I bough a Presonus 1818VSL a couple of months ago, here are my experiences with it and UbuntuStudio 13.10 and 14.04:)
- Alsa that ships with UbuntuStudio 13.10 and 14.04 supports Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL
- I have never connected my AudioBox 1818VSL to a Mac or windows computer, I took it out of the box and connected it straight to my UbuntuStudio 13.10 computer and it worked out of the box
- I have recorded 7 inputs at the same time (Analog inputs 1 - 7) with Ardour 3.4 with no problems. I haven't yet tested with more inputs since I don't have more mics
This test was done on a dual pentium 1.8 GHz laptop (SSD - disk) with 44.1 kHz, 16 bit audio. The computer wasn't working too hard, I can imagine being able to record maybe 14 - 16 tracks with this computer simultaneously.
- If I have understod correctly, the possibility to route audio that is being recorded straight back to AudioBox outputs inside the audio device itself uses DSP that is built into Audiobox. This DSP does not work in Linux, so Audiobox 1818VSL is useful mainly in recording large live sessions. Using the card to record new tracks while listening to other recored tracks must be done by routing recored audio through the computer and this introduces latency. If all you want to do is record new tracks while listening to previously recorded tracks, then you are better off with a card like: Alesis IO4, Alesis IO2, Alesis IO2 Express, Lexicon Lambda, etc. These cards have the possibility to route audio that is being recorded back to headphones via a analog route inside the card itself, so there is no latency at all.
- USB 3 driver that ships with UbuntuStudio 14.04 is flawed. If you have USB 3 ports in your computer then disable USB 3 functionality from bios or you will get all kinds of problems like clicks and pops in audio, external USB 3 hard disks disconnecting themselves unexpectedly and uncleanly and so on. USB 3 ports work fine in UbuntuStudio 14.04 if you force them to work in USB 2 - mode.
Powering up AudioBox 1818VSL
- Keep AudioBox powered off when you start up your computer, or the USB light on the front panel of AudioBox turns red and AudioBox won't work. Reboot with AudioBox powered off solves the problem.
AudioBox 1818VSL inputs and outputs in Jack
- Jack Input 1 = AudioBox Mic / Instrument In 1
- Jack Input 2 = AudioBox Mic / Instrument In 2
- Jack Input 3 = AudioBox Mic / Line In 3
- Jack Input 4 = AudioBox Mic / Line In 4
- Jack Input 5 = AudioBox Mic / Line In 5
- Jack Input 6 = AudioBox Mic / Line In 6
- Jack Input 7 = AudioBox Mic / Line In 7
- Jack Input 8 = AudioBox Mic / Line In 8
- Jack Input 9 = AudioBox SPDIF In Left
- Jack Input 10 = AudioBox SPDIF In Right
- Jack Inputs 11 - 18 These are probably Adat inputs. I haven't been able to test this since I don't have any other Adat devices
- Jack Output 1 = AudioBox Line Out 1 + Main Out Left
- Jack Output 2 = AudioBox Line Out 2 + Main Out Right
- Jack Output 3 = AudioBox Line Out 3
- Jack Output 4 = AudioBox Line Out 4
- Jack Output 5 = AudioBox Line Out 5
- Jack Output 6 = AudioBox Line Out 6
- Jack Output 7 = AudioBox Line Out 7 + Headphone Output L Note that you won't hear anything from headphones if you don't route audio to these outputs.
- Jack Output 8 = AudioBox Line Out 8 + Headphone Output R Note that you won't hear anything from headphones if you don't route audio to these outputs.
- Jack Output 9 = AudioBox SPDIF Out Left
- Jack Output 10 = AudioBox SPDIF Out Right
- Jack Outputs 11 - 18 These are probably Adat outputs. I haven't been able to test this since I don't have any other Adat devices
Problem: No audio from AudioBox
If you don't get audio out from some AudioBox output, then Alsa might have muted the output. The solution is to fire up a Alsamixer in UbuntuStudio and unmute the output.
- Start up a mixer from: Menu / Audio Production / Mixers And Card Control / AudioMixer. Then select AudioBox 1818VSL as the audio card and click on "Set Controls", here you select which switches you can manipulate, select all. Now go to the "Switches" - tab, these are On - swithces and you need to tick all for audio to pass through all outputs. AudioMixer gives you 4 switches that each affect more than one switch in AudioBox hardware. QasMixer can give you more granular control over switches (see below).
- If you want to use QasMixer then start it up and press the F6 key to show sound card selection box. Now click on "hw:card" on the top right of the window and then select "AudioBox 1818VSL" underneath it. Now you can see Mute / On swithces on the bottom of the window. This is a bit strange, but you get more switches in QasMixer if you do the following when QasMixer is running:
Open up terminal and open the alsamixer (this assumes AudioBox is sound card number 2. Numbering starts from 0):
Use arrow keys to scroll to the right on top of "AudioBox Front" mute button and press the m - key twice to mute and unmute the input.
Now the box in QasMixer that shows the switches becomes too small to show all the swithces that appear. Maximize the window and resize the box by dragging up from the upper part of the box. Now you can see all AudioBox switches, click on each to find the one that stops audio output.
I once accidentally managed to power off AudioBox while Jack and Ardour was using it. After this I could not get any sound out of AudioBox, even reboot / poweroff did not help. Luckily I had my Alesis IO4 with me, and I was able to continue recording with it. A couple days later I was able to test the Audiobox again and it still did not work with this computer, there was no sound. So I tested it with another UbuntuStudio computer and it worked fine, the problem was in the software configuration of the other computer. The problem turned out to be caused by Alsa setting mutes on the AudioBox outputs and the procedure described above solved the problem.