[LAU] Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 - reliable?

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Sun Mar 29 16:40:48 UTC 2015

On Sun, 29 Mar 2015, Ben Bell wrote:

> Well here's the promised follow-up mail. So far, the bottom line is that
> it's not as reliable as my dual Delta 1010 setup. There's a lot to like
> about the Focusrite but things are not entirely working properly and I haven't
> got to the bottom of why.

There is a lot to be said for something that shares internal bus and power 

> Secondly, the ffado drivers may or may not be solid under the hood when
> they're up and running (assuming the above bug isn't their fault) but on the
> version I'm on (2.2.1) there's a lot of shakiness around the edges. ffado-mixer
> is very slow to use, taking a second or so to process each command sent to the
> ffado-dbus-server.

Pulse uses the dbus IF to control it's mixer and the levels seem to track 
with fader movement very well I can notice no delay. This is not a dbus 
issue I think.

> Various things like stopping jack also cause a whole bunch
> of processes just to lock up and I have to go around manually killing manually
> killing ffado-dbus-server, ffado-mixer, jackd and qjackctl.

My first thought is: why would you stop jack? I know here, it starts on 
session login and only stops at logout (which around here means starts at 
boot and stop at shutdown) Are you using jackd or jackdbus? If you are 
using jackdbus, you may wish to try chmod -x jackd to keep it from being 
auto started by some jack client. Jack_control will allow you to change 
any of jack's parameters while jackdbus is running... though the only one 
that makes sense is latency which can be changed on the fly anyway.

Anyway, if you are using qjackctl to turn jack off and on then I would 
suggest using it's run script on start/stop to shut these other things 
down before jack and start them again after. Again, I have set qjackctl 
not to start or stop jackdbus so I can use the connection window for 
connections. I can use it to stop jack, but no matter the AI, stopping 
jack means restarting pretty much all the SW and reconnecting all the 
ports. There are some APPs that will allow a reconnect to jack when it 
comes back and will reconnect at least it's own ports to whatever they 
were connected to before but that to me is not a good way to run things.

> If I switch the
> Focusrite off then, again, I have clean up work to do before things are usable
> again.

I am sure if you powered the d1010 down while the system was running you 
would have similar problems or worse. Don't do that. I think if you want 
your focusrite to be as stable as an internal card you need to treat it 
the same... powered before the system starts and off after system. Using 
an AoIP or USB IF should be the same.

Just my 2c

Len Ovens

More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list