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Author Topic: How do I get System mixer and my iFi usb DAC to play nice together?  (Read 444 times)

penger10

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Baffled again. I'm using a iFi ZEN DAC usb sound card which people on the forum helped me get working properly (Thank You all!)  mwillems mentioned in one of the comments to make sure that the system sound wasn't using the iFi Dac or it could create problems.  He was right. If I use the computer to do anything else, youtube for instance, it breaks the audio connection between the iFi and MC.  Only rebooting seems to set things right.  I pointed the system sounds to one of the other audio "cards" it sees and now MC seems fine.  Only problem is I'm unable to hear sound from anything but MC.  Like most using this software, I'm running a HTPC connected to my stereo.  The only way to get a signal to my stereo is through the iFi DAC, unless I run another line from the pc sound card to a different input on the preamp, but that sounds like a pain. Is there an 'exclusive' mode in Linux?  Didn't have this problem in Windows.  Any solutions out there?
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mwillems

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Re: How do I get System mixer and my iFi usb DAC to play nice together?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2024, 10:46:46 am »

Baffled again. I'm using a iFi ZEN DAC usb sound card which people on the forum helped me get working properly (Thank You all!)  mwillems mentioned in one of the comments to make sure that the system sound wasn't using the iFi Dac or it could create problems.  He was right. If I use the computer to do anything else, youtube for instance, it breaks the audio connection between the iFi and MC.  Only rebooting seems to set things right.  I pointed the system sounds to one of the other audio "cards" it sees and now MC seems fine.  Only problem is I'm unable to hear sound from anything but MC.  Like most using this software, I'm running a HTPC connected to my stereo.  The only way to get a signal to my stereo is through the iFi DAC, unless I run another line from the pc sound card to a different input on the preamp, but that sounds like a pain. Is there an 'exclusive' mode in Linux?  Didn't have this problem in Windows.  Any solutions out there?

So you kind of have to make a choice between bit perfect output or using the system mixer.  If you don't mind using the system mixer and getting some audio remixing there, you can tell JRiver to use pulseaudio or pipewire (whichever your system uses) as the audio output device.  Then JRiver will use the system mixer and youtube and other system sounds will all work normally and you can use the same DAC for everything. 

If you want bit-perfect output from JRiver, you need to use the hardware direct outputs in JRiver (e.g. front:, etc.) which won't allow you to use the same device with the system mixer at the same time; either JRiver can control it or the system mixer can control it, but not both at once.  It's a little odd that JRiver can't regain control of the audio output once you've broken the connection.  My experience has been that once there is no audio on the system mixer, it will release the device eventually and JRiver can reestablish control, but there does need to be a period with no audio.  One thing I've noticed is that web audio will often hold open the audio device even when paused in the background, so you could try closing your browser and seeing if JRiver can regain control of the device then?

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penger10

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Re: How do I get System mixer and my iFi usb DAC to play nice together?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2024, 11:31:10 am »

mwillems, thanks for the reply.  I'm really enjoying the sound I'm getting out of using the hardware direct outputs and would like to continue using them.  I'll get back to you after I experiment with some of your suggestions. Have you found getting the system mixer involved to negatively affect your sound? 

Thanks for your help!
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: How do I get System mixer and my iFi usb DAC to play nice together?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2024, 12:02:39 pm »

Everything going through the system mixer is usually resampled (to 48 kHz by default if I recall correctly), which is always a lossy process, so the audio you'd hear is not bit-perfect anymore. And for some users it going through the system mixer and being resampled is not acceptable. The hw:, front:, etc. outputs are direct and bypass the system mixer and its resampling and are thus bit-perfect but you'll encounter the things you've mentioned. Indeed stopping playback instead of pausing playback usually allows MC to release the audio output allowing system audio to work, and that's likely the only workaround here versus using the pulse/pipewire output and going through the system mixer.
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Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit + Ubuntu 24.04 LTS Noble Numbat 64-bit | Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit (Intel N305 Fanless NUC 32GB RAM/500GB M.2 NVMe SSD)
JRiver Media Center 32 (Windows + Linux) | iFi ZEN DAC 3 | JBL 306P MkII Studio Monitors | Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones

penger10

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Re: How do I get System mixer and my iFi usb DAC to play nice together?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2024, 01:53:46 pm »

SOoooo.....Test results
AD you were correct, setting it to pulse audio system mixer downsampled my 192khz files down to 48khz, don't like that.  While I had it set to the pulse audio, I went into the " system sounds" and pointed it back to the iFi DAC.  Did a test, left and right speakers have sound, but NOTHING else had sound, not Youtube, Not HDtracks (where I buy music), not Celluloid, but MC did play.  I rebooted, same results.
 I then pointed it back to "front: iFi DAC" in sound device in MC, got my bit perfect sound back.  Rebooted again with bit perfect.  MC works fine, can watch youtube from inside MC but no audio on youtube from web browser, Celluloid...only MC has sound....and the left/right speaker check in the system sound settings. 
I'm on a roll today ;D   Should I post my sysinfo?
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penger10

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Re: How do I get System mixer and my iFi usb DAC to play nice together?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2024, 02:58:58 pm »

In case this helps de-baffle things...sysinfo:

System:
  Kernel: 5.15.0-100-generic x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 11.4.0 Desktop: Cinnamon 6.0.4
    tk: GTK 3.24.33 wm: muffin vt: 7 dm: LightDM 1.30.0 Distro: Linux Mint 21.3 Virginia
    base: Ubuntu 22.04 jammy
Machine:
  Type: Desktop Mobo: ASUSTeK model: P5Q v: Rev 1.xx serial: <superuser required>
    BIOS: American Megatrends v: 2102 date: 04/07/2009
Battery:
  Device-1: hidpp_battery_0 model: Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus serial: <filter>
    charge: 100% (should be ignored) rechargeable: yes status: Discharging
CPU:
  Info: quad core model: Intel Core2 Quad Q8400 bits: 64 type: MCP smt: <unsupported>
    arch: Core Yorkfield rev: A cache: L1: 256 KiB L2: 4 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 2000 min/max: 2003/2670 cores: 1: 2000 2: 2000 3: 2000 4: 2000
    bogomips: 21330
  Flags: ht lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 ssse3 vmx
Graphics:
  Device-1: AMD Pitcairn XT [Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition] vendor: PC Partner driver: radeon
    v: kernel pcie: speed: 5 GT/s lanes: 16 ports: active: HDMI-A-1 empty: DP-1,DVI-I-1,DVI-I-2
    bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 1002:6818 class-ID: 0300
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: 1.21.1.4 driver: X: loaded: ati,radeon
    unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,vesa gpu: radeon display-ID: :0 screens: 1
  Screen-1: 0 s-res: 2560x1440 s-dpi: 144 s-size: 452x254mm (17.8x10.0") s-diag: 518mm (20.4")
  Monitor-1: HDMI-0 mapped: HDMI-A-1 model: Samsung res: 2560x1440 hz: 60 dpi: 406
    size: 160x90mm (6.3x3.5") diag: 184mm (7.2") modes: max: 1920x1080 min: 640x480
  OpenGL: renderer: PITCAIRN ( LLVM 15.0.7 DRM 2.50 5.15.0-100-generic)
    v: 4.5 Mesa 23.2.1-1ubuntu3.1~22.04.2 direct render: Yes
Audio:
  Device-1: AMD Oland/Hainan/Cape Verde/Pitcairn HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 7000 Series]
    vendor: PC Partner driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel pcie: speed: 5 GT/s lanes: 16 bus-ID: 01:00.1
    chip-ID: 1002:aab0 class-ID: 0403
  Device-2: XMOS iFi (by AMR) HD USB Audio type: USB driver: hid-generic,snd-usb-audio,usbhid
    bus-ID: 9-4:3 chip-ID: 20b1:3008 class-ID: 0300 serial: <filter>
  Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.15.0-100-generic running: yes
  Sound Server-2: PulseAudio v: 15.99.1 running: yes
  Sound Server-3: PipeWire v: 0.3.48 running: yes
Network:
  Device-1: Qualcomm Atheros AR8121/AR8113/AR8114 Gigabit or Fast Ethernet vendor: ASUSTeK
    driver: ATL1E v: N/A pcie: speed: 2.5 GT/s lanes: 1 port: dc00 bus-ID: 02:00.0
    chip-ID: 1969:1026 class-ID: 0200
  IF: enp2s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Bluetooth:
  Device-1: Edimax Bluetooth Adapter type: USB driver: btusb v: 0.8 bus-ID: 8-2:2
    chip-ID: 7392:c611 class-ID: e001 serial: <filter>
  Report: hciconfig ID: hci0 rfk-id: 0 state: up address: <filter> bt-v: 3.0 lmp-v: 5.1
    sub-v: 8761 hci-v: 5.1 rev: b
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 6.6 TiB used: 4.28 TiB (64.9%)
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Western Digital model: WD1001FALS-00J7B0 size: 931.51 GiB
    speed: 3.0 Gb/s type: N/A serial: <filter> rev: 0K05 scheme: MBR
  ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: Samsung model: SSD 840 Series size: 232.89 GiB speed: 3.0 Gb/s
    type: SSD serial: <filter> rev: 6B0Q scheme: GPT
  ID-3: /dev/sdc type: USB vendor: Western Digital model: WD Elements 25A3 size: 5.46 TiB
    type: N/A serial: <filter> rev: 1021 scheme: GPT
Partition:
  ID-1: / size: 227.68 GiB used: 62.55 GiB (27.5%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb3
  ID-2: /boot/efi size: 512 MiB used: 6.1 MiB (1.2%) fs: vfat dev: /dev/sdb2
Swap:
  ID-1: swap-1 type: file size: 2 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) priority: -2 file: /swapfile
USB:
  Hub-1: 1-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 6 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s chip-ID: 1d6b:0002
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-2: 2-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 6 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s chip-ID: 1d6b:0002
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-3: 2-1:2 info: Terminus Hub ports: 4 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s power: 100mA
    chip-ID: 1a40:0101 class-ID: 0900
  Device-1: 2-1.2:4 info: Logitech Unifying Receiver type: Keyboard,Mouse,HID
    driver: logitech-djreceiver,usbhid interfaces: 3 rev: 2.0 speed: 12 Mb/s power: 98mA
    chip-ID: 046d:c52b class-ID: 0300
  Hub-4: 3-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s chip-ID: 1d6b:0001
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-5: 4-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s chip-ID: 1d6b:0001
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-6: 5-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s chip-ID: 1d6b:0001
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-7: 6-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s chip-ID: 1d6b:0001
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-8: 7-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s chip-ID: 1d6b:0001
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-9: 8-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s chip-ID: 1d6b:0001
    class-ID: 0900
  Device-1: 8-2:2 info: Edimax Bluetooth Adapter type: Bluetooth driver: btusb interfaces: 2
    rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s power: 500mA chip-ID: 7392:c611 class-ID: e001 serial: <filter>
  Hub-10: 9-0:1 info: Hi-speed hub with single TT ports: 4 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0002 class-ID: 0900
  Hub-11: 9-3:2 info: VIA Labs USB2.0 Hub ports: 4 rev: 2.1 speed: 480 Mb/s chip-ID: 2109:2817
    class-ID: 0900
  Device-1: 9-4:3 info: XMOS iFi (by AMR) HD USB Audio type: Audio,HID
    driver: hid-generic,snd-usb-audio,usbhid interfaces: 4 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 20b1:3008 class-ID: 0300 serial: <filter>
  Hub-12: 10-0:1 info: Super-speed hub ports: 4 rev: 3.0 speed: 5 Gb/s chip-ID: 1d6b:0003
    class-ID: 0900
  Hub-13: 10-3:2 info: VIA Labs USB3.0 Hub ports: 4 rev: 3.2 speed: 5 Gb/s chip-ID: 2109:0817
    class-ID: 0900
  Device-1: 10-3.4:3 info: Western Digital Elements Desktop (WDBWLG) type: Mass Storage
    driver: usb-storage interfaces: 1 rev: 3.1 speed: 5 Gb/s power: 8mA chip-ID: 1058:25a3
    class-ID: 0806 serial: <filter>
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 26.0 C mobo: 37.0 C gpu: radeon temp: 41.0 C
  Fan Speeds (RPM): cpu: 1962 psu: 0 case-1: 0 case-2: 0
  Power: 12v: 12.04 5v: N/A 3.3v: 3.30 vbat: N/A
Repos:
  Packages: apt: 2381
  No active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list
    1: deb http: //packages.linuxmint.com virginia main upstream import backport
    2: deb http: //mirror.cogentco.com/pub/linux/ubuntu jammy main restricted universe multiverse
    3: deb http: //mirror.cogentco.com/pub/linux/ubuntu jammy-updates main restricted universe multiverse
    4: deb http: //mirror.cogentco.com/pub/linux/ubuntu jammy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
    5: deb http: //security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-security main restricted universe multiverse
Info:
  Processes: 235 Uptime: 1h 32m wakeups: 8 Memory: 7.75 GiB used: 1.66 GiB (21.4%) Init: systemd
  v: 249 runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 11.4.0 alt: 11/12 Client: Cinnamon v: 6.0.4 inxi: 3.3.13
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penger10

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Re: How do I get System mixer and my iFi usb DAC to play nice together?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2024, 02:59:06 pm »

I don't quite understand why it works, but it works.  When I go into system sounds there are 2 instances of the iFi DAC.  One is labeled S/PDIF digital output, which I set for system sounds.  The other is analog output  that I'm using for MC.  I never thought to use the S/PDIF output because the back of the iFi only has the rca jacks out, but hey, it works and I'm happy.  It has cast out the evil daemons from my system!
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