[PlanetCCRMA] Suggestion for sound card

Linux Media linuxmedia4 at netscape.net
Mon Apr 20 12:41:14 PDT 2009

>> I have a focusrite SAFFIRE Pro IO 26, and the SAFFIRE Pro IO 10 howto helped
>> me a lot.  Everything described there is pretty much the same.
>> I had a problem with a older firewire card (Texas Instruments, but from
>> 1999!).  I replaced it with a new PCI firewire card that happened to be a
>> Texas Instruments chipset as well. Voila!  That's when my focusrite SAFFIRE
>> Pro IO 26 started working.  So it's probably true that getting the right
>> firewire card can be very important on Linux.  My old card still works fine
>> on Windows...
>> It is important to run ffado-mixer when using the focusrite SAFFIRE Pro
>> boards; for one thing, you need ffado-mixer to set the headphone levels and
>> to turn on phantom power on the 2 sets of mic preamp channels (you can turn
>> on phontom power on channels 1-4 and/or 5-5 from the ffado-mixer software).
>> Since there is no way to do this from the hardware, you have to install and
>> run ffado-mixer to use these features.
>> Hope this is useful,
>> John Lyon

> Hi John and list,
> What specific PCI firewire card did you use? Does anyone else know of
> cards that use the needed Texas Instruments chipset?

This was posted in recent times by someone:

My card is a Sunweit (never heard this brand before) 1394B+1394A,
about 40eur on ebay.
Anyway, I spent a lot of time searching for a proper card, since it is
usually difficult to find out if a card is equipped with TI chipset or
not. You can check on the producer site (e.g. hamlet or exsys, or even
lacie) or ask to the seller (as I did on ebay).
Moreover, I decided to by a 1394b (aka firewire 800) card, but if you
are not interested you can buy a "simple" 1394a card (aka firewire
400, cheaper).

I did a quick google search for this card. It looks like this is an 
express card, but I may be mistaken. From what I understood, the PCMCIA 
port is being phased out for the Express Card anyways.

> Also, a more general question to the whole list, if I am using
> something that is on the ffado.org's supported device list as having
> "Full Support" is the ffado-mixer known to work well with other
> devices other than the SAFFIRE Pros? I learned from the USB M-Audio
> Fast Track Pro that, although it works and sounds great, I do not have
> as much control over it as I would if there was software that
> specifically managed it. ALSA sees all of it's devices, but it seems
> Jack doesn't like to see or use all of them. After getting PlanetCCRMA
> to work with the USB M-Audio and now mainly composing with my system
> as well as needing inputs for more devices from the analog world I
> have out grown my first audio interface and realize I should go with
> firewire from this point on. In Japan the Endirol interfaces are the
> most common and the least expensive. Does anyone know how Endirol
> firewire audio interfaces compare audio quality wise with the other
> fully support ffado devices out there? Since the need for more and
> better seems to come up pretty fast and if the Endirols don't sound
> very good compared to other firewire interfaces or if there are other
> caveats in this decision, it would be nice to know.

One of the major reasons I went with the Focusrite Saffire Pro 10 is 
because of how many people talked about how good the pre-amps are.

It's fully supported, and so are a couple of other focusrite interfaces...

Apparently, Focusrite cooperates with the ffado team to insure that 
their devices work correctly with ffado.

Here's a HOWTO on getting the Pro 10 running with CCRMA/Fedora10. 
Firewire works "out of the box" with CCRMA/Fedora10...

I've been working on a Pro10/ffado-mixer manual for that last couple of 
centuries, but when I get around to finishing it, I will post it here.

Hope that helps,

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