newbie (to recording) needs good simple cheap supported soundcard

well I just installed ubuntu 9.10 and most of the ubuntustudio packages (excluding the wallpaper/desktop), the jack packages, the rt kernel and of course this program which I heard great things about. I not only have to learn linux/linux audio but recording as well, this should be fun :). anyway I did a bit of windows recording several years back and used the firepod with cubase sl3. I still have that firepod and I read somewhere it may be supported but space in my apt is a premium and I will don’t think I need then the following … one input for guitar/bass and an input for vocals. I will basically be recording rock stuff on my own so it will be guitar directly in (or through my boss me 50 pedal), bass directly in but at a separate time, vocals in again at a separate time and finally I have a boss dr rhythm 880 that I want to use to learn to trigger drums (or just use my keyboard using this hydrogen I installed???).

sorry to be so verbose but basically it will be a one man show and I am trying to make the setup as space friendly as possible…I have no idea what my options are for a soundcard that would fit the bill for me, working with linux/jack. also I will get a decent head set so as to listen through the card if possible.

thank you for any input, I did a little google search but it did not bring up much. I hope there is a supported small decent device out there that will allow me to become a one man rock band…thank you for listening, this should be quite a journey I really like ubuntu which I have used for 3 days now, why folks are paying for windows (like I did for years) I have no idea now…small space/no unnecessary inputs, price, comparability without having to lean programming to get it to work and reliability are what I am looking for. does this exist? please let me know :slight_smile:

thanks, I see this on ebay…

but how do I know if it will work with linux? I’d hate to spend $100 plus bucks for something that was not compatible…

hmm unless this is the answer…

See the ALSA project website:
There you can find a list of all the cards supported on Linux. Browse through the various vendors to see every model in detail.

You could give M-Audio ( audio interfaces a chance if you look for something professional but cheap.


if you like the sound of the presonus firepod, you could check the firebox that is also supported in GNU/Linux
But I recommend you also two other interfaces: the roland edirol fa66 (that I have), and the focusrite saphire (or saphire LE) (I have one of their bigger sisters)

BTW I’m also new here but have been a lurker for a wile, and I’m in the process of opening a small recording studo based on Free Software / Open Source

Regards and welcome to the forum.

DannI I tried following some instructions I found for firepod setup on 9.04 and ended up with a broken system (could not even boot to single user) so that amongst other reasons (I have small space and will do bass/guitar/vocals separately make me apprehensive to try it again. btw when you say no internal mixer??? you mean that the mixer in ardour does not work or you are just pointing out that the firepod does not have a mixer???


I am also looking for a audio interface working under linux.

I was having a look at the edirol fa101, the edirol fa66 and the focusrite saphire

6-10 inputs would be perfect for me (the more the better)
and not more than 400€

At the FFADO Site i can see that they all are supported however i heard people were having problems with some of them.

Can you tell what system (Distro, Kernel, Hardware) you are running and if you had some problems with the setup for the edirol and the focusrite?

I think there are some integrated effects in the saphire. Do they work under linux, ardour??
Do you have some experience with the presonus firepod?? There is no full support by FFADO but there are many people reporting it to work.


I am running a firepod here…
They aren’t officially supported by ffado so no internal mixer. (I haven’t needed one).

The issues are

  1. In addition to the usual jack realtime setup hoop jumping through - you also have to give yourself access to the raw1394 device. Since this device can be used to execute arbitrary code it is considered a security risk to make it accessible.
  2. There was a bug that effected the Realtime Kernel used in Ubuntu 9.04 possibly others where jack would not syncronise properly with the sound card after it had been put into freewheeling mode. It may have affected other kernels too.
    I think that more recent kernels should be clean but I haven’t tested it.

no internal mixer means you have to take the mixer inside of ardour to change volumes and other stuff and of course Jack for routing

while some firewire audio devices may be supported by the ffado driver there still might be some options of your device that dont work in linux

I have been almost a month trying different distributions and configurations as an investigation for my Studio DAW, I have 3 recording interfaces, and RME Multiface II for the main system, a Focusrite Saphire PRO 40 in a secondary system, and a ROLAND Edirol FA66 for my laptop.

The Multiface II works very nicely with alsa, but it is expensive and doesn’t have mic preamps included.

The Saphire pro 40 works also very nicely with ffado’s svn trunk version , but you don’t have the internal mixer yet, but for my setup is not a problem. Some interfaces of the shaphire line have internal effects, but I think they don’t work with the ffado drivers, but I’m no sure about that because mine doesn’t have internal effects.

The Edirol FA66 works also very nice both with the ffado 2.0rc and the svn trunk version.

I’m running all my systems with Archlinux i686 with the Arch Linux Pro Audio Project packages, the kernel is 2.6.31-rt
but I’m thinking about building a custom 2.6.29-rt one (I’ve heard the 29 is the best rt kernel so far).

But I can recomend you also other distros I have liked from my research: AvLinux 2r2, Fedora 10 + Planet CCRMA, and 64Sudio

hey extendedping:

I’m using a firepod with 64studio 3.0.
The firepod is not fully supported by the ffado team but works (at least on my setup). And I can reach (you could) very decent latencies (around 3ms), so it’s a plus for live performance.
The only thing I can’t get to work is the midi ports. But there are very cheap usb midi interfaces out there.
AFAICT you don’t need a mixer for the firepod, since it has gain pots for each input.