Liquid Saffire 56

Just got my '56 a few days ago. Basic streaming works, the Liquid preamps are usable as plain preamps (no funky emulation, but who needs that). ADAT ins 1-16 work, external preamps sync'd to the Wordclock Out.
The mixer does not work out of the box, but it shouldn't be too hard to get basic functionality, with a bit of hand-holding from Arnold.
Note that Focusrite in their infinite wisdom decided to re-use the model ID of the PRO 10 for the Liquid Saffire 56, which will make FFADO believe it's a PRO 10, try the bebop driver, and fail miserably. Until a workaround for this bogosity is developed, comment out the PRO 10 section in the file "configuration" in the FFADO source directory, add the following, and reinstall:
,
{
vendorid = 0x00130e;
modelid = 0x00000006;
vendorname = "Focusrite";
modelname = "Liquid Saffire 56";
driver = 20;
mixer = "Generic_Dice_EAP";
}

Put this snippet before the closing ");".
I'm currently testing with svn r1985.

With a non-rt kernel pre 2.6.39, the performance is not very good on my laptop. on 2.6.39.1 with threadirqs enabled, I can go down to 64x2 with only one xrun every 10 mins or so (still tuning to eliminate those...).

Support Status: 
Reported to work
Manufacturer: 
Focusrite
Platform: 

Comments

I am considering getting a Liquid Saffire 56 and was wondering how successful you have been? Have you figured out some of those mixer/router issues? How much functionality do you lose because of this?

Mixer/router issues have been solved for all DICE EAP devices one year ago, and are present in the 2.1.0 version (or further svn version). Now, there is no custom configuration for Saffire 56, as it is the case now for Pro14, 24 and 40, or Presonus Firestudio among others, since no user answered me on the mailing list; without information from them, I can't develop it.
If you purchase one in some future, it would be nice to send me the infos (something very easy to obtain, essentially the logs of two - may be four - commands).

For output monitoring and liquid preamps, it would be harder to develop something without information from Focusrite would be required (note they answered for Pro 14).

It seems there is not so much linux users of Saffire 56, so we rarely hear from them; and owning a Pro 40, I can't tell you much more.

WhatType If Info Would Be Needed To Ge A Profile. And Also What Type Of Info From Focusrite Would Be Needed For The Liquid Preamps (If They Aren't Usable I Guess I Would Go With The 40)

Sorry for the delay.

I think it is better to switch to the user list for such questions, allowing longer answers and possibly answers from Saffire 56 users.

I just bought the Focusrite Liquid Saffire and Iám a Linuxuser....:).

At the moment I´m running AV Linux and the Delta 1010 (M audio) which works fantastic. I bought the Liquid Saffire for a second computer and I want to sync these two computers via MTC.

Now I will have to run the Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 on Windows, but I hope that we soon will have enough info for making the Liquid Saffire run om Linux.

Unfortunatly I dont know how to wrtie the nessecery drivers my self.

I can write to Focusrite but I dont know what information is needed to create Firewiredrivers designed for Linux and för the Liquid Saffire 56.

/ Mancan

Hi,

Liquid Saffire 56 is intended to work under ffado: it is based on a DICE Jr chip, the same than the Saffire Pro 14 to 40 series, and uses the same driver.

There is some features missing (see hereafter), but some may quite easily implemented provided a user send some information to us. So I recommend you switch to the user mailing list rather than here, we will be able to make the discussion more fruitful.

Phil.

Hello,

I'm still a bit new to the Linux world, but I've learned enough to be able to navigate around and perform some terminal functions. Anyway, I have been trying to get my Liquid Saffire 56 working in Ubuntu (after deciding through trial and error in other distributions that this is the one I should get myself started with). I followed the directions on this page, and now I'm trying to figure out how to get it to function with JACK. If I click on "Connect" in the main window, then click on the ALSA tab I can see the device as "28:Liquid56-001c20" in "Readable Clients / Output Ports" and "Writable Clients / Input Ports." If I connect them, the "FW Active" light illuminates on the LS56. I took this as a good sign, but, from there, I'm not sure how to setup JACK to get it to run. Using the default setting and then clicking on "Start" displays this error:

"D-BUS: JACK server could not be started.

Sorry"

and then displays:

"Could not connect to JACK server as client.
- Overall operation failed.
- Unable to connect to server.
Please check the messages window for more info."

Navigating to the "Messages" window provides this:

"Cannot connect to server socket err = No such file or directory
Cannot connect to server request channel
jack server is not running or cannot be started"

Does anyone have any ideas as to what I'm doing wrong, or forgetting to do?

Thank you,

Ryan

Based on the information provided I am not entirely sure what is happening. Also, I don't have any Focusrite devices so the best I can do is offer somewhat generic advice.

The "traditional" way of making use of firewire audio devices through FFADO has been via the so-called "firewire" JACK backend driver. This causes FFADO to handle the audio streaming duties on behalf of JACK. In this configuration ALSA is not relevant.

With recent kernels we have started to move the audio streaming component into the kernel (the ffado-mixer control component remains in userspace, provided by FFADO). The new firewire audio streaming drivers work through the ALSA system, so when using them it is the ALSA backend JACK driver that you want.

Since your Saffire shows up in JACK's ALSA tab I would assume that your system is running a recent enough kernel such that the kernel-based firewire audio streaming driver is present. The kernel is identifying the device and grabbing control of its streaming system. In theory then, starting JACK would be the same as for any other ALSA audio interface. Based on your comment it seems that JACK/ALSA is able to get some way towards having things work (the FW active LED suggests this). However, evidently not all is well since the JACK server did not remain active.

My suspicion at present is that there is something wrong in the kernel's ALSA firewire audio driver which is preventing it from working with the liquid-56. It is important to note that the ALSA driver is quite new and to my knowledge has never been tried with a liquid-56, so bugs of this nature would not be overly surprising. Another option is that a newer version of ALSA/kernel may already contain a fix for whatever the problem is. In any case, getting the liquid-56 to work with the ALSA firewire audio driver will require some debugging effort. If you wish to pursue this, the best place to go at this point would be the alsa-devel mailing list as the firewire audio ALSA drivers are developed under the ALSA umbrella. Takashi Sakamoto is the person responsible for the ALSA driver used by the Saffire family.

Having said all that, it should still be possible to use FFADO with the liquid-56 on your system. First it will be necessary to blacklist the snd-firewire driver module(s) to prevent the kernel grabbing control of the interface (I am not familiar with the details of how this is best done under Ubunut). It should then be possible to use JACK's firewire driver backend with the liquid-56. Others have done this successfully in the past and I have no reason to believe that it won't work now.

I am not sure of the preemption requirements of the ALSA streaming driver. If you go down the traditional FFADO route, you will need to run a so-called PREEMPT (or "low latency desktop") kernel in order to obtain reliable operation. Such a kernel should be available from the Ubuntu Software Centre.

Hopefully the above is of use. If you need further assistance I recommend that you subscribe to either the ffado-user or ffado-devel mailing list and post there. More FFADO users and developers keep an eye on the mailing lists compared to the website comments so you are more likely to receive more timely feedback. The mailing lists are also better suited to debugging problems than comment threads on the website. It seems the link to information about our mailing lists has dropped from the "Contact" page on our website in the recent refresh. The relevant URL is http://sourceforge.net/p/ffado/mailman/.