[ardour-users] A decent sound card for Ardour

Jesse Chappell jesse at essej.net
Fri Feb 9 11:54:21 PST 2007

On 2/9/07, John Emmas <johne53 at tiscali.co.uk> wrote:

> Jesse - you're a star..!  I upgraded (well, downgraded) the driver and the
> card's now working in both Windows & Linux!!

Great, I'm glad it works now.

> Immense thanks.  The card's firmware is the last thing I would have
> suspected.  Maybe I'll need to become more savvy about this kind of thing
> but I can honestly say that in 20 years of using DOS & Windows, I've never
> once encountered a show-stopping firmware problem like this.

To be clear, this isn't a firmware problem, it is a linux ALSA driver
issue that stems from the fact that RME does not maintain the driver,
nor do they notify the linux folks when they make incompatible changes
to their firmware versions.  When someone gets the information they
need to fix the linux driver to support the newer firmware, it will

> There's only one minor problem left to solve.... I've noticed that, before
> I can play any sounds, I need to run hdspmixer at least once.  Having
> run it once, I can close it down.  I'm thinking I might make it start up
> automatically but is there a "background" setting where it can be
> launched without being physically displayed on screen?

There is an alternative, the matrix mixer on the hdsp can also be set
up by using the commandline utility amixer, and a script could be
written to set it up in a good state for you.
However, I have also written a simpler mixer that you might prefer
specifically for the hdsp9632.  I find it handy to keep running,
screenshot here: http://essej.net/hdsp_simplemixer.png

You'll need to install wxPython (there should be a package available,
if it isn't already installed) first.

To build and install it:
 $ tar xfz hdsp_simplemixer-1.0.tar.gz
 $ cd hdsp_simplemixer-1.0
  [read the README]
 $ python setup.py build
 [become root or prefix the next command with sudo]
 $ python setup.py install


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