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Separate audio outputs from USB

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Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby The Elf » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:17 pm

I'm sick of instruments that arrive with a paucity of audio outputs, to be told it has separate audio outputs over USB. When you can only access one ASIO driver that isn't a good solution.

I had to work with a Roland TR-8 the other day. I though it would be save time to record the patterns from it over its USB outputs. I chose it as the ASIO interface and I used its separate outputs over USB...

...then, returning to my 'real' audio interface, I spent half an hour having to re-set all my audio I/O that had been broken in the process. Sigh...

I'm imagining a box - a box with a USB port on one side and 16 balanced line outs on the other. A simple, 19-inch rack-mounting box. Maybe one already exists?
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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:37 pm

I think that would be a rack case with a mini Apple computer and 16 channel interface... :lol:
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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby The Elf » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:59 pm

I did consider connecting up my laptop with my Zoom L-12 and a few headphone splitter cables... Talk about overkill! :lol: :headbang:

At the time that seemed like a long-winded solution. Now, however... :? :roll:
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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:45 pm

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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby The Elf » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:28 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=usb+sound+adapter&s=price-desc-rank&qid=1593870008&ref=sr_st_price-desc-rank
None of those look like an answer. Which one are you thinking of?
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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:38 pm

As far as I can see, those are all standard USB interfaces, but what is needed is something that can serve as a USB host for the TR8.
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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby The Elf » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:49 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:As far as I can see, those are all standard USB interfaces, but what is needed is something that can serve as a USB host for the TR8.
:thumbup:
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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:44 pm

Is the TR8 class compliant for audio? I would imagine that it would be possible to create something based on a Raspberry Pi to take input from one class compliant device and feed it to another. If it needs a specific driver then you'd need some kind of embedded PC running Windows in the box. It would almost certainly be possible to put a Pico ITX embedded PC inside a 19" rack mount audio interface to add this capability with a little ingenuity.
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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby ef37a » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:26 am

You can buy an HDMI 'sniffer' that is a thru device that picks off audio and delivers it via RCAs. Got one, works.

I see no reason why the same could not be done for USB? You would probably have to set it up with a PC initally to work stand alone. My old M-A Fast track pro would work as a stand alone S/PDIF to analogue converter.

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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby The Elf » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:10 am

So sounds like it could be possible. Now it just needs a manufacturer to pick it up!
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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby ef37a » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:23 am

[quote="The Elf"]So sounds like it could be possible. Now it just needs a manufacturer to pick it up![/quote.]
Yes but, I see many posts from people that want an 8 or 16 way analogue to USB converter with just line inputs to take signals from tape machines. That is just a bit of a Tascam 1608 and yet I know of no such beast?

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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:53 am

ef37a wrote:I see no reason why the same could not be done for USB?

HDMI is a formatted output signal.

USB is a computer dialogue. It's a whole different and far more complex interface.

The core of the problem is that the TR8 needs to work with a computer as a host for which it appears as an audio interface.

But as we know (barring one or two special exceptions) Windows computers can't talk to more than one (ASIO) interface at a time. And in the Elf's case, switching to use the TR8 interface to extract the individual drum sounds then messed up his standard audio interface settings when he tried to return to that later.

To extract the audio from the TR8 via USB and present as physical analogue (or digital) outputs will require a computer host of some form -- possibly a suitably programmed Raspberry or embedded PC, as James says -- along with a conventional audio interface.

A simple 'dumb' standalone box won't cut it.
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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby ef37a » Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:36 pm

See Elf ^ I WAS going to tell you that!

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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:20 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:To extract the audio from the TR8 via USB and present as physical analogue (or digital) outputs will require a computer host of some form -- possibly a suitably programmed Raspberry or embedded PC, as James says -- along with a conventional audio interface.

A simple 'dumb' standalone box won't cut it.

The big issue with the TR8 is that it doesn't appear to be class compliant which is why I think you'll need a Windows computer as a host.

It might be easier to just use an alternative program for recording the TR8 so that you can keep your Cubase setup intact.
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Re: Separate audio outputs from USB

Postby The Elf » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:26 pm

James Perrett wrote:It might be easier to just use an alternative program for recording the TR8 so that you can keep your Cubase setup intact.
Don't worry - I won't be seeing the TR-8 again! :lol:

I have TR-8S of my own, with plenty of analogue I/O and I guarantee I will never use its USB audio feed - life is too short for that kind of tomfoolery.

Yes, class compliance is a given for the type of thing I have in mind. I realise it wouldn't work with everything, but I can imagine it working with many. I suppose it's sort of what Roland did with their Aira mixer?
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