[LAU] consolidating a firewire sound card with my other existing pci (alsa) soundcards

Athanasios Silis athanasios.silis at gmail.com
Sat May 1 21:45:19 CEST 2021

Hi all,
I have recently acquired a Focusrite SaffireLE (analog: 4ins & 6 outs,
firewire) and I am trying to figure out how can I consolidate its analog
ins/outs with the rest of my setup:

The same audio server hosts other soundcards that are happily driven by
alsa. so JACK can see all the rest of the sound cards (through zita-a2j,

Now comes the firewire card. If I start a separate jackd session with the
firewire backend
jackd -R -n firejack -dfirewire
then I get to see 6 ins and 8 outs (digital in/out included). I have 2
problems with this setup:
- how do I connect the 2 jack sessions (with 0ms latency if possible). I
tried with zita-n2j but with anything less than 100ms buffer the sound is
unbearably choppy.
- I tried to route some audio stream to each one of the outputs but from
some outputs I could not get any sound, then routing to out1,2 would play
from physical outs 3,4 - so not ideal.
I tried to use the ffado-mixer to fiddle around with routing , but did not
manage anything.

Then I thought, to use the alsa driver , since alsa "sees" the card
$ cat /proc/asound/cards
 6 [SaffireLE      ]: BeBoB - SaffireLE
                      Focusrite SaffireLE (id:2, rev:1), GUID
00130e010004184f at fw1.0, S400

but aplay only registeres a single PCM device:
$ aplay -l
card 6: SaffireLE [SaffireLE], device 0: BeBoB [SaffireLE PCM]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

so this is not ideal. IS there a way to get the alsa driver to identify all
the ins and outs ?

Alternatively, is there a better way to use a single jack session and load
the 2nd backend as well ? (maybe through audioadapter or otherwise)

Finally, is there a chance to coordinate 2 jack sessions (each with one of
alsa, firewire backends) with 0 latency between them ? In this setup does
anyone have experience with SaffireLE and how to control the mixer?

Thank you!
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