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Jack crashing when Hydrogen launched

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/30/2015


I try a couple of hours to solve my problem, but it is still unworking.

I would like to use hydrogen connecting to Jack on Windows. 

The problem is when I Select the JackAudio driver on Hydrogen, Jack crashes. And when I stop Jack Server, Hydrogen displays "Error when launching audio driver".

To see what is the error message, I launch Jack on command prompt. The error messages are :

CheckRes Error
CheckRead Error

I would say the problem does not come from Jack : for example I manage to play sound with reaper connecting to jack. 

And I precise that I launch jack and all applications as administrator (I get that advice on a tutorial).


Anyone has an idea of my problem ?

Thanks very much

thijs's picture
Joined: 04/20/2010


can you please start by specifying the version of your OS, jack and hydrogen ?

Joined: 01/30/2015



I finally found the solution by browsing this forum. It may help someone else.

I am on windows 7, Jack 1.9.10, Hydrogen 0.9.6.

To solve my problem, I rename the file libjack.dll on hydrogen root folder, to force to exclude this file. And it works !


Another question, my way of using Hydrogen, is to add electronic beats on music already recorded from my band. 

So I am looking for a simple music reader compatible with Jack on windows, which allows to make music and hydrogen synchronized. In other words, when I would push play button, music and hydrogen would start together.

Any ideas of a software like this ?

Thanks again !

thijs's picture
Joined: 04/20/2010

hi captain

good to hear you were able to fix this issue, i'll add this tip to the FAQ


about the pre-recorded audio and syncing it with hydrogen : if this is a wav file (or some other audio format) there is no good way to keep the player and hydrogen in sync

what you can try is to create a new instrument in hydrogen and import the complete song as sample

that way you can trigger the song by placing a note on the first bar of the song

i'm just not sure what the max size for a sample is, so i dont know if the complete song will 'fit'

even if you manage to do this i'm quite sure that you will never be able to get good sync

was the recording made using a click track ?  if yes you could maybe also import the clicktrack (assuming you have it available) and use this as a help to set your tempo in hydrogen




Joined: 04/17/2010

Hi all,

Actually, there IS a decent way to synchronize playback of an existing audio file with Hydrogen so that you can "reverse engineer" drum patterns for it.
I came up with a work-flow for doing this using Ardour as the audio player, and synchronizing Hydrogen with Ardour using Jack.  I've gotten this to work under both Windows and Linux.

Here's the basic approach:

  • Set up both programs (Hydrogen and Ardour) to use Jack as their audio system
  • Set Ardour's "external positional sync" mode to "JACK" (it usually defaults to "Internal")
  • Set Ardour to "timecode master" in its transport section
  • Import your audio into Ardour as a stereo track
  • Set up a "click-track" pattern in Hydrogen (I use the "stick" sound so it resembles a metronome)

... now, you're going to make three primary passes through the song with particular goals:

  1. Align the bars/measures of the audio with Ardour's timecode using position of the audio and tempo changes
  2. Create basic patterns for the main parts of the song
  3. Fine-tune/polish with more details in patterns, fills, and alternate patters where suitable

The first pass is the most "tedious", as you play the audio with the click track audible over it, using Ardour as the transport, with alot of trial-and-error:

  • Play the first few bars of the song iteratively, and adjust Ardour's main/first tempo to zero in on a good approximation of the audio's tempo
  • Slide the audio track back/forth in time to align its start with the downbeat of the measure you want to start the drum part in
  • Insert tempo changes in Ardour's transport tempo strip to keep the Hydrogen click-track in-sync with the audio

This process typically takes me between 30 - 60 minutes, and once complete there will likely be a fairly continuous set of frequent but small tempo changes in Ardour, all down the length of the song, and Hydrogen will then be completely in-sync with the audio track.  You can then proceed in creating your song map and patterns, with the original audio track as a "backdrop" to reference in real-time.

Keep in mind that in order to preserve this synchronization in playback, the playback has to be driven from the same Ardour project (where the tempo changes are recorded in the tempo strip).  However, once the Hydrogen patterns and song map are complete, its conceivable that one probably needn't care about the synchronizing tempo changes anymore, and can play the song via Hydrogen stand-alone just fine.

I am planning to publish a "how-to" video on this process - I'll come back and update here when I've done so.