Thirteen years before Presonus released the ioStation 24C, Tascam introduced the FireOne. A portable FireWire audio interface with shortcut keys, transport control, and jog wheel for use with your digital audio workstation.

Let’s plug it in and see if it knows how to Linux in 2024.

Have questions about your Linux audio setup? Ask in our forums.


Linux has support for most FireWire audio interfaces built into the kernel, making the FireOne plug and play.


The FireOne functions like any other sound device in Pulseaudio. You can select from several profiles using pavucontrol.


PipeWire didn’t have any trouble with the FireOne. All the inputs, outputs and MIDI connections were available in qpwgraph.


In qjackctil, select the ALSA driver, then select the FireOne from the interface dropdown menu to connect the FireOne to the Jack server. 


Connecting the control surface portion of the FireOne to your digital audio workstation is relatively straightforward. Since the FireOne uses the Mackie protocol, all you need to do is connect the send and receive ports.


Edit > Preferences > Control Surfaces > Mackie Control


Options > Preferences > Control/OSC/web > Add > Mackie Control Universal


While many kinds of audio latency metrics exist, one useful and well-understood metric is round-trip latency; the time it takes for an audio signal to enter the input of a device, get processed, and exit the output.

Measurements were taken with jack_iodelay.


CPUAMD Ryzen 5 5600G
RAMCorsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
MotherboardMSI B550-A PRO
SSDSilicon Power 256GB NVMe
Firewire:Syba SY-PEX30016
Network:Intel i350-T4
OS:Debian 12 (Bookworm)
Kernel:6.6 RT
Desktop:XFCE 4


  • Connectivity: EEE1394 (6 pin)
  • Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2
  • Preamps: 2 x mic, 1 x instrument 
  • Maximum Gain: 53 dB
  • Phantom Power: Yes
  • A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/96kHz
  • Analogue Inputs: 2 x XLR (mic), 1 x 1/4″ (Hi-Z)
  • Analogue Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ TRS
  • Headphones: 2 x 1/4″
  • MIDI Input/Output: 5 pin DIN
  • Bus Powered: Yes
  • Power Supply: 12V 600mA


The Tascam FireOne, despite its age, remains a solid audio interface / control surface combo in 2024. However, one glaring omission left me scratching my brain with a q-tip: a motorized fader. This wasn’t Tascam’s first rodeo in the audio interface/control surface arena, having released the FW1884 in 2003 and the FW1082 in 2005. And guess what both of those models had in abundance? You guessed it – faders galore!

Another issue, beyond Tascam’s control, is that the jog dial flips the absolute hell out when using the FFADO drivers. While a malfunctioning control surface may be entertaining to watch, it can easily send errant MIDI messages that change settings in your DAW. Ask me how I know.

This is a real bummer since it forces you to use the ALSA FireWire stack if you want to take advantage of the control surface portion of the FireOne. While this is the only way to use the FireOne with PipeWire, it kicks your round-trip latency performance right in the ankles.


  • Easy to use
  • Jog wheel, transport controls, and function keys (assignable)
  • Works with Reaper and Ardour
  • Hi-Z input for guitars
  • MIDI


  • No fader
  • Jog wheel does not work with FFADO drivers
  • High round-trip latency due to using the ALSA FireWire stack

Bottom line:

While it’s really neat that the FireOne can still be put to use on Linux in 2024, it falls into the ‘use it if you got it, but don’t go out and buy it’ category.


8 out of 10

A portable FireWire audio interface with shortcut keys, transport control, and jog wheel for use with your digital audio workstation.

Can It Linux
10 out of 10
Does it know how to Linux.
8.5 out of 10
Plug and play or a weekend project?
Audio Quality
8.5 out of 10
Recording and playback performance.
5 out of 10
Wait, it's how much?


Works with Ardour and Reaper

Hi-Z guitar input



No fader

ALSA only

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