Audio Interfaces Under Linux

It may be time to edit the Requirements web page, where audio interfaces under Linux are recommended.

Among the top choices shown on that page are four M-Audio DELTA models that are considered “legacy” by the manufacturer, and as such are no longer available other than on the used or NOS market. As Ardour evolves, I would certainly like to use it on latest/greatest proven hardware, rather than an interface already a decade old.

I’m seeing some good things mentioned about the affordable U-Phoria line from Behringer, and I’m hoping those are suitable to function with Ardour.

@JayBird707: The clicks, crackling, and pops is common with Behringer UMCxxx interfaces if it’s anything other than 44.1kHz sample rate duplex mode (both playback and capture). If running it with anything other than 44.1kHz it has to run in playback_only or capture_only mode. That’s my experience with these interfaces.

There are some very important developments in the audio interface that do need to be written up. One of them is that the situation with PCI(x|e) drivers is mostly unchanged. Another is that more and more USB devices actually work, and work with the audio class driver on Linux. Another is that firewire audio is basically dead.

Not sure I would personally recommend much of anything from Behringer. Their x32 is the only product from them that has been standout, which in their case means as reliable as most other manufacturers rather than, if you buy one buy two because it will die, which is the standard from Behringer.

That being said there are certainly more options out there now. Not sure if anything has really come out to replace the Delta or similar interfaces in the PCI world honestly, as Paul mentioned, that situation really is relatively unchanged to my knowledge, and the fact is that many manufacturers just aren’t focusing on that area. USB has become a much larger area these days though, and while I won’t agree Firewire audio is dead, I will say that it is certainly on it’s way out at this point.


I use a Soundcraft Si Expression with the addition of a MADI-USB card.
This may help:

The Soundcraft Impact is coming out this summer and I believe the card comes with it. The Impact has a lot more bang for the buck. I’d love to try one out.

Something worth pointing out about PCI interfaces is that contemporary intel chipset boards don’t come with legacy PCI controllers anymore, even if they appear to have PCI slots. PCI slots are provided by PCIe to PCI bridges, which are prone to cause problems with duplex operation on some cards. (I know this is true of the M-Aduio Delta 1010 and Delta 1010 LT cards, from personal experience, I’ve heard of trouble with avid cards on windows as well).

So this is a new thing to be careful about when you’re buying a soundcard or motherboard.

ADAT sync with the 1818VSL works fine here using alsamixer to select the sync source.

Early versions of the alsa driver ('round 2.6.39, 3.0) had a bug that did not allow to set the sync source properly, but that’s long gone.


Depends on the hardware. I have used it often between various hardware, but yes some hardware seems to have problems with it.

For instance I ran for a long time with just ADAT sync between an external AD/DA and an RME without issue, but going between the same AD/DA and a Yamaha LS9 gave a friend of mine some problems.


In my experience, ADAT clock sync is tremendously buggy, on many different devices. I stopped trying to use it between different manufacturers yeara ago.

I have a Presonus AudioBox 1818VSL and all features but it’s DSP based internal mixer works with Linux. This means in practice that all inputs and outputs of the device will work in Linux, but there is no realtime EQ’s and no internal lowlatency passthrough for the audio.

I wrote a post with my initial experiences with the device here:

Since then I have been able to test the Adat input and output and they seem to work, but I was not able to get the devices clock to synchronize to the incoming Adat signal and this caused clicks and pops when I recorded the Adat signal. I was able to select Adat as the clock source in Qasmixer (or was it QASHctl ?) but the setting didn’t really change the clock source. Hopefully a future alsa version has this working.

Could you please update hardware requirement page?

I had the same consideration than AP_in_DC, about audio/midi hardware interfaces production, the Ardour page on hardware speaks about discontinued products (
A friend of mine is a professional musician, he is not a Linux’s geek but a simple user. Consequently he give some money for the wonderful Ardour project.
Now he want to develop a more professional approach and buy a semi-pro USB audio/midi hardware interfaces.
So to help him, if I consider recommanded Roland products on, I identify two old products:

  1. Out in 2011, Roland Octa-Capture (UA-1010 -
  2. Out in 2012, Roland Studio-Capture (UA-1610 -

Unfortunately, no information about these old flagship products on

Or could you suggest other similar products? Thanks in advance!

It is impossible to track all products. The Linux audio world is so small that the number of people likely to try out a particular device is tiny, and often close to zero. We do what we can, but increasingly the answer is (thankfully) shifting towards “USB2 class compliant audio devices can just be assumed to work”. Unfortunately it will never be a guarantee.

@lapincitrom and are crowed sourced and publicly editable. (I don’t know about linuxmao, but it has a signup form). If the device is not listed that means that nobody has yet bothered to find out and report back.

As for recommending a similar device, the Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL comes to mind.

Thanks for the info, I must try again with a newer Linux distro, maybe Adat sync then works :slight_smile:

One more USB interface that just works out of the box: Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

This is a bit more niche… but I use an Allen & Heath Zed R16 and it runs flawlessly with ffado… In kxstudio I run comfortably at 128 periods with buffers = 3 … (p128 n3) … In gentoo I could run it at 64 periods… - depends on how low latency you require…
No issues with recording 16 channels… although that is probably more i/o related on the machine rather than anything else…

Having MIDI control on the console is great and the routing is great as you can setup the analog eq as an insert…

I haven’t tried ADAT sync (I just don’t have any other ADAT gear) .

There are exactly zero interfaces with eight microphone inputs that will work with GNU/Linux. Zero. I was forced to give up on this years ago. I bought a Saphire Pro 40 and could never make the thing work. I hear they changed the hardware recently too (making it less compatible)…
In the USB 2 (or USB 3 or Thunderbolt) realm there seems to be nothing where I can record six or eight independent microphone channels all at once under GNU/Linux.
I’m a fan. But unfortunately, with no hardware, I can only be a spectator fan…
Is there anything new?
Thank you all for the good work!

Do you mean “precisely 8” ? Because if you mean “8 or more”, then your claim is wrong. Even the very mainstream Behringer/Midas X32 Just Works ™ on Linux.

There are exactly zero interfaces with eight microphone inputs that will work with GNU/Linux
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20? And if you combine products, lots of other options. I've been using RME MultiFace 2 with external 8 channel mic preamp to get 8 mic inputs for years, and now with a Behringer ADA8200 to get another 8 mic inputs by ADAT connection to the Multiface.

I’d be using the Focusrite now, but after sending back two units in a row that both had a noisy input channel, I gave up on them.

Hmmm then it’s very strange that the Presonus 1818VSL USB-2 interface I’ve been using for 2 years has been working with 8 independent mic inputs… somebody better warn the Presonus people!