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Author Topic: X32 XUF - USB audio in Linux??  (Read 809 times)

drew gandy

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X32 XUF - USB audio in Linux??
« on: April 07, 2022, 09:50:11 AM »

Some simple googling suggests that Jack is all you need on Linux to get audio in to and out of an X32 over USB. But I'm having issues. I was able to get sound out of the computer but can't seem to get sound into the computer. I even went so far as to attempt to install Pipewire which has so far yielded no results. [I can say that it definitely needs some better documentation wrt installation.] Regardless, the thought has occurred to me that perhaps it's my early XUF card (the combo USB/Firewire) that is the odd ball element in this equation. Perhaps it's the USB only card that works oob.

I'm calling on the internet to help me out. I'm wondering if there is a tutorial or some other scrap of info that I've failed to notice. 

Linux Mint 20.3 (Ubuntu 20.04)
X32 Rack with XUF card
2 turntables and a microphone (actually, just a mic and a stereo line level input)
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Russell Ault

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Re: X32 XUF - USB audio in Linux??
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2022, 01:17:29 PM »

Some simple googling suggests that Jack is all you need on Linux to get audio in to and out of an X32 over USB. But I'm having issues. I was able to get sound out of the computer but can't seem to get sound into the computer. I even went so far as to attempt to install Pipewire which has so far yielded no results. [I can say that it definitely needs some better documentation wrt installation.] Regardless, the thought has occurred to me that perhaps it's my early XUF card (the combo USB/Firewire) that is the odd ball element in this equation. Perhaps it's the USB only card that works oob.

I'm calling on the internet to help me out. I'm wondering if there is a tutorial or some other scrap of info that I've failed to notice. 

Linux Mint 20.3 (Ubuntu 20.04)
X32 Rack with XUF card
2 turntables and a microphone (actually, just a mic and a stereo line level input)

Google seems to have some trouble distinguishing between the X-USB card (which I believe is well supported in Linux) and the X-UF card (for which I'm less certain about Linux support, particularly over USB). That said, if you are able to get sound flowing in one direction I'd be a bit surprised if you couldn't get it to flow the other way, too. Have you checked the routing settings on the X32 to make sure the correct inputs are being sent to the card slot?

-Russ
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drew gandy

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Re: X32 XUF - USB audio in Linux??
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2022, 05:22:47 PM »

Have you checked the routing settings on the X32 to make sure the correct inputs are being sent to the card slot?

Well, here's more of the story. I've had this X32 Rack on my desk for quite a while hooked up to a Mac where input 1 (the mic) feeds to channel 1 of all the apps I've used it with (mostly Zoom etc). It worked just as expected. Now, I have simply plugged the USB cable into a different machine running Linux, installed qjackctl, played around with the system out selection in the Sound control panel in Mint and was able to get audio that sounded like a ring modulator. I think I rebooted both the computer and the X32 and got clean audio playback. But the mic would not register on the VU meter in the Sound control panel. Nor could anyone hear me on a call. I then spent some time fiddling in the advanced tab (I think that's what it's called) in the Jack control panel but nothing that I tried gave me any signal on the vu in the linux Sound panel.
I have not done a good job of documenting my troubleshooting process. But I think a good next step is to see if I can pull a genuine X-USB card from another X32 and see if it behaves more differenter.
I had hopes that Linux had finally arrived on the desktop! Hopefully it has and I'm just dealing with a smallish hiccup.
Thanks! 

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Tim Verhoeven

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Re: X32 XUF - USB audio in Linux??
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2022, 07:55:20 AM »

I have a old (2012) X32 which also has the X-UF card and I have been able to use it on both macOS and Linux without any issues. It was just plug and play for me.

On the Linux side, I'm using Fedora (33 or 34 these days), and using Ardour as a DAW. Ardour starts Jack for me and it recognizes the X-UF card without issues. I just set it to 32 channels and I see everything from the X32 coming in into Ardour, once I patched the hardware channels to the individual tracks in Ardour.

The X32 is running 4.06, but I don't think that I ever needed to update the X-UF card firmware.
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drew gandy

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Re: X32 XUF - USB audio in Linux??
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2022, 07:12:18 PM »

I just set it to 32 channels and I see everything from the X32 coming in into Ardour...

Hmmm. I am planning to install Mixbus (commercial Ardour) on this machine eventually.

Here's what I did:
I swapped the XUF card for an X-USB. At first it was not showing up in the Sound panel or in Jack. Then I switched the X32 down from 32x32 all the way to 2x2 and then immediately I saw an overlaid message on the Linux desktop saying that it was switching to the X-USB card for system audio. It was almost like on a Mac where stuff sometimes happens automatically (whether you want it to or not). After that, I found that my 1 channel in and two channels out work just fine. And jack is not running. It seems that the 2x2 mode is functioning as a very basic class compliant USB audio device. The XUF doesn't have a 2x2 option. It's never been clear to me if the higher channel count settings were class compliant or needed special drivers. If they work for other folks in Linux then they must be class compliant as well?

Fedora is probably running a newer kernel? I wouldn't think that would matter. But I'll play around some more in the future. Perhaps try a few different distributions. But for now, I at least have a zoom mic.
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Russell Ault

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Re: X32 XUF - USB audio in Linux??
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2022, 12:56:39 AM »

Hmmm. I am planning to install Mixbus (commercial Ardour) on this machine eventually.

Here's what I did:
I swapped the XUF card for an X-USB. At first it was not showing up in the Sound panel or in Jack. Then I switched the X32 down from 32x32 all the way to 2x2 and then immediately I saw an overlaid message on the Linux desktop saying that it was switching to the X-USB card for system audio. It was almost like on a Mac where stuff sometimes happens automatically (whether you want it to or not). After that, I found that my 1 channel in and two channels out work just fine. And jack is not running. It seems that the 2x2 mode is functioning as a very basic class compliant USB audio device. The XUF doesn't have a 2x2 option. It's never been clear to me if the higher channel count settings were class compliant or needed special drivers. If they work for other folks in Linux then they must be class compliant as well?

Fedora is probably running a newer kernel? I wouldn't think that would matter. But I'll play around some more in the future. Perhaps try a few different distributions. But for now, I at least have a zoom mic.

Ah, okay, interesting. Something you should be aware of is that, unlike Mac (with its CoreAudio), there are a few different audio subsystems for Linux, typically suited to different uses. Some of these subsystems interact nicely (a classic example is that Jack—the audio subsystem typically used for professional audio applications—will often rely on ALSA—an older, lower-level subsystem—for non-FireWire audio interface support), while others do not. The default audio subsystem on most modern Linux distros is PulseAudio, which tends to prioritize flexibility at the expense of latency (and which doesn't coexist with Jack particularly well).

In your case, I'm guessing that you're trying to use PulseAudio with the X-UF, and for some reason the two aren't seeing eye-to-eye on the input side of things. This could be something as simple as PulseAudio being configured to ignore devices with more than two inputs (since these would be rare for the typical multimedia applications PulseAudio is designed for), or something more complicated (e.g. driver weirdness). Either way, my first suggestion would be to test out your X-UF with Jack rather than PulseAudio. A further suggestion (depending on your ultimate use-case) would be to switch to a more production-oriented Linux distro (e.g. AV Linux—I believe this one even comes with Harrison Mixbus pre-installed), which will have been tuned to better handle multichannel audio processing.

-Russ
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Re: X32 XUF - USB audio in Linux??
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2022, 12:56:39 AM »


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