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thanks for the swift response rncbc.

the witchcraft was all about my version of qtractor seeming unable to bounce tracks down via export without leaving bare tracks behind. When I did a fresh install of everything inc Ubuntu lucid, the problem vanished like magic. I had hoped to be able to use one or more tracks to drive effects, and at the same time record the resulting mix on a spare track. I found that when I looped the outs of qtractor to its ins, a tone developed louder and louder. The tone was of course due to positive feedback. I got hold of the latest tarball and made the latest stable version, and tried it out (I am in process thereof as I write) and am pleased to say that the annoying feedback problem has gone away. I can now do what I wanted to re recording on one track while playing about with the others via effects.

Does this seem a sane explanation I wonder?

All said, I am as happy as a feline with a rodent.

The only gripe I have is that those darned buttons (Record, Mute and Solo) are difficult to tell their state, i.e, if they are on or off. But that may well be on account of poor eyesight. I must admit that the button states are flagged at the foot of the page, but it's not possible to see which individual button is active. Perhaps a change in colour as an indicator might be a possiblillity at some future time?

Thanks for all your effort (and no doubt lack of sleep) in the process of making a really nice stable piece of kit. The way it deals with Jack and the connections is excellent.