Changing audio interfaces for different purposes

My usual audio interface is my Behringer X32 Producer. It works fine and is very reliable and I can achieve most of what I want to do with it. However I recently bought a Helix LT and bought the Helix Native as well because it was offered for a very good price when I registered my Helix. The great thing about using the Helix via usb is that you can set it up to both record whatever preset you are using plus a direct non-effected guitar sound which can be re-amped or used to process a completely different preset anytime. That sounds very convenient to me, but that would require me to change the audio interface from the X32 to the Helix whenever I wanted to record the guitar in this way. Is anyone else changing their audio interface to suit what they are doing at the time? Is there a way to save some sort of preset to switch between audio interfaces? Does anyone see any issue in changing audio interfaces often or is there a between way to do it? Thanks

You didn’t specify whether you’re on Mac or Windows. On Mac, you can create an aggregate device of your X32 and Helix and use that (don’t ask me about the details, I’m not a Mac owner).
On Windows, it should be possible with ASIO4ALL, but there are some prerequisites and caveats and I personally have not experience with that.
Does he Helix have not option for a dry-through for one of its output? Maybe configure a send to be routed before any amp model? Then you could just record dry and wet signals with the X32.

1 Like

Thanks fese - I’m sorry I should have stated I was on a PC. I am aware that Macs support multiple audio devices - I wish the PC would too. I;m also aware of ASIO4ALL but from what I have read it uses audio drivers that are less than ideal. I’ve only just got the Helix LT so I’m still learning it;s features and I’m starting to think that your final suggestion will have to be the way to go.

Thanks for your response

Even the Macs way is not perfect. The problem is clocking between multiple interfaces. Its better to have just one that fulfils your needs

Aggregating several interfaces is a loooong complaint on PC.
Can’t you send the output of your HELIX to some input of your X32 and do a different kind of aggregation ?

1 Like

Thanks all for your replies. I suppose one work around would be to add a mono dry output in the Helix preset along with a mono affected and route them to the main left and right. I usually don’t use stereo presets anyway. But that would require every preset to be edited. From what I read in the Helix manual there is no way to assign just a dry output to any of the available outputs. I will post a thread on the Helix forum and see what other users are doing. If there is anything ground breaking I will report back here, Really appreciate everyone’s responses - thank you.

ASIO4ALL works quite well for some to aggregate ‘inputs’, and not so great for others. No harm in giving it a try. In my experience it’s good enough for occasionally aggregating ‘inputs’ into a project (I.E. a USB mic or instrument that has no other way to get it into ASIO world, but you really NEED it for some reason). Personally, I’d avoid it for aggregating ‘outputs’ if everything must be tightly synced unless you have some way to insure all the interfaces are using the same clock. If the interfaces aren’t sharing a clock, outputs can and probably will drift apart in timing, which might not matter for some applications…but could be a pretty big issue if you’re trying to mix or live monitor from such ‘drifting’ output streams.

Have a look at ASIO Link Pro (free now, and a very stable/powerful tool for routing ASIO and non-ASIO apps wherever you want them). This tool is utterly amazing! Zero latency, and a routing powerhouse for windows systems! It has excellent jitter control and whatnot for network streams that might all be based on different clocks. In my experience, it’s been very stable…and what a joy to be able to intermingle non ASIO apps into a workflow.

There ‘might’ be a way to run multiple instances of ASIO Link Pro on the same system, and then network the two interfaces together via localhost IP protocols. Personally, I’ve not tried this yet, but I seem to recall reading in the Docs that it might be possible.

It’d definitely be doable if you have a spare PC or laptop laying around, and a good ethernet setup connecting them together. One interface could even be connected to a fairly low spec computer running nothing but an instance of ASIO Link Pro.

I’ve also had some luck bringing various streams from multiple interfaces into ASIO world by running stand alone instances of Bidule, each connected to different interfaces, and therein, hosting instances of Reastream, and thus being able to stream via localhost network protocols into Cubase/Dorico/Whatever.

Another possibility is to somehow set up a submix from one interface to another. Do the units have SPDIF in/out? If so, that’s a great way to get both units using the same clock, and getting at least one all digital stereo bus going between the two interfaces.

I also have a Helix LT and though I don’t regularly use it for recording through its USB it’s no major issue to switch from one interface to another when I do want to. It was something I used to worry about but it’s really pretty straight forward and yes you can create pre-sets (indeed I’d recommend it as it makes it a lot simpler). I certqainly found it a lot easier than trying to get two interfaces to work at the same time which invariably leads to much increased latency (among other issues).

1 Like

Thanks very much Brian and planarchist. Brian I will check out ASIO Link Pro, Bidule and Reastream - there are some very interesting possibilities to explore with those.

planarchist when you say you can create presets do you mean presets in Cubase where you have different audio devices set up or do you refer to writing presets in the LT that include a separate out for the dry signal?

Thanks so much for some very helpful and interesting workarounds.

You can set up different presets for different audio interfaces

1 Like

I meant pre-sets in Cubase for the different audio interfaces. The slightly annoying thing is you need one for inputs and one for outputs (or Control Room in my case). Nevertheless worth doing if you are going to be using different interfaces.

On the Helix it’s easy to split the signal so you can hear the Helix affected sound but run the DI to your other interface though.
There are various ways of doing this but I use the Send option…just add a send as the first thing in your Helix chain and use the Send Output to go to the input in your audio interface.

I find this more efficient in the long run and easier than recording both wet and dry signals to Cubase…I found I almost never used the original Helix sound and always edited the DI version using Helix Native. Thus now I record the DI and copy the preset I had on the Helix LT over into Helix Native. That way I can edit it after the recording if/when required.

Thanks so much planarchist - I intend to use the Helix in exactly the same way - record the dry and process it later in Helix Native. That’s a great tip about adding a send in the preset - very quick and easy. Also copying the preset from the LT to Native is another neat idea. You’ve helped me greatly and I really appreciate it :grinning:

1 Like

If you intend to use more than 1 audio interface in a given project, do make sure these interfaces are all set to the same sample rate.