Best Practices fpr FireWire audio in mid-2018?

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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:11 pm

Best Practices fpr FireWire audio in mid-2018?

Post by matyas »

Hello all,

I can't seem to find much useful information about configuring Firewire audio interfaces using the current Alsa drivers supplied with the kernel. Most of the documentation I'm seeing about Firewire audio on Linux is in regards to FFADO and seems to be older. I have read a few reports of success, however, and was hoping anyone with some knowledge of the subject could offer some guidance.

The details:
After about a decade away from Linux, I installed Ubuntu Studio + KX repositories on a machine that had been running Windows 10. I honestly wasn't expecting it to even detect my TC Electronics Studio Konnekt (DICE chipset), but not only is it detected, but it I can stream audio to it. However, I'm getting severe droupouts in the audio stream, to the point where it isn't really usable. I'm using the 4.15.0-20-lowlatency kernel. I read somewhere that someone was having success with a device of this family using an earlier kernel version, but I'm not sure it's a good idea to go all the way back to a 3.x kernel on an Ubuntu 18 system.

I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty with editing config files or compiling things from source, but if this turns out to be too much of a hassle I'll probably just use my class-compliant USB X32, which was kind of the plan all along. It would, however, be really nice to be able to use the StudioKonnekt.

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Re: Best Practices fpr FireWire audio in mid-2018?

Post by phfactor »

Hi matyas,

I have only recently become active here, but I noticed your post because I have installed Ubuntu 18.04 with the KX repositories and I'm trying to tune my system to work with a firewire device. In my case, it's a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP. I was wondering what you've ended up doing.

I currently have my setup working, but the setup is fairly restrictive. I can only run the Saffire Pro 24 at 44.1kHz or 48kHz with a frames per period of 256 at either 2 or 3 periods. This gives me a workable system, roundtrip latency of ~11ms, so it is by no means perfect.

I have read that the firewire support built into ALSA interferes with ffado, and so if you use ffado, you should remove the firewire support in ALSA. I spent a day trying to do this with no luck. So I am currently using ALSA and ffado which works and gives me the mediocre latency that I mentioned above. I'm going to start a topic about how, exactly, to successfully remove the ALSA firewire support in favor of ffado.
Ubuntu 18.04 low-latency kernel.
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP Firewire interface
Mixbus 5

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