Advice please for audio set up

Good morning all
Bit of a newbie question so please bear with me.

My set up is Cubase 13 pro with a KK mk3 S49 which plugs directly in to my windows laptop. Thats been ok up to now just using the ASIO driver but recently I added a Gaia 2 synth which again just plugs in directly to laptop via USB 3. As you can imagine the result is not particulary great and whist i can get both keyboards working they are pretty unusable together with clicks and pops and latency no matter how I adjust the settings. This is by using both the ASIO generic driver or the ASIO4ALL.

Im guessing i need a Audio Interface or Mixer? Or both ? Can anyone advise if the set up will improve with just a mixer such as the Behringer XENYX 302USB 5-Input Mixer or would a audio interface be better. Or do i need both to get a decent pop free low latency set up.

Sorry if it seems a ridiculous question but im not even sure what the difference is between a mixer and interface. Its only for a home setup.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Gary

Hi,

KK mk3 S49 doesn’t make a sound, it’s just a MIDI keyboard. Or am I wrong?

If I’m right, you need just an Audio Device to plug your new synth to the Inputs of the Audio Device. A mix won’t help, there is nothing to mix.

I agree with Martin on this one. An audio interface is pretty much essential, and to begin with at least, the Cubase mixer will serve your needs. You don’t have to pay a fortune for a good quality unit that works for a basic in/out setup such as yours.

Steiberg UR22 Mk3 comes in at around £120 (Sterling). Scarlett 2i2 is around the same price and equally as good. Each will have a dedicated ASIO driver that will serve you well until you get your feet set and start to understand what you may (or may not) need going forward. (There are cheaper alternatives, but I’ve used both of these and can personally recommend them.)

One other thing I’d recommend is buying a powered USB hub which should come in under £20. That will help spread the power load if you are adding multiple USB controllers such as your KK and Gaia.

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Thanks for the help guys, really appreciate it.

I tried selecting the Gaia 2 as the Audio Device as it has one built in but the then latency was not great at about 29ms. If I use ASIO4ALL the latency is better for the KKS49 but when I add the GAIA 2 there is lots of pops and crackles.

Am I right in thinking an Audio Interface is the way to go for the GAIA 2 and just plug the KK S49 straight into the computer by USB?

Thanks
Gary

From my experience a dedicated audio interface is the way to go. I’ve experimented in the past with Maschine as an audio device, and even with Line6 Helix and Pod units for various odd projects, and I always ended up back using my trusted Steinberg audio interfaces. The Komplete Audio 6 is another unit I’ve had until recently, and that is a very nice bit of kit.

You’ll probably find the dedicated ASIO driver that comes with an audio unit will settle down the latency and general audio dropouts.

The Gaia 2 is a USB device also? If so, I would say the powered USB Hub would be the way to go and connect the two keyboards and an audio interface via the hub.