Using ODroid U3 and arch-linux for Audio applications



The ODroid U3 surely rocks the house. With 3 usb port it can fit any combination of external control you would like [Launchpad, nanoKontrol, Audio out, …] , a processing power that blows the Rpi to dust,  it shines it the best standalone cpu platform I’ve come across so far.

Installation-wise, I installed arch-linux and compiled my synthesis framework in about 3h without a glitch (except for the built-in audio not being recognised by ALSA), and it auto-boot to any app in about 13 seconds.

I enjoy now close to unlimited number of Braider voices while the Rpi puked on three.

So, no matter whether you want to write synthesis software or use any of the Linux classics like pd, super collider, etc.. I’d hugely recommend it.



    1. Any standard USB will do. I’ve got a cheap chinese USB from here but I tried a couple of others from M-Audio and Native Instrument. They all worked.

      1. Hey, I’m curious what cards from M-Audio and NI you were using. I’ve been banging my head against the wall trying to get any high-quality USB soundcard working with the Rpi or Beagleboard and with no luck. Seems like the only option is to go with USB 1.1 compatibility mode and limit yourself to two channels – 48k/16bit … it would be fantastic to be able to get one of these single board computers to run high quality multi-channel audio with a nicer soundcard (e.g. something like the Focusrite 6i6 or Edirol UA1010) that can do multichannel and 96k/24bit audio.

        1. I only used stereo/ 44.1khz. Note that the limitation might not only be the hardware but the distribution might have some role to play with. Have you tried using Arch-linux ? Also, If you want to process really high sample rate, you should check the odroid u3 as it is way more powerful

    1. A small synth based on Mutable Braids and Tony Hardie Bick’s Digital Filter Module. All in GPL goodness 😀

  1. Hi! Great blog, can’t wait to see what come out. A muff wiggler who used ODroid suggested that powering ODroid is pretty tricky and needed adapters. Will the power controller be killed by power coming from USB devices? Any tips or tricks? I want to run ODROID with a CVpal or a DAC shield, to Midi host- CV out. Is powering the USB midi controller plus the a DAC shield going to cause a shutdown?

    1. The Odroid is specified to require a 2A power supply with a very thin shaft. Although it’s slightly inconvenient, it’s not really difficult to find.
      On the other hand, I’ve always used it headless with a 1A/5v power adapter. It’s been absolutely no problem to connect USB device to it and small electronics like what CVpal would need is definitely not going to blow it. I only had to connect it to grab a 2 amp supply when I started using one as media server running xbmc.

      Now, note also that you don’t need the power of an odroid to run cvpal or a midi to cv. You could use a raspberry pi or even a teensy. But yeah,the odroid is very nice and will last as a great Swiss army knife of computing.

    1. At this point, I’ve only used it for heavy internal DSP. I didn’t try the gpio’s. I doubt Raspi shield would be compatible. I would try to roll my own 😀

  2. Hi! After replacing a cheap micro HDMI cable, I’ve got the ODROID up and working! I couldn’t manage setting up the ArchLinux through the instructions on the ArchLinux ODROID webpage, something failed along the way. So at this point I’m using Ubuntu 14, and so far pd patches are working nicely :). Is your ArchLinux image hosted anywhere I could download it and give it a try?

    1. Strange. I used the one on the archlinux page and it was fine. I know one time I had an issue with dd but I’ve got too many os’es to remember which one I used finally 😀
      If you want to use a UI and pd, probably ubuntu is just fine. I’ve got a ubuntu-based mediaserver running on one and it’s pretty fast to boot too. Arch is really only the way to go if you are interested in display-less auto-booting machine.

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