Ok, so I went for the Scarlett 4i4 (because it was available right now and who wants to wait for new toys
) Initial findings as follows:
1. System and use case
OS: Ubuntu Studio 19.10
Plugged in to a USB3 port and running Jack
I am basically sticking 2 dynamic mics in the front using XLR and two electro-acoustic guitars in the back using TS cables. So I don’t need to switch between line/instr levels right now, but I'll probably want to use the electric guitar at some stage.
I don’t use MIDI much, other than a USB keyboard, so the in/out ports on the back of the 4i4 are of little interest to me personally.
2. Does it work?
1. Yes: I can plug it in and get signals to Ardour; Inputs and outputs show up in Carla (6 ins, interestingly, 4 outs)
2. JACK started using Ubuntu Studio Controls. (I’ve tried it successfully with QjackCtl too, now I have some sort of idea how that works - knowledge increasing hourly!)
3. QASMixer lists the Scarlett, but if selected nothing shows. Sometimes crashes.
4. Pressing 48V for 5 seconds didn’t drop it out of MSD for me.
5. I couldn’t access the built-in drive, even though it showed up in File Manager.
6. So I went and did the setup on Windows which switched it out of MSD. And I registered the device with Focusrite while I was at it.
7. The control software is underwhelming. If it was more like the control software that came with my Saffire Pro 24 then I could see why they wouldn’t want to develop it for a third OS, but this looks pretty simple software. Anyway, Focusrite can support what they want I suppose, but Mono and a web-based interface would make it practically 1 build for 3 systems. Almost.
8. Anyway, taking it out of MSD didn’t break the thing - all 4 inputs were still functioning on Ubuntu.
9. Signal was a bit low on inputs 3 & 4 on the rear (this was with the electro-acoustic guitars plugged in and yes the batteries were fine in the preamps). The 404HD has physical gain controls for inputs 3&4, but I got Jack Mixer to boost those signals. Seems to work ok. No doubt there is a much better way to do this.
10. I can’t get any signal to the headphones jack (guessing internal routing?)
11. I seem to be able to get a signal to an external speaker / monitor from outputs 1 & 2 but not 3 & 4, regardless of any messing about in Carla. This may just be default internal routing setup in the Scarlett.
I am happy to admit that at least some of the issues above are down to my lack of knowledge of JACK, Carla and Linux audio in general (I’m a bit new here)
3. What am I missing?
Obviously, being able to mix the internals for zero/low-latency monitoring would be great, but it’s not a big thing for me at the minute. Later in the year when I’m planning on doing some recording, then yes it would be helpful.
Getting a signal to the headphone output would be really very handy!