Hydrogen is configured for JACK transport and Jack Timing Master.
SooperLooper is set for Jack/Host sync.
8ths/cycle depends on what I'm doing but let's just start with 8 for a 1 bar 4/4 measure.
Quantize mode is "Cycle".
I have 3 mono tracks in SL, each set to "Sync" and "Play Sync". The get their audio from my guitar preamp thing.
Ardour is being used as a Mixer/FX host mostly at the moment.
MIDI routing is from the SoftStep to SL and Hydrogen.
I am using a McMillen SoftStep MIDI footswitch. This thing has a ridiculous amount of programmability combined with the teensiest little UI on my Macbook, but I figured it out. I set all of the buttons to be Note toggles, except two which send MMC Stop and Start.
MIDI Mapping on SL is:
a) MIDI Note for "Rec" on record_or_overdub for each of the 3 tracks.
b) MIDI Note for "Mute" on mute for each of the 3 tracks.
Hydrogen is configured to map MMC Play to Play and MMC Stop to Stop.
So now I have these 10 buttons on the SoftStep:
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[ Mut1 ][ Mut2 ][ Mut3 ][ Strt ][ Mute ]
[ Rec1 ][ Rec2 ][ Rec3 ][ Stop ][ Trig ]
Strt and Stop let me control the drum machine.
Mute mutes all tracks
Trig puts all tracks into mute then trigger mode - this is a little weird sometimes, will explain later.
I'm using "Mute Quant" mode and I'm not quite sure about it. If I have a 32 bar section, then it's cool to put the cycle time at say 4 bars and then you can mute/unmute tracks as a performance thing and they start and stop on 4 measure boundaries which is cool.
1 possible workflow:
Start with a 1 bar drum loop/metronome,
Record 4 or 8 bars of guitar over that.
Go back to Hydrogen and flesh out the drum part to sound good with the guitar part.
Set 8ths/cycle to 32 now (or 64; you want it to be the same length as the first audio loop).
You can record 2nd guitar/bass parts that will sync properly with the 1st loop. Since the loop was longer than the original cycle, you really need to change "8ths/cycle" when recording subsequent loops or they can get off sync by multiples of a cycle length. One way to prevent this from being problematic is to eschew chord changes! And believe me, I have done some of that.
As the thing starts to take shape, it's important to make sure that SL's cycle length is the same as the length of the drum pattern or song if you use song mode.