Some Notes on envy24control

The envy24control utility is mainly meant for checking that the gain values are correctly set, and that cables and such are alright for zaunammer to receive digital audio input. If, however, the faders on the S/PDIF In channels are set too low (lower than 0dB) or the channels are muted altogether, recordings may be worse in the sense that they are not at maximum volume (and thus more noisy or maybe even somewhat distorted). If you are doing very valuable recordings, say, for a worthy unit selection corpus or sophisticated acoustic analysis of signals, you may want to play with these settings in order to get optimal output. For other recordings or student projects, the rule of thumb should be fine which says to put S/PDIF In L/R to maximum gain (knobs at the upper end, remember) and unmute them, while muting all other channels and setting their faders to -96dB (knobs at the lower end of the scale).

Thus, the Monitor Mixer should roughly look like this:
envy24control Main Mixer recommended setup
(There was no sound on the card's S/PDIF inputs at the time the picture was taken, don't be confused.)

These changes are not too easy to hear, so don't be confused if your recordings seem to be alright despite of differing settings in the envy24control mixer panel.

Another thing to mention is that the input clock source can be selected in envy24control, but that this setting seems to be usually ignored, as long as you do not patch through input signals to the card's outputs (which you should not normally do). To be on the safe side and save yourself from hours of trouble-shooting, set the Master Clock check in the Hardware settings tab to S/PDIF In, and leave the S/PDIF Input check set to Coaxial. everything else should normally not affect your recordings or DAT transfers (which are no more than recordings, either).

The Hardware settings tab should look like this:
envy24control Hardware Settings recommended setup

Anything else are either output settings (the "Patchbay/Router" tab, and the S/PDIF Output settings and anything else on the "Hardware Settings" tab), or means of saving predefined "profiles" of use for the envy24 sound card. If you have special needs or do recordings very often, you may want to create a default profile, else these are not too important to you.

envy24control is part of the alsa-tools package, just for the courious.