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Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed May 06, 2020 7:18 pm

I agree. AoIP is quickly becoming the de facto technology in new professional installations in broadcast, live sound, theatre and education. The more common it becomes, the lower the costs will move. It's very noticeable how much kit is crossing my desk now with Dante, Ravenna or AES67 connectivity.

And as the Elf says, multiple I/O boxes are no problem at all with AoIP systems, so I think USB and ASIO interfaces will probably be quite rare within decade, at least in new-build systems.
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby The Elf » Wed May 06, 2020 8:14 pm

resistorman wrote::lol: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, ASIO....
I'm not so cruel! :lol: ASIO may not be perfect, but it's brought us a long, long way. Think of it as a Pony Express horse - it was never mean to take us the whole journey...
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby resistorman » Wed May 06, 2020 11:57 pm

The Elf wrote:
resistorman wrote::lol: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, ASIO....
I'm not so cruel! :lol: ASIO may not be perfect, but it's brought us a long, long way. Think of it as a Pony Express horse - it was never mean to take us the whole journey...

True, but it may also be responsible for 33 1/3 of my white hairs :bouncy:
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby Pete Kaine » Thu May 07, 2020 11:47 am

resistorman wrote:True, but it may also be responsible for 33 1/3 of my white hairs :bouncy:

I'll see your white hairs and raise you one bald head.
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby Johnsy » Thu May 07, 2020 1:35 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I agree. AoIP is quickly becoming the de facto technology in new professional installations in broadcast, live sound, theatre and education. The more common it becomes, the lower the costs will move. It's very noticeable how much kit is crossing my desk now with Dante, Ravenna or AES67 connectivity.

And as the Elf says, multiple I/O boxes are no problem at all with AoIP systems, so I think USB and ASIO interfaces will probably be quite rare within decade, at least in new-build systems.

Has absolutely nothing to do with drivers though. The Dante PCIe card is an ASIO device. The network paradigm solves the the multi-device issue for ASIO, rather than supplanting it.

Re aggregate devices under macOS: unless those devices are synchronised in hardware (i.e., wordclock or digital stream daisychain), then you're getting sample rate-converted (rather than bit-perfect) audio (and SRC done in software, to boot). Doesn't matter to some, does to others.
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby The Elf » Thu May 07, 2020 2:07 pm

Johnsy wrote:Has absolutely nothing to do with drivers though. The Dante PCIe card is an ASIO device. The network paradigm solves the the multi-device issue for ASIO, rather than supplanting it.
Yep, true enough. I had forgotten the link between Dante and DAW! Though it wouldn't surprise me to see a new standard to supplant ASIO and bring Dante channels into a DAW more directly. I would love to think of the likes of Audinate and Steinberg beginning to have some serious talks along these lines - and let's not forget that Yamaha are very much in the Dante vanguard...

Don't forget that you don't need a Dante 'card' - the software only virtual 'card' works really well IME. You just need at least one piece of Dante-enabled hardware to begin to make use (and sense!) of it.
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby Johnsy » Thu May 07, 2020 2:11 pm

The Elf wrote:
Don't forget that you don't need a Dante 'card' - the software only virtual 'card' works really well IME. You just need at least one piece of Dante-enabled hardware to begin to make use (and sense!) of it.

Sure - but the VSC's an ASIO device too (albeit a virtual one).

And audio I/O really doesn't get much more 'direct' than ASIO.
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby ZapZap » Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:44 pm

ASIO4ALL allows recording from multiple devices simultaneously, but I'm not sure if it does sample rate conversion to correct for their clock drift:

“Support multiple sample rates concurrently - for as long as they are physically derived from a common master clock, are integer multiples of each other (except 44.1/48kHz special case), etc...
Support a number of sample rates on the ASIO side that the audio device does not physically support. Basically, this means an extension to the on-the-fly rate conversion capabilities.”

“ASIO4ALL now does sample rate conversion whenever required in order to support 44.1 kHz.”

“Support for single common sample rate that is *not* a multiple of 8 or 11.025”
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby The Elf » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:29 am

ZapZap wrote:ASIO4ALL allows recording from multiple devices simultaneously
I've seen this claimed many times, but I've never met anyone who has got it to work?
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby CS70 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:37 pm

ZapZap wrote:ASIO4ALL allows recording from multiple devices simultaneously, but I'm not sure if it does sample rate conversion to correct for their clock drift:

“Support multiple sample rates concurrently - for as long as they are physically derived from a common master clock, are integer multiples of each other (except 44.1/48kHz special case), etc...
Support a number of sample rates on the ASIO side that the audio device does not physically support. Basically, this means an extension to the on-the-fly rate conversion capabilities.”

“ASIO4ALL now does sample rate conversion whenever required in order to support 44.1 kHz.”

“Support for single common sample rate that is *not* a multiple of 8 or 11.025”

If you understand what ASIO4All is (if not, read my blog post at https://www.theaudioblog.org/post/should-i-use-asio4all), you understand why in theory it can aggregate devices.. because Windows WDM can aggregate devices, by mixing the sound.

But in practice, these devices will have no reference clock because there are no provisions for that in the WDM architecture, so they will either be out of whack at start or soon get out of whack. There are techniques to try to synchronize them (for example using the USB frequency) and I am sure that Asio4All attempts this, but while it works fine for loose applications, for strict audio samples ordering, anything less than an accurate timestamp on each sample buffer, synched to a common clock will generally not do, at last not for enough time.

Note that an ASIO driver theoretically could support concurrent devices - ASIO2.3 added CanTimeInfo and CanTimeCode queries to the driver and also allowed for internal buffering so it'd be possible to write an aggregate wrapper. But this would requires manufacturers to do a little work (implementing timecode info in their drivers) and someone to write the aggregate, and there's so little demand (and need, really, with inexpensive multi-input interfaces and audio over internet for larger things) that nobody has great interest in doing it.
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:28 pm

Agreed - as far as I know ASIO4ALL can only freewheel the various audio devices alongside each other, UNLESS they can be synced via clock inputs.

So long takes will almost inevitably drift apart, and the only thing you can do to minimise the problem is to create projects in short sections, which will tend to re-sync every time you trigger a new playback section.


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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:14 pm

CS70 wrote:Note that an ASIO driver theoretically could support concurrent devices - ASIO2.3 added CanTimeInfo and CanTimeCode queries to the driver and also allowed for internal buffering so it'd be possible to write an aggregate wrapper.

Some manufacturers allow multiple devices of the same type to use a single driver - I don't know if this would use the same technique or something different.
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby Gadg3ts » Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:43 pm

Given that the asio4all thing is pretty old, I'm very surprised no-one has mentioned the Voicemeter products, as what they do is create an aggregate device (from up to 5 physical devices) and present that as a single ASIO device to Windows.

If you can excuse the names, they are the Banana and Potato:
https://www.vb-audio.com/Voicemeeter/banana.htm (allows 3 physical inputs)
https://www.vb-audio.com/Voicemeeter/potato.htm (allows 5 physical inputs)

I've got it (the Potato edition!) running on my primary studio machine with an SSL Madi-AX at 96k, a Roland TR-8, and an SY-300 (plus the audio from my webcam )and it works great.
It also has an AOIP feature (VBAN) that I'm using to route audio from my performance laptop to another (secondary studio) machine running OBS, for streaming A/V performances with Traktor & Resolume which also works really well.

It's sold as donationware, so you can have it from 8-35 euro's.

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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby CS70 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:27 pm

James Perrett wrote:
CS70 wrote:Note that an ASIO driver theoretically could support concurrent devices - ASIO2.3 added CanTimeInfo and CanTimeCode queries to the driver and also allowed for internal buffering so it'd be possible to write an aggregate wrapper.

Some manufacturers allow multiple devices of the same type to use a single driver - I don't know if this would use the same technique or something different.

Yes indeed they do - it's just that they are few and far between.
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Re: Aggregate audio device on Windows 10 64 bit?

Postby CS70 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:34 pm

Gadg3ts wrote:Given that the asio4all thing is pretty old, I'm very surprised no-one has mentioned the Voicemeter products

I would suspect they suffer from similar issues - introducing latency and devices will likely drift after a while. It's straightforward to set buffer size and sample rate on multiple devices but it's the lack of a common clock reference at driver specification level that gives problems.

ASIO was invented exactly to bypass the Windows Mixer - all that functionality need to be computed somewhere in the processing line from inputs to outputs, and that adds latency. Asio4All offers no such facilities trying to provide the most straightforward wrapping (only I/O).

But by all means it costs nothing to try :)
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