Newb question: TASCAM US-2000 Playback on iMac speakers?

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tillerman35
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I just set up my brand-new iMac with my brand-new TASCAM US-2000 plus Jack and Ardour.

Audio capture from the interface works great. I have to become acquainted with proper gain levels and mic placement, but it's definitely working as designed. I've captured audio from three channels so far (mic'd acoustic guitar, vocals, plus a peripheral mic to capture ambiance).

I would like the option of playback through the iMac's speakers. Unfortunately, Ardour only wants to playback through the US-2000. Theoretically, I'd WANT to do it that way but I don't have any speakers connected to it at the moment. I've tried using Jack to route the Ardour Master1/2 outputs to System Playback 1/2 inputs, but the only playback I get is from the US-2000. I also opened the audio controls in the Settings app and made sure playback device was set to internal speakers.

I'm literally totally new at this. Could someone point me in the right direction?

seablade
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You can use an aggregate device for this. They aren't typically the best solution. There are multiple reasons why this is a bad idea of course, but in your case will probably address it

tillerman35
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Thanks! What should I aggregate?

seablade
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The Tascam Input with your built in outputs.

Seablade

kelleydv
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@seablade: what is the drawback of an aggregate device like this?

I want to bounce audio through some of my hardware, and I was imagining I'd connect my 2-channel interface's outputs to its inputs (processors, etc. in between), and monitor from my iMac's headphone jack.

Are there problems with that approach?

seablade
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Off the top of my head... Well you are subject to the quality of audio for monitoring of the built-in audio card, which isn't good. Also aggregate devices are known to have bugs that pop up every now and then, I can't remember them off hand at the moment to be honest however. Finally keep in mind they aren't clock-sync'd which in this case because you are only using it for monitoring isn't as big of a deal, but still not ideal, as well as you can't take advantage of any direct monitoring as you ahve to go through the computer.

I am certain there are more I am not thinking of right now.

Seablade

tillerman35
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I've managed to figure it out (by accident, more than anything else). It's a pain, but here's how it can be done:

Audio Capture Phase:
1. In JackPilot, set preferences to US2000 for input or output. Either way, the US2000 will be automatically chosen for the other. Save. Start Jack
2. in Ardour, capture all your audio via US2000 using the headphones for monitoring because you're too cheap to go buy a set of studio monitors at the moment.
3. Forget to capture three or four other tracks that had in mind when you started the project
4. Save project and close Ardour.

Mixing/Engineering Phase:
5. In JackPilot, stop jack. Go back into the preferences. Set input/output to built-in mic/speakers. Save. Start Jack
6. Open project. Do your magic using the Mac's built-in speakers (which are actually not that bad on an iMac.)
7. Remember about the tracks you forgot earlier. Curse. Save Project and close Ardour
8. GoTo 1

It might be possible to do all of that by simply turning the US2000 off when you want to use the internal speakers and back on when you want to capture audio. It worked once, but I don't know what I was doing at the time so I don't know if I had tweaked any settings prior to pressing the on/off button.