Old 12-12-2019, 11:31 PM   #1
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Default Linux audio interfaces

Apologies if I'm being obtuse.
I have not found info on interfaces (Audio and MIDI)with Linux drivers. What is available, USB the norm?
Read Jack Winter guide on Reaper on Linux, but found nothing.
Help me get going in the right direction?
Much thanks in advance.

Last edited by ilporcupine; 12-12-2019 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:38 PM   #2
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How many ins and outs do you need? SPDIF? MIDI?

Anything that's listed as "class compliant" should work, at least in a basic sense. For example, my Roland Quad-Capture works as far as inputs and outputs but I can't use the auto-sense or direct monitor buttons without a chance of it freezing.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:58 PM   #3
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Thanks, Lokasenna. I had no idea how to do this.
The only USB thing I have is a little stereo Behringer thing, but I don't think it is a class compliant device. I may be wrong, perhaps this was only on Windows, I dunno.
My old Midiman midi boxes probably same deal. I'd have to scrounge/trade for something, if I knew what I was looking for.
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:06 AM   #4
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I really am more interested in an experiment than serious work, at this point.
Until I had some experience with using audio under Linux.
Gotta start somewhere.
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Old 12-13-2019, 02:03 AM   #5
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What Behringer do you have exactly?
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Old 12-13-2019, 03:50 AM   #6
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You can check this for compatible soundcards: https://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Matrix:Main

In addition usb class 2.0 compliant cards ought to work for basic I/O even though you probably won't be able to use any special features like onboard DSP, etc.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:00 AM   #7
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My Steinberg UR44 has a switch on the back that makes it class compliant. So in Windows I can use the proprietary drivers and have the mixer, the built-in amp models and all of the special features. In Linux, which is all I ever do these days, I slide the switch over and I don't have those features, but Alsa can see the device and it works fine in Reaper for input and output.
One thing led to another and somehow I ended up on Linux.
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Old 12-13-2019, 10:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Celphor View Post
What Behringer do you have exactly?
Almost anything made by Behringer will be class compliant. I gave my kid an ancient UCA202,


and it works fine in Linux and is low latency.

I use a fairly new Behringer UMC1820 rack mount 8 mic interface with Xubuntu and it works great at low latency as well.


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Old 12-16-2019, 05:39 AM   #9
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I have a Focusrite Solo and I run it out of the box in Linux Mint.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:52 PM   #10
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Another thumbs up for Focusrite drivers.
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Old 12-20-2019, 03:41 PM   #11
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Beware: if you use an interface in Linux, some of its features may not be available.

Here's an example: I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd generation). I can use every feature of it in Linux, since 1) all features on the unit can be turned on/off by buttons on the front panel, and 2) there are no extra features of this device for which you'd need to use some software (Focusrite Control in this case, which allows extra mixing/routing and DSP options for the other units in the Scarlett series).

Someone else mentioned using a Scarlett 18i8 in Linux. He has to switch to Windows if he wants to use the "Air" or pad features on that device, since they're only controlled in the Focusrite Control software (Windows / Mac).

There's also a minor annoyance about the device when using Linux. Initially it appears in the file manager as a removable storage device (MSD mode). Focusrite does this so that you can browse to a file in the unit, and click on it to register. After the process, it no longer shows up in the file manager as a storage device. Focusrite is basically trying to force users to register, since they cripple the sample rate selection in Focusrite Control until the registration is complete (44.1 KHz and 48 KHz only, until you register). Fortunately in Linux you have access to all sample rates for the device without needing to register, but the "MSD mode" remains (it always shows up as though it's a "removable drive" in file manager, which can be annoying). Since Focusrite Control doesn't work in Linux, you can't register the same way as you would in Windows or OSX, and get the device out of MSD mode. There is a way to get the device out of MSD mode which Focusrite doesn't mention in the documentation (someone contacted Focusrite to get the info):

Hold the 48V button down (the right one) while powering off the unit.
Keep holding down 48V, turn the unit back on, hold for 10 seconds.
Then power cycle the unit once more.

So yeah even the 2i2, which doesn't need the Focusrite Control software to use any of the device's features, still had that annoyance to deal with.

If you stick to something with a small feature set such as the 2i2, chances are you can make it work in Linux if it has a class-compliant mode. Devices with more features though, do your research or you might not be able to access certain ins/outs, onboard DSP, etc.
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