ASIO means Audio Streaming Input Output.
Audio Stream Input/Output (ASIO) is a protocol allowing communication between a software application and a computer’s sound card. This was developed by Steinberg back in the 1997. It provides a low-latency and solves synchronization issues between the different input and output channels.
With the Steinberg Audio Stream I/O (ASIO) Steinberg wants to help hardware and software manufacturers to create hardware and driver software which extends the personal computer’s audio connectivity and meets the expectations of the customer (musician and audio engineer).
The Audio Stream I/O API addresses the areas of efficient audio processing, high data throughput, synchronization, low latency and extensibility on the audio hardware side. The interface is not bound to any fixed number of input and output channels (of course this numbers is limited by the processing power and data throughput of the computer system itself).
It puts no limitation on the sample rate (32 kHz to 96 kHz or higher), sample format (16, 24, 32 bit or 32/64 bit floating point formats). It takes advantage of today’s computer architectures for high data throughput (PCI, FireWire, USB). It supports sophisticated hardware solutions for additional audio processing but it remains simple in comparison to other approaches.
The last ASIO SDK, version 2.3, is available under : http://www.steinberg.net/en/company/developers.html
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