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Sat - Mar 26, 2011 : 10:00 am
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Echo Audiofire12 + Gentoo Linux
**UPDATED ARTICLE HERE** (for using the new firewire stack)

Okay.  I got my new Echo Audiofire12 3 days ago, and I now have it fully functioning on all 12 ports.  I don't have MIDI working yet, but I haven't really tried on that one.

Here's what I did to get it working.

First, I'm using the 2.6.33-rt kernel. I enabled the OLD FIREWIRE STACK.  THE NEW ONE DIDN'T WORK FOR ME. Legend has it that from 2.6.37 on, the old firewire stack is no longer available.  No idea if this is true.

Then I emerged the libffado package from the pro-audio overlay. (you do NOT need Freebob)

If you already had jack-audio-connection-kit emerged before you installed ffado, you'll have to re-emerge it, so it recognizes and builds the ffado support.

Make sure you modprobe the raw1394 module. (#modprobe raw1394)

Udev loads the firewire devices as accessible only by root.  Read this page, and insert the new udev command, so you can use firewire devices as a normal user.  The relevant line is this one:

echo 'KERNEL=="raw1394", GROUP="video"' > /etc/udev/rules.d/raw1394.rules

I changed the "video" group to "audio", since I already had a working udev ruleset which allows the audio group to have access to all the RT kernel goodness.  (If you haven't done that already, look here for help)  You will really want to read that whole thing.  It's a great article.

An important part of that article is to add the following 3 lines to your /etc/security/limits.conf file.

@audio - rtprio 90

@audio - nice -5

@audio - memlock unlimited

I think after that, you should be ready to go.  If you can get jack started (qjackctl is advised - choose the "firewire" driver), then you're golden.  I've got my latency down to 5.3ms with no hiccups at all (recorded my drums using 9 tracks @ 44.1KHZ  and it worked beautifully - I haven't tried anything higher yet).
 
*note* - In order to access the ffado-mixer application (which controls the audiofire's internal mixer), you need to emerge libffado with qt4 support.
 
Hope this has been helpful!
Comment by Peder on Mar. 27, 2011 @ 08:27 am
@audio - nice -5 won't do anything wrt audio performance.