Sound device for recording applications ALSA v.s. Firewire

  • jukingeo
Posted: Fri, 07/18/2008 - 19:47
Hello All, I am considering a new audio interface for my computer that would work in both Windows and 64Studio. In this distribution of Linux I would like to know what anyone's opinions are in regards to these devices. I do have firewire capability on my machine. My price range is around $300 and I narrowed it down to these devices. These are my picks. PCI--ALSA: Echo Gina 3G http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/PCI/Gina3G/index.php Terratec DMX 6fire (I think this may be discontinued) http://alag3.mfa.kfki.hu/dcsabas/hardware/images/Terratec_DMX_6fire_3.jpeg Firewire--Freebob/FFADO Focusrite Saffire / Saffire LE http://www.focusrite.com/products/saffire/saffire/ http://www.focusrite.com/products/saffire/saffire_le/ A quick overall background is that I was looking for something that had at least 4 inputs and 6 outputs within that price category of $300. The PCI choices would obviously have the advantage that the sound device can work with the internal sounds and streaming audio without the need for Jack, whereas the firewire devices DO need jack and cannot play system sounds unless some other means of patching the audio into Jack could be attained. So that is a disadvantage to the firewire devices. The advantage is obvious because the devices are portable and can be moved to another machine. The Terratec 6Fire is the odd ball of the bunch because it really doesn't quite fit my criteria, yet this box offers a phono pre-amp as well as just about every other type of level imaginable. What more is that it can be installed in the bay of a computer and (almost) everything is accessable from the front. The huge disadvantage of this device is that everything is unbalanced. It does have more outputs accessable on the rear of the card though (I believe it is 6 channels total). The Echo Gina has the least functionality of all the items as it only has 2 inputs and 6 outputs. But it does have full digital (optical and SPDIF) In the firewire corner we pretty much have two similar devices, both are in the same series; the Focusrite Saffire and Saffire LE. The original Saffire has 2 inputs and 8 outputs and while that would not make it too much better than the Echo Gina, what it does have over every other interface here is that it has 192khz capability. The slightly cheaper Saffire LE, replaces two of the outputs with another set of inputs, making this a 4 in, 6 out box. The LE part comes into play that this is box can only go to 96khz. So my questions are as follow and are aimed at those who have set up Linux recording studios of thier own. 1) Do you notice a tremendous difference in capturing the warmth and quality of a recording when using 192khz or 96khz? 2) How easy was it to set up any of the above described units? 3) If you chosen a Firewire/Freebob unit (generally, not fixed to those selected above), how did you managed to get the system sounds and streaming internet sounds to go through Jack? Thank you for your opinions and advice. Geo

Don't have ,much advice to give regarding ffado devices

  • Quentin Harley
  • 05/24/07
  • Tue, 07/22/2008 - 20:04
... but I'll bump this thread for you. Some of the other peops here have had some success

I did get some info back in

  • jukingeo
  • 07/02/08
  • Wed, 07/23/2008 - 15:20
I did get some info back in the Ubuntu forum and it seems that ffado isn't automatically seen by Jack and that it has to be installed first. But thusfar two people have set up the Saffire LE without a problem. So I guess the first order of business would be to install and test ffado first. Last night I did some more testing by putting a Soundblaster Live into my machine and Ubuntu automatically recognized it. I know I am mentioning Ubuntu right now, but something happened with Grub and I cannot boot up Ubuntu. I am seriously considering a 64Studio installation right now. I was going to go with JackLab, but the support on that site seems to be rather slow. Slower than here. Plus I am sure there would be more of a learning curve there because that is a Red Hat system while 64Studio would be a more familiar Debian based distro and probably would be less of a learning curve considering I have been using Ubuntu already. But if 64Studio can see my Sound Blaster Live on install, I may just keep it as is and go the firewire route for my DAW sound device. Thanx, Geo