Edirol UA-25

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\ The Edirol UA-25 is a good quality audio device, with great features:

Using a simple and powerful Terratec Aureon 5.1 USB card, it took me three days to understand the Edirol UA-25 logic. I hope that this little howto can guide you and save your time. The logic of the Edirol UA-25 is that it is operated by hands, directly on the device. There are some hardware limitations, but it is frankly a very nice tool.


\ The Editor UA-25 is fully supported by Alsa: the device is recognised and you can play/record sound, in both normal and advanced mode.

Unfortunately, Alsa has little control over this device.

In fact, it is not a problem of operating systems (Linux / FreeBSD / Window\$), but rather a hardware issue. For example, Input level, Output level, mixing, even sample rate are done at hardware level, without software control. Some users may like this old-fashion way to manage sound cards, other may dislike it. Analyse your needs before purchasing this sound device.

Fortunately, Alsa offers a variety of features and plugins, which emulate at software level the missing features. This is the advantage of Alsa over other sound systems.

Contents

Understanding the Edirol UA-25 logic

At first, you should have a look at the back pane. Or look at the photo of the device. Try to locate three important buttons:

Advance button

On the back pane of the UA-25, there is a switch button called "ADVANCE", which controls the USB mode of the device. The switch has two values: ON and OFF:

Sample rates switch

On the back pane of the UA-25, there is a switch button called "SAMPLE RATE". The switch has three values: 44.1 Khz, 48 Khz and 96 Khz:

REC/PLAY button

When in Advance mode ON, at 96 Khz, you can either play OR record. Press the REC/PLAY button to choose.

Cold/Hot reboot

Whenever you switch from ADVANCE ON to ADVANCE OFF, or change sample rates, you will either need to :

Lost?

To understand advance mode, sample rates and REC/PLAY, it is recommended to use aplay and arecord in verbose (option -v) mode. This is what we will do during the howto. This will clearly show you how the audio devices plays and records sound.

Basic Alsa configuration

alsaconf is not required to use the Edirol UA-25. Hotplug is able to recognise the audio device. Just plug and play.

Assigning audio system rights

GNU/Linux is a secure system. To play sound, you need audio system rights. To query your systems rights:

$groups
my_username adm disk dialout fax cdrom floppy tape dip video plugdev powerdev scanner

In this example, I don't have enough rights to play/record sound. To assign rights:

Become root (system administrator):

$su
Password:

Enter the administrator password and then:

adduser my_username audio

Will add the user my_username (replace with your username) to the audio group. You should be able to play music.

Naming the Edirol UA-25 device

If the UA-25 is the only device of your computer, you can address the device using the plughw:0,0, but it is not very conveniant. We recommand using the alphanumeric name of the device. To query the name of your device, type:

$cat /proc/asound/cards
 0 [UA25           ]: USB-Audio - EDIROL UA-25
                     Roland EDIROL UA-25 at usb-0000:00:0b.0-2, full speed
 1 [Audio          ]: USB-Audio - USB Audio
                     USB Audio at usb-0000:00:0b.1-4.4.3, full speed

Here, you should use plughw:UA25 rather than plughw:0,0

Testing sound output

Test the card output. This command plays a woman voice on 2 channels ("Front Right", "Front Left"):

speaker-test -c2 -D plughw:UA25 -twav

Playing sound

In the following example, Advance button is set to ON, and sample rate is 48 Khz. Do not forget to cold/hot reboot whenever you change settings.

To play a sound:

aplay -D plughw:UA25 foo.wav

For a better understanding, it is recommended to play in verbose mode:

aplay -v -D plughw:UA25 foo.wav

The following message is displayed:

Playing WAVE 'foobar.wav' : Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 44100 Hz, Stereo
Plug PCM: Rate conversion PCM (48000, sformat=S24_3LE)
Its setup is:
 stream       : PLAYBACK
 access       : RW_INTERLEAVED
 format       : S16_LE
 subformat    : STD
 channels     : 2
 rate         : 44100
 exact rate   : 44100 (44100/1)
 msbits       : 16
 buffer_size  : 22050
 period_size  : 5512
 period_time  : 125000
 tick_time    : 1000
 tstamp_mode  : NONE
 period_step  : 1
 sleep_min    : 0
 avail_min    : 5512
 xfer_align   : 5512
 start_threshold  : 22048
 stop_threshold   : 22050
 silence_threshold: 0
 silence_size : 0
 boundary     : 6206523236469964800
Slave: Hardware PCM card 0 'UA-25' device 0 subdevice 0
Its setup is:
 stream       : PLAYBACK
 access       : MMAP_INTERLEAVED
 format       : S24_3LE
 subformat    : STD
 channels     : 2
 rate         : 48000
 exact rate   : 48000 (48000/1)
 msbits       : 24
 buffer_size  : 24001
 period_size  : 6000
 period_time  : 125000
 tick_time    : 1000
 tstamp_mode  : NONE
 period_step  : 1
 sleep_min    : 0
 avail_min    : 6000
 xfer_align   : 6000
 start_threshold  : 24000
 stop_threshold   : 24001
 silence_threshold: 0
 silence_size : 0
 boundary     : 6755680916032454656

The sound file is 44.100 Hz sample rate over 16 bits. Alsa converts it to 48.000 Hz over 24 bits ... and plays the sound.

When playing two sounds at the same time, an error message is displayed:

aplay: main:550: audio open error: Device or resource busy

Remember, in advance mode, the UA-25 is only half-duplex.

Recording sound

In this example, the UA-25 device is set to Advance ON and 96 Khz recording. REC button is pressed.

You can use arecord utility, which is part of Alsa package, to record any sound from the microphone:

$arecord -r 96000 -f cd -t wav -D plughw:UA25 foobar.wav

For a better understanding, try the same command in verbose mode:

arecord -v -r 96000 -f cd -t wav -D plughw:UA25 foobar.wav

The resulting message:

Recording WAVE 'foobar.wav' : Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 96000 Hz, Stereo
Plug PCM: Linear conversion PCM (S24_3LE)
Its setup is:
 stream       : CAPTURE
 access       : RW_INTERLEAVED
 format       : S16_LE
 subformat    : STD
 channels     : 2
 rate         : 96000
 exact rate   : 96000 (96000/1)
 msbits       : 16
 buffer_size  : 48000
 period_size  : 12000
 period_time  : 125000
 tick_time    : 1000
 tstamp_mode  : NONE
 period_step  : 1
 sleep_min    : 0
 avail_min    : 12000
 xfer_align   : 12000
 start_threshold  : 1
 stop_threshold   : 48000
 silence_threshold: 0
 silence_size : 0
 boundary     : 6755399441055744000
Slave: Hardware PCM card 0 'UA-25' device 0 subdevice 0
Its setup is:
 stream       : CAPTURE
 access       : MMAP_INTERLEAVED
 format       : S24_3LE
 subformat    : STD
 channels     : 2
 rate         : 96000
 exact rate   : 96000 (96000/1)
 msbits       : 24
 buffer_size  : 48000
 period_size  : 12000
 period_time  : 125000
 tick_time    : 1000
 tstamp_mode  : NONE
 period_step  : 1
 sleep_min    : 0
 avail_min    : 12000
 xfer_align   : 12000
 start_threshold  : 1
 stop_threshold   : 48000
 silence_threshold: 0
 silence_size : 0
 boundary     : 6755399441055744000

The Edirol UA-25 is able to record in 24 bits, at the sample rate of 96 Khz.

Now, try to play the recorded sound at 96 Khz:

aplay -v -D plughw:UA25 foobar.wav
aplay: main:550: audio open error: No such file or directory

At 96.000 Hz, the audio device can play OR record, but not both. Now, switch the PLAY button. Unplug the USB cord and plug it again. This should initialize Alsa if you are using Udev and hotplug.

Re-try to play the sound:

aplay -v -D plughw:UA25 foobar.wav

This results in:

Playing WAVE 'foobar.wav' : Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 96000 Hz, Stereo
Plug PCM: Linear conversion PCM (S24_3LE)
Its setup is:
 stream       : PLAYBACK
 access       : RW_INTERLEAVED
 format       : S16_LE
 subformat    : STD
 channels     : 2
 rate         : 96000
 exact rate   : 96000 (96000/1)
 msbits       : 16
 buffer_size  : 48000
 period_size  : 12000
 period_time  : 125000
 tick_time    : 1000
 tstamp_mode  : NONE
 period_step  : 1
 sleep_min    : 0
 avail_min    : 12000
 xfer_align   : 12000
 start_threshold  : 48000
 stop_threshold   : 48000
 silence_threshold: 0
 silence_size : 0
 boundary     : 6755399441055744000
Slave: Hardware PCM card 0 'UA-25' device 0 subdevice 0
Its setup is:
 stream       : PLAYBACK
 access       : MMAP_INTERLEAVED
 format       : S24_3LE
 subformat    : STD
 channels     : 2
 rate         : 96000
 exact rate   : 96000 (96000/1)
 msbits       : 24
 buffer_size  : 48000
 period_size  : 12000
 period_time  : 125000
 tick_time    : 1000
 tstamp_mode  : NONE
 period_step  : 1
 sleep_min    : 0
 avail_min    : 12000
 xfer_align   : 12000
 start_threshold  : 48000
 stop_threshold   : 48000
 silence_threshold: 0
 silence_size : 0
 boundary     : 6755399441055744000

It works! Remember, at 96.000 Khz, you can either play OR record, but not both.

Advanced Alsa configuration

The recommended settings in this HOWTO are now:

This will record/play sound in 24 bits, at the frequency of 44.100 Hz.

Full-duplex mode

The Edirol UA-25 is a half-duplex device, which means that it cannot play several sounds simultaneously. Fortunately, Alsa is able to play and record in full-duplex over a half-duplex device. This Alsa feature is provided by the asym (i.e. full-duplex) plugin, which is able to combine the dmix (i.e. play) and dsnoop (i.e. record) plug-ins.

The dmix and dsnoop interfaces are already provided by Alsa.

Add the following text to you .asoundrc file:

#This PCM combining the dmix and dsnoop slaves
pcm.asymed {
      type asym
      playback.pcm "dmix"
      capture.pcm "dsnoop"
}  
#This PCM should be able to convert recording rates automatically
pcm.pasymed {
      type plug
      slave.pcm "asymed"
}

To record a sound in full-duplex mode:

arecord -f cd -t wav  -D pasymed foobar.wav

To play a sound in full-duplex mode:

aplay -D pasymed foobar.wav

Custom softvol PCM

$alsamixer -c 0 to use mixer settings on card 0 will return:

no mixer elems found

Unfortunately these is no software control over the hardware mixers on the device (like in any USB device), nothing will show up in mixer programs.

Fortunately, Alsa offers the softvol plugin to create a software volume control. We will also define this control as the default mixer.

Here is my first try:

pcm.!default {
   type             plug
   slave.pcm       "softvol"
}
pcm.softvol {
   type            softvol
   slave {
       pcm         "pasymed"
   }
   control {
       name        "SoftMaster"
       card        0
   }
}

Let us have a look at our software mixer:

$amixer
Simple mixer control 'SoftMaster',0
 Capabilities: volume
 Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
 Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
 Limits: 0 - 255
 Front Left: 255 [100%]
 Front Right: 255 [100%]

Recording left and right input channels seperately

When recording from two mono inputs (Input 1/L and Input 2/R), the sound is mixed into a stereo stream at hardware level. Again, there is no software control over this audio device.

This is a problem when you only record from one mono microphone. The resulting stereo sound includes a muted channel with noise. At software level, you may downmix this sound to mono, but this degrades quality because of the muted channel with noise.

A simple solution is to record from left and right input channels seperately, as explained in the dsnoop howto.

pcm.record_left {
   type        dsnoop
   ipc_key 234884
   slave {
       pcm     "plughw:UA25"
       channels 2
   }
   bindings.0  0
}
pcm.record_right {
   type        dsnoop
   ipc_key 2241234
   slave {
       pcm     "plughw:UA25"
       channels 2
   }    
   bindings.0  1
} 

Digital signals

The same rules apply here. Alsa has very little control over the UA-25 hardware. Digital control is done using buttons on the front pane.

Digital In

To record from digital source, press the "DIGITAL IN" button on the front pane of the UA-25. This is simple as that! You can then record using any Alsa tool, on the pasymed or SoftMaster PCMs.

Digital Out

Here, the Edirol UA-25 is in Advance mode off. It provides 16 bits, 44.100 Hz digital output.

Let us try Alsa utility speaker-test:

speaker-test -c 2 -D softvol0 -twav

An optical cable is connected:

In the mixer of the Terratec Aureon, I select Input 2 and check IEC958 In.

I can record the digital stream using the following command:

arecord -v -f S16_LE -c 2 -D plughw:1,0 foobar.wav

I can record the digital out stream of the Edirol UA-25 without problem.

Low latency (to be written)

Investigating. To be written.

MIDI configuration

I don't use MIDI instruments. You are more than welcome to contribute this page.

OK.

For MIDI to work, the device has to be in advance mode.

If MIDI is working, you should see a "raw midi" device for the UA-25 in /proc/asound/devices:

$ grep midi /proc/asound/devices
  8: [ 0- 0]: raw midi

Also, /proc/asound/card0/midi0 should exist (assuming the UA-25 is the 0th audio device):

$ cat /proc/asound/card0/midi0
UA-25

Output 0
  Tx bytes     : 0 
Input 0
  Rx bytes     : 0

MIDI ports

If the UA-25 is running in advance mode, aconnect should show one MIDI input and one MIDI output port:

$ aconnect -il                    # list readable MIDI ports
client 16: 'UA-25' [type=kernel]
    0 'UA-25 MIDI 1    '

$ aconnect -ol                    # list writable MIDI ports
client 16: 'UA-25' [type=kernel]
    0 'UA-25 MIDI 1    '

If you prefer a graphical interface, check out aconnectgui. The relevant information can also be found in /proc/asound/seq/clients.

Connecting an external MIDI controller

To connect an external MIDI controller (e.g. keyboard, faderbox, stompbox, etc.), just plug its MIDI output into the "MIDI IN" socket on the back of the UA-25, and use aconnect to connect it to whatever software synth you want to interpret the MIDI data.

To connect my MIDI foot controller to PureData, aconnect shows me the following (among other things):

$ aconnect -il
client 16: 'UA-25' [type=kernel]
    0 'UA-25 MIDI 1    '

$ aconnect -ol
client 128: 'Pure Data' [type=user]
    0 'Pure Data Midi-In 1'

To get MIDI data flowing from my foot controller into PureData, the incantation I need is:

$ aconnect 16:0 128:0

Connecting an external MIDI synthesizer

I don't have one, but the process ought to be entirely analogous to that described in the preceding section. Feel free to contribute your own experiences.

Resulting .asoundrc file

For clarity, here is the resulting .asoundrc file:

pcm.!default {
  type             plug
  slave.pcm       "softvol"
}
pcm.softvol {
  type            softvol
  slave {
      pcm         "pasymed"
  }
  control {
      name        "SoftMaster"
      card        0
  }
}
#This PCM combining the dmix and dsnoop slaves
pcm.asymed {
     type asym
     playback.pcm "dmix"
     capture.pcm "dsnoop"
}  
#This PCM should be able to convert recording rates automatically
pcm.pasymed {
     type plug
     slave.pcm "asymed"
}
pcm.record_left {
  type        dsnoop
  ipc_key 234884
  slave {
      pcm     "plughw:UA25"
      channels 2
  }
  bindings.0  0
}
pcm.record_right {
  type        dsnoop
  ipc_key 2241234
  slave {
      pcm     "plughw:UA25"
      channels 2
  }    
  bindings.0  1
} 

Device information

The following section may help Alsa hackers:

cat/proc/bus/usb/devices

$cat/proc/bus/usb/devices
 T:  Bus=02 Lev=04 Prnt=06 Port=02 Cnt=01 Dev#=  7 Spd=12  MxCh= 0
 D:  Ver= 1.10 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=00 Prot=ff MxPS= 8 #Cfgs=  1
 P:  Vendor=0582 ProdID=0074 Rev= 1.07
 S:  Manufacturer=Roland
 S:  Product=EDIROL UA-25
 C:* #Ifs= 3 Cfg#= 1 Atr=80 MxPwr=480mA
 I:  If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 0 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=02 Prot=00 Driver=snd-usb-audio
  I:  If#= 0 Alt= 1 #EPs= 1 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=02 Prot=00 Driver=snd-usb-audio
 E:  Ad=01(O) Atr=09(Isoc) MxPS= 320 Ivl=1ms
 I:  If#= 1 Alt= 0 #EPs= 0 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=02 Prot=00 Driver=snd-usb-audio
 I:  If#= 1 Alt= 1 #EPs= 1 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=02 Prot=00 Driver=snd-usb-audio
 E:  Ad=82(I) Atr=05(Isoc) MxPS= 320 Ivl=1ms
 I:  If#= 2 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=03 Prot=00 Driver=snd-usb-audio
 E:  Ad=03(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  32 Ivl=0ms
 E:  Ad=84(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  32 Ivl=0ms
 I:  If#= 2 Alt= 1 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=03 Prot=00 Driver=snd-usb-audio
 E:  Ad=03(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  32 Ivl=0ms
 E:  Ad=84(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=  32 Ivl=1ms

cat /proc/asound/devices

$cat /proc/asound/devices
  0: [ 0]   : control
  8: [ 0- 0]: raw midi
 16: [ 0- 0]: digital audio playback
 24: [ 0- 0]: digital audio capture
 33:        : timer

cat /proc/asound/cards

$cat /proc/asound/cards
 0 [UA25           ]: USB-Audio - UA-25
                      EDIROL UA-25 at usb-0000:00:0b.1-2.4.4.3, full speed

aplay -l

aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: UA25 [UA-25], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
 Subdevices: 1/1
 Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

$aplay -L
PCM list:
hw {
       @args.0 CARD
       @args.1 DEV
       @args.2 SUBDEV
       @args.CARD {
               type string
               default {
                       @func getenv
                       vars {
                               0 ALSA_PCM_CARD
                               1 ALSA_CARD
                       }
                       default {
                               @func refer
                               name 'defaults.pcm.card'
                       }
               }
       }
       @args.DEV {
               type integer
               default {
                       @func igetenv
                       vars {
                               0 ALSA_PCM_DEVICE
                       }
                       default {
                               @func refer
                               name 'defaults.pcm.device'
                       }
               }
       }
       @args.SUBDEV {
               type integer
               default {
                       @func refer
                       name 'defaults.pcm.subdevice'
               }
       }
       type hw
       card $CARD
       device $DEV
       subdevice $SUBDEV
}
plughw {
       @args.0 CARD
       @args.1 DEV
       @args.2 SUBDEV
       @args.CARD {
               type string
               default {
                       @func getenv
                       vars {
                               0 ALSA_PCM_CARD
                               1 ALSA_CARD
                       }
                       default {
                               @func refer
                               name 'defaults.pcm.card'
                       }
               }
       }
       @args.DEV {
               type integer
               default {
                       @func igetenv
                       vars {
                               0 ALSA_PCM_DEVICE
                       }
                       default {
                               @func refer
                               name 'defaults.pcm.device'
                       }
               }
       }
       @args.SUBDEV {
               type integer
               default {
                       @func refer
                       name 'defaults.pcm.subdevice'
               }
       }
       type plug
       slave.pcm {
               type hw
               card $CARD
               device $DEV
               subdevice $SUBDEV
       }
}
plug {
       @args.0 SLAVE
       @args.SLAVE {
               type string
       }
       type plug
       slave.pcm $SLAVE
}
shm {
       @args.0 SOCKET
       @args.1 PCM
       @args.SOCKET {
               type string
       }
       @args.PCM {
               type string
       }
       type shm
       server $SOCKET
       pcm $PCM
}
tee {
       @args.0 SLAVE
       @args.1 FILE
       @args.2 FORMAT
       @args.SLAVE {
               type string
       }
       @args.FILE {
               type string
       }
       @args.FORMAT {
               type string
               default raw
       }
       type file
       slave.pcm $SLAVE
       file $FILE
       format $FORMAT
}
file {
       @args.0 FILE
       @args.1 FORMAT
       @args.FILE {
               type string
       }
       @args.FORMAT {
               type string
               default raw
       }
       type file
       slave.pcm null
       file $FILE
       format $FORMAT
}
null {
       type null
}
cards 'cards.pcm'
front 'cards.pcm.front'
rear 'cards.pcm.rear'
center_lfe 'cards.pcm.center_lfe'
side 'cards.pcm.side'
surround40 'cards.pcm.surround40'
surround41 'cards.pcm.surround41'
surround50 'cards.pcm.surround50'
surround51 'cards.pcm.surround51'
surround71 'cards.pcm.surround71'
iec958 'cards.pcm.iec958'
spdif 'cards.pcm.iec958'
modem 'cards.pcm.modem'
phoneline 'cards.pcm.phoneline'
dmix 'cards.pcm.dmix'
dsnoop 'cards.pcm.dsnoop'

See also

Retrieved from "http://alsa.opensrc.org/Edirol_UA-25"

Category: Sound cards

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