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Old 06-12-2021, 08:00 AM   #1
unanamis
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Talking Solved: Making a Chromebook a Working DAW w/ Audio Interface

I recently bought a Behringer UPhoria UMC 1820 and wanted to hook it up into Reaper, but my current Pulseaudio didn't know how to recognize it (it recognized that I didn't want to use my computer microphone, but I am still getting L/R as the only inputs when trying to arm it). ALSA however recognizes the interface (after pressing the triangle for the drop down menu), but it currently gives me "ALSA: error opening audio input device" when trying to do anything (this is true even when the audio interface isn't plugged in).

Can someone help me fix this with some command lines that I can just plug into my terminal? I really have no clue how to code on my own and am using Ubuntu 18.04 because my other OS doesn't currently support Reaper on its own. I would also like not to use JACK as an audio device because I've tried setting it up numerous times before and it's always given me a headache without ever really working (if that is eventually what I have to resort to, can you please provide this noob with a detailed catalog of command lines for the year 2021).

Thanks to anyone who might help.

Last edited by unanamis; 08-01-2021 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 06-12-2021, 08:29 AM   #2
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I have a Behringer UMC1820 plus ADA8200 for 16 Midas mic pres, and they both work fine in Linux.

Once you select ALSA as the audio system for REAPER to use, you also need to click the down arrow buttons on Input and Output device then select your UMC1820 on each so it looks like this, with the exception that you might need more than 64 samples buffer, depending on how fast your computer is.


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Old 06-12-2021, 10:14 AM   #3
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I have a Behringer UMC1820 plus ADA8200 for 16 Midas mic pres, and they both work fine in Linux.

Once you select ALSA as the audio system for REAPER to use, you also need to click the down arrow buttons on Input and Output device then select your UMC1820 on each so it looks like this, with the exception that you might need more than 64 samples buffer, depending on how fast your computer is.


I tried even copying your display to the T and I'm still getting the same error:

"ALSA: error opening input device"
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Old 06-12-2021, 11:37 AM   #4
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I tried even copying your display to the T and I'm still getting the same error:

"ALSA: error opening input device"
And you had the "Auto-Suspend Pulse Audio" box checked?

If yes, try going into the Pulse Audio mixer, and on the Configuration tab, make sure UMC1820 is not enabled, then see if REAPER is happy.

If Pulse Audio isn't the culprit, is it possible you've messed with JACK and have it taking over the UMC1820 at boot time?
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Old 06-12-2021, 12:27 PM   #5
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And you had the "Auto-Suspend Pulse Audio" box checked?

If yes, try going into the Pulse Audio mixer, and on the Configuration tab, make sure UMC1820 is not enabled, then see if REAPER is happy.

If Pulse Audio isn't the culprit, is it possible you've messed with JACK and have it taking over the UMC1820 at boot time?
Yep, box is checked.

I haven't touched jack since I rebooted my system, so that shouldn't be the problem.

However, I went to the configuration tab and nothing was shown there. "No cards available for configuration."
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Old 06-12-2021, 02:27 PM   #6
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Well, unlike Windows you don't install any driver to make a UMC1820 get recognized and working because it uses the USB Class Compliant driver that's part of Linux.

I used Xubuntu 18.04 before switching to Manjaro, and the UMC1820 worked just plugging it in with both versions of Linux.

It sounds like something is getting control of the unit so it is unavailable when you try to select it in REAPER. Pulse Audio will do that, and some folks have had to un-select their audio device for REAPER in the Pulse Audio mixer. One thing I'd try would be to get in REAPER on the audio setup page, then pull the USB cable to the UMC1820 and plug it back in after a second or two. Might make no difference but worth a try.
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Old 06-12-2021, 03:31 PM   #7
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Well, unlike Windows you don't install any driver to make a UMC1820 get recognized and working because it uses the USB Class Compliant driver that's part of Linux.

I used Xubuntu 18.04 before switching to Manjaro, and the UMC1820 worked just plugging it in with both versions of Linux.

It sounds like something is getting control of the unit so it is unavailable when you try to select it in REAPER. Pulse Audio will do that, and some folks have had to un-select their audio device for REAPER in the Pulse Audio mixer. One thing I'd try would be to get in REAPER on the audio setup page, then pull the USB cable to the UMC1820 and plug it back in after a second or two. Might make no difference but worth a try.
Didn't work, unfortunately.

Even when I don't have the UMC in, ALSA itself isn't recognized as an audio device with my computer's speakers.

Would it help to know that my pulseaudio I/O options are "cras?" I'm dual booting from a chromebook, so maybe it's just because my computer doesn't allow this kind of thing. But when I was trying Reaper on Chrome OS via a linux beta, the ALSA was at least recognized as an audio device. From what I remember, the latency was pretty terrible though.
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Old 06-12-2021, 04:01 PM   #8
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I have no idea what to expect with a chromebook. Have you tried issuing the command:

cat /proc/asound/cards

Mine comes back with this, but it's on a full desktop computer, with an nVidia graphics card, and an Akai desktop pad controller.

0 [NVidia ]: HDA-Intel - HDA NVidia
HDA NVidia at 0xfc080000 irq 94
1 [Generic ]: HDA-Intel - HD-Audio Generic
HD-Audio Generic at 0xfc400000 irq 96
2 [UMC1820 ]: USB-Audio - UMC1820
BEHRINGER UMC1820 at usb-0000:0d:00.3-1, high speed
3 [MPD26 ]: USB-Audio - Akai MPD26
Akai Akai MPD26 at usb-0000:0d:00.3-2, full speed
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Old 06-12-2021, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennbo View Post
I have no idea what to expect with a chromebook. Have you tried issuing the command:

cat /proc/asound/cards

Mine comes back with this, but it's on a full desktop computer, with an nVidia graphics card, and an Akai desktop pad controller.

0 [NVidia ]: HDA-Intel - HDA NVidia
HDA NVidia at 0xfc080000 irq 94
1 [Generic ]: HDA-Intel - HD-Audio Generic
HD-Audio Generic at 0xfc400000 irq 96
2 [UMC1820 ]: USB-Audio - UMC1820
BEHRINGER UMC1820 at usb-0000:0d:00.3-1, high speed
3 [MPD26 ]: USB-Audio - Akai MPD26
Akai Akai MPD26 at usb-0000:0d:00.3-2, full speed

0 [sofglkda7219max]: sof-glkda7219ma - sof-glkda7219max
Google-Casta-rev5-Casta
1 [UMC1820 ]: USB-Audio - UMC1820
BEHRINGER UMC1820 at usb-0000:00:15.0-2, high speed
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Old 06-12-2021, 04:50 PM   #10
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Looks like ALSA is seeing it. Is it possible that you don't have REAPER pointed to a path it can write it's audio to or something?

I did plug my UMC1820 into both a Raspberry Pi3 B+ and Pi4 where it was recognized and worked. In both those cases I did have OS audio using the Pi hardware, and on my desktop I use mobo audio for OS, so nothing but REAPER ever tries to use the USB audio.
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Old 06-12-2021, 05:54 PM   #11
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Looks like ALSA is seeing it. Is it possible that you don't have REAPER pointed to a path it can write it's audio to or something?

I did plug my UMC1820 into both a Raspberry Pi3 B+ and Pi4 where it was recognized and worked. In both those cases I did have OS audio using the Pi hardware, and on my desktop I use mobo audio for OS, so nothing but REAPER ever tries to use the USB audio.
How would I go about making a path?
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Old 06-12-2021, 06:04 PM   #12
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How would I go about making a path?
I mean in REAPER under Options/Preferences/General/Paths

Default recording path needs to be set to folder that you and REAPER have permission to write in.
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Old 06-12-2021, 06:51 PM   #13
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I did a search about Chromebook and audio problems, and found a number of them. The most relevant, it seems, was something pointing to the versions of these packages:

Quote:
As of today, March 14, 2020 these version work on Braswell
alsa-utils-1.1.9-1
alsa-lib-1.1.9-2
Check those packages on your system and see that they're at least that version or later. Since you chose to install Ubuntu 18.04 for some reason (instead of 20.04), perhaps those libraries aren't new enough. (Braswell is the type of CPU used in Chromebook.)
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Old 06-12-2021, 09:15 PM   #14
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I mean in REAPER under Options/Preferences/General/Paths

Default recording path needs to be set to folder that you and REAPER have permission to write in.
I mean the pulseaudio settings would be able to record when I used my Zoom H5 as an audio interface. I'm just not able to do the same thing on the UMC in pulse. Hence why I'm trying to go to ALSA.

All of the paths by the way are blank.
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Old 06-13-2021, 06:10 AM   #15
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I did a search about Chromebook and audio problems, and found a number of them. The most relevant, it seems, was something pointing to the versions of these packages:



Check those packages on your system and see that they're at least that version or later. Since you chose to install Ubuntu 18.04 for some reason (instead of 20.04), perhaps those libraries aren't new enough. (Braswell is the type of CPU used in Chromebook.)
I'm getting 1.1.3 on both of them. So that might be the problem.

I'll see if upgrading does anything.
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:02 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by unanamis View Post
I mean the pulseaudio settings would be able to record when I used my Zoom H5 as an audio interface. I'm just not able to do the same thing on the UMC in pulse. Hence why I'm trying to go to ALSA.

All of the paths by the way are blank.
The paths shouldn't be blank. You should create a folder where you want REAPER to store projects and wave data, then set those on that paths page.
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:59 PM   #17
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The paths shouldn't be blank. You should create a folder where you want REAPER to store projects and wave data, then set those on that paths page.
Changing the paths didn't make it work either unfortunately. And I can't upgrade my version because some packages are being held back. I want to keep trying to get this to work, but honestly, I think it's more of a hassle than it's worth. Thanks for the help!
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:05 PM   #18
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Why did you install 18.04 instead of 20.04?
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Old 06-15-2021, 03:27 PM   #19
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Why did you install 18.04 instead of 20.04?
Because in order to have dual booting on the chromebook (at least on the site that I used... I haven't been able to find a better way:
https://www.linuxuprising.com/2018/1...ux-on-any.html),
I had to install 16.04, which I upgraded to 18.04. I have upgraded to 20.04 now, but now I can't even open reaper.

Essentially, "makedev" is the only thing that isn't fully installed (I'm trying to figure out how to do that), but Reaper is saying that the "required key is not available." Are these two related?
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Old 06-15-2021, 03:56 PM   #20
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On that page it says you can install 18.04 by default, and gives examples of other distros/versions with instructions how to do that. Did it not work with "-r focal" as part of the command (for 20.04)? Given that the instructions there are from 2019 the author wouldn't have known about 20.04 (focal), but using those guidelines, it seems as though it would've been possible. Use CTRL+F on that page for "specify a different Ubuntu version" and read that paragraph and the example below it. If 18.04 (at least) didn't show as an officially-supported distro at that point, I might have tried looking for another option that was more recent.

Anyway I noticed something else. That page by default guides you how to install it while enabling encryption. Depending on what you're doing in the OS, the encryption might give you some hurdles to overcome. It might be part of your issues.

I don't know what that error message means about the "key". I've never seen that before. I could guess it has to do with encryption...although I could be totally wrong.
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Old 06-15-2021, 04:33 PM   #21
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On that page it says you can install 18.04 by default, and gives examples of other distros/versions with instructions how to do that. Did it not work with "-r focal" as part of the command (for 20.04)? Given that the instructions there are from 2019 the author wouldn't have known about 20.04 (focal), but using those guidelines, it seems as though it would've been possible. Use CTRL+F on that page for "specify a different Ubuntu version" and read that paragraph and the example below it. If 18.04 (at least) didn't show as an officially-supported distro at that point, I might have tried looking for another option that was more recent.

Anyway I noticed something else. That page by default guides you how to install it while enabling encryption. Depending on what you're doing in the OS, the encryption might give you some hurdles to overcome. It might be part of your issues.

I don't know what that error message means about the "key". I've never seen that before. I could guess it has to do with encryption...although I could be totally wrong.
I tried getting 18.04 first, but it was being persnickety, so I just figured I'd work my way up.

I have experienced many problems with my version of ubuntu, and I just thought that was the nature of the OS, but if there's a way to do this without the problems/encryption, I'd gladly accept some suggestions. I've already backed up my system, so I can powerwash it if need be.

Do you know any command lines that I should be aware of to get it without encryption?
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:15 PM   #22
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You'd run the install command without "-e", according to the information on that page.

Maybe check what other distros are available/supported officially by running the command "crouton -r list" as shown on that page. Ubuntu isn't necessary since other distros can work well. You'll probably want a more current distro to avoid the specific audio issue you're having (plus also not enable encryption on the file system). Post the list of distros available/supported here. If anything stands out as being appealing, I'll let you know my opinion. Hopefully we can find something more suitable than an older version of Ubuntu.
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:51 PM   #23
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Ubuntu 18.04 should recognize a Behringer UMC1820. When I was running Xubuntu 18.04 a while back mine was recognized and worked. I moved to 20.04 and it worked there too, and now on Manjaro ?.?? it still works.

The original "error opening audio input device" message still sounds to me like the hardware was grabbed by another process that won't relinquish control.
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:55 PM   #24
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You'd run the install command without "-e", according to the information on that page.

Maybe check what other distros are available/supported officially by running the command "crouton -r list" as shown on that page. Ubuntu isn't necessary since other distros can work well. You'll probably want a more current distro to avoid the specific audio issue you're having (plus also not enable encryption on the file system). Post the list of distros available/supported here. If anything stands out as being appealing, I'll let you know my opinion. Hopefully we can find something more suitable than an older version of Ubuntu.
Recognized debian releases:
potato! woody! sarge! etch! lenny! squeeze! wheezy! jessie stretch buster
bullseye sid
Recognized kali releases:
moto! kali! sana! kali-rolling
Recognized ubuntu releases:
warty! hoary! breezy! dapper! edgy! feisty! gutsy! hardy! intrepid! jaunty!
karmic! lucid! maverick! natty! oneiric! precise! quantal! raring! saucy!
trusty! utopic! vivid! wily! xenial yakkety! zesty! artful! bionic* cosmic!
disco! eoan* focal*
Releases marked with ! are upstream end-of-life, and should be avoided.
Releases marked with * are unsupported, but may work with some effort.
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:26 PM   #25
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Ubuntu 18.04 should recognize a Behringer UMC1820. When I was running Xubuntu 18.04 a while back mine was recognized and worked. I moved to 20.04 and it worked there too, and now on Manjaro ?.?? it still works.

The original "error opening audio input device" message still sounds to me like the hardware was grabbed by another process that won't relinquish control.
Even when I tried to use my internal mics and speakers I would get the same issue. I just thought that ALSA wasn't a viable option for an audio device, but with the need for more than two audio inputs... well, pulse wasn't cutting it.

I'm completely at a loss. It is what it is I suppose.
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:17 PM   #26
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It seems your choices are:

1) Ubuntu 18.04, installed directly and not somehow updated from 16.04 as you did (which may be why ALSA never ended up working in 18.04 for you as it did for Glen). I know you had difficulty trying to install 18.04, but it's probably your best bet, so it's worth figuring out.

2) Debian.

3) Kali, of all things?

The last 2 options, I don't like. I tried Debian once, and that's enough for me. If I want a distro that's not user friendly, I'll go with Arch because at least it doesn't pretend that it's user friendly. Plus I'd get the benefit of the Arch repos.

Kali seems to be aimed at hackers, and not meant to be used as an OS that you'd be using for daily tasks. I'd bet it would be a pain in various ways for you to use and/or configure/modify. I'm guessing Kali was chosen because hackers want to use small laptop computers for hacking (Chromebook is one) and Kali about as lightweight a distro as you can get while also being aimed at hackers.
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Old 06-21-2021, 09:00 PM   #27
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It seems your choices are:

1) Ubuntu 18.04, installed directly and not somehow updated from 16.04 as you did (which may be why ALSA never ended up working in 18.04 for you as it did for Glen). I know you had difficulty trying to install 18.04, but it's probably your best bet, so it's worth figuring out.
Alright, so after much finagling I'm still not getting ALSA to work. However, I did have the code running to see if there was any problem and this is what I got:

ALSA lib pcm_hw.c:1700_snd_pcm_hw_open) Invalid value for card
audio: executing pasuspender

Not sure if that's actually helpful at all, but this is what I got. I'm going to try and install focal and see if it gives me anything else, but we'll just have to wait and see.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:58 AM   #28
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After trying it with focal as well, I have diagnosed that it's probably just a problem with having a chromebook, so I am going to try and go to the forums of crouton (the application that allows for dual booting on chromebooks) to hopefully get somewhere on this wild goose chase.

Worst case scenerio, I sell this chromebook and actually get a Windows computer. We'll just have to see...
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Old 07-16-2021, 07:49 AM   #29
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Alright, here's a thought. Is there any way to possibly install CRAS as an audio device? Or is REAPER just stuck with Jack, ALSA, Pulse, and Dummy?
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:12 PM   #30
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Default Solved: Making a Chromebook a Working DAW w/ Audio Interface

You were right Glennbo, cras was still taking over something! It took a while, but we figured it out on Linux Musicians: https://linuxmusicians.com/viewtopic...135472#p135472

Apparently I needed to filter ALSA to my hardware: https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton...ly-(ALSA,-JACK)

For those of you wanting to make your chromebook a DAW (it doesn't matter what version of Ubuntu you have I've found out), you have to make a file with contents,

~~~
> .asoundrc
xdg-open .asoundrc
~~~

and then put the contents found on https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton/wi ... LSA,-JACK)

~~~
# ~/.asoundrc
# overrides default alsa settings
# To revert back to CRAS, change "type hw" with "type cras". You do not have to change "card".

pcm.!default {
type hw
card UMC1820
}

ctl.!default {
type hw
card UMC1820
}
~~~
into the mousepad window, but once I did that, it worked!

REAPER was slower on start up, but I could use ALSA as an audio device and have multiple inputs.

The final process I needed to do was click "view" on my user file manager and then hit "Show hidden files" so that I could click ".asoundcr" and rewrite the code to use cras again. Wahoo! Finally an answer to this two month problem!
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:29 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unanamis View Post
You were right Glennbo, cras was still taking over something! It took a while, but we figured it out on Linux Musicians: https://linuxmusicians.com/viewtopic...135472#p135472

Apparently I needed to filter ALSA to my hardware: https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton...ly-(ALSA,-JACK)

For those of you wanting to make your chromebook a DAW (it doesn't matter what version of Ubuntu you have I've found out), you have to make a file with contents,

~~~
> .asoundrc
xdg-open .asoundrc
~~~

and then put the contents found on https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton/wi ... LSA,-JACK)

~~~
# ~/.asoundrc
# overrides default alsa settings
# To revert back to CRAS, change "type hw" with "type cras". You do not have to change "card".

pcm.!default {
type hw
card UMC1820
}

ctl.!default {
type hw
card UMC1820
}
~~~
into the mousepad window, but once I did that, it worked!

REAPER was slower on start up, but I could use ALSA as an audio device and have multiple inputs.

The final process I needed to do was click "view" on my user file manager and then hit "Show hidden files" so that I could click ".asoundcr" and rewrite the code to use cras again. Wahoo! Finally an answer to this two month problem!
Very cool! Glad you got it working and documented here what it took to get there.

The overrides you did are beyond my level of expertise. Jack Winter had me messing around with that file trying to combine two M-Audio PCI cards I used to use, but then I got the UMC1820 and quit messing with it.
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