GoXLR Linux

Linux Sound Card History (The GoXLR)

This letter, written in January 2022 and has since been denied by its first author, almost fell by the wayside. This was not the opinion of some regulars who found this text reflections and inspiration for further adventures that inevitably come among free software and certain materials.
You may have had similar adventures, here is your chance to let us know.

The GoXLR sound card, which is very popular among streaming devices, is about to work on Linux, but it is hanging by a thread, or rather a developer. Here’s the story…

A rather cute birthday story

It was Christmas Eve, I was so happy to see Santa Claus put together a great sound card, a special broadcast device, from TC-Helicon. A GoXLR.
And here’s the drama!

The card is not compatible with Linux. After seeing my disappointment, my parents offered to take it back to the store. The sound card still costs 500 euros!

I take a quick look at GitHub and see a page that says that part of the functionality, the mixer, is working.

After much hesitation, I decided to keep it.

moment of doubt

Did I do a good job?

Arriving home, I realized that the script shown on GitHub only works with JACK and with kernel >= 5.11… and with kernels <= 5.14... a kernel error has been opened about this.
Even worse, to access all the card’s features, you have to load the program from a Windows virtual machine…

After installing three kernels, messing with JACK and PulseAudio everywhere, absolutely nothing works. 😢
I’m starting to feel sorry for my Christmas present…

Should we fight for freedom?

In a rage against TC-Helicon, their own card! I swear to fight for my rights and the rights of my Linux brothers and sisters, I imagine a petition, that I will get my card back from FSF-Europe, that I will write to the RMS … and then do nothing, because … what a lazy (!)
Finally, with my revolutionary passion, I’m going to nonetheless drop two disgusting tweets against TC-Helicon with the hashtag #goXLR…no one will read them…

Defeated by the system (and lazy) … I decided to start negotiations with the enemy …

I go to the Discord of TC-Helicon to (very politely) ask the support service to publish their software sources under Windows.

They tell me no, because it will give information about users due to telemetry…
Smart as a monkey, I ask them to give the rest of the source code, except for this part…
They still politely tell me to go and cook an egg.

still lost.

Saved by the community!

I ended up using the owner of Discord of GoXLR… on Linux 🥳

A small community (in particular a developer) is working on this topic and is doing USB reverse engineering on the card. Thanks to WireShark, he was able to find commands to adjust the panel, install effects, and start coding a small utility in Rust.

Some magic happens when it shows a short video of beginners moving themselves from the command line. ✨

Bah, the error on the kernel is not resolved. The card is not working.

In discord, the wonderful dinner bonesshows that dispensing with Windows would still be very complex because the exchange of information takes place at a very low level in USB.

I read all of its commitments, hoping that the day will come when it will work perfectly on my device. Hope gives life…

In the meantime, the real magic of Linux is that I learned a lot of things, about PipeWire, JACK, and PulseAdio. I also saw how Rust worked, a very nice language. I’m not ready to contribute yet, but who knows…
Ha, then I came across a lot of Linux bloggers talking about streaming, OBS stuff and stuff.

Perhaps this is the magic of Christmas for Linux. There is a little disappointment, but a lot of learning too!

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