Right App for Audio Mux to ASIO Monitors

VB-Cable A & B, HIFI-Cable, ASIO Bridge
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ric982
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:52 pm

Right App for Audio Mux to ASIO Monitors

Post by ric982 »

Hi,
I'm sorry to ask this, but after trying to look through videos and other documentation, I'm still unsure about whether one of your products will do what I'm trying to do so....

So I have a Steinberg UR824 audio interface (AI) to a 2.0 monitoring setup. Running Pro Tools (not Ultimate yet) on Windows 10. Protools is accessing my AI through ASIO and I can control all 8 inputs/outputs on the product with routing through Pro Tools I/O configuration. I also have Steinberg's UR824 Window's driver installed and set as my default device. Unfortunately the Steinberg WIndows 10 WDM driver only allows you to select 2 channel 24 bit format. But I am able to direct all stereo computer audio (system sounds, itunes, spotify, WMP, etc) to my monitors through this interface. Occasionally Pro Tools gets locked out of the audio by some other program and I have to reboot. Generally this is not a problem, and when it is, I am generally either using Pro Tools with audio or some other app with audio. With Pro Tools, I have the UR824 as the Pro Tools external clock and my sessions generally are 24 bit/48K.

I've been planning on hooking up a 7.1 monitoring configuration on the UR824. Protools can control all 8 outputs so technically, I could do a 7.1 mix in Protools - but you need Protools Ultimate to take advantage of their multi-channel support and any multi-channel plugins. However, before I pop for PT Ultimate, I want to ensure that I'm able to stream multi-channel through Windows 10. So right now, I've got Netflix up and running which has 5.1 content and also Spotify which has some multi-track content. I'm assuming windows is down-converting any multi-channel to 2-channel when I play it. I'm hoping I can use one of your products to get around Steinberg's driver limitations so I can stream 5.1 to my monitors.

It looks like ASIO bridge should do this. I was thinking of using one Input/Output pair for protools and use a second input for my default Windows device so that I can share the ASIO/UR824/monitors in multi-channel (>2) mode. Does this sound like it would work? I was also looking at JRiver as a media manager. It also has a virtual inputs and a 'physical' output. Do you think I could use JRiver's virtual input my default audio device and feed its output into the ASIO bridge input. The flows I'm expecting would look like this:

Players/Streamers/System Sounds -> JRiver (7.1, 5.1, 2.0) -> ASIO Bridge In 1..| ASIO Bridge | -> ASIO -> UR824 -> Monitors
......................................Protools I/O (7.1, 5.1, 2.0) -> ASIO Bridge I/O 2|

Does this sound like it would work? I'm assuming that ASIO bridge is acting like a Y cable and it would pass both inputs to the ASIO driver input. Is this correct? Another permutation would be to let Pro Tools use ASIO directly and just configure the top line shown above which might avoid issues with buffering in ASIO Bridge not playing well with Pro Tools. If I go this way, perhaps I just need a VB Cable?
ric982
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:52 pm

Re: Right App for Audio Mux to ASIO Monitors

Post by ric982 »

I guess I'm finding out that JRiver will talk to ASIO directly and it provides a WDM interface, so I probably don't need anything between it and the ASIO driver to implement what I showed in the "top line" of my flow. And it appears it can 'co-exist' with Pro Tools if you do the installations in the correct order. Still haven't gotten any answers on why the UR824 WDM doesn't allow 5.1, but that's not a VB Audio issue. I'll keep pursuing this with the other parties for now. If you have any other info on this topic, I'd be interested.
ric982
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:52 pm

Re: Right App for Audio Mux to ASIO Monitors

Post by ric982 »

OK so I'm back. JRiver and Pro Tools both want to own the ASIO Interface.

And I've looked some more at your products. I think it will be easier if I start a separate thread to ask a more specific thread. So I'll stop here on this one.
Vincent Burel
Site Admin
Posts: 1323
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:01 pm

Re: Right App for Audio Mux to ASIO Monitors

Post by Vincent Burel »

i don't know if it helps but i would like to add:
1- Voicemeeter Virtual ASIO driver can support 4 clients (4 ASIO apps),
2- Voicemeeter Banana offer 2 virtual ASIO driver (one for each virtual input).
3- Voicemeeter Banana virtual ASIO insert driver support a single application only.
ric982
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:52 pm

Re: Right App for Audio Mux to ASIO Monitors

Post by ric982 »

Hi Vincent,
Thanks for the reply.

It looks like ASIO Bridge does what I need. In particular, it gets around the Yamaha Steinberg USB ASIO driver limitation of having only a stereo WDM when their product supports 8 in/8 outs - which is what I needed a solution for.

If you try to have ASIO Bridge and Pro Tools both use the ASIO interface at the same time, the first one gets in and the other does not. And if you happen to cause that conflict, you can back out of the conflict on either product without a reboot or without even having to restart either Pro Tools or the ASIO Bridge app. That is a really important thing and makes recovery mostly painless. The simplest rule is set ASIO OFF before starting Protools and turn ASIO ON after closing Protools. So problem above solved.

If you want more info:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showpos ... stcount=20

I was hoping that there was something would mutiplex a 8 channel WDM input with a 16x16 channel Virtual ASIO port so I didn't need to worry about conflicts for the ASIO interface, but I can live without that, and perhaps it's not necessarily the best idea anyway.

A few comments/suggestions:

Overall I like the controls and displays in the GUI. It would be nice if the manual mentioned a few things that I had to discover by trial an error or research as described below:
- To switch between stats and the main panel, right click on the window (perhaps a view tab might be handy - especially if there are more than two options - see below)
- There doesn't appear to be a way to 'reset' the stats? Also - what do some of these mean - push lost? pull lost? Init? - and is it a problem if I see a non-zero count on these - what do I do about them - and if they are not changing, am I OK? I don't know what the "Reset Input" and "Reset Output" drop downs do - it's not reset the stats. I see some jitter on my MSR (assume this is the mean sample rate) - how much jitter is a problem? And where is the gitter coming from. I'm guessing my hardware internal clock has better lock than what I'm seeing - is this what the ASIO driver is surfacing to applications like protools?
- The sample rates, bit depth, and number of channels for the output side are set in the Windows Control Panel>Sound>Hi-Fi Cable>Properties under "Recording:Advanced" tab. You need to set the sample rate and bit depth to match what you set on your ASIO device control panel. Windows limits the output side to two channels (even if Audio Bridge knows you have more).
- The sample rates and bit depth for the input side are set in the Windows Control Panel>Sound>Hi-Fi Cable>Properties under "Playback:Advanced" tab. You need to set the sample rate and bit depth to match what you set on your ASIO device control panel. The number of channels on the input side are set in Windows Control Panel>Sound>Hi-Fi Cable>Configure.
- maybe "Note: If you have Windows Control Panel>Sound>Hi-Fi Cable>Recording tab selected - you will see buffer activity on the ASIO input side and detect levels in the -85-90 dB range." (at least on Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 1903)
- The two "plugs" on the input side are associated with the left and right channel inputs (as labeled) - when investigating this product I was confused about whether those were two N-channel inputs (like a mixer) - or one stereo input (but then why 6 ch) - or what - the graphic is probably fine - just didn't find a description in the manual that explained it. At least they are gold plated which means the must be great!
- The number levels shown for L/R input are what's on the input side of the WDM and the horizontal bars underneath are level meters for the WDM inputs for channels 2-8 (maybe one set of 8 bars would be better? - and maybe give the number levels in some other window if that is still needed?) .
The little vertical bars in the main window show you the levels of the outputs sent to the ASIO driver on the input side and the levels received from the ASIO inputs (on the output side) for each of the 8 possible channels. And the WDM input levels can be different from ASIO Out levels as shown by the vertical bars more by the center I actually figured this out when I had Pro tools running, set ASIO ON (at this point ASIO Bridge says "ASIO ON" and "Yamaha Steinberg USB ASIO (Stopped)" and the WDM input meters were active and the ASIO meters on the input side were dead. Great feed back - once I know what it was telling me. A bit of description of the above in the manual would be helpful.
- Even if you have nothing plugged into your audio interface and the levels on your preamps set to the lowest setting, you may see some 'noise' on the ASIO meters on the output side - would seem the meters are showing more than I would expect for preamp noise? Not sure what's up here.

Again, I think you have a very good product here and I will reflect that in my subsequent actions (e.g. donation).
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