MOTU Microbook IIc

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tatch
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MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby tatch » Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:44 pm


glowrak guy
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby glowrak guy » Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:59 am

I'd wait for someone with deep pockets to actually test this MOTU product.
They typically are higher-end products, rather than just class compliant, so I'd be
pleasantly surprised if the basic i/o wasn't fancied up a bit too much for linux. :wink:
Cheers

steevc
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby steevc » Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:20 pm

I happen to know someone who could lend me one. I have it plugged into my Kubuntu 15.04 system. That detects it and it shows up in Pulseaudio Volume Control as MicroBook IIC with the only option of Analog Surround 7.1 Output. No option for input. I've tried playing through it, but am just getting noise, initially very loud through my speakers!

I reset pulseaudio (pulseaudio -k) and then it offered Multichannel Input which gets labelled as for 5.1 audio. There are actually four inputs (mic, guitar plus stereo) and four outputs (although it says 6 on the box).

Tried again with some old headphones to avoid trashing my monitors. All I seem to get is noise that sounds as if it might be speeded up audio plus static. Pretty horrible, whatever it is.

Any suggestions of other things to try?
Steve
Sounds - http://soundcloud.com/steevc
Blog - http://studiospoon.blogspot.co.uk/
Recording via M-Audio Delta 66 (+Omni i/o) and Zoom H4. Got Korg nanoKONTROL and M-Audio Uno for my Casio keyboard.

glowrak guy
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby glowrak guy » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:15 pm

Perhaps disable pulse for the session, and use qjackctl for testing?
Got a manual? See if the motu has a default sample-rate that can
be changed by it's own hardware, careful not to change
things like a phantom power button, while it's powered on.

It may ship with a setup utility needed to arrange it's features.
Which probably won't work in wine, based on motu past history.
So might need initial setup done outside of linux.

Try on some non-14.x ubuntu versions, and avlinux, tango studio etc

An effects rack having both instrument-in and line-in,
with line-out, should enable testing the motu line-in,
which should appear in qjackctl. The ad-da convertors
are the important part, and might be really good,
Midi i/o can always be from some cheap device, if needed.
Nice of your pal to loan you the motu!

steevc
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby steevc » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:01 pm

I'm afraid I didn't manage to play much more. I did try it in Ardour 4 with Jack on Kubuntu 15.10, but that didn't seem to like it either. I've not actually had Ardour running in a while, so I need to look into that some time. If you want me to run anything to get more details of the Microbook then let me know soon before I have to give it back.

I haven't done any recording in a while, but I'd like to get back to it eventually. I'll probably look at getting an interface that is known to work.
Steve
Sounds - http://soundcloud.com/steevc
Blog - http://studiospoon.blogspot.co.uk/
Recording via M-Audio Delta 66 (+Omni i/o) and Zoom H4. Got Korg nanoKONTROL and M-Audio Uno for my Casio keyboard.

tatch
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby tatch » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:58 pm

try looking at the settings in alsamixer too. For some reason my 1818vsl mutes all the outputs whenever I plug it in, and I have to unmute them manually in alsamixer.

frdismxn
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby frdismxn » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:43 am

Hey! Sorry for resurrecting such an old thread, but as of today this is the first result when searching "Microbook IIc Linux" and I can't find anyone that managed to solve the problem with this card. I can't be the only one interested on this gear.

The thing is, I kind of managed to make it work, and I think I have identified the issue, but I am too new to linux to know how to go about it or if it can be fixed. So I am asking for help in the hopes somebody will hear it.

At first, I was having the same issues on Pop OS 18.10, horrible loud noise and no controls in alsamixer.

But I have found that if you set up in your .asoundrc such as this:

Code: Select all

pcm.!default {
   type hw
   card 0
}
ctl.!default {
   type hw
   card 0
}
pcm.MIIc {
    pcm "hw:x,0"
    format S24_3LE
    rate 96000
}

pcm.MIIcfix {
    type plug
    slave MIIc
}


And then run:

Code: Select all

aplay -D MIIcfix someaudio.wav


It will play back perfectly, no noise, no cracking. Also, if you don't set the format for the device, aplay will inform that the only supported format is S24_3LE

Furthermore, if you were to edit /etc/pulse/daemon.conf to set the default sample rate to 96000, it would also work, system wide, but with some slight cracking, I believe both because of the software conversion and because S24_3LE is not a format supported by PulseAudio and it's what the card is asking for as its only supported format. If you set up an Ardour session at 96000 with ALSA it will also work, even without modifying pulseaudio.

I have come to the conclusion that the problem is that the card, not being initialized by CueMix as it would be in other OS, is setting up at a sample rate of 96000khz and is not attempting to do any rate conversion from any different rate, as other cards would normally do. Furthermore, it is expecting what appears to be an exotic sound format, S24_3LE (ALSA supports it but PA doesn't, only S16LE and S24LE). Compond that to the fact that PulseAudio initializes all to 44100 or 48000, and you have this problem.

So, the card CAN work on Linux (and sounds quite well). I suppose if I knew how to force ALSA to always do this conversion with this device, kind of like a preset for this hardware, then it should work even with Pulse Audio or with any other software for that matter, as long as the forced conversion takes place.

Is there any one out there savvy than me, someone who knows what they are doing, basically, that could help with this? :D

I have the card with me (and I really want to get it working so that I don't have to sell it), so I can run more tests if anyone were interested.

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CrocoDuck
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby CrocoDuck » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:41 pm

frdismxn wrote:I have come to the conclusion that the problem is that the card, not being initialized by CueMix as it would be in other OS, is setting up at a sample rate of 96000khz and is not attempting to do any rate conversion from any different rate, as other cards would normally do. Furthermore, it is expecting what appears to be an exotic sound format, S24_3LE (ALSA supports it but PA doesn't, only S16LE and S24LE). Compond that to the fact that PulseAudio initializes all to 44100 or 48000, and you have this problem.


I never tried anything like this myself, but .asoundrc should do the trick. Whatever pulsaudio gives to ALSA, ALSA can then resample everything the way you need it.

I found these topics that maybe will be useful for you:

https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1 ... art-0.html
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ad ... resampling

You will need to change few details to match your format. Maybe this will work:

Code: Select all

pcm.!default {
        type plug
        slave.pcm "dmixer"
}

ctl.!default {
        type hw
        card Ego
}

pcm.dmixer {
        type dmix
        ipc_key 1024
        slave {
                pcm "hw:x,0"
                channels 2
                rate 96000
                format S24_3LE
        }
}


Not sure about pcm "hw:x,0" and few other things... but maybe a start.
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
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frdismxn
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby frdismxn » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:58 pm

Amazing, CrocoDuck, thank you!

I will try it today and report back hopefully with a working configuration. Those threads you linked seem to touch up on everything I should need for this.

Yeah, the x in hw:x:0 was supposed to be a placeholder for the sound card number, which in mi case is 2, but I guess it's both completely unnecessary and a bit confusing.

:D Thanks again! Back to testing.

formigola
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby formigola » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:04 pm

Hey!

I have the Microbook II sound card and I already give up on making it work with linux, but this posts make me regain some hopes. I am very interested in the outcomes of your experiments. I will try to make it work starting with your suggestions. Your soundcard work just for reproduction of audio files or are you able to make some recordings, too?

frdismxn
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby frdismxn » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:33 am

Hey, formigola!

Sorry, work was crazy for the last couple of days and I haven't been able to really dig into it and improve the configuration.

But I can confirm that it is making recordings perfectly fine, without me doing anything other than what I mentioned in the last post. In Ardour I can see six inputs, where capture_1 corresponds to the Mic, capture_2 to the guitar, capture_3 and capture_4 are the line in, and I don't really know what capture_5 and 6 are because there are no other physical inputs on the card, but I am guessing it's what corresponds to the Aux In in Cue Mix on Windows, which would correspond to an stereo audio input from the computer itself.

From the light testing that I have done, the sound quality from the recordings seems to be excellent, at least as good as the same card on Windows.

As for outputs in Ardour, I can see 6 hardware outs in ardour. playback_1 and playback_2 output both to the main outs and the headphones. Playback_3 and 4 output only to the main outs. Playback 5 and 6 I havn't tested but I am guessing that go to the line out, and playback_7 and playback_8 go to the headphones only. I am wondering whether moving the submix settings in CueMix would change something here, but I haven't tested it, and anyway all the important ins and outs of the card are visible and working.

One thing that I have noticed and that is extremely annoying is that every time I turn on the card, the volume of the main outs (but not on the headphones), will be set to the max, catching me by surprise and making both my monitors and my ears explode. Even if I boot into windows (I am dual booting right now) and set the volume real low in cue mix, it will go back up inside linux/ardour (incidentally, if I rebooted into windows, the volume would stay the same as I last left it). Specially annoying because the card doesn't have any hardware indicator for volume, only those infinite rotary things that don't really say anything.

This last point is a bit surprising because alsamixer doesn't report any controls on the device, but we know that the volumes can be controlled by USB because that is what CueMix is doing. And the card doesn't behave like this on windows, so my guess is that something is actually setting and changing the volume of the card from the linux side. I just wish I could see or control that something.

I will try to get into the configuration side of things during this weekend, hopefully to get a fully working setup once and for all. Let me know if you want me to try anything out!

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CrocoDuck
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby CrocoDuck » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:18 pm

frdismxn wrote:This last point is a bit surprising because alsamixer doesn't report any controls on the device, but we know that the volumes can be controlled by USB because that is what CueMix is doing. And the card doesn't behave like this on windows, so my guess is that something is actually setting and changing the volume of the card from the linux side. I just wish I could see or control that something.


Uhm... not too sure about that. If alsamixer doesn't see the controls, then ALSA (and hence Linux) has no support for the device controls, and hence it should be unable to set them. CueMix might be just be using a non open proprietary API to set the controls of the device. I feel like the maxed out volume might be more of a default setting when the card boots up and nothing reset its state.
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
Fancying a swim in the pond?

formigola
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Re: MOTU Microbook IIc

Postby formigola » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:06 pm

Hi frdismxn!

Thanks a lot for tour reply! I haven't test my card yet but i realy hope that it works too, even if it is the old version of the card. I will let you know my results.


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