Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

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bluebell
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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby bluebell » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:30 pm

TDNE wrote:Thanks for all your help.

Tascam is on it's way today. I've downloaded the manual for it & it does have a software mixer program. This should load when I plug it in or will i get Alsamixer ? Nat sure if it does anything i can't do with the knobs.


I glimpsed over the Tascam website and saw that they offer drivers for Windows and Mac. Probably with a builtin mixer program. They are worthless/useless für Linux users.

You may hope that it offers a Class Compliant mode (to work as an audio interface) and that all important controls are accessible from its hardware knobs and/or recognized by ALSA (in the Linux kernel), so you can use alsamixer.

Rule of thumb for Linux users: The less controls/mixer/fancystuff an audio interface has, the better it will work with Linux.
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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby khz » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:36 pm

According to http://libremusicproduction.com/articles/understanding-recording-hardware <EDIT>and https://alsa-project.org/wiki/Matrix:Vendor-Tascam</EDIT> the hardware is supported.
Alsamixer is for setting.
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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:18 pm

TDNE wrote:Thanks for all your help.

Tascam is on it's way today. I've downloaded the manual for it & it does have a software mixer program. This should load when I plug it in or will i get Alsamixer ? Nat sure if it does anything i can't do with the knobs.

A software mixer program, eh? I'll bet you a million dollars that they mean Windows software. Your audio device might not even be supported under Linux. Which Tascam is it?

[edit] I read that it's a Tascam US-122 which appears to be supported by Alsa. That one is USB 1.1.

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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby TDNE » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:35 pm

Thanks all.

Yes - I did check through the links kHz supplied a few posts back (thanks again) & deliberately chose the Tascam US-122 because it was listed there as USB 1.1 class compliant & supported by alsa/linux. (oh yes & was about 1/3 the cost of a second hand Focusrite scarlett...)

I take it I won't be using alsamixer just the hardware knobs ?

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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby khz » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:59 pm

Maybe you "need" the alsamixer only to change from 44100 to 48000 and from 16 bit to 24 bit, everything else can be controlled on the interface itself.
48000 Hz and 24 bit I would adjust then.
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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby TDNE » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:53 pm

OK thanks.

I've checked my package manager & have the option for :
gnome-alsamixer
mopidy-alsamixer
alsamixergui.

I take it I'll need the GUI but which of the others would be best ?
My understanding is that LinuxLite is an Ubuntu based distro. I've heard of gnome but not mopidy.

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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:58 pm

TDNE wrote:OK thanks.

I've checked my package manager & have the option for :
gnome-alsamixer
mopidy-alsamixer
alsamixergui.

I take it I'll need the GUI but which of the others would be best ?
My understanding is that LinuxLite is an Ubuntu based distro. I've heard of gnome but not mopidy.

I don't think that you'll be able to set the sample rate in alsamixer. I'd install gnome-alsamixer because of its good looks. And the command line variant because it's easy to use.

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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby TDNE » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:17 pm

Gnome it is then, thanks.

Tascam arrived this morning so I'll fiddle about over the weekend.

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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby Michael Willis » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:11 pm

TDNE wrote:Gnome it is then, thanks.

Tascam arrived this morning so I'll fiddle about over the weekend.

Good luck, let us know how it goes. To be honest I don't think you'll need the alsamixer to set the sample rate. With any interface I've used, I have been able to pick the sample rate in Ardour or when I launch Jack from qjackctl or cadence.

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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby khz » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:15 pm

Michael Willis wrote:I have been able to pick the sample rate in Ardour or when I launch Jack from qjackctl or cadence.

I think so, too.
I just wanted to mention it because with a RME card for example - with the RME-AIO you have to use asamixer because hdspconf doesn't work - you can set a lot of options in the alsamixer.
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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby TDNE » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:51 pm

Installed gnome mixer. I also seem to have qjackctl installed.

Then fell at the starting blocks. When I connect tascam to my laptop the only light that comes on is the phantom power light if I switch it on. There is a light for the USB cable/connection (& MIDI i/o) but it stays off. If I connect the K-station to it with MIDI i/o still nothing. Opening gnome mixer it looks to be recognizing my laptop soundcard but nothing else. I've tried 2 USB cables so not the cable. :(

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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby Michael Willis » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:29 am

TDNE wrote:Then fell at the starting blocks. When I connect tascam to my laptop the only light that comes on is the phantom power light if I switch it on. There is a light for the USB cable/connection (& MIDI i/o) but it stays off. If I connect the K-station to it with MIDI i/o still nothing. Opening gnome mixer it looks to be recognizing my laptop soundcard but nothing else. I've tried 2 USB cables so not the cable. :(

Aww, do you think you got a defective unit? Did you buy it new or used?

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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby khz » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:32 am

:-(
MIDI should work "out of the box", there is nothing to set. Optionally you can configure special audio functions in alsamixer (..., F5, F6) if the audio-MIDI interface is more complex.
If your computer has multiple USB ports, have you tested the Audio-MIDI interface on different USB ports?
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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:01 am

TDNE wrote:Installed gnome mixer. I also seem to have qjackctl installed.

Then fell at the starting blocks. When I connect tascam to my laptop the only light that comes on is the phantom power light if I switch it on. There is a light for the USB cable/connection (& MIDI i/o) but it stays off. If I connect the K-station to it with MIDI i/o still nothing. Opening gnome mixer it looks to be recognizing my laptop soundcard but nothing else. I've tried 2 USB cables so not the cable. :(

What's the output of the following command when you've got the Tascam US-122 audio device connected directly to your computer using USB, i.e. without an USB hub in between?

Code: Select all

cat /proc/asound/cards

On my computer the output looks like this:

Code: Select all

 0 [CMI8738        ]: CMI8738-MC6 - C-Media CMI8738
                      C-Media CMI8738 (model 55) at 0xd000, irq 20
 1 [PCH            ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
                      HDA Intel PCH at 0xf7c10000 irq 45

Alsa Mixer always starts for sound ard number 0. If you want to see number 1 then do:

Code: Select all

alsamixer -c 1

Good luck.


P.S. I'm trying to determine what Tascam US-122 you have. If I google then there appear to be 3 versions: the "old regular" blue US-122, a black Mark II model and a grey US-122L. Which is it?

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Re: Connecting a synth to my laptop ?

Postby TDNE » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:12 pm

Sorry everyone for taking so long been chasing my tail. Bunch of stuff all needing my attention at the same time. Thank you all for replying.

To answer all your Q's:

I bought off fleabay. I'm well experienced buyer & seller & am sure this unit is good from honest seller . He did say he'd never used MIDI option & only guitar. Pictures showed guitar plugged in & USB to computer. USB indicator light was lit.
[tried to insert picture but didn't work]

Tried on all 3 USB ports on the laptop - no joy. Have yet to try on different laptop. Will try & do that tomorrow.

I'm not using a USB hub. K-station to tascam to computer connected & on - output of - cat /proc/asound/cards - is:
0 [PCH ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
HDA Intel PCH at 0x90a10000 irq 94

Output of - alsamixer -c 1 - is:
invalid card index: 1
try `alsamixer --help' for more information

My unit is the Blue one.

I tried my 'phones in the tascam socket too but nothing when pressed K-station keys.

Thanks again for trying to help.


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