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Thread: Focusrite Saffire LE

  1. #11
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    Re: Focusrite Saffire LE

    Hello Jenny, thank you for getting back to me. I been having a tough time trying to pick out a card and I kind of homed in on the Saffire LE or the Echo GINA 3G. It is just that overall the Saffire has more features and Focusrite is more known in the industry. Another thing is that firewire gives me the advantage to move the device to another machine easily.


    Quote Originally Posted by jenny_thinkpad_t61p View Post
    Hi Geo



    Yes it is working great at up to 96khz. It really is a superb box, and I've kept it running with jack for a couple of days without any drop outs or xruns.

    I haven't used the midi myself but I can tell you that it is recognised by jack so it is fair to say that it is probably working.
    That is a good sign, more then likely if you can see the port, you should be good.

    The Sapphire LE doesn't really work with Freebob and from what I've read and on the reasonable assumption that they are basically the same unit from the software perspective the Sapphire (standard) woudn't work reliably with freebob either.

    I tried freebob with my Sapphire LE, there was no sound out and it frequently dropped the connection.

    You will likely have the same issue with the Sapphire and LE version so I wouldn't use that in your reasoning when making the purchasing decision.

    My advise is download and install ffado BEFORE you buy anything, if it installs ok then your ready to connect something to it, I found that this stage can take some time if you've not done it before and is a prerequisite for the Sapphire (inc. LE).
    I was just about to ask you that. Because I noticed that FreeBob comes with Jack, but there must be something that had to be done to upgrade to ffado. How can you tell that you have a successful installation of ffado without owning a firewire card?

    I myself struggled with this dilemma myself. For $50 it might be nice to have the Sapphire (standard version) but as I live in rip off Britain the difference is 50 pounds sterling which is significantly more.

    I was advised that the perceptual difference between the 24bit / 96 khz and 24 bit /192 khz is negligible and of course you have to worry more about the disk space it consumes, I use the device for analytical purposes and would have chosen the 192khz version if it wouldn't mean that I would be paying so much for a DSP that I'll never be able to use.
    That was my thinking as well. There are very few devices that have 192k capability in the affordability bracket. In Windows, I scored BIG with the ALESIS IO|26 which is an 8 XLR In and 8 balanced out device with phono inputs and digital inputs (both kinds) and it goes up to 192k. So it was very disheartening to find out that Alesis doesn't support it in Linux. But I was thinking too that for most applications 96k would be enough. But for certain critical applications or archiving old vinyl that isn't made anymore (and wasn't pressed to CD), then I would go with 192k. But other that for testing, I never really used that mode with the Alesis unit. I never really did a side by side comparison. I just checked to see if it worked.

    Fact is 96khz is very detailed, I use it with a Sennheiser K6 / ME66 and it gets all the detail I need for my purposes. There may also be increased likelyhood of xruns when running at 192khz.
    Really? Is that what happened on your system when recording at that frequency?

    <<Personally I used the money I saved on the LE to by a better audio monitor! - and with that you CAN tell the difference >>

    Well, there I wouldn't fair to bad with. Someone turned me on to KRK monitors and they are not very expensive either. He has the little guys and I am going for the big 8" ones.

    Also the black LE looks better with my black Thinkpad, black Sennheiser Mic, black cables and black and yellow KRK monitor;
    LOL! You have the KRK's as well. Do you have the 5" model or the 8" one?

    this probably isn't a big issue but most things seem to have gone black and it is nice if the match - even if they do collect dust like it's going out fashion.

    Like so many things "you pay's yer money - yer takes ya choice!" There both excellent.

    Jenny
    Ahhh, Yes I remember that quote very well. Williams Cyclone 1988 pinball machine. One of my favorite machines. But I believe the last word was "chances".

    Anyway, thanx for the tip. Now I just need to know how to set up ffado.

    Geo
    Exit Light, Enter Night, Take My Hand, We're Off To Never Never Land.
    As the Fios Flea says, "W-O-W"!

  2. #12
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    Re: Focusrite Saffire LE

    Geo,

    Really? Is that what happened on your system when recording at that frequency?
    when using the generic linux kernel (not the -rt) there were more xruns at higher sampling rates.

    LOL! You have the KRK's as well. Do you have the 5" model or the 8" one?
    I have the Rokit 6, though I would recommend the 8 as the 6 is a little underpowered.

    How can you tell that you have a successful installation of ffado without owning a firewire card?
    Installing ffado can be a hurdle that you need to overcome, which is why I would recommend doing it first.

    The correct output if you have configured it is:

    http://www.ffado.org/?q=node/622

    Anyway, thanx for the tip. Now I just need to know how to set up ffado.
    http://www.ffado.org/?q=node/613

    I recommend gscanbus to check your firewire hardware is working.

    If you have install problems let me know or check out the ffado user mailing list.

    Jenny

  3. #13
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    Re: [Project Change] Focusrite Saffire LE

    Quote Originally Posted by jenny_thinkpad_t61p View Post
    Geo,

    when using the generic linux kernel (not the -rt) there were more xruns at higher sampling rates.

    I have the Rokit 6, though I would recommend the 8 as the 6 is a little underpowered.

    Installing ffado can be a hurdle that you need to overcome, which is why I would recommend doing it first.

    The correct output if you have configured it is:

    http://www.ffado.org/?q=node/622

    http://www.ffado.org/?q=node/613

    I recommend gscanbus to check your firewire hardware is working.

    If you have install problems let me know or check out the ffado user mailing list.

    Jenny
    Hello Jenny,

    Well, I guess all is for naught. I got sidetracked in a BIG way. Two major changes. The first was purchasing a firewire device. I found this on Ebay and won it for less than $200

    http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/Di...Mona/index.php

    It is almost like the Saffire LE except that it has four full pre-amps instead of two, it supports XLR-1/4" balanced AND RCA unbalanced connections. I DO loose MIDI (but I can pick that up via a USB interface and can get more ins/outs to boot!), but gain optical digital connections and work clock In/Out. I also gain full metering for the input channels. The best part is that this is a PCI interface. So no need to deal with Freebob/ffado and having to route through jack for basic system sounds.

    The other major change was that while I was having so many problems with my system, I went for a COMPLETE overhaul. Ubuntu Hardy is really very buggy and I experienced at least 5 major problems with it already. So with my Grub bootloader getting messed up because of reloading Windows, I decided to jump ship on Ubuntu and hop on board with 64Studio. Since 64Studio has SEPARATE LiveCD & Install disc, I didn't want to waste a disc. So I went right for the install version. All the while I was crossing my fingers that because 64Studio is Debian based it should be not too far from appearance and function of Ubuntu. Well, I was right. 64Studio has the appearance of a more refined and polished Ubuntu. I went this route mainly because I heard more success stories with 64Studio than with JackLab. However, both distributions seem to rank much higher on the audio production list than Ubuntu Studio. So as of now in regards to Hardy Heron, it's bye bye birdie!
    Exit Light, Enter Night, Take My Hand, We're Off To Never Never Land.
    As the Fios Flea says, "W-O-W"!

  4. #14
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    Re: Focusrite Saffire LE

    Hello all,

    I am back to this thread again. The Echo Mona has not made a peep in Linux since I got it over a month ago. So tired of constantly swapping cards out of my system, I am thinking about going to a Sound Blaster Live/Firewire set up. (Soundblaster Live for games and on computer sounds and Firewire for pro audio work).

    So I am going to revisit the FFADO/Focusrite Saffire LE scenario.

    So question #1) Has FFADO released a finalized version yet?
    Exit Light, Enter Night, Take My Hand, We're Off To Never Never Land.
    As the Fios Flea says, "W-O-W"!

  5. #15
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    Re: Focusrite Saffire LE

    Hey there I've read this thread in the hopes of getting my Saffire LE running on Ubuntu studio. I had gotten Jack to start with it but with no sound so I uninstalled freebob and followed the instructions at the ffado site that Jenny had linked (http://www.ffado.org/?q=node/613) then as suggested re-install the studio package from Synaptic. Once all this had been done I tried starting Jack up again I heard the click and Jack crashed again. I tried a different sample rate and Jack stayed running but again with no sound. Am I missing something? Thanks....

  6. #16
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    Re: Focusrite Saffire LE

    Quote Originally Posted by purplecar View Post
    Hey there I've read this thread in the hopes of getting my Saffire LE running on Ubuntu studio. I had gotten Jack to start with it but with no sound so I uninstalled freebob and followed the instructions at the ffado site that Jenny had linked (http://www.ffado.org/?q=node/613) then as suggested re-install the studio package from Synaptic. Once all this had been done I tried starting Jack up again I heard the click and Jack crashed again. I tried a different sample rate and Jack stayed running but again with no sound. Am I missing something? Thanks....

    From what I hear getting the Saffire LE is pretty much hit and miss. FFADO is still in the beta stages and while I do eventually want the Saffire LE, I am going to hold out until a stable version of FFADO is released.

    After four months of sound issues and 3 different sound devices, I decided to go with something more 'proven to work'...Or in simpler terms somthing "automagically" recognized. I ended up buying the M-Audio Delta 44. Granted it isn't as nice as the Saffire LE (nor has it's features), but I didn't want to go through yet another configuration nightmare.

    Sure I would like something more advanced and "better", but I am just happy now that I do have sound in all my Linux distros...FINALLY!
    Exit Light, Enter Night, Take My Hand, We're Off To Never Never Land.
    As the Fios Flea says, "W-O-W"!

  7. #17
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    Re: Focusrite Saffire LE

    Hey there I've read this thread in the hopes of getting my Saffire LE running on Ubuntu studio. I had gotten Jack to start with it but with no sound so I uninstalled freebob and followed the instructions at the ffado site that Jenny had linked (http://www.ffado.org/?q=node/613) then as suggested re-install the studio package from Synaptic. Once all this had been done I tried starting Jack up again I heard the click and Jack crashed again. I tried a different sample rate and Jack stayed running but again with no sound. Am I missing something? Thanks....
    Hi, I bought a Saffire LE yesterday and I managed to make it work in Ubuntu Studio (after hours of browsing tutorials and dodging errors). Honestly I can't recall all the steps I made to make it work now (I mean, any variation of the tutorial I could have done), but something interesting I found and I didn't note anywhere else is that once you have ffado and jackd properly installed, the interface recognized by jack, etc, the internal mixer in the board has all faders at minimum, so you won't hear anything in any output!!

    I realized this after running the ffadomixer app (thanks Focusrite and ffado folks!), so I would recommend to get the ffadomixer properly installed and running (I had dependencies problems to achieve this).

    Good luck!

  8. #18
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    Re: Focusrite Saffire LE

    Quote Originally Posted by Pablo Enrici View Post
    Hi, I bought a Saffire LE yesterday and I managed to make it work in Ubuntu Studio (after hours of browsing tutorials and dodging errors). Honestly I can't recall all the steps I made to make it work now (I mean, any variation of the tutorial I could have done), but something interesting I found and I didn't note anywhere else is that once you have ffado and jackd properly installed, the interface recognized by jack, etc, the internal mixer in the board has all faders at minimum, so you won't hear anything in any output!!

    I realized this after running the ffadomixer app (thanks Focusrite and ffado folks!), so I would recommend to get the ffadomixer properly installed and running (I had dependencies problems to achieve this).

    Good luck!
    I have not delved fully into the relationship between FFADO and Jack, but it is true that once you successfully configure Jack to work with FFADO, you are pretty much 3/4 the way out of the woods. The big problem is that currently Jack is set up to work with FreeBob, and only a handful of firewire devices work under that system. FFADO is supposed to change that. But as it stands now, the current version of Jack isn't set up for FFADO, you have to do that yourself and that can be a nightmare to do.

    What I am going to do is wait until the next version of Jack is released and hopefully by then FFADO has been proven and already included in the Jack release. This way all anyone has to do is hook up their firewire device to their computer and select FFADO in Jack and then start making music.

    Sure the more adventurous types can get FFADO to work now, but I personally struggled for four months trying to get consistent audio out of ALL of my Linux distributions and I had nothing but problem after problem. So I got fed up and decided to go with something that is KNOWN to work. While it doesn't have all the features I want, I am happy with my decision as I DO have sound in all my Linux distros now, and I can start messing about with all those nice Linux applications.

    So for those of you that want true, plug and play...go with the M-Audio Delta Line for headache free operation. (Unless of course you have the big bucks to afford the RME Hammerfall cards...they supposed to be plug-n-play too).
    Exit Light, Enter Night, Take My Hand, We're Off To Never Never Land.
    As the Fios Flea says, "W-O-W"!

  9. #19
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    Re: Focusrite Saffire LE

    Quote Originally Posted by jenny_thinkpad_t61p View Post
    you can do this by making sure you have the dependencies for freebob:

    sudo apt-get build-dep freebob
    There is no freebob package in hardy. The freebob drivers are part of the jackd package, so I did:

    sudo apt-get build-dep jackd

    instead.

  10. #20
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    Re: Focusrite Saffire LE

    Well, the ffado and jackd builds went smoothly.

    However, now I launch jackctl and select 'settings', I don't find a ffado driver, although there is a 'firewire' driver listed that I don't remember seeing before. I tried selecting it, but jackd won't start, complaining that it can't find the driver to load.
    Looking back thru the output of the jackd build, I find a note about adding /usr/lib/jack/ to /etc/ld.so.conf, but I don't see any evidence that this was done by the `make install` process. Ubuntu uses a slightly different file structure, and ld.so.conf only includes a reference to ld.so.conf.d/, but I don't see any evidence of update in there either.
    Could this be why I'm stuck?

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