[LAU] Recommended soundcard

Florian Hanisch fhanisch at uni-potsdam.de
Sat Dec 22 16:23:48 UTC 2012

Hi Ralf,

you are right, I should have been a bit more precise. First of all, it  
is not my ff ucx, I was lucky that I could borrow one from a friend  
for two weeks. During that time, I managed to get help from the ALSA  
community and fix mixer.c and at the end of that two week period, I  
could do some testing. Right now, I do not have access to a ucx and  
can not do further testing but I think I will get my own device after  
xmas. I hope that I can do proper testing then and send a "report".

My tests so far included the following:

As I already mentioned, I only used the class-compliance mode. Up to  
my knowledge, usb-audio 2.0 is limited to 8/8 in/out-channels and  
sample rates up to 96 kHz. ALSA driver recognizes these 8/8 channels.  
The device moreover appears in the JACK-setup and I was to start  
JACK-server running 8/8 channels with sample rates up to 96 kHz. I  
played back soundfiles through the ucx without any problems. I  
moreover send sine-signals with different frequencies from  
supercollider to all the 8 channels and these correctly appeared at  
the 8 jack-outputs (which are on the backside of the device). Finally,  
I made loopback recordings from pulses, sine-waves and triangular  
waves also using supercollider and different jack blocksizes / sample  
rates. The latency I read from the pulse-loopback records was 7 to 8  
ms (blocksize: 64, samplerate: 42100/s). The sine- and  
triangular-loopback-recordings show clean signals, only a very close  
analysis of the triangular signals shows a slight distortion but this  
also appeared when the card was connected to a mac computer using  
RME's proprietary driver. Maybe the cause was actually the capacitance  
of the low quality cables used for the loopback, I don't know.

I certainly did not test all the features of the ucx, it is not  
possible to access all of the channels and I also do not know how to  
access TotalMix and the build-in DSP-features, most likely it is  
impossible in the class-compliant mode.

I hope this description is somehow clear,



Quoting Ralf Mardorf <ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net>:

> On Sat, 2012-12-22 at 13:20 +0100, Florian Hanisch wrote:
>> I tested the quality of signals with SuperCollider, I
>> basically got the quality which is also obtained using RME's driver on
>> a mac.
> @ Florian:
> Does Linux support EVERYTHING of your RME card? If you shouldn't have
> tested EVERYTHING, please let the OP know what features of the card you
> do use.
> @ the OP:
> Usually it's possible to give the gear back and to get the money back,
> if it shouldn't work. Ask your dealer.
> Beyond that it's common that professional gear can be tested, seldom by
> small business clients, but you should ask. In Germany there btw. is a
> law that you can give back things you ordered by the Internet, even
> after testing the equipment.
> By "testing" I mean real usage, but running test e.g.
> jack_midi_latency_test might be helpful too, this already could show
> you, if there should be something fishy with the combination of your
> mobo and the audio card.
> It was my mistake, that I did not "completely test" = use my card, when
> I bought it. I was busy and it took a year, before I had the time to use
> the card.
> Regards,
> Ralf
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