Ardour Linux PCI-e firewire interface for project mix/tascam control surface audio interface, advice request

I have after many years away found time and inclination to look at old hobbies, and realise I have old audio control surfaces but no PC that has a firewire interface.

So I hope to find advice/suggestions for best PCI express firewire interface card for interface three audio interfaces/control surfaces, plus possibly 3 other audio interfaces.

I suppose for a start, has anyone any idea if this is possible (I tried about 10 years ago on windows and running multiple maudio project mixes seemed impossible i.e. no driver support and closed source)

I know maudio project mix now has linux support and I have written a few linux drivers in the past so hopefully should not have too much problem hacking into existing drivers if it is necessary.

I have not yet got around to finding my old tascam control surface from the loft storage so have not researched that yet, but wonder if anyone has any idea about running multiple control surface/audio interface on firewire and interfacing with ardour.

Anyways first thing before I can try experimenting is to find a firewire interface, so any suggestions for PCI express card with minimum of 3 firewire ports, but preferably 6 port as this would allow connecting some other firewire audio interfaces I have (possibly upto 48 tracks of analog audio input, I am starting to wonder if the firewire 400Mbps can even handle that? (96kx24bitx48=about 110Mbps) but I have no idea about real contention etc…)

Anyways Its a long time since I played with audio in linux so any ideas/suggestions/pointers/examples, etc… gratefully received

you may also need to disable the ALSA firewire drivers… From my experience with a DICE based device, they are terrible at this stage. (very high latency) . Stick twith the FFADO drivers

I’ve had most success with a Startech pcie 800/400 card with the LSI/Agere chipset. I had stability issues with TI chips, but namely they were cheap no name brands from Ebay that cost nearly nothing. It was worth spending proper money and getting the startech one.

You can still find PCI-E firewire adaptors. The most ports I have seen however are 3 external and 1 internal. I don’t remember for sure what chipset you need to have. I am thinking you want the Texas Instruments chipset, as there are problems with others, such as VIA. Someone else please chime in on this if I am not correct.

Here is a 4 port Ti chipset card on Amazon. It is a FW800 card, but should still work.:

it could help also to keep /home in a different partition , so you can format whenever a new version is out and keep /home untouched (+reinstall all programs missing)

i’m sorry u haven’t found my answer to this. the main issue with this was running the firewire drivers with jack, and then while everything was looking connected and setup u wouldn’t get any sound. the answer to this was go to sound settings at the bottom bar -> configuration -> disable hdmi from gpu
for some reason the output was going there and u were left wondering why u hear nothing.
if u want a clear guide how to setup a system like it, here’s how i setup mine

install fresh ubuntu studio 16.04.4 with updates off. in fresh system goto updater settings -> disable unsupported updates.
then install gdebi
then goto and add the repositories (just install them with gdebi)
create this specified file ->
update the system and reboot
now go start->audio production->mixers->firewire
it loads the firewire audio card. it should show no problems close it. then go audio production->JACK control. inside it setup->driver:firewire bla bla ok
now do that tray icon this i said above disabling gpu hdmi audio output and everything should be working fine
u can make a shortcut for Jack control , the program name is qjackctl
firewire has a max 96000 sample rate dont try 192000.

should u follow the steps correctly it shouldnt be an issue which firewire card to use
on the safe side i am using the motherboards firewire atm (asus maximus gene ii) , and i was using this one before it
if u go windows route use the legacy firewire chipset drivers. my system is running almost a decade like this (since 12.04 i believe. done the 14.04 16.04 clean installs but all required same things … about to try 18.04 now)