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Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
#2891429 09/17/19 05:19 PM
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Just wanted to ask here, in case anyone knows of one. I'm looking for an inexpensive external audio interface which is Linux-compatible or which has Linux drivers for ARM (for a Raspberry Pi).

Needs are super-simple: stereol input + USB connector. That's it. Don't even care about an output so it doesn't really even need a DAC, just an ADC.

Would like it as small as possible since it's for this project here. Definitely don't want it to be powered separately by its own power adapter.

(I even considered something as simple as this but it won't work since I need two channel input and the mic jack on that one is only mono and there is no other input other than mic.)


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891571 09/18/19 06:53 AM
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Here are a couple of web sites you may want to investigate if not already familiar with them:

https://www.alsa-project.org/

https://alsa.opensrc.org/Dsnoop


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891630 09/18/19 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Here are a couple of web sites you may want to investigate if not already familiar with them:

https://www.alsa-project.org/

https://alsa.opensrc.org/Dsnoop


Thanks! However, this doesn't address the hardware though that I would need for this. Also, I really want to do my project as "plug and play" as possible and so I'd prefer not to have to compile new Linux drivers if I can avoid it. smile Especially as I'd have to either install a Raspberry Pi development environment on my MacBook / Eclipse or do that on the Raspberry Pi Zero W itself.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891657 09/18/19 12:00 PM
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Would you be interested in a $100 power cable? (I can do $85, but hurry; this is a limited time offer). wink

Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Pete14 #2891659 09/18/19 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
Would you be interested in a $100 power cable? (I can do $85, but hurry; this is a limited time offer). wink

Sounds like pretty low-quality cable. Good ones start at $1000 and the best ones reach $25000.


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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891661 09/18/19 12:10 PM
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If I use one of those ultra expensive power-cables on the N1X, will it make the N1X sound as good as the N3? grin

Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Pete14 #2891664 09/18/19 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
If I use one of those ultra expensive power-cables on the N1X, will it make the N1X sound as good as the N3? grin

Are you sure when you tested the N3, it wasn't already equipped with a $25000 power cable to make is sound better than the N1X, which in turn was used with its cheap stock $5 cable? All is in the cables, remember!


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891668 09/18/19 12:23 PM
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So that’s what it was, the darn cable! I’m gonna try to break in tonight and steal it for my P-515. wink

Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891688 09/18/19 01:01 PM
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Sorry, fat cables don't work for the Raspberry Pi. Otherwise I'd really be considering these ideas.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891689 09/18/19 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Sorry, fat cables don't work for the Raspberry Pi. Otherwise I'd really be considering these ideas.

I'm wondering whether they can actually embed a Raspberry Pi into a cable that's fat enough to accommodate it laugh


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891749 09/18/19 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Here are a couple of web sites you may want to investigate if not already familiar with them:

https://www.alsa-project.org/

https://alsa.opensrc.org/Dsnoop


Thanks! However, this doesn't address the hardware though that I would need for this. Also, I really want to do my project as "plug and play" as possible and so I'd prefer not to have to compile new Linux drivers if I can avoid it. smile Especially as I'd have to either install a Raspberry Pi development environment on my MacBook / Eclipse or do that on the Raspberry Pi Zero W itself.


Based on those standards, you can do internet searches on “brand ASLA” for popular interface brands to see if any offer Linux drivers.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891863 09/19/19 12:35 AM
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That is, “brand ALSA”. The people I’ve known who recorded with Linux had PCIe cards that did both D/A and A/D. But that won’t help you with a Pi.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891896 09/19/19 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Just wanted to ask here, in case anyone knows of one. I'm looking for an inexpensive external audio interface which is Linux-compatible or which has Linux drivers for ARM (for a Raspberry Pi).


Why does it need to be external?

Googling "Rasperry pi audio interface" provides the following link:

https://blokas.io/pisound/

Will this do the job?

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Kawai James #2891901 09/19/19 04:13 AM
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Why indeed.
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Why does it need to be external?
And if external ... why plug it into a Raspberry? Just buy a ready-to-go interface and plug it into a PC or Mac. Plug it in, click-install the driver, done.

Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
MacMacMac #2891903 09/19/19 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Just wanted to ask here, in case anyone knows of one. I'm looking for an inexpensive external audio interface which is Linux-compatible or which has Linux drivers for ARM (for a Raspberry Pi).


Why does it need to be external?

It doesn't have to be external. It can be internal to a Raspberry PI Zero W, but because of the form factor of a Raspberry Pi Zero W (it's smaller than a Raspberry Pi), a lot of Raspberry Pi cards won't fit physically into a Raspberry Pi Zero W case.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Why indeed.
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Why does it need to be external?
And if external ... why plug it into a Raspberry? Just buy a ready-to-go interface and plug it into a PC or Mac. Plug it in, click-install the driver, done.

I wouldn't want it to be internal within a "PC or Mac." The so-called "computer" for my application here is simply functioning as a USB host and has no other role and does nothing else, which is why I want to use the cheapest and smallest "computer" - a Raspberry Pi Zero W. Having an expensive USB host, like a PC or Mac, defeats the purpose of this device. However, as said to Kawai James above, I agree it doesn't have to be "external" to the "computer" (here, a Raspberry Pi Zero W). It can be internal. There is a different meaning for "internal" for a Raspberry Pi though. Internal in that context can mean soldered on via a GPIO header. So internal is possible but not convenient if this is to be a truly "off the shelf" device I am building. It has to be as easy as possible to assemble, so soldering anything is anathema.

This entire device I'm building simply passes an audio signal from a standard 3.5" stereo audio jack to a USB digital signal processor (DSP) device which requires a USB host (the piano is not a USB host). So this device I'm building is simply a USB host for both the piano and the USB DSP device. Again, this is all in theory. I need to build this thing and see if it works.

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Googling "Rasperry pi audio interface" provides the following link:

https://blokas.io/pisound/

Will this do the job?

Kind regards,
James
x

Thanks but I think it might be a bit expensive for a device which simply takes stereo audio signal in and converts it to digital (an ADC only). For example, I don't need the sound generation aspect of normal sound cards, and MIDI is superfluous for this function.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891905 09/19/19 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Thanks but I think it might be a bit expensive for a device which simply takes stereo audio signal in and converts it to digital (an ADC only).


Perhaps. I was not aware that you were on a budget.

Given the specifics of this project, my suggestion would be to post your query on a Raspberry Pi forum.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891910 09/19/19 05:09 AM
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Yes, that's puzzling, KJ.

$8000 piano
$8000 PC
budget Raspberry smile

Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
MacMacMac #2891916 09/19/19 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Thanks but I think it might be a bit expensive for a device which simply takes stereo audio signal in and converts it to digital (an ADC only).


Perhaps. I was not aware that you were on a budget.

Given the specifics of this project, my suggestion would be to post your query on a Raspberry Pi forum.

Kind regards,
James
x

Yes, I did post to a Linux audio forum, but not a Raspberry Pi forum. Good idea. I do have 4 different things I got to try this weekend though. I'll see what "sticks on the wall."

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Yes, that's puzzling, KJ.

$8000 piano
$8000 PC
budget Raspberry smile

So the piano is a piano. Generates the sound to speakers or to the headphones. DPs are not USB "hosts" (also called "USB masters"). They are USB "devices" (also called "USB slaves").

I have a digital signal processor (DSP) device with headphones. The DSP device has a USB connection on it's input end. It is also a USB device/slave.

One cannot connect two USB slaves together, even via a hub. A USB slave can only connect to a USB master.

So how can I connect my DP "slave" to my DSP "slave"? Only though a USB master, which would be a computer. Now a computer can be a Mac, a PC, ... or even a cheap and tiny little Raspberry Pi Zero W!

Yes, I "will have" an expensive DAW computer (have not yet taken delivery since Ryzen 3900X is backordered). However, this makes for an expensive USB master.

Yes, I can use it also for DAW in addition to serving as a USB master for my DSP slave. However, the routing gets complex. Because picture that I am having my analog audio from my stereo headphone jack on the DP go to an external audio interface (for the sole purpose of Analog-to-Digital conversion) to the DAW computer as a USB master and then to my DSP slave, but that at the same time, I would also have line-out from the DP going to the same DAW computer for the purpose of processing through the DAW, VSTs, VIs, etc.

Now obviously I would not be doing both at the same time probably, but even so, the cabling gets complex and internal to the DAW, I'd have to use "virtual audio cables" almost like a virtual "patch panel" to segregate and route the different simultaneous virtual pathways.

Finally, this solution would be too expensive if I didn't want to computer at all, I just wanted to connect my DP slave to the DSP slave. Analogy, I simply want to connect my outdoor faucet tap to a water sprinkler. To do this, the cheapest and simplest way is to use a garden hose with the right fitting on each end. I don't need to connect a water pump in the middle that I don't need just because that water pump happens to come with hoses on each end that have the right fittings for both the outdoor faucet tap and the water sprinkler. I just don't need the pump to simply pass the water through. Even if I could do it with the pump, finding an appropriate garden hose is still the simpler and preferable solution. That's what I want to do. I want to connect the proverbial garden hose (USB master) between my DP (USB slave) and my DSP device (USB slave).

So that's why I'm building what I'm building. It is intended to be a relatively inexpensive USB host that can solve this issue without needing a PC/Mac or connecting to a PC/Mac. (My DP will be connected to a PC/Mac but for DAW/VST/VI purposes, and not just to be a "USB master" between two "USB slaves.")



[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Tyrone Slothrop #2891927 09/19/19 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
blah blah blah, complicated pointlessness...


Regardless, the Rasperry Pi audio interface that I linked to above is only $99.

I don't believe that's a tremendous amount of money for someone such as yourself, especially if it serves as the missing piece of this fabulously overcomplicated Rube Goldburg setup.

Best of luck!

James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Seeking an inexpensive external audio interface for Linux
Kawai James #2891928 09/19/19 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
blah blah blah, complicated pointlessness...

Don't be an @sshole James. Politeness gets you further than insults.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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