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QasMixer on the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R

Source code:


QasMixer is a desktop application for controlling audio devices under ALSA. Everything it tries to do, it pretty much does right -- but it stops short of providing functionality that would make it really usable in a studio-recording context.

2022-12-03 v?? (Linux Mint 21)

I'm using it to manage/configure an M-Audio Fast Track Ultra (FTU), which has 8 analog inputs and 8 analog outputs as well as an internal mixer and effects both internal and external. QasMixer presents all of this as a series of vertical sliders -- one for each possible combination of input-to-output routing.

That's good, to be clear: without having to do any configuration, find any drivers, etc. I can just use this thing on my antique hardware. Yay! I can also filter the display for just inputs, just outputs, or both -- and they are color-coded. So all of that is good.

The Main Problem Set

That's a lot of sliders, and the UI clearly isn't designed to handle it. The list of sliders is over two screens wide, even on a widescreen monitor.

It defaults to setting all of them to 100% on, which means that every input is routed to every other input and every effect send/return (including the internal ones). If I want to just use the FTU to play stereo audio from my computer, I have to turn everything else off that might have a signal, and specifically route Din1 (digital input #1) to Out1 (analog output #1) and Din2 to Out2, with everything else zeroed out.

Anytime the FTU gets disconnected, it forgets all my modifications, and reverts to everything-on -- even if QasMixer was running the whole time.

There does not seem to be any way to save a mixing configuration. The only thing you can tell it to remember is which device to default to.

There is no way to grab multiple sliders at once; you have to adjust them each manually.


In addition to fixing all of the problems above:

  • It should be possible to save configurations in separate files, preferably with a list of known config-files in a selection-box on the right so you can easily switch back and forth. The config I use for listening to regular system audio (e.g. playing a video or a mixdown) will be different from the config I use for recording from two microphones, which will be different from transcribing from a multitrack tape-deck, etc. I need to be able to load these up quickly as needed.
  • It would be nice if the sliders could be arranged as a grid, to look more like a conventional mixer. ALSA may not provide enough information to automate this reliably, so I'm fine with having to do it manually one time (create mixer grid, assign slider to each knob in grid, save layout and mark as default for this type of device). Hopefully it could look at the slider-names and parse out a sensible arrangement from that, but I'd be fine without that extra convenience.