Linux Picking Up Support For The Fireface UCX High-End Professional Audio Solution
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 22 January 2019 at 12:05 AM EST. 16 Comments
HARDWARE --
Should you be assembling a recording studio or have another purpose for some high-end audio kit, the RME Fireface UCX is the latest sound device seeing support in the upstream Linux kernel.

The Fireface UCX is a USB 3.0 / Firewire audio interface with onboard DSP that supports 18 input/output channels, eight analog I/O ports, and a variety of other connections. This 36-channel USB/Firewire audio interface has received a lot of praise from online reviews, but this professional audio gear retails for around $1,600 USD.


Linux sound subsystem maintainer Takashi Iwai has queued a set of patches from Takashi Sakamoto that make a series of improvements to the existing Fireface firewire Linux ALSA driver and ultimately adds in the Fireface UCX support. The final patch in the series is what tacks on several hundred lines of code to get the Fireface UCX support working on Linux albeit not entirely complete:
Fireface UCX was shipped by RME GmbH in 2012. This model supports later protocol for management of isochronous communication and synchronization of sampling transmission frequency.

This commit adds support for the model. At present, it's not clear how to encode MIDI messages and decide destination address for asynchronous transaction, thus this commit adds support for isochronous communication

This RME Fireface UCX support will be part of the Linux 5.1 kernel merge window.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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