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Very Basic Question

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Very Basic Question

Postby david_edwards@postmaster.co.uk » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:08 am

I have a Behringer X2442 mixer and Soundblaster Z card in a well specified PC running Windows 10. These have so far been used for non music related purposes.

I cannot easily multitrack in Audacity, say, as the result of latency.

Is it in my interest to buy an Audio interface such as the Focusrite or do I already have the kit that I need and as such should concentrate on making this work?
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Re: Very Basic Question

Postby jaminem » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:18 pm

Hi there, assuming its the X2442 USB, then theoretically you have what you need. to get audio in and out, you don't say what you want to do in terms of use so its difficult to say - recording mics? playing virtual instruments etc
connect the mixer to the PC ignoring the soundblaster entirely.

following the setup instructions to install the drivers for the Mixer

Now latency can be caused by a number of things, but I would ensure first that your PC is configured correctly for audio - do a google search for win 10 DAW configuration ands follow the steps in there.

Also if there is any 'direct monitoring' or hardware zero latency feature or facility on the mixer driver, enable that
Then there should be in the mixer driver the ability to adjust the latency via samples - your looking for a setting with options for 64, 128, 256 etc.

If you can get it to 64 samples latency should be pretty much imperceptible
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Re: Very Basic Question

Postby david_edwards@postmaster.co.uk » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:31 pm

Thank you very much for your response. My aim is to layer music tracks. I can do this in Audacity but then need to compensate in the application for around a third of a second of latency. I was wondering whether an audio interface would get rid of the need to do this.
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Re: Very Basic Question

Postby Wonks » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:41 pm

Whilst its not a card I'd chose to use for the purpose, a quick look at the Sound Blaster site shows that it has got ASIO drivers and boats ultra-low latency (no values specified), so it should be capable of a reasonable performance.

In Audacity, are you using the default windows drivers? If you are, look for ASIO drivers for the Soundblaster (and check you are using the very latest drivers).

But with the external mixer, you would need to be connecting it into the line inputs and outputs on the Soundblaster to take advantage of its ASIO drivers. Whilst the Mixer can be connected /recorded with using its USB connection, it will use generic windows drivers unless you load the ASIO4All drivers. And with ASIO, you can only have one driver active at a time, so you'd either need to use the Soundblaster for inputs and outputs or the Behringer for inputs and outputs. I'm sure the Soundbaster will have the lowest latency. So I'd use hardwired connections from the mixer into the Soundblaster.

You van use inputs from the mixer and output via the soundblaster, but only using the much slower windows drivers

The ASIO driver should have a control panel where you can set buffer sizes (lower values give lower latency but put more load on the processor). There should be a panel in Audacity where you select the input/output drivers, and the Soundblaster ASIO driver is the one to select.

You could probably configure (if you haven't done already) the Soundblaster outputs to connect to the mixer, so you control the speaker levels from there - though this is really only possible if you are using a stereo speaker setup. But if you do this, then you can normally configure the mixer to mix in your input sound (from a mic or synth etc) with the sound played back from Audacity, so that you hear what's being recorded without any latency (as well as the input being sent to the PC) . But you need to be careful that you don't send the playback signal back into the PC again, so you get a feedback loop and doubled recordings with a slight delay between them.
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Re: Very Basic Question

Postby david_edwards@postmaster.co.uk » Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:44 pm

Thank you very much for your response: I will look into all of this.
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Re: Very Basic Question

Postby blinddrew » Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:47 pm

Just to be clear, and apologies if this is egg-sucking-territory, but the Behringer is only a 2in - 2out interface so can't be used to record multiple inputs to separate tracks simultaneously.
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Re: Very Basic Question

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:53 pm

Are you layering tracks generated in the computer using virtual instruments or recording 'real' instruments 'via the analogue inputs on the mixer? If the latter latency should not be a problem if you monitor the 'live' instruments through the mixer and everything will line up when you mix down. Virtual instruments or monitoring through the DAW will always introduce some latency so I'll refer you back to Wonks and Jaminem's comments.
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Re: Very Basic Question

Postby david_edwards@postmaster.co.uk » Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:07 pm

Thank you all for your posts: everything is now working. Using the mixer's USB connection and using direct monitoring sorted it for me.
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Re: Very Basic Question

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:35 pm

:thumbup: Great :clap:
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Re: Very Basic Question

Postby jaminem » Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:35 pm

david_edwards@postmaster.co.uk wrote:Thank you all for your posts: everything is now working. Using the mixer's USB connection and using direct monitoring sorted it for me.

Great news - Have fun!
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Re: Very Basic Question

Postby jimjazzdad » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:23 pm

Wonks wrote:Whilst its not a card I'd chose to use for the purpose, a quick look at the Sound Blaster site shows that it has got ASIO drivers and boats ultra-low latency (no values specified), so it should be capable of a reasonable performance.

In Audacity, are you using the default windows drivers? If you are, look for ASIO drivers for the Soundblaster (and check you are using the very latest drivers)...
Using Audacity with ASIO drivers is not straightforward. I found this out when trying to set up my RME Babyface to record to Audacity. To quote from the Audacity manual:
"The ASIO technology was developed by German company Steinberg and is protected by a licensing agreement which prevents redistribution of its source code...Audacity, as an open source program licensed under the GPL, is therefore currently unable to support ASIO, despite being ASIO-capable...Audacity provides ASIO support on Windows for individuals who are prepared to compile Audacity from source code using the optional Steinberg ASIO SDK." Compiling your own ASIO-capable copy of Audacity is not trivial. The OP may be better off loading a DAW that supports ASIO - maybe the OP should try Reaper for free; it is also very reasonable to purchase and offers a much better solution for multitracking,
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