Find configuration settings and Driver information that will help your audio hardware perform the best.

Sound Cards

With the notable exception of firewire devices, the vast majority of soundcards in UbuntuStudio will be supported through the ALSA-Project drivers. These drivers tend to work 'out of the box' as they are the main sound drivers in Ubuntu. Full compatibility listings can be found at The following are tweaks to improve/fix common issues with particular cards.

FireWire Audio

FireWire audio support is maturing in Linux generally, but still can provide some challenges for the creative user.

UbuntuStudio 8.04 (Hardy Heron) ships with the FreeBoB FireWire audio drivers, which implement support for a small range of external audio devices. (FreeBoB supported devices)

UbuntuStudio 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) and 9.10 (Karmic Koala) ship with the FFADO driver. (FFADO supported devices) Check to see if your device is supported before installing UbuntuStudio, or making a purchase.

FFADO, the successor project to FreeBoB, also notes that some FireWire host cards are better than others

  • Some of Ricoh chipsets are reported _not_ to work well, some seem to work fine. NEC chipset has been tested by a developer and is reported to work fine, but since Presonus advises against them, there must be a reason to avoid them.
    So far, in order of preference (best to worst) according to developers: Texas Instruments, VIA, NEC, O2 Micro (all are OHCI controllers)

USB Audio

USB Audio devices are generally well supported - look particularly for devices that advertise 'Driver Free operation on Windows and Mac OS X'. This implies that the device is 'Class Compliant', a technical term for 'smart enough to talk to anything'! As always, though, check compatability first.

Most modern Linux distributions use a hot-pluggable architecture for USB, which means that you can add and remove devices on the fly. In everyday use, this is very helpful. However, for pro-audio use this often means that the Alsa device numbers (hw:X) of your USB sound cards and MIDI interfaces can change every time you plug them in - or boot up. See UsbAudioDevices for some advice on this matter.


Echo Audio

Several Echo Audio cards are supported by alsa, but need a firmware blob to make them work. This is available in the alsa-firmware package from Medibuntu.

The best mixer for these cards is echomixer, which is included in the alsa-tools-gui package.


QuickFix poor sound qualtiy of intel 82801H

Choppy audio was reported for the Intel 82801H on Ubuntustudio Hardy out of the box.

  • Run lspci | grep audio and if yours looks something like

    00:lb.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (IHC8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
  • Run sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base and at the bottom, add:

    options snd-hda-intel model=laptop position_fix=1



QuickFix poor sound quality of snd-via82xx

Problem described on :

  • Create the file /etc/modprobe.d/soundcards

  • Run sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/soundcards

  • Enter the following line into the file:

    options snd-via82xx dxs_support=4
  • Save and Reboot

MIDI Hardware

Graphics Cards


UbuntuStudio/HardwareOptimization (last edited 2009-11-14 21:02:00 by trulanm)