[LAU] RME HammerFall user moving to a laptop...

David Kastrup dak at gnu.org
Sun Nov 24 20:10:22 CET 2019

Mario Lang <mlang at delysid.org> writes:

> Hi.
> For years, I used an RME HammerFall under Linux.  I love this card, but
> I finally goota say goodbye to PCI.  What USB/ThunderBolt multichannel
> card with mixing/routing capabilities would you recommend?

There is the RME Multiface which you likely could use via ThunderBolt to
Expresscard adapter.  Whether to bother with something that old is
another question.

> I have been out of the loop regarding semipro soundcard for many years
> now, so I would be happy about some tips that get me started on
> choosing a device.  I mostly need analog channels.  Ideally with a lot
> of headroom, since I might be feeding it with quite hot signals
> (eurorack).  I have heard there are also mixers these days that work
> as a multichannel soundcards.

Most of the time I use an Onyx 1620 mixer with Firewire card.  The
"newer" variants of those mixers have an i after their number (like Onyx
1620i) and come with Firewire built-in (and, except for the largest one,
the 1640i, no longer with balanced recording outputs for separate analog
recording pre-fader).  You'd need a Thunderbolt-to-Firewire interface,
of course.  I use a built-in Firewire with my T420 but it does not come
standard (I got it for about EUR10 and threw out the landline modem for

The Onyx mixers are nice, but Firewire is not exactly new, and it was
not exactly new when Linux changed to a new Firewire stack so older
Expresscard adapters may actually have buggy support in spite of their

I think I have an Onyx 400F here that is just a mic interface.  I
strongly recommend against it in spite of its nicer portability: the DSP
on it tends to die and there are lots of reports of it bricking.  Mine
did.  No idea whether the comparatively new Linux ALSA software had
something to do with it.

Basically if you go for a Mackie, I'd take one of the mixers rather than
the interface-only things.

RME has more modern interfaces (like the Babyface) but I am not sure
what their actual multichannel offerings are.

> Maybe that might be interesting.  However, I will only be using it
> with linux, so I am really looking for something that is known to work
> nicely.  Will be using it with JACK and SuperCollider.

David Kastrup

More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list