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Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby ef37a » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:18 pm

N i g e l wrote:Ive not explained this correctly, let me try again !

The synth has upto 16 channels each with a synth patch/sound. The sounds can be layered & split across the keyboard as required and are then mixed together, vol, pan, eq, FX etc and output in stereo analogue. Thats reasonably normal.

What the USB audio gives access to, is the unmixed individual channels, so that you can add your own Fx in your DAW (for example).

Oh well! THAT is not a budget synth then Nige!

Dave.
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby CS70 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:28 pm

N i g e l wrote:Ive not explained this correctly, let me try again !

The synth has upto 16 channels each with a synth patch/sound. The sounds can be layered & split across the keyboard as required and are then mixed together, vol, pan, eq, FX etc and output in stereo analogue. Thats reasonably normal.

What the USB audio gives access to, is the unmixed individual channels, so that you can add your own Fx in your DAW (for example).

And no other way to get 'em out? Damn.

Which synth it is?
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby The Elf » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:53 pm

I've got a few bits of kit that can provide separate outputs over USB. It's of little value.

DAWs can only have one ASIO driver allocated, meaning that you have to temporarily *replace* your current ASIO device with the instrument as the chosen audio interface - and in my case that wrecked my DAW's routing allocations, which I then had to completely recreate afterwards.

ASIO4ALL is not the answer. I've had so many people tell me that they can use it to aggregate devices, but I've not once see it working that way - and you would have to identically clock each device, many of which don't even provide a clock input.

Much simpler (and quicker, in my case) is to track each sound separately from the device through it's main analogue outputs - it's less painful.
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby N i g e l » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:21 pm

ef37a wrote:Oh well! THAT is not a budget synth then Nige!
Dave.

I didnt say it was or wasn't but it is and isnt ! :D

Its the MODX6, a plastic cutdown Montage6, which is therefore £1k cheaper than the Montage6. However there wasnt much change from £1k when I bought the MODX6...

The blofeld synth module is a budget synth module with MIDI DIN & USB from about 2010 ? 16 channels to layer & split, EQ & FX etc but output is only through the stereo analogue out.
One of the first questions people asked was "why doesnt the audio go via USB"

James Perrett wrote:The ASIO technology is now ultimately owned by Yamaha so, if they haven't felt the need to fix the issue to make it easier to use their keyboards, I doubt that it will ever be fixed.

>sigh< I guess thats the way it is.
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby CS70 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:55 pm

N i g e l wrote:Its the MODX6, a plastic cutdown Montage6, which is therefore £1k cheaper than the Montage6. However there wasnt much change from £1k when I bought the MODX6...


Hmm.. it seems to have MIDI ports and output the 16 channels on the MIDI out port? Or am I mistaken?
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:57 pm

CS70 wrote:Eh. The issue is that there is no such thing on Windows.
There is, as already mentioned. Twice. ASIO4all can do it. It's hacky but it's there.

CS70 wrote:And even in Mac OS, I guess that without hardware clocking (as it would be on USB keyboard) there would be clock drift between the various interfaces and probably some software compensation..
You don't need a hardware clock. The Audio MIDI Setup utility lets you select drift correction for each device. Effectively the same thing. And it works too.
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby ef37a » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:59 pm

CS70 wrote:
N i g e l wrote:Its the MODX6, a plastic cutdown Montage6, which is therefore £1k cheaper than the Montage6. However there wasnt much change from £1k when I bought the MODX6...


Hmm.. it seems to have MIDI ports and output the 16 channels on the MIDI out port? Or am I mistaken?

Surely that would mean it is just sending MIDI data to 16 VSTis in the PC? But what do I know!

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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby ef37a » Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:02 pm

Just btesting something, talk amongst yourselves...
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby N i g e l » Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:11 pm

ef37a wrote:
CS70 wrote:Hmm.. it seems to have MIDI ports and output the 16 channels on the MIDI out port? Or am I mistaken?

Surely that would mean it is just sending MIDI data to 16 VSTis in the PC? But what do I know!

Dave.

Ive not tried it yet but I fully expect MIDI output AS WELL as audio.

eg when one [or all] of the 16 channels has no synth sound allocated in the MODX, it can send out MIDI data to an external synth over DIN or to a VST in the PC over USB.
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby CS70 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:18 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:
CS70 wrote:Eh. The issue is that there is no such thing on Windows.
There is, as already mentioned. Twice. ASIO4all can do it. It's hacky but it's there.

CS70 wrote:And even in Mac OS, I guess that without hardware clocking (as it would be on USB keyboard) there would be clock drift between the various interfaces and probably some software compensation..
You don't need a hardware clock. The Audio MIDI Setup utility lets you select drift correction for each device. Effectively the same thing. And it works too.

These are both bizarre statements. I wouldn't really be replying but someone reading this might conclude that Asio4All and similar are a solution, and waste time.

So: first we're talking Windows, not Mac. There is no Audio MIDI Setup utility on Windows. The differences don't stop there - more on that later.

Asio4All wraps over WDM and the full Windows audio stack - plus of course the translation layer, which is at least two additional memory copies for each buffer cycle. Latency is in the vast majority of case simply unacceptable for any kind of performance recording. Asio4All is not a solution for recording - one interface or many interfaces. Emphatically so. Unless one records one note at a time. Then it works.

It is a good solution for playback when for some reason one has an ASIO-only application but no ASIO device connected. There are some specialized apps - especially open source - which may not yet have implemented WASPI exclusive, and then Asio4All is a good playback crutch. More time goes by, more apps will expose WASAPI Ex and there will be less and less need for Asio4All (or ASIO, for what matters).

When it comes to "drift correction", it is just a fancy name for an algorithm that attempts to guess and sync signals from several parallel isochronous transfers. First the computer must identify a precise clock. This is already hard with one transfer and - out of the three ways it can be done - the one which has a chance to work well enough for studio quality is called "asynchronous" synchronization mode (as opposite to "synchronous" and "adaptive" - the USB spec is your friend); then the algorithm has to identify the clock of the external sources and decide how to compensate for the differences. Which change over time.

In Macs, assuming USB is involved and not another protocol, that has a chance to work because the specification of the USB controller on the computer is well known (there are only so many models), and the same class-compliant driver is used in the OS, meaning the interface manufacturer will have a clear idea on what the OS will do and the timings involved and will, hopefully, write the microcontroller's firmware accordingly. Still, I wouldn't want to count on it - a slight change in the OS driver or a little misstep in the interface programming can throw things out of the window.

In Windows, both the sink and the source will have one out of a large number of possible microcontrollers, each with their own driver and timing, not counting that you have USB controllers both in the southbridge or similar control hub, plus additional ones in the motherboard. The chances that a reliable clock can be extracted by these is the same as winning a lottery. It may happen, but it mostly doesn't.

So, no, Asio4all does not generally work well for recording performances, and the chances that its device aggregation works reliably are, at best, very slim.

As a note: nothing bad to say about Asio4All per se. It does what it's designed to do and it does it well. So does a crutch. The mistake is trying to run with it.
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:32 pm

Despite your assertion, anyone who has actually read the whole thread is not being mislead.

It was not me who said ASIO4all works well. I said it's hacky. In fact no-one said it works well AFAIK. We would hope that a person might work out for themselves whether hacking is a waste of time :)

We have two links in the thread showing how it's done:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwsZPeY ... harySpence

https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/ar ... c-and-mac/

Your assertion about drift correction appears to be incorrect, at least according to Apple's own explanation. On what are you basing it? Something about the USB protocol? It's re-sampling. Incidentally James did point out earlier the caveat that ASIO4all does not do re-sampling.
https://support.apple.com/en-ie/guide/a ... 20settings
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby merlyn » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:18 pm

James Perrett wrote:
N i g e l wrote:Its a PC software problem, which will eventually be fixed, given time.

Don't hold your breath - it is a long standing problem with ASIO drivers.

It's not an ASIO problem. If that was the case it's also a WDM, WASAPI, Direct Sound and any other driver problem.

The solution is software that sits on top of the device drivers and combines multiple audio streams from unsynced hardware. Even with this software every device needs drivers, ASIO or otherwise.

If someone wants to try Potato and report their findings that would be useful data -- Windows may already be some way towards a solution :

https://vb-audio.com/Voicemeeter/potato.htm
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby CS70 » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:35 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Despite your assertion, anyone who has actually read the whole thread is not being mislead.

It was not me who said ASIO4all works well. I said it's hacky.

In fact no-one said it works well AFAIK. We would hope that a person might work out for themselves whether hacking is a waste of time :)

I am confused. The OP (and Nigel) were looking for a possible solution. You mention ASIO4All., twice or thrice, don't remember. So you *also* mean you aren't saying it's working well? Why mentioning it then?

And "Hacky" is not an engineering term, unless you are in a science fiction movie... here is Jodie Foster "increasing the volume" of the extraterrestrial signal by rotating the encoder of an Eventide DSP4000 Harmonizer :lol:

Image

ASIO4all is not "hacky" or not. It's a software wrapper - there are dozens at work in whatever computer you're using now - and just as useful and well-working in their context of application. It just has little chance to solve the OP problem (or Nigel's).

Your assertion about drift correction appears to be incorrect, at least according to Apple's own explanation. On what are you basing it? Something about the USB protocol? It's re-sampling. Incidentally James did point out earlier the caveat that ASIO4all does not do re-sampling.

I am basing it on understanding clocking and USB streams and their timing and having written audio processing code, not on some user interface dialog. :)

Can't open the second link, and for the video, thank you, but I know pretty well how ASIO4All works from a user perspective. You can set it up alright. But more often than not it will not work at all, and when it will work the quality won't be what it should.

Resampling's is sometimes part of the process but it's not a big deal nor the source of the issue (if Michael wanted and still developed the code, he could add it in a breeze). The issue is the synchronization of multiple sample streams without a common timeline reference (aka "clock"), because an algorithm can only guess it and, at best, dynamically adjust that guess. This, opposite to a hardware clock connecting the devices, which ensure that every device knows exactly what time it is and can therefore timestamp the samples precisely.

Not sure if it's worth going more in deep because you seem to look at things from an user/interface perspective. You car speedometer probably shows up to 220 or 240 Km/h. It doesn't mean that the car reaches that speed or drives well when it gets near.


Once again, that is completely irrelevant. It's about MacOS, and we're talking Windows. More, that's just the description of the user interface for the aggregation algorithm setup on the Mac. It does not tell you anything on how it is implemented and what actually it is doing.

And btw: while the MacOS drift correction algorithm can manage to guess well enough that you don't have pops and cracks, getting a sample accurate recording using aggregate devices also on Mac is far from happening. It's just a consequence of physics.
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby adamburgess » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:43 pm

Not on Windows, but...

I’ve got an iConnectivity interface (Audio2+) providing a few extra ins (X32 is my main interface). The software is absolutely terrible to set up on the Mac, but the units are well made and sound fine to me. Don’t know what the Windows setup app and drivers are like.

Just an assumption, as I’m at the pub, and can’t check... it’s got USB ins. Don’t know if they are for just iOS or computer. Does work fine for the iPad, a laptop, and analog ins from my TV. (Loopback routes it internally straight to some USB ins on the X32, but that’s not important right now...)

Never tried it with audio over USB from a synth, but can do later! They kind of claim it’ll connect anything to anything.
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Re: Is there an audio interface with (also) usb AUDIO inputs?

Postby merlyn » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:48 pm

CS70 wrote:The issue is the synchronization of multiple sample streams without a common timeline reference (aka "clock"), because an algorithm can only guess it and, at best, dynamically adjust that guess.

This is just completely wrong. I suggest you do a bit of research and find out why it's wrong.
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