[PlanetCCRMA] external soundcard future

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano nando at ccrma.Stanford.EDU
Fri Mar 6 10:35:06 PST 2015

On 03/06/2015 09:49 AM, Juan Reyes wrote:
> Hi,
>   From a composer's standpoint, although a high sample-rate (at least 48K)
> and a high bit rate are desirable, our main concern is number of
> channels. With Ambisonics, VBAP, and even wavefield synthesis, we need
> at least eight channels of output in soundcard interfacing.
> Therefore I also stress that external soundcard future is of great
> concern for many of us.
> However, I have seen that some companies like focusrite, motu, echo, and
> others, have been developing ethernet IP devices that stream audio over
> networks. As I understand most of these devices follow proprietary
> protocols like  Audinate's Dante[1] or AVB Ethernet[2]. Some of these
> devices even include A/D-D/A converters. Some even work with ASIO drivers.
> Consequently I feel I should post the question rather on how close are
> we to an Open-Source Linux solution to, for instance, 'AVB'?.
> Perhaps 'AVB' access through 'Jack' or 'JackNet.


I currently have some AVB stuff I am starting to test, then goal being 
to be able to use jack with it. Not yet to the point of having gotten 
sound out of it (too many things to do), but I got it to be recognized 
by the OpenAVB software stack. But yes, that would seem to be the 
solution for future high channel count applications in Linux. A Motu 24 
channel output box is $995 currently...

AVB (the true hardware solution) requires ethernet cards that can to the 
right thing (Intel i210, I think) and not all machines have that. For a 
desktop that is easy, just buy and install one as I did, for laptops I 
don't know. I think there is software only implementation but have not 
looked at it yet (the latest Mac laptops can do AVB out of the box). AVB 
relies on being able to measure transport times of the ethernet frames 
so you need that support in the ethernet card, and if you go through a 
switch it also has to support AVB as well. Complicated...

-- Fernando

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