RME Multiface hdsp pcmcia/cardbus issues

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sonicolonic
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Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:32 am

RME Multiface hdsp pcmcia/cardbus issues

Postby sonicolonic » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:33 pm

So, long backstory short, I was gifted a new-to-me laptop that i'm trying to run my Multiface on so I can have a portable rig.

Laptop is a Toshiba Satellite a665-s6094 with a Samsung SSD. I bought the RME pcmcia hdsp card and a Startech pcmcia-to-expresscard adapter. Fresh install of Linux Mint 19 xfce, KXStudio, low-latency kernel, realtimeconfigquickscan checks out except for having a realtime kernel. Rtprio, memlock, and nice have been specified and cpu scaling is set to performance.

First issue was getting the firmware to load and stay loaded. Lights would flash randomly especially the midi light, send noise to random outputs, not be recognized as the right breakout box, and try to reload the firmware. Connection order solved this. The breakout box needs to see power last is what I discovered.

Remaining issue (which has been present this whole time) is that the audio being passed in either direction sounds distorted and bit-crushed. Same when pulseaudio is on and being used and bridged via Cadence. When I try playing videos on youtube, it plays at a third or a quarter of the speed and has the same distorted bit-crushed sound. I've tried 3 different multiface units (from my former 24 channel studio rig). I've tried it with an older laptop running Windows. Same. I've played with jack settings a bit and get no change. I don't see an IRQ conflict.

Any thoughts? Is this maybe a hardware issue, bad pcmcia card or cable, or laptop chipset issue in the Satellite series (alternate laptop is also a Satellite)? Or is there something in my setup I might've missed?

Any help would be much appreciated as I was anticipating using this for a project in the next couple of weeks. Let me know if I can provide any additional info. Thanks!

sonicolonic
Established Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:32 am

Re: RME Multiface hdsp pcmcia/cardbus issues

Postby sonicolonic » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:34 pm

Also, firmware on the pcmcia card is most recent. Thanks!

sonicolonic
Established Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:32 am

Re: RME Multiface hdsp pcmcia/cardbus issues

Postby sonicolonic » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:01 pm

UPDATE: Multiface + pcmcia works fine on the older laptop running Windows for youtube, system sounds, etc. Totalmix lets me route/monitor inputs fine. As soon as I start up Ardour5 and connect via ASIO or ASIO4ALL audio takes on the bit-crushed sound. MME I didn't quite figure out but it didn't work on first try so I moved on. I feel like this rules out hardware issues and points elsewhere, but where exactly, I don't know. Same driver across 2 different OS?!

Progress, but no less confusing.


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