On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM, Christopher Antila <crantila@fedoraproject.org> wrote:
That's not where my search ended. As it turns out, digital in-/out-puts
are a bit of an issue, and since I'm replacing another device (with
neither MIDI nor S/PDIF---this is why), I want to be sure the new device
will have superior audio characteristics. I found a device that may be
exactly what you want: the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (see link below).
People say it has excellent sound quality, it works out-of-the-box with
Linux, and it's a USB 2.0 device with MIDI ports. To get the S/PDIF
outputs, I think I'm going to get the similar 6i6 model. The 6i6 is
apparently a bit of a struggle to set up, but somebody has to do the
testing, and it might as well be me.


As always, I'm curious to know about other people's experiences.

I can second checking out Focusrite. They're known for directly supporting Linux firewire development, as most of their devices are/were firewire.

USB however is a bit of a new area for pro-audio interfaces, I was in the market for "DJ" interfaces about a year back (4 outputs) and the choices were extremely limited, I ended up purchasing a Focusrite Saffire 6 "Mk I" which is a USB 1.1 device (they all were at the time, I don't really understand why) meaning there is only enough bandwidth for at best 24bit/48khz. It is also not class compliant and does NOT work in Linux yet although some hints for writing a driver were dropped on a blog...


However there is a new Saffire 6 Mk II out that is USB 2.0 and class compliant thus is supposed to work in Linux out of the box. If you really need USB give that one a look, or the new USB Scarlett models. (Didn't exist a year ago!) But you may want to go firewire if you have the budget for it.

Focusrite is a friend to Linux, buy their stuff. :)