I can't decide if this is more clever or cheap.

Apologies if this isn’t the appropriate forum. Also, this is what happened,
I’m not pimping anything.

Not too long ago I acquired a Delta 1010-LT for use with ardour.
It took me a few days to recover from the giddiness of realizing
this remarkably powerful rig cost about half what a 4 track cassette
portastudio did 20 years ago…
Okay maybe I’m still not completely over it, but anyway,
I wanted to use the inputs without lugging my 16 channel board around.
I knew about the full on 1010 with the breakout box but it seemed a little
rip-offy. IMO the box shouldn’t cost more than the card, so I poked around some more
at the website of the big music store on 48th st that isn’t Manny’s.
I found a piece called “SM Pro Audio PR8” for just under $100.
8 balanced ins & outs. XLR in front, TRS in back. Each channel has trim,
an overload LED and independent 48v phantom power. Okay, so the balanced
outs are wasted with the LT, but I consoled myself with the $300 saved by
picking up an 8ch snake and an M-Audio Evolution control surface, then
going out for a nice dinner & movie w/Mrs Morph.

FWIW the Evolution isn’t nearly as cheesy or as small as it looks in pictures.
It’s about the size of a legal pad. Um… meandering back towards the topic,
So everything is working when I bring this thing to a party/jam session.
I get 8 hrs of material with no problems except for a little operator induced wobble
at around the 5 hour mark, but it stays wheels down. I’ll post a URL for some
of that in the “made with” forum later.

Anyhow, some of you may have realized that two channels on the PR8 go to waste
because the 1010-LT already has 2 balanced inputs on XLR. I could use matching transformers
or a bit of custom cable, to connect 'em but that’d be pointless. I could keep those channels
as spares, but whether of not they’re discrete is unknown since I haven’t voided the warrantee yet.

As it happens, the host computer has had a SBLive Platinum in it the whole time. For simplicity’s
sake I use this as the everyday soundcard, then if I want to monitor the 1010-LT, I connect
the S/PDIF out on that to the corresponding input on the LiveDrive. It took a couple more days
but the penny finally dropped. Connect the 2 unused PR8 channels to the line input on the LiveDrive
connect the S/PDIF out of the LiveDrive to the corresponding in of the 1010-LT and schpoink! 10 XLR inputs simultaneously feeding ardour, 8 with phantom power. The cards are synced via S/PDIF.

Operational caveats:
You can do this without the LiveDrive, but if you want to monitor via the SBLive as in the overdub situation, it’s gotta pass to the analog domian. You’d need a pair of mated Y-splits to tap the channels separately.

You must set the sample rate of the 1010-LT to S/PDIF IN to enable duplex operation.
AFAICT one can’t pick which side of half duplex is available, so It’s the only way to enable
recording from S/PDIF. Make sure to mute the S/PDIF output on the 1010-LT or you’ll have a loop. I’ll post some presets for envy24control later. FWIW One can use the headphone out of the LiveDrive and it’s Line/Mic inputs in an overdubbing situation by managing the “balance”

The SBLive appears to be pushing 48kz out the S/PDIF, which limits the choice of sample rates when starting jack. I may try setting up an alias in ALSA that includes both cards as a possible workaround.