[linux-audio-user] what's the best option here? / SosPubs article

Mark Knecht markknecht at comcast.net
Fri Mar 26 14:10:25 EST 2004

On Fri, 2004-03-26 at 06:26, Kent, Gary wrote:
> Hi:
> 	Last nite I read that article in SosPubs about Linux.  Most
> folks in that article seemed to be using the RME HDSP 9652.  I have been
> looking at the MultiFace for awhile, but am starting to feel that the
> best option would be to sink my money into some of the preamp/ADAT
> optical out outboard gear that is starting to come on the scene such as
> the M-Audio Octane, Tango24, or Behringher ADA8000 that feature lots of
> preamps w/ ADAT optical outputs, and just using the HDSP9652 as a really
> nice signal router into my Linux box. Would anyone be willing to share
> with me the pros and cons of this approach? 

Sure. I tried exactly this card in exactly this configuration. the
HDSP9652 was a hardware ADAT router between 3 things - A Pro Tools box,
a GigaStudio box and an Alesis AI-3.

When it worked it was wonderful for pure Alsa. It didn't always work
though. It was broken for probably 8 of the 12 months I had it
installed. Watch out for firmware revision levels and be EXTRA careful
if you need to dual-boot as the RME Windows drivers and the Linux Alsa
drivers *may* require different firmware.

Even when it worked ALL OSS audio through Alsa emulation caused horrible
loud glitches with the AI-3. I *think* that is because the HDSP9652 Alsa
driver wasn't properly handling muting when it changes the clock
frequency on the card, and probably made worse by the fact the the AI-3
runs at 48K natively. Anyway, that was horrid with my studio monitors
turned on... 

I eventually gave up, moved the card to the Windows box running
GigaStudio and gave Linux a nice safe AP2496. Unfortunately this limits
the utility of Linux for me in real-time work, but it's great for file
processing and other non-real-time things like running Jamin.

> 	Up until now I have been thinking about sinking all of my money
> into the MultiFace or a really high-priced audio card with minimal
> outboard.  Now I'm starting to think just the opposite that just using a
> bare minimum optical card w/ decent converters and putting my money into
> outboard would maybe be the best way. Any good advice on this, and if
> so, any other cards I should consider? 

I think your strategy is great, really. Just be sure you're getting the
right ADAT card and that it is well supported, both now and into the

BTW - watch out for the ADA8000. Many reports of bad channels. Check out
your specific unit at the store and make very sure everything is in
working order. I know someone who got 3 of them and they were all bad.

Too bad...the review in TapeOp on that little guy was great for an
instrument converter, but I don't have time to waste.

Think about something better on the D/A side for your main stereo
output. (If you have the money...) :-(
> Thanks very much, 
> gk 

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