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Steinberg UR824 with Linux - the qjackctl patchbay

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If you have a multi-channel sound card such as the UR824, it's worth getting over the initial hurdle of understanding the qjackctl patchbay. There is an excellent description available here which explains what it is for and how to use it.

The big benefit for use with the UR824 is that it allows you to set up connections within jack that are automaticaly (re-)established when clients appear. I find it particularly useful with meterbridge. Reconnecting 26 channels each time you want to pull up a meterbridge would be a pain, but once you've invested the time to set up some rules, the connections just appear automatically.


The patchbay also allows you to name clusters of channels and name them according to their use. So for example, for the UR824, playback_9 and playback_10 can be labelled together as UR824 DAW to FX bus.

An individual jack plug can appear in more than one patchbay socket, so it is useful to define stereo pairs such as UR824 analog 1/2 in, and wider clusters of channels such as UR824 analog ins for easy connection of all 8 inputs to a single meterbridge.

The configuration you create can be saved as a patchbay file in .xml format. I am not sure how useful it is to share what I have done, as your own file will depend on the other clients you use, but you could certainly use mine as a basis to avoid having to do the work of creating sockets for the UR824. Indeed I have used this file as the basis for several different configurations according to the activity on which I am working.

My configuration will automatically connect meterbridges which you can start as follows:


You need to start jack with the --monitor option, or check the monitor box in the configuration page of qjackctl, so that there are copies of the UR824 output plugs also available as input plugs.

UR824_patchbay.xml6.28 KB
Wednesday, 12th August 2020

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