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E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:41 pm
by Red Leader
Hey all,

First of all, thanks for the support these boards offer.

My Echo Audiofire4 firewire interface bit the dust and so I got an E-mu 0404 pci card after reading somewhere on these boards that they should be no problem under linux.

Well...either I'm underinformed or that other person was :lol:

I should have done my due diligence on the Alsa wiki, which shows VERY sparse info about this card, but here we are.

I just installed AVLinux 2018.6.25 and cannot get Alsa to recognize the card. Another issue is that I'm unable to connect either to wired or wireless internet on the disto, so I'm unable to download any helpful packages (not that I know of any that would help in my immediate situation).

My working knowledge of linux is limited, but I'm a quick learner.

If anyone has any thoughts, or even where to start, it would be helpful. AVLinux user manual was of no help, unfortunately. If this card is a dead end, it would be better to know sooner rather than later.

Thank you for your time and energy!

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:26 pm
by mike@overtonedsp
These can be awkward to get working on Linux - I had some a long while back that I picked up for free (I don't think I even have a machine that would take them any more) - both looked identical, both worked under Windows, but only one would "work" under Linux, and only after reciting many arcane ALSA / Kernel incantations.
I think the issue (as with a lot of similar cards) is getting the right firmware onto the card. IIRC they also have some kind of "DSP" on board - which I wouldn't expect to work fully under Linux. Even if you do get it basically working, figuring out the audio routing and level controls can be a bit hit and miss since from what I recall nothing shows up with any sensible names in e.g. ALSA Mixer.
Reasonable in its day ( c.2004), but I really wouldn't recommend them for Linux now, and I think its fair to say there are better quality solutions available now, both in terms of Linux 'compatibility' (for some value of 'compatibility') and audio performance.

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:10 pm
by j_e_f_f_g
1) Run Synaptics.

2) Search for alsa firmware.

3) Mark that package for installation, and install.

4) Reboot.

5) Don't buy any Creative Labs audio card. Too many features are implemented in software (drivers) rather than hardware. So if you use third party drivers (alsa), typically not all features are supported.

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:47 pm
by Red Leader
Thanks guys, I appreciate the info.

I'll try Snyaptics when I get home today. Right now I'm also troubleshooting a no internet problem. Wireless sure, but even wired isn't working, which I thought would be a slam dunk. In any case, I'll see what I can do.

I'll do some more research and possible make another post about other interface options. The thing is that I have high quality outboard preamps and converters, so I only need a card to literally just get the digital signal into the computer.

Will try again this evening!

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:49 pm
by Linuxmusician01
Red Leader wrote: [...]I just installed AVLinux 2018.6.25 [...] I'm unable to connect either to wired or wireless internet on the disto

If it were me then I'd ditch that distro in the blink of an eye. Wired ethernet internet not working out of the box? That should never happen. IMHO an "multimedia" or "AV" Linux distro is unneeded. If you use a distro that is well known and well supported by the community (e.g. Ubuntu) that's the best. Then use the KXStudio repository (do you know yet what that is?) for music specific stuff.
Red Leader wrote:My working knowledge of linux is limited, but I'm a quick learner.

Good! That's the only thing you really need to get Linux working. :)
Red Leader wrote:If anyone has any thoughts, or even where to start, it would be helpful. AVLinux user manual was of no help, unfortunately. If this card is a dead end, it would be better to know sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately I cannot help you w/ said card, but the comments from the other Linuxers above should be enough. My 2 cents: if you want a cheap audio device that works in Linux (i.e. class compliant) buy one of the Behringer Uphoria's (the 202 or the 404). Another tip: usually if an audio device works out of the box in MacOS (according to the manufacturer) then chances are that it's class compliant and that it'll work in Linux.

I'd start without an external USB audio device and simply use the audio card on my computer to test if Linux is something for you or not.

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:34 pm
by Red Leader
Linuxmusician01,

Thanks for your thoughts. I've been using Linux for probably around 6-8 years in a studio/recording role. I was using Studio 64 a while back, and then jumped over to AVlinux and had been enjoying it and then my Audiofire4 died. Of course, no sense in going back to an old distro (was using Ardour 2...) and so wanted to update. And apparently I know just enough to be dangerous ha!

I hear what you are saying about the KX repos. I think it is a good idea. And really, that is probably where I need to start. I have the latest stable iso of Debian that I should throw on a boot USB drive and as long as I can get internet up I can get actually get into the repos :mrgreen: I don't use a ton of software, so just the basics. Do you just need the RT kernel and then flavor of choice for audio production stuff, or are there other required downloads? If the KX repo has a basic audio studio 'package' that would be even easier.

In any case, I'm need to search for a new interface and I don't need any bells and whistles. I don't record more than two tracks at a time anyway, so USB/class compliant might be a good fit there. I just don't want to send signal through crappy preamps since I already have outboard gear.

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:21 pm
by nikgnomicradio
I have used a few old PCI audio cards with firmware support from alsa-tools package

According to alsa-info.org E-MU 0404 uses EMU10k2/CA0102, same chip I have on Sound Blaster Audigy2
Only started looking at the Audigy2 again recently on old pc for a side project
many of the features are supported in Linux, but not seen any information about loading and using DSP plugins liked I used to be able to do long ago on XP
https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/v4.14/sound/cards/emu10k1-jack.html

I would expect card to be detected in ALSA on Live ISO or fresh install
so I suspect card is not working

But there are many better supported pro cards
I replaced Audigy with ESI Maya44 pci on Linux years ago for DAW pc. Runs great in ALSA+JACK and sound is excellent, (but no level meter support)

Best pci cards i have seen on Linux are M-Audio Delta - really good mixer with metering Mudita and used ones are usually available cheap
I have helped a couple of new Linux users with setup on these cards and they work better than my ESI

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:38 pm
by Linuxmusician01
Red Leader wrote:Linuxmusician01,

Thanks for your thoughts. I've been using Linux for probably around 6-8 years in a studio/recording role.

Wow! Then you're hardly a beginner!

Red Leader wrote:[...]I hear what you are saying about the KX repos. I think it is a good idea. And really, that is probably where I need to start. I have the latest stable iso of Debian that I should throw on a boot USB drive and as long as I can get internet up I can get actually get into the repos :mrgreen: I don't use a ton of software, so just the basics. Do you just need the RT kernel and then flavor of choice for audio production stuff, or are there other required downloads? If the KX repo has a basic audio studio 'package' that would be even easier.

Debian Stable tends to be behind in the latest libraries etc. that one might need for software that is not in the standard repo from Debian. I'd go for Ubuntu if I were you, but that's me. Most people agree that a special low latency kernel is not needed anymore. The kernel now a days is pretty low latency already.

I don't know what you use for music production in Linux but the KXStudio repo is pretty important. Most "basic" music software in the standard repo's from the major distro makers isn't very good. For instance: LMMS isn't compiled w/ Vestige support in it in Mint. You need KXStudio's version for that. What DAW do you use? Qtractor? Or good old Audacity?

Red Leader wrote:In any case, I'm need to search for a new interface and I don't need any bells and whistles. I don't record more than two tracks at a time anyway, so USB/class compliant might be a good fit there. I just don't want to send signal through crappy preamps since I already have outboard gear.

The Behringer 202 (link) has "Midas preamps". I don't know what that means but it might be good enough for your needs. It's one of the cheapest audio interfaces at 60 Euro (link). I have the 202's bigger brother: the 404. It has 4 discrete IN ports and 4 (!!) discrete OUT ports if you connect it via USB to a computer and if you use Jack. So you can record 4 separate tracks at the same time (or 2 X stereo). If I use siad audio device as a mixer without a computer it "complains" very soon about the IN signal being to loud. And I hear a lot of hiss from it if I turn the volume of the synths that I use down so the peak lights don't light up. But maybe that me doing something wrong...

Good luck! :)

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:56 pm
by nikgnomicradio
Red Leader wrote:I just don't want to send signal through crappy preamps since I already have outboard gear.


from this, no point to paying for a built-in preamp on an interface when outboard gear is likely much better

USB line link cable or simple line-level interface would be enough to add USB connection

but if the outboard gear has SPDIF or AES digital audio outputs AND there was an onboard device with digital capture could get good/better quality without any USB

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:16 am
by Red Leader
Again, I appreciate everyone's time and attention to this thread!

Poor Emu card...$40 wasted...oh well! Time to move on.

I have been using Ardour 2 for a number of years. It's probably been 2-3 years since I did a system upgrade. I've been leery of updates since I tend to hear about them breaking more than they fix.

Can someone point me to where they are getting KXStudio from? I'm confused about it. On their 'downloads' page, they list several 'Cadence' and 'Carla' versions. Are those distros, or are they programs? Isn't Cadence a Jack utility? Or is the thought to go with the latest version of Ubuntu and then just add the repos?

On the sourceforge page, if I try to get the complete KXStudio package, it's using Ubuntu 14.04...which isn't that several years old?

Regarding the interface, here is my signal chain:

Mic --> Capi VP28 preamp --> Ross Martin AD ---> ?????? ---> computer

I already have my preamp and converter. I literally just need something to get the signal into the computer AND for linux to recognize it. Then again, I don't have an outboard DA converter, so I may have to cross that bridge sooner than later.

I really appreciate all the helpful thoughts in this thread. Please keep them coming and help me rebuild my studio! Thank you!

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:21 am
by Red Leader
nikgnomicradio wrote:I have used a few old PCI audio cards with firmware support from alsa-tools package

According to alsa-info.org E-MU 0404 uses EMU10k2/CA0102, same chip I have on Sound Blaster Audigy2
Only started looking at the Audigy2 again recently on old pc for a side project
many of the features are supported in Linux, but not seen any information about loading and using DSP plugins liked I used to be able to do long ago on XP
https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/v4.14/sound/cards/emu10k1-jack.html

I would expect card to be detected in ALSA on Live ISO or fresh install
so I suspect card is not working

But there are many better supported pro cards
I replaced Audigy with ESI Maya44 pci on Linux years ago for DAW pc. Runs great in ALSA+JACK and sound is excellent, (but no level meter support)

Best pci cards i have seen on Linux are M-Audio Delta - really good mixer with metering Mudita and used ones are usually available cheap
I have helped a couple of new Linux users with setup on these cards and they work better than my ESI


Ha! So I used to run an M-Audio 2496 card. My old setup was a Mackie VZ 1202 mixer run into the 2496. Worked great. Didn't sound so great, but never had any computer related troubles. If I could use either a 2496 or a 192 to act as a bridge to the computer, but be able to bypass the built in preamps, I'd be happy with that. I know the 1010 has a LOT of connectors. Maybe I should do some research here.

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:24 am
by Red Leader
Linuxmusician01 wrote:
Red Leader wrote:Linuxmusician01,

Thanks for your thoughts. I've been using Linux for probably around 6-8 years in a studio/recording role.

Wow! Then you're hardly a beginner!



I've always *just* known enough to be dangerous! My method of operation was to distro hop until I found the distro with the fewest amount of non-working things :mrgreen: . We've probably all been there - I'm just still stuck there :lol:

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:28 am
by Red Leader
nikgnomicradio wrote:
Red Leader wrote:I just don't want to send signal through crappy preamps since I already have outboard gear.


from this, no point to paying for a built-in preamp on an interface when outboard gear is likely much better

USB line link cable or simple line-level interface would be enough to add USB connection

but if the outboard gear has SPDIF or AES digital audio outputs AND there was an onboard device with digital capture could get good/better quality without any USB



Could it really be something as simple as this?

Image

My AD converter has AES/Optical/SPDIF out. I've read about optical being choppy with data, but have no experiential evidence of that. Is there a linux-recognizing SPDIF card? That would end all my woes!

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:01 pm
by Linuxmusician01
Red Leader wrote:[...]
Can someone point me to where they are getting KXStudio from? I'm confused about it. On their 'downloads' page, they list several 'Cadence' and 'Carla' versions. Are those distros, or are they programs? Isn't Cadence a Jack utility? Or is the thought to go with the latest version of Ubuntu and then just add the repos?

On the sourceforge page, if I try to get the complete KXStudio package, it's using Ubuntu 14.04...which isn't that several years old?

I'm afraid that I can't help you with your soundcard and hardware setup questions. But I think @nikgnomicradio is more capable than anyone to answer those. I'd like to know if those cheap USB line link cables work for a synthesizer too. If you plug one into a PC does it show up just like an external USB audio card?

Anyway, about KXStudio. The way I see it is as follows (I might be off here and there though). A very talented and friendly guy @falkTX who used to be active on this forum (and maybe will be again) made a Linux distribution especially meant for music production. This project is on hold for at the moment until later 2019. This distribution uses it's own repository to get it's software (packages) from. Nice guy that he is he made his repository with optimized software etc. available for us all. Unfortunately they are only compatible with Debian based distro's like Debian (duh!), Ubuntu and Mint. One can read here how to use the KXStudio repository on a Debian based system.

Take for example LMMS (very nice Midi only sequencer). The version that is available in the repository that comes standard w/ the distro that I use (Mint 17.1) has no Vestige support built in it. Hence: no easy loading of Windows VST's in LMMS. However, the version that I can install if I've got the KXStudio repository activated does have Vestige support!

I wouldn't download the KXStudio software from its home page: you're probably required to compile the software from source then. Like I said, you use the same software you've come to know and love, be it the versions that KXStudio provides via your package manager. The package manager that I use is 'ye olde Synaptic. In Synaptic the KXStudio versions show up labeled as version "kxstudio" instead of version "ubuntu" (Mint is Ubuntu based).

Jack is a layer on ALSA (= the sound driver from Linux). Confusing isn't it? Jack is needed for low latency and some audio software works better w/ Jack. I do not question anymore why we use Jack, I've accepted it.

I don't know what Cadence is, I don't use it. It appears to be a graphical application to connect synths (physical and virtual) to DAW's. One uses Carla to be able to use 32 bit and 64 bit Windows VST's in a DAW. I use Carla often.

If I were you and you need to install a new distro, I'd go for Ubuntu (it's very well supported) and use the KXStudio repository for installing music production software. Just ask in this forum what software (like Qtractor or Ardour) and utilities (like Carla) to use that fits your needs. Chances are you'll be fine with the almighty and underrated Audacity -- and Alsa without Jack. :)

Re: E-mu 0404 and getting nowhere...

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:59 am
by Red Leader
Linuxmusician01,

Really appreciate your additional help and assistance.

I have good news! I took your advice and threw Ubuntu 18.04 on a USB boot drive and it is up and running on the comp! Both wired and wireless internet working! It was seamless.

I did a system update, installed KXstudio repos, update again, and installed 'KXstudio default settings' package.

I'm not sure what is in that package, or what it does. Honestly I'm not noticing a lot of change (i.e. no programs like Ardour or JACK controls actually installed). I see them in the package manager, I can install, but I'm just not sure what the default settings package actually did.

Now here is the interesting thing. In some of the literature, it sounds like you can layer KXstudio on top of Ubuntu. Here is the reference:

http://kxstudio.linuxaudio.org/Document ... ry:Upgrade

I suppose the command could go something like this --> sudo apt-get install kxstudio-desktop-kde4

The next step is actually installing the software packages (kxstudio-meta-all, kxstudio-meta-audio, etc)

However, I really like the clean look of Ubuntu and just about every experience I've had with KDE has been awful. Do you see any reason that I couldn't skip the desktop install and just go for the applications?

Any thoughts are appreciated. I've made a LOT of good progress today and its thanks to you and the other fine folks that I'm at this stage!