[LAD] RME Digiface USB ?

Adrian Knoth adi at drcomp.erfurt.thur.de
Sat Jan 28 14:50:02 UTC 2017

On Sat, Jan 28, 2017 at 07:27:21PM +1100, Damien Zammit wrote:

> Hey,


> Anyone got one of these? Does it work with GNU/Linux (yet)?
> Curious about xrun performance with 4x ADAT i/o over USB2...

Last time I spoke with someone from RME (that was probably back in 2012
or 2013), they were unwilling to give us their USB drivers (let's say to
maintain their competitive edge) nor to document the protocol (why would
they, the driver is free to change it at any point in time).

That said, I see three options:

1. Get an EXBOX.UMA. 32in/32out ADAT/MIDI/USB. The company is super
helful, provided all the specs and enabled me to write a working driver:


The product is discontinued, but if you want to polish the driver a bit,
I can lend you mine indefinitely. Should be fully functional, only the
control software could use a decent UI (I tried HTML5 talking to an
HTTP-to-MIDI server in Go but then had no time to finish it - cmdline is
ready, though)

2. Reverse-Engineer the RME protocol. Probably lots for work. Basically
what folks did when FFADO started, but it's cumbersome to interpret
individual bits in a long bitstream just to spot the individual samples.
And even then it'd be another six months to write the driver.

3. Talk to RME (I can give you a contact) and try to get hold of their
driver sources or a protocol spec. Both is very unlikely, especially
since they were repeatedly unwilling to reveal anything that involves
the new TotalMix.

The other option is to forget about USB2 and look at other connectors
like Thunderbolt (ultimately external PCIe) or Ravenna/AVB. And last not
least, there's an ALSA driver for Dante somewhere.

Speaking of Thunderbolt: if you just want 4xADAT, you can always put an
RME RayDat or one of the Marian cards in an external Thunderbolt


mail: adi at thur.de  	http://adi.thur.de	PGP/GPG: key via keyserver

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