New Linux Enthusiast Seeks Advice For USB Audio Interface for Ardour

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setanta
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Hi, I have moved over to Linux from Windows with the exception of Music Production. I use Sonar 8 which is good, however I wish to try and move to Linux for recording too.

I currently use Linux Mint 11, I have a Tasam US 144 which is not Alsa compatible, I have not got the computer know how to try and get it working with kernel patches etc.

I would be very grateful if someone was able to point me in the direction of a USB interface that I can plug into my Linux and work out out of the box without a huge amount of tweeking etc.

I would need it to record guitar from my virtal amp zoom pedal, bass guitar and I would need the interface to have phantom power to pic up a condenser mic.

It may well be that there is no such a device yet for Linux? If there is my budget is around £100 GBP ($120 US Dollars)

Many thanks

Mike

Edward Diehl
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All USB1.1 and USB2.0 class compliant are supported in linux. (But be careful - most USB2.0 devices are not class-compliant). See also http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/current_audio_gear. However, I do not use a USB device so I have no particular recommendation. Check the posts at linuxmusicians, too.

LeatusPenguin
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If you can afford going down the road of getting a PCI soundcard i'd recommend it. I previously had a USB 1.1 device and the latency was dreadful. I have had no experience with USB 2 devices on Linux but as has been mentioned, support for them isn't great. It does depend on budget but, if you can afford it, get something that you will get good performance out of and try to futureproof yourself a bit. I have often got things as stepping stones but looking back you end up spending more money.

setanta
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Joined: 2012-03-03
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Hi, Many thanks for your reply. Although I can find my way around a DAW I am not knowledgeable regarding the technical side of things. I am running a Dell Inspiron Desk top with 4GB Ram and 300GB Hard Drive. with Intel Pentium dual core processor.

Have you any idea of what pci sound card would work with this. If so is it just a question of pluging it in the back? Also are such cards compatible with condenser mics?

Many thanks. Keen to try Ardour.

LeatusPenguin
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First of all you need to make sure your motherboard supports a PCI card. Make sure not to make the mistake of seeing PCI and PCI express as the same thing. Look up about your computers motherboard and see if it supports PCI. If it does, you need to look into PCI cards that support the linux kernel. I use an M-audio Delta 1010 and i find it very good. It's a very popular soundcard and for good reasons. Plenty of ins and outs and very good quality. I achieve very low latency with this card.

What PCI card works with you computer depends on both your motherboard and the Linux kernel supporting them. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as buying something and knowing that it will probably work as with windows. If it's PCI you need to know that it works both with your computers motherboard and Linux.

I suggested PCI but that does depend on your usage too. With USB 1.1. you can get things done. Latency is poor but it depends on your needs. USB 2.0 is better but not every one supports the Linux kernel. I have no experience of Firewire with Linux. I have seen PCI recommended time and time again and i'm happy for going that route.

An interface really does depend on what you need out of it. Just be aware that USB 1.1 will give you poor latency. Unfortunately, you do need to do your research with audio interfaces under Linux unless you go with the trusted ones.

My advice? Be patient. Look at how many inputs you need. Do you need low latency? Some devices support instant playback which eliminate this but still can cause problems on playback. If you have money to spend, go for something a bit better than what you need cause, as i said, you will always find yourself wishing you had done research and made better decisions.

Linuxmusicians was mentioned. It's a great source of knowledge.

setanta
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Hi, Many thanks for al that I will look into it and go down PCI route if machine is compatible.

tomas vtipil
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have been using the pci m-audio delta1010lt for some years and i can recommend it. not saying it is the world best card or so, but i've done so much work with it and had so little HW/driver/latency/stability related trouble with it that i can say for the price it is probably still the best value.

if you need to record/playback just 2 channels, usb might be useful thought - i've had good experience with alen heath compact usb mixer zed-10 (good preamps, some nice routing and monitoring features)

cheers,
t.

felipe de la muerte
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Hi,

currently I use a Lexicon Lambda for recording, but I have not used it for recording using linux. However, normal sound output through pulseaudio works like a charm out of the box on current Ubuntu versions.

I just tried to start Jack using this device, which seems to work fine. After a while some single x-runs occur when running with a latency of 11.6 ms, but my system is NOT real-time optimised whatsoever - I don't even use a real-time kernel since I'm currently not recording with linux.

Maybe someone using the Lexicon Lambda in a production setup should confirm this, but the device seems USB class compliant to me...

rombus
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Hi, i'm using a pci card too, the Maya44, it works after loading one simple module in debian. Jack only recognizes 2 inputs but I pay it very cheap and the sound quality is very good.

Farmer
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I'm afraid that's not true for all usb2.0 class complaint cards at least not my SD USBpre2, it works in 1.1 mode but not 2.0.. I've been making some noise about this for some time but there simply isn't enough developers ardound.... it shouldn't be a big issue either since linux supposedly supports UAC2 and the device is fully recognized in usb2 mode and works in record only but not playback or duplex..

I actually don't know if there are any uac2 devices that actually works... tell me if there are! :)

christophski
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I have 3 USB interfaces and I would absolutely reccomend an Edirol UA-25 (I don't know how well the UA-25ex works), it works perfectly in linux and it is great as it has 48v phantom power but does not need an external power supply, so if you are running on a laptop, you can use it anywhere you want.

rd2rk
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Christophski - Linux noob here - was the Edirol "plugnplay" or did it require special procedures/drivers? Are you using a DAW? Which one? I'm a guitarist - know of any useful amp sims (I currently use amplitube and guitarrig in Windows)? BTW - I'm using the latest version of Ubuntu. Thanks.

dkudos
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Have you tried an Allen Heath zed series mixer 2 channel in out cheap and works when you plug it in any linux box. Shows up as pcm 2900 device in ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10.

dkudos