Wayne and Beejunk: JACK with built-in MacBook soundcard

beejunk at gmail.com beejunk at gmail.com
Sun Jul 5 03:28:42 BST 2009

On Jul 4, 2009 7:54pm, Paul DeShaw <pauldeshaw at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,

> Have either of you been able to use JACK with the built-in sound on your  
> 1st gen MacBooks?

> Sometimes I'd just like to do a little editing or whatnot away from home.  
> I don't have a portable interface; it's built into a MIDI keyboard  
> controller. Not something I want to lug around. But when I try using the  
> built-in card, no matter how I tweak the settings in JACK, I get a ton of  
> either xruns or hardware wakeup errors. Do you know a way to fix this? If  
> not, can you recommend a portable interface that works well with the  
> MacBook and Hardy?

> Thanks,

> Paul D.

I have used JACK running through ALSA before, but only a couple of times,  
and for very short periods of time. You are right, there are a ton of  
X-runs when I do this. It never bothered me, though, because I never do  
audio work without an interface. Personally, I use a Presonus Firepod  
(prior to having its name changed to FP10), which is running a signal to my  
studio monitors, or headphones depending on the situation. It works like a  
dream using the freebob driver (as well as the latest FFADO driver in  
Jaunty, under certain conditions, but NOT with the Macbook). It is what I  
would describe as a mid-level interface, so it's not cheap, about $300 -  
$400 depending on where you get it. But it has 8 balanced/unbalance inputs  
with pre-amps. Mine is screwed into a small rackmount, along with a hard  
drive, and this is a very portable set-up that I've used for live recording  
for quite some time now.
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