Steinberg UR824 with Linux - configuration

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At least for the moment, some configuration options have to be specified when the alsa driver is loaded. These are the options which affect the number of audio channels which are carried. A "magic number" has to be supplied to the driver via the device_setup parameter as follows:

device_setup sample rate optical configuration capture channels playback channels
1 44.1kHz or 48kHz Both ADAT 24 26
2 44.1kHz or 48kHz A=ADAT B=SPDIF 18 26
3 44.1kHz or 48kHz A=SPDIF B=ADAT 18 26
4 * 44.1kHz or 48kHz Both SPDIF 12 26
5 88.2kHz or 96kHz Both ADAT 16 18
6 88.2kHz or 96kHz A=ADAT B=SPDIF 14 18
7 88.2kHz or 96kHz A=SPDIF B=ADAT 14 18
8 88.2kHz or 96kHz Both SPDIF 12 18

The default device_setup is 4. There are two ways to specify a different value to the driver. You can manually load the driver before plugging in the UR824:


Or more usefully, since driver gets installed automatically when you plug in the UR824, you need to provided a standing order. That way the settings will be applied each time you boot your machine. While you are at it, it is useful to explicitly provide a card number so that it doesn't change at each boot. For Ubuntu 12, create a file in /etc/modprobe.d


Remember that in order for this to take effect, you either need to reboot, or get the driver to unload. To do this you will need to stop all audio applications, then stop jack, unplug the UR824, force the driver to unload with


.. then you can plug the UR824 back in, and the driver will reload with the new settings.

Once the driver has been loaded with its magic number, you still need to set the optical mode:


The rate is chosen when you start jack, so if, for example you have used a device_setup value of 4, you can still choosen between 44.1kHz and 48kHz.

You could now move on to understanding connections.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021

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