What HW/SW do people have working?

suemac at empire.net suemac at empire.net
Mon Jan 26 12:31:59 GMT 2009


Couple of questions:

- I was under the impression that to get rt kernel in 8.10 the kernel had
to be compiled locally.

- do you have any comparison between the freebob drivers and the ffado. (I
realize the later are the new generation, do they improve life with

- have you attempted to use more than one audiofire12? (i.e. two = 24
channels in)


Original Message:
From: Scott ubuntustudio at troutpocket.org
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 13:34:20 -0800
To: ubuntu-studio-users at lists.ubuntu.com
Subject: Re: What HW/SW do people have working?

Larry David wrote:
> Hi - I'm a Mac user and musician.  I'm thinking of switching to Linux  
> with my next laptop, and am wondering what people are using for audio/ 
> MIDI interfaces, and what software - DAW, plugins, softsynths, etc.?

I have a little Dell XPS 1210 which I recently got working for my modest
little music 
studio.  All the details were in this post to the FFADO list:


Here it is in all its posterity:

Well, I got it all working.  I wanted to share my progress with everyone by
the wiki but I don't have access to that.  Here's what I did (in a

My Kit:
    Dell XPS M1210 laptop
	Intel T5600 1.8GHz Core2Duo
	Intel 945GM Video controller
	Sigmatel 9220 internal audio controller
	Internal Ricoh Co Ltd R5C832 IEEE 1394 Controller

    EchoAudio Audiofire12

    Ubuntu Studio 8.10 with RT (realtime) kernel

    1. Install UbuntuStudio 8.10.

    2. Install all updates via update manager

    3. Install RT kernel
	~$ sudo apt-get install linux-rt

    4. Install ffado drivers and accompanying libraries
	In Synaptic Package Manager choose Settings/Repositories.  In the Software
	Sources window choose the Third-Party Software tab.  Add the following:
		deb http://www.ffado.org/apt gutsy contrib
	Reload your package manager and install the following:
		libffado2-dev (just in case)

    5. Configure grub to boot RT kernel by default
	~$ sudo vim /boot/grub/menu.lst
	edit the line:
		default	0
	to say
		default 4
	or whatever number (counting from 0) is your rt entry in the file.  If you
	don't do this you have to manually choose it at boot every time.

    6. Add yourself to the disk and audio groups.  If the audio group
doesn't already
       exist you can create it with the optional first command.
	~$ sudo groupadd audio (optional step if audio group doesn't exist)
	~$ sudo adduser <username> disk
	~$ sudo adduser <username> audio

    7. Adjust limits.conf to accommodate your RT kernel.
	~$ sudo su -c 'echo @audio - rtprio 99 >> /etc/security/limits.conf'
	~$ sudo su -c 'echo @audio - nice -19 >> /etc/security/limits.conf'
	~$ sudo su -c 'echo @audio - memlock unlimited >>

    8. Reboot to your RT kernel!

After you system is up and running you'll have to start jackd.  I recommend
qjackctl to do this as it has a patchbay manager.  Make sure everything is
plugged in
and running then start qjackctl (found in Sound & Video/Audio
Production/JACK Control)

    9. You must install the raw1394 kernel module. Unfortunately my ability
to get this
       to stick hasn't worked.  No problem, just run the following short
command after
       each boot:
	~$ sudo modprobe raw1394

    10. Here are the changes I made to the default jackd config by clicking
	Driver = firewire
	Realtime (checked)
	Priority = 70
	Frames/Period = 64
	Sample Rate = 48000
	Periods/Buffer = 3
	Port Maximum = 128
	Interface = hw:0
	Start Delay = 2

    11. Click the Patchbay button.  Click the New button and let it
discover your
        port configurations itself.  Mine showed System with 12 capture
ports listed
        under Output and it showed System with 12 playback ports under
Input.  Select
        System in both windows and choose Connect.  You may have to click
the Activate
        though I don't really know exactly what that does.

Click the start button and pray for no xruns.  Following these exact steps
I've been
able to successfully record in Ardour for 30ish minutes without xruns or
errors.  It may go longer but I haven't bothered trying yet.

The big hurdle I encountered was outdated information on many websites. 
First of all,
the Ricoh 1394 controller does not work with 8.04.1 RT kernel.  It is
wonderfully with my 8.10 RT kernel.  I hope someone can update the page at:


to show that success has been had with the Ricoh R5C832 1394 controller and
reference this guide.

Guides from which I shamelessly ripped off information:


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