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Tascam US-122

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IMPORTANT: Tascam US-122 and US-122L are NOT the same

If you are looking for US-122L support check [1].

Tascam US-122 on Debian and Ubuntu

Note: This didn't work for me on sidux (Debian sid, Dez/05/2009), whereas this howto did it for me. Micu 20:50, 5 December 2009 (EST)

Initial Setup

Circa 2007-04-20 - follow these instructions and then simply plug in your US-122. It will probably become your second sound card device so you will need to tell most applications to use the hw:1 device (ie; from within Amarok etc). This would probably work for the US-224 and US-248 as well.

# open up a shell and change to root (or prepend
# sudo to all instructions) and type in your normal
# users password (or just "su -" with roots password)

sudo -i -u root

# download these two packages (use the appropriate
# package manager for your distribution)

apt-get update
apt-get install fxload alsa-firmware-loaders

# check for the latest package version first
# Updated: 2008-06-12


# untar the ALSA firmware package (older versions
# of tar may need to use xjf)

tar xf alsa-firmware-1.0.16.tar.bz2

# move the essential components to a standard
# place (for example a firmware folder), modify for an updated firmware package

mkdir /usr/share/alsa/firmware
cd alsa-firmware-1.0.16 && mv * /usr/share/alsa/firmware

Create a special rule for UDEV to autoload the firmware in /etc/udev/rules.d/55-tascam.rules (requires a kernel > 2.6.15) by using any editor. You may need to alter some paths to match exactly where your system has stored the required files.

BUS=="usb", ACTION=="add", SYSFS{idProduct}=="8006", SYSFS{idVendor}=="1604", RUN+="/bin/sh -c '/sbin/fxload -D %N -s /usr/share/alsa/firmware/usx2yloader/tascam_loader.ihx -I /usr/share/alsa/firmware/usx2yloader/us122fw.ihx'"
BUS=="usb", ACTION=="add", SYSFS{idProduct}=="8007", SYSFS{idVendor}=="1604", RUN+="/bin/sh -c '/usr/bin/usx2yloader'"

Now just plug in the USB cable for your US-122 and the top right hand side green USB light should come on.

Audio Recording / Playback

It may also be useful to use these /etc/asound.conf (or \~/.asoundrc) settings if you already have an onboard or PCI soundcard installed so that most ALSA aware audio programs will respect the USB based soundcard as the default. Older OSS software may not respect this setting so you would need to specify hw:1 or /dev/dsp1 from within each program. You could use nano /etc/asound.conf (as root) and paste the below directly into the editor if you happen to have a SBlive card, and have turned off any onboard audio device in your BIOS so you only have two audio devices. You can check what sound cards have been detected with cat /proc/asound/cards.

pcm.Live        { type hw; card Live; }
ctl.Live        { type hw; card Live; }

pcm.USX2Y       { type hw; card USX2Y; }
ctl.USX2Y       { type hw; card USX2Y; }

pcm.!default    pcm.USX2Y
ctl.!default    ctl.USX2Y

To test recording from the USB device at it's maximum fidelity of 24bits and 48khtz, using default settings with something similar to the above asound.conf, obviously plug some mic/line device into the devices inputs, adjust the input and output gains, and in a shell use arecord and aplay from the alsa-utils package (as a normal user). Keep in mind that software mixers (ie; alsamixer or kmix) do not work with a US-122.

arecord -f S24_3LE -r 48000 -c 2 test.wav
aplay test.wav
file test.wav
test.wav: RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio, Microsoft PCM, 24 bit, stereo 48000 Hz

Here is a short 10 second 3.5 MB wav voice recording (Signed 24 bit Little Endian in 3bytes, Rate 48000 Hz, Stereo) using a Tascam US-122 USB external sound card with a pair of Behringer B1 condenser microphones.

Hardy Heron Fix

From energymomentum on the Ubuntu forums (

I upgraded from Kubuntu Gutsy to Kubuntu Hardy and found that my US122 USB sound interface didn't work any more.

The main issue was that usx2yloader (in alsa-firmware-loaders package) in hardy assumes that the necessary files are in /lib/firmware/usx2yloader, while for the old usx2yloader it was /usr/share/alsa/firmware/usx2yloader.

I already had everything under /usr/share/alsa/firmware/usx2yloader from my Gutsy installation, so I just symlinked this to a new location:

ln -s /usr/share/alsa/firmware/usx2yloader /lib/firmware/usx2yloader

After doing this, a local udev rules file I copied from this thread ( took care of everything.

Note on (some?) later builds the link you need is actually:

ln -s /usr/local/share/alsa/firmware/usx2yloader /lib/firmware/usx2yloader

Somewhat strange thing is, there is a udev rule for Tascam interfaces (/etc/udev/alsa-firmware-loaders.rules) in udev package, which apparently doesn't do anything for my US122. I still need to keep my own udev rules file mentioned above.

NOTE: Works on Ubuntu too.

MIDI Example

Testing MIDI input from a keyboard requires at least a softsynth (ie; fluidsynth) and a SF2 Soundfont (ie; 80Mb) and aconnect from the alsa-utils package. From within a shell as a normal user...

fluidsynth -m alsa_seq soundfont.sf2

# then in another shell

aconnect -i
client 20: 'TASCAM US-X2Y' [type=kernel]
    0 'TASCAM US-X2Y MIDI 1'

aconnect -o
client 129: 'FLUID Synth (8308)' [type=user]
    0 'Synth input port (8308:0)'

aconnect 20 129  # keyboard input should now just work

Mplayer Hint

Just as an aside, these settings are useful for mplayer in \~/.mplayer/config which shows how to use the second sound device (hw:1) for a program that does not respect the default audio device (fs=yes is fullscreen and monitoraspect=1.6 suits a typical so called wide screen LCD monitor).


Tascam US-122 on Slackware 10.2

This is circa stock 2.6.13 kernel, also works on a 2.6.16 kernel.

  1. Adept modprobe.conf
  2. Install fxload (stage one firmware upload)
  3. Compile usx2yloader tool and firmware (stage two firmware upload)

Adept modprobe.conf

The /etc/modprobe.conf looks like:

alias eth0 ipw2200
options eth0 debug=0x43fff
alias eth1 r8169

# Alsa
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel
alias sound-slot-0 snd-hda-intel

alias snd-card-1 snd-usb-usx2y
alias sound-slot-1 snd-usb-usx2y
# OSS / Free
alias char-major-116 snd
alias char-major-14 soundcore
options snd-usb-usx2y enable=1 index=1

# Card 2
alias sound-service-1-0 snd-mixer-oss
alias sound-service-1-1 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-1-3 snd-pcm-oss
alias sound-service-1-8 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-1-12 snd-pcm-oss

Install fxload (stage one firmware)

Note that most of these commands need to be performed as the root user.

mkdir -p ~/source ~/pkg ~/tarballs
cd ~/source
tar xzf fxload-2002_04_11.tar.gz
cd fxload-2202_04_11


If you get a lot of errors, then you have ignored Patrick's warning to leave the 2.4 includes alone. Then do:

removepkg kernel-headers-2.6.13
removepkg kernel-headers-2.4.31 (got overwritten by 2.6.13)
slackpkg install kernel-headers-2.4.31

Okay, continue with compile

mv fx*.tgz ../pkg

Compile usx2yloader tool and firmware (stage two)

tar xjf alsa-driver-1.0.11.tar.bz2
tar xjf alsa-tools-1.0.11.tar.bz2
tar xjf alsa-firmware-1.0.11.tar.bz2
mv *.bz2 tarballs

cd alsa-tools-1.0.11/usx2yloader
./configure;make;checkinstall # Set version to 1.0.11 for clarity
cd ../../alsa-firmware-1.0.11/
cd usx2yloader
checkinstall # Try not to overwrite the tool package

Troubleshooting Hints

Audio Playback

Had some struggle to get the audio-device working. Midi devices are working properly but when working audio-device it results in:

Sep 20 13:32:47 afpc19 kernel: [ 5124.040000] Sequence Error!(hcd_frame=5135103 ep=8in;wait=5135080,frame=5135084).
Sep 20 13:32:47 afpc19 kernel: [ 5124.040000] Most propably some urb of usb-frame 5135080 is still missing.
Sep 20 13:32:47 afpc19 kernel: [ 5124.040000] Cause could be too long delays in usb-hcd interrupt handling.

The reason is that thinkpad-bios and ubuntu-drivers are working with usb 2.0 and the US-122 is with usb1.1. This can be solved by unloading usb2.0 functionality:

sudo rmmod ehci_hcd

\ You'll have to execute that command at the beginning of a session (i.e. every restart reverts it). Presumably there are ways to prevent the module from being loaded upon startup in the first place. Found this at

Another thing you can try (maybe in addition to the above) is to modify the number of packets per URB. In order to do that, have the snd-usb-usx2y module loaded with the option "nrpacks=1" (This may also solve problems with distorted or crackling audio output with the US-122).

For immediate results:

sudo rmmod snd-usb-usx2y
sudo modprobe snd-usb-usx2y nrpacks=1

(You may have to remove dependent modules / close playback applications first). Vary the value of nrpacks (2,3,4..) if it's not working.

To make the change permanent, create (referring to Ubuntu) /etc/modprobe.d/snd-usb-usx2y with the following content:

option snd-usb-usx2y nrpacks=1

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