Using a Focusrite 18i8 under Linux
Focusrite’s Scarlett USB audio interfaces
are cost-effective units with a wide range of input and output options. Out of
the box they can be used by most digital audio workstations on Linux because
they are USB class-compliant. However, besides the entry-level models (Solo, 2i2
and 2i4), you will certainly miss a few features for recording that just cannot
be accessed due to a lack hardware controls. For these you need to use the
Focusrite Control software which – as you can imagine – is available only for
Mac and Windows. Fortunately, there is a device specific ALSA driver for the
Scarlett devices that exposes mix controls to set gains on the different ins and
outs as well as controls to enable Hi-Z or Pad modes on certain inputs.
alsamixer to set these values is a huge PITA.
Now Robin Gareus, a very active contributor to Ardour, JACK and LV2 made the scarlett-mixer for his Scarlett 18i6 that allows one to control all the parameters with an easy-to-use graphical user interface. Now, I counted one and one together, made the appropriate changes and added support for the 18i8. So, no longer do I need to resort to the borderline crazy Alsa Json Gateway software 🙌