Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Discuss your workplace, instruments, amps, and any other gear.

Moderators: MattKingUSA, khz

User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 2804
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm
Has thanked: 525 times
Been thanked: 563 times

Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by GMaq »

Hi.

I recently purchased a Tascam Portacapture X8 for recording rehearsals, Live Video stuff and sketching simple demo ideas..

https://tascam.com/us/product/portacapture_x8/top

It looks to be class-compliant as it is recommended to work with iOS and android devices and it also has an optional Bluetooth enabled Interface app on both platforms. I can get it to appear in Linux (AV Linux) as an Audio device but I'm getting no Audio input into Ardour either with JACK or ALSA backends. I have done some reading of the Tascam User Manual and I've opened up and checked muting in any controls I can find in alsamixer but still no dice as far as getting Audio to pass through..

It is entirely possible that I'm missing something but I have worked with several USB devices on Linux and usually can get things going. Does anyone here have this device and if so have you got it working with Linux? A google search turned up virtually nothing pertaining to this device as an Audio interface with Linux.

User avatar
bluzee
Established Member
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:43 pm
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 88 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by bluzee »

Not much clairity in the manual. They say USB is mass storage device but they say it can be used as USB microphone. No where does it actually specify that it's a USB audio interface. There are no instructions to install a Windows driver which would seem to indicate that there is none. I'm guessing audio output is analog only.

Edit: Nevermind. I found the ASIO driver download.

Did you install the Android or IOS app to control the device? Might have to switch it from mass storage to interface with that.

User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 2804
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm
Has thanked: 525 times
Been thanked: 563 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by GMaq »

Hi bluzee, how are you?

The unit itself has a touch screen interface that allows you to pick the recording modes and set it as a card reader or not etc.. I don't have the BT dongle (can't seem to find an online Canadian source) and that is completely optional and just gives you the exact GUI 'launcher' that the device comes with except remotely on iOS or android devices. I believe the Windows ASIO driver is probably more about latency and stuff rather than it needing specific USB drivers but I could be wrong.

User avatar
bluzee
Established Member
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:43 pm
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 88 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by bluzee »

Sticking pretty close to the house these days. Minus 41C this morning. Warming predicted for the weekend so lets hope for that.

OK so the apps are just for remote control. Read the appended manual and they do say that on Mac it will work without additional driver.

I gather you've check your logs and watched the kernel messages when you plug the device in. You say there are controls for it in ALSA mixer?

Maybe the USB mass storage is interfering with the audio interface being setup properly? Might need a udev rule? Can mass storage be disabled on the unit before you plugin the USB?

They have a bunch of tutorial videos. Didn't watch any of those as yet.

User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 2804
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm
Has thanked: 525 times
Been thanked: 563 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by GMaq »

Man, minus 41!!?

OK, well if I plug it in it shows up in lsusb:

Code: Select all

$ lsusb
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 005 Device 004: ID 194f:0703 PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc. StudioLive AR8
Bus 005 Device 003: ID 03f0:7112 HP, Inc HP Officejet Pro 8610
Bus 005 Device 002: ID 046d:c52b Logitech, Inc. Unifying Receiver
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0644:8074 TEAC Corp. Portacapture X8
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

*Note I also have a Presonus AR8 Plugged into this machine..

Next alsamixer shows it as selectable:

shot-2022-12-21_16-15-56.jpg
shot-2022-12-21_16-15-56.jpg (100.59 KiB) Viewed 3339 times

However once selected it simply tells me it has no controls..

This what dmesg has to say when it's plugged in:

Code: Select all

[   63.259819] usb 1-2: new high-speed USB device number 2 using xhci_hcd
[   63.474605] usb 1-2: New USB device found, idVendor=0644, idProduct=8074, bcdDevice= 2.00
[   63.474612] usb 1-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
[   63.474616] usb 1-2: Product: Portacapture X8
[   63.474619] usb 1-2: Manufacturer: TASCAM
[   63.481623] usb-storage 1-2:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[   63.481775] scsi host11: usb-storage 1-2:1.0
[   64.536470] scsi 11:0:0:0: Direct-Access     TEAC     USB MASS STORAGE 0001 PQ: 0 ANSI: 4


User avatar
bluzee
Established Member
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:43 pm
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 88 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by bluzee »

Kind of looks like all you are getting is the USB mass storage but why would it show up at all in alsamixer then? It should be loading snd-usb-audio. For example this.....

Code: Select all

Dec 21 16:06:43 Office kernel: usb 1-2: new high-speed USB device number 3 using ehci-pci
Dec 21 16:06:43 Office kernel: usb 1-2: New USB device found, idVendor=0a73, idProduct=001e, bcdDevice= 6.c2
Dec 21 16:06:43 Office kernel: usb 1-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=3, SerialNumber=0
Dec 21 16:06:43 Office kernel: usb 1-2: Product: Onyx Artist 1-2
Dec 21 16:06:43 Office kernel: usb 1-2: Manufacturer: LOUD Technologies Inc.
Dec 21 16:06:43 Office kernel: mc: Linux media interface: v0.10
Dec 21 16:06:47 Office kernel: usb 1-2: 1:3 : unsupported format bits 0x100000000
Dec 21 16:06:48 Office kernel: usbcore: registered new interface driver snd-usb-audio

You could run the alsa-info.sh script before and after plugging in then diff the two results to see what is created. Should be at.

Code: Select all

/usr/share/alsa-base/alsa-info.sh --no-upload

then

Code: Select all

diff /tmp/alsa-info.txt.XXXXXXXXXX/tmp/alsa-info.txt.XXXXXXXXX 

I think this may need some help from ALSA developers to sort out the USB mass storage or else a udev rule to somehow force it to ignore mass storage and load snd-usb-audio. Possible the same kind of situation as Focusrite interfaces that come as a USB storage device at first and have to be switched to Interface.

User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 2804
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm
Has thanked: 525 times
Been thanked: 563 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by GMaq »

Thanks bluzee for your help and insights, I will try the ALSA info scripts when time allows. Is there an email or mailing list to bring such things to the attention of the ALSA devs?

tseaver
Established Member
Posts: 404
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:07 am
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 100 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by tseaver »

@Gmaq looking at the manual (https://tascam.com/downloads/products/t ... _om_vd.pdf), on page 17, there is a confusing bit about the "Recording Guide" function: the diagram almost looks as though one has to push the REC button twice to get it really recording: in the "intermediate" stage, the REC indicator should be blinking, but after the second press, it should be lit solid, at which point recording is active.

Worth a punt, anyway.

Ubuntu, Mixbus32C; acoustic blues / country / jazz
User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 2804
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm
Has thanked: 525 times
Been thanked: 563 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by GMaq »

tseaver wrote: Thu Dec 22, 2022 3:26 am

@Gmaq looking at the manual (https://tascam.com/downloads/products/t ... _om_vd.pdf), on page 17, there is a confusing bit about the "Recording Guide" function: the diagram almost looks as though one has to push the REC button twice to get it really recording: in the "intermediate" stage, the REC indicator should be blinking, but after the second press, it should be lit solid, at which point recording is active.

Worth a punt, anyway.

Hi!

Yes, it can be set to record at one press or two, I have tried both settings and no dice. I agree the full manual is pretty vague and confusing. I think bluzee is on to something with the snd-usb-audio module not getting loaded, that seems a pretty important piece. It's annoyingly close to working.. The funny thing is I have an older cheapy Tascam DR-05X and even it works as a USB Audio device on Linux perfectly..

User avatar
bluzee
Established Member
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:43 pm
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 88 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by bluzee »

OK, so this manual is probably the one to read...

https://manual.tascam.jp/portacapture_x8/rm/en/

Looks like SD Card reader mode can be switched on/off. General Settings -> Other -> SD Card Reader. Seems like it should not be on at all until you specifically turn it on. If you have a card in maybe remove it and try without the card and see what happens.

Some points regarding USB interface. If an SD Card is inserted then both device and computer must be manually set to use the same sample rate. Starting Recording or Record Standby will send audio. Channels sent will vary by which app you are using. In manual mode signals must be assigned to track and input switched on, also stereo mix is sent.

If the device is not plugged into a high Amp USB C plug then Auto power save mode may be engaged limiting sample rate to 44.1 or 48. 192 is never available to USB.

There are quite a few Quirks for Tascam devices and some even have their own special driver. Don't see anything for this device in the tree as yet.

User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 2804
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm
Has thanked: 525 times
Been thanked: 563 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by GMaq »

Yes, there is a graphical option to disconnect the card reader and I've tried that.. If you take the card out and put it in pre-record mode it complains 'no card' and won't even pass Audio within itself, it also seems to not appear in the Audio device list with the card out so again we're missing snd-usb module support..

The mics on this thing are awesome, it would be really useful as a USB mic, let alone a recording interface.

User avatar
bluzee
Established Member
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:43 pm
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 88 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by bluzee »

That's definitely a firmware bug. The manual says it will run at whatever sample rate you set in the computer when the card is out.

I read a review on this where the guy at the end flat out says don't buy it, so you are not alone having issues with it.

I guess you'll have to decide if it's worth the time and effort to debug this with Alsa devel or just send it back. Do you know anyone with a Mac that could test it? Might be defective out of the box.

User avatar
Linuxmusician01
Established Member
Posts: 1542
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:38 pm
Location: Holland
Has thanked: 772 times
Been thanked: 142 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by Linuxmusician01 »

[completely off topic] First of all kudo's to @GMaq for pasting a link to the device's website. Most people don't do that and assume we know exactly what hardware they're talking about, what it is supposed to do and what it can do by mentioning only a type number or something.

[on topic] What does the following command say about the device? (Learnt this from a R. Pi website)

Code: Select all

arecord -l

But @bluzee is probably right: if it shows up in alsamixer and it won't work it's probably a (firmware) bug or quirk.

Good luck with this puzzle. :)

User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 2804
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm
Has thanked: 525 times
Been thanked: 563 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by GMaq »

For the record I flashed it to the latest firmware but I see there is now a newer one... will look!

My dev box computer is a dual-boot AVL with Win 10 (I use it for Video and Image upscaling) before returning the unit or doing anything too hasty I should see if it works as intended on Windows just to rule out a defect in the unit itself.. I just haven't taken the time to do that yet.

There are indeed mixed reviews about this thing but most are complaints about out of human hearing range Audio artifacts at 192k using 32bit float which I will never use anyway. As a handheld musical sketch pad and sampler as well as the great mics to bolster live Video captures I'm pretty smitten with it. When I bought it I wasn't depending on it working under Linux and knew that would be a crap shoot, I would hope that as it gains popularity that ALSA USB Audio devs will look it's way and of course if I can connect with them I'd be happy to provide info.

*EDIT no change with FW 1.31

User avatar
bluzee
Established Member
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:43 pm
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 88 times

Re: Tascam Portacapture X8 not passing Audio on Linux

Post by bluzee »

It's listed as a USB class compliant device and as such should work in Linux. If it does not then that is a valid bug that can be submitted to kernel devel.

Code: Select all

New kernel driver bugs can be reported here: https://bugzilla.kernel.org/enter_bug.cgi

When creating a new bug report, select "Drivers" as the product, and then "Sound(ALSA)" as the component. 

If you haven't an account you'll need to create one.

Attach the output file from alsa-info.sh
Attach the output of lsusb -d 0644:8074 -v
Attach the kernel log from when you plug in the device.

I was pretty impressed with how quickly they got on with the fix for the new version Behringer interfaces. My thinking is that they probably just need to add the USBID in for the device somewhere so that the kernel can sort out when it's an audio interface and when it's a mass storage.

How is the SD Card handled in your Presonus? Does it show up as a mass storage device?

Off topic, but how do you like the Presonus. I've always been curious how good the preamps are. Mackie was always bragging up their ONYX pres. I picked up an ONYX 1-2 open box sale to run on a headless MPD system feeding a remote controlled amp for the outdoor sound system. Interface itself sounds fine, but I was underwhelmed by the ONYX pre. The pres on my Behringer are better.

Post Reply