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Old 02-05-2019, 11:06 AM   #1
michael diemer
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Default Anybody Using M-Audio 2496 with Reaper/Linux?

Is anybody using the M-Audio 2496 soundcard in Reaper/Linux?
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:29 PM   #2
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I'd used that in Ubuntu or Xubuntu around 10 years ago. It should work fine since it's been around for so long. If there's a particular aspect about it that you're concerned with, do a search with Google to see if anyone has complained about it on a forum and if there's been a fix since then.

I wouldn't consider it a particularly impressive sound card by today's standards, in any case. I remember at the time I thought it was acceptable for its quality, but not something I'd want to pay for. (I'd been given one to try in Linux.)
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:32 PM   #3
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I've got two of them in my Xubuntu based DAW and run them at less than 5ms latency. The 2496 cards are still very usable hardware IMO.

At my DAW now. Here's the command I have in REAPER's JACK startup slot.

/usr/bin/jackd -P80 -dalsa -dhw:M2496 -r44100 -p64 -n2 -Xseq

This gets me stable 1.4/2.9ms latency in REAPER. If I've got a lot of taxing softsynths being bridged from WINE, I can increase the -p64 value to -p128 and hit it as hard as I ever did in Windows and the audio stays stable but at a higher 2.9/5.8ms latency.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:56 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I know it's old tech, but fine for experimenting, without having to spend money, at least at first.

Did you have to download drivers, or did Linux just recognize it and it worked out of the box; or did you have to do other things?
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:42 PM   #5
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No drivers were needed to make the Delta hardware accessible, but I did switch to a low-latency kernel and performed a couple of other tweaks to be able to run at 64 samples latency, which was how I always ran the same cards with the same mobo/CPU in Windows.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:58 PM   #6
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Thank you Glenbo. I'll give it a try.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:34 AM   #7
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I still have one of those but unfortunately do not have the breakout cable.

If anyone wants it and lives in the UK please hit me and I can send it your way.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcgiver69 View Post
I still have one of those but unfortunately do not have the breakout cable.

If anyone wants it and lives in the UK please hit me and I can send it your way.
All you lose with the breakout cable is the midi in/out and spdif in/out. The RCA analog in/out are right on the back plane of the card, and the Delta converters are still pretty high quality.

They seem to hold their value pretty well too. I paid a hundred bucks a pop for each of my cards back when Windows 98 was still the OS of the day. You can find them for as cheap as $25, but this used one on Ebay today goes for $82 + $28 shipping.

https://www.ebay.com/p/M-Audio-Audio...496/1324610694
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael diemer View Post
Is anybody using the M-Audio 2496 soundcard in Reaper/Linux?
BTW, your ancient M-Audio 2496 card uses the same AK4528VF converter chips that were used in the RME Multiface and MOTU 2408 mk3, and can run below 5ms latency so it's not really like a Soundblaster level card.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael diemer View Post
Did you have to download drivers, or did Linux just recognize it and it worked out of the box; or did you have to do other things?
Hi, mAudio pci cards use a kernel module

snd_ice1712

if you command

lsmod

it should be in the list, pretty standard in linux kernels.
There are two dedicated mixer apps for maudio cards,
envy24control, and the newer version mudita24.
One of them will be found in most repositories,
and may be part of the alsa-tools-gui package.

As others say, expect high quality recordings.
Cheers
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennbo View Post
BTW, your ancient M-Audio 2496 card uses the same AK4528VF converter chips that were used in the RME Multiface and MOTU 2408 mk3, and can run below 5ms latency so it's not really like a Soundblaster level card.
The converters are only part of the battle. The war is won by the implementation of the entire circuit, and that's not a trivial thing.

And to be fair to Soundblaster cards: some of the newer ones are quite good. I'd get one of those over the 2496 for the sound quality alone, especially if they were the same price (and if there weren't any features of the 2496 that I'd miss). Also I suppose the 2496 might have lower possible latency than the newer SB cards that sound quite good, but I wouldn't know.

For those who reviewed the 2496 when it was new saying it's "only a small step above Soundblaster cards", I'd have disagreed with them at that time. Things have changed since then.

The 2496 is ok; I could get by with one. When I had used the 2496, I compared the Steinberg UR22 (version 1) to the it, and it was clear that the UR22 had lower noise and more detail. I was able to use the 2496 in Linux just fine though, whereas the UR22 didn't work in Linux. (That's probably changed by now.)

I also had the Emu 1616m PCIe, and it was noticeably better sounding than the 2496. It was splitting hairs comparing the 1616m PCIe to the UR22 though.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:59 AM   #12
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In my case, I bought two Delta 2496 cards when I used to run a dedicated GigaStudio machine, just for drum samples, and a dedicated machine for DAW. Each one got a Delta card.

Fast forward to today and four OSs later and those same two cards still work great, no matter what motherboard or OS I use them with.

If I were going to upgrade from them, I would probably end up with an RME Hammerfall HDSP 9632, but I've really had no compelling reason to change audio hardware. I can record four tracks at once with ultra low latency, and if anyone hears some noise in my tracks, it's because I meant for them to hear it!
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:57 PM   #13
michael diemer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4duhwinnn View Post
Hi, mAudio pci cards use a kernel module

snd_ice1712

if you command

lsmod

it should be in the list, pretty standard in linux kernels.
There are two dedicated mixer apps for maudio cards,
envy24control, and the newer version mudita24.
One of them will be found in most repositories,
and may be part of the alsa-tools-gui package.

As others say, expect high quality recordings.
Cheers
Thanks very much. I did try it, in Kubuntu and also Linux Lite, the two I currently have on my computer. Can't get any sound from either, although the mixer shows the 2496 is recognized and it also shows that sound is being generated. Also, the envy24control was there as well. Can't figure out why no sound. I tested the card in Windows 7 and it worked fine once I installed the driver, so I know the cars does still work.

You have given me some things to work with and I'll see what I come up with.

thanks also to everyone else, much appreciated!

Edit: got it working. After installing the alsa tools GUI I was able to find the envy mixer, and I just had to turn up the volume controls!

Last edited by michael diemer; 02-07-2019 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennbo View Post
All you lose with the breakout cable is the midi in/out and spdif in/out. The RCA analog in/out are right on the back plane of the card, and the Delta converters are still pretty high quality.

They seem to hold their value pretty well too. I paid a hundred bucks a pop for each of my cards back when Windows 98 was still the OS of the day. You can find them for as cheap as $25, but this used one on Ebay today goes for $82 + $28 shipping.

https://www.ebay.com/p/M-Audio-Audio...496/1324610694
I have never used it, it was given to me by my father in law as a birthday present eons ago because I lost the breakout cable. So to connect to it I should use a mixer? and I should be able to record how many channels with one card?
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcgiver69 View Post
I have never used it, it was given to me by my father in law as a birthday present eons ago because I lost the breakout cable. So to connect to it I should use a mixer? and I should be able to record how many channels with one card?
The Delta 2496 card has two RCA inputs and two RCA outputs. Normally you would connect a mixer or a mic pre-amp to the RCA inputs and plug your studio monitors directly into the RCA outputs.

One single card can only record a stereo pair from the analog inputs, but if you did have the breakout cable you could also record from the spdif digital inputs at the same time.

I have two Delta 2496 cards in my DAW and I use all four analog inputs in one shot when recording acoustic drums. I have the spdif ouput from the first card feeding the second card so they both share the clock from the first unit.
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