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  1. #1
    Senior Member firedog's Avatar
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    Linux driver for original hiface now available

    From Jkenny:
    Open source drivers for the original Hiface devices (not the new Hiface 2 which already has Linux/Unix support) are now available from a 3rd party See here - https://github.com/panicking/snd-usb-asyncaudio
    See this post from someone using my JKDAC32 with this driver on Linux The Art of Sound Forum - View Single Post - DAC Tour
    This will work with all my Hiface based converters & DACs
    System (in small home office): GIK Acoustics Room Treatments>Tranquil Fanless PC with Windows 7(Sonore External PS, Dual Core Atom Board)>JRiver MC >Wyrd USB>Mytek 192 DSD Stereo DAC >Odyssey Audio Kismet Stereo Power Amp (Khartago Case) >Devore Gibbon Nines. Also own: ClassDAudio SDS-470 Amp; Squeezebox Touch slaved to an Empirical Audio Pace Car; a standard SB Touch; Squeezebox Boom. Dual 506 TT, Ortofon M20 (used only for recording vinyl) MF X-DAC3; MF X-150 Amp;Goldpoint passive pre.

  2. #2
    We have managed to get it working and will include it in the next update for the Auraliti players.
    Demian Martin
    auraliti www.auraliti.com
    Constellation Audio www.constellationaudio.com
    NuForce www.nuforce.com
    Monster Cable www.monstercable.com

  3. #3
    I added it to the latest version of my liveCD, so far Hiface owners are reporting it's working - link in my sig.
    mpdPup maintainer

  4. #4
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    First post - The news on the HiTech driver might actually move me more seriously into computer audio so I figured this would be a good community to join. I've got the old Hiface which I was using on Windows with Foobar2000, but as pretty much everything in my house is Linux, I figured it would be a good time to make the move off windows since I had to reformat/reload. So I installed Ubuntu 12.04, downloaded the asynch driver, compiled it, installed it, and now I'm staring at the computer wondering what's next. I'm not sure where to start looking for bitperfect players. If someone would be kind enough to offer suggestions or point me to information on Linux music players and also info on how to connect them to the async driver it would be hugely appreciated. Is there a useful FAQ somewhere? Driver docs?
    thanks, Jim

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jwagner View Post
    First post - The news on the HiTech driver might actually move me more seriously into computer audio so I figured this would be a good community to join. I've got the old Hiface which I was using on Windows with Foobar2000, but as pretty much everything in my house is Linux, I figured it would be a good time to make the move off windows since I had to reformat/reload. So I installed Ubuntu 12.04, downloaded the asynch driver, compiled it, installed it, and now I'm staring at the computer wondering what's next. I'm not sure where to start looking for bitperfect players. If someone would be kind enough to offer suggestions or point me to information on Linux music players and also info on how to connect them to the async driver it would be hugely appreciated. Is there a useful FAQ somewhere? Driver docs?
    thanks, Jim
    Check this out: Configuring MPD for Bit Perfect Playback with an external DAC « Init Perhaps that will get you started. I wish I were knowledgeable enough with Linux to understand it better, as I'm struggling now with getting a Linux-based server (Synology) to work with a hibit DAC (Emotiva XDA-2). I just posted about this problem in this forum.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwagner View Post
    First post - The news on the HiTech driver might actually move me more seriously into computer audio so I figured this would be a good community to join. I've got the old Hiface which I was using on Windows with Foobar2000, but as pretty much everything in my house is Linux, I figured it would be a good time to make the move off windows since I had to reformat/reload. So I installed Ubuntu 12.04, downloaded the asynch driver, compiled it, installed it, and now I'm staring at the computer wondering what's next. I'm not sure where to start looking for bitperfect players. If someone would be kind enough to offer suggestions or point me to information on Linux music players and also info on how to connect them to the async driver it would be hugely appreciated. Is there a useful FAQ somewhere? Driver docs?
    thanks, Jim
    Knickerhawk has linked to a MPD ref, but there are simpler music players to get working on Linux such as deadbeef which is a bit like Foobar2000. You should find this post helpful:

    Bit Perfect Audio from Linux

    The key is to determinw how ALSA identifies your hiface device. As shown in the post I've linked to, this means using the "aplay -l" command in a terminal. Then you should be sure of picking the correct ALSA output device in your music player of choice.

    I assume that now you have compiled the hiface driver you have checked the correct hiface sound module "snd-usb-asyncaudio" is being loaded on boot. ( e.g. lsmod | grep snd )

    I hope this helps. I'd be interested to know how well the orignal hiface functions under Linux.
    Chris

  7. #7
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    as long as the hiface driver is ok .. I would suggest you to experiment with mpdPup
    as far as I know there is a new version of it and i have feedback from a local forum that it is very good...
    I don't use linux anymore unfortunately because for now I have only a mac mini in house but as soon as I get my hands on a smal laptop for sure the pup will be my choice..
    Download mpdpup-0.9.3.iso
    Puppy Linux Discussion Forum :: View topic - mpdPup - Simplified MPD Music Server/Jukebox - v0.9.3

    post #32 (believe Idolse who also wrote above can give you more details)
    http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...67/index2.html
    Mac Mini (Late 2009, Mavericks, 8GB RAM, SSD) - Audirvana Plus/Decibel - iFi iDSD Nano - Densen DM20pre/30pwr amps - Spendor SP2/3E.
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  8. #8
    Trouble maker... Audio_ELF's Avatar
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    Has anyone tried the Linux M2Tech drivers with Chord equipment?

  9. #9
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    I'd rather be lucky than good...

    Thanks guys for the pointers. I have my laptop sending tunes to my DAC via the HiFace and it sounds good enough that I'd be really surprised if it wasn't bitperfect. Here's what I did:
    - Started with a recent load of Ubuntu 12.04 with the "extras" box checked. Added the old gnome interface, VLC, and some other software that I hope wouldn't affect getting this running.
    - Downloaded and compiled the kernel module from https://github.com/panicking/snd-usb-asyncaudio. Building it was as simple as typing "make" in a terminal window in the command line, leaving me with a snd-usb-asyncaudio.ko kernel module. Did a insmod ./snd-usb-asyncaudio.ko and a lsmod to make sure it was there. Need to hit google to figure out how to get it to load on boot.
    - verify device is there. HiFace needs to be plugged in.
    root@toshiba:/usr/local/bin/snd-usb-asyncaudio-master# aplay -l
    **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
    card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: ALC272 Analog [ALC272 Analog]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 1: hiFace [hiFace], device 0: hiFace [AsyncAudio USB]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

    - Installed MPD music server and Gnome Music Player Client from the Ubuntu software manager. Here's the bits I changed in the mpd.conf file:
    audio_output {
    type "alsa"
    name "hiFace"
    device "hw:hiFace" # changed for hiface
    # device "hw:0,0" # optional
    # format "44100:16:2" # changed for hiface
    # mixer_device "default" # hiface
    # mixer_control "PCM" # hiface
    # mixer_index "0" # hiface
    }

    #
    mixer_type "disabled"
    #
    - walked through the gmpc wizard and it was mostly the defaults.
    - restarted the mpd daemon in /etc/init.d with "mpd restart" so it would re-read it's config file
    - started up gmpc from the menu and it connected with mpd. How about that...
    - plugged the HiFace into the DAC, selected a 96/24 tune, hit play and damned if it didn't work, which is a really brilliant piece of luck given my knowlege of the linux audio system.

    That's the story, hope it's helpful to anyone else who wants to give linux a shot with thier HiFace. Thanks for the help, you guys sent me in the right direction.
    Jim

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Audio_ELF View Post
    Has anyone tried the Linux M2Tech drivers with Chord equipment?
    It's setup to work with the Chord as well, but I have not tested it...

    Jesus R
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jwagner View Post
    Thanks guys for the pointers. I have my laptop sending tunes to my DAC via the HiFace and it sounds good enough that I'd be really surprised if it wasn't bitperfect. Here's what I did:
    - Started with a recent load of Ubuntu 12.04 with the "extras" box checked. Added the old gnome interface, VLC, and some other software that I hope wouldn't affect getting this running.
    - Downloaded and compiled the kernel module from https://github.com/panicking/snd-usb-asyncaudio. Building it was as simple as typing "make" in a terminal window in the command line, leaving me with a snd-usb-asyncaudio.ko kernel module. Did a insmod ./snd-usb-asyncaudio.ko and a lsmod to make sure it was there. Need to hit google to figure out how to get it to load on boot.
    - verify device is there. HiFace needs to be plugged in.
    root@toshiba:/usr/local/bin/snd-usb-asyncaudio-master# aplay -l
    **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
    card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: ALC272 Analog [ALC272 Analog]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 1: hiFace [hiFace], device 0: hiFace [AsyncAudio USB]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

    - Installed MPD music server and Gnome Music Player Client from the Ubuntu software manager. Here's the bits I changed in the mpd.conf file:
    audio_output {
    type "alsa"
    name "hiFace"
    device "hw:hiFace" # changed for hiface
    # device "hw:0,0" # optional
    # format "44100:16:2" # changed for hiface
    # mixer_device "default" # hiface
    # mixer_control "PCM" # hiface
    # mixer_index "0" # hiface
    }

    #
    mixer_type "disabled"
    #
    - walked through the gmpc wizard and it was mostly the defaults.
    - restarted the mpd daemon in /etc/init.d with "mpd restart" so it would re-read it's config file
    - started up gmpc from the menu and it connected with mpd. How about that...
    - plugged the HiFace into the DAC, selected a 96/24 tune, hit play and damned if it didn't work, which is a really brilliant piece of luck given my knowlege of the linux audio system.

    That's the story, hope it's helpful to anyone else who wants to give linux a shot with thier HiFace. Thanks for the help, you guys sent me in the right direction.
    Jim
    Try this command while playing music and it will inform you what sample rate is playing.
    cat /proc/asound/card1/stream0

    Jesus R
    Featured Products:
    Sonore Rendu - Ethernet to SPDIF/i2s Output
    SOtM Mini Server - Ethernet to USB Output
    http://www.sonore.us

  12. #12
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    Jim,

    Glad to know you have got your hiface working with Linux. If the driver module is not loading on boot then you probably need to use a couple of DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support) commands to fix that. Using DKMS will also mean you're system will automatically rebuild the driver module if you need to update your kernel.

    These commands should work on Ubuntu: Linux Audio the way to go!? - Page 204 - diyAudio

    How is the SQ compared to Windows+foobar? Does the hiface operate under Linux without any glitches?
    Chris

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by jwagner View Post
    ...
    device "hw:hiFace" # changed for hiface
    Great, I like you avoided the useless hassle with soundcard index and used its name directly. Unfortunately most other tutorials use the ID, till present days.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the pointer on DKMS. I probably would have just scripted the insmod as part of startup, but DKMS seems a little cleaner. It takes me a while to get a handle on sound quality but so far I'm really impressed. No issues like stutter, pauses, etc.. Stuff that I'm familiar with sounds the same, and the Tea for the Tillerman I just picked up from HDTracks is really good. I'm pretty sure it's running without audio processing - the volume control is grayed-out, which is good. The one issue I'm having is with mpd CPU utilisation running high. Seems to sit at about 50% and at one point seemed hung at about 100%. Others have seen that too. I need to stop listening long enough to sort out the issues. Next comes the android client...

  15. #15
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    What type of audio file were you playing? Your CPU utilisation is very high, typical mpd usage should be a few % on the average laptop/PC. This new hiface Linux driver is only a beta I believe. If you have any WAV audio files a simple test would be to use the basic aplay command for playback, e.g.

    aplay -v -D hw:hiFace test.wav

    or a mplayer command for other audio file formats or an internet stream, e.g.

    mpalyer -ao alsa:device=hw=hiFace xxxxxxx


    This would at least show if CPU usage is consistently high across various players as opposed to simply mpd.
    Chris

  16. #16
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    oops, double post.
    Last edited by Krisbee; 01-04-2013 at 05:06 AM. Reason: double post
    Chris

  17. #17
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    At least works with both HQPlayer and NAA without CPU load or other issues. On x86, x86-64 and armhf architectures.
    Signalyst - http://www.signalyst.com
    Developer of HQPlayer

  18. #18
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    It just dawned on me that you might need to refer to your hiFace device as "plughw:hiFace" in mpd, mplayer etc.
    Chris

  19. #19
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    MPD cpu utilization seems to hang high when I do a Update Database from the client. Otherwise it seems to be fine (a couple percent) and a mpd restart seems to clear it up when it hangs high. The device seems OK since it's taking bits from mpd and sending them to the hiface. I did dig into the /proc directory to verify the bitrate and it varies with the file. No issues there. Overall, this thing works well enough that I'm just going to learn the software as I listen to music, trying to figure out the minor bugs as I go. There are no show-stoppers. (yet)

    Jim

  20. #20
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    Jim,

    Oh, so it's not high CPU usage on playback. I've seen this happen during a MPD "database" update and it turned out to be filenames with certain characters in them.
    Chris

  21. #21
    Greetings,
    I dont want to spawn multiple threads hitting the same topic, so I'll just post my question here to the most current thread discussing linux/alsa/snd-usb-async.

    My mpd setup is as follows

    audio_output {
    type "alsa"
    name "Amanero"
    device "hw:2,0"
    # device "cards.pcm.iec958"
    auto_resample "no"
    format "44100:16:2" # optional
    mixer_type "hardware"
    mixer_device "hw:2"
    mixer_control "Master"
    }

    But I see that Alsa is using Signed 32bit LE instead of Unsigned 16 bit LE.

    cat /proc/asound/card2/pcm0p/sub0/hw_params
    access: RW_INTERLEAVED
    format: S32_LE
    subformat: STD
    channels: 2
    rate: 44100 (44100/1)
    period_size: 5513
    buffer_size: 22050


    at /proc/asound/card2/stream0

    Playback:
    Status: Running
    Interface = 2
    Altset = 1
    Packet Size = 1024
    Momentary freq = 44093 Hz (0x5.82fc)
    Feedback Format = 8.16
    Packet Size = 0
    Momentary freq = 44100 Hz (0x5.8333)
    Interface 2
    Altset 1
    Format: S32_LE
    Channels: 2
    Endpoint: 5 OUT (ASYNC)
    Rates: 44100, 48000, 88200, 96000, 176400, 192000, 352800, 384000
    Data packet interval: 125 us

    What gives? I dont have a asoundrc or universal alsa conf setup, they are blank. How can I force it to 16bit?
    Or it is ok to just leave it to 32bit?

    Thanks
    --G0bble

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by G0bble View Post
    What gives? I dont have a asoundrc or universal alsa conf setup, they are blank. How can I force it to 16bit?
    Or it is ok to just leave it to 32bit?
    You cannot force it to 16-bit because it supports only one word length. This is the case for most hardware.

    It is not a problem, 16-bit samples just become zero-padded.
    Signalyst - http://www.signalyst.com
    Developer of HQPlayer

  23. #23
    Makes sense. Thanks.

    Any tweaks to the period size and buffer size recommended? The ones you see in hw_params came by default.

    -G0bble