1 (edited by Lomaxx 2012-01-23 17:58:28)

Topic: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

I've been anxiously reading the news about the Fireface UCX.

The new "Class Compliant Mode" sounds to me like there is a chance that we Linux-users might be able to use the FFUCX in an at least a pleasing way. Since I am on the one hand skeptical due to the disillusioning researches I have done in the past with other RME-USB-devices under Linux, but on the other hand longing for a Linux-support very much, I am searching for clear statements of what we can expect to work and what will NOT work when running the UCX in CC-mode with Linux.


I think it would help a lot if a FFUCX-Linux-FAQ would exist. Maybe in form of this thread. Could someone from RME please make a list of things that will work (and what will not)? The CC-mode-link above contains information mixed with statements regarding the iPad. So I am a bit confused.

- How many outputs will be working at once?
- Which resolution can we use for playback/recording (96khz/192khz)?
- Will output (/input?) be jitter-free?
- Will the TotalFX-interface be somehow useable if some third-party-programmer would (as long as he is able to) program a GUI for it?
- Which latency can be expected?
- What does a linux-audio-software need to work with the FFUCX?

These are only the questions that come up to my mind right now. Any more questions+answers that could be given would really help here. I'd even be thankful for answers without obligation e.g. starting with "In theory ...".

2

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Sorry, but we already openly confirmed that no one has ever tested Linux with the UCX in CC mode, and that it might even be dependent on the distribution - regarding what works and how it works. It will need some Linux user to find out more or to write such a FAQ. Correct link:

http://www.rme-audio.de/en_support_tech … fo_cc_mode

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Thanks for the link for now.

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

"he Fireface UCX features an alternative firmware that will allow it to operate in Class Compliant mode. This term describes a standard that is natively supported by operating systems like Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. No proprietary drivers are required"

So we can expected getting ucx running under linux.

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Yes, but with limitations as stated in the link provided by MC.

Obviously, native features will be limited in comparison to those provided by the RME driver for the UCX. For example there will be no (Total) Mix and no settings for the effects.

It won't be comparable to the RME drivers in terms of latency, though.

6 (edited by Lomaxx 2012-01-25 12:00:13)

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Here's quick idea i had. Maybe too quick, but you never know ...

I don't know if it is possible to address an USB-device like the Fireface UCX simultaneous as class-compliant-soundcard and USB-network-device, but in theory it would be neat to be able to connect the UCX to an iPad (or some linux-pc) open up a browser and call up a webpage-based interface (maybe written in html5) similar to a lightweight TotalMix-GUI that allows to change at least the most important settings.
The basic concept is just like with a network-router, where you connect to the router and change the settings over a webpage which is provided by a small server that runs on the router.

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

+1 on this. It would be great to have at least a Linux USB driver that is able to control basic TotalMix FX settings. We could use it as an interface for standalone mode without audio I/O.

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

+1

Full-on driver aside, I still haven't been able to get Linux Mint 13 to work with my Fireface UCX in CC mode.  It seems the system recognizes the UCX as a USB device, but not as a audio interface/playback device.  I don't know if that is an ALSA/Pulse issue or what, but it is frustrating.

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

iamjerico wrote:

+1

Full-on driver aside, I still haven't been able to get Linux Mint 13 to work with my Fireface UCX in CC mode.  It seems the system recognizes the UCX as a USB device, but not as a audio interface/playback device.  I don't know if that is an ALSA/Pulse issue or what, but it is frustrating.

What a pitty¡  I thougt that in cc mode, a generic usb driver could be enough in order to get running the fireface.  (no with all its functionally, but at least with the basics functions)

Thanks for the information.  I was thinking about buying on, but I will not do it.

Always this shit. ed:

Thanks a lot.

10

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Took me two days of compiling, but I confirmed that
http://www.mail-archive.com/alsa-user@l … 28935.html
is correct:
when you compile a kernel and fix the ALSA driver, the CC mode works fine with the UCX.
So, the problem is not on RME's side. The problem is that there's a little mistake in the ALSA driver.
Unfortunately, ALSA is usually in the kernel, so you have to modify your own kernel... two days with little linux knowledge, half an hour plus compiling time if you've done it before.
Best regards,
Max

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Thanks a lot Max.  It's sounds fine. smile

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

I can confirm class compliant operation out of the box with a recent Fedora 17 kernel:

[root@audio ~]# uname -r
3.7.9-104.fc17.i686

When USB is connected I get this in /var/log/messages (ymmv)

Mar  7 16:10:24 audio kernel: [  815.526048] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 7 using ehci_hcd
Mar  7 16:10:24 audio kernel: [  815.641124] usb 1-1: New USB device found, idVendor=0424, idProduct=3fd9
Mar  7 16:10:24 audio kernel: [  815.641135] usb 1-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Mar  7 16:10:24 audio kernel: [  815.641141] usb 1-1: Product: Fireface UCX (23569849)
Mar  7 16:10:24 audio kernel: [  815.641147] usb 1-1: Manufacturer: RME
Mar  7 16:10:24 audio kernel: [  815.641153] usb 1-1: SerialNumber: 90E78BE34A368C8
Mar  7 16:10:24 audio kernel: [  815.644815] ALSA sound/usb/mixer.c:355 cannot get ctl value: req = 0x83, wValue = 0x200, wIndex = 0x0, type = 4
Mar  7 16:10:24 audio kernel: [  815.644830] ALSA sound/usb/mixer.c:887 2:0: cannot get min/max values for control 2 (id 2)

Alsamixer knows of the device but offers no input controls and just a speaker volume (no doubt due to the two messages in syslog).

I have not tried output yet.

Just to make it clear:  I did not need to load microcode, firmware, or anything using an alien system. 

However, you might consider prevailing on a friend who has Windows/Mac to upload latest microcode and create a few configurations.

13

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

The above problem should be fixed from 3.8 kernels on. You'll have to compile the kernel yourself with a tiny fix or upgrade to 3.8.
http://mailman.alsa-project.org/piperma … 58998.html
However I just tried it and get a lot of crackles. That might be related to something else though.

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

I'm considering the RME Fireface UCX for my Linux / Fedora 19 / Ardour system.  I have a few questions before I make the purchase.

1. Does the class-compliant implementation in the UCX provide full resolution at its USB output, i.e., 24 bits at 192 kHz?

2. Does the Linux class-compliant USB driver implement 24 bit 192 kHz?

3. If the answer to either 1 or 2 above is "no", then I'll try to use Fedora virtualization to run Windows XP and the Windows driver for the UCX.  Has anyone already gotten something like this to work?  The idea would be to use that to just make the initial recording, then use Ardour on Linux for further manipulation of the recorded files.  I'm recording classical piano, so I don't need multitracking or monitoring.

Even if none of that works, I think the UCX might still be a good choice, since it probably has a higher likelihood of working in the near future than competing devices.  In the meantime, I can boot with Windows XP just to record, then switch to Ardour on Linux for editing and mastering, so no worries!

15

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

I found out, that with the newest firmware, I can finally record channel 1+2 with jack pulseaudio and audacity.

So if you run it on linux be sure to use the newest firmware.

greetz
drz

16 (edited by gswitz 2014-04-15 03:48:18)

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Linux Ubuntu Studio is designed for recording music.

http://ubuntustudio.org/

The UCX works fine with it, but it's a pain not having DigiCheck or TotalMix. I find it such a pain that I usually borrow my daughter's Windows laptop to record concerts rather than bothering with my linux laptop.

I usually only use the UCX with Linux when I'm at the inlaws and want the convenience of just booting my work laptop to a USB drive with Ubuntu Studio installed.

Now, if we could just have a nice easy to use Total Mix for linux ubuntu studio, I'd do a happy dance. Digicheck would make me positively swoon (even just the recording to a single file feature).

:-)

17 (edited by soundcheck 2014-06-06 11:48:52)

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Hi there.

I'm currently testing the UCX. I've installed latest firmware and newest Alsa.
The latest firmware supposedly allows for multichannel CC mode.

I'd like to use the UCX as multichannel playback device to run active speakers.


Playback on channel 1/2 immediatly worked with CC turned on.  Great!

Sound is also great.


How about analog outputs - channel 3-8 or 3-6?

Has anybody managed to get more than 2 channels in/out on a Linux machine?

I read something about two different CC modes - 2-channel and 18-channel mode!?!? How do I control/swap these modes?

aplay -L is showing me all kind of surround PCMs, such as surround51,surround71, etc..

It seems Alsa recognizes multichannel PCM option of the UCX.

However. Until now I didn't manage to get anything out of these surround devices. (I tried speaker-test btw)

Any hint is highly appreciated.

Thx

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Hi,

what do you see in the connections-window of qjackctl? On the french Linuxmao-forum, there is one user who has (at least) all analog in's and out's with a stock-ubuntu-studio distrib. They are visible in qjackctl.

19 (edited by soundcheck 2014-06-07 08:53:37)

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Hi.

For the record.

I finally managed to get sounds from analog-out channels 1-6 on my UCX under Linux.

Hint:
I had no pulseaudio installed!! I'm running a minimal install respectively Ubuntu server.
I'm pretty sure that standard Distros like Ubuntu/Mint/etc... which run Pulseaudio by default, will cause difficulties to
get the multichannel operation going!
Beside that, keep in mind that Pulseaudio resamples everything by default!. You might face formatting issues on top.
Better stay away from Pulseaudio!


Back to the UCX setup.

RTFM. Or better STFM (S for study) wink


Prerequistes: All my systems had kernels >3.8 respectivly a rather up2date Alsa on older kernels installed. I was clear on that one.


1. In CC mode I had to enable CA ( push 1-2s until "i.o" shows up !! )  for 1:1 routing of all (18) channels.
2. I then had to check and adjust all relevant channel gain settings on the device!!

Note: Alsamixer controls - there is just one weired control without any function - are useless. It would be really nice to have at least some gain controls showing up in CC mode. But that needs a patch for the Alsa mixer app I'd guess.



Below command generates sound from all 6 analog outputs on the back:

ecasound -tl -i chan_labels_6.wav -f:s24_le,6,44100 -o alsaplugin,1,0

where "..,1,.." is the device index as shown in "cat /proc/asound/cards".

The 6 channel testfile I downloaded over here .

Bottom line:

All 6 outputs, those that I've been testing for the time being, are working. Even without having Jack installed.
There are no SW controls implemented into Alsa. Parameters need to be set via preset or via external device control.


Enjoy.

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

I don't have any trouble getting all the inputs and outputs working in Linux, but if I want to use the phantom power or that sort of thing, I have to plug it into windows or mac to make the adjustment, then plug it back into Linux.

If I use separate Pres (like my RME Quad Mic Pre) I don't have any hassles.

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

gswitz wrote:

I don't have any trouble getting all the inputs and outputs working in Linux, but if I want to use the phantom power or that sort of thing, I have to plug it into windows or mac to make the adjustment, then plug it back into Linux.

If I use separate Pres (like my RME Quad Mic Pre) I don't have any hassles.

How do you get all the ins and outs working under linux? I'm running arch (very bare bones, I only install what I need) and I'm using ALSA. I only get 1 channel out and 1 channel in in my alsamixer.

22 (edited by soundcheck 2016-02-04 11:05:33)

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

All what is seen in Alsamixer gets prepared in the driver, the rather generic USB-driver.

However. There is no quirk for the Fireface UCX in that driver. That's why Alsamixer is useless for the UCX.

You have different options to address all ins and outs though.

First of all you do your setup under Windows and save it as preset.
Once you're in CC you can recall these presets on the front panel.

That would probably also apply to e.g. "phantom power off/on" I guess. I havn't tried it yet.


To address an input or output you need an app supporting it e.g. mplayer, ecasound, brutefir, jack.
I used 6 channel output via ecasound (no pulseaudio, no Jack) on a Cubitruck.

You might also be able to setup a asound.conf, to define certain outputs/routings properly.

Bottom line. There is no straight path. It all needs a bit of tinkering. The good part is that it is working under Linux.


My problem is that RME is not willing to do us Linux folks a tiny favor.
Just a very simple firmware patch would be required to allow/enable 88.2khz in CC mode.
At least 2-channel 176,4/192khz should also be possible to enable in CC.

They just don't do it. Hmmh.

23 (edited by soundcheck 2016-02-06 13:02:15)

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Just to let you know.

I was informed yesterday that the latest firmware now includes 88.2 kHz support in CC mode.

Great. Thx a lot RME.

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

Thank you for your reply.

I have made presets for most scenarios I use. But I have yet to figure out how to access the ins and outs.
Do you know if someone has succesfully added more channels to ALSA via asound.conf?
I do some streaming/podcasting and I need to be able to access input channel 3/4 from Open Broadcaster Software.
Could I use ecasound to achieve this?


soundcheck wrote:

All what is seen in Alsamixer gets prepared in the driver, the rather generic USB-driver.

However. There is no quirk for the Fireface UCX in that driver. That's why Alsamixer is useless for the UCX.

You have different options to address all ins and outs though.

First of all you do your setup under Windows and save it as preset.
Once you're in CC you can recall these presets on the front panel.

That would probably also apply to e.g. "phantom power off/on" I guess. I havn't tried it yet.


To address an input or output you need an app supporting it e.g. mplayer, ecasound, brutefir, jack.
I used 6 channel output via ecasound (no pulseaudio, no Jack) on a Cubitruck.

You might also be able to setup a asound.conf, to define certain outputs/routings properly.

Bottom line. There is no straight path. It all needs a bit of tinkering. The good part is that it is working under Linux.


My problem is that RME is not willing to do us Linux folks a tiny favor.
Just a very simple firmware patch would be required to allow/enable 88.2khz in CC mode.
At least 2-channel 176,4/192khz should also be possible to enable in CC.

They just don't do it. Hmmh.

Re: What can we expect from the Fireface UCX in Linux?

+1 for firmware and hopefully TotalMix and Digicheck for Linux. Now that Reaper is coming to Linux too there is a possibility that I can use only Linux to record and mix. More plugins is a must too but HOPEFULLY that will become more popular in a not too distant future.