[Consortium] [ANN] FreeBoB 1.0 released - Firewire Audio for Linux

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To: <consortium@...>, Linux1394-Devel <linux1394-devel@...>, freebob-devel@lists.sourceforge.net <freebob-devel@...>, A list for linux audio users <linux-audio-user@...>, The Linux Audio Developers' Mailing List <linux-audio-dev@...>
Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 7:58 pm


Now that JACK 0.102.20 and QJackCtl 0.2.21 being released, the FreeBoB
team is proud to present libfreebob 1.0. The FreeBoB project aims to
provide a generic solution for using Firewire (semi-)pro-audio devices
in Linux.

This release provides support for the devices based on the BridgeCo
DM1000 or DM1500 chipset that are running the BeBoB firmware. For a list
of supported devices, consult our website at freebob.sf.net.

FreeBoB currently provides an interface library that allows firewire
audio devices to be used with the JACK audio server, using a dedicated
backend. This backend is included in the official JACK releases, from
this version on (i.e. 0.102.20). The latest version of QJackCtl also
includes support for this FreeBoB backend. MIDI support is provided
through ALSA sequencer.

Feature list:
* Automatic detection & configuration of devices. If there are multiple
devices attached to the same firewire bus, freebob merges them into one
big device. The devices have to be synced externally (wordclock/spdif)
so that they don't drift. Note that this release cannot setup the boxes
to be synced yet, being synced is a precondition at the moment. (I
tested this with 2 phase88's connected with wordclock, and this works
without the need for any special setting because the Phase88
automatically chooses wordclock slave when there is a wordclock signal
present. This can be different for other models).
* Audio I/O on all analog channels at all sample rates supported by the
device. SPDIF/ADAT I/O works in most cases (when presented as analog IO
by the device). AC3 passthrough doesn't work.
* Midi I/O for all midi ports the device implements, using alsa-sequencer
* Round-trip latency figures around 5ms (depends on system
configuration). 10ms is achievable on all well-configured machines

Not supported yet:
* Hardware mixing ("zero latency" mixer)
* Device-specific configuration (input gain switches, sync source
selection, midi control mappings, ...)
* ALSA for audio IO
* Special SPDIF/ADAT stream support

You can download FreeBoB 1.0 at our sourceforge page:
more info at freebob.sf.net

What's next?

We are working on the second generation of the FreeBoB codebase. The 1.0
release is the endpoint for the codebase that dates back to the start of
the project. The 2.0 codebase is a complete redesign of the system using
1.0 as a 'golden spec'. While the 1.0 version is BeBoB-only, the 2.0
codebase is designed as a framework to support all firewire based audio
boxes. The current level of functionality is almost the same for both
codebases. The main difference is that 1.0 had one year of testing and
2.0 doesn't, it's still in the alpha stage. Needless to say that 2.0
will outperform 1.0 by far ;).

Of course this redesign isn't for the sake of aesthetic beauty or lack
of things to do... I can announce that we are already working on
broadening the supported device list. Currently there is support for the
Motu Traveller and the Motu 828 (through reverse engineering). There are
also contacts with the DICE-II developers to implement generic support
for devices based upon their chipset. As an extra, support for Metric
Halo devices is also in the pipeline. Once all of these devices are
supported, we will cover a very large part of the Firewire audio device
spectrum. The most important void will be RME Fireface support, and for
the real budget users: Behringer and Hercules devices.

That's all folks!

Pieter Palmers
(on behalf of the FreeBoB team)

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Messages in current thread:
[Consortium] linuxaudio abbreviation, Brian Thomson, (Thu Jan 29, 4:14 pm)
[Consortium] Pre-LAC presentation meeting, Ivica Ico Bukvic, (Thu Apr 27, 2:08 am)
[Consortium] [ANN] FreeBoB 1.0 released - Firewire Audio for..., Pieter Palmers, (Wed Oct 18, 7:58 pm)
Re: LADs and GALs was Re: [Consortium] linuxaudio abbreviation, Joern Nettingsmeier, (Sat Jan 31, 11:18 pm)
Re: [Consortium] linuxaudio abbreviation, Daniel James, (Thu Jan 29, 5:45 pm)
Re: [Consortium] linuxaudio abbreviation, iriXx, (Thu Jan 29, 11:05 pm)