Hunting down an M-Audio Audiophile 192
Nov 25, 2008 at 6:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

progo

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As we speak. If I get lucky, an eBay auction ends to my favor soon. I'm replacing my Juli@ for Audiophile 192 because the linux ALSA drivers (ICE1724) for ESI are bad. M-Audio offerings, on the other hand, seem to be on ICE1712 and 'Envy24' drivers are said to be very good and stable. These drivers with Juli@... want a hardlock? Just open an audio editor while playing flacs. Or try your midi keyboard. One note and crash. It's always whole computer since the drivers are in direct contact with kernel.

Like Juli@, the Audiophile series are said to be bitperfect and that's the major reason to buy. I don't have many albums beyond the traditional 16/44.1 but the ones that are, are very dear to me and thus an USB dac or some gadget like that is out of the question. What USB dacs we might have that support higher samplerates won't work on Linux too easily because they need to be implemented by special drivers. The standard USB sound card model is cool but limited. Cool in that way you only need one standard driver and any USB dac will work with them. Ideally.

My finances being what they are, I cannot buy a DAC immediately so the analog side of the 192 will be used for a while. Depends on what kind of FS threads I happen to spot.
smily_headphones1.gif


I explored some (not so) interesting threads, comparisons between Juli@ and the 192. Juli@ seems to be preferred and it's no wonder: the analog side of Juli@ is indeed very good. I like its hint of warmness and separation that's quite great. With the HD650 and Arietta it really extracted the detail out of recordings. Staxes aren't so bad with these but at the moment I feel Juli@ being the bottleneck big time. SQ-wise, I wouldn't 'upgrade' too soon but the driver issues drive me to it. I've had Juli@ for a year and the issues have been there all the time. Why didn't I return this while I had the possibility, who knows.

I'd like to hear some thoughts about the 192 (and possibly the 2496 because it seems to be little more popular around) in transport use. One reason I wanted to have a 192 is that it doesn't need the breakout cable when doing SPDIF only. 2496 needs.
 
Feb 20, 2009 at 5:59 PM Post #2 of 19

java

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Any news on this front ... ?
 
Feb 21, 2009 at 9:22 AM Post #3 of 19

progo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by java /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Any news on this front ... ?


Sure is!
smily_headphones1.gif

I did get an Audiophile 192 and it works wonderful in my system. Soundwise there's very little difference between the 192 and Juli@. Perhaps slightly to the analytical side, but overally still going strong in musical enjoyment.

I should have my DAC (ECD-1) next week. It's going to be interesting!
beerchug.gif
 
Feb 21, 2009 at 7:19 PM Post #4 of 19

D13

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It sounds like you're using an ICE1724 card in Linux... can you tell me if you've been able to successfully configure MIDI in/out on your Audiophile 192?

I've been using this card for about a year and have been very satisfied. I recently took the leap to exclusively using open source apps on my studio PC and while I've been able to get most things working (I'm using ALSA, JACK) I haven't had any success with capturing MIDI (QSynth/Rosegarden). In fact, trying to route anything from the ICE1724 MIDI port that shows up in the JACK connections' ALSA tab simply doesn't work.

I've been scouring the net for days trying to find someone who's solved this problem with no luck. But it looks like you just posted today so I'm hoping you're my saviour!

Been using Linux casually for a decade but I've held off making the move on my studio PC because I feared lack of support. I don't want to, but if I can't get MIDI working I might have to revert to win32 (Ableton 8 is looking pretty sweet).
 
Feb 22, 2009 at 9:54 AM Post #5 of 19

progo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by D13 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It sounds like you're using an ICE1724 card in Linux... can you tell me if you've been able to successfully configure MIDI in/out on your Audiophile 192?

I've been using this card for about a year and have been very satisfied. I recently took the leap to exclusively using open source apps on my studio PC and while I've been able to get most things working (I'm using ALSA, JACK) I haven't had any success with capturing MIDI (QSynth/Rosegarden). In fact, trying to route anything from the ICE1724 MIDI port that shows up in the JACK connections' ALSA tab simply doesn't work.

I've been scouring the net for days trying to find someone who's solved this problem with no luck. But it looks like you just posted today so I'm hoping you're my saviour!

Been using Linux casually for a decade but I've held off making the move on my studio PC because I feared lack of support. I don't want to, but if I can't get MIDI working I might have to revert to win32 (Ableton 8 is looking pretty sweet).



Too bad, I don't have MIDI capable instruments or sources to test the 192's MIDI inputs.
frown.gif


As a side note, using windows solely for making music isn't all bad. It's the more personal use that causes gray hair.
 
Feb 22, 2009 at 10:40 AM Post #6 of 19

cafe zeenuts

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Quote:

Originally Posted by progo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Sure is!
smily_headphones1.gif

I did get an Audiophile 192 and it works wonderful in my system. Soundwise there's very little difference between the 192 and Juli@. Perhaps slightly to the analytical side, but overally still going strong in musical enjoyment.

I should have my DAC (ECD-1) next week. It's going to be interesting!
beerchug.gif



Hey, when you get your DAC maybe you can help me verify that the M-Audio audiophile 192 can output 24bit 192KHz via S/PDIF coaxial from a computer.

Cheers,
 
Feb 22, 2009 at 6:25 PM Post #7 of 19

java

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Quote:

Originally Posted by progo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Sure is!
smily_headphones1.gif

I did get an Audiophile 192 and it works wonderful in my system. Soundwise there's very little difference between the 192 and Juli@. Perhaps slightly to the analytical side, but overally still going strong in musical enjoyment.

I should have my DAC (ECD-1) next week. It's going to be interesting!
beerchug.gif



Thinking of getting myself a "good" sound-card, as the on-board one I have sucks, big time ... , and I have found a local supplier for the M-Audio card, but not yet for the Juli@ ...

Many thanks ...

May you enjoy your new DAC tremendously ...
 
Feb 23, 2009 at 8:21 AM Post #8 of 19

progo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cafe zeenuts /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hey, when you get your DAC maybe you can help me verify that the M-Audio audiophile 192 can output 24bit 192KHz via S/PDIF coaxial from a computer.

Cheers,



Sure thing. If that's possible. I'm not sure what ECD-1 shows me.




Quote:

Originally Posted by java
May you enjoy your new DAC tremendously ...


Thanks! Probably I will.
regular_smile .gif
 
Mar 9, 2009 at 6:03 PM Post #10 of 19

progo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cafe zeenuts /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hey, when you get your DAC maybe you can help me verify that the M-Audio audiophile 192 can output 24bit 192KHz via S/PDIF coaxial from a computer.

Cheers,



Humm... I've got some slight issues with the card regarding 24 bit playback.

I ran this little ALSA app called speaker-test that can set any rate. And I notice the sample rate goes to 176.4 (4 × 44.1 kHz) max.

I can play 24 bit files with certain players but I cannot be sure if there is downconversions or not. And this audacity fellow doesn't seem to support over 96 kHz project rates.

I get this message while trying a 24 bit / 96 kHz file:
[AO_ALSA] Format s24le is not supported by hardware, trying default.

For the record, do you want something specifically for the linux? I've got a windows system but it crashes when I'm booting to it. It might be the ALSA that doesn't like 24 bit stuff.
 
Mar 9, 2009 at 6:55 PM Post #11 of 19

java

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Quote:

Originally Posted by progo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For the record, do you want something specifically for the linux? I've got a windows system but it crashes when I'm booting to it. It might be the ALSA that doesn't like 24 bit stuff.


Yes, I want something specifically for Linux, as I spend most of my time in Linux, only booting to WINXP on the odd occasion I want to play Counter Strike Source.

Did the Juli@ work well for stereo audio, and only give hassles when midi stuff was tried, or did it have hassles when other sound instances occured?

Find I can get a Juli@ cheaper than a M-Audio Audiophile 192, so it tempts me ...
 
Mar 10, 2009 at 7:10 AM Post #12 of 19

progo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by java /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yes, I want something specifically for Linux, as I spend most of my time in Linux, only booting to WINXP on the odd occasion I want to play Counter Strike Source.

Did the Juli@ work well for stereo audio, and only give hassles when midi stuff was tried, or did it have hassles when other sound instances occured?

Find I can get a Juli@ cheaper than a M-Audio Audiophile 192, so it tempts me ...



It would cause random hardlocks if multiple ALSA users were on. Or when I was playing music with Amarok and then went to fix and change Audio settings in Audacity. And when I tried to get MIDI files to work (like I described earlier) it would hardlock. Also the recording wasn't working well. Don't know what caused it, was it audacity or the card itself. Didn't try other software.

I'm using gentoo linux and in my opinion some other systems are more forgiving and provide more stable drivers and environment. Eg Ubuntu might have better support for Juli@. But I don't know.
 
Mar 10, 2009 at 2:54 PM Post #13 of 19

java

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Quote:

Originally Posted by progo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It would cause random hardlocks if multiple ALSA users were on. Or when I was playing music with Amarok and then went to fix and change Audio settings in Audacity. And when I tried to get MIDI files to work (like I described earlier) it would hardlock. Also the recording wasn't working well. Don't know what caused it, was it audacity or the card itself. Didn't try other software.

I'm using gentoo linux and in my opinion some other systems are more forgiving and provide more stable drivers and environment. Eg Ubuntu might have better support for Juli@. But I don't know.



OUCH!!!

How severe are the optimizations you are using in Gentoo? Is there perhaps some switch you could change when compiling ALSA?

I have asked a few questions of a friend who compiles his own rather minimal version of Linux, who has a M-Audio Revolution 7.1 sound card, if he has similar problems playing 24 bit sound files as you have mentioned earlier ... , have yet to get a reply from him ...

Thanks,
 
Mar 10, 2009 at 3:19 PM Post #14 of 19

java

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Quote:

Originally Posted by progo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm using gentoo linux and in my opinion some other systems are more forgiving and provide more stable drivers and environment. Eg Ubuntu might have better support for Juli@. But I don't know.


What kernel version you on and which version of ALSA?
Below is a part of his reply ... , he is not having problems, with 24 or 32 bit audio, tho he remarks that some programs work and others don't ...

------------------------------------------------------------------------
I forgot to mention that I am currently using linux-2.6.28.7, alsa_lib-1.0.19,
alsa_oss-1.0.17, and alsa_utils-1.0.19 for all the sound related
schtuffenputten. At the moment I have the ice1724 in the kernel as modules and from what I understand the Audiophile 192 uses the exact same drivers as the Revolution 7.1. My guess is that they are identical chipset-wise.

Here is a cut and paste of lsmod relating to sound;

snd_ice1724 102856 0
snd_rawmidi 27008 1 snd_ice1724
snd_seq_device 11668 1 snd_rawmidi
snd_ice17xx_ak4xxx 7936 1 snd_ice1724
snd_ac97_codec 118088 1 snd_ice1724
ac97_bus 6208 1 snd_ac97_codec
snd_ak4xxx_adda 12736 2 snd_ice1724,snd_ice17xx_ak4xxx
snd_ak4114 13888 1 snd_ice1724
snd_pt2258 8192 1 snd_ice1724
snd_i2c 9856 2 snd_ice1724,snd_pt2258
snd_pcm_oss 41216 0
snd_pcm 82312 4 snd_ice1724, snd_ac97_codec,snd_ak4114, snd_pcm_oss
snd_timer 25808 1 snd_pcm
snd_page_alloc 13904 1 snd_pcm
snd_mixer_oss 18816 1 snd_pcm_oss
snd 66616 12 snd_ice1724,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_device,
snd_ac97_codec,snd_ak4xxx_adda,snd_ak4114,
snd_pt2258,snd_i2c,snd_pcm_oss,snd_pcm,
snd_timer,snd_mixer_oss
soundcore 11920 1 snd

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Already did that from the start and the answer is that some apps can and most cannot. ecaplay can play back anything it can create up to 32-bit playback on the Revolution 7.1. My best guess is the Audiophile 192 ought to be the same given it's spec's appear to be identical to the Revolution's albeit the connections for IO are different. On the Revolution 192kHz sample rate are doable and I think that is the same for the Audiophile 192.

MPlayer SVN-r28467, which is what I am currently using, seems to be able to
handle flac 96kHz sample rates but I am not sure if 32-bit is doable. 24-bit isn't an issue though.

mpg123 and ogg123 will have to be downsampled to 48kHz maximum.

I fed audacity to the heave_ho function as it reported the spec's for a flac
file wrong, although it did play it. It probably is okay but it is far too
over bloated for my liking as well as being a GUI app which makes it perfect for the heave_ho function by default. Looks pretty but ecasound wins hands down simply because it isn't a GUI app and works excellent on the command line.

So far my tests say that the REvolution 7.1 is a keeper and I strongly suspect that the Audiophile 192 would even be better given it's connectors. :)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hoping these two snippets are of help ...

Regards,
 
Apr 8, 2009 at 1:56 PM Post #15 of 19

progo

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Hot damn. Sorry for missing your replies. Somehow I haven't got notifications in email even though I've subscribed to this thread.

My kernel at the moment is of 2.6.26 and it's got gentoo-specific patch set. ALSA is compiled kernel-side, not module-based. The alsa-tools are of 1.0.17. Hmm, seems like I've got some upgrade work to do tomorrow
smily_headphones1.gif
2.6.29 is newest in gentoo's repositories. I'll probably first compile a new kernel with ALSA inside, then ALSA outside the kernel.

As a note, I don't do extreme optimizations in gentoo. I like my system for other reasons than extreme (and to some extent very pointless) tweakability.

And... before I forget to mention: the reason to try this is because my Audiophile 192 is not working with 24-bit sounds at the moment. All I get is noise. Oddly enough, when I play a 24-bit WAV in Amarok, it plays fine but a respective 24-bit FLAC won't. It indicates that the FLAC decoder is broken, but I can't get it work anywhere. Certain applications do play it fine, but they downmix the stream to 16-bit. So actually the 192 doesn't work as wonderfully as it could.
 

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