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

Jannis Achstetter jannis_achstetter at web.de
Sun May 2 18:42:29 CEST 2021

Have you tried having one jack server active with the firewire-backend
and then adding the other, ALSA-compatible cards via zita-a2j or a
similar option?
That would only work if you don't need your current "primary" audio card
as the actual primary card.
And it might be some hassle if your FW-card is not always available or
you tend to change your setup frequently.


Am 02.05.21 um 10:38 schrieb Athanasios Silis:
> Hi there, 
> Thank you for the information. Yes synchronisation is always an issue
> and perhaps I framed the question inadequately, but what I am after is
> not complete synchronisation but rather to utilise the analog ins and
> outs of this additional soundcard too.
> So I am not after 0ms latency per se, but rather something in the order
> <12msec. This has been possible across soundcards using the alsa driver,
> so I assume it is not out of place to aim for it now too. Perhaps this
> is not possible across different jack backend which is why I ask for the
> various setup possibilities. 
> The easiest for me would be to use the saffireLE through the alsa
> driver, but that only exposes 1 single stereo playback stream. I want
> all 3. So what do I have?
> Thanks,
> Nass
> On Sat, 1 May 2021, 23:07 David Kastrup, <dak at gnu.org
> <mailto:dak at gnu.org>> wrote:
>     Athanasios Silis <athanasios.silis at gmail.com
>     <mailto:athanasios.silis at gmail.com>> writes:
>     > 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?
>     How is 0-latency supposed to work with unsynchronised clocks?
>     If you want to consolidate multiple soundcards without adding
>     significant latency for resampling filtering, they must be running on
>     the same clock (which means that it's mainly comparatively expensive
>     soundcards that can be consolidated).  Even then you'll not be able to
>     split a stereo channel across two non-identical cards without
>     introducing problems from the differing phase response of their
>     oversampling and filtering circuitry.
>     Synchronisation can happen in some cases via Firewire (for example, if
>     you daisychain multiple Alesis i|O 26 devices) but more usually with a
>     separate word clock sync cable.
>     For juggling numerous sources, there can be a point in getting a mixer
>     with digital multi-channel in- and output.
>     That means you don't need to consolidate multiple soundcards but rather
>     get to work with some flexible multichannel device.  That tends to be
>     quite more robust.
>     --
>     David Kastrup
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