDI 3 '
client 129: 'ardour' [type=user]
0 'control '
1 'mcu '
2 'seq '

jobs
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The ardour part of configuring looks different from the manual page I mentioned.
Missing is info about midi channels, ID's etc.

What would I choose to make things work?

jobs
User offline. Last seen 6 years 5 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2008-02-10
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After some playing the BCF200 now works.
Using aconnect the faders were usable!

But I am still interested in the documentation for the newer controls for MIDI surfaces like the BCF2000 that are not in the manual yet.
Anyone who can explain?

funkmuffin
User offline. Last seen 5 years 41 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2006-05-03
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Really, you're taking the toughest route. Check this page out:

http://www.ardour.org/files/manual/sn-mackie.html

It describes how to set up your BCF2000 in Mackie-emulation mode. Using that driver, there is no need to map individual controls, and it really smooths out the entire process, to the point where there's no longer any need to be concerned with configuration, and you can just simply use the BCF, instead of always having to tinker.

To whoever manages the manual -- may I suggest that the link I pasted above be moved up in the manual TOC, so that it appears before the other BCF2000 info? That, I'm sure, would help folks, so that this great feature can be a little more self-service? Today it's at 10.6, and the older generic-midi method is described in 10.2 -- my guess is that most just stop reading at 10.2, when they could save SO much hassle if the MCU stuff came first.

jobs
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Am I missing flexibility in Mackie mode?
I just want to assign my faders/knbobs in ardour to faders/knobs on the BCF.

Whatever is underneath doesn't matter, as long as it works for me.

Remaining would be the explanation of why qjackctl didn't work nor showed the right info in the MIDI tab.

funkmuffin
User offline. Last seen 5 years 41 weeks ago. Offline
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I don't know what kind of flexibility you're looking for, but the MCU driver automatically maps to the mixer controls. You'll have (per channel) mute, solo, rec-enable, pan and level. The right-most strip on the BCF becomes the master bus strip, no matter how many tracks you have in the session.

The "pan knob" on the master strip is a jog wheel.

The really nice part is that the control surface is automatically connected to every channel in the session -- no need to map each button every time you add a channel or bus.

Once this came along (2.0 ish), I completely gave up on the generic midi stuff, so unfortunately, I can't help you with why it wasn't working. BTW - using the MCU driver, there's no need to connect any ports in qjackctrl. As long as your ardour.rc file references the correct device, things will just work when you select the mackie option from the control surfaces menu.

jobs
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Hmm...
Sounds convincing!
Thanks for the explanation. I will try this soon!

jobs
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It works out of the box, thanks!

But, once in this mode, how can I now assign one of the faders/knobs to a plugin I just added? (in fact 'steal' it from a bus/track)
Maybe this is the flexibility I meant.

jobs
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I.e.: I like the simplicity of setting up the Mackie mode for the BCF.
I don't need that many tracks/busses I guess.
So I would like to be able to use some of the buttons/etc for the plugins.
Would adding an extra BCF/BCR help for the plugins?
I.e.: one for Mackie mode, one for freestyle?

rayj
User offline. Last seen 46 weeks 4 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 2008-02-12
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Hello!

I just happened to go through the exact same set of configuration attempts outlined above...and eventually ironed them out...to arrive at the same conclusion.

Mackie emulation on the BCF is smooth and useful...but I'd very much like to map, say, a second page for channels 8+, have a third for a group of plugin controls, etc. Is there a way to map more controls under Mackie emulation? Do I have to figure out how to hack some files? Or should I reconfigure for general midi, and just put some work into mapping everything (sounds like this might not be as easy as it sounds)?

djib
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Joined: 2009-08-03
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Wow, thank you so much!!! I was struggling with the manual configuration until I found this post. I totally agree that this information should be pushed up in the manual, or at least http://ardour.org/files/manual/sn-bcf2000.html and http://www.ardour.org/files/manual/sn-mackie.html should point to one another.

allank
allank's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-07
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Hi,

I still use the manual configuration for my BCF 2000... I find that each project has different demands of what I need to do with the BCF.. I find the Mackie setup limiting. I only use faders for dynamic fader usage likewise for panning. I do find that I am often requiring dynamic control of plugins...

It's a horses for courses thing.. Although getting a BCR (or using another controller) for the non standard ports maybe worth considering.

seablade
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@djib

Funny you should mention that as you are actually pointing to the old manual. Go to Help>Reference Manual in Ardour and take a look at the Mackie/BCF info in there. If you still feel it needs to be updated(Namely the BCF info as I don't have access to one) then I will be more than happy to give you permissions and instructions on how to do so:)

Seablade

PS For the record, the manual you pointed to is actually really old and outdated, being replaced to the one I mentioned above:)

djib
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Oh I see. Maybe the old documentation should point to the new one then ;)
Thanks for letting me know seablade.

I had a look at http://en.flossmanuals.net/Ardour/Introduction and didn't find anything about Mackie or BCF. Maybe the information hasn't been ported yet.

allank, I'll probably get down to tuning my BCF configuration in a while, but for the moment I just wanted a quick way to play with my new gadget ;)

seablade
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@djib

There are TWO manuals currently. The FLOSS one is gotten to via a different menu item in Ardour, or via links on the website, and does not include anything on control surfaces no. The reference manual is the one I mentioned above and DOES include information on the Mackie and BCF in Logic Mode. It is also the work in progress as the FLOSS manual is already fairly well complete for what it is aiming to do.

Seablade

djib
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Gotcha, I found the Reference Manual and the part about the BCF 2000. Thanks.