Interfacing Linux: Behringer FIREPOWER FCA 1616

Whether you’re creating a MIDI masterpiece, recording a drum kit, or mixing a podcast you’re going to want an interface at some point. Thing is, finding out which ones work with Linux can be an adventure.

For now I will be focusing on Firewire interfaces since they are no longer supported in Windows 10 and Apple hasn’t shipped a MAC with a fire-hole since 2012. That means people are dumping them on places like Ebay and Reverb. A Firewire card for your Linux machine is a $30 investment that could potentially save you hundreds on your next interface.

Each week we’re going to put an interface through a few trials and one tribulation.

1. Overview
2. Setup
3. Soundcheck
4. Round trip latency
5. 15 minute torture test
6. What works and what nopes.

Today we’re looking at a little known interface from a company the internet loves to hate.


CPU AMD Ryzen 7 1700
RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
Motherboard MSI B350 Tomahawk
GPU Nvidia Quadro 4000
SSD Samsung 840
PSU: EVGA 600 B1
Firewire: Syba SY-PEX30016
Network: Intel i350-T4
OS: Debian Buster
Kernel: 4.19.0-8-rt-amd64
Desktop: XFCE 4.12

FIREPOWER FCA1616: Round-trip latency @44100 HZ

FIREPOWER FCA1616: Round-trip latency @4800 HZ

FIREPOWER FCA1616: Round-trip latency @96000 HZ

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Behringer FIREPOWER FCA 1616

$180 / $225

Works out of the box


Ease of setup




Build quality



  • Everything works, period.
  • 60 dB of gain on the preamps
  • 8 insert jacks.
  • USB & Firewire connectivity.


  • No power button!
  • Only 4 line-level inputs.
  • No way to bypass the preamps.
  • Midas preamps: Not bad, just flat.

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