Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Talk about your MIDI interfaces, microphones, keyboards...

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asbak
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Post by asbak »

The Bandshed list is somewhat useful but if they'd bothered to read reports on here (and elsewhere I'm sure) they'd have known about a lot more devices.


The old EMU 0404 PCI card (possibly also the PCI-Express version but I haven't tested that one) works great under Linux and the audio quality is exceptional. And second hand they go for about $25. What a pleasure. Caveat.... you need a computer with a PCI bus.

The Behringer UMC models aren't listed either and they're USB class compliant and way cheaper (and sound & work great with low latency) compared to the frequently touted Focusrite stuff. (But whatever you do, don't plug them into a USB hub. They must go directly into a USB port on the computer.) Why pay more, unless you're a brand slave.

The RME HDSP 9652 PCI model they list sort of works but latency isn't the best under Linux, ie it doesn't go particularly low without X-running. It's ok for recording but kinda useless for guitar fx or playing softsynths live. It performs much better in Windows. The Linux drivers for this device are not optimal.

Onboard MIDI with this board is a disaster in Linux, there's some weird kind of bug. Workaround is to use a separate MIDI interface. Audio is OK provided you're not at low latencies. I'd be hesitant to recommend this board for Linux. It's OK when recording at higher latencies but low latency operation & MIDI on it ain't fit for purpose with the ALSA drivers.

Whoever tested the 9652 on that list and decided it was "fully Linux compatible" is seriously deluded.

Carlier74
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Post by Carlier74 »

Does anyone know if the Soundcraft Signature 12 or 22 MTK works ok with Jack? I'm planning to use Reaper in Solus.

Nachei
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Post by Nachei »

Hi, from what I've read, low headphone output seems to be the weak spot of the Focusrite. Does NI Komplete have adequate headphone levels?
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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

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asbak wrote:The Behringer UMC models [...] whatever you do, don't plug them into a USB hub. They must go directly into a USB port on the computer
Thanks for the info, I didn't know that. :)

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bluebell
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Post by bluebell »

Nachei wrote:Hi, from what I've read, low headphone output seems to be the weak spot of the Focusrite. Does NI Komplete have adequate headphone levels?
I have no problems with the Scarletts' headphone amps (Solo, 2i2, 2i4). I use AKG K702 and K812 headphones.
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asbak
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

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Linuxmusician01 wrote:
asbak wrote:The Behringer UMC models [...] whatever you do, don't plug them into a USB hub. They must go directly into a USB port on the computer
Thanks for the info, I didn't know that. :)
Perhaps others will have better luck with hubs with that model, but it didn't work for me.
In an on-board USB port it's fine.

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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

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bluebell wrote: I have no problems with the Scarletts' headphone amps (Solo, 2i2, 2i4). I use AKG K702 and K812 headphones.
Thank you for the info. From what I've gathered, with the Focusrite it's a hit-or-miss thing depending on what headphones you use. It seems (at least according to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6DKB2PZeSI) it depends on the headphones' impedance: low impedance = higher monitoring volume. The headphones you mention have very low impedance (they are in the price range of the interface itself, or above...) However, I've read several reports of people protesting they can hardly hear themselves when recording vocals... It also seems you can solve this problem by buying a gizmo called headphone amplifier, but, if I'm going to have to buy additional stuff, I prefer taking that additional amount and spending it right away in a slightly better interface instead...
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bluebell
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

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Nachei wrote:
bluebell wrote: I have no problems with the Scarletts' headphone amps (Solo, 2i2, 2i4). I use AKG K702 and K812 headphones.
Thank you for the info. From what I've gathered, with the Focusrite it's a hit-or-miss thing depending on what headphones you use. It seems (at least according to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6DKB2PZeSI) it depends on the headphones' impedance: low impedance = higher monitoring volume. The headphones you mention have very low impedance (they are in the price range of the interface itself, or above...) However, I've read several reports of people protesting they can hardly hear themselves when recording vocals... It also seems you can solve this problem by buying a gizmo called headphone amplifier, but, if I'm going to have to buy additional stuff, I prefer taking that additional amount and spending it right away in a slightly better interface instead...
It's no bad idea to buy a cheap headphone amp. In the microphone's corner I have this headphone amp:

https://www.thomann.de/de/ld_systems_hpa_4.htm

It sounds ok and is a bit louder than the Focusrite's headphone amp.
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wjl
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Post by wjl »

Hi,

I'm very happy with my Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd gen (with two headphone outputs which work great), and for my brother I've got a Behringer UMC202HD which also works great. Take the 204 from Behringer or the 2i4 from Focusrite if you want/need MIDI connections as well. The Behringer is about half the price of the Focusrite.

HTH, and cheers,
Wolfgang
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Carlier74
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Post by Carlier74 »

Nachei wrote: However, I've read several reports of people protesting they can hardly hear themselves when recording vocals... It also seems you can solve this problem by buying a gizmo called headphone amplifier, but, if I'm going to have to buy additional stuff, I prefer taking that additional amount and spending it right away in a slightly better interface instead...
If you mean recording to pre-recorded tracks in the DAW, why not just turn the master out on the DAW down and the headphone volume up? I have a Scarlet Focusrite 2i2 and can't say I've had problems like this. I use Beyerdynamic dt8080 headphones, plugged straight into the Focusrite headphone out.

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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Post by Nachei »

Thank you all for the info...

Despite a lot of good reviews, I'm trying to avoid at all costs the Focusrite because I have a laptop, and they have a bad record of "USB whining" (found several cases).

As for Behringer, I saw an audiophile forum thread that really takes away from you any desire to try that brand... ever. I'm not saying it doesn't work in some cases, but why dare when, on the other hand, in this thread I've read several actual positive reviews of the Komplete (as in "this works, period"), so I think I'll go with it. It's a bit overboard for my needs, but I figure the extra price also gives me a better chance of getting proper circuitry isolation (to prevent the aforementioned whining, plus other annoying things like metronome leaking in DI guitar tracks -it's happened to me with the Lexicon Alpha and the Samson Gtrack; "professional recordings" my foot...)
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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

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Nachei wrote:[...] As for Behringer, I saw an audiophile forum thread that really takes away from you any desire to try that brand... ever. [...]
Well, that audiophile forum is a bit biased then if you ask me. No company "only" makes bad products. Gibson made some bad Les Paul's in the 70's. But everything before and after that is still worth a lot of money because of the quality. Behringer years ago has had some bad products. But their USB audio interfaces might not even be "100% Behringer" (rebranded?). The Uphoria series mostly uses MIDAS Mic Preamplifiers and they're low latency. If you were to give the people in said forum one of these devices they'd be satisfied. The older cheap mixers by B.: that's another story.

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bluebell
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Post by bluebell »

Nachei wrote:Thank you all for the info...

Despite a lot of good reviews, I'm trying to avoid at all costs the Focusrite because I have a laptop, and they have a bad record of "USB whining" (found several cases).
I have one laptop where one of the usb ports needs at least a jackd buffer size of 128. On another port I can use much lower buffer sizes. I don't think that that's a Focusrite issue but I can't prove that.
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asbak
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Post by asbak »

As for Behringer, I saw an audiophile forum thread
And that is where I saw all I needed to know.

Please understand, the "audiophile" scene is a crazy world of golden ears brigade people where $10000 speaker cables prepared by Amazonian Rainforest Virgins from the purest de-oxygenated copper alloyed with unobtanium which passes the purest mood-transcending signal is considered to be entry-level. And where they can hear the difference between bat mating calls and bottlenose dolphins echosounding.

Take these people seriously at your own peril and expense.
Last edited by asbak on Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bluebell
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Re: Need a new Linux-compatible audio Interface

Post by bluebell »

Linuxmusician01 wrote:
Nachei wrote:[...] As for Behringer, I saw an audiophile forum thread that really takes away from you any desire to try that brand... ever. [...]
Well, that audiophile forum is a bit biased then if you ask me.
I just bought a Behringer DEQ2496 Ultra-Curve Pro. Years ago it had a bad reputation but it seems they sell this device for nearly 10 years and improved hard- and software. I am very happy with it. I needed a stereo equalizer for my active monitor speakers where I don't have to set left and right channel separately. I didn't find such an analog EQ so I tried a digital one. The DEQ2496 ist sold for 229 EUR, sounds very good, no noise, balanced inputs and outputs, no quality problems so far.

I think "Behringer = bad" is outdated.
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