6x Audio adapters on a Rasberry Pi 4

Hi, before I begin thank you for reading; and I would also add, I have tested this as far as I can (for now) unplugging, rebooting, changing usb ports, changing # of devices connected, location on the hub etc.

I am trying to use 4-6 audio adapters at once using a custom python program to play multiple sound files simultaneously. The software works as it has been used for an art instillation driving 4 audio speakers simultaneously, but I am NOT the developer who coded it and a pi 3 was used in the art project.

My questions for the Plugable guys are:

  1. Is it possible to run 6 audio streams using the Audio Adaptor and are there any issues you know of doing this?

  2. The issue seems to be with the ras-pi 4, can you advise me with the most probable points of conflict running audio divices from USB (e.g. ALSA vs pulseaudio issues)

  3. I know the pi "sees’ all six Audio Adapters, but it cant seem to stream to more than two at once - what could this be?


Hi Simon,

Thanks for your post! This is certainly a unique use case and not one we’ve come across before. We’ve had a few customers use two adapters at one time, but playing all the same audio via PulseAudio’s Preferences for Simultaneous Audio ( https://www.maketecheasier.com/play-sound-through-multiple-devices-linux/ ). Nothing quite like this yet!

Our Audio expert is out today, but I wanted to ensure you get a response today. Our go-to for all configuration questions like this is going to be the official documentation: https://alsa.opensrc.org/MultipleCards and more specifically, for configuration of multiple USB Audio devices: https://alsa.opensrc.org/MultipleUSBAudioDevices plus Udev for attempting to retain device-port configurations across reboots: https://alsa.opensrc.org/Udev

I know that’s a lot of documentation, but it’s where we would begin for any situations like this. To our knowledge, there is no restriction to the number of audio cards or USB audio devices within the stack or to Raspberry Pi 4 series, but it’s not something we have validated either and, typically, we don’t see a lot of requests like this for these consumer-grade adapters. Most people end up going with a more professional solution designed to handle this sort of use case.

Our Audio expert will be sure to chime in with any additional thoughts or tips they may have. As the Pi is seeing the devices, we’re more than likely looking at a software configuration issue than anything related to the adapters themselves.

Thank you,

Derek Nuzum
Plugable Technologies

Hi Simon,

This isn’t something we’ve explicitly tested, but it should be possible to push the audio output to several devices at once.

This article suggests an application called PulseAudio Preferences that can add virtual audio devices to output to all audio devices simultaneously https://www.maketecheasier.com/play-sound-through-multiple-devices-linux/

I hope this helps.

Wow, thank you for the quick response. I was canvasing this question on multiple forums and the two responses here are by far the best. I’ll have to look into the resources you provided. If I cant figure out how to make it work I’ll try here first.

Thanks again,

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