Behringer UMC1820 And Ardour


(Mikael Hartzell) #1

Behringer has a new 275 euro device out that is USB Class Compliant. It has 8 mic / line / Instument inputs, no hardware mixer, 0 latency analog monitoring, adat, etc.

Behringer released drivers for windows, but don’t have any available for OSX. OS X is officially supported and Behringer says the device works in Class Compliant mode on OS X.

This all means this device possibly works fully in Linux all features included. There are reports on the net about people using this device successfully with Linux and Ardour.

I would like to know if all features of this device really do work on Linux. And hope for example Ardour user 8p8c to comment about it. He has said on the forums that the device works with Ardour:

https://community.ardour.org/node/8833?page=1

Especially I’m interested to hear if all inputs and outputs work and how do you change sample rate and clock source on linux.

Other links discussing the device:

Device info on Thomann and Behringer sites:

http://www.music-group.com/Categories/Behringer/Computer-Audio/Audio-Interfaces/UMC1820/p/P0B2J


(Sebastian) #2

it has 8 channels you can mix, using the proprietary software on windows/mac, but only 2 channels of class-compliant audio input for recording into the computer.


#3

There is no proprietary mixing software available (or even mentioned) on the manufacturer’s site, and only two of the inputs connecting to a computer makes little sense on an 18 input device that has no built-in mixing capabilities beyond blending the direct monitoring of raw signals with the DAW return audio. Here is a quote from a user on linuxmusicians.com:

“BTW if you don’t care about routing, I suggest the Berhinger UMC1820 USB. It’s cheaper and I’ve tested the past days and works great, but can’t route signal internaly, so can’t create headphone mixes.”

I do not own the device but have considered it, and per all the research I have done, it appears the device should function on Linux the same as on OSX. Seb, if you have hands-on experience, do tell, but I think you are just making assumptions. I also think the linuxmusicians.com post is a bit misleading because the hardware does offer the capability to switch between two headphone mixes, but I get his point about no internal signal routing.


#4

To answer the original question about sample rate and clock source selection, the sample rate is set either in JACK prior to starting Ardour or in Ardour’s Audio/MIDI Setup Menu. I am unsure about the clock source, but I would assume it is handled by the ALSA mixer.


(Mikael Hartzell) #5

I found one success story in French and one unsuccessful one in German. The French story has a photo of some graphical Jack frontend showing that Jack sees at least 10 inputs and 12 outputs. Google translation is a bit hard to decipher.

Here is the picture:

http://linuxmao.org/dl5711?display

Here is the Google translation:

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Flinuxmao.org%2Fforumthread70755&edit-text=&act=url

Here is the original French forum thread:

http://linuxmao.org/forumthread70755

Here is the unsuccessful story in German. It might be that he did not get it working because of his os software versions, who knows.

https://forum.ubuntuusers.de/topic/behringer-u-phoria-umc1820-es-verweigert-sich/

I’m tempted to buy one anyway :slight_smile:


(Mikael Hartzell) #6

I decided to bite the bullet and just ordered Behringer UMC1820 and ADA8200 Ultragain. I will report back here when I have some results maybe in 1 - 2 weeks time :slight_smile:


(Mikael Hartzell) #7

I got the Behringer UMC1820 and Ultragain ADA8200 today :slight_smile: And yes they do work with Linux as expected :slight_smile:

  • UMC1820 is a USB Class Compliant 18 in 20 out audio device.
  • ADA8200 is a 8 channel AD / DA device with Adat input and output.

My test machine was:
Gentoo Linux 64 bit
Alsa: 1.0.29
Jack: 0.121.3-r1
Ardour 4.7

The reason I got both the UMC1820 and ADA8200 is that when I’m jamming with my friend we want to record all our instruments and Mics to the computer and at the same time route some of those (vocal mics, electronic drums) to an external PA system. By combining a UMC1820 and a ADA8200 I can do that.

I will connect instruments and mics that need to be routed to the PA to the UMC1820 inputs. The UMC1820 lets you route either its inputs 1 + 2 or all inputs 1 - 8 (selection done with a hardware switch) to the monitor outputs of UMC1820 which in turn will be connected to our PA. The ADA8200 adds another 8 input channels and it’s Adat out is connected to the UMC1820 Adat input. The UMC1820 doesn’t let you route Adat inputs anywhere and you can not hear them at all through the UMC1820, you can only record them to the computer.

  • UMC1820 has zero latency monitoring. There is a hardware pot on the device controlling how much you hear the sound from the device inputs and the sound the computer plays back. You can only select either inputs 1 + 2 or all inputs 1 - 8 to be routed to the monitor outputs 1 + 2, no other combination of channel routing is possible. There is a hardware button for making the selection. The monitoring selection (inputs 1 - 2 or 1 - 8) and mix balance between input and computer playback sound is also mirrored to the headphone jacks 1 and 2 when you have selected “1 - 2” as the headphone source.

  • The UMC1820 does not have a “Hardware Mixer” that would let you freely route device inputs to outputs. This is good news to Linux users since these usually require control software that does not work on Linux.

  • You can not monitor anything that comes in to the UMC1820 Adat or Spdif inputs through the UMC1820, these signals can only be routed to the computer. If you need to hear these inputs while recording then you need to route the signal back from the computer to UMC1820s outputs and this of course introduces latency.

  • When the UMC1820 is started with nothing connected to its Adat input Alsa sees it as a 12 out 10 in device. When The ADA8200 is connected to UMC1820 Adat input when UMC1820 starts up, then Alsa sees the UMC1820 as a 20 out 18 in device.

  • You can change UMC1820 clock source by starting up alsamixer, selecting playback display (F3), then navigating with the cursor on top of “UMC1820 clock selector” and selecting either: “Internal”, “Coaxial In Spdif” or “Optical In Adat” sources by pressing the up and down keys on the keyboard.

  • UMC1820 Mic pres sounds fine. I tested each input with a Shure SM58 with full gain and I could not hear any background noise at all or any coloration. The same goes with the ADA8200.

  • The Main out 1 - 2 pot controls the output volume of physical “Main Out 1 - 2” outputs. You can connect these outputs to a PA system or powered speakers.

  • The volume of outputs 3 - 10 can not be controlled on the device. If you need to control volume of these outputs it can only be done in the computer in the software that plays through these outputs.

  • The “mono” button on the Monitoring section sums left and right for the physical outputs “Main Outputs 1 + 2” and both Phone jacks if phone source is 1 - 2.

  • If you select 3 - 4 as the phone source you only hear what you route from the computer to Jack outputs 3 - 4. You can not mix sound from the inputs of UMC1820 to the headphones in this mode, this can only be done when phone source is set to “1 - 2”.

UMC1820 Jack Inputs:

  • 1 - 8 Mic / Line Channels 1 - 8
  • 9 - 10 Spdif Inputs 1 - 2
  • 11 - 18 Adat Inputs 1 - 8

UMC1820 Jack Outputs:

  • 1 - 2 Main Out 1 - 2 (Line Out). The Volume pot “Main Out 1 - 2” on the front panel controls the volume of these outputs
  • 3 - 10 Line outputs 3 - 10. Only the computer controls the volume of the sound routed to these outputs.
  • Outputs 11 - 12 are Spdif according to the manual.
  • Outputs 13 - 20 are Adat according to the manual.

Alsa info for UMC1820 when the device is started with ADA8200 connected to its Adat input:

cat /proc/asound/UMC1820/stream0

BEHRINGER UMC1820 at usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.3, high speed : USB Audio

Playback:
Status: Stop
Interface 1
Altset 1
Format: S24_3LE
Channels: 20
Endpoint: 1 OUT (ASYNC)
Rates: 44100, 48000, 88200, 96000
Data packet interval: 125 us

Capture:
Status: Stop
Interface 2
Altset 1
Format: S32_LE
Channels: 18
Endpoint: 2 IN (ASYNC)
Rates: 44100, 48000, 88200, 96000
Data packet interval: 125 us

cat /proc/asound/UMC1820/usbmixer

USB Mixer: usb_id=0x13970503, ctrlif=0, ctlerr=0
Card: BEHRINGER UMC1820 at usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.3, high speed
USB Mixer: usb_id=0x13970503, ctrlif=0, ctlerr=0
Card: BEHRINGER UMC1820 at usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.3, high speed
Unit: 10
Control: name=“UMC1820 Output Playback Volume”, index=1
Info: id=10, control=2, cmask=0x0, channels=1, type=“S16”
Volume: min=-32512, max=0, dBmin=-12700, dBmax=0
Unit: 10
Control: name=“UMC1820 Output Playback Volume”, index=0
Info: id=10, control=2, cmask=0xfffff, channels=16, type=“S16”
Volume: min=-32512, max=0, dBmin=-12700, dBmax=0
Unit: 10
Control: name=“UMC1820 Output Playback Switch”, index=1
Info: id=10, control=1, cmask=0x0, channels=1, type=“INV_BOOLEAN”
Volume: min=0, max=1, dBmin=0, dBmax=0
Unit: 10
Control: name=“UMC1820 Output Playback Switch”, index=0
Info: id=10, control=1, cmask=0xfffff, channels=16, type=“INV_BOOLEAN”
Volume: min=0, max=1, dBmin=0, dBmax=0
Unit: 11
Control: name=“Mic Capture Volume”, index=1
Info: id=11, control=2, cmask=0x0, channels=1, type=“S16”
Volume: min=-32512, max=0, dBmin=-12700, dBmax=0
Unit: 11
Control: name=“Mic Capture Volume”, index=0
Info: id=11, control=2, cmask=0x3ffff, channels=16, type=“S16”
Volume: min=-32512, max=0, dBmin=-12700, dBmax=0
Unit: 11
Control: name=“Mic Capture Switch”, index=1
Info: id=11, control=1, cmask=0x0, channels=1, type=“INV_BOOLEAN”
Volume: min=0, max=1, dBmin=0, dBmax=0
Unit: 11
Control: name=“Mic Capture Switch”, index=0
Info: id=11, control=1, cmask=0x3ffff, channels=16, type=“INV_BOOLEAN”
Volume: min=0, max=1, dBmin=0, dBmax=0
Unit: 40
Control: name=“UMC1820 Clock Selector”, index=0
Info: id=40, control=1, cmask=0x0, channels=1, type=“U8”
Volume: min=1, max=3, dBmin=0, dBmax=0

Alsa info for UMC1820 when the device is started with nothing connected to its Adat input:

cat /proc/asound/UMC1820/stream0

BEHRINGER UMC1820 at usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.3, high speed : USB Audio

Playback:
Status: Stop
Interface 1
Altset 1
Format: S24_3LE
Channels: 12
Endpoint: 1 OUT (ASYNC)
Rates: 44100, 48000, 88200, 96000
Data packet interval: 125 us

Capture:
Status: Stop
Interface 2
Altset 1
Format: S32_LE
Channels: 10
Endpoint: 2 IN (ASYNC)
Rates: 44100, 48000, 88200, 96000
Data packet interval: 125 us

cat /proc/asound/UMC1820/usbmixer

USB Mixer: usb_id=0x13970503, ctrlif=0, ctlerr=0
Card: BEHRINGER UMC1820 at usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.3, high speed
USB Mixer: usb_id=0x13970503, ctrlif=0, ctlerr=0
Card: BEHRINGER UMC1820 at usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.3, high speed
Unit: 10
Control: name=“UMC1820 Output Playback Volume”, index=1
Info: id=10, control=2, cmask=0x0, channels=1, type=“S16”
Volume: min=-32512, max=0, dBmin=-12700, dBmax=0
Unit: 10
Control: name=“UMC1820 Output Playback Volume”, index=0
Info: id=10, control=2, cmask=0xfff, channels=12, type=“S16”
Volume: min=-32512, max=0, dBmin=-12700, dBmax=0
Unit: 10
Control: name=“UMC1820 Output Playback Switch”, index=1
Info: id=10, control=1, cmask=0x0, channels=1, type=“INV_BOOLEAN”
Volume: min=0, max=1, dBmin=0, dBmax=0
Unit: 10
Control: name=“UMC1820 Output Playback Switch”, index=0
Info: id=10, control=1, cmask=0xfff, channels=12, type=“INV_BOOLEAN”
Volume: min=0, max=1, dBmin=0, dBmax=0
Unit: 11
Control: name=“Mic Capture Volume”, index=1
Info: id=11, control=2, cmask=0x0, channels=1, type=“S16”
Volume: min=-32512, max=0, dBmin=-12700, dBmax=0
Unit: 11
Control: name=“Mic Capture Volume”, index=0
Info: id=11, control=2, cmask=0x3ff, channels=10, type=“S16”
Volume: min=-32512, max=0, dBmin=-12700, dBmax=0
Unit: 11
Control: name=“Mic Capture Switch”, index=1
Info: id=11, control=1, cmask=0x0, channels=1, type=“INV_BOOLEAN”
Volume: min=0, max=1, dBmin=0, dBmax=0
Unit: 11
Control: name=“Mic Capture Switch”, index=0
Info: id=11, control=1, cmask=0x3ff, channels=10, type=“INV_BOOLEAN”
Volume: min=0, max=1, dBmin=0, dBmax=0
Unit: 40
Control: name=“UMC1820 Clock Selector”, index=0
Info: id=40, control=1, cmask=0x0, channels=1, type=“U8”
Volume: min=1, max=2, dBmin=0, dBmax=0

Roundtrip Latency:

Jack started with: Sample Rate: 44100 Hz, Frames / Period: 1024, Periods / Buffer: 3.

jack_iodelay

3633.901 frames 82.401 ms total roundtrip latency
extra loopback latency: 561 frames
use 280 for the backend arguments -I and -O

Here are some screenshots:

Alsamixer:


QJackCTRL:



#8

Thank you for the detailed information. I’m glad everything works as expected.


(Mikael Hartzell) #9

A couple more things about the UMC1820:

  • The max mic gain you get from this device is probably a bit lower than with for example the Presonus 1818VSL. If you record very silent sound sources this might matter. I guess that for example Alesis IO4 has about 8 dBs more mic gain available.

  • The manual says the converter resolution is 24 bits and it supports sample rates 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz.

  • The manual says the analog input and output circuitry frequency response is: 10 Hz - 85 kHz (+0 / -3 dB). The upper frequency range means nothing since you only get to 48 kHz with 96 kHz sample frequency and then again your speakers can not reproduce these and if they could you can not hear them :slight_smile: But anyway if the specs are correct this means the sound quality should be alright.

  • The device build quality seems good. The box is solid and heavy and the pots feel solid also, there is no wobbliness (is that a word :slight_smile: in them.


(Mikael Hartzell) #10

And one more thing :slight_smile:

I ran some latency tests today for finding out if a certain PCIe USB card was any good and I tested Presonus 1818VSL and Behringer UMC1820 latencies on the same system.

The UMC 1820 has analog zero latency monitoring so you never need to run your system with low latency settings, but the latency might tell something about the sound card usb chip quality.

These results are from using the sound cards with PCIe USB card PEX 250019 that seemed to get me one step lower latencies than with the motherboard chipset.

The test was to start Jack with 48 kHz samplerate, Periods / Buffer = 2 and record 8 tracks of audio (16 bit, wav) on a SSD disk for 10 minutes to see if any Xruns occur. And results show that the UMC1820 latency performance is very close to the Presonus 1818VSL (overall the latter had a bit better latencies in other tests also). The latency here is what was reported by Cadence and it seems to be about half of what QjackCTRL reports with the same Jack settings.

Test 1: Presonus 1818VSL Sound Card, PEX 250019 OHCI Usb Card:

  • Buffer 128, Block Latency 2.7. DSP = 5.0 - 5.7 %. Xruns: 0
  • Buffer 64, Block Latency 1.3. DSP = 9.8 - 10.4 %. Xruns: 0
  • Buffer 32, Block Latency 0.7. DSP = 19.8 - 21 %. Xruns: 66

Test 5: Behringer UMC1820 Sound Card, PEX 250019 OHCI Usb Card

  • Buffer 128, Block Latency 2.7. DSP = 4.8 - 5.9 %. Xruns: 0
  • Buffer 64, Block Latency 1.3. DSP = 9.0 - 10.7 %. Xruns: 0
  • Buffer 32, Block Latency 0.7. DSP = 16.8 - 18.5 %. Xruns: 3

When using the motherboard USB I could only get down to 128 buffer size with UMC1820 before getting Xruns, 1818VSL got down to 64 without Xruns. So the computer USB chipset matters :slight_smile:


(Nova) #11

this is very informative. huge thanks!


(Robin Gareus) #12

As for latencies: There’s “round trip” (in -> processing -> out) vs “block-size” (only processing). qjackctl reports the former (and last I looked also only correctly with -n2).
Reality is even more complicated (additional systemic latencies) see Fig1 at http://manual.ardour.org/synchronization/latency-and-latency-compensation/

@mharzel: did you measure round-trip latency? using jack_iodelay or Ardour’s built-in latency measurement tool?


(Mikael Hartzell) #13

Good thing I wrote about it in another thread here (https://community.ardour.org/node/8833?page=1), I could not remember anymore :slight_smile:

I wrote: The latencies are reported by Cadence and Ardour. These numbers are about half of what QjackCTRL reports with the same Jack settings.

By the way even the lately designed Behringer stuff might have problems, my UMC1820 developed one :slight_smile: It worked correctly when just turned on but after about 30 - 40 minutes when the device became warm all analog inputs started to emit low clicking sounds in about 10 second intervals. I sent the device for warranty repair.

I still think it’s a very nice device and a problem like this might not become apparent in factory tests. However I know Behringer track record in build quality is not good :slight_smile:


(Mikael Hartzell) #14

x42: I seems I did not read your post properly. Yes I did measure round trip latency with jack_iodelay. The result is there in my original post buried deep inside that huge block of text :slight_smile:

Roundtrip Latency:

Jack started with: Sample Rate: 44100 Hz, Frames / Period: 1024, Periods / Buffer: 3.

jack_iodelay

3633.901 frames 82.401 ms total roundtrip latency
extra loopback latency: 561 frames
use 280 for the backend arguments -I and -O


(Robin Gareus) #15

Thanks, I was curious about the comparison 1818VSL vs UMC1820 in that case. For the Presonus device the systemic latencies dominate below 64fpp:
http://robin.linuxaudio.org/tmp/vsl1818latency.png (was with jack2, -S indicates synchronous mode)

In any case cycles < 64fpp makes little sense in a generic pro-audio desktop. Due to systemic overhead the latency the benefit is small, the CPU load increases significantly and some [jack] applications (and also some plugins) can’t properly cope with it. It only makes sense to go there if you build a dedicated appliance.


(Mikael Hartzell) #16

Just a little bit more information about UMC 1820 and ADA 8200 that I have learnt while using these devices :slight_smile:

The first unit of UMC 1820 I received developed a problem (clicking in 10 second intervals) and I sent it back after one month of usage. Fortunately the seller just sent me a brand new unit and this has worked flawlessly for one week now :slight_smile:

I noticed that the input pots on UMC 1820 won’t mute the input when turned all the way down. This might be annoying since there is no way of completely muting the inputs, there is always some leakage. The same goes with the ADA 8200 since they have the same preamplifier and probably the same pots.

The range of the input pots on UMC 1820 and ADA 8200 seems to be a bit limited. I made a test comparing these to Presonus 1818VSL. The Behringer pots give you about 52 dB of range. Presonus has two types of inputs with two ranges (these also depend if the input is Line or Mic). I tested inputs 1 and 2 that has the most range and it is about 82 dB.

I hope you don’t mind if I add some keywords here for google to pick up, so that other Linux users interested in this device could find this informative thread. I do this only because I have not seen any other deep analysis of the device from the Linux users point of view on the net :slight_smile:

Linux driver support Behringer UMC1820 1820 ADA8200 alsa


(Mikael Hartzell) #17

Just one little bit of information I learned when we had our first jam session last weekend.

If you use UMC1820 and ADA8200 together, connect them using two Adat - cables (in —> out and out —> in) and set the ADA8200 to be the sync slave and sync to signal present on its Adat input. This method has one important advantage: The ADA8200 always follows the sync signal from the UMC1820 no matter how you set UMC1820 to sync (Internal, external Spdif or Adat). This method completely prevents what happend to me last weekend :slight_smile:

I set the ADA8200 to be the sync master and connected it to the UMC1820 with two Adat cables. Then I forgot to use the alsamixer and set the UMC1820 to slave to the signal present in its Adat input. The result was that the UMC1820 and ADA8200 were both left to internal sync. As the devices were not synced together the audio sources connected to the ADA8200 had clicks in the recording and I didn’t notice this because you can not hear the signal connected to ADA8200 while recording. Luckily that was just a minor nuisance since we were just jamming and trying to come up with new ideas for songs.

Both the UMC1820 and ADA8200 performed very well and without problems and I was really pleased with the results. As I had now more inputs than before (used a 4 input device previously) I could record both the micked (is that a word ?) amplifiers and the “clean” sound taken from the last effect in guitar / bass effect chain.

The reason for buying these devices was that I needed to record 2 vocal mics, guitar, bass and a drum machine and also route the vocal mics and the drum machine to our PA. This all worked very well.

The monitor output of UMC1820 was connected to the PA. The vocal mics and drum machine were connected to the UMC1820 and could be heard through the PA.

The mics from guitar + bass amps and also “clean” line signal from the end of guitar and bass effect chains were connected to the ADA8200. These signals need not be routed to the PA as both instruments already has their own amp. The signals connected to the ADA8200 can not be heard through the PA while recording.

The alternative to the UMC1820 + ADA8200 combo was to buy a mixer. Behringer UFX1204 was on my shopping list first, but I decided against buying it after I realized the UMC1820 + ADA8200 takes a lot less space (the car is already packed completely full with equipment when we go to the country side for a jamming session). The only thing the UFX1204 has that the other alternative hasn’t is a reverb. I realized that I can always mix in some plate reverb for vocals by using a plugin in Ardour while recording.


(Dsreyes1014) #18
By the way even the lately designed Behringer stuff might have problems, my UMC1820 developed one :) It worked correctly when just turned on but after about 30 - 40 minutes when the device became warm all analog inputs started to emit low clicking sounds in about 10 second intervals. I sent the device for warranty repair.

I still think it’s a very nice device and a problem like this might not become apparent in factory tests. However I know Behringer track record in build quality is not good :slight_smile:

This a common Behringer problem which is why I started looking at other brands (MOTU for me). I grabbed a preused Behringer UMC204 that only worked @44.1k duplex. Once I went to 48k I’d get clicking on all four channels consistently. I sent it in for a brand new unit and same problem on Mac, Windows and Linux right out of the box. Build quality is cheap and I’ve had these issues with other units. You get what you pay for really.


(Julien Paparone) #19

Hey, I’m digging up this thread.

I just purchased an umc1820 and an ada8200, and I plugged the adat out of the 8200 to the adat in of the 1820. No sound is gotten from the 8200 on ardour whatever the settings. I could swear I managed once to record something on an entry of the 8200, but now it’s just dead silent, even though the preamps’ led are blinking alright. I fear some plug has been damaged.

I saw you guys are using two adat cables, for syncing sake. But shouldn’t I get a signal, even disorted ? Do you think I should get a second adat cable or you think I should send back the cards ?

Cheers !


(Paul Davis) #20

Most ADAT devices that I have used will not pass any signal unless their clocks are synced.