Ronald Stewart ronaldjstewart at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 22:25:43 UTC 2012

Can we clear the air about audio cards?

I have 2 specific points to make about Music based audio products.

1) Audio interfaces come down to 2 critical facts
- 1 quality of pre amps
- 2 board circuit layout in relation to noise or lack of noise

First, there are ONLY 3 kinds of audio pre amps in audio interfaces.
There is the .80 cent to 2.40 el cheapo pre, the 4.75-8.80 pre and the
expensive boutique $80.00
So the breakdown is more like this
.80 turd in just about every product you can buy
8.00 version in products like Echo Audio
$80.00 boutique high end in products like RME ish types (but probably not
in the babyface stuff)

Second, what makes an audio interface quiet and high quality is the ability
to layout the trace lines in the design so that when all the parts are
soldered down the noise levels are dampened or minimized.  This ART
(believe me it's an art) is how tiny companies like Echo Audio can make a
high quality but affordable audio interface.  I know because the owner of
Echo Audio taught me how design and placement are VITAL and KEY to quality
in relation to noise.

That's it!  Now you can make a small argument for using AKM codecs versus
Cirrus codecs versus Wolfson codecs as a third pseudo argument but I've
built, scoped and tested ALL of those and more and AKM IS superior but NOT
more important than knowing where to place caps on circuit to reduce noise
as well as placement of parts.   That's the big points of the audio
interface game and that's why all cards are all the same plus or minus a
few kinks here or there.

Period end of story all cards are the same except for MARKETING and

The second point I want to make is over the years I have noticed a '*super
trend'* in where there is a super disconnect between the truth/reality of
the Musical Instrument business and the bias push to not only keep things
the same and going FAR WORSE (we call this in the states "a race to the
I noticed this super trend especially with Peter Kirn at
CreateDigitalMusic.  For years I tried to offer real and truthful fair and
balanced approach about the MI business and he and I kept banging heads
because he would write 'his truth' not 'the truth' and I kept telling him
that his lack of balanced journalism is not a good thing for his readers
especially when so many come to his well for knowledge and truth.  I
literally did everything I can to massage in a more truthful argument that
he simply could not and would not track on in relation to what he reports
as a 'pet' announcement versus truthful reality.  Something that I was
experiencing from the trenches.
In fact it came to a MAJOR HEAD and we parted ways because I got tired of
calling him up and challenging him on his position and lack of facts and
lack of telling
an accurate story.  Something I kept saying was his *journalistic
responsibility*.  I mean I would show him a similar reported story by
synthtopia and others where at least they would hit on some of the correct
points but Peter's call was to do it his way cuz its his blog.  Great! but
who suffers are all the idiots who read his word as the gospel and then
they email me why their tracks suck, why they have latency, why they can't
make great REAL high quality tracks in Abelton but then can in Renoise or
how Fruity Loops almost killed their band but energy XT or Logic rock or
why they can pitch a hip hop track to a dance groove or fill in the blank I
have hundreds of emails from customer and NON customers concerning their
plea to know and understand the art of recording pro audio from a musician
or home/project studio or even better from a mobile kick ass platform like
Linux and why ESPECIALLY REWIRE SUCKS versus JACK and Qjackctrl and WHY
isn't more focus on RAD PRODUCTS like LinuxDSP's JP1 (which BTW never got
the press it should have from Peter until I literally threatened the guy).
And this happened over and over again to the point where we parted ways
because I would hold his feet to the fire to expose the truth and not a
SLANTED version that '*reads well*'.

This haze is why his focus is on Apple of course (and that's ok but going
to Apple to talk with them about their new whatever it is that was already
in energy XT FOR YEARS EARLIER and NEVER DISCUSSED) and his focus on
Abelton and all their crap.  I mean I met the main guy from Abelton at of
all things a Linux conference plus I went to these Dubstop classes that are
such a rip off I could not stand there any longer and very very very bad
for all the suckers who paid big money to learn how to beat slice when
energy XT comes with an auto slicer for free. *They literally spent two
hours on tab to transient* on an advanced day.  I was a Pro Tools
instructor for 7 years and these classes are ridiculous.
I mean if you want to get involved with something really cool the best
thing going in my mind is to roll with Renoise and the community there
because hands down you will go further with Renoise than anything on the
planet.  Plus if there was any class to attend I would go bang on Dac's
door and beg him in Montreal to teach a class.  I learned more on how to
use Renoise from Dac in 2 days than 2 years on my own with Renoise.  Dac
taught Tony the sampler and Tony refuses to use any other sampler and he is
Pro Tools certified and Logic certified with a engineering degree from Full

So what we live in is a reality where there are real good things going on
in the Musical Instrument world but 'voices' like CDM fail its readers by
spoon feeding them
only a certain amount of information based on criteria that is not totally
accurate.  It kinda sucks because over and over again the ball is not being
moved up the field and its not getting any better because its not getting
exposed properly or fairly, except to throw a dog a bone by posting a
software update for cool products like Renoise.  What should be discussed
in the press and the big companies HAZING of the customer that keeps this
party lame.

Funny thing is about LAME PEOPLE at parties is YOU THROW THEM OUT and get
back to some rad tracks and bumpin grinds that wont reach its potential as
long as the guys running the club and the biggest douchebags in your
scene.  Ask any DJ and this is a GLOBAL fact.  If the host and owner of the
party is LAME your party is LAME no matter how big the DJ name is on the

The best thing you can do if you read this is to thank Paul Davis at Ardour
for being a total stud and take a sec to make a donation to Ardour.  Plus
email Rui at Qjack for being super cool too!  Other than that roll with
Renoise you can't go wrong.


Ronald Stewart

On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 5:42 PM, Ronald Stewart <ronaldjstewart at gmail.com>wrote:

> wait are you saying Focusrite is Linux friendly? thats weird because I
> talked to the USA national rep about taking Dr. Dre's Beats laptop
> (actually Dre's laptop) to Guitar Center in Inglewood Ca. to plug in the
> saffire 6 I think its called (usb turd) to run a special version of
> Indamixx OS for Beats laptop and even the national rep couldnt confirm
> compatibility so we literally got in the car and went to GC to plug and
> play and NADA.
> Funny thing the rep never answered the phone again after we emailed him it
> didn't work... so if you got it going YOURE THE MAN cuz no one at focusrite
> could at least in USA as in the whole country of the united states :)
> "hehe" Nelson
> thnx
> Ron
> On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 5:16 PM, Gerald Mwangi <gerald.mwangi at gmx.de>wrote:
>> **
>> Hi,
>> well the fact is: Even though searching the net extensively, I don't know
>> which companies are linux friendly (except Focusrite).
>> So maybe an Idea is to put a list on linuxaudio.org . Or is it there and
>> I missed it?
>> Regards,
>> Gerald
>> On Do, 2012-04-12 at 21:15 +0200, thijs van severen wrote:
>> hey Ronald, having a bad day ?  ;-))
>>  2012/4/12 Ronald Stewart <ronaldjstewart at gmail.com>
>> maybe I got up on the wrong side of the bed today but here is the cold
>> hard facts and truth about the musical instrument business and Linux Audio.
>> First, I have sat down with Tascam TOP DECISION MAKERS for over 30 hours
>> in 7 years with TOTAL FACE TO FACE conversations
>> along with Alesis, Akai, M-Audio, AVID, and EVERY OTHER manufacturer on
>> EARTH!!!
>> Plus I have dealt with Guitar Center, Musicians Friend, and SamAsh buyers
>> for nearly 4 years.
>> Second, Tascam sucks and what you and ALL OTHERS WHO WRITE THIS LONG FELT
>> STORY ABOUT THE POTENTIAL of Linux Audio users need to know
>> and DO is SUPPORT companies that do support Linux Audio.  I suggest Echo
>> Audio because they work with Linux and FFADO and others to make a great
>> user experience for
>> Linux Audio.  There are others like Harrison, RME (kinda) and some class
>> compliant supported devices Edirol, Lexicon, M-audio etc. that are Linux
>> friendly NOT BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE but because of the STEVE JOBS affect
>> of Apple.  In fact Linux is not a priority and neither was Apple until the
>> brute force MARKET SHIFT in Apple lately.
>> Linux is 1% and Apple is at best 7% and the only reason why ANY of these
>> companies are working with Apple is because you CANNOT get into an Apple
>> store or their ECOSYSTEM UNLESS you are class compliant.  Until 2 years ago
>> companies like m-audio and all the rest had their own driver mickey mouse
>> way of making things work.
>> Thank GOD that Apple finally kicked butt enough to straighten out the
>> musical instrument companies bot because they are "great guys" but because
>> of MONEY!!!
>> Now you and everyone else can take this info as fact or not.  BUT and
>> HOWEVER, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to build products
>> in Linux for Linux for YEARS!!!!  With tens of thousands of dollars spent I
>> can tell you from my checkbook and WALLET that I maybe moved the ball from
>> the one yard line to the nine yard line.
>> From experience just go with companies who care about Linux and the user
>> experience and who PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS!!!!
>> Support those programs, software, hardware etc. instead of writing
>> 'heartful letters' in hope of response.  I guarantee you that the decision
>> makers at these companies
>> ARE NOT THAT SMART in fact if they were Apple would hire them.  These
>> 'others' are there because they SUCK at their jobs and decision making
>> abilities and that is why
>> if you ever go to a trade show you will see that companies like FILL IN
>> THE BLANK do not make new and cool stuff but wait for a GREAT product to
>> come along and then KNOCK IT OFF so that everyone else benefits.  The worst
>> part of this is that users go and buy their garbage keeping us in the
>> EXAMPLE the monome cool product with buttons and now their are lame
>> copies by ALL THE BIG BOYS and sadly thats the one a lot of people buy to
>> keep this CRAPPY party going.
>> Period end of story.... if you thinnk you know better then send me your
>> receipts of all the money you spent to challenge and debunk THIS HARD CORE
>> FACT!!!
>> BIG REQUEST can someone post this response somewhere so every time this
>> subject comes up I don't have to keep spelling it out :)
>> Thank you
>> Ronald Stewart
>> Indamixx
>>   On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM, Gerald Mwangi <gerald.mwangi at gmx.de>
>> wrote:
>>   Hi guys, I sent the following mail to TASCAM (to the pre-sales
>> information). Hope to move something in their thinking.
>> Regards,
>> Gerald
>> Hello,
>> I'm deciding whether to buy the US-1800. Since I run Linux (Ubuntu) with
>> jack and ardour (www.ardour.org ), I need to know if the device is USB
>> 2.0 audio class compliant or if there are plans for a dedicated driver. Or
>> at least plans to publish sufficient information to the linux audio
>> developers (linuxaudio.org). If nothing is planned in that direction, I
>> will switch to the Firewire solutions from Focusrite, since Focusrite
>> actively supports the linux audio developers! It's not that much work to
>> disclose some information. And you'll have some 500+ linux musicians BUYING
>> YOUR PRODUCTS! Afterall, your a hardware vendor, not a software vendor.
>> Regards,
>> Gerald Mwangi
>> _______________________________________________
>> Linux-audio-user mailing list
>> Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
>> http://lists.linuxaudio.org/listinfo/linux-audio-user
>> _______________________________________________
>> Linux-audio-user mailing list
>> Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
>> http://lists.linuxaudio.org/listinfo/linux-audio-user
>>  --
>>  follow me on my Audio & Linux blog<http://audio-and-linux.blogspot.com/>!
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.linuxaudio.org/pipermail/linux-audio-user/attachments/20120412/71d774a4/attachment.htm>

More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list