[linux-audio-user] Ok, what about non firewire mobile cards?

Daniel Wagner wagi at monom.org
Wed Sep 27 02:07:38 EDT 2006

[ Jonathan has replayed to my mail but as he's not subscribed his post
didn't make through. Therefore I forward it here. ]

 > Jonathan Woithe has been working for a while to intergrate support
 > for the MOTU Travaler into freebob. His reports suggest that he is 
not > far away to get it stable working. This work will be part of the
 > freebob release 2.x. But of course we have to release 1.x which is
 > on hold until the next jack release...

FYI the MOTU freebob driver will also drive the 828MkII - the two units
are very similar at the protocol level. My guess is that it would also
be possible to adapt it fairly easily to the MOTU Ultralite but thus far
I don't know of anyone with such a unit which can test it for us.

On the subject of RME I don't see the fireface products being supported
any time soon. RME have been hostile to the idea of a Linux driver for
these devices and I cannot afford to purchase one of these on the off
chance that writing a driver without documentation is possible. I took
the chance with the MOTU Traveler and it looks like it'll pay off, but
the RME stuff is too expensive for me to do this.

My brother does have a Fireface-800 but he lives 1500 km away so it's
not entirely trivial for me to get hold of it - besides, he uses it all
the time for work. I am thinking of asking him to bring it over next
time he visits in which case I might be able to have a superficial look
at it to see how much work a Linux driver might be. However, there is no
firm timeline on this at this stage.

So in summary the chances of the MOTU firewire interfaces working under
Linux are very good.  Currently the development driver can
  - record audio to disc
  - play audio (although I'm still ironing out the last of the sync
  - set sample rate

This is sufficent functionality to allow jack to work as expected. FYI I
used the development driver at a gig the other week and it worked for
3.5 hours straight without a problem.

Oh yes - all this is done on ix86. Of course in theory it should be
cross-platform, but in the end it depends on freebob and jack as a whole
working on other platforms. This is something I'm not in a position to

On the I/O front, MIDI is still on the TODO list. I've had a look at
this and it *might* end up being trivial - if I get some time over the
next week I may look into this. The other big chunk of work still to be
done is device control - essentially something to replace the
computer-based CueMix control applet which controls the MOTU's DSP
mixer. The protocol has been identified but it's a case of working out a
way of integrating this into freebob and hense into jack - currently
jack doesn't support the concept of "control" connections. However, it
is possible to fully control the MOTUs from the front panel, so the lack
of mixer support is not a complete


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