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Driven to Distraction- by Drivers!

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Driven to Distraction- by Drivers!

Postby Tamablaster » Tue May 14, 2019 2:25 pm

I am hoping someone can help me get through the ASIO maze. I have a simple studio setup - a Roland electronic kit connected to my laptop via USB, running Cubase Elements 8 (currently upgrading to Artist 10). My workflow is also simple - record the drums on midi, edit or do retakes to get that right, cut the audio track and mix it with the other instruments, and finally produce the finished drum track. I use ASIO4ALL to make my connections.

I had been having issues with the on-board sound-card, so bought a Behringer UMC202HD USB Interface. Great, works well and sounds way better. In the process of setting that up with Cubase, I was led to find out more about ASIO drivers generally, ASIO4ALL in particular. I wish I hadn’t.

It would seem that ASIO4ALL isn’t in fact an ASIO driver, but a device that sits above that level, connecting native drivers through WDM. I also discovered that it is misreporting the Roland sample rate, which is likely to affect how Cubase sets up for latency in recording. So overall, I’m less inclined to continue with ASIO4ALL.

To do what I need to do, I can see two solutions:

1. Use ASIO4ALL for midi work (not time critical), Roland driver for recording, and USB interface driver for mixing and production. A bit of a faff, more to remember, but the integrity of the data streams is preserved.

2. Connect the Roland to the USB interface via the balanced line outs. I’m sure I could get Cubase settings to compensate for the increased delay, but have no knowledge on how much the extra D to A and A to D will degrade the signal or increase the noise floor. On the upside, I can raise the platform sample rate to 48k, it’s currently limited by Roland to 44.1k. And it’s an elegant solution, with just one real ASIO driver.

I can’t believe I’m the only one who has this issue, but there is little chatter online, apart from some nibbles around the edges. Am I missing something? If I took my kit to a professional recording studio, how would they do it?

Any insight or ideas for this would be greatly appreciated. I’m not surprised any more that the music industry is so far behind the technology curve. Personally I blame the guitarists, who still believe that valves are the best thing since solid state!

Thanks in advance,

Cheers... Donny
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Re: Driven to Distraction- by Drivers!

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue May 14, 2019 2:49 pm

It's a while since I used with Windows or Cubase but IIRC ASIO drivers only deal with audio not midi. The Berry has native ASIO driver available here https://www.behringer.com//Categories/Behringer/Computer-Audio/Interfaces/UMC202HD/p/P0BJZ/Downloads#googtrans(en|en) use those and the roland driver for midi. ASIO4ALL is designed to work with obsolete interfaces that don't have current native ASIO drivers, you don't need it.

You will hear no difference between 44.1 and 48 kHz

Please look at my avatar ;)

HTH
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Re: Driven to Distraction- by Drivers!

Postby Tamablaster » Tue May 14, 2019 2:58 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:It's a while since I used with Windows or Cubase but IIRC ASIO drivers only deal with audio not midi. The Berry has native ASIO driver available here https://www.behringer.com//Categories/Behringer/Computer-Audio/Interfaces/UMC202HD/p/P0BJZ/Downloads#googtrans(en|en) use those and the roland driver for midi.

You will hear no difference between 44.1 and 48 kHz

HTH

Thanks Sam and just to clarify, as you say midi doesn't use ASIO, but I need the ASIO driver to audition the drums coming back (from the Roland). Interesting comment re 48k, I thought that was the preferred standard (I'm often asked to supply my track at that rate). All drivers are up to date.
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Re: Driven to Distraction- by Drivers!

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue May 14, 2019 3:11 pm

Ah sorry, didn't realise the Roland sent audio over it's USB which Roland kit is it? Either way plugging the audio out into the interface line inputs might be the simple solution. Do you use the Roland onboard sounds as the final track? It would be better to avoid the additional D/A and A/D stages if that's the case. The higher end TD kits have drivers listed on the `Roland support page, I assume you have tried them?

48kHz is standard for film/video, 44.1kHz for audio (it's the sample rate for Red Book audio CDs).
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Re: Driven to Distraction- by Drivers!

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed May 15, 2019 9:21 am

Tamablaster wrote:It would seem that ASIO4ALL isn’t, in fact, an ASIO driver, but a device that sits above that level, connecting native drivers through WDM. I also discovered that it is misreporting the Roland sample rate, which is likely to affect how Cubase sets up for latency in the recording.

Yep, pretty much. You have WDM drivers (Wasapi) which are system-level windows drivers and you have ASIO which is supposed to be written to bypass all the internal windows routing and handling that causing lag and slow down in handling and processing the data.

ASIO4All is a generic wrapper that is designed to encapsulate the WDM driver and offer up additional ASIO functionality for any soundcard that doesn't have it's own natively written ASIO drivers.

It's designed to be a last-ditch solution when all other hope is gone... not the first point of call for an optimized setup.

As noted above, try the Behringer dedicated drivers.

I can’t believe I’m the only one who has this issue, but there is little chatter online, apart from some nibbles around the edges. Am I missing something? If I took my kit to a professional recording studio, how would they do it?

Whichever way makes sense at the time as I imagine there is a few ways of hitting this.

I'm not a 100% clear without knowing the kit in use, but it sounds like you're sending the sound over USB from the drums? That would imply that you're using the drumkit module as the ASIO assigned sound card rather than the ringer? You can't really pool two separate interfaces under windows unless the individual drivers are written to talk to each other, which tends to restrict it to models from the same brand.

So, if the module is putting audio out, then you would do it the traditional way. You'd get a mixer or ideally a sound interface with the correct number of inputs and multi-track it like any other kit.

If you want to do it cleanly in the box, then you set the kit up as a midi controller (no audio) and hook that into the system running something like BFD or other drum kit package so you can play the midi in and trigger the sound on the system whilst recording that midi for further editing.

Just for the irony factor, between systems like Triple play for midi tracking and the wealth of amp sims out there, guitarists are hardly slacking off here ;)
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Re: Driven to Distraction- by Drivers!

Postby Tamablaster » Wed May 15, 2019 8:37 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Ah sorry, didn't realise the Roland sent audio over it's USB which Roland kit is it? Either way plugging the audio out into the interface line inputs might be the simple solution. Do you use the Roland onboard sounds as the final track? It would be better to avoid the additional D/A and A/D stages if that's the case. The higher end TD kits have drivers listed on the `Roland support page, I assume you have tried them?

48kHz is standard for film/video, 44.1kHz for audio (it's the sample rate for Red Book audio CDs).
Yes, it's Roland's TD 50KV. I can send digital audio via USB (with the Roland driver), or balanced L & R audio. All at 44.1kHz sample rate. Thanks for clarifying sample rates, 44.1 works for me.
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Re: Driven to Distraction- by Drivers!

Postby Tamablaster » Wed May 15, 2019 9:04 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:
Tamablaster wrote:Whichever way makes sense at the time as I imagine there is a few ways of hitting this.

Thanks Pete, and from your and other responses on this thread, I'm pretty much sure I'm on the right track. I'll switch ASIO drivers to match the workflow task I'm on, and leave ASIO4ALL alone as far as possible. I also have a drums VSTi, which does make the process simpler when using that.

BTW, just joking about guitarists, but still think there's too much legacy tech in the music industry.
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Re: Driven to Distraction- by Drivers!

Postby Pete Kaine » Thu May 16, 2019 9:21 am

Tamablaster wrote:BTW, just joking about guitarists, but still think there's too much legacy tech in the music industry.

I know, I wasn't taking it all that seriously. :)
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